Anyone MISS a toxic family member that you no longer see?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know this is sick and unhealthy, but I miss my sister (the good of my sister). She has called the police on me I-don't-know-how-many-times for ridiculous reasons such as I left a message on her answering machine and she didn't want me to or I e-mailed her when she asked me not to (our friend the police man of our small town really thought she was nutty when she did that). However, when we both lived in a bigger city, she also called the police and my kids were small and frightened when the cops came. She has also tried to ruin my relationship with my father. But we have a weird connection and she's the only one who understands my totally dysfunctional sick family (in which she is a main Oh, even I can be ;).
    The last thing she did was try to destroy my relationship with my 85 year old father. My mother had disowned me. I am the "selfish taker" in my family :peaceful: (of course my bipolar has nothing to do with my unstable behavior when I was young). I'm not going to make excuses to myself, but my mother disowned me. I value my loving relationship with my dad.
    So why do I crave calling my sister? I keep giving in and taking her back into my life and it never works. Last time she actually got my Dad so angry at me that he wouldn't talk to me for days. He was supposed to have a surprise party, and he found out about it. I was unstable one day and messaged her that I may not go and a few other things. There was a lot on my plate then--I thought we faced possible homelessness and couldn't imagine giving up a weekend of looking for a house. Well, within an hour she had canceled the party and told me that my brother, who lives in NJ, had turned in his tickets so that there would be no party. And she told my Dad that it was because I wanted him to give me money and I was mad (yes, Dad found out about surprise party). The thing is, that had NOTHING to do with it. I hadn't even asked him for any money. Then my BROTHER wrote to me scolding me that Dad doesn't owe me any money, yada, yada, yada, and told me it is "off-the-wall" to "punish" Dad for that reason.
    Obviously, Sis gave him a bogus story.
    What's wrong with me?????? :faint: In a way, I feel like I've lost my best friend, yet I know she can destroy me in many ways until my father passes...
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Why? Because she's your sister and you love her. Whack job that she is, she's still someone that you've grown up with and know better than almost every single person on the planet save the rest of your family. Of course you miss her! But, as much as it hurts, you just have to keep reminding yourself of how she treats you, what she does and how she affects your life. From what you've stated here, the negative about her far outweighs the positive she has.

    Does that mean that you have to cease ALL contact? Not at all. If you still want to do things for her, as sisters do, you can still do it. It just would have to be annonymously or through your family, if they can keep a secret. (And, if you think it would work, I would have a nice chat with your brother and tell him what happened. That's only if you think he would believe you. Otherwise, I wouldn't even go there with him) Anyway, what I mean is, if you see something while you're out and about that you know she would like and you want to get it for her, do it. Just send it to her secretly or in a round about way. Sisters do that kind of thing for each other.

