Sisters

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2010
Sisters
5
Fri, 10-15-2010 - 11:11am

Hi

Not sure what am looking for here but some advice as I feel like a really bad person. My sister has been in a psychiatric ward for four months after suffering a nervous breakdown. she has been estranged from the family for ten years living in portugal and has had had a string of abusive boyfriends that have turned her against our family and made her do some really cruel things. She has been very cruel to both me and my amily over this time and now she is unwell we are all rallying around to help her. The thing is I don't think I can forgive and don't like her much as a person. I am trying to be there for her but finding it very difficult as i have so much resentment. I had a breakdown myself four years ago and she was nowhere to be seen.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-2004
In reply to: capetown2010
Fri, 10-15-2010 - 1:38pm

Hi Capetown,

Welcome to the board. It is very understandable that you have your feelings of resentment toward her. It is also commendable that your family has rallied around to help her. The guilt we feel tends to be heightened when the person we don't want to forgive is in a bad place. It almost makes us feel that we should let them "slide" due to their present hardship. Most times the hardship is brought upon by themselves. If it weren't for the choices she made, she wouldn't be in this mess.

If you really want to forgive her, but feel you can't, I have something to share with you. My pastor was preaching on forgiveness and pointed out that forgiveness is for us not so much for the other person. He said we have a great peice of mind when we forgive. He told us that when we don't forgive, we are carrying around the person with us. How many times has someone wronged us and we can't stop thinking about it? We get a tinge of sadness from time to time, because that person is taking up a lot of space in our lives. When we forgive that person, we "let them go" and feel freer.

Now one thing forgiveness does not mean (this is the biggest obstacle that can get in our way of forgiving someone). Forgiveness does not mean you have to "forget" and let that person take their previous spot in your life, as if nothing ever happened. You can forgive them, get yourself free and move on. There's no law that says you have to even talk to them again. You can get rid of the bitterness and resentment toward them, without befriending them again. You're just guarding your heart, knowing what they are capable of. There's an old saying that is "fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me".

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
In reply to: capetown2010
Fri, 10-15-2010 - 4:34pm

You don't

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
In reply to: capetown2010
Sat, 10-16-2010 - 4:36pm

Why not help from a disconnected position.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2008
In reply to: capetown2010
Sun, 10-17-2010 - 8:15am

I think you need to listen to your heart.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2010
In reply to: capetown2010
Mon, 10-18-2010 - 11:00am

I have a sister with whom I tried to have a relationship. After many years I decided it would be better for me to let go. We exchange birthday cards and that's it. I still see her other family members at gatherings and they understand completely why I rarely come around. Good luck.