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going NC with mum and sister(44 Posts)
This may be long - apologies in advance.
Today I had a very upsetting conversation with my mum and I think for once I really am done with it all. I just want to know whether I'm wrong to go NC, if it's too extreme and if maybe I am to blame.
I have a very volatile relationship with my sister. I'm 34 and she's 32. Since we were late teens, she's relied on me very heavily and my mum for emotional support. She doesnt have many close friends and has never had a proper long term healthy relationship.
In the last ten years, it's got too much and there have been points where we've not spoken at all but normally I cave in - often because my mum rings me asking me to call her and help her as she's so upset about something. But I'm not sure I can do it anymore. It's draining listening to her and I often end up as an emotional punch bag who she blames. She frequently says I'm not there enough for her, I'm selfish etc etc.
At the start of last year, pre-pandemic, I borrowed £20k from her to buy my own flat. Without her help, I absolutely could not have done it and I was very grateful. I agreed that I would try and pay her back this by the end of the year. For full disclosure, I'm self employed and my earnings in the last year have been very low. My sister is on excess of £100k.
Throughout last year she became increasingly agitated I wasnt listening to her problems enough and kept reminding me not to forget to pay her back by the end of the year. I mentioned that since Covid I have not earnt anything and was relying now on savings to pay my mortgage - she told me I should be cutting back on my one coffee I have each day when I go for a walk and swimming which was doing when the outdoor pools were open. These are literally my only outgoings.
In December, my mum called me and said I needed to pay her back. I took all my savings and did that but I said I was not interested in ever speaking to my sister again and I had had enough.
Since then my mum has twice called me asking me for things that my sister wants to know about, put her in touch with people etc.
I had asked my mum today if she could come and baby sit for me as I had a meeting with a potential client and she agreed. This morning she called with one hour to go and asked if I could take my child to the meeting. It turned out my sister and her had had an argument and she doesnt want to come. I felt very let down and said this - I then had my mum screaming on the phone. She called my dad all sorts of names, said she hoped my sister and I lost all our jobs and begged on the streets and wished we were dead.
I managed to get childcare and went to my meeting where I burst into tears.
Every time my mum or sister need something, they call. I've blocked their numbers now and I really feel like this is it. I just don't think I can come back from what my mum said. My mum said we've caused her so much upset and distress in her life. I said I hadn't relied on her for the last ten years and she said 'yes you havent. but I had to put up with you as a child doing your gcses and a levels and you caused me problems then.' Apart from the general teenage stuff, I never gave my mum any grief. Did well in my exams and went to oxbridge. I know she finds my sister hard work but I cant do this anymore and be there for either of them.
I'm so tired and upset. I just don't think I can do this anymore.
Then don’t. Go NC or LC with both of them
You don’t owe anything to either of them.
You paid your debt off and neither of them brings anything positive to your life.
It’s parent’s choice to deal with the offspring.
Sounds like whatever you do you’ll be the bad guy anyway so be a bad guy and cut the drama llamas from your life.
As for your sister- she’s at the age that should be perfectly able to manage her social life without asking her mother to call you.
Yyou’re right. There’s so coming back from somebody wishing you dead especially from somebody who’s supposed to love you unconditionally.
Your mother must be deeply disturbed person and your sister doesn’t seem to be coping in life either.
You don't have to justify it, and you don't have to be 'right'.
You just need to put yourself first because it's healthy to do so. Where that takes you, whether you go nc with them for a week or forever, is not important. Just learn to put yourself at the centre of your own life. Become whole. You deserve that.
Sorry for such a brief reply but that's the essence, for me.
I think I have to. I just feel incredibly depressed.
The other thing I should have said that makes me feel very worried, is my sister in on my mortgage and has a 10% share in the flat.
I wouldnt have been able to get a mortgage alone. She's never contributed to anything apart from the £20k which I've now repaid. I pay for all bills and mortgage payments etc.
It was understood that the 10% was a nominal gesture as I had to give her something on the mortgage. I'm now very worried that in time she will try and claim that 10%.
I might be worrying needlessly but it's there.
I feel so let down. My mum, when she called in December, told me I should never have borrowed money if I couldnt repay it or would struggle and that its my own fault.
Maybe it is. My sister still lives at home with her. She wants her to leave but she won't. I don't feel like I can parent for my mum or tell my sister what to do and my mum needs to take responsibility.
I feel so bereft and sad. I've been LC with both of them for years and my sister NC since December.
Well, playing Devil’s advocate here, if your dsis were posting she might say that she loaned her dsis £20k, the dsis didn’t pay it back in the timeframe agreed, and when the dsis did pay it back she now doesn’t want to speak to her. That may well be not the correct view, but maybe your dsis feels you only tolerate her for her money.
As for your dm, I’m sure she didn’t mean those things. It’s probably awful for her to be caught in the middle of bickering siblings and she lost it. I’d expect an apology and let her know how hurt you were, but NC sounds a bit drastic at this point.
