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#344033 - 09/26/07 06:39 AM Good adult sibling relationships
Erika - Siblings Offline
Amoeba

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 68
Loc: Kearney, NE
Hello, all~

I hope the adult sibling articles are helpful and interesting to you. Just want you to know that I am also planning to do some articles about more positive aspects of adult sibling relationships as well. It's not all bad for everyone, I realize that. I wanted to speak to the difficulty some people have with their families because it seems to be resonating.

I will also give a nod to those who either have good relationships already or those who have a good chance of making a so-so relationship somewhat better. I hope you will continue to enjoy what I am writing. And, as always, if there is a topic you'd like to see me explore more, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Erika
_________________________
Erika Krull
Siblings

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#345041 - 09/30/07 03:16 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Erika - Siblings]
Sheryl M Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 4
Hi
I'm a new user and wasn't sure how to post. I have had a rocky relationship with my only sister since I can remember. We are now in our early 50s. My Father passed away a week ago and we were both with him when he died. My sister is an alcoholic and has been abusing my Mum and myself. I have had enough. She has always hated anyone that became close to my parents- particularly my Father but she wasn't upset when he passed. She just wanted to arrange the funeral the way she wanted it. The eulogy which she wrote and delivered was all about her. I asked for a couple of lines to be put in and she wouldn't. I just want to understand why she behaves like this.

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#345059 - 09/30/07 05:27 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Sheryl M]
Lisa_Orlando Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 1112
Originally Posted By: Sheryl M
Hi
I'm a new user and wasn't sure how to post. I have had a rocky relationship with my only sister since I can remember. We are now in our early 50s. My Father passed away a week ago and we were both with him when he died. My sister is an alcoholic and has been abusing my Mum and myself. I have had enough. She has always hated anyone that became close to my parents- particularly my Father but she wasn't upset when he passed. She just wanted to arrange the funeral the way she wanted it. The eulogy which she wrote and delivered was all about her. I asked for a couple of lines to be put in and she wouldn't. I just want to understand why she behaves like this.


Is your sisters name Donna? Just kidding, she sounds just like my sister Donna. I have to tell you that IF you are a normal person, you will probably never truly understand why this person behaves this way. Continueing to have her in your life and let her get away with her behavior is enabling her and letting her steal your life from you. Get away from her as fast as you can.

I have had to do this with both my brother and sister. When my Father died, it was a nightmare. There was always jealousy, to me thats what sibling relationship is, its all about control and jealousy, self absorption and manipulation. I am the youngest so I get hit with alot of it and my parents seemed powerless to see what was happening or to protect me.

My siblings are like people who are drowning, they will drag me down with them since I would prefer to live and don't have the ability to help them, I have let them go. I have made it known in the past that I think they need help which of course they will not get. I am the only member of a completely disfunctional family who has gone to a therapist in an effort to live a REAL life.

I am sorry for your loss, loosing a parent, even when your grown up can feel like its turning your life on end, I know it did mine. Don't allow your sister to get away with this anymore. If she is abusing your elderly Mother, you are legally bound to report her to the authories, Elder Abuse is no different then Child Abuse and is investigated in a similar fashion. It would be good to get as much evidence as you can of your sisters drinking problem and her abuses to hand over to the authorities. Depending on what they find, it could result on a restraining order.

That might sound extreme, you probably have always thought about your family being together no matter how sick your sister is. However, keeping it all together is what is feeding your sisters disfunction. Cut her off and make her take responsibility for her own life or you will enable her to continue.

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#345200 - 10/01/07 03:08 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Lisa_Orlando]
Sheryl M Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 4
Thank you Lisa- I have known for a while that I need to let her go and hope she survives but I've always put it off because I didn't want to abandon her. The time has come. I just hope Mum can do the same. In the past, when my sister has hurt her emotionally Mum has broken away from her for a little while, only to find a reason to forgive her. When Dad was alive, he'd cry about the things my sister said and did and swear never to go near her and two weeks later he's be staying there again. I'll certainly stick to my guns and let her go. Thanks again.

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#345201 - 10/01/07 03:14 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Sheryl M]
Lisa_Orlando Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 1112
Originally Posted By: Sheryl M
Thank you Lisa- I have known for a while that I need to let her go and hope she survives but I've always put it off because I didn't want to abandon her. The time has come. I just hope Mum can do the same. In the past, when my sister has hurt her emotionally Mum has broken away from her for a little while, only to find a reason to forgive her. When Dad was alive, he'd cry about the things my sister said and did and swear never to go near her and two weeks later he's be staying there again. I'll certainly stick to my guns and let her go. Thanks again.


I can imagine how hard it is for your Mother. It might help to speak with a counselor about it, maybe that can confirm for your Mom that letting her go would be the best thing for her. How old is your Mother? It sounds like your Mother might need some protection from your sister.

I feel for you, its hard to have no family.

