Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar

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Tricia64

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Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« on: July 09, 2019, 07:39:14 PM »
Dear Everybody,

I have posted that I believe I am the scapegoat of my family.  I told my sisters I wanted No Contact because of their behavior.  I live alone and have no close friends.  I have been alone over the holidays and just trying to get through.

I know I am devastated over the loss of my sisters but I am trying to go on.  My husband died a little over 2 years ago.  I am changing my house around and redoing things.  I wanted to move but found it made no real sense because of price of housing.  So now I changing things and going through my husband's things in his garage.  I am just to the point I can start go down there and not fall apart mentally.

My oldest sister gave me a guitar she had brought for my brother (he died a little over a year ago).  He didn't want it so I took it as I played guitar.  There no real emotional connection with the guitar.  It is not expensive (nice for a beginner) and maybe would get $75 online.  It is Jasmine by Takamine and has a nice case.

I have told my sister I am sizing down.  All I want for her is to pick up the guitar or let me donate.  It has been about a couple of months already.  She will not give me a real answer on getting it and it caused a gigantic thing.

She just went into senior housing and really has no room.  I have a very big house and technically could put it somewhere.  But I am really trying to get rid of things I don't want.  Also, I am 55 years old and have a lot of pain in ankles and knees and I have 3 flights of stairs in my townhouse.  I am not like a young girl anymore.  I say this to her in plain English and she acts like I am at fault.  She acts like I am making a big deal out of nothing and just trying to cause trouble.

I really am asking if anyone can tell me if they deal with this at all.  Does it sound like I am making a big deal or is she being manipulative.

I am so seriously lost at this point.

I am looking for places to donate it around me.  I would bring it to her but it is a ride for me but much more I am afraid of an interaction with her.  I honestly don't want to see her.  I know I get triggered and I am actually scared of my own reaction.  Please tell me if I am being overly sensitive about the guitar.  I am not sure what the right thing is.

Thanks in advance, Tricia


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Thru the Rain

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 07:50:17 PM »
This may feel hard, but donate it. Or throw it away if you want.

If your sister wanted it, she would have kept it when your brother passed away. Or she would make arrangements to get it now.

Move it along to someone else's life - maybe contact a music school to see if they would come get it; or if they have a young student who could use it. And then feel GOOD about the guitar being a blessing for someone instead of the emotional/unhappy thing it has become for you.

And if your sister wants it later, well that's really too bad.


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Deb2

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 07:56:26 PM »
Another option. Send your sister a letter or email saying that if she wants it, she has x amount of days to arrange to get it. After that, you will be donating it.

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Tricia64

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 08:26:47 PM »
Thank you so much for your replies.

I just want to make it clear that I loved my brother very much.  It was only his guitar for a short while and I don't even relate it to him.  But at the same time it is still there for me to see (I don't want to think about painful stuff - brother and husband - at times.

The thing is, I feel like she really doesn't want to get it.  It is almost like she just uses any opportunity to cause trouble for me.  My other sister did the same thing to me with my brother's clothes.  It is like they make all these convoluted choices and expect me to be the one to deal with them.  I swear it is so maddening because it feels so abusive and really causes me trouble and severe upset.

Her basic attitude is she will pick it up when and if she gets around to it.  When I forwarded her an email yesterday that I had talked to a school teacher about donating, she started saying how she had paid over $100 and basically like I am stealing from her.  But then she just says "Do whatever" like I am causing trouble.

The truth is I get very upset because I realize she doesn't even seem to care in the remotest about me.  None of my sisters do.

I just don't want it sitting around as a reminder all the time.  I just want it gone.  But she almost never respects anything about or for me.

I may end up accepting the narcissism but I will never understand it.  It hurts so bad.

I had always believed my family really loved me.

Also, I hate to admit this, but it is almost like I am scared to donate it.  It is almost like I am getting paranoid.  Like she will come up and it won't be here.  It really messes with my ability to make decisions.  Sometimes, I feel like that is why they do it, to keep me in partial terror.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 08:43:42 PM by Tricia64 »

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SerenityCat

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 10:01:35 PM »
I understand the pain of coping with dysfunctional family.

You wrote: "I am afraid of an interaction with her." I encourage you to pay attention to this. You don't have to interact with her. You don't have to tell her anything, ask her anything, or try to arrange anything about physical items.

