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My sister who I haven't spoken to in 3 years is now asking for money


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I'm feeling conflicted. I have been out of touch with my family for a while. The whole dynamic is dysfunctional. My mother is a narcissist who pitted her children against each other. The only reason they ever reach out to me is when they want something. This was long before I cut them off. I'm still bitter about being admitted to the hospital and people messaging me to ask for money.

 

I fell out with this sister when she came by my house with her husband and kids. I was giving her clothes because she was trying to get a job. The kids were out of control. Neither parent was trying to control them. They were running around, broke my DVD Player, stuck my foam roller in the toilet and I got fed up and told them to leave. She has a temper and she started lying that I hit one of the children. Then she threatened to damage my car. I live in an apartment complex and the security guard heard them and asked them to leave. Then they started on him. Raining expletives on him. I did not lay a hand on my niece. I decided they were dangerous and stopped contacting them. They didn't try to call me either. They generally lived above their means and I had decided that helping her with clothes for an interview was good but randomly handing money to them was bad. They'll do things like go to a hotel for a vacation and come home to unpaid rent and light and call for assistance.

 

I really feel it for the kids who have done nothing wrong. About a month ago my sister called me from a different number to say she left her husband. I answered because I didnt recognize the number. She was asking for advice about custody so I answered her questions. Apparently she is not letting her husband see the kids and I decided not to get involved in that drama. Last week I came home from the supermarket and her husband was parked at my gate waiting for me. I drove in without saying anything to him. Last night she sent me a text trying to get money. I don't want her or the kids to starve but I dont want to get drawn back into the drama. She and her husband spend alot of time in court for not paying bills. They act disconnected from reality. He basically alienated her from her family and friends while they were married. It was an unstable relationship from the start but my mother likes to say that her daughters are married so she encouraged it. This is my sister who generally makes bad choices and always needs rescuing. Add to that delusions of grandeur where she doesnt work but thinks her kids should go to private school and I should pay for it. I have bills of my own. I could give her the money but I am terrified it will only escalate. I didn't even ask her why she left her husband or where she is staying. I just didn't want to get involved. Worse with her husband staking out my apartment. I haven't seen these people in 3 years!!!

What should I do?

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You need to get a restraining order against these people. 🚷🛑You also need to completely and thoroughly go through all your social media and reset all the privacy settings. Only allow certain individuals to view content and restrict everything. Then you need to delete and block all of them and everyone associated with them from all your messaging apps, devices and social media.

Last week I came home from the supermarket and her husband was parked at my gate waiting for me. Worse with her husband staking out my apartment.
Edited by Wiseman2
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There are numerous city and state services for her to use. I cannot fathom why you would give her money or communicate with her. Stop being a doormat and enabler and cut this woman off! if you do not recognize the phone number, then don't answer the phone.

 

Call the police the next time he shows up.

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There are church pantries that give out food if needed. Kids in low income families eat free breakfast and lunch at school. If a teacher noted that a child was starving, they are mandated to report this. When people are toxic, even if family, it's okay to decide they will no longer be in your life.

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I'd probably look into your need for family ties at this point and tend to your own broken idea of what family means. They are not the only ones who are dysfunctional at this point. You are too. The quicker you realize that you're a part of that framework, the quicker you'll be able to work at extricating yourself and becoming less of a problem to yourself.

 

It's difficult and painful when family members fail expectations of any kind. I think that void and that hurt doesn't ever go away. You'll have to work hard at cultivating and repairing existing healthy relationships with family you make on your own (if you're married or have kids) or in the friends whom you choose as family. Start rewriting what your idea of family means and letting go of influences that don't promote your own wellbeing. If you have kids, family, friends of your own, you'll start realizing that there's a different way of treating each other. You'll start grounding yourself differently and treating others differently too.

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II have a slightly different view. I was the woman isolated by an abusive husband and towards the end I did not have any contact with my family - he made sure of it by alienating them or physically removing my ability to communicate. At one point, he pressured me to ask my family for money. i felt awful later.

 

If you did have a relationship before he came into her life.

