iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 3:50pm

My experience with family issues and my exploration into setting boundaries and seeking a more positive relationship with family is well documented on this board. I recently posted that my sister has been diagnosed with lung cancer which has spread to her brain. My sister has been one of my biggest challenges...at the end of last year I resolved to distance myself from her in order to protect myself. The fact that I love my sister was never in question so when I received a phone call the Thursday before Thanksgiving from my sister saying she was being admitted to the hospital with a mass on her lungs and nodules on her brain my world changed. She wanted me to go to my Mom's house and tell her in person which I did. My Mom is also an issue as she is narcissistic and has spent all my life criticizing and manipulating me. So here it is the beginning of a new year and everything has changed. I'm mostly confused about where I stand with my sister and Mom as my boundaries take a backseat to a very possible terminal diagnosis. When I told my best friend about my sister's diagnosis the first question he asked was…"How does this change your relationship with her?" I told him that was a very good question and the only answer is if she opens herself up to being my sister in the true sense of the word... Well I'm happy to say that she has.....gone is the constant negativity....the snider ass remarks about anything and everything I say.....shes reaching out to me for emotional support....shes being the sister I use to have. There are other things changing for the better in regards to my entire family's relationship with each other and I'm thrilled but it all comes with a too high a cost!!!!!!!!! As i watch my sister suffer through brain radiation and planning a trip to Alaska with her husband (they were going when they retired)...planning a trip to Disneyland with her grown children.....and realizing that for many years has avoided any photo op to the point that her children are scrambling to get one of her (it took some convincing on Christmas eve to take a family photo that her son so desperately desired since her face has swelled due to steroids)....we celebrated Christmas with a renewed enthusiasm....you just never know if we'll be together next Christmas. I know we all have to ptotect ourselves from anyone who doesn't respect us....I think we forget that life is uncertain and we waste so much time worrying about things that in the end is unimportant. My sister is probably going to die and I wont know what I'm going to do without her because through it all shes still my beloved sister. San

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
In reply to: swimercise
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 1:53pm


   I am so sorry about everything you are going through, but you have been an inspiration to those of us who also have family members we need to distance ourselves from.  I had to do it with DD25 yesterday and I know she can hold a grudge like no other, so it will be quite a while before we are able to have a relationship again.  She has burned her bridges with me and even my counselor ok'd it when I asked her if she felt I was in my right to take a "break" from my DD and she said yes.  It's hard, but a person can only be disrespected, put down, and hurt just so many times.  This DD simply breaks my heart and talks to me like no child should EVER talk to a parent.  I've changed since my divorce 5 years ago and she doesn't like it and blames my new dh for the change (which I think is for the better!  I now stand up for myself.  I was the mom who put her kids' feelings first always.)  Anyway, I told her I HAD changed and wasn't going to ever be the mom she used to know.  She said I'd chosen dh over her and her sisters.  Wow.  Sounds like something a child would say, huh?  Well, I'm back in counseling due to all the problems my DDs and I have had since the divorce and think THIS DD should be as well.  She's just vicous and cruel.  :(

I sure am sorry about your sister, but glad something good is coming out of it.