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Separated sisters

(11 Posts)
ElenorRigby Tue 05-Feb-13 15:39:28

DP and I have been together nearly 7 years. DSD was just 3 when we got together, now 10.
DD is 5 1/2. DSD and DD have no other siblings. They are very, very close.

DD has developed issues over being regularly separated from her sister. She cannot understand why she sees her so little (EOW/ 1/2 holidays) She counts the days until she sees her again. When DSD leaves on Monday mornings it's not uncommon for DD to have a meltdown. On Monday for example I got a call from school that DD was very distressed, had locked herself in the toilets screaming and crying. I had to go get her screaming and crying from the school, bring her home, calm her down and talk to her. Eventually she said it was because she wanted DSD and me. sad

DSD's mother has done really disruptive, horrid things they worst of which was to make false allegations against DP. This resulted in DSD and DD not seeing each other for 4 months. It also resulted in police and social services trampling through our lives, around 10 family court sessions over 6 months. It made both me and DP ill also. I was off work for 6 months with stress and DP 5 months.

I have always done everything possible to promote the sisters relationship whereas DSD's mother clearly does not value the close relationship they have.

Recently DSD was in tears telling DP that her mother was planning to move away when she went to secondary school.

I feel Im facilitating and observing a slow motion tragedy. I have been thinking what have I done to promote this close relationship when DSD's mother doesnt give a toss about it.
Both of the girls are being hurt and there's not a damn thing I can do to stop it.

I cant see anyone to help them. The courts dont give rats ass about half siblings. When we were last in family court 2 1/2 year old DD was barely on their radar. They didnt give a shit about her crying for her sister, they ddnt give a shit DSD even had a sister.

I dont know why Im writing this, I just feel really really sad and helpless.

Any words of wisdom? please

Stepmooster Wed 06-Feb-13 05:31:39

Hi ER, I just wanted to reply to you and give you a big big hug. It does seem like a really awful situation. My DD is 7 months and I worry now what she will be like when she starts missing her brother. It is one of the reasons why I am pregnant again, so she is not alone. I know that is an extreme measure and is probably not a suitable answer to your situation.

I wonder if your DD is picking up on the mood in your home? It doesn't sound like its been much fun for any of you. Are you and DP anxious when DSD leaves? Do you just wait to do the fun things when DSD is there or do you do activities with just DD as well? I am just thinking about a conversation I had with DH about how we can't just go out on family days when DSS is here and likewise we have to have boring chore days when he is here too.

Maybe you could try to distract her? Have her friends over after school? After school clubs? Lots of chances to play with other kids?

I'm not an expert and maybe someone much more knowledgeable on the matter will be able to recommend some literature.

Best of luck xxx

ElenorRigby Wed 06-Feb-13 09:01:46

Im the only one working at the moment so Im afraid paying for all activities has been cut to minimum. My working days are often long 7am to 6pm so having children round isnt an option either.
I took 2 depression tests recently (Edinburgh and Goldberg) and scored very high, the Goldberg test was over 70 as I recall. I cant do much about that I have to keep going. I cant take time off work as Im afraid Ill loose my job.
DP is also v depressed on Ad's.
I try to stay upbeat for DD but I guess she does pick up on mummy being sad.
Sorry I cant think of anything more positive sad

ElenorRigby Wed 06-Feb-13 09:04:37

Silly me, thanks so much for your thoughts and the hug xxx

Stepmooster Wed 06-Feb-13 18:36:14

Hi ER, I know how hard it is to try and come to terms with a situation beyond your control, when the person causing all the hurt is acting unreasonably and irresponsibly. There is nothing you can do but somehow you and your DP need to do something to improve your mental health.
A distracted mind can prevent you/your DD/your DP from dwelling too much.

If your DP is not working could he take your DD to the park after school?

At weekends we go for walks in the woods, if its not raining. We sometimes have hot soup with us and also go feed ducks. Getting out for some fresh air can really help.

Maybe your DD could get a pet? Something cheap like a goldfish or hamster?

