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The odd one out - Ambushed by Sisters


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During Christmas break I took my toddler son to my parents home to spend time with his cousins and grandparents. One of my sisters bought him presents yet didn’t even ask me how I was since I’ve moved to another state. When I’m far away she calls me constantly and when I showed up in person she gave me a cold shoulder. I called her out on it and was like aren’t u gonna ask me how I am since I’ve moved. She’s like I know u came here just for your son. I was like if course he’s lonely and no one has come to visit us. My other sister was like ok we’re gonna go out for a drink are u coming? I was like well now I’m not in the mood to celebrate if I’m getting a cold shoulder as soon as I arrive. They left anyways. Second sister got my sons presents too yet could give two s about his mom. Than my third sister face times me from another stare to tell me what a great trip she’s having with her own family. After I hung up I realized she called me to rub it in my face. I’m a stay at home mom I don’t socialize that much and I felt even more alone when I saw them. Since then they text in a group message as if nothing has happened so I just stop texting completely. The only thing I’m worried about is my child. I feel so bad for him because he is the only child and needs contact with his family. But it makes it hard to show up when they clearly could care less about actually being in my presence or even taking the time to communicate or something is wrong. I actually feel completely alone in the world. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys

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Sounds like a lot of drama on your side. You sound like you push people away with your guilting and bad attitude!

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You should be satisfied that they got your child gifts. Stop moaning and trying to find something to victimize yourself over, and be more pleasant and appreciative of your family.

 

Why aren't you visiting your family members? It isn't their fault you feel alone, you need to make some changes in your life. Where is the father of your kid?

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Well, I can somewhat relate. I have a sister and we're not as close as I'd like due to whom she married. He's despicable and she has to defend him because he's her meal ticket. Hence, her marriage is her priority so sometimes I get the cold shoulder. I'm perfectly fine with it because some people are not worth it no matter who they are, Lisa Love. I let others live their lives while I live my life and relax.

 

You can't change people. All you can do is keep cool and treat others how they treat you. Just thank your sisters graciously for the gifts and don't expect anymore out of the relationship. It's how I am. I treat people exactly how they treat me; no more, no less. If they go out of their way to be nice to me, I'll knock myself out to be nice to others. If others are cool yet distant, I return the favor and act the same exact way they treat me. I'm rather frosty as well. You ought to try it. What goes around comes around.

 

Whenever your sisters give you the cold shoulder, don't expect anything more out of them. In return, you should act cool towards them. You can still remain polite, respectful yet keep a safe, cool distance. No sense getting yourself hurt. Don't take stock into people anymore siblings, family or no family. If you don't expect anything from others, you won't get hurt anymore. You only get hurt when your expectations are high. Keep your mood even keel.

 

Think of your son and remove yourself out of the equation. Do it for him, for the sake of his spending time with his cousins and grandparents. The secret to survival is to hang tough and only think of your purpose which is your son's benefit from the trip. You'll minimize your hurts when you remember it's no longer about you anymore. As much as you'd like to have the Norman Rockwell family life, it's unrealistic for many, unfortunately. Deal with your circumstances by remaining stoic. This is what I do and I'm not so sensitive anymore. I've grown numb to it, actually which is actually a good thing. Remember, lower your expectations of others and you'll become a much more serene person. Nothing will surprise you anymore.

 

I was a SAHM (stay at home mom) when my sons were babies. I too felt isolated at times. Try socializing more with other mothers whom you can relate to. I'm sure there are mothers who meet for play dates at local parks, there are organizations, clubs and activities for SAHMs. I loved it back in the day. Since your son is only a toddler, you'll have the time of your life when your son is about 3 to 4 years old! I had tons of fun when my sons were that age. They're like little people and there's so much to do. I actually miss those years immensely. Just because you have a toddler, don't live your life like a hermit. Get out more and work around your son's nap schedule, for example. Socializing is good for your soul. Don't over do it, of course. I only socialized with other mothers once a week and the rest of the time I spent time with my boys and we kept busy.

