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Really need help regarding my relationship with my sister ( ridiculously long)(13 Posts)
I'm the eldest of 4 kids. There's me, my sister 'J' and then two younger siblings a boy and a girl. All my life my parents have treated J and I badly but lavished praise and money on the other two. I am not sure why but I suspect that my mother didn't bond with me or J and rather than looking inwards, decided to blame us for being unlovable. Combined with this, my father had a stressful job (military) and was very sexist, abusive and definitely a narcissist. J and I were beaten by both parents very regularly and constantly told how shit we were (we weren't). Some of the beatings were very bad from my father. My mother didn't stop them but in fact encouraged them. She had no empathy for us whatsoever. Well, neither of them did.
In contrast my younger siblings were not beaten and had nice clothes, ponies and a private education. The differences were excused always by us two being older and the boy needing different things on account of being male. My youngest sister has diabetes so my mum excused her different treatment of her on those grounds.
Basically our whole experience of our family was really shit. Tiny presents at Christmas, no love and no interaction. I got a flat at 18 and never went back. My parents are well off but would not support me financially at university and my father told me he was disappointed in me for my choice of degree and subsequent professional qualification. In fact he banned my siblings from attending my graduation day. I came third overall on my course despite working my fiance left me in a particularly hurtful way. I took an overdose, ended up in hospital and had a year of psychotherapy which helped a bit.
I moved to another country in the UK and didn't really bother with them any of much after that. I stayed in vague contact with J but had nver really been that close to her. We are like chalk and cheese personality-wise and to be honest she has been so messed up for years that she isn't a very nice person. She can be spiteful and seems to see me as an enemy rather than a potential ally (which we really ought to be under the circumstances). She was married with 2 boys by this stage as was I so we would ring each other occasionally and mainly discuss our kids. She has never met mine and I have never met hers.
Things were going along fine ( we would discuss our mother's lack of interest in our kids etc) but then her husband left her. Not only that but he had been having multiple affairs behind her back. Unfortunately my sister didn't have a job (or any qualifications) and had been happy to be financially supported by her ex. She left him and got a large rented house on benefits and has 50/50 custody of her kids. My parents and siblings have been basically uninterested in her problems. She can't seem to budget and frequently runs out of heating and electricity. She often asks for money. She has fleas in her house and hasn't treated them. SS were involved due to violence between her and her ex but have signed her off on condition that she got help for her drug abuse problems.
As she has no friends or work etc she spends huge amounts of time on her own. She asks my parents if she can visit but they say no. She has taken to ringing me frequently, not to chat but to vent - huge screaming rants. Often they are indecipherable. I often secretly think she does nothing to help herself but dare not say it as she would just turn on me.
Anyway, this year has also been a bad one for me. I am working non stop as we are waiting to find out if my husband is going to be made redundant. My son has a serious medical condition and I have developed stress related pains in my stomach which are agony. I haven't told my sister any of this stuff as there is no point. She literally doesn't listen to anything I say. It's always all about her.
Last week she left a message on my phone which was a suicide note.I tried to ring her back but her phone was switched off. I had to ring a very sick ant in my home country who had to ring the police. Later my sister rang HER, not me to say there was nothing wrong with her. I was left shaking like a leaf. I don't even know why she did it except that I hadn't answered the phone to her when she'd rung earlier that day.
Something came over me and I took the batteries out of my phone and blocked her on facebook. I just couldn't take any more. When I put the batteries back in the phone was full of increasingly hysterical and angry messages (she has form for this).The last one said that she was going to kill herself and it was all my fault for rejecting her. That I was the worst of all. Her and her boys were meant to be coming over for Xmas (i didn't really want them but she had spent the last 2 Christmases on her own). I feel sick, guilty as hell that I've run away from her, relieved that I don't have to listen to any more triggering rants about my shit parents when I broke the ties years ago. I feel like I am a really bad person and a terrible sister. She is fucked up and I should be kind - and I haven't been. What if she does kill herself now ( and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if she did)? I haven't slept properly since this happened. I've cried loads and have been awful to live with but I just don't know what to do. Running away seems so easy compared to dealing with her but she hasn't got anyone else in the world
Sorry this is such an essay .
You sister has some huge serious issues.
Sounds like some sort of substance abuse - drugs/alcohol
Mental health issues.
You cannot fix these things, you are not responsible for her. You can try and tell her that she needs help and to urgently get therapy but I have no idea whether she'll listen.
