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Just Hit Me



  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    Hey Kimmy, and all you suffering sisters, I feel for you all, right there with you....why cant people just try to get along? I think is a combination of mental issues of dealing with their problems, or in most cases because their avoidance, denial of having a mental issue. If only people didn't equate mental illness as a stigma, everybody would be so much better off. Granted, some can be just treated with counseling, and some require medication too....

    My older sister won't talk to me, it's been almost five years now...over something she thinks happened over 30 years ago. She has constantly fed her suspicions with her mentality of thinking, because she can't let go of it, then it must be true. 

    When my younger sister told me why she was avoiding me, I was stunned, but when I thought back to some of her recent past behaviors I wasn't shocked...I personally think there is something physically and/or mentally going on with her...but she says she's never felt better since she's written me off as her sister.

    But she has also alienated herself from our parents, not even calling them at Christmas, birthdays....etc. Because they told her they don't understand why she insists on believing something that isn't even true. My Mom thinks it has something to do with the last Christmas we all spent together. She said my sister has always been jealous of my long hair, and that I looked real nice that Christmas, and I must have spoken too many words to her husband... she has always been an extremely jealous kind of person, not wanting her husband to talk with other women, I'm sure she times his time away from her, and even eye contact with people she feels threatened by. I have always felt like I had to walk on eggshells around them.

    When I first found out I had emailed her, telling her I was sorry for making her doubt me, or if I said anything insensitive about her sensitivities...but it was no use....I was sent a slew of emails of her using events of the past that were actually mixed up with other events, totally shifting things to suit her false beliefs.

    After one email in particular was kind of threatening, I decided then that whatever her problem was, I needed to separate myself from her, not knowing where her mental state could take her to. I just pray that her husband and adult children will see an issue and get her the help she needs. She has also alienated her husbands family, you'd think somebody would notice something.

    So, pray, for yourselves to forgive them, so you don't let your hearts turn cold like theirs. And pray for them, and yes, even ourselves, to be shown, or given clarity on what is the right, healthy thing to do.

  • Cognitive distortions, rewriting history, alternating patterns of idolization/devaluation, alienation--I've seen it all up close and personal, and it's called Borderline Personality Disorder.  You're right on, Sheri, about mental issues being an underlying cause of family dysfunction.  Let me make it very clear that I am only talking about my own experience in witnessing Borderline Personality Disorder, though.  To me, BPD is a disorder of heartbreaking paradox.  At the sufferer's core is a deep fear of abandonment, yet these individuals will continually engage in behaviors that drive everyone away from them.  Sad, if you really think about it.

    I'm giving myself a few days to get my head together about this situation...I talked to another family member about it, who in turn, told my mother.  She left a message on my machine this a.m., saying she thinks we need to talk.  I'm not ready.  I'm still seeing things through the "I'm hurt" lens, and THAT needs to calm down a tad before I speak with her.  I'm still at the point where any explanation isn't going to be good enough, and I can't be in that place in my head if there really is a valid reason why they did what they did.  Or didn't do, should I say.  I love my mother, and I don't want to hurt her by saying stupid things or going into a rant about my sister that will just do nothing but deepen the divide.   
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    You are a wise, and funny gal Kimmy : )  You definitely have to keep your sense of humor, being able to laugh at yourself, and with others. And there is so much wisdom in "not letting the sun go down on your anger." Although, when things have gone on for as long as they have, you're better to give yourself time to cool off, think things through. If only we could all deal with the day's doings that same day, not lugging the baggage around day after day.....

    And with my sister, about a year or so before the fall out, she did get sent to see a dr, orders from her work, because she got to work one day and said she forgot how to do her job.

    The dr took blood work, and it did show a problem with her thyroid, and she takes medication for it now. I just think there may be something more to it. Like the beginning of Alzheimer's, or something. I had told her she should get it all checked out, the sooner the better, she can't just count on her dr for everything, we need to be proactive in it all...just because she has a thyroid problem doesn't mean there can't be, or won't ever be anything else wrong.  

    Does your Mom like to read? There's a great, short easy read book out there on codependency. 
  • Kimmy
    I wonder are sisters a common issue with families? Is your sisters younger even the baby of the family? It probably has nothing to do with it. My sister was the baby and was treated like a queen by everyone. My Mom dealt with alot of tragic deaths in her life including several children ending up in her being bitter towards life. She was still able to take care of herself for the most part but lived at the foot of this mountain range where it was hard for her to be alone. My sister volunteered to take care of her all of us thinking how sweet and loving. Then one day I get a phone call from my sister saying she needed surgery would i take my Mom for six weeks. I could not do it and I find out a few weeks later she put her in a horrible nursing home. My Mom's home was located in a place people dream of mountains, creeks, deer just beautiful. She ended up in a six by twelve room with no windows. Well she never got her out I would get phone calls from my Mom crying "please come get me" I could not do it she needed help with baths etc. at that time. I found out my sister put her there not to have surgery but to go on Vacation. Well end of story my Mom died in that place and my sister had tricked her into signing over the home I grew up in. She promised my Mom she would take care of her, give her a proper funeral, take her on her dream a airplane etc. It never happened none of it and she sold the house after my Mom's death. That was her goal all along to get that house and just a few weeks ago the people who she sold it to demolished the hundred year old home where all the families memories were. 
    The funeral was well there are no words for it. Will I ever forgive her I doubt it at least not yet. There was a doctor who once said to me " just because they are your relatives doesn't mean you have to have them in your life".
    Money sure can make people act different. 
    I'm sorry Kimmy this was to help you it just brought up my sister. It is crazy how when you are young and the world has not changed people how pure they are, anyway I think maybe that is what happened to her. 
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    Hi Hope : )
    I don't think it's just a sister thing, I've seen much worse with brothers. It's sad all the way around. 