I would ignore any contact from the husband and get a restraining order on him. I would not give her money. I would give her cards that have info for resources for her and i would give her a bag of groceries for the kids or a gift card from a store that really only sold food. And when she contacts you, only reinforce those things.

When she reaches out in an actual positive way, accept more contact, but by doing this you are setting a boundary with her - positive behavior wins a relationship with you and manipulative behavior that she used to survive does not. Its not the kids fault. If she gets away from this guy, that's greatt

 

Maybe even write her a letter to the effect that she has't contacted you in three years so therefore this is the only help you can get (lists of names of shelters, food pantries and maybe a bag of groceries for the kids).

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II have a slightly different view. I was the woman isolated by an abusive husband and towards the end I did not have any contact with my family - he made sure of it by alienating them or physically removing my ability to communicate. At one point, he pressured me to ask my family for money. i felt awful later.

 

If you did have a relationship before he came into her life.

I would ignore any contact from the husband and get a restraining order on him. I would not give her money. I would give her cards that have info for resources for her and i would give her a bag of groceries for the kids or a gift card from a store that really only sold food. And when she contacts you, only reinforce those things.

When she reaches out in an actual positive way, accept more contact, but by doing this you are setting a boundary with her - positive behavior wins a relationship with you and manipulative behavior that she used to survive does not. Its not the kids fault. If she gets away from this guy, that's greatt

 

Maybe even write her a letter to the effect that she has't contacted you in three years so therefore this is the only help you can get (lists of names of shelters, food pantries and maybe a bag of groceries for the kids).

 

Normally, I'd be right with you on this, but in this case, the OP describes a person who has threatened her, threatened to damage her car, has always been irresponsible, and otherwise has a vile temper. A case of the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Their mother is narcissistic and her sister unfortunately has similar issues - use and abuse people, and manipulate if all else fails with the "feel sorry for me" emotional tug. The sister is not all there, her husband is the same. Keeping any kind of contact or giving any kind of advice could actually be dangerous to the OP especially regarding their marriage, any kind of separation or custody questions. She has no idea what's really going on behind the scenes, but she does know that the whole family is completely unstable. If the sister is serious about leaving, she can call the abuse hotlines or go to a local shelter. At least that way the OP is not setting up to get attacked or blamed for anything.

 

OP, just stay away from these people completely. No contact whatsoever. Also, please do not give her any kind of advice because you have absolutely no idea if she is even telling you the truth, let alone how it might bite you in the rear later. It's actually dangerous for you, especially given the fact that the husband was more or less stalking you and seeking to intimidate you. I think it's interesting that shortly following that episode she asked for money. This looks more like dangerous manipulation and intimidation where they are both in it, than anything else. Please be very wary and protect yourself and do not interact with them in any way. For your own safety you need to cut them out of your life completely and even move where they can't find out where you live if need be. Yes, it's that bad. You are not the keeper of the insane asylum.

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II have a slightly different view. I was the woman isolated by an abusive husband and towards the end I did not have any contact with my family - he made sure of it by alienating them or physically removing my ability to communicate. At one point, he pressured me to ask my family for money. i felt awful later.

 

If you did have a relationship before he came into her life.

I would ignore any contact from the husband and get a restraining order on him. I would not give her money. I would give her cards that have info for resources for her and i would give her a bag of groceries for the kids or a gift card from a store that really only sold food. And when she contacts you, only reinforce those things.

When she reaches out in an actual positive way, accept more contact, but by doing this you are setting a boundary with her - positive behavior wins a relationship with you and manipulative behavior that she used to survive does not. Its not the kids fault. If she gets away from this guy, that's greatt

 

Maybe even write her a letter to the effect that she has't contacted you in three years so therefore this is the only help you can get (lists of names of shelters, food pantries and maybe a bag of groceries for the kids).

 

This is very insightful. I like these ideas a lot. At the end of the day you're(hypothetical you) showing compassion and caring for her without getting confused about any lack of boundaries. I think that's what it comes down to - boundaries and enforcing those boundaries. I suppose the sad part is a very limited number of people have the excess energy/time to spend on acts of kindness like this. I really enjoyed reading this anyway and thanks for sharing these ideas.

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