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Dear Wendy

How do I move on from wanting a relationship with my sister that I can never get

Home Forums Advice & Chat How do I move on from wanting a relationship with my sister that I can never get

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 15 total)
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  • #1116798 Reply
    Chxrry
    Guest

    This is more of a story than an ask for advice but I felt like the situation needed context. My main question is at the very end. I know this may sound strange. But I genuinely feel like I’ve been mourning. I have lost my relationship with my sister, or maybe it was never there in the first place and my perception of it has just changed. But I don’t know how to deal with it.

    My sister never really treated me very well and I never understood why. We never fight or argue, I genuinely cannot name a single time that we have had a serious argument, or any argument that lasted longer than a minute at all. She tells me to shut up every time I speak (I’m not exaggerating. It’s a rare occasion for her to want to talk to me. If she doesn’t tell me to shut up she will completely ignore me and act like I’m not even there) She’s also said horrible things about me behind my back on several occasions. Like things I wouldn’t even say about someone I despise. She hates everything I enjoy, almost as if it’s on purpose. She criticizes me so much to the point where it has made me extremely subconscious and has affected my social skills.

    We’re both very different. I grew up obese. She grew up with a perfect body. Two different worlds, but she had more health issues than I did and she still does. I struggled to make friends and she was the first person you noticed in a crowded room. My parents abused me a lot and she never received any of that despite us being only 2 years apart. I genuinely think a lot of the differences in the way we were treated had to do with the way we looked, as ridiculous as it sounds. Due to that my mom and I’s relationship is very surface level but they’re very close. She also played a role in raising our younger sister too and they have a very good relationship (I’m 22, sister is 19 other sister is 13). I could not raise her due to the abuse.

    On the other end of it, I have overcome heavy mental battles in a short period of time, and she’s still struggling and doesn’t want to change. I have always known what I wanted to do in life and knew who I was and have always been pretty confident. I go to an accredited school and she attends university with kids that barely made it out of high school. I don’t know what that has to do with anything but she brings it up a lot, to me college is college. She’s now in college with no direction at all, everyone jokes about how she is going to become a trophy wife. I have been working nonstop & full time since I was 16, she just got her first job a few months ago.

    I’ve always said if I wasn’t going to have the relationship I dreamt of with my mom I would hope she would get to have it. Same thing with my other siblings. I genuinely have never had any jealousy towards her. I don’t know why she would have any towards me, but I’ve thought maybe it’s been projection because of what I mentioned in the previous part.

    I’m moving out soon. We have shared a room for 19 years. I don’t expect her to reach out to me unless she needs something when I move out. And that breaks my heart. I truly believe she doesn’t want me to be a part of her life and I wish I knew why. I’ve tried talking to her, have tried inviting her to things, even things like traveling where I have offered to pay for everything just so we could spend time together. She doesn’t want anything to do with me. I wish she would allow me to be a part of her life. It has been a beautiful thing watching her grow. I want to be there for her. I can’t tell you how much this pains me. I genuinely don’t think I will ever experience heartbreak from a romantic relationship because of how much heartbreak this has caused me. I cannot look at pictures from our childhood without sobbing.

    I have been able to move on from my relationship with my mother because I stopped wanting her validation and I stopped wanting something she couldn’t give me. I was struggling with it for almost a decade and haven’t came to this conclusion until recently. Why do I struggle to see this with my sister?

    If she doesn’t want me in her life I can’t change that, but I will always be rooting for her and will be supporting her from afar. I will always want the best for her, I pray for her everyday. I wish I had the balls to go no contact and I really wish I was cold hearted but I physically can’t. I will always adore my baby sister and I wish things were different. Maybe they will be in the future, but I don’t have a lot of hope. How do I accept this and move on? It’s something I struggle with on daily basis, it comes in waves and it genuinely feels like grief.

    #1116815 Reply
    Avatar photoCopa
    Participant

    It feels like grief because it is grief. I think you’d probably want to find a therapist to move through this since it sounds like you have quite a bit more to unpack than just your relationship with your sister. I did wonder, reading this, if the reason for your sister’s cruelty toward you is a behavior she learned by watching your parents abuse you. Either way, I’m sorry for how she and your family treat you. It’s not okay. Therapy was really the only thing that helped me when I was dealing with my own family issues.

    I don’t think it sounds ridiculous that your mom may have treated you differently due to your appearance. That does happen. Two cousins on my mom’s side (which has a lot of racial diversity) went through that with their mom. My aunt treated her light skinned thin daughter differently/better than her other daughter, who was darker and heavier. I was too young to remember, but my mom does and said it was obvious and disgusting.

    Lastly, I will add that I know many women who did not get along with their sisters until they were adults living on their own. I am one of them. The relationship you have now may not be the one you always have.

    #1116819 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    Yeah, definitely therapy. It is grief. You’re grieving a relationship you won’t ever have. You have a sister, but not the sister relationship you wish you had. And that is not her fault, but if you are struggling to accept that you should look for a therapist to help you through it.

    #1116820 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    Maybe your relationship will get better with you moving out. Space is good for a lot of people, especially siblings.

    #1116821 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    I wouldn’t count on your relationship changing after you move. For whatever reason, your sister doesn’t want a sisterly relationship with you. It sucks for you, but forcing her to have a relationship she doesn’t want isn’t advisable either.

    There is a comfort in family but family doesn’t have to be limited to shared DNA. Build a new family of people who love you and want you around.

    The best thing you can do for yourself (aside from therapy) is to live well.

