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Sister Problem - She accused me of being a liar


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3 hours ago, redsox22 said:

It comes across as a lot of energy spent on this situation and your relationship with your sister, at your own expense. You keep saying you don't need to do anything. You are right. You don't. But yet you are spending a considerable amount of time here with lengthy explanations and going back and forth with others.  To what end?  You don't need us to agree.  You don't need our approval. You have your plans set.  

For your own health and sanity and peace I would say stop giving any of it any energy or time.  Truly do nothing. Let it go and live your life. Find peace.

Without explanations, you can't understand the current situation.  Once you understand historical explanations about how people arrived at this point,  the light turns on and you get it. 

There is peace as long as I create my own safe bubble where I feel safe, relaxed, can socialize without bad blood, be surrounded with social graces, very good manners and kindness.  This is as opposed to suspicious minds, tension and nervousness.  This is what boundaries are which is universal.  Separate but equal.  There are times when estrangement is the only way to arrive at peace for everyone because all other avenues failed.

To argue with a man or woman who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

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7 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

If you are happy with the arrangement, ok. Just totally understand you will have lost a niece and nephew and relationship won’t be there later. They won’t be interested. If you are fine with that , ok. 

They only need to look to their parents.   Behave properly and all is well.  Misbehave?  No one wants to be with you.  It's not rocket science. 

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8 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

They only need to look to their parents.   Behave properly and all is well.  Misbehave?  No one wants to be with you.  It's not rocket science. 

I think are choosing to ignore what I mean and what it will mean for you and two kids. You don’t want to believe me I guess. But I can tell you I have ZERO interest in the family who abandoned me and I can out kind and out class and out anything they could dream of. I feel it is their loss. 
 

Sometimes I think I might be interested and then I am nawwww not worth my time . I lived 20 mins from my aunt for 11 years and never bothered. I did a massive internal eye roll at my father’s funeral and went on with my life. If they didn’t want me as a kid they don’t need me now. 

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4 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

I think are choosing to ignore what I mean and what it will mean for you and two kids. You don’t want to believe me I guess. But I can tell you I have ZERO interest in the family who abandoned me and I can out kind and out class and out anything they could dream of. I feel it is their loss. 
 

Sometimes I think I might be interested and then I am nawwww not worth my time . I lived 20 mins from my aunt for 11 years and never bothered. I did a massive internal eye roll at my father’s funeral and went on with my life. If they didn’t want me as a kid they don’t need me now. 

Thank you, Seraphim.  I know what you mean.

Like you, there are deal breakers in this life and so be it. 

Keep it mind, I've since run out of the endless forgiveness tank after years of abuse.  That ship has sailed.

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3 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

I am just saying be aware your niece and nephew will be gone and be prepared for that. 

I don't think she cares. 

And OP, that's why I can only conclude that it's actually better for these kids in the end if you are not in their lives. 

So yes, step back. Leave them alone. They don't need this. 

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6 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

Due to bad blood, I've never felt close to my nieces and nephew. 

That is unfortunate for little kids. But I guess you won’t miss them and it won’t take away from your life. Just be separate from your sister and her family. 
 

Like you said she can have her relationship with her mom and brother separately. 

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14 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

I don't think she cares. 

And OP, that's why I can only conclude that it's actually better for these kids in the end if you are not in their lives. 

So yes, step back. Leave them alone. They don't need this. 

 

When you care, you get hurt.  Since I don't want to get hurt anymore, I don't place myself in a scene where it's awkward and 'I'm not feeling the love.'

Separate but equal.  <=======   Enforced boundaries. 

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10 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

That is unfortunate for little kids. But I guess you won’t miss them and it won’t take away from your life. Just be separate from your sister and her family. 
 

Like you said she can have her relationship with her mom and brother separately. 

Boundaries reign supreme. 

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Sorry about all this, Cherylyn.

It's clear, from your posts, that the anger you feel runs deep. That's hard stuff to deal with, and I do hope, per others, that you can give yourself some time to cool down without needing to "solve" this whole thing right now. You may find that what feels vital right now—vengeance, retaliation, consequences, punishment, etc.—don't result in the sort of peace you ultimately want.  

