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Kayleesmom January 30th, 2015 02:55 PM

Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
I lost my mom 6 months ago. She was my best friend! I come from a very disfunctional background. Both parents were alcoholics and my mom was addicted to prescription drugs. I had been taking care of her since I was 12. I had seven half-brothers and sisters. Three sisters have passed. I have a long history of mental illness in my family. Currently I am suffering from depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia. I quit my job 4 1/2 years ago to stay home with my mom to take care of her and to get some relief from the anxiety at my job. Since my mom passed, my depression and anxiety have gotten progressively worse. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful and successful girls. They are always there to support me. I'm lucky in that aspect.

Here's the problem, I am looking for advice regarding my relationship with my siblings who are left. One is a horrible alcoholic that I refuse to have a relationship with. He is my mother's son. He can also be abusive. The other brother from my dad lives on the West Coast and I live in the South. I believe he's also an alcoholic but, he is functional. I talk with him from time to time. He's too far away to have a close relationship with. He is 25 years older than me. The last two living sisters are my twin sisters who are my dads. We are 6 years apart. I am 47. We all grew up together except my oldest two siblings and my mom raised the twins from the age of two. My dad's first wife and my mom's first husband died the same year. Then they got married.

The twins have always treated me as an outsider but claim they love me. They have bullied me for years and even blamed me for my mom's behavior. The twins and my mom had a falling out about my dad and she through them out of the house in their senior year in high school. I'm trying to make this as short as possible without a lot of detail so, to make a long story short, they stopped calling her mom and cut their ties with her. My father was abusive to my mom. I'm not blaming my dad for all of their problems in the marriage but I was always afraid of him. My sisters put my dad on a pedestal and think he was the greatest man ever. I'm a realist, I know my mom and dad were both wrong. After many years in and out of rehab, a doctor diagnosed my mom as bipolar. With the right medication, my mom got much better and became the mom I always wanted! The twins never tried to reconcile with her.

I was was never fond of my dad because he never took responibility for his actions and he was never there for me other than money. My sisters constantly guilted me into spending time with him which was useless because he always made you feel like crap. Nothing was ever good enough for him. I did this for years even though I hated it whole time. They also demanded that I was there in the end to take care of my dad. I didn't want to but I always remembered honor thy mother, honor thy Father. I did what I needed to do.

During my mothers illness, the twins were all over my Facebook giving me support that was public for all to see but offered no other help other than by phone. The never made peace with my mom before she died and I have built resentment towards them. I reached out 3 times to them during my mom's illness for serious help and neither came. After the funeral, they came to my house to bring food and even showed up for the funeral. I think they did that to save face and it literally made me sick!

I've always felt like an outsider. They invited me to things as a family at Christmas and such but ignored me and my family when we showed up. They never included me otherwise. After my mothers death, I have been struggling with my depression and they were constantly interjecting themselves in my life. At Thanksgiving and Christmas they started texting me wanting to know if I was coming. I made an excuse of course then they asked one last time and I replied that the holidays were too emotional for me because my mom wasn't here. I told them about my depression and anxiety and that I couldn't come. I broke down and told my niece I couldn't do it any longer. She talked me into giving them one last opportunity to come and discuss exactly how I felt and they did not come. They wanted only us three to get together and have that conversation. I refused because we've been through this before and they gang up on me until I agree with them. I said no to their invitation because I refuse to be bullied any longer. Now they are trying to build a bond with my daughters. My oldest is getting married in September and they think they can get back in my graces by trying to get through to my kids. I'm tired of drama, I'm tired of the anxiety that it causes me. I physically can't take the pressure from them any longer.

Does anyone have and suggestions as to how I should handle this situation? Anyone else have a similar situation? All advice is welcome!

KayKay January 30th, 2015 03:31 PM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
Maybe I'm not the best person to give advice, because I have two older sisters with whom I have cut all ties. I was fortunate enough that they wanted to cut ties with me too. My children were younger when it happened, so they have no recollection of aunts they only met once at my dad's funeral.

The main thing right now is YOU. You need to take care of YOU. If it were me, I'd block them from reading your Facebook, don't read their Facebook, and if anyone (such as your niece) tries to intervene tell that person "Thanks for the concern, but I'm not in a good place to work on that relationship right now." Refuse to say anything more. Then continue to work through your own grief and painful upbringing.

The tricky part comes because your kids are old enough to have a relationship with them independent of you. In my opinion, you need to let your kids decide. You can talk to them and say that their aunts caused a lot of drama and pain and that you are trying to work through the issues. Do not ask them to take sides, but do ask them to be considerate of your feelings and give you space to work through it. Ask them to not be what we call Flying Monkeys (from the Wizard of Oz) and discuss you with their aunts, or your aunts with you - in other words, ask them to not get in the middle of it. Assure your oldest that you will not cause drama at her wedding (and - the hard part - stay true to your word). I really think that your girls probably can see for themselves what your sisters are like and how your sisters treated you (and them) and will support you.

