Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 09:44:06 AM

Title: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 09:44:06 AM
I have a younger sister who likes to think of herself as an arm chair psychiatrist so to speak. I have a situation that is extremely long and drawn out but I would like to get everyone's opinion on how to handle a certain issue regarding my sister.

Very short background. My DD went to live with my parents about 4 years ago many states away. She had just turned 17 and didn't like the rules etc ..This was all kept a secret from me. My parents, my older sister (and this sister) refused to tell me anything despite me asking them. So this resulted in a large family feud that has not been resolved yet in the last 3 years. Other nasty things occurred after my DD arrived there, mainly everyone in my family judging and criticizing my parental skills and talking bad about me amongst themselves and my DD. This of course lead to further estrangement between my DD and myself, something we are still working on to this day. I have not spoken to my parents in all this time , they have never acknowledged any wrong doing and in fact have left me nasty messages and continue to talk bad about me.

The only person I have had contact with has been my younger sister (the favorite in the family , if that matters). Over the years we have had some discussions about what happened 3 years ago. She did apologize for her part which was a nice first step.The past 3 years or so I have kept her at arms length. We exchange pleasant but brief emails here and there, mostly on our birthdays. Every so often she attempts to engage me in what happened before , but I politely tell her I am not interested in discussing it now because quite frankly I don't trust her and I am not sure if she is trying to get me to 'open up' so she can have drama.

A week or so ago she emailed and asked us to work out what happened before. I approached it cautiously and she seemed to not want drama so we talked (respectfully). I explained that I felt judged and ridiculed as a a parent among other things. She agreed, apologized, said all the right things. Then she offered to be a mediator between my parents and myself. I told her politely that I see a mediator as someone who is impartial and has no emotional or vested interest in the situation. I told her that I felt it could lead to possible misunderstandings even though I know her offer came from the love she had between my parents and myself. I also told her that my parents and myself are adults and we know how to reach each other if we chose to. 

Her next email agreed that I was right and she probably couldn't be impartial . THEN she proceeded to tell me that while she doesn't agree that the family should have bad mouthed me she thinks.. .....and then she listed at least 5 things she felt were 'problems' with my DD. The way she worded it made her sound like she was trying to be a psychiatrist.

It read like this (details have been changed) " It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."

So she basically agreed with me in a previous email that they were wrong to judge me and analyze DD,  but since she didn't like the fact that I turned down her offer as mediator, she then decided the appropriate next step would be to list her opinion of my DD's perceived defects.

I sent her another email telling her that I did not need to hear (read) her psychoanalysis of my DD  . I told her that she was entitled to her opinion , just that I have no interested in hearing about it. I told her that when her son reaches his teenage years( he is 2 now), I hope people don't feel the need to critique him for her and point out her failings as a parent,  and that was something I would never do to her.

She wrote back that she thinks parents are largely responsible for how their kids turn out and that she will 'embrace' all of her sons successes and failures. I told her that a parent can do all they can to shape and guide and teach their children, some children take longer than others to 'get' things. It doesn't mean the parent didn't attempt to teach them. There was more to these emails, this is just the condensed version.

How can I continue to keep up a polite conversation with her when she seems to actually enjoy telling me her negative assumptions of my DD and how much at fault I am for DD having these issues ? I promised myself (and even told sister) that I would not ever again defend, justify or explain myself as a mother to her or anyone else. Yet I find myself so angry at her assumptions when she has NO idea what my husband and myself tried to teach DD.
 
Title: Re: How to Deal with Sister !~ LONG
Post by: artk2002 on January 27, 2013, 09:48:18 AM
"Thank you for your input. Any issues between my DD and myself are just that -- between the two of us. Bean dip?" Do *not* try to turn this back on your sister and her (future) parenting -- that will just make her defensive and more entrenched in her position. Just acknowledge that she has given you some information but decline to comment on that information. Change the subject.
Title: Re: How to Deal with Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 09:54:31 AM
"Thank you for your input. Any issues between my DD and myself are just that -- between the two of us. Bean dip?" Do *not* try to turn this back on your sister and her (future) parenting -- that will just make her defensive and more entrenched in her position. Just acknowledge that she has given you some information but decline to comment on that information. Change the subject.

Thank you.You are right, I won't bring up her parenting. I thought that by bringing up how she might feel if people ridiculed her as a parent how upset that would make her... but she is a long way from the teen years.

 I try to change the subject and she tries different ways to bring it up again. It's like a mission with her, she must let me know I was a terrible parent. I forgot to mention she even said that it affects our (her and I's ) relationship. So basically she sucked me in to thinking we were discussing our relationship and she found a way to throw in my DD's perceived faults . She claims the only way we can move forward is if we get it on the table and not have to walk on eggshells.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Sharnita on January 27, 2013, 10:03:21 AM
I think I would tell her that if those wete her terms for moving forward you have to decline.

FWIW, it sounds like your DD is still young so I tnink some of these "problems", real or imagined will take care of themselves. It might take another frustrating few years but it will happen.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 10:09:12 AM
I think I would tell her that if those wete her terms for moving forward you have to decline.

FWIW, it sounds like your DD is still young so I tnink some of these "problems", real or imagined will take care of themselves. It might take another frustrating few years but it will happen.

Exactly. The issues my DD has/had were really no different than what most teenage girls experience.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: HenrysMom on January 27, 2013, 10:12:38 AM
I would stop discussing anything family-related with this sister.  If she calls and tries to bring up the subject, simply say, "I'm not going to flog this dead horse," then bean dip.  If she keeps harping on the subject, hang up.  If it means that you have to give her the cut as well, so be it.

Bear in mind that your parents and sisters heard your DD's version first, so that's usually the version that sticks.  17-year olds are not the most rational or subjective of people, so everything they heard was probably blown out of proportion.  I say this because your problems with your DD were most likely not due to bad parenting, but teen angst and hormones. 
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: GreenBird on January 27, 2013, 01:21:18 PM
I think you need to go back to telling your sister you won’t discuss it with her.  The conversation doesn’t seem to be going anywhere productive, and it kind of feels like she started the discussion under false pretenses.  If she’s talking about parenting skills, she’s really not talking about the relation-ship between the two of you – you are not her parent.  She’s drawing you into JADEing so she can pick apart your responses, and I think you’re better off simply not going there. 

I’d tell her you won’t discuss it with her further, and then I wouldn’t respond to the topic any more.  If an email only talks about this issue, I wouldn’t answer it at all.  If an email includes other topics, I might respond on the other topics (“yes, it has been really rainy here”), but not answer anything else.   If an email only includes other topics, I’d go ahead and answer that one like you have in the past.  Hopefully this can keep the door open for some kind of relation-ship, while keeping a very clear boundary intact.
You may need to pull back and keep conversations extra-innocuous for a bit while she figures out you’re not going budge on this boundary.

Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 02:23:43 PM
I think you need to go back to telling your sister you won’t discuss it with her.  The conversation doesn’t seem to be going anywhere productive, and it kind of feels like she started the discussion under false pretenses.  If she’s talking about parenting skills, she’s really not talking about the relation-ship between the two of you – you are not her parent.  She’s drawing you into JADEing so she can pick apart your responses, and I think you’re better off simply not going there. 

I’d tell her you won’t discuss it with her further, and then I wouldn’t respond to the topic any more.  If an email only talks about this issue, I wouldn’t answer it at all.  If an email includes other topics, I might respond on the other topics (“yes, it has been really rainy here”), but not answer anything else.   If an email only includes other topics, I’d go ahead and answer that one like you have in the past.  Hopefully this can keep the door open for some kind of relation-ship, while keeping a very clear boundary intact.
You may need to pull back and keep conversations extra-innocuous for a bit while she figures out you’re not going budge on this boundary.

I agree this is the best way to handle it. However what do I say when she thinks the only way for us to move on is to discuss our 'true' feelings ? I have avoided her on this subject for years now and while it would be nice to clear the air so to speak, I don't see how insulting me as a parent and listing my DD's faults accomplishes that. I truly believe if I had taken her up on her suggestion to be a mediator, she wouldn't have fired back her 'opinions' on my DD. This has been a usual pattern with sister. She is always inventing some sort of intervention with someone in our family. One time I was asked to write my mom a letter stating how concerned I was that she (mom) was obese. I declined to do that of course, but sister gets something stuck in her head and she alone will be the 'savior' and 'fixer' and wants the rest of the family to follow along .
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: snowdragon on January 27, 2013, 02:29:03 PM
Someone needs to speak up for DD. "I love my DD no matter what you think of her faults, or my parenting, I will not hear of you running her down" would be appropriate
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Bethalize on January 27, 2013, 02:34:39 PM
I agree this is the best way to handle it. However what do I say when she thinks the only way for us to move on is to discuss our 'true' feelings ?

If I were you I'd tell her directly that if she is unable to move forward then perhaps it is time she seeks outside help.

Your sister sounds like she is bullying you to serve her own self-image.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Corvid on January 27, 2013, 02:53:32 PM
Tell your sister you'll consider discussing the situation with her the day she gets her doctorate in psychology.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 27, 2013, 03:02:28 PM
Someone needs to speak up for DD. "I love my DD no matter what you think of her faults, or my parenting, I will not hear of you running her down" would be appropriate

I agree.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 03:07:15 PM
Someone needs to speak up for DD. "I love my DD no matter what you think of her faults, or my parenting, I will not hear of you running her down" would be appropriate

I agree.

I agree too and I will say that sister . My sister only tells me the negative things about DD because she attempted to 'fix' her when DD moved out there. It didn't go so well since DD is her own person and is going to do what she wants , not what sister thinks she should do. In fact, DD lived with sister a year or so ago for a month or two . Sister even told me 'with my guidance, I hope to shape DD" . I just shrugged and said sounds good, knowing full well that it would not go over well.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gramma dishes on January 27, 2013, 03:14:50 PM
Someone needs to speak up for DD. "I love my DD no matter what you think of her faults, or my parenting, I will not hear of you running her down" would be appropriate

I agree.

I agree with this and would add "...  and I am not going to discuss this with you any further."
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 03:23:22 PM
Someone needs to speak up for DD. "I love my DD no matter what you think of her faults, or my parenting, I will not hear of you running her down" would be appropriate

I agree.

I agree with this and would add "...  and I am not going to discuss this with you any further."


Is there a polite response to her if she says that I am not doing my part in trying to resolve the issues if I don't talk about it? Since she claims her issues with me are because of how I raised my DD, if I don't talk about it , that means that I don't care about her feelings. She said something to that effect. I had stated my feelings of being judged and criticized as a parent by her. She apologized and then said that I, "need to understand where she is coming from, much the same way she understood my feelings" ...that was when she listed off DD's issues and blamed me for them .If I say I am not going to discuss it with her further (which is what I want) , she will most likely  tell me that I am not looking at her side or her feelings. How do I respond to that?
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gramma dishes on January 27, 2013, 03:26:53 PM
Why are her feelings more important than yours?   ???
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 03:37:05 PM
Why are her feelings more important than yours?   ???

Good point. It's just I was labelled as the emotional one in the family and I am trying my best to be polite and listen to her feelings and work things out, so she doesn't have drama to use against me to my DD.. I also was hoping that things could be worked out in a respectful way.I guess I don't want it to get back to my DD that I was not trying with sister.  My family is very very dysfunctional, always has been .
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: secretrebel on January 27, 2013, 03:38:41 PM
This all sounds like a very difficult situation for all the family.

I wonder if you can try to feel grateful that at least DD had family she felt she could go to when things when wrong between the two of you instead of ending up sleeping rough or getting into a dangerous situation. It sounds as though you have a lot of resentment towards your family and it must be really hard to feel they judged your parenting and took over.

But there's got to be a lot more to the story than the short background you gave and you probably didn't mean it that way but this
Very short background. My DD went to live with my parents about 4 years ago many states away. She had just turned 17 and didn't like the rules etc ..
comes across as very dismissive of your daughter's feelings and the perhaps legitimate issues she may have had with your parenting style. If you are thinking of yourself as an excellent parent and your daughter as a defiant rule-braker and your family as lax and disrespectful you're all going to find it much harder to mend the situation. What really matters isn't the past now, it's how you go forward, respectful of each other and careful of each other's feelings.

Maybe you can say to your sister "look, I find it hard to talk about what happened with the family and DD. Can we talk about other things instead while we try to rebuild our relationship?"
And then talk about all sorts of other things, maybe light hearted subjects, areas where you don't feel judged or defensive? Because as long as you're talking about what happened you're going to want to defend yourself and she's going to want to put her side and then it will never end.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 03:49:22 PM
This all sounds like a very difficult situation for all the family.

I wonder if you can try to feel grateful that at least DD had family she felt she could go to when things when wrong between the two of you instead of ending up sleeping rough or getting into a dangerous situation. It sounds as though you have a lot of resentment towards your family and it must be really hard to feel they judged your parenting and took over.

But there's got to be a lot more to the story than the short background you gave and you probably didn't mean it that way but this
Very short background. My DD went to live with my parents about 4 years ago many states away. She had just turned 17 and didn't like the rules etc ..
comes across as very dismissive of your daughter's feelings and the perhaps legitimate issues she may have had with your parenting style. If you are thinking of yourself as an excellent parent and your daughter as a defiant rule-braker and your family as lax and disrespectful you're all going to find it much harder to mend the situation. What really matters isn't the past now, it's how you go forward, respectful of each other and careful of each other's feelings.

Maybe you can say to your sister "look, I find it hard to talk about what happened with the family and DD. Can we talk about other things instead while we try to rebuild our relationship?"
And then talk about all sorts of other things, maybe light hearted subjects, areas where you don't feel judged or defensive? Because as long as you're talking about what happened you're going to want to defend yourself and she's going to want to put her side and then it will never end.

