Losing a sibling to triangulation

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kiwi2

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Losing a sibling to triangulation
« on: September 11, 2018, 07:13:13 AM »
So for almost 16 years me and my little pds sister have been separated from each other. 16 years that almost have torn me apart,especially since we grew up together close and loved each other. Its like i ve lost a vital part of me and the link to part of the child i was . But what i ve origanally seen as some long outdrawn form of the silent treatment though i ve now more and more after reading about it beginning to see is a a form of triangulation. Devishly and deceptively orchestraded by my overt narcissistic father in the background. It would be nice to have some thoughts and responses from you guys about this because i don t know quite how to untangle it and what to do. Its like a secret play going on in the background and you just feel your own inner turmoil while not knowing whats really happening behind the curtains.

I guess it all started there about 16 years ago as some kind of liberation for my sister from me and my mum,mum kind of covert narcissist,and she wanted to be her own more,my sister being 7 years younger than me,that is 20 then. And i kind of get that because we were one symbiotic form against my dad after an abusive upbringing and childhood. I was perhaps my mums flying moneky in soem ways too. But then 16 years of tortured silence has followed after that. Sly putdowns,walking past me in the street,slamming down the phone- if she is talking to me she does it in a enstrangled voice liek she is rehearsing for a theatre act thats about to begin. Not even if i take her the other way start to talk about nothing that has to do with our family,the thing that has been going on for years between us,she wants to connect to me. Letters,facebook mails where i try to reach out my hand and say lets talk,i may have a part of it,she simply shuts me away and treats me like i m almost a neighbour riding with her in the lift. The funny thing though is that she sporadically has contact with my mum,even if that contact  is perhaps not that good,but i am the one apparently to take the blame for her childhood. Should a sibling have that burden? Its like she almost blames me for not parenting her,like i am her parent in some way more than my mum and dad.Totally sick.

My father never ever has brought this up throughtout the years.When i have done it he naturally says that he is sad because of it,clever sociopathic bastard as he is, but then when i try to push it that i don t tolerate be handled like a tortured prisoner,being walked across the street etc.the gaslightning starts. Its like he knows that this has broken my heart and he just needs to twist the knife and i l ll be gone after that.

Then one year ago the first sign of life came from my sister after almost 16 years of silence.In a letter. It came after me refusing to have contact with my father after being treated like this by my sister.I saw this in the letter. The first line pretty much gave it away. "You think that me taking distance form you has something to do with our father,well it hasn t,its me doing it" And the rest then of the letter was pretty much just self centered warblings about her life and,again,defences for my dad. No sign of empathy for me,explanation for the lost years.No care,interest for me and my life.Well some signs on what once used to be special about us. It was almost like listening to a person at war with herself,a person without a core,like she and my father is the same person.And slightly perhaps underneath some twisted care for me.

The first five six years i felt sadness and anger for this cause of the strong bond we had beween us,now i don t.i almost feel numb but i know thats its a key to my depression in many ways.Its like it has caused an inner dissocssation to my identity not having this contact anymore with my sister that i once loved.It s like having your heart broken but getting no explanation for it.And the years go by. Now my sister has gotten her first child since two years ago. When i visited my father there a couple of months ago there were several photos of her lovely son. But he don t utter a word,strangely. Someone said that the person person handling the triangulation,my pds father in this case,shows his real face,the monster then,by their complete denial of the situation and what it has caused.

But what to do ? she is more or less imprisoned it seems my sister and my father has the biggest weapon,my broken heart. Long this but it would be appreciated with some thoughts on what to with this triangulation.

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kiwi2

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 07:48:34 AM »
So no reaction to this ? Maybe to fuzzy,long and unclearly written and a bit written in affect. Maybe it s not just triangulation just several things in once and therefore hard to answer. If someone though has a good tip on article about triangulation or book about i d be grateful, i d tried to swap the net for it.

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Malini

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2018, 09:07:58 AM »
Hi Kiwi2,

Growing up with PD parents takes a toll on so many of our relationships and triangulation is one of the ways, I felt, my parents used to divide and conquer their children and make sure we couldn't present a united front against them.

I was my family's GC and my brother fulfilled the SG role. A lot of manipulation, information control and triangulation resulted in us becoming estranged for a period of about 5 years. Since coming OOTF, we have tried to build a new, healthier relationship and although it is fragile, there is something there.

