Never good relationship with older sis

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Danie

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Never good relationship with older sis
« on: July 19, 2021, 04:48:34 PM »
My older sister is driving me crazy. She is the oldest of 3 girls and one year older than me. She was the reason my parents married and has always been treated with favoritism by our mother. Our childhood was horrific, NPD mom was very neglectful and abusive and my sister took a lot of that out on me and nobody protected me. Now as older adults there's still a sick dynamic between my sister and I that I want  so badly to be done with and heal. Here is a description of our relationship (and our mother's involvement} that always leaves me hurting and and feeling inferior.

1. I can't seem to have any communication with my mom without my sister being informed.
2. My mother interjects my sister into all of our conversations.
3. My sister and my mom have a volatile (most of the time) but have times when they connect. This sister got the most benefit (not much) from the little parenting that was available - probably very unhealthy and enmeshed.
4. They fight a lot, on the phone, and play mind-bending games over and over, never any healthy honesty. I know because for years they both call me after they fight to get me to ally with them. They don't care about me, I just play some kind of role that helps them feel justified in criticizing each other.
5. I put a stop (I tried) the them calling me after the fighting. It has taken a long time but I've repeated over and over: "don't call me after you fight with each other and put me in the middle".
6. I didn't speak to my mom for 4 months up until last week because of this. She blew up at me on the phone because I tried to set this boundary with her.
She said I was unhappy, didn't have any friends and was jealous of my sister and then she said I was so "different"! She asked "why do I call her"? In other words - we have no reason to talk. I was fine, 4 months, no conversation with her it was peaceful.
Now it has started up AGAIN! I saw my sister at an event and she said our mom was crying saying she missed me. UGH. My sister must've told her she saw me because I got 2 voicemails on my phone saying "call her" (mom). So I'm right back where I don't want to be.
7. My sister texted me Saturday morning making fun of our mom because she had called the fire department at 2:00 in the morning because her CO2 detector was chirping (batteries). Now my sister gets me back engaged and we text back and forth and then she turns on me...again...same old shit. She starts with her condescending confusing messages "don't overthink it" she says when I tried to clarify the fire truck story.

I was so mad at myself, 4 months of peace and I got sucked back in. I'm just curious, what is my sister doing?? Why does she always have to get me involved in this triangulation with my mom? She has done this forever; plays nice to our mom, gossips about me and then calls me and talks bad about our mom! The ultimate 2-faced. We both know our mom is ill, and her behaviors, probably unintentional, make things worse. I'd love to say to her "If you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem", but I can't say anything to her without her snide comments and looks. My therapist called it "thwarted defense". Sister sets me up treats me like crap and thwarts anything I say.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 04:52:20 PM by Danie »

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blacksheep7

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Re: Never good relationship with older sis
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2021, 01:00:04 PM »

I was so mad at myself, 4 months of peace and I got sucked back in. I'm just curious, what is my sister doing?? Why does she always have to get me involved in this triangulation with my mom? She has done this forever; plays nice to our mom, gossips about me and then calls me and talks bad about our mom! The ultimate 2-faced. We both know our mom is ill, and her behaviors, probably unintentional, make things worse. I'd love to say to her "If you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem", but I can't say anything to her without her snide comments and looks. My therapist called it "thwarted defense". Sister sets me up treats me like crap and thwarts anything I say.

Hi Diane,  Sorry you are going through this. 

This is similar to what I went through with my younger sister.  She needed and used me as an emotional garbage can.  It took me a while to realize this, she would repeat everything I said to NM, even though she agreed with me.  She told me that she was stuck in the middle,  a big lie.  She is exactly like covert NM, entertains gossip.  Then the triangulation started by NM also telling me that I've changed.   I finally went nc.  My sis dds told me that she missed me but when I wrote to her just to say hi, why I stayed away because of NM and that I didn't stop thinking of her.   Well I never got a response.    She is incapable of doing otherwise, stuck in the enmeshment and gets along with NM because they are both Superficial ha ha ha and love the gossip.  They can not talk about anything real that involves emotions.

You did well to tell your sister to not involve you when she gets in a fight with your M.  You have to maintain your boundaries and not accept the crap your sis shoots at you.   She and your M need a scapegoat like all dysfunctional families.

Choose your conversations with your M and sister.  I know that it is boring just to talk about the weather, the news etc... but isn't worth your peace of mind?  ;)
Unfortunately what we would like our family to be is not what it is.

take care :)
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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Danie

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Re: Never good relationship with older sis
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2021, 12:56:14 PM »
Blacksheep, I've never thought of my NM as needing a scapegoat, but yes I see that. Neither of them ever do their own inventory, or are accountable for anything. The most excruciating part for me is that my sister claims my NP encouraged her to hurt me when we were little. That's really sick. It does explain why NM ever protected me.

