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DNiece is having a nightmare with DSis - WWYD?

(52 Posts)
IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 14:00:49

Family driving me utterly insane, thank god for MN for venting!
So DNiece is in her early 20s, and is back home for a few weeks to study. She's mega academic, fairly quiet, and just in general a lovely girl - is fab with my DCs, really kind to everyone. We've always been quite close and I was fairly involved with her music when she was growing up which was a privilege and DSis grateful as she isn't musical but wanted to support her. She has just phoned me in tears because DSis burst into her room while she was revising, calling her massively fat, lazy, slovenly, a let-down etc etc...and has taken her violin away until she does some exercise to shift the pounds. To put this in context, she is a size 10/12 and about 5'9" - she's not fat in the slightest! She eats very well, and is naturally very pretty - long eyelashes, gorgeous dark curls. She isn't a runner, but she goes swimming and walks or cycles everywhere, and most importantly is happy with the way she is. She is also in the middle of her medical exams and chose to come home to study to escape the mad hysteria at university. I've said that she's beautiful, and to be proud of who she is etc etc but it all seems a bit hollow because her own mum has left her doubting herself. I'm absolutely fuming and I'm going to ring DSis shortly - how can she a) be so out of line about her daughter's body and b) take away her violin, which I know she plays as a bit of stress relief (and she's bloody good at it too - has a diploma!). WWYD?

hillyhilly Wed 15-May-13 14:06:32

Can dniece say without instead? Her mother sounds about as far from where she should be as possible

hillyhilly Wed 15-May-13 14:06:59

Sorry, that should say "stay with you"

Shmumty Wed 15-May-13 14:08:10

I would hold judgement until I'd heard both sides of the story. How your sister thinks she has the right to take the violin from her daughter who is in her twenties is beyond me though.

Sugarice Wed 15-May-13 14:12:37

Has there been an ongoing issue to explain your sister's abrupt and cruel outburst?

Is your sister usually volatile?

VenusRising Wed 15-May-13 14:14:57

Is her mum jealous of her?

Sounds like your niece shouldn't be with her mum if she's so aggressive and confrontational at exam time.

IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 14:29:03

Probably should have added in a bit more detail before posting - afaik no ongoing issues and this is the first I've heard of her claiming DNiece has a weight issue. No matter how you look at it, she absolutely does not, and luckily she knows that too. It seemed to have come out of the blue, DSis is a bit neurotic re: cleaning the house, general tidiness etc but not normally aggressive. DSis can be quite overbearing at times and she was always really bossy to us younger siblings but not nasty. I asked DNiece to be really honest about what could have caused it, and she couldn't think of anything at all, and I know she wouldn't lie. She's really hurt because she feels her mother has lost respect for her, and while she says she doesn't care about the comments or the violin in themselves it's the underlying nastiness that upset her. Also, being a medic, she's worried that DSis has some kind of personality disorder or OCD and that this outburst was her mother trying to assert some control over the perceived "situation". DNiece has no idea what this situation is though!

IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 14:45:30

hillyhilly - she's very welcome at ours and I said if it would be helpful she could work from here, but then she'd have a massive noise issue - toddler bg twins! I've suggested the local public library as well but I completely understand why she wants to work from her room where all her books, files, laptop, cups of tea etc are on hand - and frankly, why should she feel unable to work in her own home? I think she has been very sensible in coming home as she knows she'll get het up with all the frenzied exam speak, and she's probably getting more work done.

FWIW both my sisters and our mother are of the same build as DNiece. I'm built like a rake, for no obvious reason, but the message growing up was to be healthy rather than body-obsessed and I absolutely stick by that. I don't think it's fair for DSis to make any kind of comment about DNiece but especially not when she is revising and looks great! She is an adult ffs!

SwishSwoshSwoosh Wed 15-May-13 14:49:24

I'd just let her stay with you. Sounds awful.

She needs to stay away from that sort of abusive outburst.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 15-May-13 14:50:51

In my experience, when someone is reported to have done/said something which seems completely out of character, there is more to the story that I am not being told, so it doesn't pay to react strongly purely on the strength of one side of the story... Could you contact Dsis and probe tactfully without revealing exactly what you've been told happened?

