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My sister is turning into our abusive Dad

(11 Posts)
springyhiphop Sun 24-Mar-13 23:12:49

A blessing in disguise then smile

You could continue with counselling through another avenue. If money is an issue there are women's orgs you can approach, plus if you look at BACP you can see therapists in your area, research what each does/specialises in, then contact each one until you find the one that feels 'right' for you. You can ask if they do concessions - they are not at all offended to be asked, the answer is yes or no.

It has been a long journey for me, sorting things out re my toxic family. I didn't think I'd get to no contact but it's the best thing and I wish I had done it years ago. It would have saved me a great deal of shit tbh.

NiniLegsInTheAir Sun 24-Mar-13 18:28:23

Yes it makes sense springy. smile

I can't continue seeing my counsellor as it was through work and I only had a certain number of sessions, which is a shame. I'm still coming to terms with discovering who my family 'really' are, if that makes sense, so still finding my feet with how to deal with them. It's very hard.

Turns out I had a strained day as I was on edge waiting to see what she would do. We were supposed to have lunch together but she blew me off to go to a party she 'couldn't get out of'.

springyhiphop Sun 24-Mar-13 13:00:50

YOu say you saw a counsellor for most of last year - how about continuing the counselling? ime of a toxic family, I have needed more than one year of therapy. imo you need someone in your corner as you step through the minefield/s, someone who knows what they're doing and can validate. imo it takes years to undo the damage families like this can do.

eg you seem to accept that your sister is your mother's favourite - the golden child - yet this is a major source of pain for the one who isn't. If your mother's favouritism meant the end of her marriage, in essence, then there's a lot going on in your family still.

Not least that your sister appears to be continuing the abusive legacy. Her boyf has to make his own choices, unfortunately, and it probably wouldn't go down well if you gave him a lecture (which is how it would appear to him, even if what you have to say is right).

You say you are short on 'good' relationships but tbh the ones you have with your remaining family don't appear to be 'good' iyswim. ime, and although it took a very long time, I am now forging good and healthy relationships - but, in my case, this has meant cutting off my family entirely. When I was in relationship with them, one foot in, one foot out, I found it very hard to forge healthy relationships.

Not sure if I'm making sense there or if you get my drift.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Mar-13 10:28:10

Have a plan rather than be anxious. Build it round your feelings/needs/peace of mind being much more important than anyone else's and, if anything is said or done that you don't like, you'll do or say X in response. Might be leaving early, might be standing up to her. She can only frighten you if you allow it.

NiniLegsInTheAir Sun 24-Mar-13 10:16:14

Thanks Cogito. I'm seeing her today so feeling a bit anxious.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Mar-13 08:14:17

What to do is to forge your own life and have contact with your sister on a 'small doses' basis only. Don't mention her in conversation, be non-committal if she comes up in conversation and generally take a step back. Parents are a special case but IMHO siblings are entirely optional.

You are only responsible for your own happiness, not that of your extended family. So spend most of your time with people you actually like and who make you feel good about yourself, build your confidence, enjoy your immediate family and treat Mum, Dad, sister and everyone else as incidental.

NiniLegsInTheAir Sun 24-Mar-13 00:35:55

Yeah I guess sad. It's a very hard thing to do when you're used to keeping the peace, and think I'm a bit sensitive to emotional abuse now. I guess I need to work out a system, an armour for when I'm dealing with her.

WafflyVersatile Sun 24-Mar-13 00:29:16

having good boundaries, having some mantras for curtailing abusive conversations? standing your ground rather than caving for an easy life?

Not worrying too much about upsetting her?

NiniLegsInTheAir Sat 23-Mar-13 23:58:11

I don't really know what to do about her. I intend to keep standing up for myself as much as possible without upsetting her and I don't think warning her boyfriend will really help anything. I guess I need to minimise my contact with her but we do get along well most of the time and I'm not exactly inundated with good relationships.

Is minimising contact the only way to really deal with people like this?

WafflyVersatile Sat 23-Mar-13 23:52:46

I'm sorry your sister is continuing your dad's legacy.

I'm not sure what you're asking? do you mean should you stand up for yourself regardless of further rifts? Warn the boyfriend?

NiniLegsInTheAir Sat 23-Mar-13 23:41:09

I'm really confused about this so could use some advice. When I was growing up my Dad was very emotionally and physically abusive, to the extent that both myself and my sister have been deeply affected by it. I'm a people pleaser (so says my counsellor who I saw for most of last year) who married a man just like my Dad (a whole other story), but my sister appears to have turned into our Dad.

Dad and my sister have always clashed and this came to a head about 6 years ago - they had a massive row over something minor and havn't spoken since. To make this worse, sister has always been my Mum's 'favourite' so Mum took her side - which has ultimately cost them their marriage. Mum and sister are very close, after Dad moved out they lived together for a few years until sister moved in with her boyfriend.

Now that I've become more alert to signs of EA in my own relationship, I've been noticing more and more how much my sister is like our Dad. She throws a complete hissy fit if she doesn't get everything she wants, when she wants it. I spent the night at her flat with Mum a few weeks back and sister was giving her boyfriend (who is a laid-back, quiet guy) almost constant abuse over every little thing. I was really upset and quite uncomfortable about it all, it put me on edge and made me want to run away.

Although I have a good general relationship with her, this isn't something I'm comfortable about discussing with her. I can't talk to Mum as her 'golden child' can do no wrong. I'm not close enough to her boyfriend to be able to talk to him. She tries to use abuse to get what she wants from everyone, including me, and doesn't like it if she gets pushed back.

I don't really know what to do now.

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