Removing toxic people from your life, even if they’re family…

I have been having a hard time figuring out how to go about writing this post. There are so many different directions that I could come at this from. Where do I start when it comes to explaining how I came to realize that not only was my relationship with my sister unhealthy, but that it was in fact an abusive relationship? How I came to realize that my sister was in fact a toxic person? And then how I finally realized that even though she was my sister, I did not have to let her have a place in my life? I’ll try to start at the beginning.

I am the oldest of 3 children. I have a sister who is 2 years younger than me, and a brother that is 7 years younger than me. I have always had a very good and close relationship with my brother. I was even more of an overprotective big sister to him than most, because my brother has special needs. He (for reasons that doctors could never explain) can not pronounce consonants, only vowels. I quickly learned “his language” and appointed myself his translator in all situations where he needed one. Although the doctors years ago didn’t think that my brother had autism, I myself have come to realize that he does in fact have some form of autism. It may not explain all of the things that are “wrong” with my brother, but it does cover a lot of them. He is an awesome kid. (He may be 23 years old, but he’ll always be a kid to me.)

Then there is my sister. We may have had an okay relationship when we were really young, but it started to turn fairly early on. Not having any other sisters, I had no other relationship with which to compare ours, so it took me a very long time to realize that something was horribly wrong with it.

Very early on she started to tell me that I was a horrible sister because I wouldn’t play the games that she wanted to play, or because I spent any time with friends and not with her, or any number of other things that elevated me (or lowered me?) to “worst sister ever” status in her eyes. She may be younger than me, but she knew my insecurities and she used them against me. She made me feel guilty and used that guilt to try and get what she wanted.

Being the oldest, and having two parents who both had to work in order to pay the bills, I started babysitting my siblings when I was fairly young. I understood that it was something that needed to be done, and was more than happy to do it. Once I was in high school though, and beginning to try to start my own life, I was not available to watch my siblings as much. In reality the only one who really needed to be “watched” was my brother, and he was old enough at this time that it wasn’t all that big a deal. He didn’t need constant supervision, just someone in the house with him in case he needed you. This was far too much to ask of my sister though, who claimed that she was still too young to watch him alone, although I was watching both of them for much longer stretches of time when I was years younger than she was then. She didn’t think that she should have to have any responsibility and that I was “putting my friends before my family” simply because I had any social life at all.She also decided that, even though she wanted me to do the babysitting, that I was the worst babysitter ever. Why? Because I didn’t hover around my brother all the time and micromanage everything like she did anytime that she watched him. Drove him crazy. But really, this was also another backhanded way of saying, you don’t spend enough time with me

Then there was the summer after I graduated High School. I was having a yard sale at the house of the man who would later become my husband, and my mom, sister and brother stopped by. They found some things that they were interested in, hung around for a little bit and then left to go back home. Soon after that, my husband left to go and pick us up some lunch. While he was gone, his best friend stopped by and I took the opportunity to go inside and check the messages on the answering machine. There was one from my father. He was calling from the hospital. I called the number that he left and he told me that my mom, sister and brother had been in a car accident and that I needed to get to the hospital as soon as I could. I didn’t drive so I had to wait for my husband to get back from picking up lunch. I don’t know what I would have done if I was alone during that wait, and I can not thank my husband’s best friend enough for being there for me. When my husband finally got back, we rushed up to the hospital and joined all the rest of my family that had already gathered in the emergency room waiting room. I was told that my sister was fine, just some small cuts and bruises. But my mom had some broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken clavicle and a broken hip. When I was told that my brother had a fractured skull, I apparently screamed and nearly fainted. My brother’s face had to be put back together. My mother was going to be in physical therapy for weeks.

My then boyfriend, now husband, drove me to  the hospital everyday, and then we visited my mom at the rehabilitation center as often as we could. My sister didn’t want to go to the hospital, and complained that she wanted to be able to hang out with her boyfriend too.

I understand that she was probably traumatized by the event. I had P.T.S.D. from it, because I blamed myself. If I hadn’t have had that yard sale, my mom wouldn’t have been driving home and that empty cement truck wouldn’t have slammed into the drivers side of her car. The impact caused the post between the front drivers side door and the back drivers side door to slam directly into my brothers face, and the door to slam into my mothers side. They had to use the jaws of life to cut the roof off the car to get them out of the car, while my bother was choking on his own blood, and my mother had a severe concussion and only one working lung. I know that being there and actually seeing it and experiencing it must have been traumatic, but my sister would use the experience to try to get what she wanted. She even once used it flirt with someone. I know because I was there and I saw and heard it, and it made me sick.

Later that same summer I got the opportunity to go on a cross-country driving trip with my now husband, and two friends. My mother and brother were both recovering well at this point, and my entire family had urged me to do it. They told me that I would likely never have this sort of opportunity again. Everyone in my family except my sister that is. She told me that I was being selfish and that family should come first, because my mom and brother still not completely recovered. But mostly, her biggest problem was if I was gone, who was going to be around to watch my brother and help out my mother if she needed it, so that she could go out and do what she wanted? 

A couple years after my husband and I got married we moved away from the East Coast to Utah. Not long after moving out here I got a phone call from my sister announcing that she had met someone a couple weeks earlier and that they were already trying to get pregnant. She could not understand why my reaction was concern, and why I “could not just be happy for her”. She got more and more irrational in that phone call. She started spouting about graphic sexual things that she had done with my husbands best friend who had once been her boyfriend, and the announced that had cheated on my husband with his best friend that used to be her boyfriend. When I understandably got pissed about her accusation, she started to try to back track and say that I had had an emotional affair with him. Because I would talk on the phone with him about my relationship with my husband, and how to make it better.

Our relationship understandably became more strained after that, but I was still there for her even when I vowed I wouldn’t be after she moved out to Colorado and eloped with the guy that she had told me about in that awful phone conversation. I was there for her when she called me crying because they didn’t have enough money to live the lifestyle that she wanted. I was there for her when she realized that marriage was hard, and called me crying because they had had a fight. I offered to have them come out for Christmas and stay with us in our small apartment for a while. She said that they would and we bought them presents. And then at the last minute they said they couldn’t come. Soon after they moved back to the east coast and back under my parent’s roof. The same roof that she couldn’t wait to get out from under because it wasn’t fancy enough for her. The same parents that she had tried to blame for all of her problems because they were “too immature to have ever been parents”.

It turns out that she married a man in the National Guard, and I was there for her when she found out that he was going to be deployed overseas in Afghanistan for his first tour of duty. And then while he was over seas in a war zone, she was out drinking and partying. And spending all of his combat pay. She got an apartment with her boyfriend, that her husband later moved into when he came home from war. While he was over seas, he would tell me how he just wanted her to stop. He wanted her to slow down on spending his money. He was not okay with her being with another man, even if she was telling everyone that he said it was okay. He was not okay with it. He was in a war zone, getting shot at, with responsibility over the men under him, and he was preoccupied with his cheating wife who was now telling everyone that they were thinking of getting a divorce. And when he came home they soon had to move back into my parents’ house because she spent all the money that he earned overseas and he could not find a high enough paying job.

I was also there for her when her husband went back on his second tour of duty to Afghanistan. While her husband was away, my mom lost her job and fell into a deep severe depressive episode. My sister was pretty much my only source of information, because my mom couldn’t talk much on the phone, and my dad had his hands full trying to take care of my mom and brother. I never knew how bad things really were with my mom until later because my sister only talked about the situation in how it effected her. How frustrated my mom made her. And so on.

My sister agreed to fly my husband and I back east. I thought that it was to help out my mom, but when I told my sister that I wasn’t going to yell at my mom like she wanted me to, she threatened to not fly us out. I then started to do whatever I could to not be on my sister’s bad side so that I could see my mother, because we could not afford to pay for the trip ourselves. When she told me that this was supposed to be a surprise for my mother, and that I was not to tell her, I had no choice but to do what she said. Even though I knew it was a horrible idea. We got one half-day with my in-laws and one half day with one of my best friends, and then we were at her new apartment with her and my brother who she had taken out of my parents’ house. My sister does not drive, so the trip that we thought was going to be about trying to help my mom turned into my husband driving us all over the state of Connecticut buying stuff for my sisters apartment so that she could get it ready before her husband came home from over seas. She was mad at my mother for not helping her move into her apartment more. She was even more mad that my mother didn’t want to come over for the lunch that she had sent formal invitations to them about, and how when my mother found out that my husband and I were in town she had a setback in her recovery, instead of instantly becoming better like she was supposed to. I barely got to see my mother during that trip because our only form of transportation was her husband’s car, and she wouldn’t let us use it without her in it. My husband used up all of his vacation days, and I was doing everything I could not to get into a confrontation with her, and we were still getting yelled at every single day that we were with her. She paid for our plane tickets, and I felt like she had bought me.

Once we were back in Utah she still had a hold over me. She would call me and text me constantly, and she was once again planning on taking a trip out here with her husband to spend Christmas with us. We bought a futon, and turned the second bedroom from a junk room into a guest room. And then at the last minute they said they couldn’t make it.

She had me on the phone for over 6 hours one time, well into the early morning. During this time she proceeded to tell me what I later found out to be lies about my mother. She told me that my mother didn’t actually like me, and that she would make fun of me behind my back. And that my mother had told her all these things that weren’t true about me. My mother was still trying to get over a major depressive episode and my sister was trying to turn me against her. Once my mom got a bit better, and I was able to talk with her on the phone again my mom was shocked at the things that my sister had said that she had said about me. And then my mother told me that my sister had been abusive while she was sick. That she would yell and threaten and demand that my mom get better right away, and then tell my mother that she had better not tell my father what she was doing if she knew what was good for her.

I had come to dread a phone call, or a text, or an email from my sister. I would worry about all the time. I was paranoid that I would be in the middle of doing something that I enjoyed and she would call. I had to take her calls or texts right away, because if I didn’t I’d get yelled at worse. It was all I thought about. I was always nervous. I had nightmares about my sister.

And then I eventually realized that I needed to get out of this abusive relationship. That leaving that relationship did not make me a bad sister, because I had tried so many times. I had given her chance after chance after chance. I was not the problem, and I could not fix a broken relationship if I was the only one trying.

My mom told me that she supported me, and I wrote one of the hardest emails of my life telling my sister that I couldn’t have contact with her for a while. That I was scared of her, and that I shouldn’t be afraid of my little sister. To please not contact me unless I contact her. I explained a lot more, went into a lot more detail. And then I sent it. And immediately freaked out about how much trouble I was going to be in with my sister, and what she was going to do to me.

She responded basically ignoring everything that I had to say, and ordered me to call her because obviously I had misunderstood the last email that she had sent me. I sent her another email telling her that this had nothing to do with her last email, and to please stop contacting me. She responded again saying “I still have no clue why your talking about this. You still have no clue what I meant.” referring to her last email.

And that is when I knew that I had done the right thing. I had poured my heart out in that first email explaining our toxic relationship, and she just didn’t care.

That was almost 2 years ago now, and while I have had some very brief contact with her, and have had times where I thought that I needed to give the relationship one more try because if I didn’t I would be a horrible sister and everyone would judge me, I am now coming to realize that I am much happier and healthier without her in my life. The thought of having contact with her still makes me panic, and so I know I’m still not okay.

I am 30 years old now, and I get to choose who I allow in my life. Why should I spend anymore if my life with someone who abused me and only cared about what she could get out of me?

 

Links to more posts about my relationship with my sister can be found on my “My Toxic Sister” page on this blog. 

