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Problem with my sister

(18 Posts)
ARV1981 Fri 31-Jul-15 11:57:33

I apologise in advance... this is going to be a long one!

I'm an identical twin. I've always had a complicated but loving relationship with my twin. I would do pretty much anything for her, but recently I'm beginning to find her behaviour worrying and distressing.

A bit of background... My twin's 'marriage' broke down and she left her husband, moving back to the UK from abroad, at around 14 weeks pregnant. Her marriage was one of convenience: she wanted a child, he wanted residency/citizenship in the UK. The breakdown therefore wasn't terribly emotional (it was violent though) and I believe she's over him. She was married to him for just over a year.

Then the unimaginable happened: she had to give birth to a stillborn baby. Both my mum and I were at the birth and I think we were comforting, though of course we were all hurting terribly. There was never any explanation as to why this happened, just that it sometimes does.

Fast forward a few years, and our other sister has had the most gorgeous little boy, conceived via IVF and by a difficult and distressing route (she was hospitalized during the first trimester because of complications you only get from fertility treatment). This sister has recently paid privately to have another round of IVF and has just announced that she will be having twins early next year. This is, of course absolutely wonderful news and as a family, we're over the moon. Again, though she's not been well, having to spend a month in hospital.

I myself am 33 weeks pregnant (my twin's baby made it to 32+6 so it's been very difficult for me to imagine getting to this point).

My twin's behaviour is increasingly worrying.

She recently announced to my mum and myself that she is pregnant and happens to be due at around the same time as my other sister. Her pregnancy is the result of a one night stand. She refuses to tell our other sister about her pregnancy as she says she will judge her, they'll fall out etc etc (other sister will be jealous of her fertility blah blah blah).

Last night she said to me "I can't tell sister because if something happens to her twins she'll blame me" hmm I said that was ridiculous and that she needed to tell our other sister, as no one likes to be left out and that she's going to find out sooner or later.

She's 'joked' that she wanted to take my baby as she deserves it more than me. This is obviously extremely distressing for me. I have that mothering instinct to protect my child no matter what!

She threatened suicide because she didn't get a job she'd applied for... She's never going to apply for another job again, she can't take the rejection etc etc.

I told her I need her in my life, which she said was selfish. As in I'm saying that her sole purpose in life is to be my sister (NOT what I meant at all, just that however bad she's feeling, I need her and love her).

She says she'll have to live on some god-awful council estate as a single mother with no means to support herself. I even said she could move in with me and my husband (and our baby) even though we don't really have the space (baby would have to kip in with dh and I indefinitely so hardly ideal). She said she couldn't bum off of us, which I replied that she could pay us in kind and do the odd babysitting... She said she wouldn't want to look after someone else's kid! Made me feel like a shit for offering her help!

This was all said over the phone. She lives around 4 hours from me so I can't just drop everything and go to her (pregnancy and all) so now I'm thinking if she does do something it'll be my fault for upsetting her.

I am actually feeling like I can't do anything at all to help her and that she's rejecting me (probably because she was rejected for the job she went for...) and even thinking I don't want her in my life any more. I know that if I do cut her out she'll paint me to be the bitch who left her in her hour of need etc. But I can't take this. I cried myself to sleep last night. I feel so sad, I want to help her but everything I suggest she throws back in my face.

What can I do or say to make her feel better? I feel completely out of my depth.

ijustwannadance Fri 31-Jul-15 12:15:00

Might sound odd but is there a chance she is not actually pregnant? Do you see her often to see bump/scans etc. She is clearly attention seeking and probably needs couselling as she doesn't seem to of gotten over what has happened in the past.

ARV1981 Fri 31-Jul-15 12:43:41

That has crossed my mind... it's too early to show. Time will tell, I guess.

I told her to get counselling, but I know she won't bother. She's stopped taking her antidepressants because of her pregnancy. So she's definitely a mess.

Littlefish Fri 31-Jul-15 12:58:25

Has she been supported by her GP to come off the anti depressants. I think, from reading other posts on Mumsnet, that there are some anti depressants that are safe to take in pregnancy.

I agree with Ijustwannadance that it just be very hard for her to be around either of you at the moment given her previous stillbirth.

