Sometimes Extended Families Stink

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by nvts, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    You know, sometimes they really do. I'm one of 5 girls. One is older and the rest are younger than me. The youngest was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia (sp?). She's chosen the rougher path throughout most of her life, and this illness has really taken a toll on her.

    Over a year ago, she moved back home with my Dad from New Mexico with her two boys and our second to youngest sister. My dad had a car accident on the way back. The car was totalled, he was bruised and sore, but ok. He and the boys flew back and she and a friend drove the truck the rest of the way.

    Basically the rest of us were pretty mad at her for not being ready to go when dad got there and assumed that he was over tired from packing her to move.

    She showed up at my door and we talked and talked and talked. She and I have worked through our differences and are thicker than theives.

    The others have been treating both of us like dirt ever since. One boycotted Thanksgiving LAST year, the holidays were hellish, and one boycotted it this year. Now we're listening to garbage that the one isn't coming Christmas, etc, etc, etc.

    I think I'm making a turkey at my house and we'll run over to my dad's to exchange gifts with the cousins Christmas day and just do dessert at his house. Then, back home again. Of course, younger sister, her boys and my dad are welcome for the turkey as well. I just don't want to deal with the garbage.

    I thought the holidays were about resolving things and working toward a better world. Not pity parties, presents and pretense! The best part is everything they do is started with "it's the Christian thing to do". Don't know about anyone else, but 12 years of Catholic school taught me that the "Christian thing to do is to do unto others as you would have done to you". Uh-oh, must've played sick on the days that they taught you that you also need to be judgemental witches that back-bite better than a pirahnna at a thong bikini pool party!

    Thanks for listening, just feeling "grouchy and grinchy" and I needed to just get this off my chest so I could continue to decorate!

    HO! HO! HO!


    :bah-humbug: :lights:
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    So, what would happen if the two of you knocked on another sister's door? Do you think maybe it would turn into another talk fest that heals? You forgave your sister, maybe there will be more forgiving.

    Maybe the one to start the peace talks should be your father? He knows the circumstances of the accident far better than anyone else. No matter whether it was because he was overtired, some of the responsibility has to fall on him. He knew he was tired and should have stopped.

    I hope your family finds a way to get back together. It would be a tragedy to look back and regret all the missed holidays and special times that could have been.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Great ideas MB, but the problem is is that I've always been the one patching it all togetehr and they've dragged this whole thing out for sooooo long, that I've got more important things to deal with.

    No matter what I say, they get on the "she's a manipulative so and so" etc.

    The best is, my husband took my dad to go get the 2nd to youngest sister at her boyfriends house as she was in a screaming drunken rage and the police allowed them to bring her home (my husband talked them out of arresting her - she was going to drive!!!). Then after they got home, my dad needed me to help because she was screaming, and raging in HIS house. It was a mess. The following weekend, she went on a tear and at the top of her lungs ripped me and my husband apart for being horrible people.

    I chalked it up to what I consider her mental illness (undiagnosed - she's too "intelligent" (her words) for psychology), but the 3rd to last sister is backing HER up.

    All of them (except youngest) pick on my husband CONSTANTLY! So much so, that I had a really bad miscarriage over the summer and the only one that knew was my youngest sister who watched my kids while I was at the hospital. They would have found some way to blame my husband for getting me prego in the first place (as if I wasn't there! :laugh: ).

    Did you ever feel like it's just self-preservation to throw in the towel?


  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good luck.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: nvts</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Did you ever feel like it's just self-preservation to throw in the towel? </div></div>

    {{Beth}} Yes, I've done it with my loco sister, several times. Actually, the last time I think it was 2 years ago. She just went ape-doo doo on me over something she had heard wrong and misconstrued completely regarding our two dds. It had been going on for years and I just would tell easy child to take the higher road, ignore her cousin, etc. :badmood: and I would do the same with my sister. I did this because I am a peacemaker. I hate the constant conflict with this particular sister. She usually has the entire family walking on eggshells and up until that point, me included. After she flipped out on me and called me and my daughter names, I told her off - I told her that she was demented and needed mental help and to never call me or contact me again.