I understand what you are saying regarding my post and the background info.  I do know I made some mistakes in my parenting with DD and even talked those over with DD and listened and acknowledged her feelings. I was trying to make the background VERY short since there was a LOT more to the situation. But yes, not dismissing DD's feelings, that was the reason she gave as to why she didn't want to live at home.

I think your idea of what to say to my sister is a good one. She feels that for us to move forward we should address the elephant in the room and say how we feel. That does make sense and in a perfect world would be ideal. I actually thought since enough time had passed we might be able to , but it clearly is going nowhere.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gemma156 on January 27, 2013, 04:09:11 PM
It's simple don't engage with your sister when she directs her speech to the subject that you don't wish to discuss.  Change the subject, if she redirects back to what she was saying do it again, on the third time it happens end the conversation with I need to answer the door, and will talk to you again soon.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Sharnita on January 27, 2013, 04:24:03 PM
If your sis says you can't move forward unless, tell her you are sorry but you will not negotiate that point, she is welcome to contact you should she ever reconsisidrf, you wishofbye. her all the best, go
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: GreenBird on January 27, 2013, 04:43:34 PM
I’d treat the “but we have to clear the air between us” the same way I’d treat all of her efforts to open up this discussion – “Sister, I’m not discussing this with you”.   No JADEing.  And then I’d quit answering the emails where she tries to keep insisting, because you’ve made your position clear.   The way you raised your daughter is NOT an issue between you and your sister – it’s between you and your daughter. 

It sounds like she thinks she’s found a way to make you talk about it by saying it’s about “moving forward with your relation-ship”, but it’s really just another avenue for her to try to insert herself into the issue.  Don’t let her guilt you. 

If your sister is an intervention junkie, her underlying purpose in trying to open up the discussion may be to fulfill her self-image as the one who rescues everyone.  You declined her offer to mediate with your parents, so she’s proceeding anyway but without the cover of the mediation.  Given the “and here’s everything you’ve done wrong” road she immediately went down, it looks to me like she has a vision of exactly how everyone is supposed to react and behave in her intervention.   Everyone is supposed to admit all of their wrongs according to her definition of them, then be terribly sorry and make up, and then be very grateful to her for showing them all the way.  She probably has herself convinced that she’s doing it for the good of everybody, but it’s really more about her.

And unfortunately, your sister can always create drama to use against you to your daughter at any time, just by making it up.  I think there will be a lot less drama overall if you stop the discussion now instead of trying to continue it.  At least this way you’re not giving your sister any ammunition in the form of emails she can show to your daughter and misinterpret to her in the worst possible way.   

Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 04:57:36 PM
I’d treat the “but we have to clear the air between us” the same way I’d treat all of her efforts to open up this discussion – “Sister, I’m not discussing this with you”.   No JADEing.  And then I’d quit answering the emails where she tries to keep insisting, because you’ve made your position clear.   The way you raised your daughter is NOT an issue between you and your sister – it’s between you and your daughter. 

It sounds like she thinks she’s found a way to make you talk about it by saying it’s about “moving forward with your relation-ship”, but it’s really just another avenue for her to try to insert herself into the issue.  Don’t let her guilt you. 

If your sister is an intervention junkie, her underlying purpose in trying to open up the discussion may be to fulfill her self-image as the one who rescues everyone.  You declined her offer to mediate with your parents, so she’s proceeding anyway but without the cover of the mediation.  Given the “and here’s everything you’ve done wrong” road she immediately went down, it looks to me like she has a vision of exactly how everyone is supposed to react and behave in her intervention.   Everyone is supposed to admit all of their wrongs according to her definition of them, then be terribly sorry and make up, and then be very grateful to her for showing them all the way.  She probably has herself convinced that she’s doing it for the good of everybody, but it’s really more about her.

And unfortunately, your sister can always create drama to use against you to your daughter at any time, just by making it up.  I think there will be a lot less drama overall if you stop the discussion now instead of trying to continue it.  At least this way you’re not giving your sister any ammunition in the form of emails she can show to your daughter and misinterpret to her in the worst possible way.

Thank you ! Everything you said makes perfect sense, especially when you said it was mostly about her, and her self image. I couldn't really pinpoint how to phrase it. I know she loves my parents( and me ) and of course would like the family to be 'fixed' , but yes, it is by her definition and her guidance.



Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Iris on January 27, 2013, 05:15:21 PM
Firstly, I think snowdragon nailed this one. As far as I can tell the email could be paraphrased "You are a bad parent because your daughter is just rubbish! Listen to how bad she is at all these things!" I am really concerned that in whatever dysfunctional saviour fantasy your sister is playing out, she is *also* going to your DD, mother, other sister etc, and saying "We need to work this out because of ALL THESE THINGS that are wrong with DD." What a way to spend your late teens/early 20s. Every time someone brings up DD's 'faults' shut them down. "I'm not going to listen to you speaking about DD like that." End of conversation.

Secondly, not only that but your daughter had been with other people for 4 YEARS and everything is still all your fault? What has she been doing for those 4 years? College? A job? Or just sitting around listening to a bunch of incredibly toxic people telling her what a victim of your bad parenting she is and how nothing is ever her fault? No 21 year old should be as invested in her relationship with her mother/her mother's failings as she seems to be. Again I think you need to advocate "I don't see how discussing my faults will help DD achieve Specific Goal A. What needs to happen to help her take Next Step B? This is my child's future we are talking about here, why are you still drivelling on about events that happened 4 years ago? This is not helpful." End of conversation.

This is going to sound like a harsh remark, but I honestly mean this literally: stop making it about you. Don't let sister discuss YOU and YOUR failings. Either she is helping your DD or she gets out of your business. Who cares what her feelings are? All I'm seeing is a toxic group of people using your child as their football.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 05:40:31 PM
Firstly, I think snowdragon nailed this one. As far as I can tell the email could be paraphrased "You are a bad parent because your daughter is just rubbish! Listen to how bad she is at all these things!" I am really concerned that in whatever dysfunctional saviour fantasy your sister is playing out, she is *also* going to your DD, mother, other sister etc, and saying "We need to work this out because of ALL THESE THINGS that are wrong with DD." What a way to spend your late teens/early 20s. Every time someone brings up DD's 'faults' shut them down. "I'm not going to listen to you speaking about DD like that." End of conversation.

Secondly, not only that but your daughter had been with other people for 4 YEARS and everything is still all your fault? What has she been doing for those 4 years? College? A job? Or just sitting around listening to a bunch of incredibly toxic people telling her what a victim of your bad parenting she is and how nothing is ever her fault? No 21 year old should be as invested in her relationship with her mother/her mother's failings as she seems to be. Again I think you need to advocate "I don't see how discussing my faults will help DD achieve Specific Goal A. What needs to happen to help her take Next Step B? This is my child's future we are talking about here, why are you still drivelling on about events that happened 4 years ago? This is not helpful." End of conversation.