 

Don't worry about being excluded in group texts. Texting, emails, messages, voicemails, social media, etc. are way overrated anyway. All of that relentless correspondence and communication become nothing but huge time traps. You'll have more time and energy on your hands when you're left out of the loop. Ignorance is bliss! Change the way you think and you'll be at peace just like I am. Turn every gripe, whine and negative insult and reaction to your advantage. This is what I do and I've never been happier. Let others wear themselves out. Use their power and energy towards each other while you relax.

 

People do what they do. Go your own way and create your own happiness with your son and family life. This is what I do and have since become tough and strong. Develop thicker skin and tell yourself you couldn't care less. Never preoccupy yourself with others. They're not investing the same wasted energy and time into you so return the favor.

 

I have two sons and I make sure they spend time with their cousins and grandparents several times a year such as special occasions and holidays. In some ways, I dread it because it's too much work for me such as doing a ton of cooking, kitchen clean up and I come home exhausted. However, I do it because it's only a few times a year and the rest of the year, I get to relax and not bother with relatives and in-laws which is pure bliss. Think of of those times as only temporary and once it's over, you'll get to revert back to your normal daily life again. This is how I look at it. Change the way you think and you'll become secure and independent just like me.

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Sorry to hear this but my advice about your situation remains the same: https://www.enotalone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=525899&p=6704441&viewfull=1#post6704441

I’m a stay at home mom I don’t socialize that much and I felt even more alone. I actually feel completely alone in the world. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys
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My family doesn't roll out the red carpet for me, either. I can either be bothered by that or roll with it. I choose to roll with it and make our visits about them-not-me.

 

Staying at home can isolate you. Isolation can make every interaction with others into a self conscious effort and more difficult than it needs to be. Consider finding ways to socialize more. This will normalize you socially and will help you appreciate your own family when you hear the bizarre tales of others.

 

I like to remind myself: Not Everything Is About ME.

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I was a SAHM for 7.5 years. I didn't stay in one place and didn't stay at home -as much as possible. We were out and about exploring (ages birth-7.5 years old). I didn't feel isolated and had NO family where we were and new city/solo parenting a lot as husband traveled a lot. For the first 5 years we did spend 8 weeks out of the year in our hometown with family. I wasn't isolated because we didn't stay at home other than for naps. And when we visited family which we did fairly often I didn't focus on whether they took care of me or showed care -they of course were over the moon about our son -as were we most of the time - and yes sometimes I felt mistreated/forgotten - and you know moms sometimes are seen as resilient/don't need anything -all about the child. That's life. I think a lot of this is on you. You've chosen not to reach out and do stuff and meet people -not sure why -and you want your family to make up for that when you visit. Not their job, sorry!

I just got back from visiting my mother and other family for 4 days.

 

My mother did our laundry, watched my son for about 45 minutes a day so I could work out (she would have done more but she is 85 and I don't want to burden her -even though he's 10 now!) -she played War with him (card game), loved on him, went out to dinner with us and family and family friends. I felt really yucky at one of the dinners- one of the family friends undermined me in front of our son and I was so so exhausted from taking my son here there and everywhere for 10-12 hours straight. But I sucked it up. I did what i could. One night I had a few bites of scrambled egg and a few bites of toast for dinner, another night half a baked potato in a freezing diner. I hated that part. But I focused on the positive and the memories and again -heavenly to come home from a trip with 1/3rd the amount of laundry!!! You have to focus on that stuff and choose your battles, ok?

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The only thing I’m worried about is my child. I feel so bad for him because he is the only child and needs contact with his family.
Then why not suck it up, Buttercup and make the best of the situation instead of looking so deeply into why they don't fawn over you?

 

It's your choice to play the victim or, to let that negativity go and just appreciate that, unlike your son, You DO have family that keep in contact with you (as you've stated your sister is in constant contact with you when you are away). You also chose to not go out with your sisters and have fun but seemed to rather want to dwell in your negative, poor me attitude. Are you depressed? I ask because you are coming across as not being happy in general and have chosen to blame your sisters for your (apparent) blue state of mind.