    I think all families are dysfunctional to some extent, some just a lot more than others.

     It seems like the ones that are more on the healthier side, all participate in maintaining a healthy balance, being able to admit a wrong, and forgiving one another. 

    A lot of the time though, offenses are piled on, over and over, things don't get nipped in the bud right away, and the dysfunctional path gets rut like...where when issues are addressed right when they happen, the intensity doesn't grow with it, or insensitivity in some circumstances.

    But life is messy, and you can only change you.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526
    edited 04/28/2016 - 10:16 AM
    So many others have hit this......
    Dysfunctional?  Now who is really the dysfunctional?

    Family dynamics come into play so many times, and so many of those times its not on the favorable side.
    You can pick your friends,    You cant pick your family

    I only have one sibling my older brother.   Hes about 4 years older than me.  While we were growing up, as a younger sibling I idolized him  He went off to Vietnam in 1967 (In the Navy) for about 6 months.   During that time, we lost about 3 young men to the Vietnam War just from our neighborhood.

    We now live about 25 minutes apart....10 minutes if we could drive our boat across the lake.  Even so,my brother and I have gotten together perhaps 3 times a year 1x-birthdays 2x-season holiday 3x -my mother forced it

    Now that my mother has passed, there really isnt any reason to see my brother.   
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    Ron....I think using the word dysfunctional, seems like the family dynamics doesn't function as well as it could, usually because one or more of the members are like a cog catching in the workings of members getting along. The longer it runs like that, the deeper the pattern becomes ingrained. Then for some that is their "normal". 

    I don't think I'd consider you and your brother as dysfunctional, unless he had a lot to add to the story that really bothered him about the way things are. There's nothing I can see wrong in agreeing to disagree, or agreeing not seeing someone on a regular basis is necessary for a relationship....some people are able to hold loved ones close to their heart, just pick up where they last were.
  • Wow, everyone!  Not only am I so grateful for all of your support, but I'm very glad that--despite the pain from the reason the post was started--that it initiated a conversation about the intricacies of family dynamics and dysfunction. 

    We all already knew that no family is perfect, but the outpouring and similarities of these stories illustrates (to me, anyhow) another "gap" in mental illness treatment.  I know groups like AA and NA have partner groups for family members of people with addiction issues, but I've really not seen much in the way of support groups for families with a member or members struggling with general mental health problems.  As Sheri mentioned, the "healthier" people in the mix are often working at balance and forgiveness, but are equally as often without resources (aside from the ones I mentioned above)to shore themselves up when they need it.  For goodness sake, we are having this conversation on a spine health forum!!!  What does that tell you?

    Hope3--yes, the sister I've been talking about is the baby in the family, and my mother has already informed me that she is the executor (executioner??) of her estate.  I couldn't care less about that--my sister has already taken everything, and even if she hadn't, I don't want anything, anyway.  I've never been about the material things, and I don't consider "successful" as being limited to career achievements or how much money I earn.  I can relate to you in that what my sister has "taken" from my mother is about so much more than property or "valuables".  Yet, there is also that part of me that is painfully aware that my mother is equally as complicit in this theft--hey, you can't take what someone isn't willing to give, after all. 

    I've decided to give myself the weekend before I call my mother.  Usually, if there's been an issue in the past, I've called her back right away.  This, however, isn't the usual situation, and my not calling her back right away (right or wrong) is my way of continuing to gain perspective and temperance.  My lack of immediate communication might give her some perspective, too.  I do not love my mother any less than I did before all of this happened, but I hope my silence will speak volumes about the depth of the pain and hurt I'm feeling.  Maybe it will just give her an my sister an opportunity to drum up some lame excuse as to why they didn't visit.  Either way, I'm taking this time for ME. 
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • bugslybbugsly MinnesotaPosts: 36
    WOW! Families what they can do to us.  I have issues with my son who lives 3000 miles away.  I told him I was going to have a surgery, all he said was a lot of people are having surgeries now.  He did not ask what for, how long of a recovery, or anything about it.  I summed it up with he doesn't care.  Our issues are all about religion, which is why he is so cold to his parents.  We just don't agree with what they all believe in.  We are Catholic and they joined a Baptist Church.  I could go on and on. I feel for everyone that has issues with family. Lets give ourselves a hug.
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    Hi bugsly....
    I'm sorry to hear of yours and your sons rift in your relationship over church practices. I would have been hurt too. Is it possible that another family member, or someone that knows the two of you may have already told him the facts of your pending surgery?

    With my sons I have really had to learn how to pick my battles, especially how it all affects the bigger picture in the long run. I think our differences in our personal beliefs could cause problems in our relationship if we focused more on the differences, instead of the main principles of the whole matter, which really are the same. They're just sometimes wrapped up in different packages, but really, the message at heart is the same. I see that circumstance as one of those that you agree to disagree, but you don't let certain particular partialities drive a wedge between people...people that are seeking the same kind of love
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