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64 thoughts on “Removing toxic people from your life, even if they’re family…

  1. So many of the things you have written here are similar to experiences my family and I have had with my grandmother. I applaud your strength, both in writing this and in emailing your sister and ending the relationship. I am sorry that you and your family have had to deal with this from a family member, and thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thank you for your support! It is helpful to know that I am not the only one who has gone through these sort of experiences, even though I wouldn’t wish this sort of thing on anyone. It makes me feel less like I’m blowing things out of proportion.

      • Anne Harris

        . A bit about me- I am the middle child of three children. I have an older brother and a younger sister. I have a father that never wanted children but even to this day only finds the ability to show any level of fatherly love to my sister only, while providing my brother with a level of tolerance that he [my brother] seems to accept. Then there is me….obviously I have never had a good relationship with my father and now in my adult years my unstable relationship with my mother has also revealed its true intentions. My brother and sister have maintained an alliance since our childhood-dis-cluding me of course. My childhood was painful, neglectful, and emotionally unfulfilling which led full-force into my adulthood. While most would believe that sibling rivalry would conclude prior to one’s adult years- in my circumstances in gained momentum.

        While I believe myself to be an exceptional mother and person, I find it keenly self-fulfilling that I can maintain an immense strength to look neglect squarely in the eye. I am thankful for my higher education provided me with foundational guidance to pave the way for perseverance. I spent many days, month, and years searching for a solution-to dislodge myself from this devaluing situation. I had to let go. I had to remove myself from my relative position within the mainstream of constant emotional abuse. It was a difficult struggle but I finally believe that I am head above water. Not suffocated by the dysfunctional overlay that still is uncontrolled and ignored. So, I threw in the proverbial “white flag” and took control over my role, my existence, my happiness- minus the dysfunctional family.

        The separatism has brought forth clarity and simplification within my own life. After reading your experience, I can truly relate – you’ve made the right decision to move forward without the constant burden of expectations that surely will never dissolve. While I am still at the beginning stages of this new cornerstone of my life and having to “reprogram” myself to not play the game- each day becomes easier and less anxiety-filled. Because to be honest, my family (or those people) causes me to experience high levels of anxiety however I have the power to change that and ironically, I had it all along.

        And finally, I take note-the word FREEDOM and what it actually means [it resonates differently among individuals], which in my opinion is under-defined. I am finally beginning to feel the true sense of the word- my own defining of the word….FREEDOM to be happy in all things that reside with me.

        Good Luck to you ma’am and thank you for your story.

    • I have a sister who is rude like that to me too and who does not even care about me or my education and she is very selfish towards me and i don’t even speak to her and i straight up blocked her number from my cellphone and when she calls i just ignore her calls and shut down on her completely because i don’t feel like getting into no arguments with her over no stupid things!!!!!!!

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  8. Ann L

    I applaud you all the way. I also have/had an abusive younger sister with whom I broke ties with a year ago. She is an entitled self absorbed narcissist who literally feels as though she has the right to say any critical, beligerent nasty thing she wants. My trouble is that my parents are OK with her behavior. They literally sit back and let her go off on her hysteronics even though she is frequently abusive to THEM. It had to come to an end when her and my mom got into a vicious fight which included my sister saying the F bomb several times. In front of my 2 year old son and 1 year old daughter. I can’t have her in my life not just for my sake but I am a mother now. It still hurts that my parents pursue a relationship with her with 10 times the effort that they ever did with me (did I mention I was always a respectable daughter and who would never dream to say “F you” to a stranger let alone my parents). But I guess that kind of daughter is more their speed. But I digress. I was so happy to read someone else’s account of an abusive sister that had to be cut off. Again I support your decision. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Chelsea

      Anne, I have a situtation that is exactly like yours. I’m so sorry to hear about everyone who has these toxic relationships but they are so detrimental to our health. I would love to cut ties with my sister – she is exactly as you have described about yours. Unfortunately I have the same problem where my dad lets her walk all over him, even though she she’s extremely rude and disrespectful to him and can’t find enough hurtful things to say to him. I have no idea how to cut ties with her but still have a relationship with my father, as she will always be in his life if he will never be able to let her go.

      • Shelley

        Anne L hit the nail on the head when she said “She is an entitled self absorbed narcissist who literally feels as though she has the right to say any critical, beligerent nasty thing she wants”. That is my sister to a “T”……………….

        • Ann

          Oh yes, I do hear and understand. One of my older sisters is the most difficult person I have ever dealt with. She believes she is always right.

          • Shelley

            yes Ann, and “these” people are: 1) NEVER wrong and 2) they NEVER apologize, even when you call them out in a lie or manipulation.

    • Pamela

      Wow, did your circumstances ever hit home with me!
      All my life, I have tried to live a respectable, well educated, successful life. My parents have literally BENT OVER BACKWARDS to cater to my sister’s life choices. Three different men, two children by two different men… She just moved number three and his son into her house after number two put a gun to his head two years ago. Now her daughter, my niece, is emulating her mother’s behavior…. Moved in with a 30 year old man who has two children from his first failed marriage. My niece is only 24 and never lived away from home before now. This situation has so devolved that it has consumed me and made me literally physically ill. The bad part is that my parents, although extremely upset, uphold her no matter what. The other bad part of this is that my sister lives next door to my parents. In cutting all ties with her, I would have to basically not see them again as well. I NEED to set myself free from this sick situation for the sake of myself, my young adult children who observe all of this, as well as my very patient husband. PLEASE, if you have some guidance or support to pass my way, I could sure use it!

  9. Shelley

    Dear Controlled Chaos, your story is so much like mine. My older sister ruined my life with her “put downs” and constant negativity. She has never once been happy for my happiness; she just found fault with it and dissected it and then looked for anything bad she could possibly think of. I cut all ties with her about three years ago and it was the best thing I have ever done. It is so nice to read that I am not alone with these feelings. Of course she did manage to convince some relatives that I am the bad guy, but they are actually just like her.

  10. Julia H

    Its so nice to see this post. I too have a sister that is a narcissist , mean and self absorbed. She feels like she needs to talk behind my back about almost everything thats going on in my life. She also is extremely judgemental and mean. She does all this by the facade of psychotherapy and she talks like she is taking valium 24/7. I am so done with her and don’t want her near my children or in my life. Its quite sad b/c I tried to be a decent sister to her. Some people are very selfish and cannot look outside of themselves. I realized a few years ago that she was not a sister to me….and I have had to cut her out of my life.

    • Shelley

      Hi Julia, when I read your message I could have written almost the identical words. I also cut my sister out of my life after trying and trying to make it work; it was always one sided though. Some people just can’t be happy, and they sure can’t be happy when you are; I think it all boils down to jealousy. I did everything under the sun to be a good sister, always happy and positive and she wasn’t happy until she brought me down. I am so relieved that I refuse to let her ruin what’s left of my life.

  11. Kathy

    Hi, I am relieved to see these posts as well. I am the youngest of nine children and have 4 older sisters and 4 brothers. The oldest is 16 years older than me and has lways been mean and verbally abusive to me and my other 4 sisters since I was a child. Now that I am an adult (48 years old), she still thinks she can say mean things to me, but I am not allowed to me argue back that I don’t like what she says. My only sister who was neutral and who had a very kind heart passed away a year ago from cancer, unfortunately so I have no ally anymore. I have another sister who is 19 months older than me, and I always had the feeling that she and my oldest sister are in kahoots – both are very much alike personality wise. She and I had a love/hate relationship growng up and is also bi-polar. There have been many episodes in my life when I get my hopes up when she calls me, but then I don’t hear from her for months and she won’t call me back. (She has also done this to my parents and was very hurtful to them – they are both deceased now.) Well, just found out that my 3 surviving sisters and I were at a wedding last month and yesterday all ganged up on me saying they did not like my sarcastic behavior at the wedding. (The only thing I can think of was that my older sister was criticizing me again so I called her a bitch.) My second oldest sister has joint issues and is handicapped and on numerous pain meds, so half the time you don’t know if she is lucid or not. i called the oldest sister after I talked to the second oldest, and she told me that I had no right to talk to her like that when I confronted her yesterday about they had said. I think because I am the baby, they still view me their 8 year old little sister. I think part of it is jealousy, since I am married to an Army Colonel and we have lived around the country and just built a new custom house. (My sister closest to my age came to visit me a month ago and never even commented on how nice our house was – not that I am fishing for compliments, but my husband thinks she is jealous as well. My sisters have never left their hometowns and all married young. I just think now the 3 sisters are in kahoots and I am tired of feeling like I am always talked about and critcized. So, I told the oldest one yesterday that I am no longer communicating with them. I feel so much pain and remorse now – since I always had wanted their acceptance and love – I think it just will never happen. Hopefully time will heal the wounds and I can move on and appreciate the my current friends, my immediate family (hubby and 2 kids), and my husband’s family. I was very close to my parents, but unfortunately, since they had me at a late age, I lost my mother in 1998 and my father in 2011.

    • Shelley

      Hi Kathy, I also walked away from my sister three years ago and it was only option I had left, after bending over backwards to make our relationship work since we were young. The only way it would work was if I agreed with everything she said, and let her control my life, even from afar, and also never ever voiced my own opinion because that just caused fights. You, and I, will never gain their acceptance and love; it will just never happen. So I am going through the same thing right now. And every person I know who knows my story says the same thing, it is all jealousy.

      • Ann

        so true!! Have seen this jealousy in her since childhood.

  12. Lexi

    Thank you so much for your story. It has done me good to read this and all the comments above. I am the youngest of 3. My brother is 8 years older, my sister 5 years older. My dad and brother fell out when I was 13 and he was thrown out so I didn’t see him for 15 years. He had a very bad relationship with my sister and they were constantly getting into physical fights. My sister always made me go with her against my brother so I was caught in the middle and was actually scared to say anything. I have always had a fairly good relationship with my parents, especially when I met my husband and we would go on holidays with them. My sister however, only wanted to know when she wanted something. In fact, every week I would ask them if they had heard from her and they would say “no, she doesn’t want anything!” She has caused me to break friendships through telling lies (and me stupidly believing what she said!) Unfortunately my lovely mom passed away a few years ago and since then my sister has ignored my children’s birthdays, ignored texts from me and, since marrying her second husband, seems to think she is too good for me and my family! A few months ago I confronted her by email, in a nice way, and she used it as an excuse to block us out of her life! I have always been there for her through marriage break ups, we helped her move out of a hostel and get back on her feet. I have babysat her children and been there for her emotionally so I was very hurt by this. I have since decided that next time things go wrong in her life, I, for once, won’t be there !

  13. Thank you everyone for all your comments and support. While I wish that none of us had to deal with these sort of relationships in our lives, it is helpful to know that I am not alone in this. I am also glad to know that others have found my sharing of my story to be helpful to them.