No, I appreciate you playing devil's advocate.
I think that is exactly what my sister would say. The only difference being that I did pay it back in the time frame which was by the end of the year, December 31st. I paid her on the 5th december after my mum called reminding me and after I'd had enough of months of being reminded and told that if I had difficulties I should not swim or have a coffee.
But my sister would say I am ungrateful, that she helped me buy my flat which meant a lot to me and that in return I don't do anything and don't listen to her and am not there for her. I really have listened to her but she frequently calls up to 10x a day and can speak for 20 mins at a time with barely little interaction, it's just a rant you're expected to listen to. She sends draft emails to me I'm expected to proof read and 'make better' before she sends them to her bosses for promotion etc. I just don't want to do it.
Her saying this wasn't ok 'She called my dad all sorts of names, said she hoped my sister and I lost all our jobs and begged on the streets and wished we were dead.' Have you got good emotional support? Have you had any counselling? Your Mum sounds hideous and that is a horrible thing for a parent to say to a child. Don't just let that go.
Unfortunately my mum won't apologise. She never ever does. She said she wants to be buried without any of us there - she always says things like this - and that she'll never call me again. She said similar before but then calls a few months later when she's ill and needs something.
I feel very stressed about the fact I cried in front of a work person today. I really need work and I just did not come across well.
I've been in psychotherapy for 18 months. My next session is on Thursday. I feel like I've tried to get on with my life and do the best I can. My sister really resents that I have 'moved away' emotionally. I don't think my mum particularly cares tbh.
But I've been so depressed for years. I haven't worked much for the last year but I do go for long walks every day and the only people I interact with are the people in my coffee shop. I should go now but I just can't make myself move from the sofa.
My mum always goes on about how great her family was, how much she loves her parents and how she wishes she had never got married or had children. Growing up she would tell us not to have children if we wanted a good quality of life. Tbh it doesnt bother me that stuff. I feel like I'm used to it. But today, I really needed her to come and she let me down.
She came round a few weeks ago and I cried and showed her that I was in debt, my credit card company had reduced my credit and that I had borrowed money to stay afloat.
I just feel exhausted by it all. I honestly just wish I could go to bed and never wake up.
@upsetandtired I'm sorry you have experienced this but please heed my warning and accept you need to walk away. I am now 60. For the last forty years my youngest sister (now 56) has demanded that I parent her as an alternative mother - this is what your sister is doing to you. It's not an adult-adult relationship you have, it's a manipulative one where she uses the money she has to incur your feelings of indebtedness and guilt. I have nearly lost my sanity over my sisters behaviour and if it wasn't for DH being a very solid bloke I would have lost my marriage too. Eventually after a nightmare couple of years too horrific to detail here, she has been diagnosed with EUPD - the psychiatrists and therapists all agree that actually, me not standing up to her and insisting on adult to adult terms has actually prolonged the narcissistic behaviour which has in turn damaged me. So you are right to stop it now. I wish to God I had thirty years ago. You will benefit from therapy to help you talk it through, but you are definitely doing the right thing.
If it was not for my sister, I would not have been able to buy my flat though and that will always be held over my head. Also the fact she owns 10%.
I genuinely feel it would be better for me to disappear. It's the only way I could be free from everything.
Surely that ten percent should have been just until you paid the money back though no?
Do you feel safe OP? Are you at risk of harming yourself? Some of your language is concerning me. Can you take this post or your feelings about it to psychotherapy? 'My mum always goes on about how great her family was, how much she loves her parents and how she wishes she had never got married or had children. Growing up she would tell us not to have children if we wanted a good quality of life. Tbh it doesnt bother me that stuff.' It may not feel like you are bothered but it must have had some affect as the language you are using sounds self destructive. Please put in strong boundaries and take your feelings t therapy. Your Mum sounds horrible.
Thank you. I’m not at risk. I just have horrible chest pains and feel so depressed and panicky.
I know both my mum and sister are suffering too and I think sadly I’m probably the happiest out of all of us and that they hate that or mainly my sister does. But I just can’t see how I can make things better for them and they want me to and I can’t and don’t want to.
Someone said earlier, your sister may think you tolerate her only for her money. I’ve never asked for money from her before that one instance - but it’s true in a way that I only tolerate her because she’s my sister and not very well.
I am going to go NC with them but I feel so anxious because I know I can’t avoid tem forever. What about when my mum dies or they need something that I have to do or they have post for me.
I will go for a walk. I do normally feel better after that.
Just do it, you don't need to justify it to anyone but yourself.
But you do need to stop asking them for help. Borrowing the money, her being on the mortgage, your mum babysitting. It will all be held against you, and if you're going to go nc you can't expect them to help. What they have helped you with is a pretty big ask tbh
Yes it is a big ask, buying this flat was the one thing I have asked my sister for help for and without her I could not have done it.
