When you go visit family do you have a family member who mistreats you?

United States
December 2, 2011 6:00am CST
I left the place I lived in for many years and so I was gone away for four years. My sister wanted me to move closer to home. So recently I came back. My family came to pick up me and my son. It takes an hour or so to drive to my home town where my sister lives. So we were at my sisters the night before, the next day Thanksgiving until the next morning. At Thanksgiving dinner my sisters daughter, my niece, came over with her husband and her kids. She's never spoke to me since she was a child; I'm talking in over 20 years. My sister never corrected her to tell her to mind her manners. And still my sisters says nothing to her adult child. I even jokingly spoke to her. But she would never even say "hi" ever to me or my sons or ever have a conversation with me. I thought I was to the point it wouldn't bother me anymore. Yet I find myself waking up from sleep and starting to think about it. It still hurts; it still bothers me. I imagine saying something to my niece in front of everybody (the family) but I can also imagine it not turning out good and all of them siding with her. I told myself 5 years ago that I didn't want to go back over to my sisters place again. And now I wonder if I should ever go back there.
2 people like this
8 responses
@Dominique25 (9475)
• United States
2 Dec 11
It sounds like your niece has a lot of growing up to do. In fact you should ask her mom or her what her problem is. If your sister wants you to visit you should tell her that you don't feel comfortable visiting if her daughter is going treat you like your not even there. And you have to be honest with her. I wouldn't go through the trouble and pain of going over there if that is how I was being treated. Unless something was to change I wouldn't be going over there. But that is just me. You could save a lot of time, energy, and money by not going over there. You are basically paying and using your energy for someone to disrespect you. You deserve to be treated with respect and if she's not going to respect you I wouldn't be around her or my sister if she's not going to put her foot down about the situation. That's me thought. I hope that things will improve for you.
• United States
6 Dec 11
Bravo to you! I salute you for your kind words of wisdom. Wow, you really got it down pat right! That's how I feel; I feel like maybe I don't want to go back there just to be disrespected again. I feel disrespected by my niece and my older sister. Back in 2005 I told myself I was going to leave and never actually ever go back there to visit again. It's like going back someplace just to allow someone to step all over you and walk all over you again. Who wants to do that. (?) Thanks for saying I deserve to be treated with respect; thanks for every word you said. From all the years, all the times of being treated bad like that it really hurt me and I think did me emotional damage. I'd already had emotional damage done throughout my childhood. My sister either just doesn't care that much about me or maybe she's just one of those stupid people I hate to have to say.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Dec 11
I would definitely feel disrespected by my sister and niece if this was happening. You yourself have put forth effort to make things right by going back there after you had decided not to in 2005. So you have shown that you care about them and are trying to do the right thing by your family. But things haven't changed and you are being disrespected even after this last visit. If your sister wants to see you she should put forth effort to visit you where you live. You are welcome I just feel strongly about a person being respected and your niece is not showing you any kind of respect. No one likes to be disrespected and it's hard enough when it's just two people and you know your being disrespected. But to be around a small group of family members and to feel the tension and knowing that someone will not acknowledge you would feel very uncomfortable. And you don't have to put yourself through that kind of pain and embarrassment.
• United States
6 Dec 11
I am not understanding how it is the sister's business, though. I can understand when the niece was young expecting the sister to try to correct her, although that is not necessarily possible because you can't really force a child to talk with someone even if you do punish them for not talking. Still, that was years ago and is in the past, in my opinion. Besides, Thedataminer admitted to calling her niece a brat, and that might have hurt the sister's feelings as well as the niece's feelings, so the sister might not have wanted to get in the middle. Perhaps she was waiting for them to sort it out on their own. Now, everybody is all grown-up, so it definitely is not the sister's place to correct her daughter, in my opinion. I would not like it if my mother came to me and told me to change my attitude towards someone. I would expect that person to address me directly rather than through someone else if they did not like the way I was acting. I would tell my mother to stay out of it, and I would say that if the person does not like how I am, then they can talk with me about it rather than having someone else do it for them. If you want the niece to act like an adult and speak, then you also have to be an adult and address the situation personally, but again that is just my opinion.
@lumenmom (1996)
• United States
6 Dec 11
I can totally relate to your situation. I would have to PM the story due to prying eyes but let it suffice to say our overall relationship has not been the same in over two years and I now spend holidays like Thanksgiving at a neutral place (usually a community church dinner). The atmosphere is pleasant and no one hurts our feelings there.
