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Am I really that bad? My sister was feeling a bit rubbish this morning so I messaged her back
106

HacketteofHacks · 05/07/2022 10:43

My DS is three years younger than me. As background she's divorced has older teenage children.
When we were little - our parents divorced - I was 7/8 and she can't really remember living with our DD.
Anyway as I grew up - I was the studious quiet one, not perfect but I basically blamed myself for my parent's divorce so grew up thinking I was a bad person somehow.
I think my family latched on to that.My sister who grew taller than me, did bully me - but I just go on with my school studies (I loved school and I played the flute). I ended up spending a lot of energy studying and did A levels and went to university. I did have a lot of friends who I'm friends with now (I'm in my early 50s).
Anyway my sister dropped out of her A levels and basically didn't work for a few years, although she didn't not work entirely my parents had a pub and she earned money that way. Living in the pub.
I think she still resents me,. I have tried so hard with her. When she was pregnant with her youngest I was still single - in fact I had just split up with the BF who I later got back together and married. We were at some party and she basically screamed at me in the toilet for being irresponsible and living a free life. I say that but I was doing really well in my career and saving up to buy a home.
Fast forward today. I have two DC myself 10 and 13. Am married - bought my house (we had help from in laws but I had £50k worth of debt a few years which I paid off so we could we could get a mortgage).
I get a WhatsApp from my sister saying she's fed up of worrying about money and her health. Now she's been told a few times to lose weight by her GP, she's got a fatty liver. She also still rents (although my DH and I were thinking about taking out a loan to help her get on the property ladder - she's 49 and she has got a good job that to be honest nowadays they would insist on a degree but she's bright).
I say 'oh for goodness sake, you are always coming back to this'. I tell her 'pick one thing and try and do something today that makes you feel better'.
She did have help from the GP to lose weight and went on a liquid diet but lost some weight then gave it up.
So she starts messaging me back ' you're saying I'm bad'. I said 'no I just want to help' 'I've been there'.
I then get messages telling me I'm toxic and I don't support her. She's called her GP in tears and said the only help she gets is from our mum and that I've been mean to her...
Now surely doesn't she realise that she's projected all her own personal woes on to me - who has - maybe clumsily - only tried to help.
Surely if someone in your family goes on and on for years about the same problems but does nothing about it.. Wouldn't you feel you have to say something?
My mother then ploughed in and told me I'm judgemental and toxic too.
When I went to university every holiday I would get told by my family I was up myself and thought I was better than them.
I don't think this but how can I move my family forward.
Or am I bad?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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BogRollBOGOF · 05/07/2022 11:33

You can't fix people who don't want to fix themselves. Sometimes advice can nudge someone who wants to move on and just needs a bit of encouragement to unstick themselves, sometimes a theraputic rant is enough to blow off steam and move on. However people who scapegoat others and do nothing but whinge are not going anywhere.

Do not compromise yourself by taking out a loan, it won't be appreciated and solve the relationship long term.

Don't get sucked in to her emotions. Create an emotional space around yourself. Let her rant without feeling it. Make a few sympathetic noises but recognise it's her life for her to sort out if she wants to, and she's got to a "mature" stage of adulthood without much inclination to do so and is unlikely to change. It's your reaction that can be changed so she's not draining you.

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Arenanewbie · 05/07/2022 11:35

Don’t borrow money for her - it’s the best help you can give her.
your message wasn’t nice tbh so I can see why she’s upset.
next time just listen her moan with supportive sounds, her GP will do the honest input.

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Hadjab · 05/07/2022 11:35

MiniPiccolo · 05/07/2022 11:06

How can anyone even understand what this says? It reads like OP is drunk.

Or were you drunk when you read it, as it makes perfect sense to everyone else...

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howdoesatoastermaketoast · 05/07/2022 11:38

she's almost 50 what help precisely does she expect?

I'll tell you what I imagine your therapist might have already told you. Your mum and sister are not your problem to fix. Their problems are their problems, their issues (and they sound manifold) are their issues. You say you've had some therapy in conversations with your sister (for as much or little time as you wish to spend emotionally supporting people who do not seem inclined to return the favour) channel that kind of tone and response "yes" "a-ha" "umm I see" "and how does that make you feel?" The conversations go way better, relative hangs up feeling basically really happy and by giving them nothing personal / "of" yourself (other than the time) you don't feel as rough afterwards.

Do not take out a loan for your sister, supporting her financially is not your responsibility and before you know it you'll need your cash to worry about driving lessons / cars / uni / deposits (for rented flats if not ftb) / weddings. I thought little kids were terrifyingly expensive until I had big kids to worry about.

