• over 1 year ago

    Sister problem

    Hi - I only have one sibling - a sister who lives in California and I live in Kansas. I am 74 and she is 77 years old. Most of my life I never really liked my sister - we really didn't have much fun together - fought a lot. Anyway, trying to make this short. My dad died first and then my mother. When my last parent died, my sister was awful to me. She did take care of them when they were sick since she lived there. The deal is this - they gave her the house - probably almost a $700,000 dollar house in SF. I got the leftovers which was a little savings and little bit of investments. My sister did all the arrangements herself not asking me at all my input and of course it cost me with their savings - anyway, I wrote her a letter several months ago and did not mention this business but mentioned when we were kids and how awful she treated me etc. She just said it was upsetting to her but tore it up so no one would see it. Anyway, she sends me a nice birthday present and a beautiful card and she tells me how much she loves me - every time - she said now what are we to do - I told her I do not know. I still have these hurt feelings that she influenced my parents when they were alive to give her the house - it is in SF and she rents it out and probably gets $4,000 a mo of rent - I don't know what I need to do where she comes.

    Her grandson is getting married this weekend and wanted me to go - I did not go but my daughter and husband are flying out there. It is a very expensive wedding with 4 days of parties before the wedding day etc. It is a very elegant affair but I have emotional problems and can't deal with all those parties - I suffer from insomnia when I get excited - I did send a gift and told her it was just too much for me and I wouldn't be able to sleep with staying up late and all that excitement. She knows all about my sleeping problems - but anyway - I don't know how to deal with her anymore. I didn't bring up how I feel about her getting the house - I am doing ok financially and really don't need any money. My husband has been a good provider but I do not know what to do with her. She tells me she loves me often and I told her but why did you treat me like crap most of our lives. I mentioned specific things and she just says I can't remember - that is her defense mechanism.

    I am just writing to see if maybe I can get a perspective of some sort on how to deal with her. She obviously loves me and I do believe her but all this past years brings up not good memories.

    Hope you can come up with some recommendations. thank you for listening to me.


  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Sister problem

    Hi Sisters are a big problem, I have one who is the same and money grabbing.

    Not heard from her since my last living parent died.

    I think its to do with them being older.

  • RE: Sister problem

    This is certainly a difficult problem. How you handle it depends on what you want from the relationship, what you are feeling, and what you assess as realistically possible. To have an authentic and honest relationship, you would need to find a way to address the issues, engaging her in talking through the hurt feelings -- including any hurt feelings she has toward you. Even if she says she does not remember certain things, you can still address your feelings. This would certainly be a conversation that would need to happen over time. If you are interested in doing this, you just need to be careful how you approach the subject. You might want to talk with some people or read some articles about how to tackle difficult conversations. For instance, you might want to check out my article, Communication Gap? Here's How You Can Build a Bridge at:

    If you don't think working the issue through is possible or you don't want to risk making things worse, you might ask yourself what kind of relationship you are willing to settle for. This will mean living with the tension between you under the surface. But, you may also feel that you won't be able to have a civil or friendly relationship because of your feelings, which might send you back to keeping your distance or being more honest. There are really too many dynamics-- and some that we can't really understand in this forum-- to address them all here. But the idea is to think through what you want and consider the possibilities. If you have specific questions as you think this through, feel free to share them and maybe we can help.
  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Sister problem

    Thank you for responding. I visited with my daughter and she had a wonderful time at the wedding and am glad she went. Glad I didn't go as I can't handle all this "partying for several days." But my daughter told me everyone asked for me and to tell her "hi." That was good. I don't know what to do with my feelings. As I mentioned I have always been a sensitive person - when I look at all of my daughter's pics that she took to show me it just brings up some "bad feelings" but don't know what to do. I know it was wise for me not to go as when I get too excited I don't sleep and it was a very big lavish wedding - I did the right thing by not going and therefore saved myself from all the excitement and sleepless nights and probably getting the flu or cold from all that. I can't help who I am but I just have decided to avoid situations when I think I can be an embarrassment and when I don't sleep I am not fun to be around so that side of me wouldn't be shown to people. Thanks for listening.
      • I'm glad that you feel you've made a wise choice, even though it was a difficult one. You should know that it is possible to learn how to manage your emotions better. One way to do it on your own is to learn about mindfulness and meditation. There are many downloads, apps, or youtube videos that can help with this. One good app is simply called "breathe". Another way to do it on your own is to read some self-help material. For instance, I've written articles on this topic, such as

        Prone to High Emotions? How to Keep them in Check http://bit.ly/2rUxr9r
        Common Downfalls: Thinking and Feeling Too Much http://bit.ly/2nEP6jL

        Also, many people who have a lot of difficulty in this area find that therapy can be very helpful for this; and that they need this professional assistance to help them.

        I wish you well, and please feel free to return here as often as you want.