Dysfunctional family advice, anyone??

  1. Ok...here's the story:

    Mom told Sis I'm sick.
    Well, Sis took off for the other coast in 1971, and had very little contact with us ever since. She has been very successful. She has visited home about three times in 25 years.
    I have tried to have a relationship with her, but each time, she ferrets out personal information about me, and then drops me like a hot potato just when I think we're going to start really communicating.

    Our childhood REALLY SUCKED. However, while I stayed around and dealt with my issues, she took off and tried to forget them.

    Now....
    I just got an email from her, fishing for information about my illness. And I probably didn't do the very sisterly thing, but my first reaction was annoyance. As in, I'm tired of trying to initiate a relationship only to have it fall flat. I've tried EVERYTHING I can think of, too.

    I just wanted to delete the message. After all, she WORKS online. Yet she never emails me. She makes two to three times what I do, and regularly flies the country, yet she never "has the money" to visit. She knows I'm a nurse and where I work, but she's evaded me every time I've asked what company she works for. I don't feel any connection with her anymore; I don't feel like we're family anymore, largely because she has made choices that didn't include us in her life.

    So now she wants to know how I am. I'm thinking, This is ridiculous. Any advice? Should I just delete the email or how should I answer her at this point?
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   andrewsgranny
    Tell her only what you want her to know. You are in control of the situation. Its hard to let your guard down time after time. She is your sister, and I know you love her. But put yourself in the drivers seat and let her ride only as far as you want her too. Know your limits. Dont set yourself up again.
  4. by   amblessing
    I have a similar situation in my family. My feeling is that if she will cause you pain, then don't respond. Sounds like she may be fishing for information as you say. If she was that concerned about your illness she should phone you or visit - but that's just my 2 cents.
  5. by   Rustyhammer
    Tell her what you just told us.
    You phrased it with class and eloquence.
    -Russell
  6. by   Mkue
    originally posted by andrewsgranny
    tell her only what you want her to know. you are in control of the situation. its hard to let your guard down time after time. she is your sister, and i know you love her. but put yourself in the drivers seat and let her ride only as far as you want her too. know your limits. dont set yourself up again.
    i agree with you andrewsgranny.


    sleepyeyes, if she is sincere about communicating with you than she should be an adult and do it, not play games with your feelings.
  7. by   dcc43210
    Russell hit the nail square on the head.

    People have to earn our respect and affection. Just because someone is a relative does not make a good relationship automatic. We sometimes have to disassociate ourselves from toxic individuals - even sisters.

    Good luck to you.
  8. by   live4today
    originally posted by sleepyeyes
    ok...here's the story:

    she knows i'm a nurse and where i work, but she's evaded me every time i've asked what company she works for. i don't feel any connection with her anymore; i don't feel like we're family anymore, largely because she has made choices that didn't include us in her life.
    (((((((((sleepyeyes)))))))))) :kiss

    the "psychological and spiritual" person that i am tells me that the answer to your question lies within the above written paragraph. just a gut feeling i received when i read it. pray on it!

    i think i will send you an email so i can share my reactions more personally with you since they may offend some non-spiritual people on board. you and i are close enough in that regard that we share the same faith, therefore, i can talk to you via our personal email addys without upsetting anyone else. stay tuned.....and keep the faith, sister! :kiss
    Last edit by live4today on Aug 12, '02
  9. by   moonchild20002000
    Slepyeyes,

    Russell is right about this. Mayby you should send her a copy of your post.

    How are you doing? Hugs and prayers to you.
  10. by   Sleepyeyes
    Thanks for your responses, I may do that, but I'm still open to suggestions.

    Hafta go in for a lung biopsy this week, so i'll be off the puter for a few days..... here we go, back in the healthcare maze again :spin:
    bright spot--got Bible on CD to listen to to help me keep my chins up )) hehe
  11. by   live4today
    My prayers are always with you, Sister Sleepyeyes! I'll be praying for you tomorrow and the next few days as well. I'll be emailing you soon. Stay encouraged now! :kiss
  12. by   shygirl
    Originally posted by Rustyhammer
    Tell her what you just told us.
    You phrased it with class and eloquence.
    -Russell

    Couldn't have said it better myself!
  13. by   Carleigh
    Sleepyeyes, good luck with the biopsy!
  14. by   Brownms46
    Hi Sleepyeyes,

    I feel awful, that I haven't been on the Board enough to know what you're dealinig with right now. I must say here...that I have a similiar deal with my sister....that has changed over the years. We used to have the same kind of relationship...as you and your sister have now. I would talk to her honestly, and openly. My sister and I have been able to sit down...and get a better understanding of each other...in last few years. I have come to love who she is...even though there are things I don't like about her...I understand her better now.

    Don't let past hurts get in the way...of telling her what is going on with you know. As we grow older...we sometimes start to understand things better, and wish we could take back all the time we have lost...d/t to hurt feelings. But sometimes time just gets away from us, and we don't mean to let it go...sometimes it just does. Everyone deals with their past, and pain...in a different manner. I have long since forgiven my sister, and she has forgiven me. I hope you and your sister will come to terms with whatever has separated you....and find a renewed friendship...and a closer walk with each other.

    I pray the Lord will give you strength to deal with whatever illness you're facing...and to give your sister the desire to be there for you...as she has never been before. May the Lord bless you, in whatever the situation, and give you peace in all your trials.. My Prayers are with you...and your family(((((Sleepyeyes))))))))))

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