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And sister

And sister

So, we survived the baby shower. My daughter was blessed with many gifts; lots of fun for her.
I felt emotionally drained by days' end. With my mother's attitude and my (only) sister's intervention/busy-body/"I'm your children's best friend" attitude....I just kept my mouth shut, was gracious and kind...and went home very tired. (this is the sister who called the venue last week, was making arrangements for MY daughter's shower without my knowledge, etc)...

This morning, my sister sends me an email and gushes on and on about how "our" son in law (pregnant daughter's husband, age 32) "sent me the nicest email and thanked me; he's going to be a WONDERFUL father".

Now...WHY ON my sister emailing my son in law?

(this is the same son in law that she informed me last week...'doesn't feel that you like him'....I was totally aghast and had absolutely NO CLUE about this). I cried and cried. How destructive!

I again cried at the kitchen table about an hour ago. My sister has serious control issues to the point that she is meddling with my adult children and trying to be "their best friend". While I appreciate the presence of a loving aunt and her generosity (she spends $$$$$$ on lavish gifts), that should NEVER be so much of a relationship that it trumps or usurps the parent/in law relationship. I'm a mess over this. I shouldn't feel the need to compete, but I'm just not "cool enough", I plan/orchestrate a shower, or have a "wonderful" relationship with my Son in law (??). Just sick over this.

Between this issue...and some work struggles...My faith is really being tested. :(

This post was edited on Sep 11, 2017 07:54 AM

re: And sister

Your kids are smart, they know she is crazy.

But, if you genuinely believe she has the better of them, you need to actually meet with them and gently and lovingly tell them that your sister has said this...." ..."about you. Is this true? And then have a long loving careful conversation about how you do actually love son in law.

You must have your spouses their too. By having your husband and your daughter there too, it will help when the conversation is rehashed later because two sets of ears can recall better.

It may also be good to have your Pastor there. As he can help us as we struggle with sinful feelings.

It's going to be ok!

Just address it.

Adding, I think she is jealous and that she realized to late that she made the wrong choice by not having kids (or sad that she couldn't) and is trying to live through you. Her adoption of your kids is a compliment! (Even though it doesn't feel like it.)

This post was edited on Sep 11, 2017 09:00 AM

re: And sister

Geepers, your sister is crazy!!!! She is crazy like my bil. My bil stalks my kids. I'm going to have to get a restraining order to protect my kids. Your kids are older so a different approach is needed. She is coveting your kids. Don't let this get you down. Take comfort that God told us that this would happen. We just thought it would happen to other people. I wish I was good with Bible verses, you need some good ones. Lifting you up in prayer.

re: And sister

My MOM has done this to me, martinbeef. She has always tried to be the best friend of my oldest son, trying to be more cool and fun than I was. And destructive things like letting my son do things that I didn't want him to do while she was keeping him when he was just
3 or 4, and then telling him not to tell me. This has been going on since he was born, and he is now almost 30. She doesn't seem to do this with my other son. She also has her favorite granddaughter (out of three) of my brothers children. It's just awful.

When I read your post above, it really struck a nerve with me. Her trying to be the best friend of your children, and somehow you just are a "low priority" person.

I have been here on this board a long time, and I know that you are a great mom. She can't take that away from you. Your children may not ever be able to see these things through the same lens that you do, because they were not raised with her as a sibling. In my life, it is the same. My boys are young adults and the older one has a connection with her, but realizes that she is a little bizarre. He just has no idea to what extent and how deep this goes and how much it hurts, like I do. My other son does see it a bit more clearly.

It's like this: If you were to be around my mom and me together, and you didn't know of the things I am telling you, you would think my mom is just wonderful, and that I am just quiet and, possibly, a little standoffish. Her personality is so bright, and you would be "drawn" to her as you would be to a popular kid in school. After awhile, you would make eye contact with me less and with her, more. You would draw to her, feel she is terrific, and I would be left in the background. The truth is, this wonderful person can be very mean behind the scenes, and lie and manipulate those she is closest to. If you were to look closer inside me, you would see a person who may be quieter and more "boring", but you wold see honesty and integrity. I don't lie to other people and certainly not to my children. I, like you, can't remember being held, hugged, and loved as a child. All I can remember is playing outside a lot.

Anyway, since your children are adults, you can try to talk about how you feel, but they may or may not fully understand. Your sister (if I may step out on a limb here) probably knows full well what she is doing. If I am right about that, then her behavior can be labeled abusive. That whole thing is so very hurtful and I get it. It's not fair that she gets to do that. After all, you have been such a great mom, yourself.

I secretly wish that I could somehow make my children see things for what they are, validate my feelings, but still be loving and cordial to my mom, just like I do. There I said it. But that's not going to happen.

Stating the obvious here, but since your sister is only in her fifties, and your children are young, this is something you may have to figure out how to cope with long term. It is soooooo very hard. If you only had to deal with her, you could. This involves your children, and that makes it complicated.

