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  1. #1
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    Default WWYD? Sister issues...

    Hi ladies,

    I haven't posted for a while, but thought I'd ask a question of the wise ladies of BH.

    I'll try and keep it short (lol). Basically I've had a troubled relationship with my younger sister all my life. She bullied me as a child and has always been very dominant and controlling. My role in the family was as peacekeeper and as long as I'm compromising myself to keep the peace everyone is happy.

    My sister has two children 9 & 12 who I absolutely adore and always wanted to be a very involved Aunty, which I have been to the best of my ability. My sister makes it hard by rarely telling me about events or doing much other than having an occasional family dinner. DH and I always take the kids away for a few days in the holidays and they have sleep overs every now and then. They are really good friends with my step-son and the three kids love spending time together.

    Over the past year I noticed that my sister was excluding us quite a lot. DH noticed too so it wasn't just me. There were a couple of end of year kids events that we really wanted to go to (watching my niece perform in a concert and a grand final my nephew was in). I mentioned to my sister several times that we really want to go and to make sure she lets us know of dates / tickets etc. Well for both events I only knew they were on because she posted pics of them on Facebook. We didn't get an invite.

    For me, that was the last straw. I've gone through 4 miscarriages of five babies, 5 chemical pregnancies, and now a failed overseas donor egg cycle. My sister knows about the miscarriages but the DE cycle we didn't tell anyone. So having my niece and nephew in my life is very, very important to me.

    So for the first time in my life I told my sister that I was very upset and angry about not being invited and I needed some space. She told me that I was not excluded (WTF?) and that because she sent an email to my Dad telling him the dates, that should have been enough? Anyway after a couple of weeks she called me and scolded me like I was a naughty child saying that I can't do this to her, we have to talk and she yelled and abused me. I said that I didn't want to talk right now (I don't handle confrontation well), but that I was going to talk to her, but just needed a bit of time to get over my hurt.

    Following that my Dad started causing trouble in my sisters life as he is prone to do. He took it to another level however, so I reached out to my sister and messaged her "Are you OK? Dad has gone too far, do you want to talk?" And she replied "talking is not going to help". Over the next two weeks I reached out three more times to talk and offered the olive branch and she always said no.

    So now here I am six weeks later with no contact and it is obvious that now she is not talking to me - but she has not given me a reason why. I believe it is part of her control issues - I dared to step out of the box that she put me in my challenging her about being excluded - and now she's decided I am the enemy. She's made no attempt to validate or hear my hurt, and has turned this back on me and is punishing me for standing up for myself and saying it's not OK to treat me like that.

    To be perfectly honest, this has come after a lifetime of compromising myself to get on with my sister. I've had her ridicule my career, campaign hard to break up my first marriage, and I've put up with endless poor behaviour. I honestly don't care if I never speak to her again - I'm really over it and just can't go there any more. She's a narcissist and has not one iota of empathy for me and what I've been through.

    But I can't lose my niece and nephew. I adore them and can't bear another loss on top of the ones I've already had. How do I navigate forward from here? Has anyone been estranged from a sibling but still had a relationship with their nieces and nephews? Please be gentle with your answers, I'm a bit fragile. Thanks.

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    Default WWYD? Sister issues...

    That sounds horrible! I feel you are in a hard situation.. My DH didn't talk to his sister for 18 months which meant she missed out on our engagement and the first year of our youngest daughters life. My DH feels much the same as you with this sister (he has 2) and always feels he is the one that has to move past everything, she's very nasty if you go against her.

    Do you think you can move past it? It's made our lives easier to just let it go, though we haven't forgotten the nasty attitude she displayed. We keep ourselves at arms length & don't get too involved in her drama (of which there has been many since!). Another thing my DH realised is that she's not going away, she is a part of his family and it caused angst with his Mum and other family members having to tip toe around each of them so in the end it wasn't worth affecting the whole family dynamic.

    I hope you can move past it, time will heal your hurt, maybe just keep a distance for now? Big hugs.

    ETA: I'm sorry for your many losses, I hope it happens for you soon xx

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    Summer  (16-03-2017)

  4. #3
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    I have two sisters and at times they can drive me batty but never quite to that extent. I would probably suggest messaging her and make it about the kids, school holidays are coming up so maybe ask if the kids want to come for a visit over the holidays? As to having a relationship with the kids alone I think that may prove difficult. My dad has been cut off from his family since I was a teen, I don't consider us having been particularly close before they totally cut him off but a cousin reached out to me via fb a few years ago. I can't see me having a relationship with his family without his involvement and I don't want to as my dad is a huge part of my life. If your sister is open to you still being involved in the kids lives then it would be easier but by not inviting you to their end of year events I'm not sure how likely that would be.

