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my sister thinks I'm a thoughtless... was i out of line in my reply?
May 7, 2005
2:21 am
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Today was my birthday. When my sister left I sent an email to her. She wrote (and said something) to me about how I don't get her any nice gifts on her birthday. What do you think of it? I know I'm overreacting, but I had to get it off my chest (isn't that the nature of overreacting?). Anyway, it's bugging me. What she said. It's not really true. I don't know. I need some feed back.

Hi. Friday night was fun. What you wrote in the card about me not getting you any big gifts or whatever made me very sad and I cried when you left. Obviously I'm not a card and gift sort of person and lately I have tried to make efforts to make up for that, it's not my fault that you or the parents don't take advantage of that. I've also asked in the past repeatedly not to be given gifts, in part because I am aware of what I am like. It's kind of like how I'm sorry I don't have the energy to sit up and write letters to grandma and aunt M or whoever, but that's just me. So I guess I'll burn in hell for not being generous, but it doesn't mean I don't love people. It's not my fault that no one comes to me to talk when they need someone, like I come to them. It's too bad also because that's the way things work with normal people and it just makes things very lonely when there is no give and take. I know you are feeling stressed out and tired b/c of B lately. But even previous to his illness he wasn't exactly very giving to you. Maybe now you are afraid to acknowledge that and it is easier to see where I and others have fallen short. I'm truly very sorry if I have, but I'm also very sad that that's the way you see things.

I love you. -e

May 7, 2005
2:41 am
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If you want my opinion Ell,

I think that letter was coming from somewhere deep. And maybe you need to sit and talk with your family about how you feel about some of the things that you stated in this letter, especially the part where you said

"It's not my fault that no one comes to me ... it just makes things very lonely when there is no give and take."

I think you expressed the way that you felt in the letter, and while I don't know exactly what your sister said, or your relationship with her is like (I wonder too, at why you say "the parents") I think she should see that you were upset and that you were trying to communicate that in the best way you knew to.

(Hoping her gibberish helps)

Rudie

May 7, 2005
2:52 am
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Hey Rudie,

We call our folks "the parents" or "the parental units," as a term of affection- it came from Saturday Night Live- I don't know if you remember the Coneheads? 🙂 My parents call themselves that too sometimes!

Yeah, it came from down deep- lacking in eloquence as it is. There is also a lot of stuff I would never say to her but alluded to. A lot has to do with her boyfriend... I'm sort of wondering if he kind ow was behind her statement about the gifts. He's actually decent to me when I see him, but drains her financially and emotionally. They communicate by shouting at each other (this is in my presence so I can't imagine what goes on when they are alone). He literally bullies her for money.

I am truly sorry for anyone that has to suffer physical pain like her bf is now. But I can't stand this martyr act my sister is putting on right now. This is the only place where I have said that because it makes me sound awful, but you'd have to know the whole picture.

I have offered to help them, with groceries or take out or whatever they need. But the truth is, my sister doesn't want my help. Just like she didn't need or want my gifts. I suppose in the future she will say I wasn't there for her. It's not true. She just doesn't want me to be.

-ella

May 7, 2005
3:12 am
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Oh yeah, I remember that, "the parental unit" cool (snicker), I should use that.

But on a more serious note, I think I can relate to not being able to express your feelings to your family. I personally think it is more habit than a lack of eloquence. Maybe you weren’t allowed to express yourself, or were told that you could only say good things, while growing up. I know that the former was the case for me, I was always told to shut up! That I talked too much, “you’re not allowed to say another word for the rest of the night!”

I can see that your sister's relationship really concerns you, and you are right to be concerned. She needs, however, to see the situation that she is in for herself, I know. my sister is the same way (smile), funny huh?

And you know what Ell, sometimes it takes a place such as this one to start us on the road to self expression, people need to know how we feel about certain situations. I'm almost sure that had the shoe been on the other foot, she would not have hesitated to tell you what she thought and felt about the whole thing.

In time I hope that we will both learn, how to not care that expressing what we are feeling makes us sound "awful" as long as we are tactful in the way we approach the situation. We SHOULD be allowed to express our feelings, - this is your family too, and if you can't be yourself with you family, well then who else can you be yourself with?

(Surprised at how much crap she can spout)

Rudie

May 7, 2005
3:35 am
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Rudie-

You said:
"I think I can relate to not being able to express your feelings to your family. I personally think it is more habit than a lack of eloquence. Maybe you weren’t allowed to express yourself, or were told that you could only say good things, while growing up."

Wow. You are so on target! And to this day, in particular I cannot speak freely in regards to my sister. Not to mention the fact that she has me holding all these secrets and lies for her. And you are right, she wouldn't think twice about speaking her mind- as she did tonight. In fact, it's usually pretty hard for me to get a word in edgewise. Wow, I"m on a streak!