This is going to sound like a harsh remark, but I honestly mean this literally: stop making it about you. Don't let sister discuss YOU and YOUR failings. Either she is helping your DD or she gets out of your business. Who cares what her feelings are? All I'm seeing is a toxic group of people using your child as their football.

My sister , mother and father are all in this together, with the belief that I raised DD incorrectly. DD has in fact parroted a lot of what they have said because they have actually shared all this with her. They also told DD every 'bad' thing I did as teen and that I was overly emotional and used to curse at my mom (not true). They made things up or exaggerated it and used that to further alienate DD.
DD now has her own apartment and lives with a roommate so she is somewhat away from this whole situation now.

The first year she was there she played around all summer and went to the beach and hung out with my sister. The second year she finished high school and hung around and went to the beach that summer as well. Then she took some courses at college and that is it. Now she works at a juice bar.  She would complain all the time that she had no money, yet she would not made a solid effort to find a part time job . My parents basically said , do what you want, you had it too rough, now you don't have to do anything. DD even said she didn't have to do chores anymore. her chores here were laundry , keeping her room clean and the dishes. She had a part time job while she lived with us out here as well.

Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Iris on January 27, 2013, 05:54:09 PM
Firstly, I think snowdragon nailed this one. As far as I can tell the email could be paraphrased "You are a bad parent because your daughter is just rubbish! Listen to how bad she is at all these things!" I am really concerned that in whatever dysfunctional saviour fantasy your sister is playing out, she is *also* going to your DD, mother, other sister etc, and saying "We need to work this out because of ALL THESE THINGS that are wrong with DD." What a way to spend your late teens/early 20s. Every time someone brings up DD's 'faults' shut them down. "I'm not going to listen to you speaking about DD like that." End of conversation.

Secondly, not only that but your daughter had been with other people for 4 YEARS and everything is still all your fault? What has she been doing for those 4 years? College? A job? Or just sitting around listening to a bunch of incredibly toxic people telling her what a victim of your bad parenting she is and how nothing is ever her fault? No 21 year old should be as invested in her relationship with her mother/her mother's failings as she seems to be. Again I think you need to advocate "I don't see how discussing my faults will help DD achieve Specific Goal A. What needs to happen to help her take Next Step B? This is my child's future we are talking about here, why are you still drivelling on about events that happened 4 years ago? This is not helpful." End of conversation.

This is going to sound like a harsh remark, but I honestly mean this literally: stop making it about you. Don't let sister discuss YOU and YOUR failings. Either she is helping your DD or she gets out of your business. Who cares what her feelings are? All I'm seeing is a toxic group of people using your child as their football.

My sister , mother and father are all in this together, with the belief that I raised DD incorrectly. DD has in fact parroted a lot of what they have said because they have actually shared all this with her. They also told DD every 'bad' thing I did as teen and that I was overly emotional and used to curse at my mom (not true). They made things up or exaggerated it and used that to further alienate DD.
DD now has her own apartment and lives with a roommate so she is somewhat away from this whole situation now.

The first year she was there she played around all summer and went to the beach and hung out with my sister. The second year she finished high school and hung around and went to the beach that summer as well. Then she took some courses at college and that is it. Now she works at a juice bar.  She would complain all the time that she had no money, yet she would not made a solid effort to find a part time job . My parents basically said , do what you want, you had it too rough, now you don't have to do anything. DD even said she didn't have to do chores anymore. her chores here were laundry , keeping her room clean and the dishes. She had a part time job while she lived with us out here as well.

I'm glad she is away from this now. Your family sounds extremely toxic, and I hope your DD finds her own way now that she is somewhat out of their influence. I still think shutting your sister down, every time, is the way to go. Who cares how she feels? She wants to make herself feel better by running you down and punishes you when you don't comply. She needs to let DD get on with her life and get out of your hair about issues that no-one can do anything about now. And really, do you want to mend fences with your sister, mother and father anyway? They don't sound pleasant at all.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 27, 2013, 06:02:53 PM

[/quote]

I'm glad she is away from this now. Your family sounds extremely toxic, and I hope your DD finds her own way now that she is somewhat out of their influence. I still think shutting your sister down, every time, is the way to go. Who cares how she feels? She wants to make herself feel better by running you down and punishes you when you don't comply. She needs to let DD get on with her life and get out of your hair about issues that no-one can do anything about now. And really, do you want to mend fences with your sister, mother and father anyway? They don't sound pleasant at all.
[/quote]

I have no desire to mend fences with my parents. I wanted to try with my sister because her and I had a very close relation-ship when we were younger. I really don't need this drama she is bringing now though. ...and yes my family has always been VERY toxic. I am glad I live far , far away from them.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 27, 2013, 09:13:48 PM
It's simple don't engage with your sister when she directs her speech to the subject that you don't wish to discuss.  Change the subject, if she redirects back to what she was saying do it again, on the third time it happens end the conversation with I need to answer the door, and will talk to you again soon.

Pod.  Don't engage her at all on this topic because she WILL.NOT.STOP.  I know from experience recently with my own sister.  I tried engaging a few years ago when she was going off the deep-end with her own amateur psycho-babble and JADEing, which didn't work.  I tried telling her I wouldn't discuss the topics any longer (this happened on more than one occasion).  Didn't work.  I tried changing the subject.  Kinda worked (changing the subject meant me replying like this, "La la la la la la la; Papa Smurf is my friend" because, at the time, she was flaming me on my FB wall when I made the "mistake" of posting that I was waiting at the pharmacy for a prescription).  I found the only thing to work was to refuse to address, period, what she insisted on discussing.  However, I know this also involves your daughter so I would focus on your relationship with your daughter and, maybe, explain to her why you weren't engaging your sister (well, maybe not, but do tell your daughter the positive things?  Not sure on this one).

My sister, after she also tried to get to me through DH (then DF), dropped out of our wedding because I refused to be engaged in her asinine behavior towards me (unbeknownst to her, that saved us about $300 and a lot of headache so she doesn't know she did us a favor).  It did cause some uncomfortable discussions with DH because he felt terrible about not acknowledging my sister, but I had to strongly argue that acknowledging her would mean that she wouldn't stop so he ignored her e-mails also.  Guess what?  It worked, and she stopped harassing DH and me.

I know you want to continue your relationship with this sister, but it sounds like it might cost you progress with your daughter.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: zyrs on January 27, 2013, 10:01:09 PM
My advice would be to back off from relating to your sister for a while.  As you have said, you don't need the drama and right now it's just upsetting you without drawing either of you closer.

And it's fairly easy to do since you live far away from her.  Just be busy.  If she calls and you don't mind spending a little time on the phone with her tell her you only have a few minutes because you need to leave soon or are expecting a tradesperson or have something to do or an emergency.  If she starts on her 'clearing the air' thing say; "Sorry sis, got to go." and hang up.  If you don't want to talk to her at all just don't answer the phone.  Emails are the same way, answer them only when you want to.  Facebook - adjust your settings so she doesn't see anything but the stuff you want her to see.  If you want to, hide her feed.