Sugarice Wed 15-May-13 14:51:00

Sounds rather worrying if it's come completely out of the blue like that.

Are you going to speak to your sister?

TheSecondComing Wed 15-May-13 14:56:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Wed 15-May-13 14:58:54

The niece is in her twenties tho, so surely the aunt can extend an invite and niece accept without getting too embroiled? Is not the same as 'removing' a teenager at all.

IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 15:05:24

I'm undecided on whether to call her or to pop in with the kids - I'm on holiday this week so it wouldn't be odd if I did. Walk - yes, I agree. My sister can be seriously unreasonable at times, and while I was surprised I wasn't shocked iyswim? DSis isn't particularly warm towards DN but they do normally get along, though I wouldn't say they were very close. The other thing I totally forgot to mention was that when I saw them a few days ago DSis was going through DN's receipts which she'd left in a file marked Budgets - it was all stuff like hairspray, toothpaste, weekly food shop - and I was hmm and just assumed DSis was being nosy but I didn't think it was fair to be doing that, or looking through her handbags/room.

IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 15:07:29

The2nd - lord no, I'm not going to be marching in there on a rescue mission. I said she was welcome to work at ours in the day if she felt she wanted a change of scenery but that is not the same as moving in!

cozietoesie Wed 15-May-13 15:13:49


Sorry - but do you know if your Sis has any substance abuse problems? Just a thought because that sounds very much like a fuddled outburst. (And her perusal of receipts could be also.)

TheSecondComing Wed 15-May-13 15:14:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 15-May-13 15:26:38

As secondcoming suggests, you need to tread very carefully here - if you accept DN's account unquestioningly you are, by default, aligning yourself with her - but it sounds as if your Dsis doesn't always behave in a rational way. If DN stays with you it will/may damage your relationship with your Dsis - hence trying to steer the middle path while not getting too embroiled. It's worth thinking carefully about exactly what you'll say to Dsis about the situation...

Walkacrossthesand Wed 15-May-13 15:28:00

PS is it worth asking DN 'how do you think your mum would describe what happened?'

IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 15:44:22

cozie - I'm probably being thick - Sis or N? The receipt thing I thought was odd, because S didn't appear to be looking for anything in particular she was just looking to see how much N was spending (which was not a lot!). I can't imagine S searching N's room for drugs as she made no reference to that, and believe me if she thought she was taking something there would be no messing around. So I really don't think N would be taking drugs - she's not the most streetwise, and her friends are very similar, as is her boyfriend. Idiot question time now - how would I know if they were on drugs though? Not pale, gaunt or manic.

I realise I'm coming across a bit one-sided here but I'm not daft and I know that my measured, pleasant, helpful N would not call me unless she really needed something. She didn't know I had time off and was really apologetic when I answered as she thought she was calling me at work. She hadn't phoned her father because he is strictly not to be disturbed while at work (ibank) and later said she was fluctuating between worrying he'd also think she was fat and useless and causing a row between her parents. She isn't making this up or exaggerating, of that I am certain. It would be wildly out of character for her. Less so for DSis though as she does have a bit of a temper and can be manipulative at times...I'm now failing to think of an example!

IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 15:47:40

I'm absolutely treading carefully. I haven't said anything to DN about DSis but listened and made it about DN being lovely. I don't know how to broach it with her which is why I'm still at home but I think I might just go round for a cup of tea and see what's going on xx

cozietoesie Wed 15-May-13 15:55:40

No - I was talking about your DSis and not your niece.

IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 16:04:17

cozie - thanks...I don't know, is the honest answer. I wouldn't have thought so but I wouldn't have expected DN to be ringing me either so who knows. I'm in unknown territory here though and don't really know how I'd work that out?? She has always been a harsh parent but not personal iyswim? So for example she'd criticse DN's work til the cows came home but not herself though clearly that doesn't seem to apply here.

IHideVegInRice Wed 15-May-13 16:06:53

The more I think about the receipt thing the more utterly bonkers it seems - DN was away at school from age 13 and has been at university for 4 years so it isn't like this is her first taste of living away. The whole thing is just horrible.

NigellaTufnel Wed 15-May-13 16:09:13

Is your DSis going through the menopause, or any hormonal changes?

Only ask as I have seen some loopy behaviour due to that.

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