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    My DP had some issues with 2/3 of her sisters during my pregnancy and the birth of our first child. One of them ran at the opportunity to come and visit DD when I'd given birth... without sorting out the issues that made DP and her estranged. The other one took her time to come around and put things aside but has been great since.

    Whilst they are both Aunties in our DD's life, some of their actions can not be undone & forgotten but for the sake of DD knowing her Aunties we make the relationship work.

    I also don't have a lot in common with my sister. But I have two nephews from her. I put our differences aside (constantly) and see my nephews when I can.

    You sound like an amazing Aunty. I'm sure once your sister comes around and thinks about the impact you have on her children, it's possible to maintain your relationship with them.

    Would you feel comfortable attending an event that you know about but haven't been invited to by her? (If all other means of communication are ignored by your sister). See what her reaction is. It may be negative but it might also be a positive one (ie showing up to watch your nephews sporting game). It might not be easy, but I'm sure your nephew/niece would appreciate it.

    Good luck.

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    Summer  (16-03-2017)

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    Please don't take this the wrong way, becuase it isn't nice to feel like a doormat and to always be the one who compromises and I understand why you stood up for yourself because you should be able to.... BUT
    People like that are always going to be like that. One of my half sister's is the same. It is ALWAYS me who moves past it for the sake of keeping a relationship, and it always will be me. I've come to peace with that. I try to look at it less as being a doormat and more like just simply being the better person.
    I think if you want a relationship with your neice and nephew you're just going to have to pander to your sisters rubbish. I know that sounds awful and people will absoltely disagree with me and say she's toxic and you don't need that in you life and all that, and that may be true, but I think for you, where your relationship with your Neice and Nephew is SO important to you, you HAVE to have a good relationship with your sister. This might mean jumping through hoops to keep her happy which may not sit well with you since you made the move to stand up for yourself finally... but maybe just try to look at it in a different light.
    My half sister couldn't care less if she lost me forever. She's much older than me and I was a child when she was an adult with kids, and she had a fight with dad and didn't see us for like half a decade and we missed a marriage and birth of kids and everything. She just didn't care. I DO, so I keep the peace. That's who I am. I think that might be who you are too?

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    Summer  (16-03-2017)

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    Default WWYD? Sister issues...

    So sorry you are going through this! I have a narcissistic mother who is CONSTANTLY causing drama and I mean constantly! The thing about these people is that they will never change - but you can. You can change your attitude and outlook in dealing with her. My mother is a horrible person, just horrible! Like your sister, she simply does not care about me or my feelings at all. However DD loves her, and so far they have a good relationship. I'm not prepared to take that away from DD, so I need to be ok with the fact that my mother will always be a part of my life. I just don't buy into her drama anymore. Really, does it need to affect you if she's carrying on and being a nuisance? It's your choice. You can either get drawn into it or you can just check out. You are such a great person and wonderful Aunty with, by the sounds of it, a great partner. You have everything you need in life, don't let anyone's negativity bring you down. You are bigger than this, and a better person than her! Take comfort in the strength you have, in your solidarity and determination to live the best life you can, without needing to causing drama for others. You can do this!

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    Summer  (17-03-2017)

  12. #7
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    Thanks guys - what a sad state of affairs that so many have sibling or mother issues :-( I copped all of them unfortunately - a NPD father and sister and a bi-polar mother. How I ended up in that family I will never know!

    Because she is doing the complete silent treatment I have no idea where I stand. I know for any future relationship with the kids at all, I will likely have to compromise myself to some extent. I just don't think it will be to the extent I have for my whole life - it will be on completely different terms than I have in the past - that is unless she has completely cut me off then I have no say in it at all.

    I'm thinking that the Easter holidays are coming up like one of the lovely ladies above said, so I might send her a text asking if the kids are available for a couple of days with us from X date to X date and see how she responds and then take it from there. If she's going to cut me off from the kids then I don't know what I'll do. I wouldn't think she'd be that harsh but now that I've committed the ultimate sin by speaking up for myself, who knows what lengths she'll go to?
    Last edited by Summer; 16-03-2017 at 16:56.

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    hugs @Summer i'm sorry you're going through all this with your family xx

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    hi summer, can you contact the children directly.? facebook? or mobile phones? I would maybe just keep the communication open with your niece and nephew, and leave your sister alone. They are soon reaching an age for independent decision making, I don't mean they will soon be adult, but I think they will be able to tell you what is happening in their lives and they can invite you. Don't try to reconcile with your sister unless you really want to, I would focus on the children and your relationship with them. hugs, marie

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