It's not rude to be busy and unable to talk.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Cami on January 27, 2013, 10:54:32 PM
I understand you had a close relationship with your sister when you were younger, but trying to reconnect with her on the basis of the past is like trying to recoup a sunk cost (money/time/merchandise that has been used and cannot be gotten back). It can't really be done.

So I'd suggest looking at your sister as she IS. NOW. And consider whether or not your sister is someone who adds benefit to your life NOW.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: cicero on January 28, 2013, 02:12:12 AM
hugs gena, this sounds like a really difficult situation.

Is your sister really criticizing you ? or is she stating fact? because when i read:
" It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."
while i can understand how it may hurt you to hear this, these sound like facts to me. and in fact, you say that now, at age 20 (?) your DD doesn't seem to have basic life skills (from what you say in your later posts). this isn't a criticism of you or of anyone - it is a fact. My DS has issues - he cannot at this point in his life be on his own, he barely scraped through HS and hasn't gone to college and he is 26. This isn't about *me* being a bad parent, it is about *his* issues.  and while it hurts me to see him this way, it's not an attack on me when someone says "what's going on with DS".

I think that etiquettely speaking, you do not have to continue conversations with yoru sister if you don't want to.  just don't have *those* conversations with her.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 28, 2013, 07:02:10 AM
hugs gena, this sounds like a really difficult situation.

Is your sister really criticizing you ? or is she stating fact? because when i read:
" It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."
while i can understand how it may hurt you to hear this, these sound like facts to me. and in fact, you say that now, at age 20 (?) your DD doesn't seem to have basic life skills (from what you say in your later posts). this isn't a criticism of you or of anyone - it is a fact. My DS has issues - he cannot at this point in his life be on his own, he barely scraped through HS and hasn't gone to college and he is 26. This isn't about *me* being a bad parent, it is about *his* issues.  and while it hurts me to see him this way, it's not an attack on me when someone says "what's going on with DS".

I think that etiquettely speaking, you do not have to continue conversations with yoru sister if you don't want to.  just don't have *those* conversations with her.

How can that be a "fact"? Her sister is not a professional. She is nothing but a trouble-making jerk.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: cicero on January 28, 2013, 07:11:59 AM
hugs gena, this sounds like a really difficult situation.

Is your sister really criticizing you ? or is she stating fact? because when i read:
" It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."
while i can understand how it may hurt you to hear this, these sound like facts to me. and in fact, you say that now, at age 20 (?) your DD doesn't seem to have basic life skills (from what you say in your later posts). this isn't a criticism of you or of anyone - it is a fact. My DS has issues - he cannot at this point in his life be on his own, he barely scraped through HS and hasn't gone to college and he is 26. This isn't about *me* being a bad parent, it is about *his* issues.  and while it hurts me to see him this way, it's not an attack on me when someone says "what's going on with DS".

I think that etiquettely speaking, you do not have to continue conversations with yoru sister if you don't want to.  just don't have *those* conversations with her.

How can that be a "fact"? Her sister is not a professional. She is nothing but a trouble-making jerk.
Look, this is a very sticky situation.

but if the 17 YO girl had specific issues A, B, and C - those are facts. you don't have to be a professional to notice if a 17 YO cannot read street signs or had little understanding of X. again, it doesn't mean that the OP was a bad parent; all I'm saying is that it doesn't necessarily mean that the sister was being judgmental or critical of OP's parenting skills.

And I do think that from an etiquette POV, again, the OP should *not* discuss these things with her sister.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 28, 2013, 07:27:00 AM
Fact: the sister is not a professional. Gena said she is "an arm chair psychiatrist".
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 08:21:27 AM
hugs gena, this sounds like a really difficult situation.

Is your sister really criticizing you ? or is she stating fact? because when i read:
" It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."
while i can understand how it may hurt you to hear this, these sound like facts to me. and in fact, you say that now, at age 20 (?) your DD doesn't seem to have basic life skills (from what you say in your later posts). this isn't a criticism of you or of anyone - it is a fact. My DS has issues - he cannot at this point in his life be on his own, he barely scraped through HS and hasn't gone to college and he is 26. This isn't about *me* being a bad parent, it is about *his* issues.  and while it hurts me to see him this way, it's not an attack on me when someone says "what's going on with DS".

I think that etiquettely speaking, you do not have to continue conversations with yoru sister if you don't want to.  just don't have *those* conversations with her.

I don't consider those to be facts because most of the things my sister has said were 'wrong' with DD are not true, or exaggerated. For example my DD can in fact read street signs. She used to walk all over our (small) town, to friends houses, school, library, work. It is true my DD is a bit behind in social skills but no where near where my sister was implying. DD had many friends, a boyfriend, worked as a waitress for almost a year, volunteered at an animal shelter and was in drama at school. She wasn't a 'cheerleader out going type", but she certainly wasn't antisocial. Lastly, my sister DIRECTLY told me that all of DD's faults were mine and my DH's fault.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 08:39:33 AM
Fact: the sister is not a professional. Gena said she is "an arm chair psychiatrist".

Exactly. My sister has always been this way for as long as I could remember. She believes something, it must be true and everyone else must believe it as well. She also likes to find 'causes', and involve others in fixing what she believes to be an issue. Sometimes some of her causes are facts. For example, my mom is obese, this is a fact. Sister decided we all must write mom a letter stating how concerned we are about her and want her to eat healthier. While of course that would be ideal for my mom to eat healthier, it is NONE of anyone's business how or what my mom eats. If sister wanted to privately share her concerns with mom that would be between them, but she always needs to involve others. I think it is like GreenBird pointed out earlier, because it is more about her than the person she is trying to fix. I never really looked at that way before, but it makes perfect sense.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: bopper on January 28, 2013, 08:42:52 AM
'Thank you for your offer of mediation...I think it best to have an impartial person involved. Perhaps I will consider some family therapy."
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: scansons on January 28, 2013, 08:43:21 AM
hugs gena, this sounds like a really difficult situation.

Is your sister really criticizing you ? or is she stating fact? because when i read:
" It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."
while i can understand how it may hurt you to hear this, these sound like facts to me. and in fact, you say that now, at age 20 (?) your DD doesn't seem to have basic life skills (from what you say in your later posts). this isn't a criticism of you or of anyone - it is a fact. My DS has issues - he cannot at this point in his life be on his own, he barely scraped through HS and hasn't gone to college and he is 26. This isn't about *me* being a bad parent, it is about *his* issues.  and while it hurts me to see him this way, it's not an attack on me when someone says "what's going on with DS".

I think that etiquettely speaking, you do not have to continue conversations with yoru sister if you don't want to.  just don't have *those* conversations with her.

