Author Topic: You're Not My Sister  (Read 9493 times)

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laud_shy_girl

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2013, 06:39:01 PM »
Op I think the first thing is find out from your mum how she got this info. If she got it second hand from some one else, it could have started as an expression of regret on Betty's part that has been blown up out of proportion

On a slight side note... This thread had me humming this all after noon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYlJH81dSiw

Edited for clarity.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 06:40:43 PM by laud_shy_girl »
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dirtyweasel

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2013, 09:52:22 PM »
Okay, to clarify a few things:

1.  Betty and my mom were talking on Facebook and she said that she was offended and sad that I didn't invite her to my wedding because she's my sister/family.  My mom told me this as sort of a "just so you know" sort of gossip. 

2.  We've never really talked/visited because we live about 2000 miles apart and always have. 

3.  I think there are a few reasons why I don't want a relationship with her, but I would probably say the biggest reason would be her pushiness with calling me her sister.  I sorta resent that because I feel like she's not only lying to others about our relationship, but she's trying to push a family relationship on me that I don't want.  The fact that she basically labels me her sister leads me to believe that she's told other people that I'm her sister ( case in point: my mom) and that rubs me the wrong way.

I'm perfectly fine with our relationship as it is - a polite acquaintance relationship which is nice because we are two different people and we don't have a lot in common.  I don't think that the 15 year age difference helps either, but another part of it is that I don't talk to my dads side of the family except for my (real) sister and brother because most of them are dysfunctional toxic people.m I just don't want to associate with that....it's bad enough that I have to associate with my real sister lol!



katycoo

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2013, 11:06:17 PM »
My favourite quote fromt eh film Clueless is "You divorce wives, you don't divorce children".

Each persons bond with their sibling is unique.  What exists between one pair is not the same for another. 

Do you consider her to be a step sister or no relation at all?

bah12

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2013, 12:26:18 PM »
Okay, to clarify a few things:

1.  Betty and my mom were talking on Facebook and she said that she was offended and sad that I didn't invite her to my wedding because she's my sister/family.  My mom told me this as sort of a "just so you know" sort of gossip. 

2.  We've never really talked/visited because we live about 2000 miles apart and always have. 

3.  I think there are a few reasons why I don't want a relationship with her, but I would probably say the biggest reason would be her pushiness with calling me her sister.  I sorta resent that because I feel like she's not only lying to others about our relationship, but she's trying to push a family relationship on me that I don't want.  The fact that she basically labels me her sister leads me to believe that she's told other people that I'm her sister ( case in point: my mom) and that rubs me the wrong way.

I'm perfectly fine with our relationship as it is - a polite acquaintance relationship which is nice because we are two different people and we don't have a lot in common.  I don't think that the 15 year age difference helps either, but another part of it is that I don't talk to my dads side of the family except for my (real) sister and brother because most of them are dysfunctional toxic people.m I just don't want to associate with that....it's bad enough that I have to associate with my real sister lol!

If you have no desire to have a relationship with her and live 2000 miles away from her, then that's it.  Ignore the familial requests, don't invite her to your wedding, etc.

I totally get that you're uncomfortable with her telling people that you're sisters.  But, again, I wonder why this is so bothersome.  I'm guessing that with her living so far away, there are only a few people that you and her share...your mom seems to be one of them, your actual sister, etc.  And they already know how the tie between you and her.  I don't know how her telling her friends and people you don't know (and I don't know why it would ever come to be honest), is any reflection on you.  And she's not lying.  You and her share a father.  Like I said, it's irrelevent that she was a step-child of his, because he acted, loved, and supported her the way a biological or adoptive father would.  He didn't "divorce" her when he divorced her mother.  For her to consider your father as her father, doesn't make it a stretch that she would consider all your father's children to be sisters/brothers of hers as well. (This is just something for you to consider...the sister thing is more about her than anyone else).

Now, if she's a toxic, spoiled brat and you think that having any familial tie to her is a reflection on you as a person, then I do get it.  But it sounds like this tie is only to your father's side of the family and not to her specifically.  Also, it doesn't appear that she's attempting to use the "sister" relationship for personal gains.  It seems more that it comes from a place of family bonding and family ties.  And, although I've never personally experienced it, I can see where a child that grew up without her biological father in her life, would cling to the family of the man that did support her as a father should.  Especially after he has passed on.  She's probably just really craving that tie back to her Dad...and that's you.  I can see where that rejection would hurt. 

That being said, you don't want a relationship with her and don't want to feel pressured to have a relationship with her.  You think she's pushy, lying, and basically don't like her.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like that.  My advice is to not worry about her.  If no one is pressing you to invite her to your wedding, then you don't have a problem there.  Let her deal with her own feelings about how the family web is woven and say whatever she wants about you being her sister to people you don't know.  Just go about doing what you're doing and ignore her on FB.  If anyone in your family does start pressing you to have a relationship with her, then just explain to them that it's a conversation you are not willing to have. 

gramma dishes

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2013, 01:31:25 PM »
 

...   I totally get that you're uncomfortable with her telling people that you're sisters.  But, again, I wonder why this is so bothersome.  ...  You and her share a father.  Like I said, it's irrelevent that she was a step-child of his, because he acted, loved, and supported her the way a biological or adoptive father would.   ...

Dirtyweasel ~~  Is it possible that this is one of the reasons you want to distance yourself from her?  That you are really not comfortable (and maybe even a little ticked off at) "sharing" your father's love and affection with someone you barely know?

*inviteseller

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2013, 01:41:37 PM »
bah12 - This woman was the OP's fathers step child in the marriage previous to the one he had with OP's mother.  The closest you can call a family tie is she is the step sister of OP's half sibling.  They didn't grow up in the same house or even have interactions, other than 3 times in OP's life.   For the woman in the OP, she is reaching reallyreally far.  They have absolutely no relationship to even try to call each other sisters.  OP chats with this person on FB and is ok with that level of intimacy but this woman is trying to push something that truthfully is NOT there, never was there, and never will be there.  The attempting to get her involved in the genealogy is kind of weird as they have absolutely no genetic connection, and if one were making a family tree, neither of you would include the other because there is no connection.  The only concession I'm willing to give to this woman's delusion of family is she really loved and admired your father because he obviously stepped up when her own father didn't, but that doesn't give her the right to push and be mad that you didn't invite her to your wedding.   

bah12

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2013, 02:13:56 PM »
bah12 - This woman was the OP's fathers step child in the marriage previous to the one he had with OP's mother.  The closest you can call a family tie is she is the step sister of OP's half sibling.  They didn't grow up in the same house or even have interactions, other than 3 times in OP's life.   For the woman in the OP, she is reaching reallyreally far.  They have absolutely no relationship to even try to call each other sisters.  OP chats with this person on FB and is ok with that level of intimacy but this woman is trying to push something that truthfully is NOT there, never was there, and never will be there.  The attempting to get her involved in the genealogy is kind of weird as they have absolutely no genetic connection, and if one were making a family tree, neither of you would include the other because there is no connection.  The only concession I'm willing to give to this woman's delusion of family is she really loved and admired your father because he obviously stepped up when her own father didn't, but that doesn't give her the right to push and be mad that you didn't invite her to your wedding.   

I am confused on where the anger (perceived by me) is coming from.  I already stated that the OP is fine to feel the way she does and doesn't have to have a relationship with this woman if she doesn't desire.

Trying to give her some perspective on where this woman is coming from is just that...perspective.  One doesn't have to be biologically and genetically connected to someone to be considered family.  Her father considered her family without this connection and clearly this woman feels that it is tie enough for her to want that same connection with the OP.  The OP (or anyone else) doesn't need to be angry because someone is reaching out.  The OP, from what I can tell, never said "I don't want you to be my sister, leave me alone", she's just ignoring all references to it.  So, she can continue to ignore (my advice) or just come out and say "go away."  But, I don't think this woman was wrong for trying. 

Also, it doesn't seem that the "(non) sister" is pushing to be invited to the wedding at all.  The OPs mom said that she was hurt that she wasn't invited. It's neither rude to be hurt, nor, IMO, is it rude to tell someone that she is hurt.  She's not getting an invited to the wedding.  As long as she accepts that without pushing the OP or talking to more relatives about why she's not invited, then she's good. 

Again, like I said at least twice before, the OP is fine to stay distant.  I just think she should try to not to worry about whether or not this woman refers to her as a sister to people the OP doesn't know.  It's not worth the energy to be bothered and ticked off about that. 