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#345404 - 10/02/07 05:56 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Lisa_Orlando]
Sheryl M Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 4
Mum is 78. She is currently staying at an Aunts who is screening her calls. Another Aunt and Uncle live close by and have been a great support to Mum and Dad and me. This Aunt is a Lifeline counselor and has been speaking with Mum about my sister. Maybe Mum needs someone who isn't so close to have a talk to. I'll see what I can arrange. I am going up to see Mum tomorrow and I'll tell her that I've decided to move on with my life without my sister(G). I have regular sessions with a therapist due to long term depression problems that I'm finally getting on top of. I've told my therapist about my sister and she too has advised me to stay away from her. Guess I'm a slow learner. Mum is worried that G will try to get my Dads ashes from the funeral director to be spiteful. I'll attend to that while I'm up there. Mum is upset enough about losing Dad after 61 years without this trash from G. My sisters son is just as bad but with him it is drugs and booze. Mum has already forgiven him for the tantrum he had at the hospital.He was high as a kite and said that if Dad was going to die they should stop wasting drugs on him. I'll never speak to him again. I'll be away for 2 days as but I'll let you know how things pan out. Thanks Lisa. It's great to "talk" with you.

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#345416 - 10/02/07 07:23 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Sheryl M]
Lisa_Orlando Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 1112
OH dear, it does sound like you have a terrible deal when it comes to the goings on in your family. I have had similar things happen.

I also have suffered from depression but the anxiety is what gets too me worse, I have anxiety attacks and have since I was a child. Our family had wars for holiday celebrations and I was always looking for a way out.

I am glad you can do something to protect your poor Mother, it sounds like she has been through the ringer. You might be right, an outsider might be a good thing.

I know the only peace I have had in my life is when I don't have my brother and sister in the middle of it. In fact I don't talk to either of them. My gut no longer get knots in it when the phone rings or when there is a knock at the door. I haven't had a panic attack since I last spoke with my sister.

I hope you can do something to help your Mother feel better.


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#345589 - 10/03/07 12:47 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Lisa_Orlando]
Erika - Siblings Offline
Amoeba

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 68
Loc: Kearney, NE
Sheryl,

Wow - I've been away from the forum for a few days and I just read your correspondence with Lisa. You truly do have quite a painful situation. However, it does also seem like you have your mom somewhat insulated from your sister, which is good.

Unfortunately, your sister is like a loose cannon. She has had a lifetime of bad habits and survival-level coping mechanisms that she has never let go of. They may have actually been somewhat adaptive and useful during some very difficult times in her younger life. However, sometimes people don't let go of those coping mechanisms even when the situations don't warrent them anymore. So all the self protection they used becomes fiercely engrained into their daily life and relationships.

Her actions to you, though they can be personally vindictive, are actually not unique. She probably treats nearly everyone that way. It's all about looking out for "number one." It is really sad, but she probably doesn't understand or trust your attempts to stick around and "not abandon her." Your compassion is like a language she doesn't understand. Whatever it is that she has needed to fill in the empty hole in her life, you can't give it to her. The empty chasm is just too big, so you putting up with her abuse to "not abandon her" has most likely not really mattered to her all this time. You are very wise to be done with her altogether, from what you have said.

I'll look forward to hearing about the rest of your story soon as well. Best wishes to you.

Erika
_________________________
Erika Krull
Siblings

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#345608 - 10/03/07 02:10 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Erika - Siblings]
Lisa_Orlando Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 1112
Erika, I look at my brother and sister and realize the same thing. When babies are first born, they think they are the center of the universe, no one else, nothing else matters as much as their diaper getting changed, or them getting to sleep or being fed.

Hopefully when we grow up, that changes, with my siblings, they have remained that way. They are very manipulative and harmfull to those around them. They become so overly enmeshed in your life if you give them the chance. As a result, I have become almost bizarrely concerned about my independence and privacy. I grew up with them in the middle of my life in a very intrusive way. I was adopted when my parents were in their mid 40s and my brother and sister took it upon themselves to behave as if they are my parents also, and of course my parents didn't do anything to stop them. I am 40 now and they still are doing this.

I realize its not all about me though because I see they treat others the same way.

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#345654 - 10/03/07 06:15 PM Re: Good adult sibling relationships [Re: Lisa_Orlando]
Maxwell Offline
Gecko

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 727
Loc: Australia
Its interesting that sibling relationships can also become strained and difficult when spouses come along - my four siblings were my friends, we socialized together on a regular basis and always helped each other out. We are all very different people but I think watching Mum and Dad struggle to raise us created a bond between us - we have always looked out for each other. About 2 years ago one of my brothers became involved with a woman - a single mother of 3 receiving no child support, an unstable woman with damaged kids - she was pregnant in the blink of an eye and now my brothers life is a mess. We can all see she has manipulated him out of existence. She has slowly estranged my brother from his family so that now we rarely hear from him. Apart from my mother - they need her as the full time babysitter. I think that the decision not to see a close family member is difficult - you are living "without seeing someone who was significant in your past" - but if the relationship is just plain destructive to your life or makes you unhappy then you have to do it - end the contact. I still try to maintain some contact with my brother - he is 8 years younger than me - part of me wants to be there when he falls - I know him well and I feel he is close to breaking point.
You never know how life is going to turn out - be very sure of the people you trust!

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