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Gone LC but massive family pressure to reconcile(9 Posts)
Sorry for the long story but don't want to drip feed...
About a year ago I went LC with my Dsis as she had been making up lies about me and DH for years and I'd finally had enough when she accused my DH of hitting her (100% not true). She has become an incredibly bitter and resentful person, always complaining about her lot and comparing herself to other people (e.g. Person A has a better job than her, Person B is thinner/prettier/has more friends/Person C went to Mauritius last year etc. Etc.). She just always seems unhappy even though on the surface she has an amazing lifestyle - certainly better than mine - think nannies, swanky health club membership, flash car, cleaner, foreign holidays. She also has an amazing DH who puts up with a lot from her, despite having a stressful job he always gets home for bathtime, does stuff around the house etc. And still seems besotted with her.
She has always been competitive with me (really no need, I am very happy in my little terraced house with my old banger for a car, am not very materialistic) but a few years ago I had had two miscarriages and she started boasting about how she got pregnant straight away both times. I was really upset and we had an argument and she started shouting all this stuff at me that she says I did to her when we were younger. All either completely fabricated (eg that I tried to push her down the stairs!) or just completely the opposite of what actually happened (eg I spent a lot of lunchtimes with her at school as she didn't have many friends so I would include her with my group of friends, but she claims I never spoke to her at school and ignored her!).
Then she started telling other people in our family lies about me, eg mean things I supposedly said about her, that I told her I didn't ever want to see her again. They believed her and I got all sorts of family members approaching me to find out why I was being so mean to her and not believing me when I said it was all lies. They just said why would make all that up? Its really hurtful that they would believe her as while I have my faults I believe I am a really nice, friendly person and have absolutely no history of being mean to anyone!
So now I feel that she has poisoned many of my family relationships and also made people think badly of DH as she says he was physically threatening to her and then a year ago she said he hit her and gave her a massive bruise on her ribs. That was the final straw for me and I said that I was happy to see her on family occasions but I don't want to open me and DH up to more lies so I don't want to see her without extended family around. I am worried that this is only going to escalate - what if she accused DH of sexual assault or something? I wouldn't put it past her.
But my problem now is that I am seen as being "the bad guy" and refusing to make up with her. And I get all sorts of grief from family about being stubborn and unforgiving etc. My parents do know what she's like to some extent and don't believe the big lies she's come up with eg about DH hitting her but they do seem to have believed all the little lies and manipulative ways she has of making me out to be horrible to her. And because she's always been a difficult and prickly person, people seem to bend over backwards for her so as not to upset her, so she gets away with murder. I don't understand it.
It's so frustrating because now I am paranoid whenever I'm with family about what they've been told about me and what they think about me and DH. And I hate being seen as unforgiving as over the years I think I've probably put up with more than I should without making a stand.
I really feel like I need to protect DH and me from more damaging lies but am feeling massive pressure just to pretend it never happened and go on as usual. So am I right to stay LC even though the stress of it is probably the same as not being LC?! I'm at a loss as to what I should do...
I'm also really confused as to why she would feel the need to make up all these lies about me. Is it MH issues? Personality? I don't know...
I think, to reduce stress, you may have to lower contact with the other family members to.
How is the conversation being brought up? Can you say something like, 'I don't want to be involved in any more arguments where everyone just ends up being upset. I am not ignoring her I will see her at the next family occasion.' Then change the subject. Leave to go to the loo or go home if you have to. If you are on the phone make your excuses and hang up.
If you are on Facebook I would stop reading and posting. If anyone asks just say you have decided to stop using social media so much as it takes a lot of your time up.
Then just be busy. Meet family on your terms. Prefab key somewhere where no one would make a scene, like a restaurant.
Your sister may well have some form of personality disorder; emotionally healthy people do not act as she has done towards you and others.
Any rational, truly well-meaning person wants to know both sides of an issue before they agree to assist one side against the other and they have a thirst for truth. Anyone who sides with your narcissist against you without having contacted you first, anyone who takes it upon himself to violate your boundaries after you have clearly stated them, is not your friend, no matter what s/he tries to get you to believe. You are not obligated to tell another person…not even a close member of your family…why you do not wish to communicate with another person. If it is not enough that you don’t want to, if the person refuses to respect your boundaries unless she agrees with your reasoning, then this is a person you cannot trust to have your back…and a person who is a potential flying monkey.
So, just what do flying monkeys do? Basically two things: act as a source of information to the relative and act against you on the relative's behalf.
Ignore the flying monkeys; they are not at all acting in your best interests here but only theirs. They unquestioningly further the agenda of your sister and they have no respect for you whatsoever. No matter what they say, they are not on your side.
Self preservation is warranted here.
Thank you. Its hard to lower contact with our family members as we are a fairly close family and all live fairly locally to one another. But it is definitely causing me a lot of stress! I suppose I will need to think about that...
I think one of the things that is so difficult is that she only seems to behave like this towards me and DH - she appears to behave totally normally with the rest of the family. Although they know she can be difficult/prickly I suppose they've never seen her tell these outright lies, so find it hard to believe that she's made it all up.
The conversation is usually brought up as something like "so how are we going to get you and Dsis to move forwards?" and the underlying assumption seems to be that I need to pretend it never happened and then it will all be OK.
I've never heard of flying monkeys! Is that a thing? There do definitely seem to be some family members who like to appear to be trying to help but are actually undermining me and DH all the time.
I just hate feeling like the bad guy, and that no one else seems to see through her.
In answer to the question re. 'Moving forwards' I would just say you will see how she is at the next family event and you won't be making any trouble. If at the next event she upsets you, don't say anything just make excuses and leave early. Be unavailable for events you don't want to attend.
well, you're not that close if they all happily believe you are a horrible person who does all this terrible stuff to your sister, are you? There's physically close - in each other's pockets and business and there's emotionally close - got each other's back, know each other's hearts and support each other. Sometimes people think they're close when all they really are is present, iyswim.
I wouldn't lose sleep over not having much to do with people who knew me so little that they could actually believe all that stuff about me.
Yep, flying monkeys are totally a thing. They are basically cowardly people who got used to the family dynamic, and now that you're rocking the boat, they have a vested interest in getting you to back down, so that things can go back to being as they were before. With everyone placating the bully. It's a desire to go "lah-de-dah, nothing to see here, don't we have a perfect family?", and for them this desire trumps your wellbeing.
They don't want to be shown to support you, because then they know that the bully's anger will be trained on them. Since they want to avoid that, again, they prefer that it be you who gets thrown under the bus.
Your mistake was in announcing that you went LC, rather than just doing it and covering it up with last-minute crises. Now that they are actively trying to get you to back down, your only recourse is to just shut those conversations down, and refuse to have them.
They say: "so how are we going to get you and Dsis to move forwards?""
You say: "I'm not having this conversation. So, how about that [sporting event/political event/weather event]! Wasn't that just something?"
If they press the point, just be a broken record: "Thanks, but I'm not having that conversation."
It's none of their business, so don't let them interfere.
Of course you're getting pressure, you and your DH are their buffer against her bullshit. It's that classic behaviour of sticking with a bully in the hopes that it offers them protection. It must me very hurtful but you'll have to accept that with some family members, self interest is more important than your emotional well-being.
Read up about toxic families. You'll find a lot there you recognise.
I am NC with my siblings, LC with my (aged) parents. My parents now know not to rock the boat - it took a while... of basically absenting myself when they started with the shit.
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