My SGB blamed me a lot for the bad things that happened to him when he was a child. We had 2 years difference between us, so I too was a child or a teenager and had no power to protect him against my PD parents. I also wasn't responsible for the choices they made for him, nor for their toxic behaviour. I think he blamed me because I was the safer option. Losing me was far less traumatic than losing his parents, and being angry with me meant he didn't have to direct his anger at the true culprits.

It sounds as if your sister is struggling with many issues and doesn't want to or can't engage with you on a level that would permit you to move forward together. It's helpful when siblings are on the same page with respect to the disordered parents, but it sounds as if there are two factions, you and your mum versus your sister and your dad (I'm not sure if I read this correctly), and when the lines are so clearly drawn it's difficult to build a bridge.

You've reached out to her, but there doesn't seem to be a minimum of trust and confidence between you which would make contact possible and she still sounds very angry. Perhaps a last contact attempt around the lines of how you feel sad to have lost the relationship you had with her, how you valued her as sister and asking for what she thinks you both could do to fix things and move forward would give you some sort of closure. Maybe you've already done this and the reponse has been negative. It's very difficult to have a healthy sibling relationship when both parents are still active parts of our lives. It took SGB and I both going NC for us to be able to do so. I'm not saying it's impossible, it's just not as easy.

A book which helped me understand the dynamics of my family was 'The narcissitic family, diagnosis and treatment' by Stephanie Donaldson Pressman and Robert Pressman. It's written for professionals, but is an easy read for a layperson and filled with case studies, which illustrate the things we encounter growing up with PD parents.

Take care.


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kiwi2

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 09:02:21 AM »
Thanks for your words malini,that eased things a bit for me. Well i have been like you the golden child in many ways but it seems unappropriate how much my sister directs everything my way for things that happened to her in childhood. "Can t she see that you are a victim just like her" like a friend said ?But no its like you say propably,its safer to "lose" me than our parents because she knows that she can t go to the true source and culprint for her wounds. She also knows that i am the one would that would stay for her, unconsiounscly, my parents wouldn t. So i in a way,unjustly,i became her parential figure,a common fixture,and here i am 16 years later wounded and beaten and waiting for her. But there s also one thing more i forgot to mention, a half brother at my fathers side. He is pushed forward as my sisters "real" brother by my father and i am a threat to that. It may explain why my sister ocassionally visists my mum though since she is no "threat" to that. If my sister would talk to me and engage,we would be strong,lies would come up and both her contact with my father and half brother,whose contact is not that strong would disappear. That can t happen. I have turned myself inside out to get contact with her,even admitted i used to be a bit of my mums flying monkey and saying how much i miss her.That won t help. I still am treated like horsehit. 16 years of abscence she just explained in one sentence in her letter by "I had a hard time with you not feeling well". That is having a pts disorder,sleeping problems etc. And caused by whom ?! Ok then very caring. She just though might have turned out a narcissist herself in the process i guess. I have heard that can happen too. Will defintitely look into the book,thanks for that.

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kiwi2

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 12:33:58 PM »
One direct question though which may be easier to answer for all of you,how much does lies and witholding of information occur in triangulation in the family,what is your experience ? and is there any way to dechipher this and find out about it ?

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KeepONKeepingON

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 08:39:27 PM »
Hi Kiwi2,  :heythere:

I am sorry you're going through this, it sounds very sad.

I also have a sister who's 7 years younger than me and a brother who is two years younger than me.

My experience was that I tried very hard to get closer to my sister from my mid 20s to mid 30s. I knew that our childhood was awful and I was sorry that we weren't closer. I was physically and emotionally abused by my mother and scapegoated by my enfather. My father didn't want to deal with my mother, so it was easier to blame me for the state of his marriage. Initially my sister and I became closer, but I now realize it was because I because I took complete responsibility for our relationship. My sister fat and thin shamed me depending on my weight at the time. She made constant snide comments to me about my job, apartment, boyfriend etc. She made a scene at my wedding as she (my bridesmaid) didn't want to dance with the too short groomsman. She demanded a very expensive bridesmaid dress and I spent a lot of time trying to find a dress that she would like. Of course, I wasn't her bridesmaid and she was outraged when I told her I was hurt that she hadn't asked me to be her bridesmaid  :(. When I had my son, she sent us a t-shirt for my son with, "My parents are great but Auntie K**** is the best". :roll:

