Trying to make sense of this interaction

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
More sister stuff.

This time I’m trying to make sense of an interaction I had with my sister a few years ago.

I reached out to my sister because I was struggling. I’d say it was a medium level of struggling as I’d never reach out to her for something minor, nor would I reach out to her if things were severe ie I need to go to the hospital as I know the steps that need to be taken for that, and I’d never involve her.

So anyway, I reached out to her, and she told me that I shouldn’t expect her to make me a priority. I wasn’t asking anything even close to this. I never used the word “priority” or any possible synonym. I didn’t know how to respond other than to say that’s not what I was asking. My jaw dropped after she said that. I try to make a connection and get the door slammed in my face.

Is she so closed off to any sort of closeness with people that she was pushing me away? Or maybe she doesn’t want me around?

The whole situation with my sister is odd because she invited me to visit when she lived elsewhere, but 2 of the 3 visits were house sitting or babysitting gigs. (I didn’t get paid.)

I am feeling quite used and I don’t know if I’m wrong in feeling this way. My mom says she probably didn’t set out to use us, but in my mind, it doesn’t matter if your actions are deliberate or not.

The mind f*ckery of it all is that my dad dropped me in an instant for his new wife. He LITERALLY moved in with her and didn’t tell anyone where he went. I was then the bad person for not accepting her with open arms. My sister then dropped my mom and I for my dad once she found out he had cancer. My guess is that she feared losing my dad and is trying to make up for lost time.

HOWEVER....I can’t handle people who engage in this kind of bullshit. I can’t handle being a placeholder until someone better comes along.

My moms heart is broken because my sister has for the most part pushed her out of her life, all while she is recovering from cancer. My mom asked me why I was the only child to get the caring/empathy gene. I had no answer for her.

So back to that interaction in the first part of my post. Any insights? I am trying to process the relationship I had with my sister. Her son is due in July and I don’t expect to ever meet him, even though I have picked up cool auntie/nephew onesies at thrift stores over the past few years. It hurts to lose the nephew I’ve gotten to know over the last 3 years.

I’ll stop for now. The dissociation is kicking in again. 🙁
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
From what you wrote here sounds a long family history that one interaction may have so many layers only you and therapist can breakdown what is yours, hers, the family, reality and the past and the present. From my reading, she has a life that you may not be fully aware of or involved as you do too and maybe she was really not in the right frame of mind and said so. The choice of word sounds a problem for you not for her. Is she like this with everybody or just you and your mother? I do not know. But the rest of the post you shared, it seems she is closer to your father and distanced from you and your mother and that again is the family history that I have no idea what it may entail. The underlying issue seems to me (my limited view) that you may have stronger attachment or dependence on your sister that she is resisting or avoiding to connect with you and this again may be a part of familial issue going on for a long time.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
From what you wrote here sounds a long family history that one interaction may have so many layers only you and therapist can breakdown what is yours, hers, the family, reality and the past and the present. From my reading, she has a life that you may not be fully aware of or involved as you do too and maybe she was really not in the right frame of mind and said so. The choice of word sounds a problem for you not for her. Is she like this with everybody or just you and your mother? I do not know. But the rest of the post you shared, it seems she is closer to your father and distanced from you and your mother and that again is the family history that I have no idea what it may entail. The underlying issue seems to me (my limited view) that you may have stronger attachment or dependence on your sister that she is resisting or avoiding to connect with you and this again may be a part of familial issue going on for a long time.

No, she has been very distant from my father for many years. My mom and I have been seeing her regularly for the last 5+ years. Traveling to her home when it was far away, multiple times a year. Going to her house every other week after she moved back to the area. She pulled a 180 in it all. We were thrown away in favor of my dad, the man who refused to go meet his first grandchild when he was born, because his wife couldn’t fly. He wouldn’t leave the bitch at home for even just a weekend because she is Uber jealous and controlling. Now my sister is trying to make up for lost time and threw us away because we are “problematic”. My dad hates my mom, my mom doesn’t have issues with my dad anymore. Anything my dad wants, goes.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I don't know if this helps but this is what I thought when I read your post:
It sounds as though there are all these divisions in your family and each of you are made to pick a person to be loyal to, which comes at the expense of a relationship with another person in the family.
Because it sounds like your relationship with your sister (and hers with you) is impacted by what your mum and your dad decide to say and do. So there are these external strong influences impacting your relationship with her.

I also don't know if this helps:
I have challenging relationships with my sisters. I have now realised that our parents set us up to "divide and rule" and put one against the other. You would think, on paper, that the three of us would be close. But we're not. It feels a bit like what you say in your family. My oldest sister is very close to our parents and is upset with me and my other sister for not being close with them. My other sister is very angry at our parents and me nd my other sisters lack of anger at our parents impacts our relationship. And I bottle all my emotions up about everything and that impacts my relationships with my sisters.