Focus your thoughts on building your here and now - your husband, two daughters, and future son-in-law.

Two things that are cliché but helpful:

"No" is a complete sentence.
Do not JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain). You are an adult who can make her own decisions without having to JADE. As long as you feel that you have to JADE your decisions to them, your bully sisters have power over you.

Stand strong. :)

Catwoman January 30th, 2015 03:53 PM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
Hi Kayleesmum, I can relate to your story very well. I too have come from a family of alcoholic parents and a very disfunctional family. I would say because of my parents addiction, we didnt even have a family. We were quite isolated from others,due tot the fact my parents spent every other second of the day drinking. Both my parents were estranged from their siblings.

In my adult years I cut contact with my parents,as I had my own family to look after and I didnt want that around them. My Aunt tried to repair our relationship and she was a hard one get it through to that sometimes things have gone too far and cannot be fixed. She was angry at me when I said I didnt want to continue a relationship with her,as I didnt feel close to her etc....she got angry but eventually got the message.

I reckon stick to your guns with who you want to associate with, dont listen to those relatives that want you to meet up or go to their place etc,just be firm and say you are not going. Do what you want to do,and what you feel comfortable with.....some things are too far gone to be repaired. If I didnt feel comfy with them I would not be having anything to do with them.

If your daughters are adults, Id let them make up their own minds about these rellys, and just keep your distance from them,thats all you can do.

Im sure there are many people who understand what you have been through, you are not alone...:)

snafu January 30th, 2015 05:13 PM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
uh... (snafu raises hand) .... I'm another one who has nothing to do with her sibs anymore - one of whom is my identical twin (it hurt, but was best for my DS ... and myself). I agree with what kaykay said.

You can become a "black hole" - that means you don't answer/respond to any phone calls, letters, texts, etc.

(part of my dysfunction junction saga is in a thread called "waiting for the other shoe to drop")

Kayleesmom February 12th, 2015 09:50 PM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
Thank you everyone for the advice. First let me clarify that the niece I was referring to is like my sister. We are separated in age by 19 days. Her mother passed in 1996. We have always been close. I reached out to her and she finally understands how I feel. She was the one that called my sisters and told them the condition I was in and tried to get them to come that night. I wasn't trying to involve her but I couldn't speak for myself due to my nerves. I was a basket case. She was trying to help me and my emotional health. She tried to help all concerned and was there for moral support only.

I have been praying a lot. God has been helping me find my way. I know that God wants me to forgive them for my sake. I was doing much better until one of my sisters showed up unannounced at my house to give me a letter and a devotional book. The letter was same garbage as before. They didn't know why I was so upset, wanted to be there for me and really wanted to try to fix things. Two days later, the other sister texted me to let me know that another niece was at the hospital delivering her baby. I texted them both back and asked for more time. I knew they wouldn't stop.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was jealous of their sister relationship too. I decided I really wanted that. That is really all i ever wanted. I put myself out one more time. I needed this to be fixed or ended one way or the other.

They tried to make excuses not to come and I basically backed them in a corner and they said they would come. I knew I couldn't do it by myself I asked my niece to come for moral support but she couldn't get here until a little after 5. Sisters showed up about 4:40 The sisters thought it was just going to be me and them. They were very surprised to see my husband when they got here. Both of my daughters wanted to hear the conversation so i put them on speaker phone. Since they basically gave me a time limit (they both had other places to be). I got right to the point. After I started they both became very defensive. They came here ready to defend themselves. I was trying my best to be honest and heartfelt and then they started the bullying. I really wasn't looking for a fight I wanted a real heart to heart. I couldn't get a word in and I looked at my husband. Thinking to myself, read my mind, now do you understand why they make it so hard. He interjected and said I really think y'all need to let her finish talking. One started raising her voice and my husband lost it and begin to raise his. He was so angry that he slapped the table and they acted as if he was gonna hurt them or something. I saw a very clear case of PTSD in both of them as they bolted from my home. They have been hiding from the truth all these years. It's like they live in a fantasy world and make up happy stories just to deal with the pain. They've never dealt with their own issues. Which is really sad.

As they were leaving my house, the niece that is supporting me pulled into the drive way. They started yelling at her that they were mad at her now. My niece never said a word! She hasn't said anything other than I needed time to try and figure out something's.

I know I was a sucker and allowed it to happen. The only good that came from it is that my husband and daughters heard the exchange. I know I should have left my girls out of it but they insisted and wanted to hear for themselves. They are 22 and 24 and they have seen how much I am hurting. My youngest muted the phone so that they could hear but not be heard on my phone. I'm glad that she did that because my oldest was trying to interrupt but no one could hear her. I did not do it to sway my kids at all. They have felt the same way all these years because they were basically treated the same by them.

