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guilt trip about sister(11 Posts)
Sorry - I know I've had a similar issue before re my annoying family but its really stressing me out...again! I suppose I'm asking "am I being unreasonable" and need validation. My younger sister emigrated to the US 2 years ago (west coast) and since then my (already usually distraught about something) mother is 100 times as distraught as usual. We have no other family and my mother has no friends or partner, so everything always falls on me - the eldest sibling. Anyway, I'm mid-30s and have a small baby. I'm CONSTANTLY guilt tripped into going to visit my sister so she can meet her baby niece. My sister does not have enough money to visit me, and neither me nor my mother have the money to pay for her to visit either (although I have offered to pay half, to which I am told she doesn't like home and never wants to come back here even for a visit). She also doesn't want my partner to come with us (because he's not "family" and her flat is too small). My mother guilts me every single day...as if its the price of a bus ticket and not £1000 to go there and a 12 hour flight with a small baby. I get "but I've never even met my niece" or if my mother hears of us spending any money on anything its always "you could always visit your sister", making me the bad guy. I was asked this morning if I "begrudge" my sisters lifestyle and that's why I won't visit. For the record, I am a student and rely on my partners small income...I don't have thousands of pounds lying around to fly to the US. GRRRR. Anyway - I just need to vent, because they make me feel like a bad person and that I'm preventing my daughter from having a relationship with her aunt.
You need to shut her down every single time she says it, your sister made the decision to move so the onus is on her to visit. I wouldn't even try to justify why you can't go because it just prolongs the 'discussion' about it.
Simply say something like:
"I'm not visiting x, it is not up for discussion"
then every time after that:
"It is not up for discussion"
if she continues to go on, make your excuses and leave.
Repeat until she gets the message.
Re: your partner not being family
"He's mine and my DD's family"
or quite simply
"That's a very rude thing to say"
You say she is often distraught about something, do you find yourself avoiding doing/saying things because of her reaction?
This is ridiculous. Your sister does not have some human right to have her niece brought to visit her. She's made her choice to go and live where she lives and part of that is not seeing family much - or if you do want to, stumping up the cash to fly home. It's also none of your mum's business!
Don't feel you should do this AT ALL and I'd be telling them that quite clearly.
"Of course I'm not going to do that, I can't possibly afford it" and change the subject. "DSIS is always welcome here for a visit whenever she wants" and change the subject. "Erm, no I don't think so" and change the subject. If it's reasonable for her to say she doesn't have the money, then it's reasonable for you to say that too surely! Plus it's easier for her to make the trip, quite obviously!
React to this like the ridiculous nonsense it is. Don't waver or appear guilty because that will encourage your mum. Just say "No, that's not going to happen."
This is your sister's problem not yours BBLucy, she moved away to the life she wanted and presumably had a pretty good idea that it would be expensive for you or your Mum to visit. Next time you have this sympathise but say she should of thought about missing out on family life before she moved and budgeted for it if it bothered her. You are not jealous but you are a student who now has a child who must come first when it comes to your finances.
Your sister left with no intention of returning because she doesn't like "home", then I certainly would not presume to force any "home" on her. Not meeting her niece is the price your sister pays for her life choices. That is not for you to remedy.
Perhaps your mother likes antagonizing you and she can get a lot of mileage out of this one with every expenditure you make, etc.
Imho, you should have a polite and civil conversation with your mom that you are not going, final answer, end of. Then you need to train your mother to drop it by speaking with your feet and leaving her presence (end phone calls etc) when ever she mentions it. Every. Single. Time.
You have nothing to feel guilty about. Your mother is using guilt as a tool to manipulate you; but only you can make yourself feel guilty, iyswim.
You need to be assertive.
I do not have the two thousand pounds it would cost to go and it doesn't matter how many times you try to make me feel guilty, it won't put two grand in my bank account. If you can accept that my sister can't come here, why do you keep harassing me to go there? Why can't you accept that I can't afford to go there and she can't afford to come here and that's just the way it is and none of us are happy about it? It makes me feel very angry with you when you keep trying to emotionally manipulate me.
If you wanted to, you could always add "I actually offered to pay half her airfare here but she said no because she doesn't ever want to come back here. Why don't you guilt trip her about that and lay off me for a while"
But I do know really that's a step too far. I just hate guilt trippers
but you do need to be assertive, firm and actually call her out on this.
I moved abroad, I would never expect anyone to spend money to come and visit me (although a couple of people have, which was lovely). My choice, my responsibility to go back and visit.
Mum are you paying for us to go ??? No ... Then I can't go!
Don't bring it up again until you can afford it!!!!
Agree, get assertive and tell your dm even if you had the cash, you'd not be going on a 12 hour flight for your lazy entitled sister.
Fwiw l live a 24 hour flight away from my family and friends and l am not taking dd2 until she's 2 as it's a hard thing on a little baby's body. Dd1 was 2 first trip and suffered from motion sickness for a good part of the trip (she's getting better on the flights thankfully!)
Oooh! The sentence "Shut the fuck up, mother!" must be forever on the tip of your tongue... how do you stop yourself?
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