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Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support. this actually how relationships between sisters are?

(22 Posts)
Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 11:43:37

I have 2sisters. I am the middle sister.
The oldest sister has always been very bossy, opiniated but the first to jump in to help but will remind everyone of how much she does. We used to be close.

My younger sister married a man that few people in our family liked. But, she's kind, passive &very unconditional. We are very close.

I used to be very close to my older sister. Although she was bit over bearing i always felt it was with good intentions.

I had a mc in February. When i told my older sister her reply was'Im going to vomit' i thought it was because i had miscarried. No, it was the thought of me being pregnant. I have 5dc. 2grown up. Younger. Dc are 11, 8 & 4. ds8 has ASD.

Ive basically distanced myself from her since. Yesterday she sent me a text. She's been on a religious trip. The text said how she realised disabled kids are gifts from god after all!

I should have ignored it but i texted back something along the lines of 'Yes i realised that 4years ago but didn't realise u didn't already know that'. I shouldn't have responded as now its all blown up.

Basically because i have confided in her, she says she has the right to give her opinion on my dc, their behaviour, my dp, if we are having any more dc...

I never critise her, her dc, dh, home, career choice or friends. But if i talk about these things, it gives her the right to be critical.

My other sister isn't like this but what i need know is, is my older sister right?

Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 12:02:40

My older sister hates& i mean hates my younger sisters dh. Older sister stopped talking to my younger sister as she didn't tell my older sister that i was going to be god mother to my younger sister's Dd.

Older sister won't meet with younger sister Dd&have a conversation about their relationship. My older sister stopped talking to me for 2 months as she felt i should have told her i was asked to be godmother. I didn't even realise she didn't know...

I don't know if i am making much sense but Im trying to describe the complexities of our relationship!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 19-May-13 12:07:31

No. She isn't right.

Solve it by not talking to her about anything you don't want her opinion on.

And if she gives it anyway, tell her that you're a grown up and make your own choices.

She doesn't actually sound very nice, tbh.

If she wasn't your sister, would you want her as your friend?

BrevilleTron Sun 19-May-13 12:15:01

Nope this isn't normal. I only have the one sister who is younger by 7.5 years. I love her to bits and would do anything for her. She is the same with me.
I do feel for you especially as your sis said 'made me vomit' at the thought of you being pg. that's just nasty.
flowers for you.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 12:17:26

No i wouldn't want her as a friend.

I've realised since the mc( which i posted on here about as i really was devastated& couldn't work out if her reaction though ott was valid due to my large family &Ds needs).

My concern is, if you confide in someone does it give them the right to critise you?

She feels like she can voice her views on my family but i should agree with her...iyswim?

If i do something she disagrees with she will just stop talking to me until she wants to talk about it...

Im feeling v. Confused this morning!!

Lweji Sun 19-May-13 12:28:54

It sounds like you should distance yourself from your older sister.

And, no, I don't think that's normal at all.

I have one younger sister and we have had arguments before, but we sorted them and there hasn't been any of this not talking, criticising it all, etc.

DorisIsWaiting Sun 19-May-13 12:42:36

I'm one of 3 sisters (oldest) (and have 3dd's!), but the relationship I have is nothing like yours. They drive me mad sometimes (mostly middle one) as we clash occasionally over her hair brained ideas. But largely we phone each other up chat, they come to stay, the cousins love to play together.

Your older sister sounds quite unpleasan, they fact you have opened up does not give her the right to tell you haw she's thinks it should be. The fact that she stopped speakiung to your sister over the GM incident suggests she can be very manipilative.

Take a step back from her.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 19-May-13 13:52:44

No, it does not give them the right to criticise you.

If you ask someone for their opinion, it gives them the right to give it to you! But you would expect that a nice person would give an asked for opinion in a nice, supportive and constructive way.

There is nothing you can do that gives someone the right to lay into you over your every choice in life.

That's called bullying.

Yonihadtoask Sun 19-May-13 13:54:13

You don't have to be friends with your family.

If you don't like the way she is with you, then I would most definitely keep my distance.

HollyBerryBush Sun 19-May-13 13:57:06

If you confide in someone, and ask for advice, you have to be prepared that the advice given may not be what you wish to hear.

