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And then there's that one toxic sibling...

Started by PatiencePlease, June 16, 2016, 06:35:30 pm

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PatiencePlease

I love WWU and regret I have not popped in for months.  Sometimes I don't share my experiences.  I tend to be private.  But this time I am sharing because this experience has been a struggle...

My mom died peacefully a few months ago.  As sad as I am to lose her, I am so very grateful to have shared a huge dose of quality time with her, helping her, chatting with her and more importantly listening to her.  She was an amazing woman.  I was so blessed.

Enter now the toxic sister... the one who has been in and out of my life for decades.  After Mom died she and I both stayed with our dad the week before the funeral.  She was distant, and other times just nasty.  Dad noticed it and would ask me when she left the room, "Are you okay?"  and I would respond "I'm fine.  This time is about you and losing Mom."  (They had been married 68 years....)

At the private burial which was here where I live and where the family cemetery plot is, (out of state) toxic sister traveled to be here (I had invited her & her husband to stay with us - she declined).  My  toxic sister and our spouses were the only ones at the burial.  She did not speak to me at all during the service.   Can you imagine?  Here we are, two daughters grieving the loss of our mom, yet we can't share our grief or support each other.  I was angry with myself for letting her behavior overshadow the burial.  I wish I didn't let that anger overshadow memories of this day but  I can't go back and do it over. 

Over the last two months I have sent an email and a text about family issues to toxic sister. There was no response.  Okay.  So this is what it is. I decide at that point I'm not going to message her any more.  If she has a question or concern, let her reach out to me first.  I move on.  (survival technique)

Two weeks ago, while visiting my dad for a few days, I showed him a picture I took at the cemetery of Mom's name etched on the stone.  (Dad lives out of state - he doesn't travel anymore.)  Hours later when I returned home, he called me requesting I send this picture to my toxic sister because after mentioning the picture to her she tells him she had not received a copy.   

Hmmmm.....  why is she letting Dad ask for her?....  He's struggling with insurmountable grief....  Here we go again....   So I calmly told my father that going forward if she has a request/issue, just tell her to come directly to me.  There's no need for him to be involved.  He is dealing with enough.  He agreed. 

So I proceed to send her an email with the picture that she complained she didn't receive suggesting that going forward she just come to me with issues and leave Dad out of it - he has enough on his plate.  Within half an hour I got a snotty email with her correcting me:  "I did not COMPLAIN to Dad I merely stated I DID NOT receive the picture or your message."  I didn't respond.  I just didn't want to engage. 

Within hours I received a second response:  "There was no "complaint" made to Dad, when he mentioned it, I merely said I had not received a message from you, nor a picture, as of this time.  Thanks for thinking the best of me. I am so done with you. You Please do not contact my anymore, unless it has to do with Dad's health.  This is the end, my supposed younger Sister is gone.  Hope you are happy."     (I copied this just as she sent it.)

Before my mom died, she so desperately wanted her three daughters to get along - to plan a reunion one more time.  (We all live out of state from each other.)  But Mom knew it was not to be because of toxic sister. Mom came to terms with this realization.  It was always about walking on eggshells with toxic sister.  When she is in the room you can feel the tension. 

You learn how to deal with it or you choose to leave it behind.  I'm at the point where I know I will leave it behind.  And yes, it is sad.  I don't want to deal with it. It's embarrassing to admit this.  But honestly I have no choice.  Ironically, my other sister, whom I can battle with on many topics, is there for me.  We respect each other differences.  I wish I could have this relationship with toxic sister too but it's not to be.

Rant over.  Thanks for reading. xo

luise.volta

We're here for you. Good plan. You don't deserve to be abused just because you are biologically connected. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Bamboo2

I'm so sorry for the loss of your mom, and now such emotional angst regarding your sister.  It is good to hear that you are moving forward and trying to protect yourself from any further pain.  You're right that it is what it is, and she is who she is.  Hopefully you will be able to live with more lightness knowing that you are letting go of your end of the rope, so she won't be able to play tug-of-war with you anymore.  Wishing you more peaceful days ahead.