For whatever it's worth, echoing others here, my impression is that you and your sister share something in common: an unwillingness to respect the other's truth and a tendency to get inflamed when feeling invalidated. I can understand how hard that is for you, since you retain vivid memories of awful chapters that you know are real, and your sister's refusal to get on that page, combined with her immature antics, must be isolating along with being hurtful. At the same time, I can understand how hard it is for her, since her memories and feelings—and the story she has constructed around it all—are just as real to her as yours are to you.

My father left me—exited my life—when I was about 13. He went on to start another family, having another son and raising a step-daughter. We don't have much contact, but no doors are slammed. One of them has on occasion become irate with me, for the way I talk about my father, because she feels it is false. Fine—I've never felt the need for her to see things my way, and understand that when she's gotten riled up it's out of love for my father and a desire to protect the foundation of her truth. Maybe it's too much for her to process that the man who raised her did so by abandoning another child—I don't know. That's her story, I respect it—just as I understand, say, that my mother and I have different truths about my father.

I share all that to say: the line between children and adults, and childhood and adulthood, is not always so clear. Step back here and maybe you can see your sister's inner child is just rearing itself, rather than seeing it in the context of character assassination, and triggering your own to do the same. There are no real "checkmates" when that's happening, just adults acting like kids. Since it doesn't seem that anyone can be bigger than that cycle, I suppose the nuclear option you sound settled on ultimately spares her kids more hurt. Still it's hard not to feel for them, and for everyone. 

 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

Sorry about all this, Cherylyn.

It's clear, from your posts, that the anger you feel runs deep. That's hard stuff to deal with, and I do hope, per others, that you can give yourself some time to cool down without needing to "solve" this whole thing right now. You may find that what feels vital right now—vengeance, retaliation, consequences, punishment, etc.—don't result in the sort of peace you ultimately want.  

For whatever it's worth, echoing others here, my impression is that you and your sister share something in common: an unwillingness to respect the other's truth and a tendency to get inflamed when feeling invalidated. I can understand how hard that is for you, since you retain vivid memories of awful chapters that you know are real, and your sister's refusal to get on that page, combined with her immature antics, must be isolating along with being hurtful. At the same time, I can understand how hard it is for her, since her memories and feelings—and the story she has constructed around it all—are just as real to her as yours are to you.

My father left me—exited my life—when I was about 13. He went on to start another family, having another son and raising a step-daughter. We don't have much contact, but no doors are slammed. One of them has on occasion become irate with me, for the way I talk about my father, because she feels it is false. Fine—I've never felt the need for her to see things my way, and understand that when she's gotten riled up it's out of love for my father and a desire to protect the foundation of her truth. Maybe it's too much for her to process that the man who raised her did so by abandoning another child—I don't know. That's her story, I respect it—just as I understand, say, that my mother and I have different truths about my father.

I share all that to say: the line between children and adults, and childhood and adulthood, is not always so clear. Step back here and maybe you can see your sister's inner child is just rearing itself, rather than seeing it in the context of character assassination, and triggering your own to do the same. There are no real "checkmates" when that's happening, just adults acting like kids. Since it doesn't seem that anyone can be bigger than that cycle, I suppose the nuclear option you sound settled on ultimately spares her kids more hurt. Still it's hard not to feel for them, and for everyone. 

 

Thank you very much, bluecastle.  I appreciated your very thorough and acutely perceptive reply.  You are a very perceptive lady. 

In your own way, you can relate which is very much appreciated.  Thank you.  You see things from your point of view and your father's second family's point of view. 

Yes, it's unfortunate that the kids are collateral damage.  If they crave to see each other, they can arrange their own workarounds.  However, these forced family reunions and co-mingling including my in-laws all for the sake of appearances is awkward, irritating, uncomfortable, smothering and suffocating given that we all reside locally.  I'm sick 'n tired of every dicey encounter.   It is nerve racking and no social occasion should feel suspicious, distrustful, tense and unnatural. 

