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What's a holiday weekend without a fight with your sister?

UserPost

10:29 pm
March 28, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

In front of strangers, no less. I am very repressed, prone to depression, already on prozac, and I normally go out of my way to avoid conflict. But she started it.

My son loves his cousins, my sisters three daughters. They are beautiful girls, but they are little princesses. Long story, but let me give a little background info… My husband and I moved from one city to another, changed jobs, and to make the move easier on our son, we got him into the same school that my nieces attend. Things were still unsettled, so this way we could be sure that my son had a ride to school, a ride home and would be with someone who cared about him. It was a very stressful time for us, we didn't have much money, and my sister said she was happy to help out. We thought everything was great, but our son was having stomach aches every morning. He said school was fine, so it was not until I had occcasion to get a ride hom with my sister that I discovered what was going on. My sister allowed her daughters to do anything they wanted to my little guy, and would berate him for being too soft when they made him cry. He was 4, a sweet natured little guy, and they tormented him. They would leave him alone on the seat, and when he climbed over to be with them, they would leave him and run to the seat he just left. When they felt tired, the two older girls would stretch out and cry because my son was in their way in this big friggin SUV with third row seating, and my son would end up sitting on the floor crying because he was cold and alone. When I complained, my sister told me that he chose to sit on the floor, nobody made him, and i was 'encouraging' him. WTF? They teased him, played mean tricks on him, and the baby would hit him on the head any time he got near her.

So my husband and I started making long term plans, because it wold not be good to maove him so soon after such a big move, right? After I had a (very) little talk with my sister, and asked my son how he felt in the mornings, things seemed to be improving. I was trying to find just the right school, taking my time, making calls and doing research. Then I touched his arm one morning while I was getting him ready for school, and he winced. There were two sets of nail marks on each forearm, the kind you get if someone hangs on and squeezes really, really hard. His older cousin had done it. My husband spoke to my sister, and I called her, but she acted as though it was nothing. And I did not start a fight, I just quietly and quickly moved him to a new school within the next 8 days. I did the right thing, and I had avoided a big blow up with my sister. I was very pleased with myself.

So this weekend, we all got together for a wedding in the country, and visited people we had not seen in a while. My brother in law's cousin and his wife, lovely people that I had seen occasionally. The girls start their usual mean games, and my son who is now nearly six, hears the older one telling the younger girl to slap him. So he slaps her first. She cries, my husband starts to remind him that he's not to hit girls, but I say, ask him what happened. When I find out why he did it, I turn to the older girl, now 7 and a half, and ask her why she has to play games with hitting? I start to explain to her that my son felt the need to defend or protect himself, and that was a natural reaction when my mother snaps at me "That's enough". I stop, but I was pretty upset, and I had no intention of telling my son that he was wrong. 5 minutes later, my mother says (quietly but angrily) "I think you went too far, and Gabby feels bad, I think you should apologise to her". Before i could respond, my sister leaps to her feet in these nice people's living room, and yells at me that I let my son do whatever he wants but have the nerve to talk to her daughter. Again, WTF? I'm shaking with rage, grab my bag and walk outside without saying a word. My mother follows me with my niece, insisting that I apologise, and I did, but, I say to my mother, my over reaction is because I have residual anger, and I moved Lucas to prevent strife in the family, and now Michelle says this to me, in front of strangers? I am shaking and crying, and I may have been shouting, and then the rest is a blur, I remember telling my sister that she was just impolite (a very nasty word, right?) and then she said something that made me tell her that 100 times I had held my tongue when things happened to my son. Then my husband, who had been busily discussing the weather with these nice people, tells me to get in the car. Which I do.

I'm not looking for advice, I know I will have to talk to her eventually or allow this to become one more festering sore in my life, but right now, I just needed to unload.

11:03 pm
March 28, 2005


GullyFoyle

New Member

posts -1

Oh Jwife! I am so sorry. That just isn't right.

How long has it been since this fight?

Gully

11:08 pm
March 28, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

Just one day. I'm still mad as hell, and I simply can't talk to her right now. I can't, so don't tell me i should.