My mum has never babysat before which is why I also found it quite upsetting.
I don’t plan on ever asking them for anything again. I think I just am fed up because in the past my ex husband has given my mum plenty of money, has helped my sister out with investing her money and told her what to do, helped her with jobs etc.
You poor thing- upset sighing families is really hurtful. I’d go/continue to go very very low contact for now and see how you feel in couple of months or so. If it makes you feel better you can go NC - no need to say anything formally to anyone. Hope you can feel better soon.
Time for self care xx
Go lower contact
Go shorter responses
Go slower responses
Dont give them anything to accuse you off right now.
Just try to be clear in your head what you wont be doing from now on. Like a manifesto.
You will know it's reasonable.
When you experience "false guilt" from not jumping through their hoops quickly like you did before, refer to what you have written down. ☘
Have you considered documenting (yourself) that the initial loan has been repaid in full to your sister on xxx date, and as agreed, by the end of the year xxx, and the 10% property value in your sisters name, reflecting her loan, now reverts back to you?
It would be worth you documenting this, you could say, “it’s to tidy up the documentation with your lender” or something.
You won’t want her to try and claim 10% of something that has hopefully gained in value a number of years down the line?
Oh upsetandtired, it would not be better for you to "just disappear". You inspire me to keep going when things are tough, because you have had it tough for such a long time now, and you are totally worn out by a couple of very selfish and narcissistic women, who unfortunately for you are related to you, and yet you have still managed to hold down your job (I am sure that the people at work are feeling nothing but empathy for you), and even bought yourself a flat!
I am pretty sure that your sister did not lend you the £20,000 out of the kindness of her heart - she would have to have one to do that - and I presume this was done as a private arrangement between the 2 of you (which I understand completely as the cost of a solicitor would have probably made it too expensive for you to borrow that money anyway)? I am assuming that you did it privately because I think you got a very bad deal out of it; one year to pay back £20,000 even without interest being added, would be a very tall order for most people, then add in the repercussions of Covid, and I think both your sister and mother behaved atrociously. I would also find it hard to understand how a solicitor would advise you to have your sister on the contract, giving her 10% I am not a lawyer, but if you didn't have a seperate contract drawn up between you and your sister, I doubt that she could force you to sell your flat, so that you could pay her, what is in reality, an exhorbitant interest on your original loan from her.
Having said that, once you have had enough time NC with them, and once you have been able to get back to your pre-Covid routine, I think that if you have no-one to stay in your present location for, then do think about whether you are happy with your job, and happy with the area you live in, and if you are not, maybe consider another part of the Country to move to, where you could get a job in whichever industry/service/market you are experienced in, or in a new one that you would like to try out. You may also be able to buy either a slightly cheaper flat in that area, or afford the same size if you get a larger salary; then you could pay your sister her 10% of the market value of your present property, and never have to think about either of them again.
Please keep on going to your therapy in the meantime, and tomorrow get back to that coffee shop, and have a lovely walk. Please be kind to yourself, you sound like a lovely and very caring person, I wish I could meet you at that coffee shop tomorrow, and go for a lovely walk with you, I would love you to be my friend. Oh and remember, whenever you are feeling down, the Samaritans are there to listen to you, and you don't have to be feeling desperate to ring them, they give their time because they want to help people just like you.
My bones are telling me that you are going to be fine once life gets more back to normal, and once you have been NC with your relatives for a while. Also, continue to post on here as much as you want to, I think that Mumsnet is a great resource, and has so many members, with such a wide variety of experience and knowledge xx
Look, it's good your mother isn't going to babysit. She is toxic, and you don't want that around your dcs.
Don't panic about any decision to not be in contact, try not to jump ahead to what happens when.... just for now enjoy being free of the bullshit, give yourself at least a break. I've lost count of the years I've now not been in contact with my toxic relative, but it's nearly 20 years I think. And yes, I occasionally worry about what will happen if or when the day arrives when I'm called upon, the person is dying or ill or I'm asked to step up in some way... but mostly I just enjoy being free of the hideous, abusive, ridiculous and unstoppable behaviour.
Good luck 💐
I think when the dysfunctional family realises you are becoming less enmeshed, they really "mob" you, to demonise you for going against the grain. This has happened to me too. Im also having psychotherapy and although i feel better in myself, my family of origin are angrier with me than they ever were. Good luck taking a step back and staying strong.
I agree with what everyone else has said OP but I do think you need to untangle yourself from her financial with the flat.
To me, she either invested the £20k into the flat and therefore owns a share in lieu of payment. Or she loaned you £20k and until repayment owned a 10% share which is now null and void as you have repaid?
You also mention she is on you mortgage? Have you got a mortgage with deeds as tenants in common with a share split?
I just think it's worth being very clear on where you stand financially with her.