I don't consider those to be facts because most of the things my sister has said were 'wrong' with DD are not true, or exaggerated. For example my DD can in fact read street signs. She used to walk all over our (small) town, to friends houses, school, library, work. It is true my DD is a bit behind in social skills but no where near where my sister was implying. DD had many friends, a boyfriend, worked as a waitress for almost a year, volunteered at an animal shelter and was in drama at school. She wasn't a 'cheerleader out going type", but she certainly wasn't antisocial. Lastly, my sister DIRECTLY told me that all of DD's faults were mine and my DH's fault.

See I think your sister's premiss is bad.  I think kids come out of the womb and the are what they are what they are.  I know mine are.  Of course mine are 4 and 7 so I could be wrong.  We can teach them manners.  We can teach them skills.  We can teach them morals.  But I don't think we can teach them to be other than what they always were. 

I think from now on your answer to her nosiness is something like "DD is an adult.  I can't change the past.  I won't discuss the past."  Repeat.   

I have two sisters and none of us turned out like our parents thought we should.  It made all of our relationships with them really hard around that 16-25 mark, depending on the daughter.  I think what you and your DD have gone through is not that strange, or uncommon.  And I think it's good that the two of you are talking.  That's a very hopeful step in the right direction. 
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 28, 2013, 08:46:58 AM
Fact: the sister is not a professional. Gena said she is "an arm chair psychiatrist".

Exactly. My sister has always been this way for as long as I could remember. She believes something, it must be true and everyone else must believe it as well. She also likes to find 'causes', and involve others in fixing what she believes to be an issue. Sometimes some of her causes are facts. For example, my mom is obese, this is a fact. Sister decided we all must write mom a letter stating how concerned we are about her and want her to eat healthier. While of course that would be ideal for my mom to eat healthier, it is NONE of anyone's business how or what my mom eats. If sister wanted to privately share her concerns with mom that would be between them, but she always needs to involve others. I think it is like GreenBird pointed out earlier, because it is more about her than the person she is trying to fix. I never really looked at that way before, but it makes perfect sense.

As I wrote earlier, she's a trouble-making jerk.

She has serious issues with boundaries.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 08:48:33 AM
I understand you had a close relationship with your sister when you were younger, but trying to reconnect with her on the basis of the past is like trying to recoup a sunk cost (money/time/merchandise that has been used and cannot be gotten back). It can't really be done.

So I'd suggest looking at your sister as she IS. NOW. And consider whether or not your sister is someone who adds benefit to your life NOW.

That's a really good point. I hadn't thought of it that way either which I know sounds silly. I was caught up in the little girl she was and how close we were. I was 13 when she was born and I adored her.  But yes, how she adds to my life NOW , is not very good.  I think maybe she is of the same mind set . She has said she wants things to be 'back like they were before'. You are right though, it can't be done.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 08:55:24 AM

[/quote]

See I think your sister's premiss is bad.  I think kids come out of the womb and the are what they are what they are.  I know mine are.  Of course mine are 4 and 7 so I could be wrong.  We can teach them manners.  We can teach them skills.  We can teach them morals.  But I don't think we can teach them to be other than what they always were.   
[/quote]

That is what I attempted to tell my sister in my last email to her a few days ago, before I sought advice on this board . That DH and I could try to teach DD all the 'negative' issues that sister brought up, but at the end of the day, DD is either going to choose to learn certain 'skills' or not. If it becomes important enough for DD to 'learn to read street signs' then she will learn it. Maybe that issue wasn't important enough for DD to bother with . (this is an example )
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 08:59:57 AM
'Thank you for your offer of mediation...I think it best to have an impartial person involved. Perhaps I will consider some family therapy."

I said that to her.. well I emailed to her that I see a mediator as someone who is impartial and has no emotional interest in the situation. She agreed to that and then started with her psychoanalysis of my DD , pretty much out of nowhere . I could only assume she did  that  because she didn't like the idea of being turned down as a mediator.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gramma dishes on January 28, 2013, 10:12:14 AM
It seems to me that your DD was doing just fine when she lived with you.  She was doing okay in school, had lots of friends, outside interests (drama and volunteering), a boyfriend and a waitressing job (not easy!).  Her social skills clearly were there, even if a little different perhaps than those valued by your family.

I think your whole family is very much at fault here, not just your little sister.

The only good news coming out of this thread so far is that your DD is now living on her own with a roommate, so she's at least somewhat away now from their interference and influence.  Hopefully the day will come when your DD realizes that she actually had it pretty good at home with Mom and Dad! 

I would studiously ignore your sister.  She's using your DD and your own vulnerability here to try to make herself feel important.  She and the rest of your family have accomplished nothing but making things worse -- for both you and your daughter.  I know it would be hard, maybe impossible, but I'd vote for giving the whole shebang the direct cut.  (Not your daughter, of course.)
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: cicero on January 28, 2013, 12:15:45 PM
hugs gena, this sounds like a really difficult situation.

Is your sister really criticizing you ? or is she stating fact? because when i read:
" It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."
while i can understand how it may hurt you to hear this, these sound like facts to me. and in fact, you say that now, at age 20 (?) your DD doesn't seem to have basic life skills (from what you say in your later posts). this isn't a criticism of you or of anyone - it is a fact. My DS has issues - he cannot at this point in his life be on his own, he barely scraped through HS and hasn't gone to college and he is 26. This isn't about *me* being a bad parent, it is about *his* issues.  and while it hurts me to see him this way, it's not an attack on me when someone says "what's going on with DS".

I think that etiquettely speaking, you do not have to continue conversations with yoru sister if you don't want to.  just don't have *those* conversations with her.

I don't consider those to be facts because most of the things my sister has said were 'wrong' with DD are not true, or exaggerated. For example my DD can in fact read street signs. She used to walk all over our (small) town, to friends houses, school, library, work. It is true my DD is a bit behind in social skills but no where near where my sister was implying. DD had many friends, a boyfriend, worked as a waitress for almost a year, volunteered at an animal shelter and was in drama at school. She wasn't a 'cheerleader out going type", but she certainly wasn't antisocial. Lastly, my sister DIRECTLY told me that all of DD's faults were mine and my DH's fault.
ok. i wasnt' clear on this from your first post.

and again, i think you need to just stop discussing *this* issue with your sister.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Yvaine on January 28, 2013, 01:10:30 PM
hugs gena, this sounds like a really difficult situation.

Is your sister really criticizing you ? or is she stating fact? because when i read:
" It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."
while i can understand how it may hurt you to hear this, these sound like facts to me. and in fact, you say that now, at age 20 (?) your DD doesn't seem to have basic life skills (from what you say in your later posts). this isn't a criticism of you or of anyone - it is a fact. My DS has issues - he cannot at this point in his life be on his own, he barely scraped through HS and hasn't gone to college and he is 26. This isn't about *me* being a bad parent, it is about *his* issues.  and while it hurts me to see him this way, it's not an attack on me when someone says "what's going on with DS".

