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Toxic relationship with Dsis - I am blamed for her PND

(8 Posts)
chocoraisin Tue 18-Apr-17 09:07:39

Help me figure out what to do. My Older Dsis has sent me a letter to explain how grief stricken she is about my news that I am pg with DC3. My DP and I have had a negative reaction from everyone on my family side except my younger Dsis who was lovely. My parents have been incredibly negative too, choosing to point out how difficult and expensive it will be for me to have a child with DP, as if we are children ourselves with no sense whatsoever. My mum was SO negative she actually made me question for a moment whether I should keep the baby because she seemed so convinced I was making a horrible decision that would ruin my existing children's lives. I don't want to see her or my Dad at all right now as a result.

Dsis1 letter is really screwing with my head though. She suffered with PND with her second child which coincided with my marriage ending when I was also pg with my DC2 5 years ago. Back then I moved back to be close to our parents (I had nowhere else to go) She was a 4 hour drive away, living with her DH and eldest son. She didn't tell anyone that she was struggling for over 18 months, because she believed we were all too busy dealing with my marriage ending to be there for her. It's true there was a lot going on, but I have no idea how much support she would have had if we'd known - the point is, we didn't know, couldn't have known and had no opportunity to be supportive or not due to distance and lack of information.

Anyway the letter she sent me yesterday basically says that because she was unsupported through her PND, her relationship with her DH and kids was irreparably damaged and she will never get the third DC she desperately wants. So she wants to be happy for me, but isn't. And the strong suggestion is that if my life hadn't hit the skids when she had her DC2, she wouldn't have had PND so badly, she would have a better relationship with her whole family and would have the third child she wants but her DH (unsurprisingly) doesn't want. The tone of the letter places responsibility for all that firmly at my door, because I took all my parents attention when my marriage ended. I am finding it so hard to know what to say or do. She is raging angry about it, and doesn't see she had any part to play in asking for help or telling people she was suffering.

Part of me feels bad for her, but part of me is just sick of being blamed for the situation she's in and forced to view my own happy news through the lens of how damaging and upsetting my life is to her (again). I have apologised for not knowing about her PND, supported her through accessing counselling, listened to her and been present for her for the past 3 years... it's not like I haven't cared or done anything to help. But it seems like she holds me responsible for how bad her PND got simply because I was unavoidably up shit creek at the same time and had the confidence to ask for help when she didn't. I don't know how long I should feel guilty for that??

I could just ignore the letter totally. And maybe that's what I should do. But part of me just wants to tell her to go get stuffed - or get a therapist or do something (anything!) to take responsibility for her own happiness instead of shitting all over mine whenever she can, because she's still unhappy herself.

WWYD? AIBU to be this upset about it? I am ranting here so I don't rant to her tbh. Hoping by venting here I will get over how pissed off I am about it all.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Tue 18-Apr-17 09:24:31

Your second suggestion sounds good. Tell her to get stuffed, see a therapist and accept responsibility for her own life.
And hope she is letting your parents know the same message - they also didn't notice she was ill. ..
Congratulations BTW!!

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Tue 18-Apr-17 09:29:25

How horrid - of course it's not your fault that her relationship with her DH and DC was damaged. There could have been a whole host of reasons that made it impossible for your parents to not be able to help her at the time she needed it. Blaming and being angry with you is ludicrous and uncalled for.

Your DM's reaction to your news is also appalling - she should be thrilled for you not telling you that you are ruining your children's lives.

If it were me I'd probably ignore the letter and distance myself from both DM and big sis and concentrate my time and energy on lovely younger sis, my DH, my DC and looking after my unborn child.

Congratulations by the way - I've got two DC but always wanted a third.

chocoraisin Tue 18-Apr-17 09:38:22

thank you for the congratulations smile I feel better already for not bottling it up!! God it's so frustrating!!

ElspethFlashman Tue 18-Apr-17 09:49:17

Tbh despite how much you want to respond, it would be responding to an irrational person. So anything, and I mean anything you say will be further twisted to suit her narrative of The Bad Guy.

I would be giving all of them a very big swerve.

I would tear it up. And totally 100% ignore.

She has specifically chosen this time to kick you about this. She could have written that letter any time over the past 5 years. She's choosing to send it now, out of pure viciousness.

She believes she is being denied a 3rd child, so you may be pregnant with your third but she'll make damn sure she'll ruin it so that you feel no happiness at this time. She wants to literally ruin your pregnancy.

That kind of wickedness must get no oxygen.

Phoebefromfriends Tue 18-Apr-17 10:00:15

I wouldn't respond to be honest, she obviously still suffering and wants to blame someone for her situation, unfortunately you are that scapegoat. I've been a scapegoat in my family in a different situation and I just don't react but point out it was easier being angry with me than addressing the situation. I try really really hard not to judge others as we don't know what they are going through, but will protect myself from the fallout. obviously this third pg has stirred up her feelings and I would definitely not respond.

Regarding your DM she's probably just so worried about you after the last pg where you divorced and then your Dsis having PND. Obviously she's not communicating that and coming across as a total cow. Fear is a weird thing and people react differently.

Congratulations BTW

Isetan Tue 18-Apr-17 10:09:04

There are two issues here. Firstly, your older sis is being irrational. Secondly, why do your parents think you're too young and are their concerns rooted in them believing that they would have to disproportionately support you during another pregnancy?

chocoraisin Tue 18-Apr-17 11:09:12

I'm in my mid thirties so definitely not too young! It's a weird dynamic my DDad especially seems to insist on - his DDs will always be children in his eyes.

Today I'm financially stable and in a loving relationship. So I think my parents are maybe reacting to me moving on, they were very involved with my older DC as babies because I was newly on my own and had moved back to be close to them. Maybe they have mixed feelings, I don't know. I'm still geographically close to them now but need v little practically, definitely not a disproportionate amount of support. I'm gutted about the reaction but I will just keep my distance for now sad

I think the posts about Dsis still not being well are probably accurate. I have only read the letter once but will destroy it and not respond. Giving it to me only served her, it may have been cathartic I don't know. But I don't want to invite any more of that into my life now. Its not my problem to fix. It does hurt though.

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