There really may not be a real answer unless you and your family can operate as a team to bust up this dynamic, while still loving your sister as you would "a neighbor", keeping boundaries and having less contact. If this is not possible, you have to keep yourself sane by letting it wash over you. I do this with my oldest son/mom relationship. My mom has that pull that your sister has with your children (it is not my being jealous, believe me. It's been an abusive roller coaster for me), and I have to grit my teeth and put myself above it. If I can't stop the behavior, that's my only option.

And one other thing. About that "little girl that creeps out" from your other thread, you have GOT to heal that little person inside. Please read some of these books that have been recommended. They have helped me more than I can say, they have changed my life, and they can give great insight to you so you can understand what is going on and why they are behaving this way, even if they are not officially "toxic" people. Above all, it will help you to heal that little person inside that still needs to feel a bond with a mom who will not let that be possible.

These insidious and covert, hurtful behaviors are really awful. Others can't see them, and they are not outwardly obvious. But they are incredibly awful to the person hurting.

I want to ask a question that you don't have to answer unless you want to. Do you think it is possible, MB, that your sister could be a golden child daughter? The daughter of a narcissistic mother? This is the way it goes; it's classic textbook. This could be totally off base, but as I read your post, I can't help but wonder. I don't want to put false thoughts in your head. These great books mentioned can really help sort this out, and help you to deal with it, whether this is the case or not.

re: And sister

Ditto everything candy cane are most likely caught up in a narcissist situation. What you are describing is classic. Please read up on how to handle this. You can't change them, but you can help yourself. Narcissisism is a destructive dynamic in families. Get help. You are not alone.

re: And sister

Also wanted to add: MB, most likely as your children grow a little older, they will see things a bit more clearly. They know they have a great mom. In time, things will fall into place more. Perhaps all you really need to do is to continue to love them, place priority on healing and dealing with your own self, and setting your own personal boundaries. I know it hurts, but they are adults now. Let things be. Just be quiet and still, be that "rock" for your children when they need you, and do good things for yourself. Get joy back in your life. Now.

re: And sister

Okay. One last thing. IF IF IF you feel that you are dealing with something deeper than just ordinary cr@p from ordinary families, understand this, and hear me clearly: THEY WILL NOT CHANGE. You must understand that. You can only change how YOU respond and handle things. This is the ONLY way you can save your sanity, heal, and let go. Narcissistic people do not think they need to change. Because they are narcissists. They will not seek help in order to heal/bond in a relationship. They will always think it's your fault, not theirs. You have already mentioned this about your sister. You can't confront, argue, reason with, or try to work things out. If they are normal, yes. If they have disordered personalities, no.

If I were to somehow (not on purpose) send my mom into a rage, I would look her in the eye and tell her that I am sorry that she feels that way, but I can't be responsible for her emotions. I would not discuss the problem. I would just keep repeating that I'm so sorry she feels that way. If it escalated, I would leave. And I wouldn't call. If she later called me, I would talk to her until she began to try to corner me and do the 180 thing. Then I would say good bye. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (This is called Gray Rocking. You literally become as emotional as a gray rock. Give them nothing to feed off of.) Sooner or later, she'd get the message. I will no longer deal with a person (mom or not) who is in a rage. I will not be responsible for irrational behavior. If I hurt her, and she wants to talk, fine. If she hurts me, she should listen. That's the way it should work. But it doesn't work this way with Cluster B disorders. YOU have to change. Because they will not, and it's always YOUR fault.

Thank goodness it has not come to that with my mom. Hopefully it never will as she is aging and, really, not capable of all that rage so much any more. It raises her blood pressure and she knows it. I hate that she has blood pressure issues, but she is mindful of her emotions more because of it. Her BP will skyrocket. So that scares her and keeps her calm.

Something else really important: If you can get to a place in your life where you are the one changing, things will get better because there will be less turmoil from them to deal with. When there is less turmoil to deal with, there will be longer and longer periods of peace in your life. When there are longer and longer periods of peace in your life, YOU will begin to heal. The longer you have peace inside, the more you heal. In time, you heal. But you have to change YOU in order for this to happen.

You shouldn't be sitting at your kitchen table crying ever again. At least not because of the petty strife they are causing. So, stop it. Enjoy your life beginning today.

re: And sister

I'm so sorry you are being mistreated by your family. Normally, family should be your safe haven of people who build you up and protect you. I'm glad you are able to talk about it even if only here. That is a step toward healing. Holding all these feelings in will hurt your health. You need to talk about it. No matter what your sister does, she can never replace you. Your daughter has only one mother and that is you. If your sister wants to buy your daughter lavish shower gifts then she is generous, but that doesn't translate into motherly love. Your daughter can send a thank you to her.
*lots of virtual hugs going your way*


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