My T spoke about the "drama triangle" in my last session. Have you heard of it? It helped me to just start to think about these dynamics and how I can step out of it.

We can't change anyone else. But we can change how we respond to things, so hopefully it becomes less painful.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I don't know if this helps but this is what I thought when I read your post:
It sounds as though there are all these divisions in your family and each of you are made to pick a person to be loyal to, which comes at the expense of a relationship with another person in the family.
Because it sounds like your relationship with your sister (and hers with you) is impacted by what your mum and your dad decide to say and do. So there are these external strong influences impacting your relationship with her.

I also don't know if this helps:
I have challenging relationships with my sisters. I have now realised that our parents set us up to "divide and rule" and put one against the other. You would think, on paper, that the three of us would be close. But we're not. It feels a bit like what you say in your family. My oldest sister is very close to our parents and is upset with me and my other sister for not being close with them. My other sister is very angry at our parents and me nd my other sisters lack of anger at our parents impacts our relationship. And I bottle all my emotions up about everything and that impacts my relationships with my sisters.

My T spoke about the "drama triangle" in my last session. Have you heard of it? It helped me to just start to think about these dynamics and how I can step out of it.

We can't change anyone else. But we can change how we respond to things, so hopefully it becomes less painful.

I realize I made this post and it appears that I want help fixing things, when I don’t. I was just trying to understand the dynamics of what happened. My mind is already in “what to do when my mom dies” mode as I already know the rest of my family is gone for good. I think I’ll just push the past out of my mind and focus on the steps I need to take to move forward as someone without a family. Thanks.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I realize I made this post and it appears that I want help fixing things, when I don’t. I was just trying to understand the dynamics of what happened. My mind is already in “what to do when my mom dies” mode as I already know the rest of my family is gone for good. I think I’ll just push the past out of my mind and focus on the steps I need to take to move forward as someone without a family. Thanks.
I understand (I think!). Is it that you want to understand what has happened with your sister and your relationship?

That's why I suggested the "drama triangle" because that night help to think through the dynamics. It's helped me anyways. Doesn't change anything, but helped me understand the interactions a bit.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I understand (I think!). Is it that you want to understand what has happened with your sister and your relationship?

That's why I suggested the "drama triangle" because that night help to think through the dynamics. It's helped me anyways. Doesn't change anything, but helped me understand the interactions a bit.

Yes, you are quite right. I abhor triangulation. We’ve got rectangulation going on here! It’s driving me batty.

I sat down and talked to my mom tonight and my mom kept telling me “your sister just isn’t like you”. It’s finally setting in that we really are very different. My sister has lots of friends.....”friends”.....but she knows people on a more shallow level. I’m like oh fck that, I don’t want shallow relationships, just go away! (Not to her, I mean when dealing with the world outside.) I need deep relationships with a few people but she casts a wider net and doesn’t know people as well, even those in her inner circle. I just kept telling my mom it’s impossible for me to understand people like this.

Im not trying to crap all over my sister, just working through our differences out loud. She’s an incredibly intelligent person who is successful in life, so she has a lot of positive qualities.

I will write her a letter one day, but I don’t know when. My dissociation has got to improve first. Today was a good day, no dissociation until now.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
I hate to say this, but I think that sometimes we will never know what is in their head....not sure they know.
From dealing with my own family relationships, I have discovered the "why" is less important than the facts we already know.
They do what they do. It is that that leads to our feelings. Accepting our own feelings about it and validating them seem more productive.

Of course I am at an age where I am too old to make repairs even if I did know, yet in my family, they are really never going to say the "why" to it all. I feel forced to accept the consequences and move on. This may not be for you but you are worth explanation for sure. I don't get hopes up when it comes to family, leaves me less disappointed.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I hate to say this, but I think that sometimes we will never know what is in their head....not sure they know.
From dealing with my own family relationships, I have discovered the "why" is less important than the facts we already know.
They do what they do. It is that that leads to our feelings. Accepting our own feelings about it and validating them seem more productive.

Of course I am at an age where I am too old to make repairs even if I did know, yet in my family, they are really never going to say the "why" to it all. I feel forced to accept the consequences and move on. This may not be for you but you are worth explanation for sure. I don't get hopes up when it comes to family, leaves me less disappointed.

I think part of it is wanting a close relationship with my sister, and realizing she’s just not willing or able to open herself up like that. I want to be the cool aunt, but that is slipping away, too. At least I had 3 years with my nephew. I may never see him again. He may not remember me. I may never meet my second nephew. Ugh.
 
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