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Sister has just had a hard birth, and I am glad

(123 Posts)
Blueskythinker Fri 09-May-08 22:19:36

I know I am a dreadful person. I am one of the ones who has a toxic sister. Without going into the details, she was really abusive to me when I had just had my DD, 3 years ago. She has spent the time since then slagging me off to anyone who will listen, I have spent it waiting for an apology.

She gave birth 2 days ago to her first child, prematurely, and had an emergency C section. Everyone else in my family is saying 'Oh poor XXX, what a hard time'. I just try to look neutral, but actually, I am glad she had a horrible time. The sad bitter part of me thinks that she will perhaps start to understand how difficult it is being a new mum, and she will maybe rethink her abusive behaviour towards me.

At what point do the people with toxic siblings become toxic themselves?

OracleInaCoracle Fri 09-May-08 22:22:30

wow, thats pretty harsh. i hope that she and the baby are ok. you could be the bigger person here and offer your sister some support, but it doesnt sound like you want to.

amytheearwaxbanisher Fri 09-May-08 22:23:58

why dont you try to be the better person instead of being so awful and spiteful?

OverMyDeadBody Fri 09-May-08 22:24:26

Some people never change Blueskythinker, no matter what they go through in life, BUT you can be the better person, rise above it, and not become toxic yourself. Bad feelings will only eat up inside you and effect you negatively, not your sister, so don't give her that control over your feelings.

Astrophe Fri 09-May-08 22:24:45

that sounds hard for you, hard for her. I guess you just want to vent huh?

Saturn74 Fri 09-May-08 22:25:33


brrrrmmmm Fri 09-May-08 22:26:07

That is very sad for you - can you distance yourself a bit, and ignore her? You know the old 'choose your friends ....'

Astrophe Fri 09-May-08 22:28:12

I really hope that the experience your sister has had does go some way to improving understanding between you.

May I sugest though, that if she is feeling ashamed of her behaviour towards you now, she will probably not 'approach' you first. Once you have calmed down a bit, do you thin you can find it in you to offer an olive branch first? Just a little baby gift and a kind word? If she is feeling sorry, she might be able to say it if she knows you are up for patching things up as well.

Good luck.

Spidermama Fri 09-May-08 22:29:55

Bluesky .... so much hurt and anger between you both. I think you'd benefit from talking this through with someone because you don't want to be carrying this around with you through life.

I'm so sorry. You're not a bad person but it's good you recognise that it's not ideal to be feeling this way and that something is deeply wrong. She has obviously hurt you badly somehow and you need some help to process the feelings.

Spidermama Fri 09-May-08 22:31:40

Also these things can so easily be passed onto the next generation if left unchecked. They probably came from the previous generation after all. It would be great to be the one to sort things out and stop them from being passed down the line.

Heated Fri 09-May-08 22:34:42

"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns all clean." Maya Angelou

You have a right to be angry but to be bitter only hurts you, as you yourself acknowledge in your last sentence.

And there is a new person to love in your life, your innocent niece or nephew, who may have a battle ahead if prem & who in years to come, may appreciate having a supportive aunt who'll listen to them.

WinkyWinkola Fri 09-May-08 22:39:07

I can understand why you feel this way. She now understands how you felt. As nobody can understand until they've gone through it themselves. She perhaps will think about all the things she's said about you since the difficult birth of your child... . . .. .except she probably won't.

She said all those things about you because she has huge issues with you. I don't know what they are but the underlying seam is probably jealousy.

Now she has had a hard time means that she is very vulnerable and believe it or not, more vulnerable than you were because she is already addled with insecurity and frailty.

You are not a bad person for feeling like you are glad she now knows how hard it can be. But this could be an opportunity for you two to be close and supportive? You could offer your unconditional support and an ear. A new mum would really really appreciate that.

But I don't know the full extent of your sibling history of course. The negativity could go back a long way... . . .But try to get something positive out of this.

soapbox Fri 09-May-08 22:41:42

Both of you sound as bad as each other - so I guess that means the toxidity has spread - or perhaps you were always as toxic as she was.

WinkyWinkola Fri 09-May-08 22:57:02

Yeah and why don't you bunch of harpies just add to the toxicity of the situation by attacking the OP?

Blueskythinker Sat 10-May-08 00:01:09

I know, I know, I am bitter and spiteful, and that is why I can't tell anyone in RL. I genuinely feel confused and upset by my depth of venom towards her - I think it is because she capitalised on such a vulnerable time for me to be so vicious towards me.

I have bought a pressie and card for her & the baby, but have been too scared to go round to her house, as her new husband has made it pretty clear to the rest of my family that he hates me (without having met me) due to my sister ranting on about me for the last 3 years. I suppose I could always post it.

I can never imagine getting over the hurt and betrayal I felt, so although I know I should offer an olive branch, it just feels impossible. sad

Tortington Sat 10-May-08 00:04:41

send the card and pressie then have no more to do with any of them

WinkyWinkola Sat 10-May-08 00:05:52

Why has she been ranting about you over the last few years?

Meanwhile, stay neutral in the family. Don't express your anger there. Not yet anyway. It's your sister's time for support right now.

