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long and ongoing situation with my sister - sorry this is long!

(13 Posts)
sweetheart Wed 29-Jul-09 12:37:11

I'm not sure why I'm writing this! This problem has existed in my family for a long time and I guess I'm just sick of it and am looking for any impt / advice!

I have 2 sisters, they are quite a bit older than me. I am late 20's married and have kids. My oldest sister is married. My middle sister is not married, has few friends to speak of, has never really had a boyfriend and lives at home with my parents.

My middle sister is the problem - we all believe she has depression issues and she has been urged to get help but won't. The situation is becomming unbearable not least for my poor parents who have to deal with her moods and silent treatment on a daily basis.

She will go into a sulk which can last weeks / months even where she will not speak to whoever has upset her. It often takes us weeks to figure out why she is not speaking to someone.

We had a birthday gathering this weekend and she would not even sit with us to eat. As soon as food was done she left to go and sit alone in her bedroom.

She loves my kids and is great with them but I am having to keep them away from her becuase they are too young to understand why she is happy and smiling with them but silent and miserable with everone else in the same room!

I appreicate that I have little time for her and that is the cause of some friction but I have a busy family life and to be honest she is so moody that I don't actually want to spend any time with her.

This is a snapshot of years of problems and I'm not really sure why I've posted this - I just don't know if I should be cutting her off or something else. Most recently I have been thinking about changing my will as my sister is listed as the childrens guardian and I don't feel her current behaviour would be good for my children!

Thanks for reading!

ninah Wed 29-Jul-09 12:42:06

hello it is me ... sorry to hear this, and I know it's not new. I think she is jealous of you and what you have, dc, happy family etc, esp dc. I don't know what to suggest, just keep trying I suppose. I had a rubbish relationship with my sisters until relatively recently. If she was happier in her own life it would help. Did I imagine this or was she engaged at some point? she seems to feel like the family black sheep and I can sort of identify with that, but it must be v difficult and depressing to cope with the constant attention seeking. Was she like this when you were growing up?

sweetheart Wed 29-Jul-09 14:05:46

hello you! Thank you so much for coming to my aid! yes, as you well know this is an age old problem for me - it;s never been resolved and I can't ever see an end to it. To answer some of your questions:-

no she wasn't engaged - she has only ever had 1 boyfriend that I can remember when I was about 8-10 so she would have been 17-19 ish! She is not happy in her own life and she admits it which is something I suppose. She hates her job but is very shy and lacking in confidence so she won't get herself out of her rut!

Things have probably got worse since my other sister got married about 2-3 years ago. Until then they were both single but now my sister feels everyone has someone except her.

We were very very close growing up - we shared a bedroom until I moved out of home at 18 and when we were kids she spent alot of time looking after me and treating me to trips. Trouble is I have moved on and she has not. I still do things with her as much as possible - like go to concerts and stuff but on a weekly basis I don't have time to go shopping and things!

I know she is very unhappy with her life (she would have been a great mum for example) but she is never willing to do anything to get herself out of the rut she's in and doing something better with her life. When she's up she is the most lovely, warm hearted and careing person but that sister for me has dissapeared - I used to see glimpses of her but now I can't see it at all anymore!

parker1313 Wed 29-Jul-09 14:58:48

Have you actually sat her down on your own and had it out with her?
Like almost had a go at her!?
She really needs to sort herself out.
WHy cant she sees she has a problem.How frustrating for you.
We are only here once and its not a rehearsel.
She needs to adress her attitude and go get help.She is affecting so many people around her its not fare on you all.
She is being very selfish.
You need to cruel to be kind.
I understand when people are depressed that half the problem can be admitting it and getting help but for it to go on this long and be affecting so many people.
There is obviously a nice person in there but she must get help.
Sorry for your situation.
Hope things change a little.wink

sweetheart Wed 29-Jul-09 15:45:31

thanks parker - we have all tried to talk to her at various times over the last few years. Unfortunatly she does not respond well, she says there is nothing wrong with her and then proceeds with the silent treatment for weeks. We have given up challenging her becuase it makes things unbearable for my poor mum and dad who have to live with her on a daily basis.

She bahaves like a child when she get's into one of her sulks. She will leave the room if the person she is annoyed with enter's. If you try and speak to her you will get a blunt one word answer and then she will leave the room or stay with a piched expression on her face!

Sometimes she will be fine with you and then the next time she will balnk you which leaves you wondering what you have said / done to upset her.

My other sister booked her a Dr apt last week and e-mailed her to let her know. My sister promptly cancelled the apt and said the Dr's were busy people.

I know she has been prescribed anti depressents in the past (maybe 2 or more years ago) but she left them unopened in her drawer.

The thing is when she's up she's really bright and bouncy. My family and I are worried she might suffer from manic depression or bi polar.

We are all frightened of addressing the situation incase she did something stupid - and yes I do mean suicide!


ninah Wed 29-Jul-09 21:04:08

oh sorry it was your other sister who got married I see.
What a pity you can't show her this thread, I suppose you can't, can you? Might it help her realise how she is upsetting others? People who are depressed are often v self absorbed and prone to taking things as a slight when really you love her and want her to be happy
I'd say try not to shut her out, keep on inviting her to stuff even if it's round yours for chat and drink. Keep on encouraging her to develop interests, job, ? internet dating lol - and keep listening. But you know at the end of the day her life is not your responsiblity it is hers, and only she can change it. I hope you can get through to her somehow, this must be v upsetting.
OK you have different outlooks, you are a positive proactive person, maybe she is not. But if you can't get through to her no one can, and I speak from experience of the support you gave me when I was going through the mill. I will never forget that. Three years - three years?! how did that happen?? down the line I am happy, hope your sister's life gets better too. Things can turn around for anyone, I am proof of that!

sabire Thu 30-Jul-09 10:15:49

My sis was beautiful, clever and talented as a young woman but wasted her life on selfish, emotionally abusive men. She's now 45, childless, skint and single. I also suspect she's an alcoholic.