I realize that everyone has their own memories, their own world view of how they wish to create their fantasy or what they choose to remember about a person.  The problem here is it's not always what you say.  It's how you say it.  Or, if you're frustrated and can't handle the truth, you're not honest enough to express your honest feelings.  Instead, you resort to telling someone to go to hell, you're a liar, you're a thief, you're mentally ill or engage in gaslighting as usual.  After a while, this repetitive warfare, tactic and pattern gets really old and you've had enough. 

I've been quite forgiving for decades.  It's time to pump the breaks and if we're reduced to weddings and funerals, less than that or nil (estrangement) and it's the only way to attain separate but equal peace for everyone, then it's obvious that it's the only thing that works successfully. 

Everyone wasn't meant to be in unison and experience idyllic harmony.  If that were the case, there wouldn't be any separations, divorces and estrangements.  Either we're compatible and treat each other with utmost respect, kindness, honor and dignity or we go our separate ways. 

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I do get it , the collateral damage. And I can see how the husband sounds even worse because he doesn't even pretend to be nice in public.  That would be so hard to maintain a peaceful relationship with even for the kids'sake.

So I get it that the parents kind of caused this situation. I guess recruiting **everyone else** is what bothers me hearing it.  Why not allow them to decide who to spend time with? Rather than gathering people to your side against her personally?

We were in that situation, a couple of angry relatives insisted on keeping resentful, bitter attitudes, and tried to get more relatives to close us out.  It ended up backfiring on them in multiple ways.  They are not happy people, and getting their "revenge" that way didn't work out for them or make them happier. 

I don't think doing things like that are wise, but I get it that the husband and your sister sound **awful** and they've created this bad situation and their kids are collateral damage.

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4 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I do get it , the collateral damage. And I can see how the husband sounds even worse because he doesn't even pretend to be nice in public.  That would be so hard to maintain a peaceful relationship with even for the kids'sake.

So I get it that the parents kind of caused this situation. I guess recruiting **everyone else** is what bothers me hearing it.  Why not allow them to decide who to spend time with? Rather than gathering people to your side against her personally?

We were in that situation, a couple of angry relatives insisted on keeping resentful, bitter attitudes, and tried to get more relatives to close us out.  It ended up backfiring on them in multiple ways.  They are not happy people, and getting their "revenge" that way didn't work out for them or make them happier. 

I don't think doing things like that are wise, but I get it that the husband and your sister sound **awful** and they've created this bad situation and their kids are collateral damage.

Thank you, maritalbliss86.

Despite residing locally, cousins aren't close due to gender and age differences.  My sister is 10 years younger than I am.  Her daughters are younger than my sons and her son is much younger than my sons.  We are at different stages in life while raising children.  Cousins don't have anything in common.  They happen to be related by blood but they're not close as relatives.

When I was younger, I worried more about what others thought,  that I shouldn't make waves or rock the boat.  I hesitated causing a scene even if it was behind the scenes.  I was taught and raised to always pretend that everything was just fine when it really wasn't.  I was taught never to complain or it was off with your head and you will be gaslit to defeat which was the typical MO (method of operation).  Then you're left groveling to get back into their good graces.  I was taught that no apologies was the way of life and a given.  I refuse to play that game again.  In the past, I've always been a good sport and went along with it.  The older I get, the more the principle of the matter matters to me and not so much doing everything for appearance's sake.  I was taught to always make the popular decision and never go against the grain.  Well, I'm going against the grain because the principle of the matter matters very much to me.  I don't take any guff anymore.

It's not a matter of revenge or retaliation.  It's a matter of standing my ground regarding if the relationship doesn't feel consistently and habitually respectful and kind, there's no point to participating in a relationship just because you should be a good sport. 

Forcing people to socialize against their will is not going to be a happy gathering.  There's a lot of bitterness, resentment, suspicions, distrust, discomfort, nervousness and tension so thick, you can cut it like a hot knife through butter. 

If a social gathering can't feel relaxed, it's not worth participating in the first place.  It's better to do your own thing for your peace of mind, protection and safety.

It's like burning your hand on a stove.  Would you be willing to do it again just because you need to pretend it didn't hurt and you want to show how brave you are?

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.