You can throw away the guitar. You could put it on the top of a bin with a sign that says it is free. You could drop it off at a thrift store. This is all perfectly okay.

You can let go of stuff.

You have the right to make choices about things in your own home. You can get rid of stuff just because.

I'm sorry for your loss. Grieving can be tough. I'm sorry that you are also going through being the scapegoat of your sisters.

I was the family scapegoat. I had to limit and in some cases go completely no contact. I had to go through the grieving and find a new way forward in life.

This included finally throwing stuff away. I could not act as storage for family member's belongings. I could not make arrangements or have discussions about the silly stuff with problematic people.

You don't even have to let your sister visit your home. If you ever do want to see her again, you could meet in a public place. You don't have to discuss the guitar with her. If she tries to abuse you over this you can walk away, hang up the phone, block all her ability to contact you.

You get to decide that there is no dispute over this guitar. You have the power.

Regarding grieving and also suffering as a scapegoat - are you in therapy? Can you see a licensed professional someone for help? A physical check up might be helpful too, to make sure nothing physical is adding to depression and anxiety. You are dealing with physical pain and three flights of stairs - I know this is rough.  :bighug:

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Tricia64

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 11:49:28 PM »
Hi,

Yes.  I see a doctor for depression.  I go for check ups medically too. 

I have had severe depression since 2011 (menopause - through me into another level of depression altogether)  and have gone through a really bad time.  I cry all the time.  They know how unhappy I am.

That is why I can't believe the way they act.  They just act so messed over nothing things.  I guess I am just really starting to understand things are just not going to be the way I thought they could be for us.  Our relationships are too messed.  I guess I just keep feeling like I am to blame.  I just want to have a family so badly.

I start to think maybe I have caused a lot of things but I really believe they are so abusive.  I thought I was getting through to one sister and then she was awful on the phone the other day.  She starts ranting about someone saying "I f*cking hate them" so angry and I get so nervous.  She will just act like this through the entire conversation.

I just feel like I am alone and I start to feel like "am I causing it?" but I really don't think I am.

I feel so lost that I can't even tell if people reading what I write think "oh she can't even see she is abused" or if they think "she is the one causing the problems.

I just can't understand how people who claim they love you could act the way they do.  I am sorry is this is repetitive.  I am just starting to understand this.


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SerenityCat

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 12:00:31 AM »
Good to hear that you are getting help.

In my own experience, it can be mind boggling that someone could say they love me and then be abusive. I'd get stuck on trying to "figure it out" and then eventually I had to move on.

We all gotta go at our own pace. I guess all I can pass on is that I believe there is hope and that I wish you (and all of us) well. There is a lot of wisdom and compassion here.

And I know that I've read here somewhere that those of us honestly asking "is this my fault?" most likely are not at all to blame.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 03:00:33 AM »
Hi Tricia - again, I'm so sorry you're dealing with all of this!   :bighug:

You were given a *gift* - the guitar - the original gift-giver (your sister) is NOT entitled to have it back because your brother is no longer with us.  It is YOURS and YOU may dispose of it in any manner you choose.   :yes:

I am NOT a lawyer - I just watch a  lot of Judge Judy.   :blush:

You've contacted her several times - I'd say that's enough, and if you think the guitar might fetch a good price at a used musical instrument store or even a pawn shop - go for it.   :yes:

Any other gifts  that were given to you?  They are also YOURS to dispose of - the gift-giver does NOT have right of first refusal, unless a * written contract* is involved.  (Waaaaay too much Judge Judy!   :righton:)

A *contract* is a written agreement - not, "If you ever get rid of this, I want it back."

I know it seems decent and kind - but it's you, taking it on the chin *again* in being conditioned to be a Scapegoat with NO boundaries.   :thumbdown: :no:

Since you're clearing out clutter, you might have room for the book, "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend - which can be purchased on Amazon, in various formats.   8-)

You'll understand that your need to be decent, kind and fair was *warped* - and learn what good boundaries are - the simple things  you should have known all along, but nobody taught you, because they wouldn't know a boundary if they fell over it. 

And you'll learn that the stuff in your house is *yours* - unless *specifically on-loan* or owned by another with a *written contract, stipulating such* (okay - that's more Judge Judy, but you get the idea    :dance:) - and you *don't NEED to ASK anybody if you can donate it, sell it, put it at the curb.*

And if anybody (your sister) asks what happened to the guitar, she is not OWED an explanation.  She had her chance.  She chose to string you along.  She lost her chance.   :yes:

"It's gone..."  :ninja:  is the only explanation required, and if she tries pitching a fit about it, that's not your problem, because *you are not responsible for her emotions OR her lack of action.*   :yes:

Focus on what makes *you* happy and don't worry about items your FOO might want, or want back (gifts)  - once a gift is a gift, it is YOURS to do with, as you please.  :)

And it makes keeping NC a *lot* easier.

 :hug:

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TriedTooHard

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 07:30:53 AM »
Hi Tricia64, something similar to this recently happened in my family between my mother and her siblings, except there was no one there to be as considerate as you are being.  In their situation, it involved some awards and other collector's items from their deceased brother's beloved hobby, which he started as a child.  As soon as he passed, a nephew with the same interest requested the items, but an aunt swooped in felt she deserved to be paid for her visits to her brother while he was ill, and wouldn't give them to the nephew. 

You are a good person for trying.  At this point, you've done all you can with your sisters.  Are there any nieces or nephews you could contact about this?  Not mention anything that's going on with your sisters or yourself.  Just use it as an ice breaker to keep in touch with them.  You never know what may come of it, and if nothing does, at least you'll have a clear conscience.  I know in my uncle's case, not many nieces and nephews were willing to speak up, because they've had years of watching the behavior and were programmed to think nothing would come of it. 

I can understand your desire to de-clutter.  The past few years must have been stressful for you and you're being smart about setting the stage for the next phase of your life.

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Tricia64

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 05:18:30 PM »
Thank you all so much for your replies.  It is just nice to be able to talk about it with people.

It is like my family is just extremely dysfunctional (we had a neglected kind of childhood).

It is like I find even though I want to have my family so much, communications and relations are just horrible.  For example, one of my nephews has pretty bad depression.  I can't even really find out much how he is doing, etc.  He never picks up the phone from me and he almost seems like he hates me now.  I think he blames me for his depression.  He actually asked me on the phone if he thought he would end up like me.  It hurt me terribly to hear him say it.  But I know he is so vulnerable so I just said no that he wouldn't (I didn't say a word how much he hurt my feelings).  I just worry because he is only 25 and I would like to see him happy.  But after a while, I feel like "Don't I ever count?"  And knowing all this and how I worry about him (my niece had told me he was gaining weight from a med that I knew of and I was concerned) my older sister told me he was in a 3X.  So I said that my niece had said he was gaining.  But then she said, no he is only an XL, I just wanted to see if you were listening.  And it is like she knows I worry but enjoys messing with my head.  Then she makes up some ridiculous reason why she essentially tried to unnerve me like I wanted to see if you were listening.

All the stuff with the narcissism now available has helped me to really understand it.  To be honest, it is almost chillingly clear and predictive, almost like a math problem.  And the thing is, you can't change the other person.  I have said everything as clearly as I could to my sisters with what they are doing.  But the truth is they just either won't admit it or don't believe it.

The hard thing is I feel like I am starting to hate people in my family.  But I don't want to do that.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling vindictive and hateful.  I guess this happens a lot.  It is just sad to think that people who could be your best friends are basically not.

Thank you everyone again for all your thoughtful replies.

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guitarman

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Re: Help Handling Dispute Over Guitar
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 10:26:47 PM »
It is not surprising that you are feeling the way you are about hating the people that abuse you. It's quite normal and a healthy reaction. It's your mind and body's way of expressing that you are in danger of getting hurt and that you need to stay away from those who are trying to damage you.

My uBPD/NPD sister has done so much harm to myself and my family over decades. It's abuse. I say to myself now that she is just someone that I used to know. I don't need to put myself in danger any more. I don't have to keep putting my hand in the fire to get burnt again and again. I have to listen to my gut and stay away from her.

The sister who told you that your nephew was a 3X size was lying and exaggerating the situation to you. She knew exactly what she was doing and did it deliberately with the intention to upset and alarm you.

My sister exaggerates and makes dramas out of everything. She lies. She turns everything into a crisis. Now I never believe anything that she says to me unless I have several independent witnesses who could verify what she says.

Keep playing your own guitar!

guitarman X
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

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