But that said, your sister sounds like hard work.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 19-May-13 13:57:06

Sorry about your mc sad.
I have sister issues too, so sorry if I am projecting.
From what you have written here, (and sorry, I have not read your other threads), it sounds like your older sister wants everyone to be her subordinate.

Imho, your response text was A-OK. It was a problem for your sister because it proved that you knew something she didn't (clearly challenging the pecking order??) so she had a tissy fit, rather immature. You used your brain, she punishes you. (As if: don't you know you are supposed to be an extension of her and live off of her brain. This suggests looking into narcissism, not diagnosing! just saying look it up.)

Her response to your mc....just boggles the mind. It was purely mean. Is she jealous of your large family? Did it prove that you and your dh are still 'doing it' while maybe she and her dh are not? Perhaps these questions could reveal what she is getting at...but at the end of the day, you having a mc is about you and she had to turn it around to be about her and her vomit and nothing about the poor little baby or omg, how are you-are you ok? All about her, you are invisible.

Confiding in someone. When you give someone something they will do with it what they will (ie criticize), that's their right. The associated question is: are you going to put up with that? And it is your right to say yes or no to that for yourself. You know what she does with the personal information you give her: she uses it against you, always. This is not supporting you, this is using you. Power play.

When you do something she disagrees with, she punishes you with the silent treatment. She superior, you subordinate.

May I make a guess (another one blush)? She doesn't like your younger sister's dh because he doesn't take this crap off of her? Either that or he perhaps he has the same issues of everything being about him?

Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 14:02:06

Thanks for all the replies.

I do feel I've created this situation. I shouldn't have told her so much stuff, stuff about dp & I for example.

She's angry that i lied to her when pregnant. She asked me if i was& i said no. I was only about 6 wks at the time. Only dp knew. I told my best friend at 12 weeks, found out the baby died 2 days later. I really don't think anyone apart from dp had a 'right' to know i was pregnant. My mother knows now but mil or my df don't know anything about the pregnancy or mc.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 14:19:10

Omg Andthebandplayedon! You have summed it up so well.

I believe my sister dosnt like our bil because they share many personality traits & hes not a push over-by any means!!

My sister& mother are very anti children. Sister has 2dd. She had a rough time with dd2 & since then been anti pregnancy/baby etc. Our mother thinks no one should have more then 2dc...there were 4 of us & our mother made sure we knew what hardships we created for her.

I will never have the same relationship with my sister. I dont even want to. I lost a baby, my relationship with my sister & mother last February. I dont know how to make sense of it all.

Though i need to point out my relationship with my younger sister is deeper & stronger then ever before. She's an incredibly strong women. I admire & adore her. She 20 months younger then me...

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 19-May-13 14:30:35

Shelly, you did not create this situation; your oldest sister did with her behavior.

She's angry because you set a personal boundary for privacy which normal people would understand and respect. You were pushed to telling the lie to protect yourself from her on going campaign of emotional abuse against you. I'd have done the same.

Keep building the boundaries. The boundaries are not you being mean, they are a response to her behavior, to protect your own self-esteem and mental health. Please do not go dormant, self induced depression, to just get along with her, "keep the peace". Your mental health is vital to you and your dh and your dc - your family...all priorities over maintaining a toxic relationship with a sibling- from your family of origin (which takes second place to your family (dh and dc).

Taper off contact. Do you live near each other?

Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 14:53:14

We live 2 roads from each other but Ive seen her twice in 3months. She's moving shortly.

I take on board what you are saying. I've seen what other people see. She's fallen out with so many people including her best friend of 25 years...who is the most easy going women I've ever encountered!

Its more like a grieving...iyswim?

There will be times when our paths cross but i will deal with that when it happens.

Good example of her behaviour is my 40th birthday....she mentioned it every time she called. Though she knew it was around the time the baby was due. Also because of Ds ASD we couldn't have a party at home, any sort of social gathering is nearly impossible. Yet she kept bringing it up. In the end i told her i would let her know if i was doing anything. She instantly got nasty &said of course you can't do anything can you!

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 19-May-13 15:10:55

It is grieving... for the mother and sister you should have had but didn't and got alot worse than you deserved. I am glad you have your younger sister.