 

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8 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

When you care, you get hurt.  Since I don't want to get hurt anymore, I don't place myself in a scene where it's awkward and 'I'm not feeling the love.'

This is exactly my point. 

When you choose to make something all about you, it is better for the kids that you stay out of their lives. 

So,win-win. 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

This is exactly my point. 

When you choose to make something all about you, it is better for the kids that you stay out of their lives. 

So,win-win. 

 

 

 

Cousins are not close in age and despite being related by blood, they're not close as relatives.  There is a lack of interest and enthusiasm to socialize due to those factors.

Every time my sister arranges a restaurant rendezvous for a very large group including my in-laws, she never pays the restaurant bill.  She always expects others to pay the bill.  She's extremely cheap despite residing in a $2mil house.  These occasions are generally for her such as birthdays, graduations and the like yet my brother or mother pays the bill.  My husband and I pay our own way.  We don't sponge off others nor take advantage.

Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners at my sister's house have at least 50 guests including her friends, their boyfriends, girlfriends, neighbors, former neighbors from her previous neighborhood and so many people whom we do not know.  It's expensive to grocery shop for a lot of people, there's more cooking and cleanup.  It's a lot of work and very labor intensive.

We prefer family gatherings at my MIL (mother-in-law)'s house where it's family, relatives, their spouses and children only; not extra people whom we do not know.  It's not 50 people.  It's a dozen or two dozen at the most.  This is the same preference for my sons. 

I recently gave my mother a very generous restaurant gift card so she can do take out dinners because grocery shopping and cooking is difficult for her.  I gave my brother a gift card, too so both of them can enjoy take out dinner together since they reside closer to each other than my sister and me.  We reside farther.  My sister took it upon herself to use my mother's restaurant gift card to make reservations for a restaurant rendezvous several nights ago.  My sister didn't like it when I balked.  I told her that the purpose of the gift card was so my mother can eat convenient take out dinners because grocery shopping and cooking are difficult tasks for her.  Therefore, at the last minute my sister changed the restaurant venue confusing my in-laws and us.  Next, at the very last second, she made some lame excuse and was in non-attendance.  Her behavior is very erratic, psychotic and neurotic.  She has done this before in the past as well.

(When I was at the hospital after my sister gave birth to her third child, it was 2AM and I was ready to go home.  I still had to go to work that day!  I never had a chance to sleep!  I asked my sister's girlfriends to accompany me to the parking lot for obvious safety reasons.  My sister's husband said this to me:  "No crusty old geezer from the nearby retirement community wants to rape you!  Walk to the parking lot by yourself!"  The nurse overheard him and said, "It's safer to walk in a group.  We've called the police numerous times to due assaults, robberies, car thefts and the like in our hospital parking lot."  Those are the typical asinine comments spewing out of my brother-in-law's mouth at any given moment.  My husband doesn't like him and neither do my sons.  My sister tolerates her husband because he makes a lot of money.) 

Be moral,  make sure your husband treats everyone with respect and everything is fine.  Opposite of that?  No one wants to be with you.  You are a pariah.

 

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2 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

I learned something valuable while going through a divorce and in therapy.   

I was entrenched in a dynamic with my ex where he would push my buttons and I was very reactionary.  I was seething and resentful most of the time and this toxic dance we did took its toll emotionally and physically.

With the help of therapist, I learned to not react.  When my ex was present and I could feel the tension build and when he was looking for conflict, I honestly told myself 'I will not come out to play' (over and over) I learned to not engage in the toxic exchange and struggled to find balance and peace within myself.  I was warned and found out quickly that if I didn't 'come out to play' he would escalate. 

I did at times calmly and respectfully state my boundary, that his behavior was not ok and it changed the way I felt about him and the marriage.  That was it.  I learned to no longer roll around in the muddy waters with him.  When he realized the spell was breaking he did escalate his bad behavior.  It got pretty ugly and he seemed desperate when he realized he no longer had an effect on me.  Changing my actions and how I viewed it was incredibly powerful.  Noone was more surprised than myself.  Up to this point, all my effort was exhausted trying win or change him.  And. . .that never worked.  At some point he was just deflated and left me alone.  It  wasn't fun or rewarding for him anymore, minus the creation he so dearly wanted out of me.  At some point (much later) he was became more respectful towards me, recognizing that was the only thing I would respond to.  I earned it.