Tortington Sat 10-May-08 00:10:06

why does she hate you

she is either a nutter to pick on you for no valid reason - or we are getting only a part of the real deal here.

spill it

BeachBunni Sat 10-May-08 00:11:03

Blueskythinker, as a mother who has had a premature birth, I believe your sister would would probably welcome your help and compassion right now. I'm not getting at you but nothing changes a person more than when their child is in trouble. You don't know how heartbreaking it is to see your baby in SCBU. Hand out the olive branch and if she doesn't take it , you're the better person. If she does, then you still are.

Blueskythinker Sat 10-May-08 00:15:07

Very briefly, I have supported my sister financially for several years - she lived with me rent & bill free for 6 months, then moved into a rental house I owned for 2 1/2 years, at a massively reduced rate - (didn't even cover the mortgage, but I didn't mind, out of family loyalty).

I helped her to buy a house, and she moved out of my rental house - and left it in a complete mess. I have been in property rental for 13 years, and have never had one of my properties left like this - it was horrendous. I phoned her and asked her if she could help me to clean it. My DD was a few weeks old, I had had a very traumatic birth, and had severe injuries from it. Instead she arrived at my house and screamed at me to go fuck myself. hmm

Since then, she has ranted at anyone who will listen about how dreadfully I behaved towards her. She is not above inventing complete lies in order to justify her dislike towards me.

Sorry, that wasn't brief at all!

MrsThierryHenry Sat 10-May-08 00:20:03

I've just re-read my rather long message below - I'm sorry if I sound like the bringer of doom, but I hope my words give you a useful perspective. Good luck - MrsTHxx


Wow, Blueskythinker. What a complicated situation. Why do you think she's been so awful to you in the past? Has there been a long-term problem between you which has never been resolved (i.e. something that started before you had a baby 3 yrs ago)? It sounds as though there may possibly be something which she's aware of, even if you're not. It's very rare that such animosity springs out of nowhere, and it's even possible that you may have done something innocently which may have hurt her a great deal.

As for your BIL, he sounds like a total moron. Is he totally incapable of independent thought? His responsibility (were he mature enough) is to play a conciliatory role - supporting his wife within reason, of course, but ultimately aiming to bring you both together for a thoughtful heart-to-heart. He deserves an almighty slap for inflaming the situation. I only hope his LO's don't learn from him.

Think about your life in 30 years' time. Children grown up and separated from their cousins because of silly bickering between their folks. Not only that, but your children will end up falling out with people they love and have no understanding of how to handle it maturely - because YOU chose not to teach them how to do it when you had a chance. Not only that, but imagine that you and your very own flesh-and-blood sister are STILL not on speaking terms 30 years on, and probably can't quite recall why. Is that really what you want for your lives?

At the moment you have the luxury of imagining your lives 30 years on. But what if you don't live that long? I have lost 3 members of my immediate family (we used to be 6) - two of them died aged 56 and 35. I can tell you now, hon, that when people die, that is it. No second chances. And no matter how pure the hatred you feel towards your sister today, if she passes away first, you will grieve and grieve and you will never be able to mend that relationship. I tell you this from personal experience.

I also had a very difficult birth 17 months ago, which left me in lots of pain for the first nine months. In a couple of weeks I'll be having an op which I hope will finally sort me out for good. My body has been such a source of stress and trauma for me as a result of that birth, and if I'd had a sister (only brothers, no mum around anymore either) who had come around and given me any kind of support it would have meant the world to me.

I hope you can see now that this is not just a straightforward falling out between two people, but an intense and complex situation which can potentially have a lasting impact - for good or bad - on you, your sister and even your own children. I know things have been AWFUL and in one sense why on earth should you be the one to make the first move? But on the other hand - what an opportunity. Are you really going to let it slip by?

Blueskythinker Sat 10-May-08 00:26:41

Thank you. I have tears in my eyes.

BeachBunni Sat 10-May-08 00:29:14

First of all - is she the younger sister because she sounds very immature? I've put up my own younger sister sometimes, even though we fought like cat and dog, out of family loyalty although she's never been so disrespectful as your sister sounds.
Has she child before you did? Maybe she didn't know how hard the birth is on a mother and being silly and immature, screamed at you (but I'm sure she'd understand now). I can honestly see how you might feel like she's got her comeuppance but you have to realise that there's a little baby at the centre of this. No matter how badly your sister has acted towards to you, she loves that baby so strongly and needs every bit of support she can get.
That's my two-pence worth anyway. I wish you all the best..

MrsThierryHenry Sat 10-May-08 00:39:03

Bluesky, I feel like I came down really hard on you - I'm sorry! I just believe it's SO important for families to go the extra 1000 miles to keep their relationships strong. Having said that, I should probably call my brothers as it's been a while...blush blush

I had a thought - as there's clearly a huge fortress between you. How about taking a leaf out of the book of whoever got the Northern Ireland discussions going? They took politicians from both sides on a golfing trip, and banned them from discussing anything political all weekend. As a result they got to know each other and realised that they had things in common, they were actually jolly nice chaps, etc etc.

Is there some way you could do your own version of this? I think the key is to make it an activity of some sort so there's a talking point and you're occupied doing or making something. I realise that this is very
difficult with your sister's baby in SCBU, but it could be something simple that you could do indoors. The suggestion will certainly surprise her, and though she may make excuses at first, hopefully she'll (eventually) agree.

Whatever you do I send you lots of blessings and good karma and I really hope and pray that you both learn to appreciate each other soon.


Blueskythinker Sat 10-May-08 00:44:44

Oh the irony - we are in NI!

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