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Your Unished Business Will Find You
May 20, 2006
12:07 pm
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Anonymous
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I asked this question on a different thread, but I feel it deserves a thread of it's own.

I'm learning that the unfinished business we try to hide from will come back to find US until it gets resolved.

Throughout the years, my best defense against my raging, controlling, bully of a sister has always been to withdraw. Our relationship has been stormy since my early teens where I started to develop a strong sense of self and found that I disagreed with her about like everything.

Since that time our relationship has always included intense disagreements followed by long periods of silence.

I have tried several times to sit down with her and talk rationally about the state of our fragile relationship to no avial. And confronting her about something she's done? Forget about it! She's not really open to hearing anything accept praise for her actions-no matter how intolerable they may be.

Well, now I have a co-woker who is equally as, shall we say, difficult to relate to and understand.

She reminds me a lot of my sister.

My question is, how do you find a win/win middle ground when dealing with people you find to be aggressive, controlling and generally difficult?

May 20, 2006
12:46 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Y&R,

I'm afraid I don't have an answer for you but can relate so well. What you have described is exactly the relationship that I have with my (ex) b/f.

In my experience there is no win/win answer with people who don't want to or are unable to find that middle ground.

The best advice I can give is either to learn to detatch not take these things personally and to accept these people as they are OR to end the relationships with these people letting them know that you care about them but you cannot allow yourself to be involved in these toxic situations.

I wish I had a better answer for you.

Good luck,
Lolli

May 20, 2006
1:15 pm
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Rasputin
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(((Y&R)))

Oh, how I can so well relate to your sitaution. We have so many things in common. In fact, my oldest sister is Very difficult person.

Before, when I used to be more codep, I would cave in to her, please her and tell her what she wanted to her. Just like your sister, she would be cheery and glad when I did that. When I tell her the truth about herself, she would get quiet, or angry or stop communicating with me.

Though I felt my sister was hopeless case, I kept her covered up in daily my prayers for over 1 year. Last March this year, my mother called me telling me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was Stunned. My sister, the perfectionist who reads food labels and very intelligent one gets that disease.

Of course, I did not abondon my sister. On the contrary I kept her in my prayers and called her right away telling her that I've been keeping her in my prayers on daily basis, even tho her tone voice was cold, pretenious and affected.

About 3 weeks ago, I sent her surprise gifts, 2 great books by Joyce Meyer about how to take care of herself and look great.

My sister called me and thanked me for my thoughtful action. Her voice, FOR THE 1ST TIME IN YEARS, WAS FILLED WITH LOVE, GRATITUDE AND WARMTH.

I consider this nothing But a Miracle due to my steadfast prayers to her.

You do the same thing Y&R. No one is beyond hope, healing and salvation. One day, you will experience that Breakthru with your sister as I did.

There is always hope when we pray for someone!

I missed you sweetie. Great to see you again!

~Blessings, Ras~

May 20, 2006
1:22 pm
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If nothing works, avoid the situation and when asked where you have been explain to them.

May 20, 2006
1:36 pm
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Thanks Loli,

Not taking things personally really is good advice to remember.

Detachment from my sister is easy now that we live in different houses. But, how do I detach from this co-woker?

We work together in a small office enviornment with two other people from the support staff. They both seem to walk on eggshells around her. She's been with the company for seven years and is very knowledgeable about our daily operations. The bosses rely heavily upon her knowledge base of the company, which is why they don't fire her I assume.

But, she is extremely abusive to customers and internal staff alike.

My boss heard her raging one day and called me into his office. "Don't take it personally, she's an equal opportunity abuser." He went on to make excuses for her and tell me how hard her life has been.

It reminded me of my home life for the first 17 years of my life. My sister being allowed to bully and intimidate us and abuse us emotionally while my mom made excuses for her and told us how hard things were for poor little "E". The excuses helped poor little "E" evolve into the big bad monster that she is today who takes no responsibility for her actions, because she never had to.

My mom taught me and my oldest sister to take the high road.

Help...I don't want to take the high road anymore.

May 20, 2006
1:39 pm
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Ras & Smarter

Thanks for your replies.

I need to run some time sensitive errands, but I will be back to respond to you guys and anyone else who posts to me later this evening.

See you guys soon...

May 20, 2006
5:37 pm
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Hi Y&R,
looks like i can post until monday!

what you do:
You ask God what He wants to teach you in this situation. Because that is all it is, at least from my experiences anyway. Ask God, "What is good about this????" He'll tell you. It's to shape your character, which is why it is what you refer to as unfinished business. 🙂

May 20, 2006
5:54 pm
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mamac
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youngandrestless
Boy does this remind me of me and my sister. It is like you were telling my story. We were the same way. It wasnt until my mother passed away that we put all the crap aside. We hadent spoken for 2 years until I got the dreaded "call". Then everything we went through seemed to not matter anymore. I dont want to sound morbid at all, but we realized that one day one of us was not going to be around anymore and wouldnt it be horrible if all we ever did was fight and never had that wonderful sister relationship so many people have. We just had to accept each others differances and let it be. I dont know what advice I can give you, but in the end family is all we have. I know I wish I would have had a better relationship with my mom. She died before I could get over my stubborness. My mom and I hadent spoken for 5 years prior. I pray for you that you and your sister can find that best friend I now have in my sister. It took us 30 years to figure it out.