I think that etiquettely speaking, you do not have to continue conversations with yoru sister if you don't want to.  just don't have *those* conversations with her.

I don't consider those to be facts because most of the things my sister has said were 'wrong' with DD are not true, or exaggerated. For example my DD can in fact read street signs. She used to walk all over our (small) town, to friends houses, school, library, work.

Actually, in my experience, you don't necessarily need to read street signs to walk around a small area you're really familiar with--you learn it by memory and landmarks. The problem would become more evident in an unfamiliar area.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 02:02:22 PM


I don't consider those to be facts because most of the things my sister has said were 'wrong' with DD are not true, or exaggerated. For example my DD can in fact read street signs. She used to walk all over our (small) town, to friends houses, school, library, work.
[/quote]

Actually, in my experience, you don't necessarily need to read street signs to walk around a small area you're really familiar with--you learn it by memory and landmarks. The problem would become more evident in an unfamiliar area.
[/quote]

True, she was in an unfamiliar area and a much largely populated area than what she was used to. She also had her learner's permit to drive and was in the process of learning to drive (practicing on streets, not just parking lots). And DD knows how to read, so I guess I am not sure where the criticism from my sister comes from.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 28, 2013, 02:26:15 PM


I don't consider those to be facts because most of the things my sister has said were 'wrong' with DD are not true, or exaggerated. For example my DD can in fact read street signs. She used to walk all over our (small) town, to friends houses, school, library, work.

Actually, in my experience, you don't necessarily need to read street signs to walk around a small area you're really familiar with--you learn it by memory and landmarks. The problem would become more evident in an unfamiliar area.
[/quote]

True, she was in an unfamiliar area and a much largely populated area than what she was used to. She also had her learner's permit to drive and was in the process of learning to drive (practicing on streets, not just parking lots). And DD knows how to read, so I guess I am not sure where the criticism from my sister comes from.
[/quote]

She likely will make up stuff just to make herself the center of attention. First you turn her down as a mediator. Then, she starts psychoanalyzing your daughter and trashing you. I'd not give anything she says one iota of credence or even attention.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Moray on January 28, 2013, 03:18:33 PM
hugs gena, this sounds like a really difficult situation.

Is your sister really criticizing you ? or is she stating fact? because when i read:
" It became increasing obvious to all of us when DD arrived here that she had little to know understanding of -blank blank, she had a flat affect, she was stunted in -blank blank, she had little to know understanding on how to read street signs or any basic life skills."
while i can understand how it may hurt you to hear this, these sound like facts to me. and in fact, you say that now, at age 20 (?) your DD doesn't seem to have basic life skills (from what you say in your later posts). this isn't a criticism of you or of anyone - it is a fact. My DS has issues - he cannot at this point in his life be on his own, he barely scraped through HS and hasn't gone to college and he is 26. This isn't about *me* being a bad parent, it is about *his* issues.  and while it hurts me to see him this way, it's not an attack on me when someone says "what's going on with DS".

I think that etiquettely speaking, you do not have to continue conversations with yoru sister if you don't want to.  just don't have *those* conversations with her.

I don't consider those to be facts because most of the things my sister has said were 'wrong' with DD are not true, or exaggerated. For example my DD can in fact read street signs. She used to walk all over our (small) town, to friends houses, school, library, work.

Actually, in my experience, you don't necessarily need to read street signs to walk around a small area you're really familiar with--you learn it by memory and landmarks. The problem would become more evident in an unfamiliar area.

Very true. I used to go all over my neighborhood and immediate area when I was a kid, but I never learned to "navigate" until I was in high school and had my mind on driving.

OP, it sounds like a very frustrating situation, and it's clear that there are some very big differences in opinion between yourself and your other family members regarding your daughter and how ready she was to face the world on her own after leaving your home with the full support of her grandparents. It's also very clear that there is a lot of bad blood regarding that schism. Perhaps this is something that you and your sister simply shouldn't discuss until it feels less "sharp". That might take a while. :(
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: citadelle on January 28, 2013, 03:28:58 PM
Is it possible that your sister cares and wants to fix things? Maybe it isn't possible, which is sad but often true. However, thinking of her as a trouble making jerk just exacerbates the problems. If you can't talk about this with your sister without being/feeling judged, then you can't. But if you dismiss her character in the process, you will likely have no relationship at all. It doesn't sound like that is what you want.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gramma dishes on January 28, 2013, 03:38:30 PM
...  If you can't talk about this with your sister without being/feeling judged, then you can't. But if you dismiss her character in the process, you will likely have no relationship at all. It doesn't sound like that is what you want.

But the sister is making the OP's and her familial relationship contingent upon the OP 'listening' to her and her theories and her criticisms (which sound like they aren't based on fact anyway).  Her attitude seems to be: "Either you let me tell you what a horrible mother you were and all the horrible effects it had on your daughter or we can't have a sisterly relationship."

No.  Sister does not get to call the shots in their relationship.  Period.  That's not what being a sister is all about.  My sister is supportive and loving and would be busy telling me all the ways I had been a wonderful mother (and yes, if she thought I made mistakes we might talk about that too), but she would NOT be saying "If you won't let me criticize you and your daughter and your relationship with her and how badly you screwed up, and then let me tell you how to fix you, then I'm not going to accept you as my sister at all."
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 03:39:27 PM
Is it possible that your sister cares and wants to fix things? Maybe it isn't possible, which is sad but often true. However, thinking of her as a trouble making jerk just exacerbates the problems. If you can't talk about this with your sister without being/feeling judged, then you can't. But if you dismiss her character in the process, you will likely have no relationship at all. It doesn't sound like that is what you want.

I do think she cares deep down. I think she truly doesn't want her family to be fighting . I didn't say she was a trouble making jerk, although I do think she craves drama which in turn, causes trouble. It is difficult to know with her whether she is trying to help because she cares or she is craving drama. I am almost certain that if I took her up on her offer as mediator she would NOT have went down the road of criticizing and judging . So the way to keep drama and upset-ness at bay with my sister ,is to do as she wishes. It has been this way for a long, long time.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 03:44:45 PM
...  If you can't talk about this with your sister without being/feeling judged, then you can't. But if you dismiss her character in the process, you will likely have no relationship at all. It doesn't sound like that is what you want.

But the sister is making the OP's and her familial relationship contingent upon the OP 'listening' to her and her theories and her criticisms (which sound like they aren't based on fact anyway).  Her attitude seems to be: "Either you let me tell you what a horrible mother you were and all the horrible effects it had on your daughter or we can't have a sisterly relationship."

No.  Sister does not get to call the shots in their relationship.  Period.  That's not what being a sister is all about.  My sister is supportive and loving and would be busy telling me all the ways I had been a wonderful mother (and yes, if she thought I made mistakes we might talk about that too), but she would NOT be saying "If you won't let me criticize you and your daughter and your relationship with her and how badly you screwed up, and then let me tell you how to fix you, then I'm not going to accept you as my sister at all."