I felt frustrated with her for years and we weren't close. Recently she moved in a few doors down and I see her much more often than I used to. What's changed our relationship for the better has been me deciding to accept her the way she is, and to just be as loving to her as I can be. I would love her to change her life, to stop drinking and to start behaving in a more adult way, but I can't make her or be her counsellor.

You might find the best way of supporting your sister and taking pressure off yourself is to do the same. I feel much happier with my sister and our relationship since I have stopped trying to change the way she thinks and acts, and just be kind to her.

sweetheart Thu 30-Jul-09 10:57:33


thanks so much lovely, I always loved talking with you. You are very different from my sister, you were in a bad place and you took very proactive steps to make yourself happy and look how it has turned out for you! You were always happy to be open and honest about your problems and feelings which made it easy to chat through things and offer advice / support when needed. My sister is none of these things. She has buried her head in the sand and refuses to see there is a problem (inface I believe she feels we are the problem, we are horrible and nasty!)

I haven't really put anything in this thread that hasn't been previously raised with her so showing it to her would not really acheive anything - other than me getting the silent treatment from her again (she has once kept it up for a year!)

You are right, I am a proactive person and because of that I have tried to get her into nerw things and out of her daily misery! I have looked for new jobs for her and even tried to set her up on dates - she won't go ahead with any of it!

Sabire - I do appreciate what you are saying, it's her life and I should accept that! I would if I knew she was happy - but I KNOW that she is desperatly unhappy - she has told me. Also her behaviour imapcts on us all - mostly my mum and dad who live with her mood swings and silentness. She is positively evil to my parents on some occasions! And my main concern of course is my kids! They have lost their Aunt because she is not the fun, loving, caring, sweet person now and I cannot let her spent time with them because her behaviour is so odd and too complext for young children to understand.

I know I am hurting her by keeping my children away from her - they are the one thing in her life that does give her real joy - but I can't let her damage them!

ninah Thu 30-Jul-09 11:06:08

she is refusing to see there is a problem - but has admitted she is v unhappy - which is a problem in itself, surely?
does she realise why your dc are seeing less of her, maybe that if nothing else would shock her into action?
otherwise I suppose things are going to drift for a bit and you spend less time. Maybe it would do no harm to leave it that way and let her come to you when/if she is ready.
Families! my sis is getting married tomorrow to a man I'm not at all sure about (doesn't speak to his mother, has a young daughter from his last marriage he never sees ...) and feeling quite stressed at having to dress up and be all celebratory
wish there was an answer for you sweetheart!

sweetheart Thu 30-Jul-09 11:18:23

yes she is unhappy with her life but doesn't want to address it medically. The anti d's she was given sat in her drawer because she didn't want to depend on them. She said something to me a while back which has really stuck with me. She said in the last 10 years I have brought 2 houses, got married, had 2 children etc etc. All she has done was buy a dog which then died! It's true - nothing about her life has changed in the last 10 years (except for ehr job, she left a job she hates and moved to another which she now hates!).

She doesn't know that I have limited her access with the kids - she probably just thinks that I am too busy with my life to spend time with her. It's not an easy thing to just say to someone is it - especially when we are hardly talking anyway. I need to speak to dh about changing our will's, perhaps that would be a way to raise it.

I don't really spend any time with her anymore which is a shame, although we are supposed to be going away for a long weekend in a few weeks so we'll see how that goes. Maybe it will be a good opertunity to open up some chanels for talking!

As for your sister ninah, I know it must be hard to watch her make what you feel will be a mistake but I guess you have to be happy that the relatioship is better now than before so if things do go wrong for her you will be there to support her. She is an adult afterall and has to make her own choices / mistakes how ever much you dislike it. Are the kids coming along? Perhaps you can use them to focus on - having a lovely day with them, rather than the happy couple!

ninah Sat 01-Aug-09 13:10:59

I don't blame her with the ads tbh. I was prescribed them when I left ex and my father died etc etc, took them for one day only and couldn't bear the dead feeling they gave me -also I was literally losing hours where I'd doze off and with a baby and a toddler in the middle of the sticks was a no go. So I can kind of sympathise with that.
See how your long weekend goes, and make any decisions you need to after that. Things may be clearer!
As for the wedding, my sis looked beautiful but not somehow ecstatically happy. The groom was offhand to me immediately the ring was on his finger, and when I left the bride was in tears as she said goodbye to her friends. I know she was very focussed on 'The Day' ... we had a lovely time with friends and family and I hope things work out for them and that I'm just being unecessisarily bitter and cynical (which is quite likely!)
All the best

sweetheart Tue 04-Aug-09 10:00:09

thank nanh, apparently my sister has the week off work next week, my kids are at my parents while I'm working the holidays so I'm assuming she will want to do something with them next week. I've told mum she has to come to me if she wants to take them out so maybe that will strike up a conversation. As for our weekend away - well I'm sure the wine will be flowing which is usually a good oppertunity to open up the conversation! Time will tell I guess, it's just such a shame - I feel like I've lost a sister.

I'm glad to hear that the wedding was ok. You did what was probably right given the circumstances, and she knows you'll always be there for her no matter what. I know it's difficult when your getting crap from your new BIL but I think it's because he's threatened by you. After all, you have released yourself from a bad relationship and gone from strength to strength in your own personal life. Maybe he's worried your strength will rub off on your sister! I think you have the upper hand there - he is already running scared of you wink

sweetheart Tue 04-Aug-09 10:00:40

ekkk not sure what wrong with my typing today ninah!!!!

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