  14. Kathy

    Dear Controlled Chaos, Lexi, and others. I am glad to hear all your feedback. Now that I had the upperhand the past few days wanting non-communication with my sisters, they all now keep calling me begging for forgiveness. I have never been so emotionally drained like this since I lost my sister and parents over the past few years. I feel so torn, since I feel like things will go back to how they were eventually with their false promises. I told them that my friends would not treat me this way, so why would I let them do this to me – especially since I don’t even live near them. They swore that they would start from square one and try to be loving and positive from now on. I am still so leery and don’t want to get hurt again. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Kathy- How you should proceed really depends on whether or not you actually want to have your sisters in your life or not. If you want to try to have a relationship with them then you should go ahead and allow them to continue to be a part of your life. However, if the only reason that you are considering giving your sisters another chance is because they are making you feel guilty, that is not a good enough reason to allow them back in your life in my opinion. You should have a relationship with them because you actually want to, not because you feel that you need to. Perhaps you should take a few days with absolutely no contact with your sisters in order to figure out how you actually feel about the situation. Don’t read any emails from them, don’t take any phone calls, no contact at all. It doesn’t matter what your sisters say, if you feel that your life would be better off without them being a part of it, that is your decision to make.
      Also, if you do decide to give your sisters another chance, make sure that they know that there are some ground rules for how you expect to be treated if they want to continue to be a part of your life. If they can live with those rules and you can have a healthy relationship with them, then great. But, if you find that you are unhappy with your relationship with them you have the right to end it at any time. You need to do what’s best for you.
      I hope that this was helpful and that things work out well for you. Good luck.

      • Shelley

        Wonderful advice Controlled Chaos. For all of us. Thank you.

      • Kathy

        Thanks so much for your help!:)

        • You are very welcome, Kathy. :) I don’t know if you have already read them or not, but I wrote more about my relationship with my sister in other blog posts. I’ll post a link to all the posts regarding my sister in case you are interested in reading them. :)

          http://theillusionofcontrolledchaos.wordpress.com/tag/my-sister/

          • Kathy

            Okay thanks will do. Coming from an Irish Catholic family of nine children (and very different turbulent personalities), it is good for me to read about other people’s relationships with their families.

            • Sherlockology

              Hi,

              Whilst I do not wish such a relationship on anybody (after all, these are ties of blood, meant to be for life), it is nice to know that I am not alone. I always felt that my relationship with my brother was not normal – when you hear friends talking fondly about their brothers and sisters, I feel something sinking in my stomach. I have never really told anyone about my toxic relationship with my brother.

              Where do I even begin? I am writing in today because he’s coming home after 1 year to visit my parents for 10 days. I feel like running away….I am so terrified of the volcanic fights that may happen.

              We never had a good relationship even whilst growing up. He used to bully me about my intelligence, my looks ( i was chubby) and my personality. I was terrified when he was around, he always had something nasty to say to me. When I used to get bad reports, he would laugh.

              He has roughed up my father as a teenager, and put him in the hospital. These are the ONLY memories I have of my brother. Only pain, hurt and resentment. Despite his appalling behaviour, both in school, towards me, and towards my parents, they love him unconditionally. They allow him to make decisions relating to my life ( I am 25 and he’s 29), even though his entire life, he’s made bad decisions, and is still financially dependent on my father.

              His behaviour last year was the straw. He just got into one of the top schools in the US, and was unusually derisive towards me. He fought with all three of us, and said something particularly nasty to me. I started arguing with him, and things escalated. He said, “I can say such nasty things to you right now, that you will commit suicide by jumping from this building”. My father defended me, and a physical fight started between them.

              how can my parents POSSIBLY expect me to even TALK to him after his behaviour towards me all these years???

              My father just had a stroke, and instead of flying down to see him, he’s gone on holiday !!!

              I know it hurts them a lot, but I can’t forgive and forget and move on. I can’t stand him, and don’t want him in my life anymore. Problem is, my father just had a stroke, and I don’t want to hurt him when his health is in poor condition.

              Any advice on dealing with him when he comes home???

              • Sherlockology- I am so sorry that you had to live through such a horrible relationship with your brother. I am glad to hear that finding out that you are not alone is helping you in some ways.
                I understand what you mean completely when you talk about the sinking feeling in your stomach, that is *exactly* how I feel when I think about my sister.
                Reading about the way that your brother bullied you and said horrible things to you feels all too familiar to me. I can not remember for sure if my sister ever wished me dead, but I do have a memory of her telling my father during a screaming match that she “wished he would just have a heart attack and die right now.” She’s a horrible nasty thing, as is your brother based on the things that you have written here about how he treated you.What he said to you about getting you to go commit suicide was inexcusable, and you have every right to have as little to do with him as possible.
                I was lucky in my situation to have the support of my parents in my decision to cut my sister out of my life. I am so sorry to hear about your father’s poor health, and I understand why you would want to try to upset him as little as possible. As you read in my post above, I had to deal with my sister while my mother was suffering from a debilitating depression a few years back. At the time I did whatever I had to do to try to keep the peace with my sister. It didn’t really work though and I still was constantly getting yelled at anyway. I wrote more about how that trip went and my relationship with my sister in general in the blog post after this one, if your interested in reading it. http://theillusionofcontrolledchaos.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/learn-to-trust-and-listen-to-your-feelings/
                The reason I bring up that experience and am sharing a link to that blog post is because I know that I didn’t handle having to be with my sister in the best way the last time that I was forced to be around her, so I am not sure how helpful my advice to you might be. But since you are asking, I will give you the best advice that I have to offer and hope that it will help you to figure out how to deal with your situation.
                My first advice would be to try to limit the amount of contact that you will have to have with your brother. If you are going to have to deal with him, be as civil as you can and try not to let anything that he might do or say get to you. You of course have a right to stand up for yourself and voice your thoughts and feelings, but remember that it is likely that your brother won’t respond to what you have to say in a rational manner. You are not likely to get the result that you want in trying to reason with your brother.My gut feeling on this is to try to ignore your brother’s presence as much as you can. Be civil with him for your parent’s sake but don’t feel like you have to take it farther than that.
                Please, feel free to comment on here again if you need to throughout your brother’s visit or after. I wish you the best of luck, and hope that my advice is at least a little helpful.

                • Sherlockology

                  Controlled Chaos –

                  Thank you SO much for your support. I can’t even tell you how much your response means to me during this difficult time. I have been filled with anxiety for the last 2 days at the thought of my brother’s arrival.

                  What will he say now? How will he use my insecurities/personal failures to hurt me this time?

                  The painful memories keep flooding back, and I honestly have been having a hard time these last 2 days. The awful fights between father and son. The bullying and the incessant teasing during my childhood years burned a hole in my self-confidence. It took the years that I was away from him to heal, but I know that deep inside the fears and insecurities are there. My biggest fear is that he knows how to use them to hurt me, and that’s when the verbal fights will spiral out of control.

                  Some people just bring out the worst in you; and you always dread meeting some people. I realized today, that this relationship has meant nothing but trouble to me.

                  • Shelley

                    Amen! I have lived through a similar scenario, only it was my sister. About a month before she would arrive from away, my Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which she caused!!) would go through the roof and I would notice I had no patience with people and would start to be on the defensive and I would feel very cranky because I knew what I was going to have to put up with, for my parents’ sake. It was a “horrific” way to live for 58 years. But I have walked away from that now, because my parents’ are both gone now, and it was the only, and best, option I had left. But I am still suffering from the health problems that all the stress and worry caused. And yes, my relationship with my sister also meant nothing, nothing, to me but trouble and heartache and health issues for me. Having no self confidence was one of the numerous side effects for me also. I wish you all the best and my advice would be to do the best you possibly can, under the circumstances, but don’t let your brother abuse you or your parents, just stand up for what is acceptable behaviour.

                    • Sherlockology

                      Shelley –

                      Thanks a lot for your reponse. It is nice to know that I am not crazy in feeling like this. I still have a lot of fear and anxiety right now, prior to my brother’s visit.

                      I have done a lot of soul-searching to understand whether or not this relationship is worth the pain.

                      Yes, in these 25 years, there are some happy moments; moments where I felt my brother cared about me. But these moments are few and far between. Much more common are the fights, the arguments, the negativity and anxiety. I feel I cannot be myself around him, I can’t voice my opinions, I can’t talk. To sum it up, I am a mere shadow of myself when he’s around. He does all the talking, advising, “Truth-telling”… hurting someone is “telling the truth”, apparently ! Who are you to cause someone pain ? That is so utterly self-righteous.

                      As someone who has alraedy been bullied as a child, I have reached a saturation point in dealing with bullies. It took so much effort and time for me to build up my damaged self-image, which he, and a few others at school had a hand in destroying. I don’t wish to go through that experience again.

                      But what I do now, in his trip this time, will determine the course of this relationship. If I avoid him, then from my end, it will be clear that I am not interested in fixing the relationship. But if I try to stay at home (and of course, not be myself, not talk, etc etc), then there *may* be a chance. The former path is much easier, and much more comfortable. The second one will please my parents (esp. my fahter who is unwell), but is paved with risks of further hurt and resentment.

                    • Shelley

                      I understand you completely. Only we, who have been living with this, can understand each other. I could never be myself around my sister when she came from away to visit our parents. I would become my other self when I walked through the door. I would keep my thoughts to myself, my opinions to myself, and for the most part wouldn’t talk much because everything I said was either completely ignored, or challenged, so I learned not to talk around her. When I would forget myself, and start talking, I would regret that I had. I wasn’t allowed to have my own opinion or my own likes, or whatever it was, because then my sister would poo-poo anything I said, or liked. And I understand you are doing it for your parents’ sake, I did the same thing, until three years ago when I told them I just couldn’t do it for them anymore. I think you have to just ask yourself if it’s worth it, to your health and your self esteem. I am now having serious health issues from all the lies told about me to other family members, misplaced blame over my parents’ care, and out and out abuse. Both my parents just died within the last eight months. I loved my parents so much and did everything I possibly could to help them, but my sister blamed me for everything at their house that wasn’t right, while she did NOTHING, but call from far away and dictate orders. She expected me to be on call 24/7 for Mom and Dad and not to have any life aside from tending to them. I am going through multiple tests right now and I do believe I have something seriously wrong with me and I hold her 100% accountable for all the extreme stress she put me under all these years. I was always a happy person, but she dragged me down continually, until three years ago, so I could never escape her negativity and that does dangerous damage to the cells in your body. Please put a stop to it now before it does you any more damage.

                  • Sherlockology-
                    You are very welcome. I really hope that you will be able to find a way to deal with or reduce the amount of stress and anxiety in your life right now.
                    While I do understand not wanting to hurt your parents, I feel the need to remind you that you do have the right to do what you need to for your own health and sanity. Life is short, and you have the right to be happy and healthy. If maintaining any sort of relationship with your brother will not add value to your life, then you should not allow your brother to be a part of your life anymore. You DO NOT have to suffer through an abusive relationship with your brother simply because other people in your family want you to. They may be family, but they are not the ones living your life. Be honest with your family about what having to interact with your brother does to you. Make sure that they know that you do not want to hurt them, but that you need to do what’s right for you. You can not spend your life trying to make and keep everyone else happy, your happiness and well being NEEDS to come first.
                    If you are going to have to deal with your brother at all, try not to let him pull you into an argument. That is what he wants, and you DO NOT have to give him what he wants. Like I said before, you have a right to stand up for yourself, but realize that more than likely any of your arguments will probably go in one ear and out the other with your brother. He will probably only be listening to what you have to say with the intention of finding new ammunition to use against you and escalate the situation. So as frustrating as it is, you might be best off just ignoring your brother as much as possible.
                    I am NOT recommending that you just keep all your thoughts and frustrations about your brother bottled up inside though. When you are not around your brother find a way to release that frustration. Maybe write out your feelings, write out the arguments that you wish that you could have said to your brother. Or, if you have friends that you are comfortable talking about this with, talk it out with them. However you do it, find a way to get it out, let it go, and then move on with your life.
                    And, as I said before, you are welcome to comment here anytime you need to.