11:19 pm
March 28, 2005


GullyFoyle

New Member

posts -1

Are you kidding? I wouldn't dream of it. I think you were in the right. No one, girls or boys, have the right to hit someone.

I was always taught to strike first. But only if I had too

11:49 pm
March 28, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

His self-esteem suffered in the year and a half that he went to school with them, and building him back up is still a work in progess. We've even enrolled him in karate classes so he can understand that he can defend himself, that he has a right to defend himself. The most painful part is how much he loves these girls. he simply adores them.

I have already been told that this has been brewing for way too long, and it is probably a good thing that it finally happened. but I wish it was not in front of strangers. That was just wrong.

I was told that my mother actually yelled at my sister after I locked myself in the car, telling her that she had seen her allow her girls to do and say anything they want to my son and that I had felt the same way she was feeling then, but I don't feel vindicated. I know she noticed it, but she had always told me that I was making too much of it, and I needed to relax.

If I was a cartoon character, I would have fire powers, and I would have caught fire and blown up the house and the car. And maybe my sister. I love her, but I wanted to set her hair on fire. I really did.

12:19 am
March 29, 2005


D dog

New Member

posts -1

Jwife,

I don't have children so I am not in a position to comment, but I want you to know that I admire your strength -

My sister and I have a good relationship now, but I still have nightmares about her, wishing for those fire powers.

Is she older than you? – First born? – just curious.

12:24 am
March 29, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

I am a typical overachieving perfectionist firstborn, except that I was extremely shy, so my younger sister (second of 3 for a while, then 4)took over the role of eldest in public.

6:07 am
March 29, 2005


CODA_Mom

New Member

posts -1

Hey JW,

Your sister needs to get out of denial about her "little princesses" or she is going to have to deal with full-blown adolescent/young adult problems with them someday.

I could feel my bp rising as I read what the girls were doing to your little guy. Yeah, it's not right for boys to hit on girls but why is it not ok for boys to defend themselves against aggressive girls?

You are doing a great job in trying to protect your son, and I would like to give you a "heads-up" on that…don't worry about your sister, she'll realize one day that she should have taken you seriously.

He is fortunate to have a mom like you to protect him at such a vulnerable age. One day he'll be bigger and stronger than them and ain't nobody gonna mess with him.

Regards,
CM

8:35 am
March 29, 2005


readyforachange

Member

posts 6

Whoa…where do I start? First of all, why are these kids allowed to climb all over a big SUV while it is being driven? And why is your son on the floor and not in a seat belt?
Second, you did the right thing by moving him to another school to avoid the conflicts in a peaceful way. Your son was wrong to hit his cousin, and he should have apologized; but I'm sure he was acting in defense knowing how these girls treat him. Your sister…well, that's another story. She needs to get control of her children, and stop making excuses for their behavior. I'd let time cool things off….don't make contact with your sister or mother for a while, and talk to your son about what happened. These kinds of occurrences are traumatic for a kid, so he may need help understanding what happened as he may think it's his fault that everyone got so upset. Eventually, your sister may come to her senses and talk rationally about this with you. If she doesn't, so be it. You are not at fault here. You simply attempted to explain the situation to your niece, a child who was obviously the antagonist. I'd focus on you and your son for a while, and let your sister deal with her mess on her own.

8:58 am
March 29, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

Well, I just got to work, and my sister calls me as I'm checking my email to ask me what problem I have with her that I'm taking out on her daughter. I told her that I was not taking anything out on her daughter, but I can't talk to her now as i have things to do. She said "Well, I called you, so if you want to talk, you have to call me."

I wish I had the power of electricity, like Static Shock, so I could have zapped her over the phone. Bitch.

9:01 am
March 29, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

Now I have to figure out how to concentrate so I can get something urgent done in the next hour.

1:06 pm
March 29, 2005


on my way

New Member

posts -1

I KNOW exactly what you are talking about, I have an older sister, my boys grew up the same way with my nephew, and now it is as if the whole family is supposed to bow down because she has more money than I do. All wrong reasons, and I know it saddens God's heart that we are like this…but for me, I have chosen to just stay away. I hate to be judgemental, but my b-in-law is the same way…I have been in arguments with him, just to tell him how I feel about their bantering and self-righteous attitude…to no avail, they are ALWAYS right….not!
These situations are difficult to assess especially with family….but even family does not have the right to disregard your feelings or be abusive to you or your son.

