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To be sad that my sister and I are not close?

(17 Posts)
poshsinglemum Sat 30-May-09 23:59:58

I am the eldest by four years and we have had our ups and downs. I was very ill when my sister was doing her a-levels as a result of a bad relationship etc. This frightened her a lot.
She has said some bad things to me and I to her in the past.
We have definately slotted into family roles- She is the golden child and is very succesful in her career and love life. She kind of reminds me of saffy from Ab fab and never rebelled as a teenager. I feel that my parents are relieved that they have her.
I am the black sheep and am not particularly succesful in my career or lovelife. Although I do have the most wonderful dd ever.
I think I am jealous of her and in awe of her as her and her partner always make me feel like a looser without actually saying anything because they have a wonderful lifestyle and are so matutre snd civilised.
She was of great help when I fell pregnant and my ex wasn't supportive but sometimes I feel sad that we don't ever phone or text each other just for a chat. I guess she has her own life but I often feel that everyone else is really close to their siblings. She is very distant.

cherryblossoms Sun 31-May-09 00:10:20

It's possible that you just don't get on; not everyone is close to their siblings. But if it's causing you sadness because you feel you'd like her in your life, then could you initiate a beginning on the path to closeness?

Perhaps e-mailing her every now and again, with mundane bits of info? Or phoning to ask her advice on stuff?

Or do you think that the distance is something she wishes to maintain?

If she was close during your pregnancy, why did you drift apart again?

poshsinglemum Sun 31-May-09 00:16:39

mabe I should have put this on relationships thread.

cherryblossoms Sun 31-May-09 00:24:43

I suspect so. smile

scottishmummy Sun 31-May-09 00:34:45

instead of conceptualising each other in stereotypical roles reacall the good stuff lose the labels

for as long as you enviously categorise her and accept imposed family roles you will be lost to each other as individuals

she supported you during hard pg
stop labelling her saffy
stop labelling yourself black sheep

lose the introspective victim status

teafortwo Sun 31-May-09 01:05:52

poshsinglemum.... YANBU

It is really horrible, isn't it? I love my sister very deeply and very dearly. When I had my dd, well, you know that massive unbearable love that really knocks you for six that some women speak of? I tell you I had it in bucket fulls and do, like lots of women, still have overwhelming waves of it to this day... but that is another story - What is relevant is that for those first weeks it felt very intense and extraordinarily lovely - truly very special, however, it wasn't completely unfamiliar even though dd was my first child. It is because I remember feeling like that when my sister was a baby too and I still get waves of that feeling now about my sister if the truth be known.

Yet, whenever me and my sister are together we manage to really hurt each other. About a week before I see her I wake up in panicky states in the night. When I see her I am very nervous and in a constant state of fret then afterwards I always need at least a week to feel my normal self again. It is a really terribly unhealthy process and I would bet my bottom dollar she goes through something as traumatic too.

She is beautiful, successful in her professional and personal life, funky, young and really the kind of person who is liked and loved by everyone around her. The kind of sister everyone would love to have. A great and wonderful person. I am very proud of her for many reasons.

BUT the moment we have been on the phone for more than half an hour or in the same house for perhaps more than, actually sometimes less than, but usually about a day we make each other's lives hell.

The fact we have this dynamic in our relationship hurts me (as well as my lovely Mum and Dad) so so much. Like you and your sister we are distant - and I wish I knew how to close the gap... how to make our relationship work... it would mean so much to me to really feel comfortable with her and her with me.

I will be watching this thread very closely.... to see if anyone can give good tips on how to feel well about and with sisters!

Thanks for starting this discussion, Poshsinglemum. smile

teafortwo Sun 31-May-09 01:12:15

"The fact we have this dynamic in our relationship hurts me (as well as my lovely Mum and Dad)" - I am so ashamed - I missed out that my sister is hurt by it too - I suppose I didn't say her because she never tells me directly... but I do know through the grapevine that she really finds all this hard too.

makipuppy Sun 31-May-09 11:20:08

I drifted apart from my brother in my twenties but later, in our thirties, when he got married and had kids (I took much longer) we both made a conscious effort. WIthout actually discussing it, we separated our friendship from our parents who were always nosing in and trying to orchestrate everything. We made plans but didn't include my parents (who tellingly were infuriated that they no longer knew what was going on, they were all - what! I didn't know you saw brother last weekend!).

Maybe you should do this too, as there are issues with your perception of your parents' perceptions, IYSWIM?

We're close now (although recently we went on holiday together and I realised that no, we're not THAT close).

