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I have been having problems with my sister since high school. I'm 32 now and she is 33. Since high school we have never been close. We are 2 very different people. In high school she would gossip about me to other people and become friends with girls who were mean to me. I always ignored it and never stooped to her level. Unfortunately this caused me to distance myself from her. In college she tried to become close to me, but everytime I recipricated, she would tell my parents things about me and try to ruin things for me. When I was pledging a sorority, for instance, she told my parents a bunch of bad things about sororities so that they wouldn't allow me to pledge. I always felt that I could never trust her. Our distance continued after college, and when we would have to be together for family events she always makes mean faces at me or roles her eyes.


More recently, things just came to a head. My father passed away from cancer in January. Back in September the doctors told us that he had 6 to 9 months to live. I live in NY. My parents were in Texas, where my father was getting treatment. Once I found out, I made plans to go down there to help out, which I did for 2 and a half weeks. I noticed that my sister was hardly around to help. Then when it came time for me to leave, my sister did not offer to drive my parents from San Antonio to Dallas, where she lives, so that my father could get treatment until she was asked. I thought this was peculiar then, but didn't say anything. Then at holidays when I would come down to Dallas, she always had this attitude like she hated spending time with the family. I ignored her then as well. Then after my father passed away, I spent another 2 and a half weeks down there. A few days after he passed, my sister was going out and going to parties, leaving my mom and I alone. I figured it was because of me. After I left I called my mom, who started bawling about how my sister was always going out and leaving her alone. But she didn't want me to say anything. Then this last weekend I went down there because again, my sister was going out of town with her boyfriend and I didn't want my mom to be alone so I flew down. My sister then changed her mind about going out of town and stayed. She was so argumentative with both of us when we were going through paperwork. Finally I blew up when her and her boyfriend, who she just started dating were going through my dad's assets. I yelled and said that it was none of his business and that she could not pick and choose what she wanted to be involved in. To wrap it up, she ended up throwing a notebook at my face. I then through a glass of water at her. It ended up being a full out fight. We're in our thirties for god's sake. My sister still thinks she's doing nothing wrong. My mom and sister in law got involved finally, and told me that my sister has issues because my soon to be fiance is more successful than her boyfriend, I dress better, etc... I told them that out of everyone I've ever met, no one has hated me more than my sister and I don't understand why. They think I should talk to her and take the first step, but I'm worried that she's going to hit me or throw something at me again.


I've never tried to compete with her. I just live my life, but I don't include her because she's so back-stabbing. One more thing that happened at my fathers funeral was that I was standing with my boyfriend and my sister and her friends, who I have never met, were standing in a circle, looking at me and snickering. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't even grieve in piece! My boyfriend saw it too and couldn't believe it.


My question is what should I do? My sister in law doesn't think it's a big deal and that we can move past it. My mother told me to ignore her for now, but then if we don't get closer, my mother's afraid she'll be gone next. But I'm afraid of my sister because she's now turned violent on me, and she won't talk. She thinks I should apologize. For my own mental health, I don't think I can take it anymore. I don't want her to be at my wedding because she'll cause problems, but that'll deeply hurt my mom.

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People morn in different ways. The way you have been doing it might seem "better" but it doesn't make her's less valid, she is going thru a lot to. I know it sounds crazy but in order for you to get a better relationship you need to stop blaming your sister for the reasons why it is bad in the first place.


Right now it sounds like you are saying "she is bad and mean and kind of crazy, but I want to do my best to be good to her" and what you should be saying is " I love my sister and I don't understand why she is behaving the way she is I going to try and take steps to make it easier for her to share with me"


Let go of the old stuff, really who cares how she was like in high school or college just let that go and start with the two adults you have both become. You can't change her, you can only change yourself.

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She's jealous because she thinks you are better-looking more successful and had a better relationship with your parents.


One way to look at it might be to feel sorry for her because she is making herself so unhappy.


If I were you I would invite her to the wedding but minimise contact subsequently. Don't make a big issue of it - just don't see her unless you have to.

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Your sister sounds like a piece of work...I don't blame you for not wanting to have much to do with her. I am not sure you can really get past it because it sounds like she has a vindictive, petty, mean-spirited, ugly personality and no fences can ever be mended with people like that. I wouldn't even bother taking the first step. I would simply suggest that you interact with your sister on an "as needed" basis only. I think you have no choice but to invite her to the wedding but keep her at a distance. Your mother will not die if you and your sister are not getting along...don't let her turn on the guilt like that. It sounds like your mother is trying to placate the bully...that is pretty typical. Your sister is closer in location to your mother so she doesn't want to make waves. If she wants to perpetuate her daughter's dysfunctional behaviour that is her choice...but you don't have to follow the choices of your mother and sister.


I will also say that when your sister threw that notebook at you, you should not have thrown the water. You should have simply walked out of the room, quietly telling her that she crossed the line.

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  • 3 years later...

I feel as though you were writing my history and not just your own. Wow...this is so weird...Everything is what you said...only...I am older and my sister remained this way all through Mom's death and this was after Dad's death..she caused trouble at Dad's funeral too....and tried to cause trouble with all my relatives. She broke up two boyfriends...you may need to do what I have now done...and am happier for it...not happy...just better without her mean-spirited trouble making cruelty. She took pleasure in hurting me and acting like she was aloof about it. If she could have hurt me physically she probably would have. Well, she did ...since verbal abuse is still ABUSE, isn't it? Sure sounds like your Mom is getting something out of pitting you two against each other...or she would have put her foot down long ago...grounded you both or something. So let yourself be mentally healthy and drop your sister, before she does something to you she will prove her hatred with. Older sisters are sometimes mean and cruel because they don't really want a companion in a sister..too young to figure this all out...the ugly feelings ar left to their own ways and boil over years and years. I want you to find peace...I am here...for you. I wish I had been your sister, I'd make a non-judemental one and support you at every turn. Just that simple. REally it is!

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