I got to a point where I was sick of her mean comments. My father then had a breakdown, I don't live on the same continent as them anymore, and I wanted to help in any way that I could. I had a 6 month old baby and a 2 year old so I did not fly home to help with my father. My sister skyped and messaged me for support which  I was happy to give. My sister also wanted to accuse my mother of elder abuse and tried to include in me and my childhood abuse from my mother in her complaint to Social Services. Anyway, even though my sister was contacting me when she needed support, whenever I skyped my father, and she was there, she would blank or ignore me. It was so weird that my sister was in the same room as my father while he was talking to me and that she couldn't even say hello.

I think it easier to blame me and be hostile to me than to deal with the fact that although she was my father's GC, he did not behave like a good parent to her. He parentified her and made her deal with things that she should not have had to as a child. My sister also seems to have transferred some of her rage at my mother onto me. I feel like she blames me for my mother's actions and is jealous of any crumb of affection that I got from my mother.

There is also an aspect of power to my father and sister's relationship that I suspect my sister doesn't want to give up. She is the executor of my father's will with my cousin. My brother and I are not executors! My sister behaves very like my mother, but she really hates my mother. My father acts very waifish and relinquishes control to my sister and my sister then bullies my mother and threatens to sell my parents' house so that my father can go into a good nursing home.

I have tried to sort things out with my sister, but all  I have gotten back are mean emails from her that try to gaslight me and blame me for everything, even her own meanness!

My parents withheld affection from the 3 of us and played us off against one another so I guess my sister is delighted to be my father's GC.

I think Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Dr. Karyl McBride has a really good description of triangulation.

I don't think that unless my sister goes to therapy and stops blaming me for her childhood that we could be friends.   :yes: :( We are NC but she had started to ghost me before that as I think she realised she couldn't manipulate me anymore.

IME my siblings aren't Out of the FOG so while I am LC with my brother and NC with my sister I don't see us getting closer unless my siblings come Out of the FOG.

My experience of triangulation was that both my parents lied regularly and withheld information to suit themselves and their agenda.
I am sorry you're going through this Kiwi2 and I hope it gets better. :bighug:

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Orthocone

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 09:06:57 PM »
I think part of the problem is that PDs work so hard at keeping everybody triangulated, and then other things happen, resentments/betrayals, whether real or made to seem that way based on having wrong ideas about what healthy relationships and expectations entail. 

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sandpiper

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 03:02:59 AM »
Having been around these boards for over a decade, it seems to me that those who have healthy & satisfying relationships with their siblings are the exception rather than the rule.
As others have said, the process of  child-pitting starts so young and is so insidious that we simply don't move into adulthood with a healthy set of skills that will allow us to maintain a reasonable relationship.
I too have memories of better times with my sisters, but as I got healthier, that relationship deteriorated.
I wasn't allowed to have boundaries, set limits, or be my authentic self within FOO relationships.
Over time my FOO relationships just became far less satisfying than the more authentic relationships I was building with my Family of Choice i.e. my friends who do not constitute my biological family.
I get how much it hurts to lose a sibling.
I've lost two.
It's a lifelong source of grief.
I think the worse outcome, though, is if you don't find a way to heal and to build better relationships away from your family of origin.
I came to look at it a bit like being a refugee.
All of the world, for all of time, there have been situations where people have had to save themselves and flee for their lives.
My relationship with my siblings and my cousins from my mother's family was, quite simply, destroying me.
I really feel that if I'd stayed, the toxic overload from the slow-drip of their venom & their relentless negativity would have prompted me to self-harm.
I'm sorry that your relationship with your sister is so very, very damaged.
In an ideal world, all of our siblings would wake up and come Out of the FOG and take themselves off to therapy.
The reality is that it usually just seems to be one person in each family that seeks out therapy & that's usually because the situation has become so toxic and destructive that they're desperate for help.
For those that remain enmeshed in the family system, I think you come to the realisation that it's either too terrifying for them to open their eyes, so they keep their heads in the sand & run with the brainwashing - or else there's a significant pay-off for staying, which makes dealing with the poison factory well worth their while.

