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Prodigal daughter syndrome: I really need to be able to walk away with dignity

(17 Posts)
Laska5772 Wed 23-Nov-16 19:19:30

Looking for answers I have just read a link on an old thread on 'golden children' on the Golden Child and the Scapegoat

Im not even bothering to NC..

My sister who has been absent 30 years after some pretty awful rows has suddenly recently reappeared in my very elderly mother and step fathers life..she is there pretty often , phones every week ete etc .. its all very lovely ., they are thrilled, She is total flavour of the month and me who doesnt want to join in ( and who of course has never fallen out with them and has stuck around) is the one being totally unreasonable .

But I am struggling with this , I have to say.. I am really not proud of these feelings, so please dont flame me..

I really need help though to work this out and to either cope with or to walk away from this situation with dignityand not cause any more hurt to my lovely mother. .. My DM is over 90 also and frail , so I do not want to cause her any more stress..

So background:
DM and natural father divorce 50 + years ago , Sister and i brought up in different families.. I was only a tiny baby , when it happened she about 10 year old. DM remarries a few years later, I grow up in DSD home. We had no contact with sister until adulthood when some contact was established back with my DM, but that didnt last more than a few years , before it degenerated in quite a nasty way.. (yes of course there was a lot to get past .so I am not surprised ) ..

However Sister and I dont speak at all now now , after she did something so utterly appalling I realised that she simply didnt care for me and mine at all. I have refrained from telling my DM the exact reason we fell out, but believe me it was , pretty awful on her part. (and involved my then 3mth old DS).

Since she has reappeared She has made it quite clear (in an overherad conversation recently) that she 'cant be bothered with me ' and that i am unreasonable..

But all of a sudden It seems that it is me that is at fault (according to my DM and DSD) of course Sister is contrite and 'loving'.. --I also reckon she is now pretty broke and thinks there is money .

Also we still have a joint parent who i think -our real F- who i think, but dont know for sure, is still alive, (he was a few months ago ) I've seen him once very briefly since the divorce , 50 years ago , --but he is also well over 90 ..

This is the bit I am n most ashamed of.. There may be a potential legacy ..which if so, couldpartly my way as one of his only two children i'd like for my son, his grandson, .. Like I say I am really not proud of this stuff or these thoughts , but the resentment it goes deep , I suppose , ..

I am trying to make myself walk away and not ask questions,and not follow any of this through,.. I dont need his money ( though my struggling DS would).

Also my DM keeps talking about how great it is that sister is back, and how she wants us to be friends.. --but i also know that sister spent lots of time shouting down the phone at DM, over the years and how much it hurt her ..

Its Prodigal Daughter syndrome isnt it . I'm jealous arent i? But I do need to know how to cope.. and with dignity .. I've never fallen out with DM and always tried to be a good daughter .. but heck what does that mean? This is now affecting my relationship with my DM and DSD , but I dont know what to do ..

Unfortunately I am pretty sure that if i do ever see sister again it will be a my DMs funeral.

quicklydecides Wed 23-Nov-16 19:24:11

So your sister was ten when her mother left her and cut all contact?

Laska5772 Wed 23-Nov-16 19:24:37

I should point out that when my parents divorced (early 60s) the law of the land was that the father had custody of the children so my sister had to stay with him. .. I only went with my mother because i was a few weeks old, and the product of a brief reconciliation between them. ( my natural father had left for someone else long before) but still got automatic custody of his elder daughter

Laska5772 Wed 23-Nov-16 19:26:05

Yes Quickly, but it was another time, she wasnt allowed to contact her .. its a difficult one, and cruel, my DM has suffered about it ever since..

Laska5772 Wed 23-Nov-16 19:31:20

My father left my mother .. not the other way around, but he stiil in law had custody rightsand the house .. (the law was very different then)

OohhThatsMe Wed 23-Nov-16 19:32:46

I think you need to say to your mum that your sister did something so hurtful to you and your son that you find it easier not to be around her.

As far as your father's concerned, have you looked him up on the Births, Deaths and Marriages database? I'm not sure how long it takes for updates to take place on there.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 23-Nov-16 19:42:13

Gosh - that's hard

2 options:

1. Without going into upsetting detail (your mother is obviously very elderly), you can say that you just can't be in contact with your sister but respect your mother's wish to have a relationship with her; or

2. You grit your teeth and be civil to her on the odd ocassion that you chose to see her with your mother on the basis that it makes your mother happy and she is not likely to live much longer so these will be limited ocassions. However, obviously I don't know what she did to your son so this might be totally unfeasible

Laska5772 Wed 23-Nov-16 19:44:54

I think its a while before the BM&D are updated? .. But i dont know if thats the whole thing.. I dont want to know my real father , and id only want any 'share' for my DS.. ( and I am ashamed of those feelings)

Its more about the fact my parents now seem to have been so 'taken in' and that i am now the unreasonable one .. (see i am jealous arent i ? ) but I dont trust her as far as i could throw her either ...and I dont know quite what to do with these feelings..

BTW my DS is now in his mid 20s ( so you can see it was a while ago! but here has ben no contact at all until the last few months )

Laska5772 Wed 23-Nov-16 19:49:27

gobbolino i think you are right..

its my own (horrible) thoughts I am struggling with and my feeling of being not so nice and forgiving as i thought i was , I suppose. I am really not going to cause a scene and upset my DM..

What she did doesnt matter now, he was ok , (and there are too many Daily Fail reporters on MN for me to post it!!)

senua Wed 23-Nov-16 19:53:56

We had no contact with sister until adulthood when some contact was established back with my DM, but that didn't last more than a few years

Bite your tongue. She will show her true colours in time. Bide your time.

Lanaorana1 Wed 23-Nov-16 20:35:08

I think you're in an appalling position. You have every sympathy of mine.

I'd be livid if, after decades of hard family work, my sibling popped up and got the fatted calf treatment.

Especially if I knew she was no good to me as a sibling.

I'd be even crosser if there was money involved. I'd feel guilty, too. I think everyone would feel both those things, to be honest.

I don't have much time for the MNetters who come over all saintly in order to call anyone who thinks about family money an avaricious bitch, which they do reliably here.

Do you reckon you're cross because you suspect DSis has rolled up in time for the payout when your DM dies?

She might well have done. So what can you do about it?

1. Be polite and shut up
2. Make a scene
3. Be polite and see how things turn out - express your disquiet to other family (if there are) discreetly.

I would go 3 and see what happens. There may be no need to panic unnecessarily.

Laska5772 Wed 23-Nov-16 21:05:14

Lanaorana Thank you for your understanding.. Just writing it down has made me feel better .

I didnt say before, but there will be no inheritance for either or us from DM..but I dont know if she knows that ) and if there is any (it wouldnt be much anyway ) from DSD in the future it will all go to his son - my half brother .. and not me. Ive known that for a long time . -old fashioned family - primogenture i think its called, , its how things were done traditionally and they still follow it ) .If any money was to come my way it could only be from my natural father .. ( and like i said i dont know even if he is still alive and sister wouldnt tell me)

I have done option 3 so far , but am now keeping stum as much as i can

But its my internal struggles that are really getting to me . and i dont want this to take over my life.. also the fact that DM and DSD really do seem to be intimating that its me that is the unreasonable one and are now seeming to blaming me for upsetting the apple cart .. .

Believe me , I do want my mother to be reconciled to the horrible option she had to take in leaving her elder daughter .it must have been so dreadful . But I do also know that sister doesnt give her an easy time over it and really takes no quarter nor cares about upsetting her ..

I have tried to say to sister (or did when she used to accuse me of being the 'lucky' one.) that I also grew up without one of my parents ( and of course have never had the chnace to know him , as he has never wanted to know me, ) but I can see why this so doesnt go down to well as I had our Mother and she didnt .

But also thats not in any shape my fault .(she did have a DSM who I believe she got on well with. but of course losing ones Mother is a huge blow at any time of life and I am sorry for her in that )

I suppose its just shit , and ill have to suck it up..

Thanks.. writing down this stuff that ive been feeling so ashamed of has helped i think.. .
I am going to work on biting my lip.. and try and walk away from anything to do with my natural father.. because i do know that resentment could eat me up otherwise . I just need to keep strong..

RestlessTraveller Wed 23-Nov-16 22:57:54

I really feel for you here, like other people have said, just stand back, bite your tongue and hope she shows her true colours eventually. HOWEVER, forget about the money. Your do want to have anything to do with your birth father but want his money for your son who he had never met, that's crass and grabby. (But you know that really)

summerainbow Thu 24-Nov-16 00:32:10

Are you Scotland as they have laws about leaving money to children. That different to England and wales

mamakena Thu 24-Nov-16 02:12:32

I sympathize with you OP . I've also fallen out with my mother and sister not by my choice, and it's very painful.

I agree with above poster, that if possible just grit it out and be civil with your sister in front of mum, but otherwise just stay away. No need to beat yourself up over your perfectly natural feelings.

For your father I'd just search public records. There's nothing shameful about wanting an inheritance for your child if it's there.

MimiSunshine Thu 24-Nov-16 06:27:23

Try and grit your teeth if you don't want to upset your mother but to your sister I would say "I haven't forgotten about the time you did x to my son (specifically detail it) and I can't forgive you for it but I can be civil with you for the sake of our mother".

Make sure she knows you haven't brushed it under the carpet. And to be honest I'd either tell your mum the truth or at the very least that your sister did something unforgivable and say the same that you can be civil and you're not expecting her to take sides but please don't expect me to be her new best friend.

As for your dad could you ask your sister how he is front of your mum? If she's on golden child best behaviour she'd have to answer and if she says his well then you can say oh so he's still alive then, great you weren't sure how to find him and you like to see him.

Cricrichan Thu 24-Nov-16 07:44:13

I think you and your sisters are definitely the ones who have been wronged. Especially your sister. It must have had a massive effect on her to lose her mum at 10 years old! Far worse than you losing your father when you were a baby. She must have had a whole load of issues to deal with.

And must have been absolutely tragic for your mum to have had to give up her child. Be understanding that she wants her child back and I'm sure that it doesn't take away from her love for you, but that's many years of making up she has/wants to do. Just imagine if this happened to you and one of your kids was taken away from you.

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