May 20, 2006
6:00 pm
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as mamac says, i had problems with my sister as well, but we worked them out. she is older, i am younger, and sometimes as adults, somehow, the relationship you had as children carries over into adulthood, and it does not work. my sis couldn;t say anythign to me and i couldn't say anything to her, but it seemed i was getting all of the criticism. after alot of prayer, it has changed for the better. i don't know that i DID anything or she DID anything, it just happened by circumstances that have infiltrated in the last few months. now we are better sis's than ever.
i hope this works out well for you in both places!

May 20, 2006
6:29 pm
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Mmm, you guys!! So happy to hear your stories. I feel like all of my life I have been trying to explain to my other sisters why we cannot just abandon L because she is so stubborn and miserable...but I for the first time last year reacted in anger to some of her bullying and criticism. I said the same things: that we don't have enough time left in our lives to do these petty things with each other, that we do not see each other often enough anymore not to make every effort to be as loving as we know how.

It really was time to get honest, not just "appease" her. I said she had to stop treating me like this. I said I needed her to respect me, my ways, our differences.

She didn't speak to me for quite a while, but as we began to talk again, she did seem to acknowledge some of what I said. She was not as bossy, anyway.

And you are so right...I've prayed so many times for the "right" words to come out of my mouth.

Now I am struggling with wishing no one would ever ever ever say a critical word about anyone else to me again EVER!! All that "soft word turneth away wrath" stuff....it's hard!!!

Young, about the coworker, just take care of yourself. If it cannot be resolved, maybe you need to find another job before the stress takes a toll on your health. (because stress can do that)

May 21, 2006
5:17 pm
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Thanks Ras and good to hear from you.

Yes, the situation with your sister does sound very similar to my situation. Your sister sounds very similar to my sister.

I'm glad things are more peaceful between the two of you. That does give me some hope. But in all honesty, right now I am beyond disgusted with her and I don't care if I ever see her again. Perhaps it's just the pain talking, but I mean ever word of it.

I know what it's like to have periods of peace with her...the kind that you describe having with your sister. But they are short lived and deceptive. In fact, I had what I thought was a productive talk with her a few weeks before she moved out. She said, "Don't worry, I can stay for a couple of months and help with the bills here so that we don't loose mom's house." I thought we had an agreement or an understanding atleast. It was before I got the new job. Money was tight.

Needless to say, she did not honor her part of the agreement. She even stole some of my things when she left as well as some things that belong to all the of my mom's daughters to remember her by. My sister doesn't have the ability think beyond her needs and her desires. This selfishness and deciet of her is very typical.

I don't know if I'm more upset with her for decieving me or myself for trusting her and opening up to her and believing her-AGAIN! Doing this always gets me the same results.

I'm just tired of trying to make it work, alone.

I know what I SHOULD do. Forgive her, AGAIN. Pray for her, SOME MORE. I know what my mother expects from me.

But I can't keep putting my hopes of us being good sisters out there for her to crush. I can't!

May 21, 2006
5:36 pm
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"If nothing works, avoid the situation and when asked where you have been explain to them."

Thanks Smarterone.

Avoid the situation? I think that I hear what you're saying. Not that you could know this, but I do that to a fault, already.

I avoid AND regress AND escape to more comfortable or pleasant situations.

The problem in a nutshell is that I've spent so much time hiding from a certain type of personality that I now have no clue how to deal with it.

I don't (necessarily have to deal with it with my sister, right now) but the co-woker is not going any where for a while.

I refuse to be pushed around because it only gets you more of the same. The co-woker tried and she and I had something of a confrontation. She became intimidating, I became condesending. I'm not proud of this, but It shut her up just like it shuts my sister up.

Now we don't talk. But atleast she's not talking down to me.

I don't know which is best. I don't know why those seem to be the only two options for dealing with people like her (or people like me?).

Hence my delimma.

May 21, 2006
5:43 pm
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OMW,

Thanks for the encouragement.

I know there is some truth to what you say.

Though I'm not mature enough to recognize it or articulate it yet, there is a lesson here.

May 21, 2006
6:18 pm
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mamac,

Sorry to hear about your mom.

I'm glad that you and your sister are close now.

What you're saying doesn't sound morbid at all. It's something I thought about after my mom passed in 2005.