  15. Pingback: There seems to be a lot of toxic people out there… | The Illusion Of Controlled Chaos

  16. Sherlockology

    Shelley –

    I am sorry to learn of your health issues. I do hope it is nothing serious ! Your comments have helped me a lot; I thought i was over-reactive, defensive and over-sensitive. I now realise that his behaviour brings out the worst in me.

    He’s coming home tomorrow; let’s see what happens. If he misbehaves again, then I am not giving him another chance.

    Today is actually an auspicious day when sisters honour their brothers for protectign them over the years. What can I say? I never felt that he looked out for me, or helped me emotionally. I always feel like sh*t after talking to him.

    Once again, thank you all for sharing your experiences in this blog. I feel somewhat less burdened by sharing my feelings in this forum.

    • Shelley

      Dear Sherlockology, I am glad to get your message also. You have also helped me a lot. It made me feel so much better knowing that I am (was) not the only one who had to live with this treatment. I know what you mean too, I was always! over-reactive, yes, overly-sensitive, and man was I was on the defensive; I had to be in order to survive a visit with her. She also brought out the very worst in me, and it was bad; she made me into a person I was not when I just wanted to be happy together and loving like I am with everyone else. Now I just feel so damaged and don’t really know how I am having relationships with other people because of all the damage she did to me. I am always wanting to protect myself from everyone.

      I am by no means telling you what you should do, but I personally don’t think giving your brother one more chance will work for you. Because these people, your brother and my sister, cannot change how they really are; I think it’s impossible. They are only happy when they are putting others down and controlling them and making other people feel bad about themselves. I gave my sister so many chances but then I gave up. I wanted the last years of my life (I am 58 like I told you) to be happy and not be subjected to her reign of terror. She just can’t be happy. She is very superior to others and I can’t imagine why, she has no reason to be. But, like I said in previous posts, she does have “malignant narcissistic personality disorder”; she has “every” symptom of it and therefore feels superior to others. (I diagnosed her myself.)

      And in closing, I also always felt like sh****t after talking to her; I would be depressed and cranky for days.

      I hope you do okay. I had hypnotherapy (it was the only thing that saved me) with a wonderful lady and it changed my life. It is all positive affirmations and so on and you feel so wonderful after. I was a little apprehensive, but I had called her crying asking if she could help me and that she did. I told her she was my very last resort and normal counselling with a psychologist did nothing for me really.

      Will be watching for your post after the visit. Take Care. Shelley

      • S

        I know this post is old, but thought I’d share this quote I heard/read somewhere:

        Sometimes giving somebody a second chance is like giving them another bullet because they missed you the first time.

  17. Sherlockology

    Today I spent about 5 hours with my brother; thinking that he had honestly changed. His behaviour when he came home 2 days ago was promising (he got me gifts from his trip abroad, hugged me, promised he would behave better)

    How wrong i was !

    I feel drained, and am having a splitting headache from having to deal with him. He has fought with all 3 of us at some point, not realizing the negative impact this would have on my father, who is just recovering from a stroke.

    I must be living in some sort of fantasy world if I ever believed that a 29 year old would mend his ways ! I wonder if he has some personality disorder – he can be so funny one minute, and completely nasty and hurtful in another.

    I am resentful of the fact that I even gave him a chance. Once he leaves, I am stopping all interaction with him because I am honestly SICK and TIRED of his appalling behaviour. Pompous, rude, and full of himself. I don’t even understand WHY my parents put up with him.

    On top of all of this, I learnt yesterday that he has been complaining to my parents about me behind my back. The hypocrite !! He claims that I am a burden on my parents – what about him??!!! He is almost 30 years old, and my parents are sitll financing his graduate education. I was working all this time. What right does he have to comment like this about me? He does NOTHING except for give everyone a hard time, and feed on my father’s finances. what a HYPOCRITE !

    I honestly wish I could cut ties with him – I am miserable everytime he is around. I have such a bad headache right now that I can’t even work !

    • Shelley

      To my dear Sherlockology, I once again feel compelled to try to reach out to you. Like I told you, in my previous posts to you, your story and mine are pretty much identical. I was 55 years old (3 years ago)when I walked away from my sister and it is the best thing I ever did for “me”. (We just buried our parents so I had to see her, but I never even looked at her.) She turned people in our family against me with her out and out “lies”, i.e. complaining to family members behind my back that I didn’t do enough for Mom and Dad, when I was the one who lived a few streets from Mom and Dad and took care of them, lovingly, until they died a few months ago; I did everything for them my whole life and they did the same for me, whenever we needed each other. The rest of my siblings had moved away from here, but I never did. She was angry when I met my fiancé, when I was “50” years old!!, because it took some of my time away from Mom and Dad. You see, I was always the old maid and my job, in her selfish mind, was to be on call 24/7 for our parents. I never moved away but she did and she did NOTHING NOTHING for Mom and Dad, but she thinks she did!!! I guess that’s guilt.

      Anyway, not to get too off track, which I can do when talking about my “sister”, please do not waste your young life in trying to fix something that cannot be fixed. Even these people cannot fix themselves because they don’t think there is anything wrong with them!! Your brother probably thinks there is something wrong with you. My sister has Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is a mental illness, and she wasn’t diagnosed by a doctor; I diagnosed her, after searching for years! about why she treated me so poorly when I just loved her. My sister has all the characteristics of this mental disorder. You might want to look that up and see if your brother fits in there. With the terrible mood swings your brother has, it also sounds like bi-polar disorder maybe. I am by no means telling you this is what is wrong with your brother, it’s just what I researched trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with my sister because she is so arrogant and hateful. Maybe if you read up on these conditions it might help you to understand where all this is coming from. I felt so much better when I read up on MNPD because then it all made sense to me. I just happened to be her target, in our family, because I am meek and mild mannered and loving, a perfect target for someone hateful to abuse. And I also stayed until I was 55 years old, but for one reason, because of dear Mom and Dad. I should have walked away in my 20’s and told Mom and Dad then that I just couldn’t do it for them anymore. I truly regret that because I wasted all those years being abused. She ruined my life with her reign of terror, because I was a victim of abuse, and it changed me so much.

  18. Sky

    I am in a situation where I have both a toxic mother and younger sister whom live together 40 mins away from me. If things don’t go their way when they want which is “now” for them..you are the worst person in the world and because of their manipulation, guilt comes into effect. Sad isn’t it that these toxic people are actual family. They treat non-family members better than some of their actual family..because they use these other people ( friends) for however long these friends put up with them, but after a while these other people decide not to be used by them anymore and stay away, then mum runs them down because of this reason..for my mum and younger sister are too lazy and always on facebook or on the phone and are always too sick to do things for themselves. There is no motivation, discipline, morals, excitement, compassion, happiness or reality in their lives. I have had care of my niece 3 yrs old for the past 2 yrs from my younger sister..and I work majority of the time 7 days a week. They manipulate me all of the time..as I am the “reliable” one..so to speak, which I know is wrong..but they don’t see anything wrong with that. They use people for there own selfish needs, and lord forbid if someone says “no”..those are the worst people in the world..including myself. I have actually put up with this for over 20 yrs now, and because I have to see them twice a week to pick my niece up and drop her off on week-ends because of my workload..they play on that every single time. I even give them money fortnightly for my nieces needs while I am not there, but this is still not enough for them, they “expect” on demand..I have organization, discipline, motivation, good morals, and a happy household. My niece has to be exposed to them every week, as I have no choice. I have a loving partner who does support me, which I appreciate so much. Yes, they do drain you emotionally and mentally all of the time..and are in denial of themselves, and lord forbid if you try and say anything about what they are doing that is wrong to your inner ..that is the worst thing in their eyes. I am a good person and I do do the best I can for the people in my life, friends included ( which are more like my family). Trying to be strong and stand up for what is right ..saying anything bad towards them, is the wrong thing in their eyes. They are just nasty, vindictive, thoughtless, pathetic people who unfortunately are “family”..who do no wrong.

  19. Tricia Dunn

    I have a similar situation with my older sister. She’s been very toxic her entire life and extremely abusive to me. My sister was very driven as a child, but became involved with an antisocial, psychopathic man whom she eventually married, but has since divorced. As a child my sister was toxic, but this man just sent her spiraling even more out if control as an adult. I don’t believe her personality will ever be the same. In addition to her abuse towards me, she also allowed her daughter to not attend school since age 13. Her child finally dropped out if school at age 15 and has never been employed a day in her life. She’s now 19. My sister has always been jealous of me….when I divorced my first husband, married a nice man, obtained my college degree, became a nurse, had a child, went on vacation. Every little ‘normal’ thing I do sends her seething with jealousy. My final falling out with my sister was when she called me bragging that she and her ex husband were getting back together. I was very frank with her that he had ruined her life and I couldn’t support that decision. We have not spoken since and it has been the best 3 years of my life. I did visit my parents last year and they secretly invited her. I pretended she was not there. My mom is also narcissistic, toxic person and I’ve been contemplating for years to end my relationship with her, but I don’t see it being possible at the moment. To tell the truth I don’t want either my sister or my mom around my children.

  20. df

    I’ve been in a toxic relationship with my younger sister for much of our lives. I’ve bent over backward to try to get along with her. She only called me when she needed something. She made a mistake at her bank and borrowed a couple thousand dollars from us, never repaid it. I never mentioned it. I didn’t put her down nor did I ever ask her what she did wrong to have such a problem with the bank.
    Again, she stopped having anything to do with me.
    My Mom later was going to be remarried and she called me out of the blue. Asked me what I thought of Mom getting married and I told her I was all for it because she seemed happier than I had ever seen her. She resented it. I asked her if she knew anything about this man and if so we would both go and talk with mom. She could never tell me anything, just said she didn’t like him. I couldn’t have anything to do with breaking them up because my sister has a problem getting along with people as it is. I told her that I couldn’t go along with her on this issue because there are a lot of people that she just doesn’t like. I wanted to get along with this man. I figured if he made my mom happy, then I would be happy. After all that’s what life is all about. BTW, I was in my 40’s and that time and she was in her 30’s. Definitely not a small child.
    Well, she did not go to the wedding and belittled my brother’s family and my family because we did attend. She has poisoned her daughters against my Mom, brother and me and our families. I knew she wouldn’t allow my brother and me to attend either of her daughter’s weddings but we thought maybe she would make amends with our Mom. Instead, she invited some other woman who used to baby sit on occasions who apparently took my Mom’s place at the weddings.
    I’ve reached the point that I could care less if I’m ever around her, but this is tearing my mom to pieces.
    My sister and her daughters post ignorant idiot things on facebook. I’d certainly like to fire back, but I just let it go.
    My husband and I had moved to another state for a job transfer, a few years ago. He retire last December and we decided to move back to our home state. We had discovered that both my Mom and Stepdad had been going down in heath and that it best that we move back. My sister and her daughters started rumors that we foreclosed on our home and other countless lies. They actually have themselves convinced that we lost our home. I told one of my friends that I was going to post our deed of sale on Facebook for her view. My friend told me that I had more class than that and to just let her tangle herself up in her lies. We are living in a small town. They all act Christian, but really want to believe lies. I know that eventually people will figure it out however we know what is being told. I never ever told anyone, not even my Mom until recently about her financial problems. I could have hung it over her head, but I just wanted her to get straightened out. What kind of a sister lies and wishes bad things on her other sister?
    A few months ago, our stepfather passed. He was such a wonderful man and took a void our of my brother and my heart as our father turned away from us. My sister would have loved this man. Now, it’s too late. She didn’t come around my Mom for concern, nor did her daughters.
    One of her daughters had a child and put a birth announcement in the paper and left my Mom’s name out. I sent a email to my niece and asked her if we were to get in touch with her if Mom passed, since she did not have anything to do with her. It turned into an awful mess and I just dismissed it.
    On Thanksgiving, my niece wrote the following on Facebook: Copy and Paste:

    I usually do not post negative things on here but I just have to rant for minute. Leaving part of your family out of holiday gatherings like they never existed just because clearly people have nothing else better to do than to tell lies ( that are clearly not true) is pure evil! Shame on you for enjoying hurting innocent people.