Good luck and best wishes

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Fushiadreams · 05/07/2022 11:39

Well you weren’t exactly kind or empathetic in your response

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Pinkdelight3 · 05/07/2022 11:41

I think it's a tough one to judge. You're in your 50s and framing this with stuff from your childhood and teenage years, and of course its through your filter, and we would all tell our stories with us as the misunderstood good sister and so Dsis can come across as a nightmare even if you don't intend it. You highlight the good stuff you've done and the bad stuff she's done, but over 50 years, we could all be framed either way. It doesn't sound like a full on toxic family situation, more of a sisters who are different situation.

The bottom line is she was feeling rubbish, messaged you for a moan and you were short with her and now you're both feeling rubbish. Rather than dig into the whole history as if there's some hidden solution, can't you just chalk it up to who she is and who you are and not expect her to change? Therefore don't give her any money, but also don't think she's going to find an arsy text helpful like it'll jolt her into action. She's never going to be like you. Accept her for who she is and engage as much or as little as you can handle. But don't start conflict or you'll get more conflict.

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blubberyboo · 05/07/2022 11:46

Don’t lend her money as it sounds like she will only resent you for it or throw it back in your face. She will just use it to say you are better than her because she won’t like being indebted to you.

she loves misery so will never change. I suspect she gets that victim misery trait from your mother. You are different as you are a go getter and they resent that about you.

Step back a bit and just have a bank of generic soothing messages to reply to every time she has a moan. Otherwise get on and have a fabulous life with your own DH. You have both worked hard and deserve to borrow money to spend on things for yourselves, not her.

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AnnandJane · 05/07/2022 11:47

This has been deleted by MNHQ for breaking our Talk Guidelines.

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RaspberryChouxBuns · 05/07/2022 11:49

You don't owe this woman anything OP, even if she is your sister. We are all the sum total of our choices, even if we make bad decisions we can come back from them. She is looking for someone to blame because it's easier to be a victim than to take responsibility for her life.

I know it's hard because you don't want to see her slip under water so to speak but you need to go low contact with her, if not no contact, for the sake of preserving your own mental health. No loans, no advice, nothing. What does she add to your life? The relationship isn't equal and at the very least you deserve respect.

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RitaFires · 05/07/2022 11:52

Honestly it sounds like you need to disengage from her more. You can't make her change and you're not responsible for her unhappiness. Don't give her money unless you enjoy throwing money away and being shouted at because she will find fault with everything you do for her.

Maybe have more counselling because the way you instantly defend her when people criticise her behaviour shows that you're still overcome by Fear, Obligation and Guilt.

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Pinkdelight3 · 05/07/2022 11:54

I would get told by my family I was up myself and thought I was better than them.

Well, to be fair, some of this does come through in your post - how she only worked in your parents' pub, she's renting, she's divorced, she's overweight, she doesn't have the degree she 'to be honest' should have to do her job, she hasn't sorted herself out with therapy like you have. So you've done it all right and she's fucked it all up. You "could be brutal", but deign not to be because that would make you like them - but maybe they still feel it and maybe it comes across.

I'm not saying you're wrong to feel any of this and families are complicated, none of it means you don't love them or have the same amount of your own stresses to deal with. It's just something to note while you're listing her wrongs and feeling like you ought to be able fix your family and 'move them forward'. This is who they are. They're not going to get a degree, get therapy, lose weight, get a mortgage and be like you. Even if they did, they're certainly not going to be grateful to you for it and say how you right you were. She just wants a moan. Listen and sympathise or be too busy and disengage. You aren't bad. No one is. We're generally all doing our best in the moment, even if it's not very good.

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Choopi · 05/07/2022 11:54

Sometimes people don't want you to solve their problems, they just need someone to listen. They don't want advice, they just need someone to show that they care. You didn't really show that you care and you didn't listen. You just dove in with 'oh for goodness sake, this again.'

If you don't want to listen and you don't want to show that you care you don't have to. You aren't obligated to like your sister. In that interaction though she didn't get what she needed which made her feel bad.

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ShahRukhKhan · 05/07/2022 11:54

It does sound annoying but she was never going to react well to what you said.

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IncompleteSenten · 05/07/2022 11:56

Why are you still trying?

You're treated like shit and you keep going back for more.

I promise you that you will never get what you are looking for. No matter how much you try to buy it with your time, support and cash.

I've been there. Basically begging in every way to be loved. Thinking every time that this might finally be the thing I can do that will make them love me.

I can tell you now that you could bankrupt yourself for her, move in and be her 24/7 support puppy and she would still hate you and treat you like shit.