AliGrylls Sun 31-May-09 11:56:14

My sister and I are a bit like you and yours. At school she was always the bright one and now she is having an amazing career. I always felt so jealous in my twenties, there was me with what felt like my crappy job and feeling shit about myself. I could not even bear to be in the same room as her for a long time because I was made to feel so bad about myself by my parents who were always waxing lyrical about her talents and her saying "yes I am amazing". She also has an incredibly caustic tongue and at times she would more than put the penny in the slot.

However, when I met my DH things started to change in my relationship with my parents and sister. He knew the problems I had with her and always kept on telling me that I was actually brighter but she is just more determined. He was also really good at pointing out my achievements (which never seemed as big as my sister's).

I had a bit of counselling last year, when I was having a really rough time with work and my family generally. I remember afterwards feeling like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Since then my relationship with my sister has improved so much. Partly, because I actually realised I did not want to be like her. Secondly, because I can look at her now and actually don't care as much what she is doing. I told her and my parents how they had made me feel after the counselling. The funny thing is that they had never realised how much the things they said and their attitude had affected me.

Since then my sister and I have been like different siblings, as has my relationship with my mother.

I am wondering if maybe a similar approach might help in your situation, ie, trying to look at your achievements (the fact that you are obviously an amazing mother with a lovely child being the most obvious) and maybe, if it helps, a short course of counselling.

teafortwo Sun 31-May-09 17:02:22

makipuppy - lots of people have said that to me too. I hope it is true for poshsinglemum and myself too smile!

slowreadingprogress Sun 31-May-09 17:57:14

what great posts on this thread - I just wanted to add, if it helps, that almost no one I know is actually close to their siblings!

I think for many, many people siblings are a big part of your childhood and adolescence but really you have to let go of the wish for a similar relationship all through life. It's rare and I think if you look below the surface even some 'close' siblings are all bubbling under the surface with unspoken tensions etc!!

Please don't pressure yourself about what sort of relationship you should have with her or how she may or may not feel superior to you.

All you can do IMHO is concentrate on yourself; get where you want to be in life, be happy, appreciate yourself and your dd, and try to genuinely appreciate your sister for who she is as well and you can't go far wrong.

ssd Sun 31-May-09 18:03:02

I'd love to be close to my sister, but she is the one person in all the world who gets under my skin within 2 minutes of seeing each other

I hope my ds's are closer!

teafortwo Sun 31-May-09 18:58:17

slowreadingprocess - Thanks - your post has really put some interesting new ideas into my head. Regarding my own ishoooos...

poshsinglemum - So, how are you feeling today?

Longtalljosie Sun 31-May-09 19:16:22

Are you always seeing your sister at your parents' house?

I find that when our family are all at home, we slot back into our family roles - but when my sister and I are at each other's houses, it's a slightly different dynamic?

tigana Sun 31-May-09 19:24:49

longtalljosie I think you are right about fallingback into old roles when with family. I have to fight to remember I am a 31 year old independent woman when with my dad (mind you...when I do remember, he just annoys me more! grin)

I'm 7yrs older than my sister and we aren't close. Somewhat dysfunctional family during both our 'formative' years one way or another probably didn't help.

She came to visit for a few days a while ago and I was hopeful because we might be able to be ourselves rater than oldselves, but then dad offered to drive her (why??? she is 24 and can drive/use trains...bah...) so he came too..and it didn't happen.

LovelyTinOfSpam Sun 31-May-09 19:34:21

I do think that the assumption that one should get on like a house on fire with siblings is a bit random.

We are all different people and there is no reason that you will have anything in common with them, or that personalities will click.

You said it seems that everyone else has great relationships with siblings - some do, yes, and some don't. Some get on OK and that's good enough.

She has supported and helped you and you admire her, that sounds pretty good to me. Can you try to enjoy the relationship that you do have rather than wishing it were more? It sounds pretty good to me smile

RedCharityBonney Sun 31-May-09 19:36:49

Those family roles are so potent though ... easy to say "stop labelling" but hard to do.

My sister was my mum's right hand and confidant (to an abnormal, and in my belief, damaging degree) and she was a 'little mother' to me when I was young. Partly because that way my mother kept both of us busy and got some time to herself. I suppose I was the naughty one. It certainly felt like I had two people criticising me all the time.

Me and my sister aren't close now. And she lives in Canada and I'm in the UK. We're both ruined by emotionally abusive parenting.

She's ok. We're too different really, plus she was taught to mind me and watch me and organise me, and she probably finds it hard to stop.

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