 

I will say that many times when a new little one comes into the family, the focus will undoubtedly all go to him/her and it is not in your own best interests to take that as a diss on you.

 

Why did you move away from your family?

Where is your son's father?

 

Adding: After reading the link that Wiseman Provided I can see a pattern with you in that you seem to need to be fawned over rather than you contributing to the very dynamic you would like to see from your sisters. You are (apparently) very introverted and you have expectations of people needing to go overboard to make you feel comfortable and 'adored.' I would recommend that you see someone to help you learn how to give more instead of expecting others to be the giver all of the time.

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When I’m far away she calls me constantly and when I showed up in person she gave me a cold shoulder. I called her out on it and was like aren’t u gonna ask me how I am since I’ve moved. She’s like I know u came here just for your son. Hurtful feelings often come out in anger. Reading this, it sounds like she's making the effort of calling you, but what effort do you make in retaining a connection to her? I don't understand why she doesn't already know how you've been since you moved, since you said she called you constantly. Her comment that you only showed up for the benefit of your son shows that she thinks you could care less about enjoying her company.

 

Maybe think about your own behavior and if there is a lack of efforts. If you value your relationship with your sisters, maybe they are expecting you to show this. If their expectations are reasonable, step up, and maybe things will improve. Have you invited them to visit you? Have you asked about their lives? Have you sent them photos of you and your son?

 

Thinking that your other sister is rubbing something in your face is your own negative perception, not fact. You can choose the spin you put on things. How about being happy that she decided to take precious time away from her vacation to connect with you, and be happy for her good fortune.

 

As far as living in your new location and feeling isolated, Meetup.com should list Mommy and Me groups you can attend. I joined one when I had my first child. Good luck.

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OP it would seem you walked into the situation with a resentment, which grew because you weren't being treated the way you thought you should be.

 

Your point of view is coming across as self-centered... as you describe the situation I don't really see how you were ambushed, but rather how your sisters might be tired of trying to placate you and have no interest in walking on egg shells around you.

 

Has this always been the type of relationship you have with your sisters? What kind of relationship do you want to have with them? What do you have control over and what do you need to let go of?

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Honestly, you claim they gave you the cold shoulder and then when they invited you out with them, you refused to go in retaliation for the perceived slight to get back at them. You like to keep this pot stirred. If you didn't, you would have gone because they are including you. Maybe they don't include you because you always turn them down. People will quit asking after awhile.

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btw, at the holidays, its all about the kids. If its not the holidays and kids visit - they get something, the parents don't because they are grownups. And the "my child is lonely because no one visits" is something someone's passive aggressive 70 year old aunt says. Knock it of. stop guilting them. They call you when you are not around. Stop being so ly. Do you want a ticker tape parade?

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OP, after reading your previous threads, I get the feeling that this is much more than your one sister not asking how you're doing, or the sister that contacted you while on vacation to "rub it in".

 

I just don't think you'd feel this way, or even care, if you were happier with your own circumstances.

 

Can I ask (and I'm asking these questions because you mentioned your frustration with these specific topics in your previous threads)...how is your marriage? How is your job search going? Are you making any efforts to expand your social circle?

 

I just think you'd want to make more of an effort with your siblings if you were happier where you are personally. Since you aren't satisfied with your current situation, it probably feels like a task having to extend your efforts elsewhere when you're just trying to keep your head above water on your own, and this unhappiness is just spilling into other aspects of your life - including the relationships that you have with your family/siblings.

 

I can honestly feel the frustration and resentment when I read your posts.

 

What are you doing to be happier? It's so easy to become complacent and just accept the way things are without making an effort to change, but if you don't at least try, you'll continue to be unhappy.

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Your home life husband and in-laws seem unbearable and seeing happy siblings magnified how horrible things are with this husband and in his location away from family.. Are you envious of their normal happy lives?

I felt he does not Respect me and neither does his family. FYI his parents have still not seen the baby. he got angry and said you want to know the TRUTH here it is. I think about another girl back In the Middle East everyday and I wish I could be with her.

I'm at home with the baby while he works and I don't know where to go or who to turn to. My family is in New York I'm in Ohio.

