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|Mon, 09-15-2003 - 8:29pm|
About a year ago, our whole family went on a vacation where she and my brother kept to themselves the whole time instead of us all doing things together. It seemed to me that they were avoiding *me* so I confronted them. My brother quickly apologized and said he didn't realize they were doing that. My sister got defensive and started whining. I cut her off and told her that I wasn't interested in what she had to say because our relationship had deteriorated to virtually nothing over the past year.
I've had my own family issues to deal with...I have a terrible in-law situation and my DH and I have gone through counseling because of it. I haven't had time to deal with my sister's dramas. You see, I am the older sister who has always assumed the role of her protector and friend--no matter how terrible she's treated me. My brother nicknamed her "Frosty" when we were teens because she is so COLD. Everyone accepts her selfish and manipulative nature because when she is good, she is very good.
After the confrontation during the vacation, we didn't talk. Then one day, I got a card in the mail where she wrote that she just wanted to let us know that her "dog" was going to be a brother or sister. Yep, that's just how I always pictured that my sister would tell me she was expecting her first child...especially since I went out of my way to tell her my big news in person and before anyone else knew. I was stunned! I called my parents and told them about the card. My Dad said he was tired of hearing about this (say what? I'd never brought it up before) and that I should just call my sister to straighten everything out. He also said my Mom (who is very ill) was heartbroken and sick about the whole thing. So I obediently called her, despite the fact that I couldn't have felt more hurt than if she had stabbed me repeatedly.
On the phone, she actually cried and said she was "too scared" to call me. I played big sister and told her I would always be there for her, blah, blah. She said she wanted me to be a part of her baby's life, blah, blah. When I got off the phone, I called my parents to let them know everything was OK. My Dad said he knew I'd do the right thing. I told my Mom that I was disappointed that they hadn't let me know all of this was going on and that my sister had been talking about me to them behind my back. She just sighed and said, "What would you have done if it were your daughters?" Well, I know that I wouldn't have chosen to listen to one and not the other...
My sister's words were meaningless. She called me twice during her pregnancy. Once on my birthday--a short message to tell me how tired *she* was and that she'd call back later if *she* was feeling well. The other to tell me that one of her friends would be calling me to see if I wanted to help with the baby shower. You've got to be kidding, I thought. After the way she's acted, she expects me to put on a show! She wasn't sincere. She just wanted a gift.
I didn't go to the shower but I sent a gift. However, she didn't send my DD a gift for her birthday (second year in a row that she's stiffed her, although she gave presents to my other children) that was around the same time as her shower. My parents also chose not to attend my DD's birthday party so they could go to my sister's shower--this was the second shower they attended. In counseling, we learned that a lot of family problems occur because people hold their family members to a different standard than their friends. Some people take advantage of their family because they know they're always going to be there for them...others let their family members walk all over them because they are family and they love them.
I have enough toxic relationships in my life. I don't need to indulge another one. So I decided to let go...but not without trying one last time. About a month after the baby was born, my sister invited everyone to her home to celebrate her birthday. We went and I even bought her a nice present. She was polite, but cold. I even called her a couple of days later on her birthday. She was cold again. She sent an impersonal e-mail to thank us for the present and I haven't heard from her since (that was in June).
The thing that stung even worse was when I realized that she had sent a baby announcement to my MIL, a woman that she's only ever seen a handful of times and has no relationship with whatsoever. Other than trying to solicit a present for her baby because my MIL is rich and pretty generous with expensive gifts, I can't imagine why she would send her an announcement...except to add insult to injury. I started to call and confront her with this but I stopped, realizing that I need to just let it go.
Now, my BIL has sent out a group e-mail about the baby being baptized. I don't want to go. If my sister had lifted a finger to try to make this relationship whole again, I would go. But she seems determined to keep the hostility alive and well. I'm not going to be the one to make this all right. I think I've done my part. My DH thinks I'm being unreasonable and thinks we should go just for the baby's sake. I can't make him realize how much I've been hurt by her actions. I've always gone out of my way to make her a part of my life and it seems that all she ever does is try to keep me out of hers. It hurts...so I'm trying to move past the pain.