The sister and I were..."civil" after my mom's death. As usual, it was a short lived type of thing.

Part of the problem is that the line between sister and authority figure has always been blured with her.

She is 10 years my senior and helped to take care of me while my mom worked. I feel like she was an abusive, unfair tyrant of an older sister. She yelled, hit, smashed our stuff, violated our privacy and the list goes on.

I am willing to forgive her for a thousand old emotional wounds, yes. But the problem is she hasn't learned to relate to me as an adult. She still thinks that when she doesn't get her way with me that she can yell, threaten to smash my stuff and violate my privacy by getting in my face. This is her way. She does it to her adult children as well as my other sister. She did it to her husbands.

I'm tall and thin...a lover not a fighter.

She towers over me and outweights me. While I haven't had to physically defend myself from her since I was 17, there is always the sinking feeling that she might try to hurt me.

I guess that's not my biggest fear with her.

My biggest fear with her, I think, is her next big, stupid act of disregard and disrespect for me and the other members of our family.

May 21, 2006
6:49 pm
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Brynnie,

I really feel like you hear me on this.

My oldest sister is the ULTIMATE PEACE MAKER, just like our mother was.

She is all like, "Hold your peace, be the bigger person, you're the stronger one." Basically, she is asking me to suffer in silence the way she does. I've tried that. It doesn't work for me.

If I've learned anything from AAC it's that sometimes confronting is necessary for growth and improvement. My oldest sister just wants to appease her the way you mentioned above. EVERYONE DOES THAT and it makes me so crazy. I can't pretend that I don't see their point. She uses her size and and loud angry approach to intimidate people. For the most part, everyone just walks away from her because there is no reasoning with her sometimes.

I want her to see how her behavior is effecting everyone.

I think that part of the reason her reign of terror has lasted for so long is because no one is comfortable confronting her.

The good christian girl in me struggles with when to confront and how to confront and what would Jesus do to confront.

Thanks for caring about my health. As far a my work situation goes Brynnie, this is the best Job I've ever had. I love the work. I love the location. I'm earning more money than ever before. I'm home in the evenings to hang out with my kid. I can't let this co-woker chase me away from such a good thing.

As long as the co-woker doesn't physically harm me my physical and emotional health can take what ever she can dish out...and she can dish it out.

I have some experience ignoring people like her, thought I am open to learning a better way of relating to THEM...which is why I'm here.

I'm in it for the long haul.

Besides, why should I just walk away and make it easy for her try to bully and intimidate the next person who comes along?

May 21, 2006
9:09 pm
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I'm smart enough to know the situation with my co-woker gets its power from the unresolved situation with my siter. I just haven't figured out how to resolve it yet.

What are my options?

I have cut my sister out of my life before, but I think it's ineffective because she keeps comming back with a different face and name and agenda.

I can't let her manipulate or control me. I didn't spend my teens and adulthood fighting for my independence only to give it away to her.

There has to be some win/win way of relating to her. What is the option that I'm missing here?

May 21, 2006
11:21 pm
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Hi again Y & R,

I don't know that I have specific answers. I do know it is tantamount to take care of yourself.....sorry, but if this crazy manipulative sister is threatening you, maybe you have to get as thoroughly scary BACK at her to let her know you expect her to treat you with respect.

There are some sites out there that deal specifically with bullies. Even if they talk about bullies at the elementary-school level, some of the stuff is transferable to adult situations. Try a search for "bullying".

I think we want so much to avoid conflict we put up with nearly intolerable situations. And that is so stressful to the inner you.

I am curious as to what you may discover that you think you can use.

Please keep posting!

May 22, 2006
9:55 pm
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"I do know it is tantamount to take care of yourself.....sorry, but if this crazy manipulative sister is threatening you, maybe you have to get as thoroughly scary BACK at her to let her know you expect her to treat you with respect."

You are so right on this...

The sister and I had something of a show down when I was 17. I took some bangs and bruses, but I actually stood up to her. I met her level of...what ever the heck you'd call it. I can tell you that it did frighten her. I can also tell you that it did change our relationship to some degree. That was the last time she ever tried to physically muscle me around.

Now if the discussion gets really extreme, she might make a threat-but she never follows through with them. I guess something I said or did convinced her that if she tried to hurt me, she might not get a second opportunity. I'm not proud of that. It's not the legacy I want to leave behind. I'd never tell my son about it. But, I can say that even as a child, I did what I had to do to survive in that situation.

I think that I will check out the bully sites you mentioned. As well as some books on dealing with difficult people or win/win communication.

She is a human being, right? Like someone said above, she's not beyond hope or help, right?

Something's gotta work.

When I find out what that something is, I'm going to bottle it and SELL, SELL, SELL.

Keep sending me the prayers and posititive vibes you guys.

I really, REALLY, really appreciate them.

May 22, 2006
9:56 pm
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Love, Y&R

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