Someone please give me a well deserved slap!(4 Posts)
So, apologies for long post. Long time lurker but now need someone to tell me to get a grip!
Bit of context, sister and I grew up separately- our Mum passed away when I was a few days old, biological father took sister (15months older than me) and left me with maternal grandparents. I have had nothing to do with him, never wanted to. We've never really been "proper sisters," have tried several times but she's a drama queen and I have spent a lifetime taking on every challenge I could to prove he was wrong to leave - I admit that, and yes I know that's not healthy either!
Around 18 months ago she invited me out for coffee with her and her 2 kids, we were having a lovely time when she drops in to conversation they're moving to a different continent (think 20+ hour flight). Neither kid looked happy, youngest actually in tears, her response was if they don't like it they'll just come back. Was she'll shocked but tbh didn't really believe she'd go through with it. They had sold their house and were living with her MIL, but Visas were taking forever. Fast forward a few months they rented a house to move into as was getting cramped at MiL's and all quiet on the moving front.
A few weeks ago I got a text to say Visas had come through and a move date a couple of weeks from now. Since then I've met up with her - her oldest has had 8/9 weeks at high school (she moved up from primary this September just gone) and finished for half term so won't be going back. Youngest still doesn't want to go. Neither her nor hubby have secured jobs yet, despite both having professional backgrounds. They have a house for the first month but nothing sorted beyond that. They're not sure whether they're going to stay where this house is or move further depending on if/when they can get jobs. Therefore neither child has a school sorted. Furniture they're taking with them is going into storage, other stuff they're leaving in storage here. If it doesn't work out the plan seems to be they come back. I don't know her exact finances but can't imagine they have hundreds of thousands especially after all visa and moving costs. 13 year old dog (poor traveller in a car) is going to a family member until they're settled then their plan is for him to join them. I've had to suck it up and do the "yay that's great," because realistically, what else can you say?! Needless to say I'm struggling with this emotionally. I think, deep down, part of me wonders if we could ever have been sisters, despite all evidence and rationality pointing otherwise I do feel like the door has been slammed on that. So, my first AIBU is am I being unreasonable to feel she's being irresponsible, and feeling a bit abandoned?
Second thing I'm finding difficult is her, and other close family members, behaviour in the meantime. She invited me and my son for lunch - it was nice enough and I stuck by my stock enthusiasm and "if it's what you want you have to do what's right for you." When I left that day in my own mind I kind of closed the door if that makes sense? As in, we've never been sisters and now we never will do get that through your thick head and keep driving as heartless as that probably sounds. Except that's not it - because it's "we're having a leaving party can you come and bring family (hubby, son, grandparent) - 40ish minute drive away, hubby doesn't finish work til 7, grandparent likes to be in bed by half 7/8at the latest so declined. Met with, "well can't you just come for a bit." No. Won't even get there until 7.40 at earliest, gramps will be nagging to go home before we get there and son will be past his bedtime by time we get back too even if we walk in through front door and straight out the back! Since then had a message, "Are you free X day?" When I said I wasn't sure it was a case of we're coming over and are going to visit. Now gramps is upset as he quite possibly won't see her again and was in tears, she's not asked as such just said she's coming and I know even if I ask her not to she's likely to turn up anyway. I'm working that morning so can't get him out of the house to get out of dodge (could take him to work with me although he's unlikely to want to!). And just when I thought couldn't feel any more AARRGGHH my cousin, who actually is like a sister to me ironically, has arranged with proper sister to meet up on X day. Don't know time, or where, or whether having drinks or a meal or ploughing a field - no clue! Except she wants me, son and gramps to go. Basically, "oh we thought it'd be nice." Now a) this leaves my hubby out completely as he will be working (he works set days, they know this) b) gramps really doesn't want to go at all c) I don't think it's a good environment to take my sensitive 5 year old when potentially a LOT of tears - cousins mother thinks cousin hasn't even thought there may be tears, despite it only being a day before they actually leave. So second AIBU to be really angry at cousin's lack of thought, and to not want to keep dragging myself to several leaving events - be it lunch, parties, coffee, drinks and who knows what? I'm sure this will be VERY outing, but there's no way to cover details without giving the full picture. I know I can't say anything to her - it's none of my business what she does, even if it was it's too late in the day and what good would it do - if they still went it may make them more reluctant to return, if they didn't every time something went wrong it would be, "well we should have moved," and that's with absolutely no guarantees our relationship would ever be any different. Her and hubby don't have the most stable relationship either, have talked about separation within last few years and I just feel like I want to scream! Sorry, I have nobody else I can ask for a slap so cookies and coffee if you got this far, slap away!
There's no slap emoticon I'm afraid, but I can offer you if that helps
Sounds like they've not really thought it all through - maybe she's running away from something (mentally that is!), or maybe they're the sort that just play things by ear and hope it turns out ok. I can well see why you're put out with the situation - it sounds chaotic!
I would say that distance alone doesn't prevent you being siblings, but it kinda sounds like your cousin is a better sibling than your sister. Sometimes siblings aren't all they're cracked up to be, and it's the family we choose that matter more than the ones we're born with.
Thank you, 🍰certainly welcome! Yes, chaotic is one word for it and tbf cousin has always been more like a sister. I know distance doesn't have to be a barrier but my rational mind argues if you can't manage it from one part of the county to another you're unlikely to manage it across continents!
I think there’s multiple things at play here.
First off the move... to be blunt it’s none of your business. If this is what they want let them figure it out. A lot of countries you can’t get work until you get there. I know plenty of people who moved overseas on a wing & a prayer & it was ok enough for them. She’s also not moving away to spite you. It feels like you’ve taken the move very personally (which given the previous abandonment I get) but it’s really not about you.
Second all the plans - yes it sounds like a chaotic nightmare but it also sounds like she’s really trying to get to see you. It almost reads like you’ve decided she’s going & so screw her & wanting to see her. If you do want to cut ties then don’t make an effort & job done but if you do...
Brings me to the last point. Distance can actually make things easier sometimes. Less pressure to get together regularly, but more of an effort when someone’s in town because it’s short and sweet. This doesn’t have to be then end of anything. It sounds to me like you’ve decided that it is but it also sounds like that comes from previous issues. Do you want this person in your life? If yes, then make an effort. If no, then wave goodbye & move on.
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