I am the youngest of 3 girls, we are all about 2 years apart. My middle sister is the problem one and I have had to go no contact (slowly over 5 years, but got there!). My oldest sister 'gets it' and has limited contact with her as she wasn't as engulfed in the dynamic as much as I was.

I am sorry you are going through this. Enough is enough, though...and I'm glad for you that you can see this dynamic for what it is (their problem) and what it isn't (about you-it isn't you, it is them). It is painful. But this is all secondary to the pleasure and comfort of your own family unit so just don't give it the status to over-ride that, iyswim.

To be honest, it sounds like your older sister is so enmeshed in apron strings, she has not developed beyond the level of a twelve year old. Emotional detachment, stop caring what she thinks, "consider the source" can be tools to protect your self from their vastly distorted views.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 15:46:48

My older sister is 31/2 years older then me. My younger sister is 20 months younger then me & we have brother 16 months younger then younger sister.

Our older sister always seemed much older then us. She was a big child but we were all unusually small. She didn't mother us. She resented us. She would look aftervus in the holidays whilst our mum was at work. She would get us to physically fight each other or make us younger ones do housework.

Her dh is a very passive & quiet man. Much older then her. He's lovely & we get on but are not close. Her dds are mirror images of their parents. Oldest like her dad. Younger one exactly like my sister.

I have felt freedom these last 3 months...

She said earlier she wants nothing to do with me but mentioned the children. I don't trust her with my dc. She insisted my Ds threw his dinner on the floor when he was 3 &she smacked him. I never left him there unsupervised since. My Dd is very fond of her cousins so i probably will need to organise the cousins meeting up.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 19-May-13 16:00:41

If she said she wants nothing to do with you, then you have the key for more freedom. Back away slowly, don't make eye contact....wink.

You are right about the children. It seems she is pushing you aside and is now (wanting to) targeting them. Why on earth would a parent who is so horridly treated by another adult, turn around and let that adult have access to your children? Nope, not going to happen.

From your posts, it sounds like you have a good understanding of what is going on regarding the social dynamics. Just keep making boundaries, don't apologize for them, and be indifferent to her protests/tantrums.

It is sad that your older sister had too much responsibility put on her at a too young age, but she is grown up now and should live in the present.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 16:10:04

Its making sense as Im writing posts and reading your replies.

I felt so confused earlier!

At one point she told me i was mentally unwell & talking rubbish! Then i started to think that i should have just shut up & it would have smoothed over. That's exactly what she wants.

Do people with this sort of personalities ever realise what they are like/doing?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 19-May-13 17:21:53

The shutting up/smoothing over is the self-induced dormancy/aka depression that I mentioned earlier. Victory: her. Damaged mental health: you. It wouldn't be a waste of time to consider counselling for yourself to fully recover/re-validate yourself.

Therefore: no contact is the answer...or go with emotional detachment...just don't engage. One word answers. Vague answers, oh, really? Ummm Hmmmm. I don't know. <<<hello ipod earbuds>>>

As you already know, don't say anything personal. Another good rule is to never say anything negative about anything or anyone in front of her.

Telling you that you are mentally unwell and talking rubbish angry is the script of brainwashing for you to shoulder the consequences of her she will never -ever -in a million years never- take responsibility for her behavior. Zero culpability: her. Bad guy: you.
And that is total claptrap bs, so don't get caught up in believing it. It is nothing but a few squiggles of sound waves sloshing about that have no credibility in the real world, present reality. In one ear and out the other...really, it is not rude to not listen to her sometimes and this is one of them. It is a personal boundary (guys use it all the time! wink).


AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 19-May-13 17:30:15

Oh, to clarify, I'm not a guy!!!
(A yank, but not a guy.)

Do people with this sort of personalities ever realise what they are like/doing? I really don't know. Some yes, some no. My middle sister has like NO self-awareness so it's a no, but then she must be aware of the controlling, manipulative "games" she uses to "manage" me that it is a yes at the same time. I do know that I'm invisible to her-I'm just a prop to enhance her life, reflect all that is glorious back on to her so she probably has no clue how much she has hurt me over the years of "death by ten thousand cuts".

really bbl smile

Shellywelly1973 Sun 19-May-13 22:07:08

You talk so much sense...i wish i had the depth & extent of knowledge you do. How or where did you learn so much?

Thankyou you really have helped me make sense of the situation Im in.

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