I'm sorry if my advice is not much good. X

ElenorRigby Wed 06-Feb-13 18:45:38

Thanks so much your thoughts! xxx
Also having just one person who cares really helps.
Thanks again x

Piecesofmyheart Wed 06-Feb-13 23:20:57

I winder be helpful if you could stop placing responsibility for this on Exs shoulders. I would suggest that Dds behaviour is more likely down to the fact that she is living with 2 depressed parents, her half sister breezes in like a breath of fresh air and then has to go home again. I know what living with depression is like. Do you think that in general the whole mood in the house is a bit more upbeat and positive on contact weekends ?
What help and support are you both getting with your illnesses in terms if medical input and counselling ? Is after schools club a couple of days a week an option for DD to give her a bit more peer company ?
Could you agree with DP that you set a goal to arrange a play date for DD in a few weeks time so that she can show off her room and toys etc to a friend ? If she has that to look gorward to a few days after her half sister goes home then it may not be as difficult for her.

Xalla Thu 07-Feb-13 07:00:49

I think we had something similar happening once - my DSD would leave to go back to her Mums and the whole dynamic of the house would change esp for my DS (3 years younger than DSD) who would lose his playmate. I worried about it a lot and still do sometimes.

Thing have improved since a) our DD arrived so DS always has a sibling here, b) since DS (now 4) started school and developed a social life of his own. He does plenty of things without DSD - after-school activities, birthday parties, playdates etc and so he has his own life independent of his half-sister just like she does when she goes back to her Mum's house. Finally c) my DH managed to achieve 50/50 contact so because DSD is coming and going more frequently, her arrivals and departures are less of a big deal for everyone.

I'd echo what's already been said above about trying to improve your DD's quality of life when DSD isn't with you. Walks, pets, crafts, out of school activities etc are all good ideas.

Try and let go of the situation around your DSD and her Mum being so difficult - it's out of your hands - and concentrate on what you can change.

Big hugs, I really feel for you and your little girl. This stuff can be really tough.

flurp Thu 07-Feb-13 12:02:38

I agree with Pieces. You can't change the ex wife's behaviour or attitude but you can change how you react to her. Hasn't she done enough damage to your family without you letting her actions affect your DD.
Unfortunately your DD is going to have to accept that she only sees DSD every other weekend. It's great that she looks forward to seeing her but its not healthy to have meltdowns in between.
Does her school have a counsellor that she can talk to? I think locking herself in the loo screaming is not good and is something that needs to be addressed professionally.

purpleroses Thu 07-Feb-13 13:12:56

Your poor DD. It's sad. My DCs are in similar position where likely going to lose all contact with their half-brother (my ex's 1 year old) as ex is splitting with his DW who's likely to move back to her home country a very long way away sad

Unlike your DP's ex, I have always supported their relationship with their little brother, but do wonder whether we're wrong to use words like "brother" and "sister" when they're in fact only half siblings. I've started refering to him as their half brother lately. Whether we like it or not, half-siblings aren't the same as full ones in that they have one parent different, so you can't be sure they'll always be living together, so it is a worry if they get attached and then forced apart.

I'd second the suggestion to help your DD to develop close friends away from DSD. Even if all works out well with DSD she's quite likely to reject your DD's company in a few years anyway, as she'll move on to teenagery things. (my 15 year old DSD wants absolutely nothing to do with her 12 year old Dsis) So much better if your DD finds some close friends that she can get when she needs from. You can always do playdates at the weekend if you can't do an afterschool. Does she have any cousins, or children of friends of yours who could be honary cousins?

Labro Fri 15-Feb-13 04:45:16

It feels like from your post that all of you have had a lot to deal with recently. For your dd, she may benefit if CAMHS get involved as it reads like she is going through some seperation anxiety, she will also have picked up the conversation that your dsd may be moving away. I'm a bit on the 'other side' my ex remarried when ds was 4 to a lady with 12 & 13 yr old girls, they very much pushed the 'we are family' and ds became very close to the older girl. Then, at 16, she had personal difficulties and moved out of their home very suddenly. Ex didn't bother to tell me, I just had a completely devastated 7 yr old to deal with. He hasn't seen the girl in 4 years. Somehow, when in a blended family like this, you have to focus on your part of the unit, develop your dd's life as if she were an only child almost so that she can enjoy the friendship with dsd, as others have said, with a 5 year age gap, regardless of anything her mother does or doesn't do, the dsd will start to develop faster than your dd, they will have a bond, but it will change and your family unit needs to be able to bend with the change. With you and your partner both ill, enlist the help of your dd school so that she can link up with children in her peer group, perhaps there is a rainbow guides group or similar.

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