Thank you gramma dishes. This is exactly how I feel. And I am not trying to sound like I am perfect but I can say 100% that I would never treat my sisters this way, ever. I have supported my older sister through a divorce, my younger sister through a bad break up , never judging . I have NO problem with constructive criticism. In fact I used to go both sisters for advice many years ago for various things and listened when they told me some things I could do to improve a situation. In this case, both my sisters (and parents) ganged up on me , allowed my child to move out of state , keeping it a secret from me , even when I called each of them individually and begged them to tell me what was going on . They were COLD, uncaring and cruel . I would have never , ever allowed my sisters to be treated the way I was treated.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: LEMon on January 28, 2013, 03:48:11 PM
Is it possible that your sister cares and wants to fix things? Maybe it isn't possible, which is sad but often true. However, thinking of her as a trouble making jerk just exacerbates the problems. If you can't talk about this with your sister without being/feeling judged, then you can't. But if you dismiss her character in the process, you will likely have no relationship at all. It doesn't sound like that is what you want.

I do think she cares deep down. I think she truly doesn't want her family to be fighting . I didn't say she was a trouble making jerk, although I do think she craves drama which in turn, causes trouble. It is difficult to know with her whether she is trying to help because she cares or she is craving drama. I am almost certain that if I took her up on her offer as mediator she would NOT have went down the road of criticizing and judging . So the way to keep drama and upset-ness at bay with my sister ,is to do as she wishes. It has been this way for a long, long time.
But can you imagine what her mediation would have been like if she had all these thoughts about you when you two were resolved? 
Keep that in mind - she didn't bring up all this till you said 'no'.  She was 'resolved' with you till you resisted her mediation.  So this wasn't an issue till she didn't get what she wanted.

You need to decide what you want your relationship with her to be now.  What do you want?  What can you have?  What will it cost to have that relationship (might be you accepting her critism, or you drawing boundaries and doing the work to keep them up)?  What do you want?
Now what does it take to make that happen.
Then the hardest part: doing it.  Keeping strong.

(Hopefully if you give her time, she'll find a new crusade that is not you.)
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 03:52:50 PM
Is it possible that your sister cares and wants to fix things? Maybe it isn't possible, which is sad but often true. However, thinking of her as a trouble making jerk just exacerbates the problems. If you can't talk about this with your sister without being/feeling judged, then you can't. But if you dismiss her character in the process, you will likely have no relationship at all. It doesn't sound like that is what you want.

I do think she cares deep down. I think she truly doesn't want her family to be fighting . I didn't say she was a trouble making jerk, although I do think she craves drama which in turn, causes trouble. It is difficult to know with her whether she is trying to help because she cares or she is craving drama. I am almost certain that if I took her up on her offer as mediator she would NOT have went down the road of criticizing and judging . So the way to keep drama and upset-ness at bay with my sister ,is to do as she wishes. It has been this way for a long, long time.
But can you imagine what her mediation would have been like if she had all these thoughts about you when you two were resolved? 
Keep that in mind - she didn't bring up all this till you said 'no'.  She was 'resolved' with you till you resisted her mediation.  So this wasn't an issue till she didn't get what she wanted.

You need to decide what you want your relationship with her to be now.  What do you want?  What can you have?  What will it cost to have that relationship (might be you accepting her critism, or you drawing boundaries and doing the work to keep them up)?  What do you want?
Now what does it take to make that happen.
Then the hardest part: doing it.  Keeping strong.

(Hopefully if you give her time, she'll find a new crusade that is not you.)

I know I don't want any more drama in my life from my family. It would be exhausting to keep up with trying to deal with her mood swings (fine if she gets her way, not fine if she doesn't) .  I think I can either stop speaking to her altogether, or once again keep her at arms length and refuse to discuss anything regarding my DD or my parenting with her. 

and lol yes, she will find a new crusade soon enough, I suppose.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: Moray on January 28, 2013, 03:56:42 PM
...  If you can't talk about this with your sister without being/feeling judged, then you can't. But if you dismiss her character in the process, you will likely have no relationship at all. It doesn't sound like that is what you want.

But the sister is making the OP's and her familial relationship contingent upon the OP 'listening' to her and her theories and her criticisms (which sound like they aren't based on fact anyway).  Her attitude seems to be: "Either you let me tell you what a horrible mother you were and all the horrible effects it had on your daughter or we can't have a sisterly relationship."

No.  Sister does not get to call the shots in their relationship.  Period.  That's not what being a sister is all about.  My sister is supportive and loving and would be busy telling me all the ways I had been a wonderful mother (and yes, if she thought I made mistakes we might talk about that too), but she would NOT be saying "If you won't let me criticize you and your daughter and your relationship with her and how badly you screwed up, and then let me tell you how to fix you, then I'm not going to accept you as my sister at all."

Thank you gramma dishes. This is exactly how I feel. And I am not trying to sound like I am perfect but I can say 100% that I would never treat my sisters this way, ever. I have supported my older sister through a divorce, my younger sister through a bad break up , never judging . I have NO problem with constructive criticism. In fact I used to go both sisters for advice many years ago for various things and listened when they told me some things I could do to improve a situation. In this case, both my sisters (and parents) ganged up on me , allowed my child to move out of state , keeping it a secret from me , even when I called each of them individually and begged them to tell me what was going on . They were COLD, uncaring and cruel . I would have never , ever allowed my sisters to be treated the way I was treated.

That's a pretty extreme action, and from their side, I'm sure they felt very justified in helping your 17yo daughter fly the coop. We can't (and shouldn't attempt to) in any way pass judgement on the correctness of their actions in this case, but they must have felt very strongly about it at the time. That kind of emotion doesn't just evaporate, and your sister may very well feel that she can't move forward and have a relationship with you until you hash out whatever the original conflict was.

That doesn't mean she has the right to *demand* this discussion with you, and you certainly don't have to participate if she starts in. Just keep in mind that the elevated emotions surrounding the situations may mean that she's not able to "forgive and forget" just yet.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: stargazer on January 28, 2013, 04:11:49 PM
I guess I am just totally lost on how they were able to keep moving your child away from you a "secret".  I have a hard time getting past how that even happens.  So I'll just say I hope you can repair your relationship with your DD with or without your sister's help as I remember she was very unhappy in your previous posts and you were going to try to work on being less strict.  But I think she was already 17 at that point.
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: gena264 on January 28, 2013, 04:44:51 PM
I guess I am just totally lost on how they were able to keep moving your child away from you a "secret".  I have a hard time getting past how that even happens.  So I'll just say I hope you can repair your relationship with your DD with or without your sister's help as I remember she was very unhappy in your previous posts and you were going to try to work on being less strict.  But I think she was already 17 at that point.

deleted due to privacy of location
Title: Re: Help in Dealing With Sister !~ LONG
Post by: redcat on January 29, 2013, 07:33:28 AM
"I'm really not that bothered."