-ella

May 7, 2005
3:43 am
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Well Ell,

You know what I have started to do, write letters.

I write them to whom ever I like, but the trick is that I tell myself that I will never send them, so I can be as nasty or nice as I feel and I say all that I want to say - then when I'm done I burn them.

I think this puts your brain in expression mode, and so it becomes easier and easier to express yourself verbally.

And fact is, what can she do if she doesn't like what you've said? You’re both adults she can only tell you that she didn't like what you said, it won't kill her. Just be as tactful as you can (after all she is your sister and you don't want to hurt her while improving your self-expression skills now do you).

Trust me, we either have the same sister, or I'm really Ella and I'm writing to myself (rolling on the floor)

(hoping she's not really writing to herself)

Rudie

May 7, 2005
4:00 am
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Rudie-

You are so funny. I guess I shouldn't feel bad about sending the email since my sister didn't feel too bad about saying what she did on my birthday. There were other things that I couldn't talk to her about since we were with a friend.

You might think "we are both adults" but sometims it doesn't seem like that. AT one point in the evening we were all talking about traveling and taking photographs. The question was do you like your photos with just the sights or with people in them? I said I like to take pictures of scenery, and art etc.. and prefer not always to have people in it. My sister says "Oh well I don't see the point in taking a picture of the Eiffle Tower or something if you are not going to put yourself in the picture!" So I said "Well not everyone likes to be in photographs like you do" and I said that because she spent all of college photographing herself. It wasn't mean. Although I guess I could have said "Well not everyone is so narcissistic" but that's not what I meant. So she makes this face and mimics me like a child! How ridiculous is that? I was really uncomfortable because our friend was there.

-ella

May 7, 2005
4:08 am
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sorry... I'm really upset now (did I actually say I had a good time? somethings take a while to settle in.)

My sister and another friend of mine were both at a conference at work that had guest speakers from National Alliance of Mentally Ill. I only met my friend about a year and 1/2 ago. So I asked how my friend V responded to the confrence. (I am bipolar by the way). So my sister says "Well I don't know because she left before me. Why does V. know that you are a freak?"

These things don't hit me until later when I can't do anything about them.

I hate her for saying that.

-ella

May 7, 2005
4:37 am
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Rudie
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Oh my goodness Ell,

I AM writing to myself.

My sister does the same things to me and they don't hit me until, waaaay to late.

That was rude and mean, and I'm sure she would say something like, "oh I didn't mean it, can't you take a joke?"

The thing that makes me this way is the fact that I accept life as it comes and I can't be bothered to think about what you have said.

Well if that is true of you too, think Ella! think! and slam her hard when she says and does stuff like that.

Sorry to say be she sound as if she needs to do a little more growing up (no matter what age she is), but fact that she needs to grow up doesn't excuse her attitude.
Someone needs to tell her that she needs to think about what she is saying before she says it.

I remember once when my sister and I visited a family member and we went to church. They hadn't seen us since we were kids and so they were all shocked at how much I had blossomed.

Now the usual scenario is that my sister is doted upon and told how wonderful she is, but in recent years, I have really come into my own and others are seeing this.

Well this day at church I was being given compliment after compliment which must have irked her, cause as soon as we get into the car and she comes out with "no offence "rudie" but you're not all that" and I just TOOK IT!!! Ugggh I could have kicked myself later!!

Well I am learning, and in time I will be able to give as good as I get.

you keep your chin up Ell, practice in front of the mirror, talk back, do it for no good reason to anyone you find (well assuming they deserve it). Enlist the help of friends and act out scenarios.

soon you will find that you wont just take things but you'll be able to tell the person trying to belittle you that you don't appreciate their statement and that they have been quite rude and that you would appreciate an apology.

And even if you don't get one, at least you know that you have said your piece and you still get to walk away the bigger person.

Ugh I hate when people do that!!!

(getting all steamed up)

Rudie

May 7, 2005
4:50 am
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Rudie (you ARE all that!)-

Thank you for writing to me tonight, it really helped.

My sister has always had a need for attention. Sometimes getting a laugh, a leer, or any other sort of reaction seems like its more important to her than anything. Then she'll cry and apologize or what have you- after she has gotten what she wanted.

Well, I am exhausted. Even though I want to write so much more, I will have to postpone it for tomorrow. It was so great typing to you cause you really get what I'm saying. I have to admit, I was afraid of really being slammed for what I wrote to her. I hope we can write in the future. I'm on a lot lately.

hugs,
ella

May 7, 2005
4:56 am
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Rudie
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Thanks Ell,

It was really great talking to you too. I hope we can continue helping each other.

You have a nice evening, and I too, hope we can meet again.

((((hugs and smiles and snuggles))))

Rudie

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