• United States
25 Dec 11
Where my son and I lived at last year we went to this pretty good Community Christmas dinner. That went pretty well except for the rude lady who sit us to wait for the dinner to start. We didn't like that little city in VA much but I think if we could go back in time we would have preferred to stayed there a little longer instead of making another bad decision and coming back here (IL) to where I lived for over 30 years. I escaped this place for close on 4 years and can hardly believe I'm back here again. My sister talked me into coming back here; she said I should be closer to the family. Then she's treated me bad the way she speaks to me (tone) over the phone at least 3 times. Even in person she speaks to me that way more times then I care to count. I was so close to going a city I would have loved to move to. I feel I sacrificed my happiness for a family that really doesn't care (except for my 2 older brothers but I can't talk or relate to them much). Then to get shut out of Christmas by my sister. And my other brother I messaged on Facebook and that ended up disasterously. He said that I'm mentally ill (cause I suffer depression) and that he never wanted me around his family (his boys). He called me "a nut" and because I talked about my big sister and them, he said he disowns me. That was along with many other vile, mean ugly things he said to me just the other night on Facebook. I don't think I ever care to talk or see him again; I know I don't. I can't wait until me and my son can move and far away.
• United States
25 Dec 11
Thanks for your kind words lumenmom and thanks to you other mylot members also.
@lumenmom (1996)
• United States
26 Dec 11
It saddens me when I hear so many stories of how badly family treats each other and those hurt feelings are intensified during the holidays, especially Christmas. i made a conscious choice not to go around my family or my husband's family this year. I did it because I wanted me and my daughter (who is 9) to have a Christmas full of peace and love. I invited a very dear friend of mine and her family to join us at a local community dinner. I met them a couple of years ago as we were all experiencing homelessness and were staying in the same hotel. We bonded in such a beautiful way and most people think we are sisters because we share a lot of physical features but she's from Alabama and I am from Ohio. Every time I see her I just smile and she does the same with me. She has 2 teenagers who get along great with my daughter. After dinner we came back to my place and enjoyed the rest of the day. It was great. Sure I miss not seeing my sister, brother, their kids and other family members but I each year has left us with hurt feelings and them bragging about what they got when my daughter does not get much. Yesterday she got what they would think are small gifts but they were good gifts. The 2 teenagers did not get anything (both are families are still going through major hard financial times) but my daughter made little treat bags for them and shared her magnetic beads game (very addicting, they played with those for hours!) It was a warm happy atmosphere. I really feel bad for you that your family treats you so badly. It would have been nice for you to move somewhere else where you could meet new people and develop new relationships. I hope at some point you can get the chance to do it.
• United States
2 Dec 11
Do you have any idea why your niece will not talk to you? Did something happen like a misunderstanding or something that never got resolved? I think that you should try talking to her in private ... one on one ... to try to understand if you do not know what the issue is or to try to get the matter resolved if you do know what the problem might be.
• United States
6 Dec 11
I called her a brat - not directly to her face but I forget, maybe in a letter or maybe just vocal. Well truth be told she was a brat and she's still a brat. That's when it all started but actually from memory she didn't speak to me or my 2 boys even before I called her a brat. That's why I called her a brat. But in the more recent emails it was that particular issue it was something about that when she was a kid (maybe around 11) she overheard me talking with my sister (girl talk type stuff and boyfriend stuff) and she claims I talked about nasty things, however, I do not recall going into any disgusting details about certain things that happen between a man and a woman. Furthermore she says her father (my sisters 1st husband) stopped talking to me also since that time over the same thing. Now I recall her father saying explicit dirty types of things - kinds of things I would never say aloud to anybody. And I told her that back in her emails and I also asked her why she never spoke to my 2 boys either and what reason she had for that. She never emailed me back to answer any of it. And I also said I don't think I said any detailed dirty, nasty things because that's just never how I been but that if I did say something she didn't like then she could have told me and I could of made sure I never said anything like that again. But like I said she never replied back to my email. She's a very difficult person to approach. She's a very bossy, very confident type person whereas I'm a more introverted, less confident type of person. Nevertheless I'm also a warm, social and friendly type.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Dec 11
I can understand her being upset and hurt that you called her a brat, even if she was acting like one. However, that was a long time ago (or at least that is the impression that I get from what you have said), so she really should grow up and get over it. Perhaps you could apologize to her, if you have not already done so, for hurting her feelings. As for the other issue, I do not think it is any of her business and definitely not a reason to stop talking with you. It does not matter whether you did or did not talk about "nasty" stuff with your sister, because that is between you and your sister. I had a sister, and her and I talked about and shared things with each other that we would not share with anybody else - that is just how sisters are. She should not have been listening to your private conversation, and I would have told her that when she brought that up, although I realize that many people are not as direct as I am. Still, she should not be offended by something you said in confidence to your sister, especially since she was not supposed to be listening to the conversation.