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Hepatica

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Re: Never good relationship with older sis
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2021, 12:13:48 PM »
Hi Danie,

I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you are going through this. You sound like a level-headed person who just wants some peace in her life, after understanding very clearly the dynamics between your mother and sister. They sound like they are in a bit of a trance with each other that they can't break it, and when it's too much for them, they dump it on you.

From observing my FOO and extended family over the years I see clearly that many of them are in this trance and it is pretty much an addiction. They don't quite like the after-effects but they go back for more and they do this again and again. It is like the definition of insanity.

I have pulled back completely and finally set boundaries and had to go NC with my FOO. If I have any contact with them now, it is through one cousin only - and even then, if she tells me something about my family I feel really awful.

I think you're in a rock and hard place where most of us here have come to as we want to have a healthier life. If the toxic family isn't changing then we have to back away. It seems like setting boundaries with them, if they are disordered, just makes them more angry. I eventually had to go No Contact and I was distraught that I had to do it. But I had no other choice.

Basically, you do not deserve this. You deserve a happy, peaceful life of joy, especially after having a challenging and painful upbringing. You have to believe you deserve this. If they stay enmeshed and in that toxic dance that is their choice. Your choice is that you want something better. And that's okay.

You have to believe that it is okay to choose not to have toxic drama in your life and it's okay to move away from people who do, even family. It's a hard, hard decision but remember we've survived a hard childhood and what we're working for makes sense and is right for us. We deserve to have peace now. You deserve this. I don't think your mother or sister will change. I've had to grieve that, continue to grieve that, around my family.

I'm sorry that you are going through it too. I find reading this forum really help reminds me that I deserve a decent, peaceful and even joyful life.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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Danie

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Re: Never good relationship with older sis
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2021, 11:35:12 AM »
Hepatica, your words are very encouraging. Since my original post it's happened again. My mom and sister talk, back and forth, (on the phone only because mom has Agoraphobia) and they trip each others' triggers. They just cannot get it through their heads to leave me out. So now they have resorted to "passive aggressive remarks" to me, they slip it in.
I was having a somewhat decent conversation with my sister and she said, "I suppose you don't want to hear about mom"?  Instead of just dumping it she thought she was asking me. Well then she just burst at the seams and unloaded and hung up on me. It's sneaky.

Here's an interesting point I wanted to mention related to this pattern: A therapist pointed out to me there's a pattern in my family of "thwarted defense" she called it. My siblings blow up on me, gaslight me and then cut off. I never get to defend myself. This has been causing me a lot of inner tension and has been a detriment to my health. My therapist told me to "offload it" even if I just have to say it aloud by myself.

Both of my sisters did this to me recently, gaslighted me and dumped on me; labeled me, criticized me and then cut me off. I gave it back this time. I'm sure their will never be any kind of resolution or conversation about it. It's just them using me as their garbage dump. But it feels like a healthy change to give it back, even if their not their and don't fight back. It's so arrogant that they can unload on me and then go quiet.
I am wondering if anybody has something to say about this or has similar dynamics.

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blacksheep7

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Re: Never good relationship with older sis
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2021, 01:19:32 PM »
Stop hurting yourself by listening to your sister and make a clear affirmation that «no, you don't want to hear about it» when she asks.  It isn't easy even though we know we are not at fault.  The poking gets to us, we are only human.  She just showed you once again who she is, involved in the drama.  It's toxic.

My sister was the same as I mentionned in my last post.  She would complain about M and would repeat everything back to her about our whole conversation and then M would unload on me.  My sister was her favorite because she was «easy» and «happy».  I was seen as the trouble maker because I disputed their, especially M behaviors.  I went nc, as the last resort.  I had enough of trying to «fix» things or them and going to T for decades.  Now, I take care of me, which by the way I still have bouts of anxiety so I don't need them around to intensify it.

No one deserves this kind of treatment, especially when it just goes around in circles.  Only one can unload on you if you let them. ;)
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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bunnie

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Re: Never good relationship with older sis
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2021, 09:33:22 PM »
It's hard not to get sucked into the drama. It's what is used to "connect" with us and make us feel a part of the group. My parents and uNPD sibling use my desire to belong as a trap. I, too, am working on squashing the gossip when any of them call. It is a trap! I have a sticky note on my desk that reminds me to not react or respond immediately when they text or call. I've gotten much better. You will too.  :)
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

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bunnie

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Re: Never good relationship with older sis
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2021, 07:41:08 AM »
Danie: This is the first time I've heard the term thwarted defense. I have dealt with it all of my life! My parents and one sibling in particular engage in this behavior. There is a setup to a crisis and/or drama of some sort. The accusations and attacks fly, and I am not given the opportunity to say my piece. There is a refusal to have a discussion about the drama. All of my efforts to resolve issues are met with silence. I will have to research this term to get a better understanding.  I think it is a tactic to gain control and force you to marinate in the confusion and accusations. The goal is to silence you long enough so that you start to identify with whatever they've put on you.  I'm sorry you've had to deal with this as it is very painful.
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire