Beginning to wonder about my sister

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Lisa

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Beginning to wonder about my sister
« on: October 20, 2021, 04:16:04 PM »
Hi All!
I usually post in dealing with PD parents but over the past few years I've begun reflecting (instead of reacting) about my sister.
She and I don't have much of a relationship, as adults we have only seen each other on holidays with other family members around, other communication is very sparse.  She mostly talks about stressful things, negative things about her work life, physical health, children, stressful relationships with others. I spend a lot of time listening and probably fawning with the extent to which I tried to support her in her woe is me.  She is highly reactive, the only times in recent years she has called me is because she was angry I couldn't make her daughter's birthday because I was working or because she was worried about something odd our Mom was doing.

This all brings me to the main reason I am posting in this section today.  I have had three sessions with a therapist who has been asking a lot of questions about my family of origin, it has been hard for me to answer most of the questions because I have huge blank gaps in my memories from childhood.  I texted my sister over the weekend saying I knew my text was out of the blue and asked if she felt comfortable responding to a few questions about some childhood experiences.  She didn't respond via text but called me a few hours later, I was unavailable to answer, she left a VM saying that this conversation needed to happen over the phone and to call her anytime that night.  knowing she has a family I texted when I was available to asked if I could call then, no response until the next day.  She has now said she would talk on the phone about this three nights in a row and has not called when she said she would, last night she didn't even text to reschedule.

I have never asked her for anything in my life.  I have compassion and curiousity that maybe I touched on some difficult topics for her.  I also feel really shitty about it.  I feel like I asked for help, I am struggling and she is controlling how this is going or not going to happen.  I also really have clarity that she is not someone I can ask for help.  She is not showing any care towards how I am feeling or what's going on for me that I am asking these questions.  In a relationship where you care about someone you call when you say you will, when they are struggling you make it a priority to talk to them.  I know she is busy but she could ask her husband to put the kids to bed so she could talk to me.  Waiting every day for a possible phone call is making me anxious.  I've decided I won't chance her to talk, I've asked some simple questions and I feel like she's being controlling.  As I type this out I realize how much my head has been spinning with this, I apologize if it's hard to keep track of!

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Danie

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2021, 04:44:11 PM »
Hi Lisa. I think your post is very clear. I also think your instincts are good, but I wouldn't make those conclusions until you're absolutely sure. You may never find out why she hasn't called when you've wanted her too and I would completely back-off if I were you. I'm not an expert so this is just IMO.
I know that my sisters and I have some different opinions and feelings about our terrible past and if we try to talk about it it usually gets very heated and results in hang-ups. I've tried to figure out why we fail at processing the past together and I think it's because there are no boundaries and we trigger each other so much. Also I think we don't have any (or very few) shared "good" memories so it's just an unpleasant experience.
You said your sister is very negative and you've listened to her. That indicates she is also struggling with her past, I think. You might just want to cross her off your list of resources for healing and rely on your own memories as best you can.
Negativity is very draining! My mom is totally negative and I just feel so messed up after I talk to her. It's a setback. Maybe time to break the cycle of listening to her and expecting her to reciprocate. I'm sorry to say this, I know she could be a wealth of information and perhaps healing, but she isn't capable. Keep going to your therapist. I wonder if journaling would be good for you, putting those unanswered questions on paper and getting them out of your head for now.

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Andeza

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2021, 08:19:30 PM »
At the very least, she's unreliable. Which is a personal pet peeve for me frankly. I too would mark her off the list of resources.

In the theoretical world, she could have fleas. She could be pd herself. It's impossible to know, but my gut feeling reaction to your description is - waif.

Slightly off topic, dh also has large chunks of his childhood that he simply cannot remember. We've chewed on it for a while and ultimately don't know if it was the trauma of his situation, or if it was an accident that left him with a significant concussion. An accident that his own pd parents downplayed massively. But I've got the darn medical records and in them the truth.

Do you have your own paper trail that could help you investigate your past? Sometimes obscure things can jog it. An old report card, vaccination records, school attendance records, etc.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Lisa

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2021, 12:17:44 AM »
Thanks for your responses.
Daine- I consider myself pretty good at taking a neutral stance with my family.  I understand that she has her own perspectives and memories.  I am looking at this as strictly data gathering.  She has said three times now that she would call on a certain date/time and has not without any excuse.  I am not following up with her I guess, that's hard to not point out that she isn't following through on what she said she would do but I am also not interested in creating conflict and I feel like making the slightest most obvious comment/reflection would do so.