• United States
25 Dec 11
Thanks for your kind words of wisdom. Well she may have forgotten I called her a brat. I probably did apologize but the thing is since she would never speak to me let alone have a conversation with me these past many, many years (20 +) I may not have directly gotten to say I was sorry; I would have gladly done so. I went to Thanksgiving and my niece spoke not 1 word to me as usual and as usual my sister said nothing to her about it. I don't care anymore. My sister did not invite me and my son back for Christmas. All my sister could do was grip that we didn't seem happy because we were a little bored and we both, especially my son, burnt our fingers on her instantly scalding hot water (in her bathroom sink). My son complained about it just a little because he was hurting. My sister makes a big deal out of little things. She didn't even say she was sorry to my son. We move miles and miles to come back here to be nearer to my family (my sisters suggestion) just to be treated badly and to be left out of Christmas. And me and my son are warm, very nice, easy to get along with, quiet friendly type people.
• China
3 Dec 11
Such things really makes people feel bad.I can understand. Maybe having a private chat with your niece,thne you can find what the problem is.
• United States
6 Dec 11
I come very close to hating her and people who've treated me in similar fashion. No, it's just way to late to try talking with her. It's best for me to just leave and basically divorce most of them. If you know what I mean. I want to be around intelligent, good people like myself. I don't care about fixing the problem anymore because I've been hurt to deeply. To me she's just one of the evil and stupid people in this world and "stupid can't be fixed"; I think Dr Phil says something like that. Oh he says "you can't fix stupid" and he's so right.
@lumenmom (1996)
• United States
26 Dec 11
I know how you feel here. I never thought I would be as distant with my sister as I am and I had hoped our children who are somewhat close in age would be close. Her youngest child which is a few months older then my daughter is a bully and has been the primary cause of problems between me and my sister. The next child likes my daughter a lot but has behavior problems and is easily influenced by her younger sister so the two of them tend to gang up on my daughter. Her two older children get along with daughter very well, but because of the younger ones I have to keep her away from them. Plus there are other issues that complicate the whole affair. There is really no way to repair this, as she is always going to side with her children and I am going to protect mine. I had went as long as 1 year without contact with them and that was long since we use to be together every day. Now our contact is maybe once or twice every few months. This seems to work best.
@wulania (1528)
• Indonesia
2 Dec 11
yeah, i live in different city of my parents and sometimes i visit them with my wife. i have sister and she is 5 years younger tham me. we have very bad communications since we were kids. we cant understand each others, ultimately we always argue and have debate anytime we meet.
• United States
6 Dec 11
Yeah I get what your saying; I can relate.
@cearn25 (3460)
• Philippines
2 Dec 11
My advice to you is you try to talk to your sister. This is the best time for reconciliation since it is Christmas. I know she is just waiting for you also to settle what is left unsettled when you left. Give chance for each other. Don't take your pride. Let love between you and your sister win over pride.
• United States
6 Dec 11
I tried to mention it in the past. Even in more recent years I tried to indirectly mention it. But for my own big sister not to notice what is happening is hard to believe. I fear if I try to talk about it to my older sister she will just get upset and angry at me. She will take offense because this is her only daughter we are talking about. The truth is she never corrected her daughters rude behavior and she still isn't to this day and it looks as though she never plans to. I get the impression that she gets a secret satisfaction from the way her daughter treats me and she gets a secret satisfaction that I'm hurt by it. I also talked about (or tried to) talk with my brother on facebook. He's a year older then me and it got back to my niece and I'm sure my sister also, however, my sister never mentioned it. I was hoping my brother would help me line (smooth) family problems out but he only thought of me as "not being nice". So he was not helpful in the least and it started arguments (Facebook messages) bet us and he ends up telling me again like he has in the past that I'm going to burn in hell for ever. So I don't talk to him in Facebook anymore. I meant for him to keep all I said private but he readily went and blabbed all things to my family.
@ardoy0731 (6865)
• Philippines
2 Dec 11
So far haven't experience any mistreat in my immediate relatives during gatherings.Everyone seems to nice to everyone and enjoying each others company.I hope this will continue and everyone will be happy.
• United States
6 Dec 11
This is the way it is suppose to be in families. I'm happy for you.
@tamirs (1808)
• Philippines
2 Dec 11
Why not talk to her alone..Sort things out.Ask her what the problem is.. Maybe there is a big reason why she is like that.Hear her thoughts and try to correct her if there is something you think is wrong..But do not force her to get to your side just like that.If it don't turn out right at least you have done your part.. And asking if you will still; go back there.There is no reason not to.Even if she hates you still,she is not the only person there to go to..Just try not to mind her when you are there..
• United States
6 Dec 11
She set up an email account several months back for my older sister. And she happened to respond to me in one of those emails. I think she emailed me about 3 times during which I was to find out the very un-valid and stupid reason she has had for not speaking to me for over 20 years since she was a child. No I just don't have the confidence, or the will power, at all to approach her alone about this. It does upset me that even after I'm away for close on 4 years that my older sister still says nothing about her rude behavior towards me. It makes me feel like running away again and that these people (my own family) really don't care that much about me. I've decided that I'm going to go move anywhere I want to move to as soon as I'm able to do that and even if it's very far away from my siblings and relatives.