    Now putting all of that aside, I have had the best thanksgiving and am so thankful for MY family that truly matters now on to enjoy my precious Parker and his first Christmas!
    Top of Form***********************************************88
    What can I do? They lie then tell other lies and gossip to cover those lies. I’m so tired of it all. My sister and her daughters are the ones who chose to leave us out of their lives, yet they tell everyone ignorant person who will listen that it’s the other way around.
    Things were somewhat better when I used to just sit and ignore my sister’s silly remarks at me and my family. I decided that I no long was going to allow her to do that. But she persists. What can I do?

  21. Dear Controlled Chaos:

    I know I’m late to this party, but I just want to thank you for this post. I too have had a relationship like this. I lost my apartment because the new owners decided to double the rent. I had no other place to go but the streets, so I moved in with my foster sister. Let me explain something, though. It used to hurt me to add “foster” in there. Now I’m fine with it. I’m actually pretty relieved that I’m not related to that woman by blood. I came in paying rent, providing extra food to the household, doing chores. I did what I could even though I was making minimum wage, 35 hours a week. The honeymoon period lasted 2 months, and then I discovered the real reason I was moved in: as a source of income, as a servant, as a live-in babysitter for one of the other daughter’s 5 year old that my foster sister took in.

    My foster sister (let’s call her Vera) goes around telling people that she has third stage cancer. She told me that before I moved in, said the chemo treatments were wearing her down. I decided that I would do as much as I could for her. I was very wrong. She doesn’t have cancer. She tells her immediate family that and they don’t believe it. People outside the family do. It’s a way of shutting people down during confrontations and getting what she thinks she wants. I became suspicious when she couldn’t keep her lies straight about the chemo, and she never wanted me to go with her to the doctor. Once she told me: “I’m too busy to take chemo.” The little boy came to me one day and when I asked him if his Granny went to chemo this week he told me “No. We went over to Aunt Ella’s house and had lunch.” Other days they went to the mall, or the zoo.

    I’ve worked in a lot of social service agencies here in the area, and whenever Vera complained about the utility bills, or the household running out of food, I suggested this and that resource to her. I was shot down each and every time. She wanted me to babysit the little boy, claimed she was exhausted by the cancer, yet she was extremely critical of everything I said and did around the child. She cursed loudly, and the screaming fits she had literally shook the house. She never apologized for acting that way, claimed that it was the chemo, or, “Oh, I’m a Gemini. That’s just the way I am.”

    And then there was the other daughter. Not the boy’s mom, the other, older one who lives at home. She’s bi-polar. She takes two meds for that, when she feels like it. When she doesn’t want to take her meds she becomes violent and the police have to be called. She wanted me to be her best friend. Well, this past summer she had a spell and cursed me out. After that I spoke when spoken to, and the daughter still bitterly complained to her mom that I “wasn’t being friendly enough.” Didn’t help much when Vera began nagging me to take the adult daughter under my wing, talk to her about keeping herself clean and not eating up all the food in the house.

    I didn’t know any of this before I moved in. When I tried to talk to my sister about it she told me, “I don’t need your attitude, I need your help. I have third stage cancer.” She explained that I should do chores and babysit the little boy every day after I come home from work. Mind you, the daughter who lives at home goes to an adult day care and when she comes home she eats and then goes into her room watching cable tv all day and all night. She doesn’t like the kid and has threatened to kick his ass. Two months ago Vera went to her husband and bitterly complained that I wasn’t getting along with everyone in the house. She said I should pay more rent. That was really ironic because her husband has a girlfriend and he gave the girlfriend his entire check twice.

    I had enough. I packed up my things and put them into storage. I rented a room. The first night I actually cried tears of joy. She’s called my phone and left messages: “It’s a miracle! My cancer has gone into remission! I want to talk to you.” She doesn’t know where I am, and I’m fine with that. And like you did with your sister, I struggled with my decision. I wondered whether I was doing the right thing.

    I just wanted you to know that I appreciated your post.

  22. Ryan

    Hi everyone! thanks for sharing your story. One of my four younger brothers has asking me for small and large “loans” which ended up being “gifts”,because he hasn’t paid back any loan or given me a dime in his entire life.My brother hasn’t had a job in two years and just got me for a $2500 loan,which he said he wouldn’t be able(willing) to pay back.So I asked if he would ever be willing(able,he corrected me) to pay me back? He replied “probably not”. So now that i plan to move to a new city for work,I’m strapped for cash until i get paid again.I even told him i was taking a risk “helping” him.(he was 2 mo behind on his utility bills 1 mo behind on rent and his car had broken-down.) this on top of my buying them new tires and a wedding ring(because he didn’t want his girlfriend to pay for her own engagement ring!),and some new clothing for my brother to go to job interviews the previous mo. He hasn’t put in a single resume or application in a year,his girlfriend acts like his mother(literally his mom acts the same way toward him) and pays for everything for him,cleans,cooks his meals,provides him with shelter and transportation.He responds by acting like a spoiled adult child,who nearly bankrupted (with his reckless spending habits) his girlfriend and her two kids,which would have landed all three of them in a homeless shelter.That was last month,this month I’m done,he can be his own brother!-ryan

  23. Marielle

    I’ve been sitting here all night long… simply trying to wrap my head around this; this, meaning my own relationship with my sister. You see, I don’t have the energy to regurgitate details and events however I will fully say that my sister is toxic. She recently came to visit me, flying all the way to Norway, in hopes to meet my new son… the one, of course, whom she repeatedly states is “out of wedlock”. My home was so stifling, I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. I had finally taken enough of the abuse before I told her to leave. Get out. And she was left in the hallway with her suitcase.

    ….

    Did I do the right thing? I ask myself constantly… She betrayed me, she lied, tried to play my mother and I against each other by spreading false truths. She inappropriately touched my husband and spoke to him of her sexuality…. So now? I’m trying to move on.

    I don’t know how. Since she left that day, her words have played over and over in my mind. I’ve begun to doubt myself… become insecure. I’ve been accused of being postpartum depressed and insane. I wasn’t depressed, however words are powerful enough to scar the soul.. I then ask myself, “Am I depressed?” No. I become fearful of being like her as this toxic behavior runs rampant in our family. All I wish for is a healthy relationship with my husband, my son, and the people around me. And yet, I’m so paranoid of becoming like her that I’m afraid it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I wish to move on peacefully… away from her and the damage she’s caused.

  24. Pingback: A glimpse inside my illusion: week 12… | The Illusion Of Controlled Chaos

  25. BBL

    I feel horrified when I hear stories about some so called family member( in name only), psychically, sexually, or emotionally abusing the person, and they just stand back and watch while the person can’t get out, get any help, or have any sort of backbone, basically it is accepted and tolerated, especially with men doing it to women, it’s disgusting and repulsive, and your better off, without that garbage. Better off with a dog or by yourself, then dealing with that dysfunction, family my butt. Instead of calling the cops, getting a restraining order, or going to the hospital, no one does anything, because they live in fantasy land. Awful.

  26. Niki

    I’ve never told this to anyone.

    I’m an only child, and my mother is the toxic person in my family. She is also the only immediate family member I have, since my dad passed away when I was in elementary school.

    We moved to the U.S. 10 years ago, shortly after my dad died in a car accident, and my mother re-married. The marriage did not last long – 3 years, because my step-dad could not take the emotional vampirism and impossible demands of my mom. I still keep in touch with my step-dad, who is a kind and interesting person. Although he lives in another state now, he pays for trips to visit him.

    In the first three years of college, I continued living with my mother, and the emotional ups and downs drove me nuts. She would ask for help and advice, and in the same breath curse at me, tell me I don’t care about her, that I am a selfish daughter, and that the only reason I’m alive right now is because she sacrificed her health for me by taking me to the U.S. with her, while other mothers cannot bear such hardships and usually leave their kids with relatives in their home countries to later develop into delinquents and barely scrape by with the money they would earn there. She would speak to me in this way and throw tantrums that woke our neighbors at night from all the screaming, no matter how much I did for her and tried to earnestly help.

    When we still lived in my home country, it was just me and my mom. In the summers, she would send me to the suburbs to live with my grandma, who is extremely religious. My grandmother would make me go to church every other day, wear only long skirts, pray nearly the whole day (morning, before and after meals, at night), make me eat only vegan food during religious fasting for weeks. I remember being sad often that I couldn’t eat ice cream/candy with the friends I made there.

    Both my grandmother and mother would tell me that if I don’t behave, I would be sent away somewhere, taken away by the big bad wolf (when I was little), or given away for adoption. They would say this every other day after even the smallest things I did.

    The constant fear of being abandoned still persists. When we arrived to America, I became a good student, was always at the top of my class, and got into a good university. Yet, I could not shake the terrifying feeling that anyone who I surround myself with will eventually leave me, and I will be all alone. I even developed a slight form of social anxiety when talking to people and occasionally started to stutter.

    For the last two years of college, I moved to a better school a few hours away from my mother’s home. I felt better and started to slowly heal. However, my mother would still demand that I drive down to visit her and help her with things over the phone. She continued to verbally abuse me with practically every phone conversation we had. After graduation, I had a choice with my new employer to go back to the city where my mother lives (she demanded I did this, and would have to move back in with her “to save money”) or move to another city for the job. I went with the latter option, despite not knowing anything about this new city. I’ve been living here for almost a year, and have not met a single friend, because I feel like I do not deserve a true friendship, and that people leave me in the end…

    Over the years, I cannot remember a day when I was at ease and had a feeling that everything is okay. There is a tension in my stomach that I can’t shake away from all the anxiety I experienced.

    The last conversation I had with my mother was two weeks ago, which I ended by hanging up on her, because that was the last straw. Every time she would call me, I would have that sinking feeling in my stomach and anticipate to have to endure the emotional drain from having to speak to her on the phone for hours.

    It breaks my heart to have to disassociate myself from the only person that I know and am related to by blood in this country, but I can’t help feeling a bit relieved…

    Although I loaned her a few thousand dollars to help her get back on her feet from changing jobs, I do not know if it’s worth it to call her and ask her for the money. I do need it though, because my car is breaking down so often, and I need a more reliable vehicle… But I’ve been considering not calling her back for a few months, just to heal.

    I do not consider my mother to be a complete tyrant — after all, she has helped me throughout the years materially, and would appear concerned and try to help when I had problems. But I want her to change the way she talks to me. She is mean and has delusions that someone is trying to trick her. She is always right, and whenever something happens, it’s the other people’s fault. She judges people left and right, cannot maintain lasting friendships, and can be very rude.

    Thank you for your post. It gives me hope that I can find people that I will be able to eventually call friends and build my own family.

  27. lemondrop

    I so connect with the above stories coz I have lived with toxic family members for most of my life. My mother could be very nice but the reverse side was terrifying. She spent most of my childhood blaming me for everything that went wrong even when it wasn’t my fault. She deliberately picked rows with me trying to spoil my enjoyment if I was happy and stab me in the back. I still kept in touch with her until she died last year but distanced myself emotionally. I couldn’t live with the guilt of losing touch with my mother.