I'm not even sure who you contact - perhaps social services as this is so wrong and unfair on her children and they need protecting
Gosh. I don't think I've got any advice, really. Just sympathy.....for both you and her.
This is a really complex issue and not one that can easily be sorted out on an internet forum - not saying that you shouldn't have posted, just excusing the limited help I can give.
People who are going to kill themselves usually actually just kill themselves. They don't go on about it beforehand. That kind of behaviour is a cry for attention. I have experience of a close relative doing this to me - leaving suicide notes on Facebook for Christ's sake - and the only way I can deal with it is by deciding that EVERY time it happens, I will take them to A&E because then they get embarrassed (or if it really IS a cry for help, they will get help). On a practical note, could you call an ambulance in your home country when this happens?
On an emotional note, don't be too hard on yourself. You've been through the same shit she has, and you need to look after yourself and your family. If it helps, think of it as putting your own oxygen mask on before your kids' if the pressure goes on a plane - you can't help her if you're not ok.
Much sympathy. It's a horrible situation.
Love, your sister is a very damaged person. That's not your fault - you didn't cause it and you can't fix it. You can't fix her. You can't keep her alive by sacrificing your own health, happiness and peace of mind either. You can't even make her happy by swallowing her hurt and anger - it's not within your gift.
If you can accept that there is nothing you can do - and there really isn't - you may find a little peace although, ime, you never really stop being sad about it.
Wishing you all the best
SS have signed her off but I guess their interest is in the kids, not her. She needs a 'mother figure' or something but there isn't anyone. She said in her phone message that she will never have anything more to do with me now anyway so I can't really help now. She is just rotting away in a rented house far from where she grew up with nothing at all in her life except an abusive ex and her two kids who seem lovely, poor things.
Thanks for all the kind wishes. Much appreciated.
Oh my goodness! She needs help. I expect she has never received it because the NHS in this country, with regards to mental health, do not have a good track record.
You are getting all the flack because you are the older sister. Who else can she scream off to?
She WILL NOT kill herself. It is those who do not say it but you suspect it are the ones to worry about.
She is just hurting so much. Look at her life, no love from her parents, her husband has left her. But look at you! You left home at 18, supported yourself, have a DH and two DSs.
All she wants is what you have.
YOU MUST NOT FEEL THIS GUILT. You did NOT cause any of it. I do sincerely feel your pain as I have had incidents like this.
I don't know what the answer is to be honest, wish I did. I hope that others will come along with answers.
Nothing much to add but just wanted to say it's a complete myth that those who are suicidal don't say anything. Most people who have committed suicide have told someone. Often those who are suicidal don't actually want to die they want their pain to stop.
Have you tried contacting a mental health charity? Most of them have a telephone hotline that you could phone and get advice from on how best to deal with the situation. I know MIND are a brilliant source of information
I'm sorry your going through this.
Thanks Patchworkrainbow - I couldn't think who I could contact to help her. I will try giving them a ring.
I don't know how old your sister's children are OP but I would consider calling her HV if she has one. Most services are centralised now so if you know where she lives you should be able to find this out.
She sounds so very vulnerable. Is she drinking or taking drugs when she calls you do you think? Her children very much need protecting so a HV would take this very seriously. SS will have signed her off if the immediate concern they had was resolved and may be unaware of her mental health at present.
And if you do continue to hear from her and she is making suicidal threats I think you would be right to cal 101 and inform the police of this. This would also trigger child protection concerns locally.
I'm so sorry you have both had such an awful time. Keep working on your own happiness, others will need to support your sister who sounds very unwell.
Gosh, flowers, you've really been through it. I'm so sorry
Have you heard of the term 'dumping'? What she is doing to you is a classic example - instead of processing her shit she is dumping it on you. Not good for her OR you.
Have you heard of FOG? Fear Obligation Guilt. Very high levels of all three in toxic relationships. Your high level of all 3 as she is threatening the worst indicates you are caught in the FOG trap. Do have a look online about FOG - there is a good site called Out of the Fog that is very helpful.
I recommend you get back into therapy. It is priceless to have someone in your corner, someone who fully understands the issues you are facing and has your back. Ime I needed years of therapy to address an abusive childhood - imo you're barely getting started after a year. This stuff takes time but oh so worth it.
There really is nothing you can do to help your sister. It is a tragedy, no question, you could be so valuable to one another but currently that isn't happening and she is actually abusing you. You've had a lifetime of that, time to draw a line and let her go, as hard as it is xx
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