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Then why not suck it up, Buttercup and make the best of the situation...?

 

This made me giggle because it's what I used to say to myself on my way out the door to see family.

 

I changed my need for this when I went through a bad time and I legitimately didn't want anyone to worry about me. I changed my lens from making my visits about how well (or not) anyone treated me, and instead I started focusing on how well I can treat THEM.

 

This shifted our whole dynamic over time. I wasn't some unfortunate victim seeking their support, but rather, I stepped up to be helpful and caring toward each of them regardless of how they responded to me. I didn't have the energy to be 'on' and make a show of myself, I just wanted to be invisible when I wasn't being useful, and I began to enjoy some quiet gratitude for having these people in my life.

 

Dropping my focus on what I'm getting, and switching it instead to what I'm giving changed everything about my relationships with family and friends going forward. I started to feel valuable because I was making others feel valued, and had I not made this switch, I never would have learned the difference that this can make.

 

It's never about keeping score, it's only about being as kind and as thoughtful as YOU can be at any given time, regardless of outcomes. If a sibling doesn't respond well, then consider how the years of conditioning by your old behaviors has carved a groove that you'll need to patiently overcome. The only way to mend fences is to put down the weapons that you carry with your own mind, and start demonstrating the kind of behavior you'll want to model for your own kids regardless of how anyone else behaves.

 

Head high, you can do this.

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Develop thicker skin and think of yourself made out of steel, Lisa Love. I was once you, very sensitive, sustained hurt feelings and felt offended easily. I've since grown numb to it all as should you. Don't be so shocked nor SURPRISED by people's odd and strange behaviors anymore because it is considered the norm!

 

Even though this is hard to do, don't take people's harsh behaviors personally. I've discovered that whenever people are rough and mean, usually they're unhappy, miserable with their circumstances, their lot in life or the cards they were dealt with. They can't cope and they're overwhelmed. They walk around with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

 

Whenever people's lives are overall smooth and content, they have the brain space to be kind and considerate to others. Those are good scenarios. Then you have a lot of people in your midst who are currently experiencing all sorts of heavy trials and tribulations and if you're in their midst and make yourself vulnerable, they'll lash out their frustrations onto you by saying something snide, offensive, disrespectful, rude and unkind. This is human nature and universal. This is how society is so grow accustomed to it!

 

Also, if they sense that your life is smooth and content, they'll play the "misery loves company" game on you. They'll say something snide in order to make them feel just as miserable as they are. This trick is as old as time. It's nothing I hadn't experienced countless times during my lifetime. :upset:

 

All you can do is enforce healthy boundaries with others. You can't change people. Don't allow yourself to be their verbal punching bag nor must you tolerate them. You simply draw borders for yourself. You are the one who has to take the higher road, be the bigger person, remain gracious, kind and respectful and as a mother, demonstrate to your son what classy behavior is. As a mother, you have to set a fine example to your son because he, too will encounter all sorts of despicable characters during his lifetime. However, it doesn't mean you have to go out of your way to be overzealous and chummy with people whom you don't admire nor wish to get close with due to their disrespectfully rude behaviors. You need to treat some people including family as acquaintances and no more. Once you change your mindset, you'll feel emotionally detached which is a good thing. Remain civil and not anymore than that. After that, go home knowing you conducted yourself with poise and aplomb.

 

I'll give you an example: I've been very kind to my neighbor. I gave her a handmade crocheted large baby blanket for her newborn great-granddaughter last year. Instead of thanking me, she asked if I paid MY mother to knit the blanket for her great-granddaughter. Last Christmas, I gave her and her husband homemade hearty stew-soup for dinner instead of cookies. Instead of thanking me, she told me the next day: "I made your soup taste better." I received a flurry of snide comments one after the other in succession. I asked my mother for an explanation for my neighbor's obnoxiously rude behavior. After giving my mother some details, my mother said it was that old "misery loves company" mindset as usual. My neighbor's husband recently had eye surgery and lost one of his eyes so my neighbor has to shoulder all responsibilities for him. She's also stressed because her son and DIL (daughter-in-law) now must financially support 3 children plus their unmarried 19 year old daughter, her boyfriend and their newborn all under one roof in a small house. It's not a happy situation. Hence, my neighbor's venom was spewed in my direction. Therefore, nowadays, I'm deliberately maintaining a safe distance from this neighbor in particular. I'll say a quick "hello" and then I immediately close my garage door. I no longer linger and chit-chat with her in my front yard anymore. Those days are gone. No more generous meals. I'll revert to just sending my husband off to give my neighbor perfunctory traditional cookies at Christmas. No more gifts. No more 'Miss Nice.' I withdrew. I'll remain civil yet FROSTY.