    Otherwise, you will just have to steel yourself to committing to no contact. Obviously, you'll still be able to keep tabs on her through the rest of the family so it's not like you'll never ever know what's going on with her. But for the safety and well being of your family and yourself, it doesn't sound like you can have a direct relationship with her. I know it must hurt like the blazes and I'm sorry you have to do that. But, it sounds like the healthiest thing to do for all involved.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    When I first read the title of this thread I was :rofl: and thinking a roaring "NO". But, yes, sometimes I do- then I stop and think to myself- "Am I really missing the relationship we have or grieving over the relationship I wish we had but don't". Depending on that answer at that given point in time, I decide whether or not to call, send a card or email, or just find something else to do and forget about it.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your feedback. The "rest of my family" is my brother and father :tongue:. There are no aunts, cousins, etc. Long ago, we lost track of everyone else and nobody was ever close. Talking to Brother is a waste of time. He wrote me a nonstop letter about "the things that have bothered me about you for the past 35 years." Obviously, the family doesn't talk. Much of what he said was misconception. Some was true. A lot was when I was in my 20's/early 30's and very sick with bipolar. I wasn't a pleasant person then. But my brother has Crohn's Disease, and, to my small family, only an illness you can see counts as an illness. If you have bipolar that's just an excuse and you are a brat and selfish and "a taker." I was never forgiven for accepting some money for a car ($700) from my grandmother (who truly loved me, but had abig mouth and told everyone). Later she bought me a new stove and told everyone too and everyone (meaning my mother, sister and brother) were shocked because "you took Grandma's offered money!" Heck, she offered it and I was desperate. Ex hub was letting us drive in a very unsafe car because it was "too expensive" to fix it. And the stove was making weird noises and smelled like gas. As much as I loved Grandma, she was a troubulemaker and a "divide and conquer" person. I hated having to accept money from her, but I felt it was best to accept the hate I knew I'd get and to protect my family. Grandma had plenty of money.
    So talking it out with anyone in my family (all three of them) is a waste of time. in my opinion only, I have the best heart of all of them and am the only one who loves unconditionally. At one time I would have done anything I could for both my brother and sister. Trust me, it was not recipricated. I don't really care about brother. I don't miss him, although it annoys me that he really belives I was trying to punish my father. But I do miss my sister. I have talked to my therapist about this, but you guys are better therapists :D OH, and lastly, I do have to stop all contact or have contact. It's all or nothing in this little foursome of dysfunction.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    klmno, wow, good answer. I think, because I enjoy my sister so much somtimes, that I am grieving for the sister I never had. I want one who loves me no matter what and doesn't call the cops on me. Is that too much to ask? In order to stop her from contacting our cop friend and telling him stories about me, I had to join Facebook and start contacting her friends listing on HER Facebook because, much more than me, she is paranoid about her "friends" knowing very unimportant things in our past. That's the extent I had to go through to get her to stop with the cops. I have a list of her friends now. Sadly, I *will* use it to stop her, if she goes there again. I even have addresses. I"m tired of her calling the cops on me over nothing.
    So I think I wish my sister were a normal sister because we really do have so much fun together. But when she is angry, she gets dangerous. And right now she is a very unhappy person in a very bad marriage.
    I would really like to be there to support her, but I can't.
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    You know, in a perfect world we would all have great families or, at the very least, ones that could communicate with each other and work things out. Too bad we don't live in a perfect world. As much as it hurts you, I would, as I'm sure you have done, make your own family. I have friends that I consider family more so than some of my actual family members. Some of these family members are people that live their life in a way that I don't agree with and others are just ones that we've never really been close. (On my mom's side alone, there are a lot of us. Mom is the youngest of 9, there are 18 grandchildren and over 40 great-grandkids) Yes, some of my relations are toxic too, nowhere near your situation, but they still have an affect. So, I just don't make the effort. There is one cousin that comes to mind....and "technically" he's a step-cousin that I acquired when I was 6. When I was a kid (he's about 10 years older than me) he was a blast and I always had fun around him. Now that I'm grown up, I see him for the person he really is. Manipulator, irresponsible, a taker, etc. I will occasionally run into him around the area and will talk to him but I don't tell him more than I need to. At the same time though, I miss who I thought he was and the fun we had when we were younger. There's just too much bad drama with him and I don't feel the need to participate. I've got enough drama of my own, thank you very much! LOL

    Don't beat yourself up over these feelings. Whatever the situation, she's still your sister and you're allowed to love and miss her in whatever way you do. Do what you can to protect you but keep in mind...there is always the possibility of "some day". Chances may be slim, but the possibility is still there. You know?
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My family is VERY toxic, too. I don't want to ever see or speak to my half-bro again. My mother on the other hand, I deal with differently. I have learned, through distance and time, to distinguish feelings about/for her and I deal with those differently. Sometimes I cry because I miss having a Mom (and Grandma to difficult child) who is the way I wish she would be. Sometimes I talk with her because I know that someday she'll be gone and even though she's ditzy and will NEVER see how self-centered she has spent her entire life or how much pain and conflict she has caused, etc, she diapered my rear, washed my clothes, etc, and once she is gone it will be too late to ever let her know that I do see and appreciate the things she DID do, Know what I mean?? I just had to learn how to establish my boundaries for our relationship based on who she really is and what I can expect from that, instead of trying to turn the relationship into what I wish it was. We will never have the relationship that I wish we did because she will never be the type of person that I wish she was.

    ETA: Sometimes it helps to write one of those letters that you never intend to send.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    MWM, well, she is your sister.
    And we all have fantasies of the perfect family.