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blacksheep7

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 01:06:48 PM »
I'm sorry that you are going through this, indeed it is very painful.  I too lost 3 siblings, one, the eldest got married, moved because of his job. Even though there were times in 35 years that he lived 1.5 hours by car, he never showed any interest in having a relationship with all of our FOO and extended family. Wouldn't call me for my birthday or during xmas holidays.  I thought that we were "friends" growing up being only 15 months apart in age. Nope.  He came back when his wife died of cancer.  We all felt sorry  and forgave him even though he never showed up at major events/milestones in our lives.  I saw him at the most 5 times, so when he came back after 35 years of absence, I was meeting this new man even though he remained fairly immature.  The first year we had fun but reality checked in and he showed me his true colors.  I went nc with him and NM used emotional blackmail on me and it all went downhill from there, the triangulation started.  We were not the type of siblings that were mean to each other but we can not communicate about anything concerning the family, it's always swept under the carpet and I am "the angry one", the bad girl, the one that doesn't leave the past behind, like they would want us to.

I was alone with no support and my sis, 10 years younger  the lost child, with whom I had a "pleasant relationship" ended being enmeshed with NM. I had to let go, going from vlc to nc because she was playing push and pull with me.  I would write to them and not get a response.   It was like I had to grieve them one by one, I mean, going through the stages of anger, grief etc.   I am not closed off to never seeing two of the three again but I do know that it can not happen while widowed NM is alive.

I can only say that it was better for me to not be in contact with them during my healing, emotions being raw and they still are.  I had to build myself up again, my self-worth, my relationships with my FOC which had partly failed when I was younger and didn't have the tools to cope.  A lot of work/therapy but all worth it.  The sadness is still present for my sibs but I do not miss the chaos or drama which was very exhausting.

take care




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kiwi2

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 12:40:22 PM »
yeah its extremely painful and sad,it helps to see that you re not alone while reading all your answers, so thanks guys.Its like you write sandpiper to be a kind of refugee,i d never looked at that way. A therapist once told me that its not usual to have your "pure""head on approach after being subjected to this much trauma, most people just put their hand in the sand and walk on. So i guess thats one way of seeing it,being pure at heart is a strength but right now its starting to get the best part of me,like walking around in the ruins of pompeji not knowing where to go. At times this triangulation and separation from almost feels like it has caused some kind of inner dissosciation of my identity,like some kind of inner death. I guess the only thing you can do is to learn to let to flee to new enviroments,fighting people that doesn t want consolation and a happy ending is contraproductive and doesn t lead anywhere. But i don t learn cause this is the only way i know. My sister warded off 16 years of tormenting silence against me in a letter this spring with the lines"cause you been feeling bad" in a letter so what can i expect ? and why do i even expect something ? The last question is perhaps the only thing i can get an answer from. You become like those you spend time with in your head i presume.

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Summer Sun

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 11:14:22 PM »
At times this triangulation and separation from almost feels like it has caused some kind of inner dissosciation of my identity,like some kind of inner death.

Kiwi2, I am sorry for all you’ve suffered, it has been a lengthy painful journey. 

I could relate to much of what you shared, and I too have felt like I have lost part of my identity, the loss of siblings like an internal death as you’ve described.  The closest I can come to some understanding this feeling is the definition of ambiguous loss.  There is no closure as they are still alive, somewhere out there, IME, ghosts that I’ve allowed to fade away after being ghosted myself, shunned, SG’d.  Refuge, or, orphans, either seems fitting IME. 

It hurts.  It is loss.  Loss and grief have a life if their own, there are five stages to the grief cycle.  I found it helpful to familiarize myself with the stages.  Many of us have to grieve the loss of a family and parents we’ve never had, and unmet needs, and further grieve the loss of relationship when there is the ST, NC, Abuses, SG etc.

Wishing you support, strength and inner peace as you continue to navigate OOTF. 