As for the bolded, I believe she is the half-sibling of the OPs half-sibling.  She and the OP's half-sibling share a mother, while the OP and her half-sibling, share a father.  That is the biological connection.  The other connection is that the OP and this woman (along with their shared half-sibling) also share a father...just that she's not biologically related to him where the OP is.   And while I (stating again) think that the OP can have a relationship with whomever she chooses for whatever reason she has, I do think it's kind of cruel for anyone to argue that this woman has no right to even try a relationship, or is delusional in thinking there could be one, simply because there is no biological tie.  All the while, the OP has a relationship with the other biologically related children in the family.  Can you not understand how that might be hurtful...especially to someone who has already been rejected by her own biological father?

OP, I'm curious...does Betty also keep a familial relationship with the child from your father's first marriage?  Your other half-sibling?

*inviteseller

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2013, 02:30:05 PM »
Sorry Bah12...you was general.  There is nothing perceived, I was just trying to explain that this woman is not related to either OP or her father.  Didn't mean it to come out that I was saying anything other than that.  Friends? ;)

bah12

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2013, 02:45:23 PM »
Sorry Bah12...you was general.  There is nothing perceived, I was just trying to explain that this woman is not related to either OP or her father.  Didn't mean it to come out that I was saying anything other than that.  Friends? ;)

Yes  :)

Sharnita

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2013, 08:06:06 AM »
bah12 - This woman was the OP's fathers step child in the marriage previous to the one he had with OP's mother. The closest you can call a family tie is she is the step sister of OP's half sibling.  They didn't grow up in the same house or even have interactions, other than 3 times in OP's life.   For the woman in the OP, she is reaching reallyreally far.  They have absolutely no relationship to even try to call each other sisters.  OP chats with this person on FB and is ok with that level of intimacy but this woman is trying to push something that truthfully is NOT there, never was there, and never will be there.  The attempting to get her involved in the genealogy is kind of weird as they have absolutely no genetic connection, and if one were making a family tree, neither of you would include the other because there is no connection.  The only concession I'm willing to give to this woman's delusion of family is she really loved and admired your father because he obviously stepped up when her own father didn't, but that doesn't give her the right to push and be mad that you didn't invite her to your wedding.   

That might be the closest you would call it and it might be the closest OP would call it but that is not the closest anybody could/would call it.  There are people who would still see that as enough to call the other person their sibling.  That is why it is tricky - from the other woman's point of view, she isn't lying.  OP is her sister because her standars for who is her sibling are different.  She just isn't OP's sister.

Redsoil

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2013, 11:18:16 AM »
I would tend to just ignore the whole thing unless it really irks you into saying something.  Then I guess you could say to her "I tend to think of you on the same level as a cousin, given the family circumstances."
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Lynn2000

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2013, 11:09:37 AM »
I would tend to just ignore the whole thing unless it really irks you into saying something.  Then I guess you could say to her "I tend to think of you on the same level as a cousin, given the family circumstances."

Actually I think that's a tactful way to put it, should one feel forced to make a comment. "Given how we were raised, I think of you more like a distant cousin, actually." Throw the blame (such as it is) back on the adults who made the choices that kept you from being raised as sisters (whether reasonable at the time or not). Maybe that would help her to understand your perspective better.
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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2013, 07:08:02 PM »
bah12 - This woman was the OP's fathers step child in the marriage previous to the one he had with OP's mother. The closest you can call a family tie is she is the step sister of OP's half sibling.  They didn't grow up in the same house or even have interactions, other than 3 times in OP's life.   For the woman in the OP, she is reaching reallyreally far.  They have absolutely no relationship to even try to call each other sisters.  OP chats with this person on FB and is ok with that level of intimacy but this woman is trying to push something that truthfully is NOT there, never was there, and never will be there.  The attempting to get her involved in the genealogy is kind of weird as they have absolutely no genetic connection, and if one were making a family tree, neither of you would include the other because there is no connection.  The only concession I'm willing to give to this woman's delusion of family is she really loved and admired your father because he obviously stepped up when her own father didn't, but that doesn't give her the right to push and be mad that you didn't invite her to your wedding.   

That might be the closest you would call it and it might be the closest OP would call it but that is not the closest anybody could/would call it.  There are people who would still see that as enough to call the other person their sibling.  That is why it is tricky - from the other woman's point of view, she isn't lying.  OP is her sister because her standars for who is her sibling are different.  She just isn't OP's sister.
That is the closest it is in reality, there is nothing there at all for this woman to claim OP as her sister.  If it was the case that someone wanted to claim a relationship that clearly doesn't exist or is wanted then my best friend and I , who grew up together (40 year friendship!) and who I spent all my time with at one of our houses could just decide we are sisters.   This woman and the OP have met 3 times in their lives !  They share nothing in common other than for a short time, before OP was born, OP's father was her step father.  And while I think it is wonderful that this woman and OP's father had a great relationship (altho it doesn't sound like they actually spent time together after the parents divorced) but for her to be so, well no better word than demanding of a sisterhood with OP is strange.  To attempt to get her on the woman's genealogy and then whine about not being invited to the wedding is at best pushy at worst delusional. 

TootsNYC

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2013, 09:36:56 PM »
Okay, to clarify a few things:

1.  Betty and my mom were talking on Facebook and she said that she was offended and sad that I didn't invite her to my wedding because she's my sister/family.  My mom told me this as sort of a "just so you know" sort of gossip. 


In this case, I think your mom was doing an appropriate thing to tell you. Now you know, and that can be valuable information to have.

Quote
3.  I think there are a few reasons why I don't want a relationship with her, but I would probably say the biggest reason would be her pushiness with calling me her sister.  I sorta resent that because I feel like she's not only lying to others about our relationship, but she's trying to push a family relationship on me that I don't want. The fact that she basically labels me her sister leads me to believe that she's told other people that I'm her sister ( case in point: my mom) and that rubs me the wrong way.


This is actually on of the big no-nos in etiquette--to push for an intimacy that doesn't exist or isn't mutual.

That's why the *traditional* etiquette is that you are supposed to call people Ms. Smith or Mr. Jones until *THEY* say, "Oh, please call me Betty/Bill."

It's why it's not appropriate to start using a nickname for someone you don't know well.

And it's actually a tool con men use, to try to make you think there is a closer relationship than exists, to trick you into relaxing your guard so they can take advantage of you.

It's also something that gets mentioned in "Gift of Fear" type conversations--abusers and manipulators do this as well, declaring their undying love after 4 dates.

I'm not at all implying that this woman is a con man or a stalker/abuser/manipulator. But the fact that she is so persistent in this, given the extreme lack of contact w/ the OP, *IS* an indicator that she is not good at reading social cues, is not particularly sensitive of boundaries, etc.  All of which would make me not want to be closer either, and not want to encourage her at all.

So I totally understand that you actually feel LESS interested in claiming a closer relationship precisely because she DOES claim one, especially in a situation like you describe, with no real intimacy at all.

So, going forward, you can decide to cut ties further or to simply hold them as they are and refuse to get sucked in.

And I like Lynn2000's wording, and the idea from Redsoil that if you *have* to articulate anything (or if your mother feels she needs to, since she might be the one getting the pressure), you point to another familial relationship, the cousin thing.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 09:38:28 PM by TootsNYC »

blarg314

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Re: You're Not My Sister
« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2013, 04:11:37 AM »

If someone is your actual sibling (of whatever sort) they they can refer to you as their full/step/half/foster/adoptive/in-law sibling or even drop the prefix, and there is nothing you can do to complain about it - they are stating a biological or legal relationship, which is not related to how you feel about them. They can use the term in referring to you when talking with other people, as well.

However, that doesn't mean that the label comes with an automatically close relationship, or a "but it's faaaamily" classification. The emotional relationship tends to come about over time. If you grow up together or live together it tends to exist (whether it be good or bad). If you've never lived together, rarely met, and have had only casual Facebook interactions, it's a lot less likely to happen. And if one side doesn't want it, it's not going to happen.

Then there are cases where someone is not a sibling, but you think of each other that way - something like your mother's best friend's daughter, who you grew up next door to, or a situation like the OP where they were actually close.   But in that case, using the term "sister" has to be a mutual choice - you can't randomly decide that someone is your sister, and start referring to her as such when you aren't, any more than you could start referring to someone random as your mother.

In the OP's case, it's a mix of the two. Whether or not you could define them as siblings is not clear - she is the OP's father's ex-stepdaughter, and the two have never lived together. But even if you had a definition of sibling that worked (ex-stepsister at one remove?), they do not currently have a close relationship. They both have a relationship with the OP's father. They have met a couple of times, and are Facebook friends. So if she is pushing a "but we're faaamily" line on the OP, I can see how that would seem intrusive, because it's out of sync with the level of closeness they had at any point.