    I have 3 sisters. The eldest one suffers from severe anxiety and agoraphobia and is obsessed with shopping channels and telly in general. She is very selfish and never thinks of anyone except herself. I get on superficially with the middle one but watch very carefully everything I say as she has some strange views on life and looks at things screwift. She also stole every penny from my mother when she was in her care home. I have tried for many years to be friends with my youngest sister and there have been times we got on well. I have been aware for quite a long time though that she doesn’t have a good opinion of me and didn’t know why. She would make lots of nasty comments to me out of the blue for example she would ask me if I had any friends and said she would be surprised if I did with my attitude. She would put me down continually with remarks like that. I eventually found out why she felt this way and she said it’s because I am jealous of her good job, nice home. hubby and kid. She even said I need to learn to take responsibility of myself! That is all ridiculous, I am not such a sad sack to be jealous of anyone. The responsibility bit comes about from her offering to do things for me like giving me a lift in her car. I have very rarely asked her for anything, she offers. I have done lots of things for her and her family in the past. The trouble with her is that she offers begrudgingly to do things then resents it and thinks she is being used. The rest of my family have done that to her but not me. She worries that she is ‘disappearing’ from spreading herself too thin. I cannot explain to her that doing things willingly for others actually enriches you

    The crux came when she got nasty with me the last time we met and I had a bit of a go at her on fb. She then defriended me on there. To be honest I am relieved – she has upset me so many times any relationship isn’t worth it for me so have decided to cease all contact with her permenantly. I find her so nasty and snobbish I don’t want her in my life any more. I need people around me who bolster my confidence not try to destroy it.

  28. t

    Hi,

    In my case, it is my youngest sister, mother and father that are toxic. my sister has this belief that she is the only one who is allowed to have a boyfreind, she even told me this once. i told mum and she defended my sister. mum and dad are dismissive of my dreams, i want to work in childcare not in a boring office which they bullied me into after my last job screwed me over, i was being treated like dirt and got no support from the manager or my parents. they knew i never wanted to be in a office but their happiness and control of my life is more important.
    i cant afford to go to work as its costing me a fortune in petrol and i cant save up to get my car serviced or to get dental work, which both i need done. she xconstantly says pay more off the house, how can i when i need to save for these current plroblems when i cant as no one will car pool?
    i have been trying to escape for the entirre time i have been working for them, 4 years but no where will give me a job. my sister heard of a job that i want but decided not to say anything and i missed out, then he says she thinks id be great at it….. i think why the hell didnt you say something theN??? its not too hard?
    mum and dad are fighting, wanting me to chose a side, constantly telling me what they are doing, i dont need to know and they are both making things up.
    they lie and constantly promise things and never follow through, but give me put downs, like promise me to go for my crane drivers ticket then when i ask when is the test mum replies with “youre not good enough” but when my sister asked she was all supportive and wants her to get a crane ticket…. it bullshit. i am just as good, if not better then my sister and all the blokes at work but get treated like dirt. all i want is a job that i enjoy, doesnt leave me financially struggling and i get treated fairly and with respect.

    i dont know what to do, i need to escape and no one will give me a chance, one job agency actually laughed in my face….. how rude is that??? i thought they were supposed to help those who come asking for help.

    to top it off, the people at kung fu dont care if i dont come, no one sends me a message to check up on me, rather when i go after missing a lesson they hve a go at me for being absent but are smpathetic to the men when they miss a lesson or more.

    really make me wonder if its worth it

  29. Enough

    I am the youngest of 8 sisters and I had always issues with one of them one just above me 3 years older than me she always been so competitive narcissist , was always stealing my clothes, always put me down , always waiting for me to make a mistake to make fun of me, she played with my emotions and always made me feel insecure, she asked my dad to beat me up and my brother , had my older brother to abuse me sexually at 6 years old to mess me up , she asked my sisters to steal my girlfriends , send men to go out with me and have sex with me, every five years she destabilize my life . She always been able to get what she wanted as no one was messing up with her life it went on and on and I’m 49 no husband , no children , no friends, not even a country as she was coming after me and still waiting for those 5 years to send someone to do the dirty job all the family loves her she is the nicest prettiest and most successful ever she make me sick help tell me what I have to do to regain my power .

  30. carmen

    I feel the same about cutting toxicity out of my life. I am the oldest of 3, my sister is 2 yrs younger n my brother 9yrs younger. Without getting into all the junk, basically I’ve been treated like the youngest by my sister. She always has to one up me and make cutting remarks in front of my friends. 3 years ago I decided to cut her off but I didn’t tell her. We never do anything together and I moved out at 16yrs old, she’s still at home. I am 32 she is 30.
    1 year ago I got married. I made the mistake of trying to have my sister involved because, well I was stupid but my reasoning was that I was so happy I had to share it with someone n since I always wished I could have a real sister, I forced the issue. She came with us on a date and we walked around n saw ducks in a pond. We sat on a bench and my boyfried, now husband said oh you’re so cute to my sister. He tried to hug her n she gave him a swift kick to the shin. He was sweet about it and has actually forgot about it. And that’s the problem. When we were dating I tild him I never wanted anyone to know my family bcz I’m like an orphan black sheep of the family. He said he understood. Well now a year after being married he starts to say ” you look so cute you look like your sister” I get so angry I’ve explained that I cut her out 3years ago but gave her a chance while he and I dated but she makes me ill when I think of her. He says why don’t you let me play with you I want to be free to say oh look I have two. I get so angry that we have gotten into serious battles I end up hitting him n crying bcz, I seriously go CRAZY wen he talks abt her like that. He says its cuz she has same bodytype n loves my arms. When we’re intimate he’ll say omg don’t do that u look like her.
    Does she have to have a hold on my marriage too? She doesn’t know this is going on, I dont speak to her. But my husband tells me he wamts to help her n make us get along. I told him he married me n has a license for ONE woman and that’s ME not my lil sister who already took everthing else. How do I get thru to my husband. I know he loves me he says I don’t understand, that ge admires me n he can’t believe there’s another me. I’m usually happy bcz I kno now how to live without the pain of my family, I mwntally block them out, thinking I’m an orphan n then it doesn’t hurt so bad. Bcz them being alive and I dont get to enjoy them is worse for me. If I was truly an orphan I wud have an excuse for the loneliness I suffered all these years. My husband has to understand this, its affecting our marriage:(

  31. Jess Say Yes!

    A famous quote, “So a man thinketh in his heart so is he “

  32. troubled soul

    Thank you so much for creating this site, it definitely makes me realise that I’m not crazy or alone in my situation xx I really hope that you can take the time to read my post because I really need some guidance and advice, thank you xx

    My difficulties are with my sister and my mother and have been going on for quite some time now, possibly they existed when I was younger but thankfully I never really noticed.

    I am 40, my sister is 35 and I began to avoid her a couple of years ago because of different things that have happened over the last few years making me feel, in a nutshell, that I dislike her and don’t trust her. My mother, although she won’t admit it, appears to be taking her side in the whole thing.

    My sister and I were never close, I was a bit of a brat with her when we were very young, she used to wind me and I would thump her but as we matured into adults I was keen to have a friendship with her and made a great effort to do so. It was always me making the effort with her, calling her, visiting her, inviting her out with my friends but 95% of the time she went out of her way to leave me out of her life. I accepted this and still made an effort, after all she’s my little sister! Even when I asked her to come out for my birthday her answer would be “yeah I might, I will wait until nearer the time, in case my friends ask me to do something”

    She got married and had a daughter who I doted on. I have been a wonderful auntie to both my niece and nephew who are a bit older now and I also had a son myself and have always encouraged them to look out for one another, as they are cousins, family. My sister has never had any time for my son, I honestly don’t think I have ever seen her hug him or hear her tell him she loves him but then she is a cold unaffectionate person, so again I let that go and just accepted it. She has little time for her own kids, for a long time she just about tolerated them, they were a nuisance who got in the way of her enjoyment. Over the years I have spent a lot of quality time with the 3 kids, taking them out, having them over for dinner and sleepovers, she has never so much as taken my son to the park but again, she couldn’t be bothered doing these things for her own kids so why would she do it for mine? I accepted this also, although it bothered me greatly.

    There have been other ways she has treated me and my son with indifference but I always just tried to accept it as, she’s not a bad person that’s just the way she is and it doesn’t really matter, until she did something, which in my eyes was despicable.

    About 4/5 years ago she began to become jealous of the fact that I was a single mother and my son stayed with his dad 2 nights a week. She was miserable in her marriage and wanted to live a single life really, have a bit of free time to go out. At this time my niece and nephew spent every Saturday with my mum and dad, being taken out because their own mum and dad took them absolutely nowhere! On a regular basis they slept over in my mum and dad’s, whereas my son was with his dad, barely got taken out by my mum and dad and had a sleepover with them once in a blue moon. This was just circumstantial and I was never overly bothered by the fact.

    My sister cried to my mum, that my son was being favoured and her 2 children were being excluded. She complained that my son slept over all the time and her children rarely stayed. It was total fabrication, which my mum knew and it was actually my mum who told me when I confronted her about this “she thinks you have life of Reilly because you get to go out 2 nights a week” Her sole aim was to get her 2 kids to have more sleepovers so she could go out to party and who was hurt in the whole episode? My son and myself. My son couldn’t stay with them unless prior arrangement had been made for her 2 to stay another time; not that my son stayed much anyway! My mother refused to let my son have a sleepover simply because she didn’t want to offend my sister, even though the entire accusation was absolute rubbish which everyone could clearly see!! I actually witnessed my son crying, begging on his hands and knees to sleepover over with Granda and my mother refusing because of my sister.

    I stopped speaking to her for about 6 months after that and in retrospect I’m wondering why on earth did I continue bothering with my own mother?!! With greater retrospect and the fact that I feel I have had my eyes well and truly opened to the true character of my sister, I can see how manipulative she is and how she manipulates my mother.

    Another big incident that greatly soured my view of my sister was a torrent of abuse she unleashed upon me when she was drunk. It was totally unprovoked and some of the things she said were disgusting and made me realise exactly what went on in her head. She called my son a little shit, told me my mum and dad didn’t like me, that I was completely screwed up in the head and no wonder I didn’t have a partner; there was a lot more but you get the picture. What upset me the most was what she said about my relationship with our elderly grandmother who I have always made an effort to be close to whereas she simply couldn’t be bothered because she always has something more important to do. She screamed in my face that the only reason I visit my grandmother is because I want all her money when she’s dead. I flipped then, after sitting there just taking this abuse, I grabbed her by the hair. I didn’t hit her, she’s my sister, but I lost it when she said that because it was such a disgusting thing to say and again, showed me exactly what way her mind operates. I spend time with my grandmother because she is my grandmother, I love her, she’s on her own, nothing to do with an inheritance!! When I let her go, she phoned my mother crying that I had attacked her; she’s an expert at turning on the tears whereas I hold them back. I explained my side and we were told we were both as bad as each other.

    The final nail in the coffin for me where my sister is concerned was a few years ago. She was in an unhappy marriage, her husband slipped into alcoholism and she started to sneak out in the middle of the night while he was unconscious and her kids were in bed. The kids woke up the next morning and my niece would phone my mum crying and then my sister would stagger in a few hours later with no regret whatsoever. Her attitude was ‘what’s the problem their da’s here!’ I’m ashamed to say that I, in part, agreed with her. I never fully understood just how much of a drunk her husband was until after they split up and was under the impression that yes, he drank but he was capable of acting in an emergency if needs be. I now know this was not the case at all, the house could have exploded and he would have slept through it. My mum threatened her with social services over and over again, tried to talk her into leaving her husband but nothing changed. Eventually a couple of years ago, he decided to leave and I was happy because the entire relationship was toxic and the 2 people suffering the most were my niece and nephew. My niece has behavioural problems and my nephew seems ok but sadly time will tell.