Andeza- I have some old report cards most years often mention "day dreaming" and lots of asking my parents to help me at home, unfinished homework, incomplete assignments etc.  I through out my old dairies because I was afraid of what was in them, I wish now I had them.  At my next doctor's appointment I might ask how to get my childhood records but I live in a different province now so I am sure they can't help me here with that.  I would love to see them though, I can recollect my mom taking me to the doctor's for testing as a teenager and being confused as to why- she thought I was really sick and I thought I was fine?  On the other hand I remember them not taking me when I broke a finger or needed stitches, so?  strange?

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Andeza

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2021, 01:17:49 AM »
I'm not sure exactly how it works in your country, but here we would call the records department of the actual physician's office from the past and ask for records to be mailed hard copy. There is usually a fee associated with this, but not a burdensome amount. You may be able to do the same.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Hilltop

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2021, 02:22:19 AM »
I'm going to take a different stance to the other replies.  I feel like you texted which with this sort of conversation would be difficult.  Your sister wanted to be able to talk in person and she did call you straight away.  By what you wrote it sounds like your sister may have her own issues surrounding your family.

I would call her yourself.  If she can't talk at that moment that's ok.  I would call her and talk, it may open a conversation where she can talk openly about her own ideas and why she is so stressed or maybe it won't.  I would not text because if she is dealing with kids etc perhaps she missed it until late.  Perhaps she sees the back and forth as confusing.  She prefers a phone call and you keep texting.  I would simply pick up the phone and call.  If you do that a couple of times and she is still unable to talk, I would text her to call you when she is free and then leave it at that.

I think it is still too soon to really understand if your sister will be open to talk.  I would not make any assumptions at this stage and not text any more and simply call.  Then depending on what happens you may have more information to work out if she will be supportive or perhaps simply too distracted etc to help at the moment.

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Lisa

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2021, 03:01:13 AM »
Hi Hilltop and thank you for your response.
There really hasn't been much back and forth.  She told me she would call Monday after putting kids to bed but she sent a text saying she was too tired and she would try at 9PM on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  Both of those have now past and no word from her at all.
I've felt pretty anxious sitting waiting by the phone. 

I would really have to give some consideration to the idea of calling her at this point as it seems to me she would prefer not to talk about it despite saying she was open to the idea. 



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Jolie40

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2021, 10:57:32 AM »
 knowing how busy people are with children & how things come up last minute, it's probably just that

since you're the one with the questions, text her when you have time & ask "is now a good time"
if so then call

she could be leaving it in your hands to call anyway since it's your questions

also, have your questions written down so you won't forget to ask anything

p.s. I was never good about calling people back when they left messages in answering machine
figured if it was important, they'd call again
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 11:01:22 AM by Jolie40 »
be good to yourself

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Danie

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2021, 01:02:09 PM »
Lisa-remember to use "I" messages if you ask her. I know people who feel easily accused.  Example: "I was anxious to talk to you"  not  "Why didn't you call me?"
You could also validate her busy-ness and lifestyle. "I know you're so busy."

I also like the idea of just calling her.

I have a sibling who takes advantage of isolating me on the phone! Nobody can overhear her when she berates me. Not really related to your issue, but something to keep in mind with heavy issues. She's a captive audience.

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Hazy111

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2021, 01:29:17 PM »
because I have huge blank gaps in my memories from childhood.

Like wise, i was told by my T i probably disassociated , very normal for children with PD parents.

Re my sis, everything made sense once i read "Understanding the Borderline Mother" All the dots began to join up. Im NC now.

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Lisa

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2021, 06:28:51 PM »
Thanks for all your feedback.  I did call her, it took a few attempts but we were able to talk. She was really open and I got some pretty interesting information. 

« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 06:45:23 PM by Lisa »

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Hilltop

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Re: Beginning to wonder about my sister
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2021, 11:19:00 PM »
Lisa I am glad it went well for you.  I hope the relationship continues to go well.  Yay.