If winning is the goal.  I felt I had won when I didn't give him to power to get a reaction out of me.

There is a visual analogy that helped me.  Two people on each end of a rope (you and your sister) in a fierce tug-of-war.  Which appears to be very alive and present in your current situation, especially when you refer to your next move as "check mate"  Imagine if you let go of the rope and turned away.   What would happen?  She'd fall on her butt.

I only share this with you because it was one of the most freeing life lessons I have learned.  That and recognizing that my truth and experience doesn't match others.  Their truth, even if it makes us really uncomfortable is just as valid as my own.  I don't have to like it, but I need to respect it.  If it's too diverse, then I might have consider distancing myself from this person.  My life goal is to minimize drama and be in peace.  Its called for me to side step some people in my life.

Not to minimize your feelings.  The whole dynamic seems so painful.  You are entitled to everything you are feeling.  Your intentions are in the right place, fighting for family peace. But in these moments we need to often recognize that only thing we have control over is ourselves.  When we catch ourselves so "other focused" to this degree it's usually a calling to look within and focus on our own actions and participation.  That's where the power is.

Funny things happen with we change our course, especially when we are locked into a difficult dynamic that clearly isn't working or creating any positive changes.  "If what you are doing isn't working, do something different"  I'd be curious if you were to try to not 'come out and play' what might happen. 

After the opposing party falls on their but because you dropped the rope it often requires them to make a shift. And when they shift, everyone else involved needs to shift accordingly.  No guarantee what that shift looks like.  But what you all are doing clearly isn't working.  Consider changing your dynamic.  It won't change overnight either. Much like in my case, it may initially escalate.  It takes time, but its well worth it.

Reading your words I can feel the pain and helplessness.  Letting go is powerful gift.  What other choice to you have?

Thank you bluecastle.  People divorce each other and they divorce their families.

Ignoring a narcissist will drive him or her crazy.  They panic if they're ignored.  Ever since I ignored my sister's text about her telling me to go to hell because I'm a liar, she became very scared.  She knew what she wrote was very risky and dangerous especially in this Information Age where everything is saved, backed up and once you put it out there, you can't take it back.  Leaving a trail of evidence and proof in your wake is done at your own risk and folly.  It's here to stay permanently.  Hence, she made some lame excuse and canceled attending a recent restaurant rendezvous with family and my in-laws at the last minute.  This was after she abruptly changed the venue at the last minute leaving everyone confused and scrambling to the new location.  Her behavior is abnormal, erratic, psychotic and neurotic.  She has done this before as well.  Her brain doesn't have a sense of order, reason and logic.

You are correct.  She's falling on her _______.  She's humiliated and embarrassed and she can't summon the courage to show her face to my in-laws and husband nor me for that matter.  She can't show her face to my brother and mother.  She lost her face.

Thank you for your wise, insightful, perceptive words, bluecastle.  You are appreciated.  Thank you for sharing your experience with your ex and how you've dealt with him.  I definitely see parallels to your experience and mine.  Thank you very much, bluecastle.

Dynamics have changed.  In the past, I looked the other way for the sake of gathering despite distrust and tension in the air.  That deal is off the table. 

Behave honorably, treat people with grace and respect.  Act like a decent human and socializing is natural, normal, very pleasant and relaxing.  Anything short of that?  No one wants to be with you. 

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My husband said that my sister's husband told him that no one likes my brother-in-law (sister's husband) at his workplace and workplaces in the past.  When you're not well liked,  it's a red flag. 

During social settings,  my sister is very charming and pretentious reminiscent of my late father.  Charm and pretense are very deceptive characteristic traits.  They're very manipulative, expert masters at gaslighting and know every trick in the book.  Those types of people possess a 'Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde' personality.  They're scary once you get to know them thoroughly which is a side that they don't show whenever they're on stage.  I don't deal with people whom I do not intuitively trust or if they have a track record of dispensing bad behavior with abandon. 

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