I really needed to do this so that I could move on and put things in the past.for good. Maybe now they will leave me alone and let it all go also. I know that I have done what God wants me to do by forgiving them and trying to fix it. I don't know of anything else I can do.

I'm going to my doctor soon about the anxiety and depression. It keeps getting worse. I hate drugs because of my mom and it kills to to have to take Xanax. I honestly can't control the shakes. I'm constantly sick to my stomach and I force myself to eat. Yes, I have had bad thoughts but I know what I went through with my mom and will never do that to my kids or my husband. I need some relief somewhere. I'm glad I didn't get the addiction genes but really, I can't stop these shakes. They control my life.

Thank you all for your responses. They meant a lot and I know I let my guard down. I just get so tired of all the chaos. I'm willing to let go for good now. I hope they are too!

KayKay February 12th, 2015 10:34 PM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
Please please please...

Worry about them later. Worry about yourself for now. Please seek help for your health issues.


We are here to listen. Please come vent to us anytime you need to.

Kayleesmom February 12th, 2015 10:52 PM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
Thanks again for your response. I was just giving an update and venting. I am seeing my doctor soon. I really believe I'll be fine as long as they leave me alone. I have a long family history with depression and anxiety on my mom's side. I truly feel like I can't control my emotions and I am afraid of anything addictive. I think along with the grief that something is out of balance somewhere. Truly, I do want to feel better I'm just trying to figure out how.

Thanks for caring! Hugs back at ya!

LucyVanPelt February 13th, 2015 04:55 AM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up

I know that God wants me to forgive them for my sake.
We are not a religious forum and I have no intention of trying to convert anyone. I want to address this, though, because it's so misunderstood.

There is a difference between forgiveness and being reconciled. You forgive for your own sake, yes. That forgiveness is a conscious effort not to recall their bad behavior so that you don't have to relive the trauma. You distance yourself, and you find healing.

Reconciliation is often confused with forgiveness, but it is NOT the same thing. It requires forgiveness, but it also requires something on the part of the other people involved: an apology or admission of their bad behavior, a resolution to change their behavior, and effort to repair the damage that was done. Your siblings are no where near that. You learned that when you tried to reconcile.

Let them go. As KayKay and snafu advised: be a black hole, don't JADE, make "No" a complete sentence. Yes, forgive, but let dreams of reconciliation go for now.


Kayleesmom February 16th, 2015 10:06 PM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
Just a quick update. I am feeling much better. I having been sleeping a lot due to exhaustion and I've gotten four meals down since Friday. Hoping tomorrow is even better. I'm meeting with my minister from hospice and he's going to help my find a counselor and a grief support group.

You guys were all right, I should have never reopened that door. I have put things in place to stop the contact. I will put more measures in place as necessary.

I may have figured some things out. I think I have been resented all my life by my family (sisters) because of the hatred for my mom. Hatred for even being born. I received it from all sides. Both sets of grandparent and all of the siblings. I was the unlucky one by being the only child my parents had together. My brother called and gave me the speech, put on your big girl panties and get over it. That is my plan along with putting a stop to contact from him also. The sibs have been rallying the troops! I'm fine with that because it keeps my away from it all.

I know I sound like I'm having a pity party and you know what, I agree. It's about time. My life has always consisted of taking care of my mom, and playing pretend to keep everyone happy. After my mom died, I felt safe enough to let go of being strong. I needed the down time and finally received the strength from my husband and children and I am feeling safe for once in my life. I'm going to take baby steps and do my best to control my emotions. I think my moms death gave me the freedom to actually reach the bottom and reach out for help. Hopefully I will get some soon. I tried this so many times in the past but no one was there for me so I just sucked it up and went on. This time was different because I have actually taken steps to rid myself of toxic people. Depression can make you tired of fighting and give up. Sometimes you can't even put one foot in front of the other. I'm feeling like I can now.

I am still afraid of my sibs trying to contact me. I heard a car door slam and I began to shake terribly. Turns out I was my neighbor. Hopefully someone can help me get through that also. One of the sibs is a control freak and I don't know how she's going to react to my daughters wedding that is coming up. My daughter has decided to not invite them. Losing control of me and this wedding is going to wear on her.

All of you have been so supportive and have given me great advise. I hope I can return the favor one day. I will continue to post about my healing process if y'all are interested. I promise I'm going to rise from my pity party and be strong again.


LucyVanPelt February 17th, 2015 04:06 AM

Re: Cut ties with sisters but they won't give up
I am proud of you! You do not sound like you are having a pity party; it sounds like you're starting to look at the situation with open eyes. You are amazingly brave to take the steps you are taking, seeing your minister, protecting yourself, supporting your daughter. You are loved. You are worthy of love.

Broken hearts take longer than broken bones, but you will heal. Speaking for all of us, we are overjoyed that you are on that path!

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