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Sibling rivalry - but I'm 33! ( sorry a bit long)

13 replies

AnnaK · 24/10/2005 20:09

I know I am being ridiculous but...
My younger (3 years) sister and I haven't been friends for years and even stopped speaking for 2 years when she named her daughter Eleanor Kay (I had said previously I wanted to name my daughter Eleni May!). We only made up because our parents were in pieces about it.
Anyway, it recently came to a head again when I rang her to tell her I was engaged and her first response was 'Well, of course I'm going to bring a baby to your wedding' before she managed to get a 'congratulations' out. My mum wanted to know why I had suddenly gone cold on her again and I said I was fed up with her trying to hijack my one special day, as she had always tried to do! My mum repsonded that she could think of several occasions when she hadn't 'outshone' me and on further questioning eventually came up with my graduation ceremonies. I replied 'But she wasn't even THERE!'
I think my mum began to understand that there might be an issue and she did extremely well as I turned into the standard bridezilla. (My sister ended up 7 month preg and very unattractive at the wedding in the end!).
Anyway, after she married she made a big thing about wanting to spend Christmas with her husband and her new family and since then she has done so except a couple of years ago when she invited our parents to go down to stay with them. Our parents accepted even though I had already arranged to have them to our house because 'she was depressed'.
This year we had the standard thing arranged, me dh, and MIL all go to my parents along with the neighbour whose husband died on Christmas day some years ago. Now sis announces she wants to come and join us. I am absolutely ripped apart my jeaousy that she is going to ruin Christmas by being there. (The last Christmas we spent together 8 years ago we actually came to blows!) Her opinions drive me insane (if you can't afford to stay at home then you shouldn't have children; an old couple shouldn't be allowed to move into a family home because there is a shortage of family homes in her area; women who wear makeup are prostitutes; etc.). How am I going to survive Christmas with her, her dp and her annoying older child and brand new younger one? My ds is stressful enough, much though I love him.
Oh, I am pg, so some of this ridiculousness can be blamed on hormones, but certainly not all.
Btw, she has recently admitted that when she thought I was getting too much attention when we were little (eg I had a good school report) she would go and play with a cat and end up in hospital the next day with severe asthma and thus get the attention back!
Please, advice, sympathy, a knock round the head to not be so stupid, any help gratefully received...

OP posts:
moondog · 24/10/2005 20:12

Think you sound as bad as each other tbh....

Life is too short.

HRHQoQ · 24/10/2005 20:13

was thinking along the same lines as Moondog........

shimmy21 · 24/10/2005 20:25

your poor mother

bsg · 24/10/2005 20:35

I understand, had the same probs with my sister. Not exactly but a real jealousy thing on her part. We get on really well now but that was only when she fell pregnant. Thats when we both realised that life is too short. Everyone always says that you can choose your friends but you cant choose your family. Just think about how you would feel if something were to happen and you were not speaking. Try to be pleasant enjoy your day and rise about the comments she makes. You will feel better if you enjoy yourself and she hasnt ruined anything for you. Babbling a bit already had a few glasses of wine with dinner!!!!!

Phaedria · 25/10/2005 10:47

I understand how you feel( no I really do - very similar situation with my brother), but my advice may not be what you want to hear

You will never be at peace with this whilst it bugs you like this - why does it all matter so much now ? My guess is there are huge unresoleved issues from the past that you need to work on. Find yourself a great counsellor and work hard at gaining peace of mind from this. The opposite of love is not hate - thats a strong emotion too, but indifference. you need to get to the point where she cannot hurt you/upset you any more. That way you win every time

Best wishes

LucyJones · 25/10/2005 10:51

I think it's reasonable of your mother to want to see both her daughters at Christmas. It's such a short time and only once a year. However if you feel so strongly about having a miserable time then perhaps you should ahve a quiet Christmas at home and let them get on with it this year

Enid · 25/10/2005 10:53

Think of your mum and stop being so childish.

teeavee · 25/10/2005 10:57

bl*y Christmas again! drags up all those petty jealousies/familr rivalries...

But you really need to learn to rise above such pettiness. Go for a walk with the kids, spend time doing stuff that eeryone will wnjoy so that her company is 'diluted', then Christmas won't be as much of a PITA.

QueenVictoria · 25/10/2005 11:02

I have to agree with moondog you do seem to have a lot of tit for tat going on and i wonder why you both havent grown out of it. Perhaps counselling is the way to go like phaedria said.

The one good thing and best thing you can do is to start to try and rise above it. You should be happy with your own family and achievements and stop measuring it with what your sister is doing/trying to do.

Your parents seem like they are proud of you both and i dont know what they must think about all this. It must be very upsetting for them.

Perhaps she does have to opinions that are a bit wide of the mark but she is entitled to them as much as you. I would suggest avoiding hot topics on the day or changing the subject, going to the bathroom (pg women need to lots so you have plenty of excuses to allow things to cool down if it gets heated).

Hope it works out for you.

miam · 25/10/2005 11:14

Heed the advice my wise old mother gives us squabbling siblings - It takes two to make an argument.

I do know how you feel though - there has always been friction between my older sister and I, and being in our 30s hasn't stopped that friction. We will never be firm friends but now try to tolerate one another if we have to spend time together.

Don't give her the pleasure of seeing she is getting to you - she seems to be deliberately trying to get a reaction. Don't give her the satisfaction. Be the one who is big enough to stop the arguments from starting.

QueenVictoria · 25/10/2005 11:15

You never know - she might start to compete with your being nice and calm and it will work out all round!

prettyfly1 · 25/10/2005 17:05

ok, yes you do sound like there are some major issues but i am not sure it is jealousy. it sounds more like a case of "you cant pick your friends". however you do sound like a reasonable person and it obviously means a lot to your family, who sound lovely to have you all together. my advise is be the grown up. smile, grit your teeth and count to ten regardless of how hard it is or how provoked you are. at the very least you can walk away feeling smug at how mature and reasonable you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! good luck

AnnaK · 26/10/2005 13:44

To those that say I am being childish - yes I am. But it is very difficult to not be when being in thier mere presence sets your teeth on edge. As to life being too short mmm too short to be put through the wringer every time we have to spend time together. I was never happier than when we weren't speaking - you can't choose family etc.
Sorry, getting irrational again.
Yes, my poor parents, I do feel for them and that is why I have decided (after many stupid tears) that I will grin and bear it this year but will have Christmas at home in future and my parents have the choice of where to go. We have less of a say this year because my unwell grandmother celebrates her 90th birthday on 24th Dec but next year it's at my house house.
Thank you for the support, those of you who were supportive, it may seem silly to those who haven't experienced it, but it is very real to those of us who have.

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