    I fully expected my sister to step up now. She had got what she wanted, she was free from her marriage, she had the house she never wanted to leave, she could now be a great mother to her 2 children but no. As usual she thought of no-one but herself. Instead of making up for all the pain her and her husband has caused the 2 kids, being a proper mum and putting them first for once in her life she took this as an opportunity to party more. My mum kept the 2 kids every Saturday so she could go out drinking all night and then when she met a new man, within about 4 weeks, she left the kids with local teenagers, under the age of 16 so she could go to his house. She lied to everyone about the age of the babysitters but I did a bit of snooping and found out their true age and when I questioned her about it, she blatantly lied to my face and said the girls were 18 and doing their a-levels. When I told my mum, she simply said “well your sister says they’re 18″

    I was so worried about my niece and nephew and so angry with my sister for being so selfish, no-one seemed to care about the kids! I spent many a night crying and worrying about them and their mental health due to the anguish they had suffered at the hands of their parents and were continuing to suffer and tried to talk to my mum and dad about it but they weren’t overly interested. My dad actually said to me at one point “you sound jealous” (of the fact that she had a boyfriend and I did not) That accusation was just totally ridiculous as a boyfriend is the last thing I wanted! I’m very independent with a full and fun life and a boyfriend was and still is, the last thing from my mind. I would rather concentrate on my son than get involved in a relationship.

    Fast forward a couple of months and my sister moves out of the house she didn’t want to leave for all those years to escape her unhappy marriage because she wants the new boyfriend to come to the house and doesn’t want any hassle from her ex husband. She moved, again with no thought for what’s best for the kids and in no time at all, the new boyfriend has moved in.

    When she moved away I pretty much stopped bothering and as she never made much of an effort with me anyway, we lost touch. I was still informed on what was going on in her life and made as much of an effort as always to spend time with my niece and nephew.

    Unbelievably she started to invite my mum, dad, gran and myself and my son to bbqs at her new house. She had never ever done this, family was never a priority to her and when she lived with her husband, in happier times when she had a bbq, she invited the neighbours, her drinking pals and people in off the street but never my mum, dad or nan. I got the odd invite or just happened to call over and was asked to stay by everyone else and if my son happened to be around, he was included too. My mum was just a pain to her, a busybody who got in the way and she really treated her quite disrespectfully; although to be fair, my mum is pretty overbearing.

    She’s had about 5 bbqs over the last couple of years and I have made-up an excuse each time not to attend but let my son attend if he wished. After everything that’s happened over the last few years and the fact that I believe my sister to be deceitful, manipulative, self-obsessed and not a decent person I can barely even bring myself to speak to her. This is not the relationship I ever wanted with her but I cannot help how I feel – I dislike her as a person and I don’t trust her because of all the different things that have happened. My mum simply won’t accept this and I understand how difficult this is for her and my dad.

    I have tried to explain my feelings on a number of occasions and although my dad agrees with me on a lot of issues my mum is wrapped around her little finger. They blame everything on her ex-husband and even ignore him in front my niece and nephew, which I don’t think is right, they could at least pass themselves. My dad is under my mum’s thumb, my mum is completely manipulated by my sister and is basically her lapdog. My sister says ‘jump’ my mum says ‘how high?’ She even got my mum to make a false statement to help her claim for disability allowance because she’s too lazy to look for a job! She exaggerates minor ailments, lies to everyone around her, she nearly has my gran fooled but even though my mum and dad both know she’s more than capable of working they turn a blind eye to it. Before she decided to live like this my mum would have been the first to criticise someone for doing this but now that my sister’s doing it, it’s acceptable. Her boyfriend is doing the same, although I don’t know if he works on the side like my sister. So she continuously cries poverty and my mum helps her financially, although in my eyes, if she smoked less and drank less wine she would have more money to spend on her 2 kids! My mum is even talking about taking everyone away for a couple of nights, my sister’s boyfriend included and told me she will pay for everyone except for my gran because she can afford to pay for herself.

    My mum and sister are very close and like I said my mum is my sister’s puppet. She’s 35 going on 10. She sends my mum to the shop for her very regularly, my mum takes her everywhere, lies for her, believes every poisonous thing that comes out of her mouth; whereas my mum has very little time for me. My sister takes up all of her time and they both feed off the relationship. My sister is needy and my mum needs to be needed, so it works perfectly for them. I am very independent, I am an adult, I try to deal with my own problems instead of running to mum every day but do so, if it’s something I’m stuck on. I make my own way about, I work, I provide for my son, I spend quality time with him, I make an effort with my gran but my mum doesn’t appreciate any of this. She doesn’t like me being independent and says that’s the reason we don’t have as close a relationship as she does with my sister. I’ve accepted this, I understand it, I do think she should still make an effort with me but that’s the way it is and rather than upset myself, I just try to ignore it; my gran is more like a mum to me anyway.

    Everything came to a head a couple of nights ago at a bbq at my parents house. We were all there, I didn’t want to go because I don’t like being in my sister’s company but felt I should make the effort because it was my mum and dad having it and agreed to go for an hour. I felt so uncomfortable making conversation with her and when she started to talk about one of her ‘illnesses’ I just wanted to go home. She then asked me about a bbq I had had a few days previous and I told her it was just me, my son, mum and dad and gran and she was furious and spat “well thanks for the invite!” and I just replied “you’re welcome” and ignored her but that was her in a mood and she said to her boyfriend “as soon as we’ve finished eating we’re going” She then disappeared inside and when she returned with my mum she was giving off to her about “it all being kept secret” and I said to her “what’s your problem?” She then started on me about not inviting her to the bbq and then started shouting at my gran about not being taken out to lunch a couple of weeks previous. I told her to catch herself on, it was one bbq and it was a last minute thing anyway, dinner on the bbq, not a big deal and the only reason gran took me and my son for lunch was because she wanted me to see this place they had all been to bar me. She then launched the usual ‘poor me’ card saying how her, her boyfriend and 2 kids are always excluded from everything, which is just total rubbish. No amount of explaining why she wasn’t invited was listened to, the argument went on for a quite a while and became very heated. It had been brewing for a long time really. My gran was very upset and my mum said nothing to my sister about how she spoke to her and told my gran that my sister had every right to be offended, backing my sister to the hilt as usual. I pointed out that the reason I was the only person who hadn’t seen this lunch place was, because my mum took my dad, sister, her boyfriend and gran to lunch at it a couple of months ago but I wasn’t invited to that! Did I cause a whole big scene about that?

    My sister stomped out to the garden with my mum running along after her and my gran and I decided we were leaving. My dad spoke to me about things for a bit and then my mum came in. She then proceeded to tell me that she wished we would just talk and sort things out and the only reason we can’t move forward is because I am too bitter and twisted. I couldn’t believe my ears and my dad said “that’s enough now, things are going to be said and regretted” I said I was glad my mum had finally admitted her true feelings about the situation and that she obviously believes the entire thing is my fault and then my dad tried to explain that my mum is saying that because she thinks I just can’t move on and forgive my sister for all the horrible things she has done. I stated very clearly that yes she has done a lot of horrible things and that is the reason I dislike her as a person. I don’t trust her, she lies consistently to twist things to suit her own agenda, she has treated her children very badly and she has no time for my son. Everything all came out, yet again but as always was a total waste of my breath. It’s not like she is now a changed person, she doesn’t sneak out in the middle of the night to drink but she’s still a very selfish mother with little time for her kids (she would rather do her nails or eyebrows and drink wine than take them anywhere or spend time with them), she has made a bit more of an effort with my son but nothing extraordinary, she’s a malingerer who would rather sponge off the government than work, she lies constantly and twists things to make herself look better and others to look like the bad guy. She just suits herself 24/7 like she’s always done. Rather than ask me “have I done something to offend you?” she asks my mum “what have I done on her? she never bothers with my anymore and I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong” Never mind the fact that she never bothered with me either! It takes two to make a relationship!

    I am at my wits end. I don’t want a relationship with my sister, I have analysed the whole thing over and over again and I greatly dislike her. As I’m writing this, I’m wishing that I could cut myself off from my mum as well, as I get very little from my relationship from her and hate the way she gets on. That’s a whole other story and I think I’ve written far too much already but I will mention it briefly.

    My mum and gran also have a difficult relationship (history repeating itself?) My mum pretty much tolerates her and tells me it’s because my gran is a difficult woman who has done horrible things in the past (bitter and twisted??) I can really talk to my gran, sometimes we rub each other up the wrong way but I find her to be pretty open-minded and a really good listener.

    My granddad died about 15 years ago and since then I’ve made even more of an effort to spend time with her; I’m not saying every day but I go visit her and ring her and include her in lots of things. I feel at times, like I’m the daughter rather than the granddaughter. My mum would go a week without ringing her to see if she’s ok, she has her to her house every Sunday for dinner then goes to bed. The relationship is strained and there is a lot of resentment on my mum’s side. My dad doesn’t help. He agrees with my mum and holds a grudge against my gran because when my mum and dad were first dating my gran thought he wasn’t good enough for her!! This is over 40 years ago!!!! My gran is always praising my dad saying what a great husband he is and how my mum is spoilt because my dad does everything for her and I mean everything! He cleans, he does the ironing, the gardening, the decorating, he revolves his entire life around my mum who always gets her own way. She even gives my dad pocket money which he is fine with as he says “I don’t drink, smoke or gamble, what do I need my own money for?” I actually feel that my mum is quite jealous of the fact that I am pretty close to my gran and instead of appreciating me for making such a big effort with her, she resents it.

    My family is so screwed up and I’m even on anti-depressants because of my whole situation with my sister and mum. I first started on them because I was drug-raped but when I finally learned to live with that, I came off them. I was good for about 5 months and then I had to go back on them again but it wasn’t because of the PTSD, it was because of my sister and mum, what’s going on with them and me not being able to deal with it. I have told my mum how I feel about her lack of interest in me and my life and that it makes me feel that she doesn’t really love me but she just tells me I’m wrong, she loves us just the same but as I mentioned before, I’m more independent, always have been and have never liked talking to her. I have admitted this is true but asked does this mean we can’t have a proper mother/daughter relationship? She promises to make more of an effort by doing things for me instead of sending my dad while she runs herself ragged after my sister (not that I ask them to do much for me anyway!) this happens for a couple of weeks then things just revert to normal. She hasn’t even called me to see how I am after the argument at the bbq but I would bet my last dollar that she has spent many minutes discussing things with my sister.

    I’m sorry this is so long but I really wanted to give you a full picture. I would really appreciate your thoughts.

  33. Sheryl Orbin

    Thanks to all of you for your comments and stories. They give me the courage to change and realize I am not the only one in this situation. I have been afraid of my sister all of my life (I am 70). She thinks its funny/Ok to admit that she hated me as a baby and used to pinch me to make me cry (pretending she had done nothing when our Mother came to see why I was crying) We had horrible fights growing up. She would taunt me and say…”come on hit me, you know you want to”. She pushed me down the stairs many times and then told me later that our Mother did it. She has destroyed nearly every chance she has ever had to be happy, by blaming everything on other people, especially our Mother, who was an alcoholic, and I believe Manic Depressive or BiPolar. I have been kind to her and have tried to be as forgiving as possible because….she is my sister, and I felt she must have some kind of emotional/mental “condition”.
    Today I decided that I could not allow her to treat me this way anymore. I want to spend the (hopefully) next 20-30 years in a more peaceful, less stressful way. There is no way I can change this relationship except to not participate. I will have to become comfortable with this, and I know I will be sad that I don’t have a good relationship with “my sister”.

