How do I deal with siblings pressuring me?

  • 6 Replies
  • 218 Views
*

LifeIsWorthLiving

  • New Member
  • *
  • 6
How do I deal with siblings pressuring me?
« on: March 15, 2019, 10:47:08 PM »
I've been mostly NC for over a year. My parents actually started it and I realized after a while I was a while lot healthier without them. That started me healing, so yay for that! Anyway, now it's been a long time and my parents are starting to look bad, so my mother got one of my sisters involved by claiming I've abandoned her and that she's worried about me. I tried to explain to my sister that all contact with them is bad for me and my sister essentially told me that because I wasn't physically abused I have nothing to complain about and am making something out of nothing. Every time I talk to this sister she brings the conversation back to the topic of my parents. Should I just stop talking to her as well? She was so blind to my suffering around the holidays that she made me feel really guilty for not visiting my parents. It was awful and very thoughtless of her.

*

SunnyMeadow

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 252
Re: How do I deal with siblings pressuring me?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2019, 12:03:23 PM »
Sorry to hear this LifeIsWorthLiving (good name!)

I don't have experience with this sort of thing with a sibling because mine went NC years ago. This sib is the smart one of my family  :bigwink:. But how sad that your sister isn't hearing how you feel and what you're experiencing with your parents. For her to say because you weren't physically abused you have nothing to complain about is shocking. That's how she measures a healthy relationship, she's not being physically harmed?

I'd tell her how you feel and mention if she won't stop trying to get you back with your parents, you'll have to protect yourself from her guilt and pressure. I'd also remind her that your parents started this NC situation.

*

treesgrowslowly

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 79
Re: How do I deal with siblings pressuring me?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 12:30:32 PM »
Sadly this is common and they are often referred to as flying monkeys. Everyone in my FOO sides with the abuser not me. My flying monkeys were all so angry that I wouldn't play my role with the PDs in the family and they wanted me back in the role I once played in the drama because I protected them and was a stabalizing force in a chaos filled drama.

They want that fairytale relationships so badly and they want to believe things that are not true.

I am sorry you are dealing with this. It hurts a lot to lose a sibling relationship. If you tell her you've made your own decisions about your parents, as adult she has to accept that you've made your decision if she wants a friendship with you.

*

Starboard Song

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 1535
  • Friends call me 'Starboard'
Re: How do I deal with siblings pressuring me?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 12:52:29 PM »
I'm so sorry.

We are 3 1/2 years NC with my in-laws. We've had friends and relatives and acquaintances encourage us to reconsider. It is always very hard. For me, it creates feelings of moral guilt. For my wife, these questions make her feel attacked -- under seige. What worked for us was a healthy mix of boundaires and forbearance, and the discipline to not engage in a discussion of the merits of our case with anyone but our closest, most trusted friends.

Non-Engagement
We found that explanations needed to be brief, clear, and unassailable. After that, in response to essentially any question we give exactly the same answer. THEM: But have you considered how this is all going to play out when they are old and need your help? US: "We have. We took a great deal of time to address this from all angles. It is very hard, but we are confident we've made the right choices at this time."

The reason we don't engage is because (1) nobody but us needs to be persuaded, and (2) for those who haven't experienced it, this is a very hard thing to express.

Enforced Boundaries
Engaging with people on the reasons for our decisions invites them to chat about it. So not engaging helps a lot. For those who offer their ideas, we have firm boundaries: "Oh, I know. I'm glad you understand how terrible and consequential these choices are. You can imagine, I guess, that we didn't take it lightly. As a result, I really am not comfortable now rehashing our reasons or the potential consequences."

After that, nothing will get us to address any point anybody makes on the merits. If they persist beyond a second attempt, we make it clear that "we really aren't comfortable discussing it, and -- while we truly appreciate their care, and we really do understand the seriousness of the issue -- we just won't discuss it, and hope they can respect our decision.

Gracious Forbearance
This one was easy for me: really hard for my wife. It took us years to get to NC. For literally decades we tolerated this stuff. It is thankless to expect others to suddenly be right there with us. Some will call every such person a flying monkey, and encourage you to kick them all to the curb. I disagree.

For me, a flying monkey is acting at the behest of the PD person, and against you or without respect for you or your boundaries. But there is tons of room between "flying monkey" and "totally get it and think you're doing exactly the right thing."

They are on their own journey, and needn't agree with us to prove their love or support. So we've worked hard at not being angry about their desire to fix things, or their entreaties for us to be more forgiving and soft-hearted. It is exactly what we'd have done before our crisis, and it is certainly not an evil place to live.

We see people's entreaties as kind sweetness, and Christian charity. As long as they then respect our boundaries, which it is our job to enforce with grace, we try to not hold them in any ill will. To what degree we've succeeded has been dependent on their role in our life, the degree of their respect, and the extent to which they push our buttons.

You deserve more family and more love in your life. Not less.

I encourage tactics designed to preserve both. We've been lucky so far, and had minimal collateral damage. I wish you so much peace and strength.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

*

betta fish

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 906
Re: How do I deal with siblings pressuring me?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 01:07:56 PM »
Boundaries is key.  Every time the conversation starts, cut it off.  Tell her something like "We will never change each other minds, so I will not discuss it anymore. we can either change the subject or we end our phone call (or visit).". You may have to repeat this often, just be very firm.  Your sister may not like this in the beginning, but in time she will hear you. So sorry you are going through this.
“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
― Maya Angelou

*

Starboard Song

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 1535
  • Friends call me 'Starboard'
Re: How do I deal with siblings pressuring me?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 01:21:02 PM »
 :yeahthat:
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

*

LifeIsWorthLiving

  • New Member
  • *
  • 6
Re: How do I deal with siblings pressuring me?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2019, 02:00:53 PM »
Thank you. This all helps. A lot of it is a shift in roles. She had been a confidant of mine (older sister that was put in the parenting role for most of my childhood) and always wants to fix things. I've realized recently that she is as broken as all of my siblings, so her efforts to help are often misguided and can be completely off. For example, she told me years ago that depression is a selfish disease. I know she means well, but she also doesn't get that she is doing harm.

I will keep our conversations to topics that are healthy for me. I think for her that boundary will be enough. She doesn't understand, but I think she's trying to do the right thing.