She may or may not be pregnant, but it certainly sounds like she needs some support. Is your mum able to go and visit her?

ARV1981 Fri 31-Jul-15 13:18:50

Unfortunately my mum can't visit this weekend as she has another commitment (work).

She's been fine about the pregnancies up until now. Our other sister has had a little boy since my twin lost her baby. We all love him to bits!

My twin has done some lovely things for my baby - she's made three gorgeous rattles, and two quilts. She did all this in the first trimester.

As far as I know she's just stopped her antidepressants. I know there are some she could take, but she won't listen to me or mum about it.

ARV1981 Fri 31-Jul-15 18:22:43

I've just had an hour-long conversation with my mum...

She's going to visit my sister on Monday and will stay probably for the week.

Twin also has been to the drs (after mum made her an appointment) and has been given antidepressants again. I just hope she takes them.

Still not sure how I feel but it's good to know that mum is going to be looking after her soon. I know I can't do anything. I also know that I'm losing patience with the situation as horrible l e as that sounds.

GoooRooo Fri 31-Jul-15 18:27:32

What a sad story for your twin. I have to admit the first thing I thought was that she desperately wants to be pregnant/have a baby and that she's made it up as a way of feeling part of your and your other sister's pregnancies. I hope your mum visiting will shed some light on what's going on and she can get the help she obviously needs - whether there is actually a pregnancy or not.

Littlefish Fri 31-Jul-15 19:18:35

I'm really glad that your mum has arranged to go and stay with her, and also, that she's seen her GP.

I know it feels very hurtful, but it sounds like your twin is really struggling with her mental health and is quite ill at the moment. As a result, her judgement and sense of appropriate behaviour may be compromised.

Please try not to take it all to heart - your sister sounds very unwell. sad

SugarOnTop Fri 31-Jul-15 19:26:04

She's 'joked' that she wanted to take my baby as she deserves it more than me.

this bit especially makes me suspect that she may not actually be pregnant. She needs professional help to come to terms with the loss of her baby and the effect everything has had on her mental health. cos no matter how well she has handled the birth of her nephew and the pregnancy announcements on the surface, it must still be creating hell for her inside.

She will definitely need your support but i don't think moving her in with you would be the best thing for her.

ARV1981 Fri 31-Jul-15 20:54:15

Thanks guys... I think her pregnancy is real. It's too early to show, but I'm pretty sure she wouldn't make it up. My other sister announced her pregnancy at around the same time - I can't remember which came first tbh.

I agree that she needs help. She did get counselling at the time, but obviously hasn't learned anything from it. I think her recent problems are down to her stopping her antidepressants without any medical phase out or help. I just hope she takes whatever she's been given today, and that it helps though I think it can take a couple of weeks for them to start working.

I agree that her moving in with me wouldn't be ideal, but you must understand that I would do pretty much anything for her. I think she Will probably move in with my mum, which will be difficult for mum but at least she will be looked after. Mum is brilliant, but in her own words: '[she's] not getting any younger' and is still grieving the loss of our dad two years ago. We've had a horrible few years as a family!

ijustwannadance Fri 31-Jul-15 21:49:31

Sorry about your dad. I know you'd do anything for your twin but please don't let her move in with you in her current mental state. With your new baby on way, you and your DH will have enough on your plate at such a happy/emotional/stressful time and the last thing you need is someone possibly ruining your special bonding time.

And I know she loves you but in her mind she probably looks at your life as the one she should be living too. Happily settled and expecting etc (hence thinking she deserves your baby more) which will be greatly magnified by you being identical twins. She will see it as you got the perfect life and she got the shitty one.

She needs to stay on the medication of course but I do worry for her future child if she is indeed expecting and how she will cope. Try to get your mum to make her go to counselling. A baby will not fix her.
You are part of each other (literally!) but she needs proper, professional help.

ARV1981 Sat 01-Aug-15 08:51:19

Thank you... I think you're right about the lives thing... I worry that we can't both be happy - times when I've been at my lowest ebb she's been successful and happy in relationships and vice versa. But that just doesn't seem to be logical, and I am if nothing else: logical!!! So I've always dismissed that as a ridiculous theory based on superstition. I wonder if she's seen the same weird pattern and taken a different view? It's easier to do that when you're the one having the crap time!