You don't have the family you should have had. You don't have the family every child is entitled to have.

You cannot be truly happy with yourself until you accept that and understand that it is not and never was within your control. It's not your fault. Nothing you can give will change anything.

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Riverlee · 05/07/2022 11:59

I don’t think the ‘Oh goodness sake’ comment was very nice, although the ‘pick one thing’ was more constructive. I guess you’re just fed up of her moaning.

Do Not loan her the money!! She’s almost 50. You say she has a good job. If she planned and saved better, she would have easily got a deposit together by now. Mortgages are traditionally 25 years long. Do you still see her working and able to pay a mortgage back when she’s 75?

”I don't think this but how can I move my family forward.”
Tbh, time to take a step backwards. It’s good you care, but they’re not your responsibility. They’re all fully functioning adults, and responsible for their own lives. Concentrate on your own family, and stop trying to be a crutch for them.

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FarFarFarAndAway · 05/07/2022 11:59

You aren't really 'bad' and you need to just let that go.

Could you have been more sympathetic? Yes. I would take a step back and stop trying to fix your sister or her problems. Just distance yourself a bit and reply 'sounds tough' or something neutral 'how frustating'.

Don't take the loan out, as everyone else has said. Just absolutely no under any circumstances.

Be more neutral and less involved with them. Same with mum. Just move away from people who drag you into this kind of silly petty shit aged in their 50s!

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SailingNotSurfing · 05/07/2022 12:02

Distance yourself from her and your mum and stop trying to rescue your sister. She's an adult, she has responsibility for her own life.

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LookItsMeAgain · 05/07/2022 12:03

SleeplessInEngland · 05/07/2022 10:45

Your sister and mum both sound like fucking nightmares.

Massively this.

Please do not take out a loan of any sort in order to get her on the property ladder. You did it your way, let her do it hers. So what if she rents? 1000's of people rent. Some spend their whole lives in rented accommodation.

As for the rest of it. She resents you and your success. She sees it as the success she never had or will probably never have. That's not your fault or your problem to resolve. Only she can do that by doing something herself about it.

At this point, I'd be cutting back on any and all communications to and from her. She isn't adding anything positive (based on your post above) to your lives. I'd also consider going very low contact with your mother at the same time.

What they see as their failings in life are not your issues to resolve. They may be family but family pulls together and doesn't begrudge family whatever successes they have in their lives.

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Herejustforthisone · 05/07/2022 12:03

Your family sound like a bunch of nasty, bullying cunts. You don’t need any of them.

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Twinsmummy1812 · 05/07/2022 12:07

Some people are so blindingly unaware and/or self obsessed that they have no idea of the impact on others around them. Your sister sounds like that. Has she ever said thank you for listening or sorry I’ve been hard work? I bet not. They give out as much shit (sorry) as they like and if you dare respond with anything but sympathy then they have a new focus for their misery - you!

she’ll get over it but honestly if my mum and sister unjustly called me toxic I would be backing well off from both of them.

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justfiveminutes · 05/07/2022 12:11

" 'oh for goodness sake, you are always coming back to this'."

Tbf, this isn't helpful or supportive in any way. She messages to say that she is worried about her health and money, and this is your first response? Even if it's true, even if you're fed up of hearing about it, it's mean.

And there is some truth in your mum calling you judgmental too surely? That is a pretty clear judgment from you.

Obviously, there's a lot of context and history, and they might be awful and you might be lovely, but on this one occasion I do think you could have done better.

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Viviennemary · 05/07/2022 12:15

She is jealous. Certainly don't take out a loan to help her to buy a house.

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TheVanguardSix · 05/07/2022 12:16

You're sister's life is a bit of a mess.
You're a bit resentful and condescending.
Step back and just be there, from a distance.
Sweep your side of the street.
Don't have expectations.
Don't take out a loan for her.

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BrightYellowDaffodil · 05/07/2022 12:19

adorablecat · 05/07/2022 11:24

how can I move my family forward

I don't think you can, but you can stop letting them make their problems yours.

I completely agree with this. Sometimes families can be very damaging to someone who doesn’t fit in with the overall dynamic, and it sucks to feel different.

Ultimately you can’t fix them or change them, you can only create some distance where they are at arm’s length to maintain the relationship without friction. Neutral behaviour is the key; neutral comments and not getting sucked into the problems.

Absolutely do NOT take out a loan for your sister.

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ILikeHotWaterBottles · 05/07/2022 12:25

Leave her to it. She doesn't want help, she wants a moan. Just nod and agree and think about Chris Hemsworth while she prattles on.

And do not give her money for a house. She doesn't deserve it and you'll never get it back.

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