🤗

Summer Sun
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kiwi2

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2018, 07:37:55 PM »
An ambigious loss thats how i would describe it too summer sun,for me an inner numbness to,almost like losing an essential body part that were a vital part for your well being that you now only have a vague memory of having. The first five six years there were anger and tears because of our big bond between us my siter but now...Sometimes i wonder where it all went ,the medical profession or psychiatrists,therapists don t have that much to help and often ward it off that its logical that you don t feel that much now,the numbness,and that its logical that there isn t so much to do but i do believe its there underneath it all and has an impact on our cognitive system even. What i ve seen clearly though is that i ve tried to heal it repeatedly by engaging in abusive relationships with both friends and girlfriends often met by raised eyebrows off people around me. Phew  :)

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Hopelessly stuck

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2018, 03:12:02 PM »
In many ways, this is what I am going through right now...I regret having to GO NO CONTACT with Her.in September.  I have no regrets. I am trying to NOT think of the good times and cave into Her again when She comes Calling, always when She needs something. I am trying to work through the hurts and put them to rest.  I am allowing Myself to break MY denial concerning her.

I spent a lot of time with Her son, I raised Him when She'd go on her trips and leave Shawn with me days after she promised to be home. I love HIM dearly. He is totally under Her control. Years back I would try and help him with the problems he has with her. It would always create a  Triangulation situation. I quit helping Him a long time ago. Unfortunately, I will have to go VLC with him.

Thanks for such a timely post!
Controllers, abusers and manipulative people don’t question themselves. They don’t ask themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else. Darlene Ouimet

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kiwi2

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 07:30:28 AM »
I found this article today in the new yorker, i thought it was a very good,vivid picture and metaphorical description on what it means to live within this triangulation,when there is nothing you can do, when the information is being controlled, withdrewn,twisted and lied by the triangulator. Its about people in the sovietunion in the 70s and 80s,how they were told by tv and press from morning to night how everything was wonderful when in fact the country was drowning in poverty and decay. How a constant exposure to a parrallell reality ultimately deafens and deadens you when there is nothing you can do.
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/life-under-alternative-facts?mbid=social_facebook&fbclid=IwAR2n_vErSf9zWzYwT72m7km2Yfbg4j53o3ZRHr_b8atWZIvt3DjQMWi3epU

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DJCleo

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2018, 06:15:33 PM »
Its like a secret play going on in the background and you just feel your own inner turmoil while not knowing whats really happening behind the curtains.

---- This is EXACTLY how it feels. I'm so sorry you're going through this!

This article may be interesting to you as it walks through some signs of emotional abuse. Don't doubt yourself.

https://www.verywellmind.com/identify-and-cope-with-emotional-abuse-4156673

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kiwi2

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2018, 03:41:00 PM »
Thanks djcleo for the link and your caring words, i ll be looking into the link

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sunshine702

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2018, 11:59:20 PM »
Yes this is unfortunately common with a Narcs.  I don't speak to my younger brother.  We were completed quite a bit in our 20's. He could do no wrong and his kids were GC.  I remember calling for his number one Christmas day to see if the presents arrived.  My Narc mom begrudgingly gave it to me.  But he wouldn't come to the phone.  So we have zero relationship.

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bgirl12

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Re: Losing a sibling to triangulation
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2018, 11:35:24 PM »
Those letters are the worst. I get them around the holidays. I get berated and hate messages the rest of the year from my sister and parents depending on how mad one of them is at me.
YES- Narc Parents divide and conquer!!!! They LOVE a good fight. It sounds like your sister is the golden child with very little benefit but you know the term. But he listens to her and not you. You are the scapegoat. She gets away with poor and abusive behavior and no one sticks up for you. Your dad doesn't seem to care that the two of you aren't close and it's all your fault? I read some of my family dynamic in your post as it happens many times as people share....but I have four siblings who all can't get together, and parents who could care less and actually say they could care less if we get into physical altercations when the uBPD sister threatens me. I have let my friends read the hate mail and texts she sends and they can't believe it. I send everything she writes that is out of line to my parents (who now do the same thing) and they never say anything. They could care less and they tell me so. These are not the type of people to really care about my wellbeing and I have to remember that or I get upset and feel bad.
I feel for you. You may never get the credit you deserve, the respect, support, and love you deserve from these people. It hurts so bad. I can tell you that getting away from abuse of all kinds is good. And I support you in that. Take care of you. I know you love your sister and never wanted that. It can't be helped right now. And your health and peace have to come first. Stay strong.