 

Do you see? You can't change others. Change your tack. Navigate yourself more wisely. Make yourself unavailable. If you must cross paths with people whom you don't respect, limit your time with them, limit all contact including electronically, always remain civil and feel "blah" towards them. Don't get close to people whom you don't like.

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Do you see? You can't change others. Change your tack. Navigate yourself more wisely. Make yourself unavailable. If you must cross paths with people whom you don't respect, limit your time with them, limit all contact including electronically, always remain civil and feel "blah" towards them. Don't get close to people whom you don't like.
Respectfully disagree in this situation. Op is concern that her son is an only child and that he needs to spend time with family. If she makes herself "unavailable" then she will be isolating her son as well from family and that is the one thing she says she feels badly for her son about.

 

The only thing I’m worried about is my child. I feel so bad for him because he is the only child and needs contact with his family.

 

Op: As well as getting professional help to guide you into a personality change in yourself so you are more giving and less expecting, you would do well to join some mother/toddler groups and make your own new friends with the other mothers while your son interacts with kids his own age.

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Respectfully disagree in this situation. Op is concern that her son is an only child and that he needs to spend time with family. If she makes herself "unavailable" then she will be isolating her son as well from family and that is the one thing she says she feels badly for her son about.

 

 

 

Op: As well as getting professional help to guide you into a personality change in yourself so you are more giving and less expecting, you would do well to join some mother/toddler groups and make your own new friends with the other mothers while your son interacts with kids his own age.

 

What I meant was to make herself "emotionally unavailable" even if she is physically with her relatives. Her son can still have time with his cousins and relatives during the holidays or whenever he travels with his mother to see them.

 

OP's story has parallels to mine. For the sake of "faaaaaaaamily," I too have to endure some despicable characters (relatives and in-laws) in my midst especially during the holiday season. I do more than my bit with a ton of contributory cooking labor and kitchen clean up at my sister's house for the sake of my sons to enjoy camaraderie at Thanksgiving, Christmas and some special occasions such as a rare grad party, big anniversary party, major big birthdays and the like for example. Same with at my in-laws' house as well. I bring a lot of home cooked food from my kitchen to her house. My sister and in-laws are local but we have relatives and other in-laws who travel far and wide to our homes a few times a year.

 

I'm no longer "emotionally invested" meaning in my mind, I deliberately no longer feel close nor chummy to some relatives and in-laws who've proven to be consistently and habitually unkind. Sorry, no more free passes for some people who don't know how to behave like decent human beings. Sure, I'm kind, respectful, civil and peaceful but it doesn't mean I feel close nor have my former warm, fuzzy feelings towards them. There is a way to alter the OPs behavior so she'll no longer feel hurt anymore. Have zero expectations of others, expect the worst in others (in many situations, that is), don't be so shocked nor SURPRISED by anyone's behaviors nowadays and she will become numb to it which is a good thing. Feeling "blah" about certain people is good.

 

Then you leave, son is happy, OP is satisfied that she maintained self-control, exercised discretion, there is no fighting, no arguing and travels back home. Enforcing new, healthy, strong boundaries and borders is also a mindset. You can't change people. All you can do is steer your own ship for your own mental survival.

 

I was a SAHM myself. There are moms clubs, organizations and groups within your geography. We brought picnic lunches to local parks, met there for a few hours every week and as kids grew up, we went on outings together such as a children's museum, pizzeria to make pizzas together and had loads of fun. Your local library has story time and puppet shows, too. If in the stroller set, take walks together. During the holidays we had a cookie exchange and the hostess provided yummy hot apple cider. Those were the good old days and very fleeting.