Hugs!

PatiencePlease

Thank you so much for your kind words Luise & Bamboo2.  You've both given me nuggets of wisdom to carry with me. Xo

Pooh

So sorry.  It's hard enough to deal with the family drama on a daily basis, let alone when we are grieving.  I know it hurts, but she just gave you permission to let go and begin to heal yourself.  It's sad it came to this, but sometimes, I believe we are given opportunities because it's better for us.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

PatiencePlease

Thank you for your wise words Pooh.  You are so right!  Letting go is the best thing to do.

Sadly my mother in law died unexpectedly last week.  Out of the blue I get a sweet text message from toxic sister telling me she's keeping us in her thoughts and prayers and closed it with "Love" and her name.  I ignored it.  I'm done with this and I have to say it does feel good to let go.

Pen

PP, sorry for your recent loss and also on the loss of your DM. (((hugs)))
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Pooh

Quote from: PatiencePlease on July 12, 2016, 07:51:41 pm
Thank you for your wise words Pooh.  You are so right!  Letting go is the best thing to do.

Sadly my mother in law died unexpectedly last week.  Out of the blue I get a sweet text message from toxic sister telling me she's keeping us in her thoughts and prayers and closed it with "Love" and her name.  I ignored it.  I'm done with this and I have to say it does feel good to let go.


Good for you.  I don't deal well with passive-aggressive.  You don't get to tell me to never contact or speak to you again unless...... nor do you get to contact me whenever you feel like it.  Relationships, of any kind, are a two-way street.  When one person in the relationship tries to set rules for how the relationship runs, then it is no longer a relationship but a dictatorship. 

My condolences on your Mother in law's passing.  So sorry.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

PatiencePlease

Wise words Pooh.  Your definition of this relationship is spot on:  dictatorship.

Unfortunately, I confess, I've been worried about what will be down the road, when my dad passes away.  A wise friend advised me to stay detached when toxic sister begins to spew and simply state "let's get through with what needs to be done.  I don't want to talk about our relationship - just know I wish you well."  And leave it at that.  I pray I'm strong and calm enough to do that. 

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. 

Pooh

I think your friend gave you some good advice.  Those would be great words to use.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Pen

I'm going to remember this advice, especially the phrase "I don't want to......just know I wish you well." Quite fitting for many occasions!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

PatiencePlease

On a sad note, my dad passed away this fall.  No surprise.  I really do believe he died of a broken heart.  I'm happy he and my mom are back together again.

On a happy note, I'm proud to say that I faced toxic sister once again and I remained detached.  I waltzed through the few days going through my parents' belongings with toxic sister leading (and taking).  I was cool with it, because in all honesty, I remember telling both my mom and dad it wasn't about the stuff, it was about all the moments I was able to share with them.  No "thing" can ever replace those memories...  My other sister was okay with what toxic sister did too about taking stuff.  Both of us realized it really didn't matter.  Interestingly, toxic sister left behind old family photos and records.  And I will also go on record that I scanned all those documents and photos and gave copies to the family including toxic sister.  Because that's who I am.  :)

Going forward I know there will no longer be any communication with toxic sister.  Do I still feel sad that I have this situation with her?  Absolutely.   But I can't change her.  That reality "clicked" with me this year and that has made all the difference in how I deal with it. 

Just wanted to share hoping this might help someone else. xo

luise.volta

A series of very difficult situations and you did a remarkable job, P. Congratulations on putting healing first...way, way ahead of being right or grasping 'things'. What a solid report of progress. Thank you!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

PatiencePlease


Bamboo2

I'm so glad to know that you were able to see what was really important and detach from your sister's issues.  You sound very strong, and that is inspiring.  So sorry for the loss of your father.