    My first response to "do you miss a toxic family member that you no longer see?" is NO.
    First on the list is my s-i-l. Second is my other s-i-l.
    My mother passed away 3 yrs ago and every once in a while, I miss her if I see a cute greeting card or outfit she'd like, but overall, it's been so peaceful with-o her.
    I miss what COULD HAVE BEEN. What SHOULD have been.
    But not what really was.

    Best of luck.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Terry. I think there's a lot of "what could have been." I do have really good friends who I think of as sisters. They didn't grow up with me and don't know how crazy my parents could both be, but because of that craziness--well, my bro and sis don't seem to be able to be sibs.

    And, yeah, it's peaceful not to have to worry about when sis will call the cops next or incite trouble with my dad. As for Bro, we haven't been close for so many years that I don't miss him at all.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    MWM, yes, I miss two of my sisters. I miss my sister who lives close to me, I call her loco-sister. Growing up, we were close. We were close up until I moved here to work with her H. Things sort of fell apart, in large part, when it became realized that the dynamics of our relationship had changed because I was less her little sister and more my own person with two daughters of my own. She meddled where she shouldn't and tried to control me in unhealthy ways. I let it go on too long and when I finally put an end to things, it really was a shock to both of us. I wish I could be close with her, but it's become nearly impossible.

    And I miss my other sister who lives in PA. Although we talk and see one another, it's not the same. She highjacked my mom last Fall and since then there has been tension all over the place between not only us, but the four sisters and it bites.

    I take comfort in my closest two friends that are like my sisters to me. I really have to do that. I also take comfort in my relationship with my daughters. And I detach whenever I have to spend time or talk with my two sisters. I have another sister with whom I am close to, though she lives about a 12 hour drive away. I wish I could see her more. Anyway, I understand. Hugs~
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I was going to say the same thing... I feel that way about my dad. Angry that he is the difficult child he is and wishful for the life I never had, the life his grandkids will never have with him because he is the way he is.

  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    My answer is no, because by the time I cut off contact I have been used up, fed up and am not dealing with it anymore.

    But, I've also been told that I'm better at detaching than some. So, that may have something to do with it.

    I don't the dwell on what I wish it had been because that just keeps the emotional attachment and it drags me down. I focus on the "what it is" because we all know you certainly can't change anyone. You can only change how you react to it. I refuse to let someone constantly make me feel bad, push me down, hurt me, what have you. And if that is how someone consistently treats me, that is not someone I want in my life. And I let it go and move on.
  13. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    My answer is a resounding YES!!

    I miss not only "what could have been" - I also miss what was years ago.

    My mom used to be my best friend. I do miss her alot. While I do have a very intermittent - surface sort of relationship - I miss the deep friend that she used to be. I "see" her physically - but I certainly don't "see" the her I used to know.

    But, it is what it is.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Great thoughts.
    Flutterby, I like your attitude. I actually can detach when I have to. I have a harder time with my sister because we can have a BLAST together. It's hard to remember that the sister who is so much fun and who I love so much (I still love her) is willing to go so far as to call the cops on me because I leave a message on her answering machine. She would never do this if an annoying friend did something that bugged her. She just did it because it was me. And to try to get my dad to dislike me just shocked me. She had no idea what was going on in my head, yet she assumed. Words can't describe how shocked I am that she really thought I wasn't going to his party because he didn't offer to buy me a I know how he is. He doesn't like to part with his money. The truth is, I was terrified of not having a place to live and in no shape to go anywhere. In fact, my therapist was so afraid for me that she was threatening to put me in the hospital. To stay out of the hospital, hub had to take two days off of work to watch me until she felt I was not a threat to myself. I wasn't suicidal, but you know how therapists are: She was afraid that I was.
    The last time I went to a family event when I was unstable, was after my beloved grandmother's funeral. As usual, my mother started picking on me and my son. I lost it and upset everybody, and I promised myself that, no matter how importat the family affair was, I would NEVER show up again if I wasn't stable. No matter what. It's unkind to others and to myself to show up when I could lose it. And if I was in that state of mind, going to the surprise party would have been worse than canceling it. However, they could have had the party without me. All my kids were going, plus I was sending my hub and two kids who live with me. PLUS...I was much better by the party and would have gone myself. I felt more stable.
    I am always both amused and shocked at the motives that my Sis and Bro attribute to me. My Bro doesn't know any better. I haven't been close to him in years. But my sister SHOULD know better. If she doesn't, well, then she will never know me at all. I, however, used to think she was the normal one. She's not.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Say what? NO.