I don't actually think she will move in with me. I think my mum will take her in instead, giving me and my dh and our new baby a chance to bond, as you say. Mum's like that, always thinking of other people's needs before her own.

I do worry about how my other sister will react. I don't believe she will be jealous of my twin's (or my) fertility - that's ridiculous (especially as their problem conceiving is down to her dh not her) but I am concerned that she will say my twin shouldn't move in with mum... that it's selfish to make mum bear the brunt of her bad decisions (bad decision #1 giving up on her career, #2 having a baby after a one night stand). This I do, in part understand, but I personally don't think anything can be gained by bringing it up. I think my sister and her husband will see it differently and will probably both have words with my twin (probably even suggesting she terminate the pregnancy).

It's a bloody mess!

I won't abandon my twin. I know I said about cutting her out, but I could no more cut my own leg off than block her from my life. She is absolutely everything to me! I don't know why it's different, because I love my sisters equally but the relationship with my twin is so important to me - I literally couldn't live without her.

ijustwannadance Sat 01-Aug-15 12:14:37

Like I said you are quite literally part of each other in a way most people cannot understand. You should never abandon her. When I said about her possibly looking longingly at your life it wasn't really about jealousy but about her current mental state. You say you think logically but as she is depressed/unstable logical and rational thinking go to shit. She was obviously determined to get pregnant again and was probably even harder that both her sisters are pregnant and settled.
Your other sis and her dh need to keep their opinions to themselves no matter what. She is too fragile to hear it and as you said it is done and no matter how that baby was conceived you twin wants that child more than anything and just needs support to get the emotional help she needs before it arrives.

wafflyversatile Sat 01-Aug-15 12:26:17

If your mother hasn't already I think I'd contact her gp and fill them in on what's going on and your concerns. The gp can't tell you anything but can take what you say into consideration.

ARV1981 Mon 03-Aug-15 10:13:24

Thank you... Mum actually went to see her yesterday and says she's acting as though the conversation with me never even happened.

I've asked mum to speak to her gp, but mum refuses sayings it's not her place to do so.

I don't really know what else to suggest... Mum isn't 100% herself, and is, I think, vulnerable to manipulation.

I just wish I could do something, but I can't really! I'm stuck with my giant bump (I'm massive!!) 80 miles away with no way of helping. I expect it'll become more difficult for me to help once the baby arrives as well, as my twin might have mixed feelings about my baby that she didn't have with our other sister's child. I just hope it doesn't have our nose... My niece had our nose.

Isetan Mon 03-Aug-15 11:21:48

Your twin has mh issues and it doesn't sound like your mother is equipped to deal with them. Your sister needs professional support and it needs to be in place before she gives birth.

I know you mean well but I think her moving in with you would be a mistake and could put you and your marriage under extreme stress. Are her mh issues a recent thing or did her abusive marriage exacerbate pre existing struggles?

Your twin isn't obligated to reveal her pregnancy to your other sister and if your other sister's involvement would exacerbate the situation, then her involvement at this stage could do more harm than good.

wafflyversatile Mon 03-Aug-15 12:00:14

You can call her gp with your concerns. You are allowed to do this.

ARV1981 Mon 03-Aug-15 12:25:24


Yes, I know my twin has mh issues... I agree, her moving in with me would be a mistake, but so would leaving her homeless! However, I believe my mum will take her in. Moving in with me would be an absolute last resort.

I would call her GP, but unfortunately I don't know who he/she is... I don't even know which practice she goes to! Otherwise I would have called them already. My mum does know this, but says she won't speak to them. I feel at a loss, because I know what I should do, but I can't do it!

My other sister will find out about the pregnancy sooner or later as my twin starts to show. I have wondered about offering to tell her or be there when the news is shared so I can help head off any unwanted advice. But, it isn't my place to tell this news. And, older sister will say and do as she thinks best, even if it's the very worst thing to do. She and her husband are very forthcoming in their opinions, even when completely unwanted or unnecessary. I will try to tell her to keep her opinions to herself, but I fear that is a losing battle. Her husband is even worse - I don't actually like him much, I find him frustratingly arrogant and forceful in his opinions.

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