    I was ready to quit my job (I work with her H for over 14 years and run his offices). I put my H on notice that I may be unemployed shortly. I was just tired of being afraid to stand up to her and it finally had to end. I even sought counseling so I could learn to detach from her with love - I didn't want our relationship to end over a fight. I had to do it this way so I could live with myself. It really helped me to sort out so many past regressions regarding this sister.

    All my other siblings pleaded with me to forget and forgive and call her. I refused - it was my self preservation, it was a matter of saving my sanity and protecting my family. Very few people understand this if they haven't been through it. Everyone in my family even admitted that they could never and would never live in such close proximity to this particular sister. They didn't know how I did it for so long.

    Now, that said...I tell you Beth. Plan your holidays, invite them if you must or just send out an email to everyone stating that you're having a quiet Christmas. If they would like to attend, great, they can let you know. Otherwise, you'll see them next time. And then let it go. You're right, you don't owe them anything and you don't always need to be the peacemaker. Let them stew through it - they are going to anyway.

    In the meantime, get yourself some support, take care of yourself and just live in peace. Enjoy the tranquility of a peaceful Christmas surrounded by people, friends and family that your DO love and cherish and who love and cherish you in return.

    There is no rule that says just because you share the same blood, you're all going to get along and want to spend time together. YOu have the right to be surrounded by people who love you and want to have a healthy relationship. Once I figured that out, I was able to let go of all the guilt I had about detaching from my sister.

    We're better now, but I am always on guard. And when I am unable to spend time with her, I simply bow out. No excuses, just say I'm not into whatever has been planned or that I have other plans. I just can't allow others to treat me poorly and misjudge me anymore and I won't tolerate attending a function under the guise of it being all about family, when it doesn't feel that way to me.

    Sending many many gentle hugs your way. I hope that things work out. It may not be in time for this holiday season, but I hope it does.
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Jo said it well. May you have a blessed Christmas with those you wish to spend the time with.
  7. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Jo! We must be sisters because we CLEARLY have one in common!!!


    Seriously, you said it beautifully and I just couldn't look at it from the appropriate distance! Thank you for sharing your experience. I can't tell you how much peace your input gave me! Carrying the guilt about not being able to mend this has me so on the edge, that I'm grumping at the kids because every interaction leaves me feeling worse (family b-day parties, etc.).

    Thank you for the insight!

    MB: thank you as well. I'm feeling so much better!

    You've both saved the REAL Christmas for me!


  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">There is no rule that says just because you share the same blood, you're all going to get along and want to spend time together. </div></div>

    Very well put Jo. And I feel the same way.

    Hon you deserve to have holidays filled with joy, warmth, and love. If these sisters just can't do that, then it's their problem.


  9. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: nvts</div><div class="ubbcode-body">HO! HO! HO!

    OK, you've got your reasons, but that is still a terrible thing to call your sisters.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

  11. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: HereWeGoAgain</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: nvts</div><div class="ubbcode-body">HO! HO! HO!

    OK, you've got your reasons, but that is still a terrible thing to call your sisters. </div></div>

    I knew someone would get that!


  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    When my family starts this and I start feeling obligated, I just remind myself that I didn't get to pick these people - and if I did would I have picked them? The answer (for me) is, NO.

    Self-preservation - definitely. If I let them, these people would :censored2: me (emotionally) dry. I had nothing left to give to them and no desire to do so anymore, anyway.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage.

  13. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Well, we always watch Christmas Vacation well before the holidays roll around.

    You would be surprised how often persons in my family (me included, I'm sure!) fit right into that movie.

    We especially like the part where Randy Quaid is relieving himself into the sewer outside his motor home in his bathrobe.



    That scene has gotten us through many a holiday dinner with our spirits intact ~ or only relatively tattered.


    I liked that.


  14. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Sorry you are having to deal with this. Jo said it very well - spend the days with those that love you and with those you love.
    It has to be both - or it won't work. (love you AND LOVE those)

    Happy holidays
  15. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I read somewhere that going to church is no more an indicator of being a Christian/person of faith as being in a garage makes you a mechanic.

    Being very different from siblings seems pretty normal. If you don't enjoy yourself around them then put some space between you and them. Different kids are more needy at certain times in their adult lives. After a while it gets pretty tiresome to watch siblings always creating disharmony.

    Keep your eye on the holiday and making it a time of peace for you and yours.