    (by the way...I like what Flutterby said!)

    I sometimes wonder if it would be appropriate for me to check on him, since at this point he is older and likely limited in his ability to care for himself. Due to this, I have considered some limited contact for his benefit...out of kindness and generosity.

    I do not miss anyone's consistent toxicness towards me. If they wish to correct their bad behavior and contact me...that would be a great thing and I would welcome it with open arms. Otherwise, it would better to go our separate ways.

    by the way...LIFE IS GOOD!!!! :D;):beautifulthing::bigsmile::dance:
    Lasted edited by : Apr 20, 2009
  16. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    MWM - My answer to the thread question is NO WAY. I walked from my family a couple of years ago. The only regret I have is that they now have my son (difficult child 17).

    A few years ago, my mom called a family meeting at my house because she and my brother had been in a two year fight with my sister and hadn't spoken. I didn't want anything to do with the family meeting since I didn't have a problem with anyone at the time. We all gathered in my living room, my mom started her meeting by pointing at me and saying, "YOU. You are the problem in this family. You always have been." The attack came fast and furious.

    Now, looking back, my "academy award performance" should have been me walking to my front door and telling them all to leave. I didn't. My sister's husband of (then) 17 years tried to say something to my mom, who yelled, "Shut up! You aren't a part of this family!" He stood up and walked out the front door. My sister stood up, stomped her foot and yelled to my mother, "You're mean!" and followed her husband out the door. My other sister and brother sat on the couch without as much as saying a word.

    I ended up kicking my mother out of my house, throwing her milk, cheese, and bread out the door behind her. Immature on my part, I know! (Because I had been divorced with two kids, everytime my mother came to my house over seven years, she brought bread, milk, and cheese...WIC food, you see.)

    The next day was Christmas. My mother showed up to my sister's for dinner with lots of presents and my sister welcomed her with open arms. I left immediately.

    Any conversation I've had with my family since, I hear the same "you are the problem in this family" and now I'm hearing it from my son. Why would I subject myself to that? Why would I miss that? I will never hear those words from their mouth's again. I will not give them that satisfaction. If I'm not a part of the family, how can I be the problem?

    I think in the moment now, "My academy performance is/should be..." and that is how I get through every day.

    MWM - I wish you wouldn't miss it. You are probably a much better person without them and thier influence! While there has been good and fun, does the good and happy outweigh the bad and pain? Only you can answer that question.
  17. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    My answer would be he** no. I have not spoken to my dad in about 4 years, my brother for about 5. My father is a selfish jerk. Too much to get into, and my brother is just like my dad. They get along fine.

    Certain people are not worht my emotional energy, they are suckers. That would describe my dad and brother.

    Sorry, but a resounding no here. I don't miss what could have been because all I have seen is what was.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    For years I would say that I wouldnt have missed my mother. I wanted desperately the mother that should have been there for me and should have protected me. I guess I really wanted that ideal mom. I didnt have her. In her later years I watched her die from a hideous disease and actually almost felt vindicated. That has made me feel a bit guilty.

    Now I catch myself looking at the girls and thinking at odd moments, boy I wish my mom was here to see them, she would have adored them. I really dont know if she would or not. Maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe she would have been thrilled to have little great granddaughters in her life or maybe her hatred for me would have stood in the way of being able to love them too. I cant say. I can only see things through a cloud of what I would have liked things to be like. Rosy glasses. I so wish it was a normal family.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911

    The ONLY Toxic family member missed would be my x -

    But my aim is getting better -
  20. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I haven't dealt with my sister since 1995 when she tried to defraud my credit card. I hang up on my parents when they try to tell me about her. As far as I am concerned, I'm an only child. I don't miss her and have no clue where she is, what she's doing or even if she's alive. I really don't care.

    The credit card was just the last straw. It was a life time of putting up with her narcissism, her sense of entitlement, her jealousy over my grades (in 4th grade, she threatened the teacher that if she didn't skip her to 6th grade at the end of the year, the way she had done with me earlier, she would kill her!) She was so cute nobody believed her; they didn't skip her and she trashed the school but left the teacher alive.

    She's a psychopath (NO conscience). If I never see her again, it will be too soon.