    #1116822 Reply
    Chxrry
    Guest

    I’ve come to the conclusion that she doesn’t want a relationship with me because of how much my parents have demonized me. She’s even said herself they’re very manipulative, I don’t really understand how she’s so aware of it but doesn’t do anything about it. I have changed everything about myself through therapy (since I was 14, I’m 22 now) and it will never be enough for them. They have had me fully convinced that I’m sick but I’m not. I know I’m not, my therapist knows I’m not, my psychiatrist even knows I’m not, and so do my peers. It definitely bothers me and hits me very hard sometimes and it’s affected the way I view relationships but I need to move on with my life. I can’t even put into words how horrible my family makes me feel. I physically feel sick. I don’t want to live like this forever. I will always carry it with me but I want to learn how to move on. I would hope that I have a whole life ahead of me, what I mentioned in the original post isn’t even a fraction of what they have put me through.

    #1116823 Reply
    Chxrry
    Guest

    I can’t really count on this. I’ve thought about it and I used to excuse her behavior as maybe a result of our bad home environment but I can’t do that anymore. I pray and hope that I never have or ever will treat anyone that I love the way that she treats me. I also would be moving to somewhere 500+ miles from home so I don’t think we will keep in touch. I just want to learn how to move on and just deal with this pain. Most days I’m ok but when it hits me it hits me so hard sometimes.

    #1116824 Reply
    Chxrry
    Guest

    I’ve been in therapy for over 8 years now. I’m the only one in my family that has gone. Don’t be sorry, it’s not ok but it is out of my control. I have changed everything about me over the years through therapy in hopes of becoming someone they will treat better but that never happened. Because I’m moving out soon I really want to move on and build a good life for myself. I have too much trauma this is not another thing I want to add to my list. Most days I’m ok and I understand a relationship with her is not meant for me but on the days where it hits me it hits me very hard.

    #1116825 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    “I’ve been in therapy for over 8 years now. I’m the only one in my family that has gone. Don’t be sorry, it’s not ok but it is out of my control. I have changed everything about me over the years through therapy in hopes of becoming someone they will treat better but that never happened.”

    This is the root of your part of the problem. You need to be happy with yourself. Therapy can help with that and can help you to be the best version of yourself. It is a misuse of therapy to use it to change everything about yourself in hopes of becoming someone they will like and treat better. If you do that, you erase your true self. Anonymous is correct that you feel grief and your therapist should help with that.

    I think it is great that you are moving 500 miles from home. That will force you to get a different therapist, since your current therapist sounds awfully iffy: s/he should not be facilitating your total personality remake to satisfy your dysfunctional mother. That induces dependence and loss of individuality. They should be guiding you toward independence, self-respect, and resolution of your grief.

    You may have a better relationship with your sister, once she is away from your mother and your mother’s superficiality. The discussion of your sister’s future as a trophy wife is as bad as your family’s treatment of you. The lot of a trophy wife is often not a happy one. That is another way to surrender your true personality and interests.

    You seem well on the way to establishing your independence. Time out from your family can be a plus for you. Try to enjoy it rather than grieving it. Find some close friends in your new locale. ‘The family you choose’ is an apt description of a possible future for you.

    So, I understand the need for a therapist. Why are you seeing a psychiatrist and was this of your volition or your parents’ choice.

    #1116826 Reply
    Chxrry
    Guest

    Yes I am working on that. What has been helping me move forward is rediscovering myself, I have been trying to find and do things that fulfilled me as a child but as an adult. I was always very into art since a young age and that has now manifested in other areas. I am able to appreciate art in a different light. Ever since I started doing that and stopped trying to become someone I’m not for them it’s helped a lot.

    Yeah I don’t love my current therapist, but she’s alright. She emphasizes that I should be trying to figure out why they feel the way they do but I have for almost a decade and there genuinely isn’t much I could do on my end anymore. She has said I’m a completely different person than I was when she first started working with me (I switched to her 3 years ago). I do believe I’ve changed, not to toot my own horn but sometimes I don’t understand how I was able to work through so much in such a short amount of time. But I don’t think my family has seen that.

    Also I’m working with a psychiatrist because I have adhd but I also thought I had anxiety and depression. I am diagnosed with anxiety, but it’s really only ever triggered around my family. I don’t struggle with it in other areas of my life.

    I am just very tired of grieving. I am ok a lot of the time but there are moments where it feels very heavy, like to the point where it completely shuts me down sometimes.

    And yes building a life for myself is very important for me. As I’m getting older I’m realizing that my adult life will be much longer than my childhood and adolescence and I will get to decide who I want around me. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to save some money post grad and spend time with my parents (I have tried to hate them for what they’ve done to me but I don’t have it in me) but that’s not in the cards for me and I’m ok with that. I want to build better habits and better coping mechanisms so my trauma doesn’t affect my future relationships, romantic or not.

    #1116828 Reply
    Chxrry
    Guest

    I’ve also worked so hard in trying to love who I am these past few years. Because of the lack of love around me if I hadn’t learned to love myself I would not be here today. My love and compassion for myself saved my life. So there are positives to this situation, I have also learned to love and appreciate the smaller things in life. If I had never done this I would have gone insane.

    I am trying to make do with what I have at the moment, I graduate a year from now (I’m a commuter I never left for college) and live in the most expensive area in the country so moving out now isn’t an option. But I have 2 cities in mind post grad, one of them is out of the country. You have no idea how long I’ve been yearning for this and it’s finally happening. That’s why I want to focus on becoming healthier mentally before I have to face the real world on my own.

    #1116829 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    Could you explain more about how you’ve changed everything about yourself through eight years of therapy?

    And your therapist sounds full of shit and totally toxic. She doesn’t honestly sound very good if she’s encore you to continue down the endless rabbit hole of wondering why your parents are only horrible to you.

    Get a new therapist.

    Your sister has grown up in the environment, too. If you want to be angry, be angry at your parents. Your sister is also a product of her environment.

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