2:10 pm
March 29, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

I have felt so alone in dealing with this, because it was so obvious to me and my husband that my son was being hurt, but if I was not around, I could not trust my own mother to step in on his behalf. That hurt, and although I hate talking about difficult issues, this one was important enough to make me say something to my mother. her noncommital response, 'just leave them alone and they'll sort it out' just made me feel more desperate and depressed.

And now it has blown up, and I have no idea what to say to my sister. If I start talking with the full head of steam that I have right now, I know we will end up in a big, hateful row. And she is the one with the dirty mouth. When we were children, she used to tease me mercilessly just to see me cry.

Oh my God, I just realised that the mean qualities her daughters have are the same ones she has. No wonder she can't see anything wrong with their behaviour, because she has never seen anything wrong with her own behaviour. This is the sister who once burned another sister with a hot spatula because she was mad at her.

My family is dysfunctional. No wonder I feel crazy today.

3:45 pm
March 29, 2005


tracylyn

New Member

posts -1

Hey jw -

I just wanted to let you know that you did the right thing. You have to stand up for your son.

Don't beat yourself up…you did good!!

3:49 pm
March 29, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

Thank you all for the validation and the comfort and just for being here for me. It means so much to me, I might even cry.

I am so emotional right now, and I'm at work with deadlines simmering away. I need to pull myself together.

Thanks again to everyone.

8:13 pm
March 29, 2005


CODA_Mom

New Member

posts -1

jw,

I hope you were able to have that cry when you left work…sounds as if you've had a visit with your past and re-lived what you went thru as a child with your sister.

You probably didn't have anyone there to help you deal with this then, but your son is fortunate because you of all people will know what he needs now. You can and will get thru this together.

Blessings & Hugs,
CM

9:49 am
March 30, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

No crying yet. But I did end up ranting all the way home, calling my sister names and basically proving that I am in no way calm enough to talk with her yet.

I am just as mad now as I was on Monday night. I mean, I am functioning well, better than usual, actually, but as soon as I stop thinking about work, I just want to … do something bad and hurtful. Like call her and tell her the truth.

4:11 pm
March 30, 2005


CODA_Mom

New Member

posts -1

Yeah!! Let it out in the car!! That's what I like to do when I'm by myself and angry.

Have you tried writing down your thoughts toward your sister, or better yet, tried writing a letter to your sister saying what is on your mind? Then, of course, throw the letter away.

jw, I think you mentioned that you are a Christian on one of the other posts…have you read Psalm 109? David was sooo angry with someone who hurt him, he asked the Lord to make this guy's wife a widow and his kids fatherless and all other kinds of nasty stuff. By the end of the psalm, he was calm and forgiving.

The whole point of this psalm is that we are able to spill out our anger to the Lord, naming names and the offenses that we're angry about. He is big enough to handle our anger, and He does not judge us. Instead, He picks us up and gives us peace about the situation. Remember, He tells us, "vengeance is Mine, I will repay". Let Him deal with your sister, this is too big for you and you may feel worse than when it started if you confront her in anger.

You can safely spill out your guts to Him and I guarantee you'll feel better.

Blessings,
CM

5:22 pm
March 30, 2005


jamaicanwife

New Member

posts -1

Thanks, CM, I needed to hear that. I can't explain why, but when I am in a really difficult situation, I run around in little hamster circles trying (and failing!) to find solutions, and prayer is always the furthest thing from my mind.

I feel anger at God, too. I know He can handle it, so that does not worry me, but my sister and mother are BIG Christians, prayer meeting until midnight, vision-having, Christian television watching christians, and I am constantly faced with their blindness to the gap between what they preach and their own actions. I decided that being a Christian could not mean that I had to be like my sister, and I would have to find my own way through the Bible, and find my own way to God.

The more I think about this, the more layers I peel off, and the more upset I feel. And I had to cancel my counselling session tomorrow because of an all-day departmental meeting.

I'm tired and my back hurts and my sister is a bitch on wheels!

God loves us all anyway.


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