  34. Liz

    I have finally learned this:
    “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy,. If you aren’t being treated with love and respect, check your price tag, maybe you’ve marked yourself down. It’s you who tell people what your worth is. Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where they keep the valuables….” And that is what I do no matter who they are.

  35. Kushla

    Thank you for sharing this.. I too have had troubles with my family.. Up until recent I have stuck around and put up with the negative energy. I no longer feel I am bad for making this type of decision and I feel a weight off my shoulders.

  36. S

    Things finally came to a head for me this year. You know you’re really low on the totem pole when things like this happen all the time:

    Such a small thing, but it made me realize how low I am to them: at parents house with the kids. Was having a snack – put butter in the microwave for 15 seconds to warm it up. My sister stopped the microwave about 8 seconds into it, threw the butter on the counter and put her full plate in for 3 minutes. I say “um, what are you doing? You saw me put that in there and there’s only 7 seconds left” and she nastily says to me “Well I’m hungry, YOU can wait for me”

    Everything is my fault, even if I’m not there (my niece drowned – but survived – in the pool with FOUR adults in there with her, who decided chatting was more important than watching the child who couldn’t swim, but it was MY fault even though I wasn’t. even. there. Go figure.). My parent’s washing machine wasn’t working – it was clearly MY fault and I must have done something to it, even though I hadn’t been in that room.

    Little sis is allowed to call me a F- B- out of the blue but I am not allowed to even politely ask “please don’t swear at me” without being told “how dare you speak to us in that tone of voice”

    Now that I have children and they are starting to witness this backwards little world, I’ve decided to not put up with it anymore (oh, I was told the reason I’m standing up for myself now and not allowing them to push me around is because i must have “mental issues” – they say that they are not judging me, they are merely pointing out my flaws because SOMEBODY needs to tell me what a loser I am or else I’ll never know… “it’s not mean because it’s the truth honey, you just don’t see it because of your mental problems”)

    Thank you God for opening my eyes sooner than later. I’m out!

    Much love to everyone struggling with toxic family members and the insanity of always second-guessing yourself and wondering if they are right maybe there is something wrong with you (newsflash, there IS something wrong with you – and it’s called your family! Get out while you can is my advice)…..

    Once, my ENTIRE family had a “fat intervention” for me because I was QUOTE “basically obese, disgusting, packed on the pounds, incredibly unhealthy” For a few weeks afterwards I actually started to wonder if I really was “obese”… but then I realized, Wait – I wear size Small to Medium. I am NOT obese.

    That’s the kind of hold these people can gain on you if you don’t watch it. They convinced a normal sized person that they were obese. Points for the crazy people. Let’s not give them anymore.

  37. E

    Wow! Where to start! I am hoping I can get some insight here! Ive been so torn as if I am making the right choice as staying away from my 2 sisters feels right & wrong too! I can say it has taken the worst time of my life, my sweet Mom passing away, to look back over the years & realize it was not just at this time that 2 of my sisters are toxic to my life.
    My Mom passed away in January of 2014 & had a fall in November of 2013 for which she had a blood clot & bleeding on her brain. She was dieing & I made the decision to let the Dr operate immediately. It gave us a little over 2 months to still have her with us! Painful as it was, my 2 sisters, 1 just a year older & the other just 1 year younger, made the worst time for my Mom & for all of us so much worse with their calling Drs & nurses all the time, yelling at Drs & nurses, yelling at me & my brothers. I am one of 8 children (5 girls & 3 boys – but the count from my Mom, children, grand children, great & great great grandchildren is 83 total now). Out of 8 only 2 seem bitter, hateful, selfish, users & manipulators. Our life growing up wasnt easy, my Dad was abusive to my Mom physically, emotionally & mentally. His abusive tendencies also came down to us children too. But, life is what you are now & how you choose to let the past affect you is up to you, right? My Mom raised us to be kind, loving, generous & helpful at all times. She loved with all she had. I dont think even saying she loved unconditionally says enough about how she loved. But, she did so to a fault, to some more than others. She would make excuses & let some children lie & make stories up & just let it all go. I have to believe it was to cope with a multitude of issues, 8 children & a husband who was abusive. I do not blame my Mom, she was amazing & I miss her so very much.
    My oldest brother moved away many years ago & another sister did too. The next sister lives close but has limited herself to how much she was around a long time ago too. I being one of the 5 who grew up close to the others, we were like stair steps & there were wonderful times & then horrible times too. I think everybody in this world can say that about their life. I do choose to do the best I can to not let my childhood affect me negatively, but I have my issues & battle daily with some of the affects.
    My next oldest brother deals with bi-polar issues & Mom had alot to deal with just over this. When my Mom had her first heart attack she decided to name one of her children for a living will. She named the next oldest who also is a brother to carry out all of her medical decisions & her will if need be. Here is where things started to truly go bad. In 2000 the next oldest, another sister, decided she wanted control & convinced my Mom to go behind my brothers back & change all of this over to her & name her as POA & Executor of all! They needed a witness & asked me to come over to my Moms. I went & when my sister wanted me to sign, I looked at my Mom & said “have you discussed this with your son”? My sister said that my Mom didnt need to. I looked at my Mom & said “if you cant tell him, then you shouldnt be doing this”. My Mom never changed a thing. From that moment on, my sister had it out for me. She would be hateful to me in person, but as the years went by, she started trying her best to make others look badly at me, my children, my husband. She started a prayer room on FB & would tell either bad things or make up things like alcoholism & ask people to pray about my kids & me. Her comments under my posts showed her hatred & I could block that (I have never unblocked her to this date). When I confronted her via a private email…dear God I was attacking her. The email had asked her to stop & I truly asked her to forgive whatever it was that I had done that hurt her. Of course, she went straight to our Mom & the backlash was disturbing. Family get togethers, if I was talking to a niece or nephew, she would make her way from across the room with a look in her eyes that told me, it wasnt going to be nice. She would find fault & laugh about it, make snide comments & do what she could to hurt.
    My Mom’s health with her heart continued to worsen over the years & each time she was in the hospital this sister & then my younger sister would cause blow ups. They would go to the hospital administrator & get the hospital to release no information nor let any calls go through to my Moms room – stopping other children out of state from obtaining updates or speaking to my Mom. Finally my Mom decided it was time to name 1 person for everything. Now truth be told here, my Mom was living on SSI – not much money from that. She had a 1 bedroom apartment with minimal contents & she never drove, so there was no car. She lived simply. It wasnt about what she had, it was just for control that my sisters had issues about. My Mom talked with the 3 oldest children & asked them first, when each of them declined, she asked them to help her make a decision on who she should name. She told us that she prayed about the decision & she ended up naming me! Honored yes, glad she did yes but only because I carried out her wishes to the very very end of her life & now beyond with giving her possessions to those she chose. My Mom wrote everything out to the last dish who got what. We each had our own list & everybody got what was on the list except for the items others had already taken from her apartment while she was in the hospital. Yep, the 2 sisters I am staying away from are the 2 who took things, admittedly they took things. But, to this day can not be honest about all that they took. My Moms engagement ring, letters she wrote to each of us, keepsakes, Bible, cash money she had set a side for her headstone & paying her tithes to her church. Who does that? Who takes from their own Mom & then lies? My youngest sister, who steals from her own children, tried to blame the brother who helped my Mom every day & lived moments away from her.
    The sister who had tried to get my Mom to change everything a couple years earlier on her living will, etc. cried to at my Mom & told my Mom “YOU DONT LOVE ME, YOU DONT THINK I COULD DO THIS”. My Mom even admitted how bad that hurt & that she would spend the rest of her life proving that she did love her. My Mom actually at my sisters begging named her as second POA & had a statement added that if I failed at my duties, my sister could take control! I did not know that until when my Mom was diagnosed terminal in December of 2013 & was sent to Hospice, I was approched by administration that my 2 sisters were looking into filing a court case against me & Hospice. I contacted my Moms attorney & he met with my Moms Drs, looked at records & filed papers to go to court to make sure they got no control. Everyone, the Drs, hospitals & I were falling my Moms directives to the letter. My 2 sisters blew up my phone & others with their nastiness & laying blame on how I was caring for our Mom. I was at the hospital everyday, spent the night, almost lost my job due to this, all while they would come every couple weeks & when they would say they would stay with Mom, the nurses would say that they would leave Mom like at 2 or 3 AM. My Moms head injury left her scared & afraid & not the woman she was. I gave my all & even to me it didnt seem like enough. She was precious, but she would cry asking to make the nurses or Drs stop as her head hurt so bad when they would turn her. She cried as my 2 sisters told her dont take the medications they are trying to kill you. She would spit it out. Tried hiding it in pudding, she would take her sheets & spit out the pudding as my sisters told her the meds were in the food. My Mom stopped eating. We were using syringes with crushed up meds in juice to try to get her heart medicines into her. See my Mom took meds due to her heart condition. She had only 1 artery functioning her heart & it was full of stents to keep it open. She took blood thinners for that, but the bleeding & clot on her brain took precedence & she had to stop taking the blood thinners or she would bleed out & die. My Mom did not want to be on life support systems, like feeding tubes & ventilators…this was in her living will. My sisters wanted her on it. I followed my Moms wishes. Now these 2 sisters have put out on Facebook, in their prayer rooms, sent emails & texts to friends, family – even family as young as 7 years old that I KILLED MY MOM!! The pain is deep & its continual. I have refrained from responding to their accusations as I just feel it will cause more drama! I dont know if I am making the right choice in that.
    My youngest sister is so filled with vile hatred at me right now as I told truth that the headstone money my Mom had saved, my Mom let her borrow. That was shared as it was truth & we were now going to need to take care of that on our own for her. She has made up every excuse & lied about that she didnt take the money nor did she owe it, in fact she feels because she drove from Cleveland to come see my Mom in the hospital should make up for what she borrowed. This sister actually while my Mom was ill, used my Moms SS# to try to obtain a co-signed loan for a car. Only reason I know is as Executor all of my Moms mail & banking issues have been handled by me & when the denial statement came in the mail I received it & contacted the dealership. I never even went to my sister over it. Believe me, if I wanted to be hateful, I could lay so much out on a table for everyone to view it would be incredible. From the emails, to the texts, to the voicemails, etc. All when my whole focus – should have been all of ours – was on my Mom! Their were expenses for my Moms services, opening & closing of the grave, flowers & of course the headstone that these 2 sisters have totally refused to help pay for. The amount for each of us 8 was minimal if it was paid equally. The 2 of them have not paid & say they will never pay – as they would be paying me.
    I have not been around my 2 sisters since my Moms burial. I was at my Moms casket when my youngest sister came to me, as I was crying she put her hand on her hip & said “So, when are we going through Moms stuff?” I looked at her & said “this is not the time or place to talk about that” she continued & one of our sister-in-laws came up & told her to stop & again said this isnt the time nor the place.
    My heart is broken with my Mom being gone! My heart is broken as the only thing that ever mattered to my Mom was FAMILY! It meant so much to her. I am torn as I cant take the pain nor the drama & lies anymore. I dont know what to do. Do I let it all go, & just let them do this, do I stand up for myself, do I stay away, do I go back around them? Family isnt the same any more!

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