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At the end of my rope with this - any other perspectives or coping strategies welcome.(26 Posts)
Some back story here;
Basically the problems mentioned in the previous thread persist and since my sister's last child was born it's escalated into some sort of point scoring exercise over how much our parent see each set of grandchildren and how much they do for each of us (I.e. diy, babysitting etc). I am one of 3 children, problem sister has 5 children, I have 2 dcs and younger sis has 1 dc and pg with no 2. Problem sis is the eldest and is technically mine and younger sis' half-sister although we think of her as full sister, never known it any other way.
Older sis (OS) dcs are from 2 marriages so there's roughly 20yrs difference between eldest 3 dcs and youngest 2. Younger sis (YS) and my children are closest in age to OS's younger 2 dcs.
This point scoring and general attitude of them and us began after OS went through the divorce with her first DH 7-8yrs ago and has just snowballed from there, becoming particularly bad after OS tragically lost one of her older DCs in a traffic accident over a year ago. She seems determined to always be the wronged party, always saying that parents give YS and I the most attention, complaining about the amount of time parents spend with our DCs. The truth of the matter is that YS and I are both routine people and have longstanding arrangements to see parents on set days each week. OS lifestyle is more chaotic, working shifts and not really knowing what they are doing from one day to the next makes it hard for any of us to keep track of her and arrange anything but we all do our best
. Except that for my parents, nothing they do is ever good enough, OS just wants more and more and my dad in particular has become the focus of her anger for anything that goes wrong in her life. My mum survived cancer 6-7yrs ago but has been suffering badly with depression and anxiety since which, unsuprisingly, has got worse since neices sudden death. It's taken a massive physical toll on both parents and they do struggle with my mum's poor health. Yet still OS complains they don't help her enough or see the dcs enough. This has led to arguments between OS and parents whereby both have lost their tempers and my dad has said some awful things in the heat of the moment. He doesn't handle being upset very well and tebds to shoot his mouth off, regretting it later. Apologies have been made but OS decided she didn't want to speak to him anymore
OS seems determined to drag YS and I into the middle of this and try emotionally blackmailing us into making a choice between parents and her. YS and I have both agreed that we will not be doing this, we try to council both sides equally without acting as go betweens and are trying to negotiate a solution which is proving increasingly difficult. OS seems to delight in telling people a rather one sided version of events to garner sympathy from people. She can't make her mind up, one minute she's saying she doesn't want to have anything to do with them, the next crying and complaining that they've not been in touch when all my parents are doing are trying to respect her wishes. YS and I have suggested some sort of family counselling or at least all getting together to discuss it in the hope of intervening when OS or dad lose their temper, however she doesn't want this.
It's come to a head today when OS accused me of sitting on the fence and not telling my parents to make contact and apologise for past behaviour. I am doing this behind the scenes but not running to either side telling them I am doing this as I don't want to be a go between. I was told that I should make a choice between her and parents and am in the wrong for not doing so. I was also told that I obviously don't care about anything as long as my life is a-ok and my DCs relationship with my parents is ok. I am made to feel guilty by OS whenever the DCs see or do anything with my parents (such times are neither often or excessive, just normal visits, odd afternoons out, no preferential treatment whatsoever).
I just don't know where to go from here, OS' latest comments have left me feeling extremely low and even suicidal at times. YS abd I are in frequent contact and regularly discuss what we can do about the situation. YS feels recent comments by OS have been nasty and unfair, OS would never dream of speaking to YS as she has to me.
So sorry that this has been so long, it's so emotional and complicated and I really can't see a solution at the moment. Any comment or advice would be gratefully received.
Thanks you mistle and eldritch - some good pointers there which I will try when we speak next.
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