Hello @RussellSue,I am struggling to try to figure out how to keep my sister's perceived attitude towards me from affecting my life rather strenuously at the moment because what I do not need while trying to find a job is to feel like I am still an abnormal little freak who cannot compete in this world because she is too much of a weirdo -- which is the basic attitude I grew up with and still sometimes get whiffs of from my big sister.
I have her pushed back at the moment because I cannot afford to have this sort of debilitating garbage infiltrate my head right now and know that I am dancing with the devil pretending I can rise above the comments once they are made. She did say a few things this week that put me on a break.
For those who do not know, I was born with a severe cleft lip and palate. My lip was repaired when I was 15, so I spent most of my underage years with a very obviously severe facial deformity.
It hit me after posting about this yesterday, what it is that bothers me the most about our relationship. It is that she thinks that I was embarrassing for a multitude of reasons but every one that she will admit to and openly discuss at any given moment has to do with how I maladaptively coped with my trauma. I was a shoplifter, I didn't try to make myself pretty, etc. Bringing these things up doesn't bother her in the slightest. Even just me, the facially deformed little sister, being accused of being embarrassing doesn't apparently seem to raise any red flags of empathy or sensitivity for her. She just tells me even though she and I have gone rounds about her attitude with me even in adulthood. Even though her autistic boy lost it on her one day citing that she spent his entire upbringing being embarrassed of him and so she ought to know that the problem she has with being embarrassed of others is her problem.
However, because I know that she is not proud of the sexual behavior she adopted as a survivor of sexual abuse, I don't tell her that she embarrassed me in front of my friends with how she responded to her trauma by sleeping with many of them. And it was plenty embarrassing because I was a top student and even popular (WOW!!!) at an arts school where hard work/focus mattered and my girlfriends and I did not do things like that, not because we were homely but because we didn't want babies or STDs - which, I know, is pretty weird. But I don't tell her things like this because I know it would make her feel bad about herself.
My husband reminded me this morning that my sister has only been in therapy a short time and this might account for why I constantly feel like she acts like a spoiled asshole. He made a good point.
I did tell her this week that her regular reference of my freakdom is upsetting to me and that trying to be pretty actually only got me bullied more as a kid even though she seems to think it should have helped. She did not seem to understand how/why this would be the case and feels that I did not try hard enough and this was why I was so embarrassing. What I don't get about this is why me trying or not trying to cover my scars with a pound of make-up should have been or should be a concern she had or much worse, still has.
Sure, I was an embarrassment. And if I had done things her way, I could have avoided being an embarrassment. My trauma?? Apparently a non-issue ALL the way around.
I guarantee you that if my embarrassment got into the conversation, there'd be a war. How dare I? But yeah, I would not and I do not -- out of respect for her feelings and her trauma.
I have more that I need to say to her but seeing as how I am detoxing from a medication right now, I am stepping back and venting, rather than risking saying some really shitty things.
If anyone has any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them. I don't have a therapist right now. Just you all and my husband.
I wouldn't dare tell my mother -- she told me I should have stopped speaking to my sister decades ago.
I try to be patient with her because she really has been through hell. But it's not always easy.
Holy moly! You are going through a ton of crap! And it stinks.
I'd be pissed off and venting a little too. I hate it when people can't see past their own pet peeves to the pain and shame they are inflicting on others.
At a gut level, my reaction is similar to your mom's, Get the hell away from that unhealthy person!" But she's your sister, you care for her, and you want to be there for her even if she's not for you. I get it!
I've been in very similar boats. One was an abusive marriage that I endured for 12 years hoping against hope it would work. But my wife was diagnosed NPD, BPD, HPD, and bipolar. Without counseling, she was incapable of empathy or change. And she refused counseling. So, when she cheated on me, we got divorced.
We can't divorce family though.
I read a book that helped me considerably with such matters. It's simply called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. Maybe you'd find some helpful thoughts and tools there too?
I wish you the best. I hope your sis will realize how hurtful she is being. I hope she can recognize her own insecurity and how she's blaming others for it (projecting her insecurity on others) by "being embarrassed" of them.
When she sees this and resolves it, both she and the people she's hurting will be happier.
Hang in there!