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Regarding enforcing healthy boundaries and borders with some people who are not nice, if there's electronic communication, it is very brief, polite and infrequent at best. It's not sugary, syrupy sweet anymore. It's called remaining cautious and very careful forever now that you know that certain people aren't completely trustworthy in the consistently kind department. It's perfectly natural for a person to become permanently wary and jaded after being tested sorely. It's universal human nature.

 

If anyone is incredulous, I'll ask them (in my mind), "What did you expect?" :eek: What goes around comes around. :smug:

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As a parent, you should be more concerned with how they treat your child - and it sounds like they're treating him well.

 

That's so true, Heather Dawn. This is how I feel. I go through the motions because my sons' relatives treat them very well, they're quite generous and it's great for them. Unfortunately, these 'treatments' are package deals meaning there are all sorts of unsavory personalities partaking in these social settings and family gatherings. It's dreadful as a parent to force myself to participate in these gatherings for the sake of the children.

 

As a mother, I get the torture over and done with a few times a year and the rest of the time, we scatter to the four winds which is exactly how I like it! Thankfully, relatives and in-laws give each other tons of time and space during the majority of the year, thank goodness and what a tremendous relief! :D

 

I'm grateful I'm not suffocated nor smothered from excessive togetherness with certain relatives and in-laws. I'm glad we're not forced to be lumped together too much. At least I have a lot of breathing room. :D

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Sadly it sounds like a catch-22. You were estranged and at odds with your family so chose to move far away with man who as it turns out makes you feel isolated and miserable. So your miserable location, marriage, husband and in-laws makes you feel even more bitter and estranged. If you lived where you wanted to with a man who loved you and were happy, would sibling rivalry matter this much?

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Sadly it sounds like a catch-22. You were estranged and at odds with your family so chose to move far away with man who as it turns out makes you feel isolated and miserable. So your miserable location, marriage, husband and in-laws makes you feel even more bitter and estranged. If you lived where you wanted to with a man who loved you and were happy, would sibling rivalry matter this much?

 

Wiseman, I've been very happily married for a long time, have a great family life with my immediate family with sons and yes, when there's a "tumor" or "cancer" within the family such as bad relations with siblings, it does indeed matter because it's always the elephant in the room. No amount of wedded bliss will change that.

 

We're all supposed to make merry, don my best poker face while putting on the show as if everything is peachy despite the undercurrent of bad memories of disrespect, unkindness, previous arguments, distress, bitterness and resentment. None of us have memory loss.

 

The ONLY way fences can be mended and healed is if there's humility, forthcoming SINCERE apologies for wrongdoing, no more habitual, chronic, repeated offenses and making it right or doing the right thing. If that never happens, the wound continues to fester permanently. There's no way around it.

 

Every story is different. If not with siblings, it's with whom they married whom you despise to the core because they don't treat you with habitual respect, common courtesy and common decency yet your sibling defends their spouse because their marriage takes top priority over you which is the predicament I'm in.

 

Therefore, I'm in the "suck it up buttercup" mode. I've grudgingly accepted this ugly situation and undercurrent of stewing, brewing discord for the sake of the children enjoying camaraderie with their cousins and grandparents several times a year but it doesn't mean I have to like it. :upset:

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Thank you Cherylyn..it’s nice for someone to validate your feelings even over a forum. Some may see it as being ungreatful but presents to me are just objects. What really matters is a warm, loving supportive family. Since I left the group text my mind feels clearer I feel more empowered. And the your marriage sucks argument that’s why your fighting with your sisters is just plain shaming. Every relationship in my life is separate from the other. I know it’s hard for ppl to understand the resentment when you’re receiving gifts but trust me when I say they are very narcissistic and manipulative in nature. Two of them have even admired to me in the past that being manipulative is a a good thing to get what you want. But I will take the advice to detach from these so called family members and just do it for my son. He deserves the world. Thanks you 🙏

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