I think the word is estranged.

@AmbiePam (49113)
United States
February 12, 2012 3:11pm CST
Well, I think my sister and are offically estranged. I think that's how you spell it. Anyway, a lot of you know the circumstances between us. My mom has dementia, and while I live nearby and help a lot, she lives three hours away with her husband. We are all glad she gets to live a happy life, and I've never been jealous of her. But I have resented her for not helping. My dad is stressed beyond words. He's only 56 and my mom is only 52, so he still has to work. I help when I can. She never comes up and spends time with him or gives him a break. She never calls me to check up on me even though she knows I'm having a hard time (I'm 30 and on disability.) Having to watch my parents suffer is unbelievably hard. When I try to call her to talk about it she's always grouchy and never wants to listen. She's been like that forever, and my parents never really believed she was mean to me until we were teenagers. Or hateful might be the right term. She and her husband do really well financially, and we're thrilled she does. My parents barely get by and I certainly couldn't help her financially if she needed it. So I'm glad that doesn't hang over her head. We all say she lives in her own world, and she does. The other day I e-mailed her about what was going on and told her how hard it was to watch them suffer, with no one else around who knew what it was like. It's not like I have a lot of family around to talk to, so naturally, I would talk to her. She e-mailed me back and things were not pretty. I was called a jerk, she said I acted like she owed me something, and on and on...I don't think she owes me anything. But I think she owes my parents. I think she owes my dad some help. She could come help or even have my mom come stay with her for while. But I never mentioned it. Anyway, she told me she couldn't let me treat her so bad anymore. I replied I felt that way about her. And I let her know I didn't think she was a good sister. I've never said that to her, but the vebal assault she laid on me broke me down. Anyway, I don't think we'll be speaking. She never called or e-mailed me anyway, so it won't be a big deal on her side. I did cry after we were done e-mailing. But I was relieved. I had been holding back for years. And it felt good to let her know how I felt. Don't think I don't realize the importance of family. I love that girl. I could tell you all the things I've done for her over the years and you would be amazed. You'd also be amazed at the things she has done to me. And I would be devastated if anything happened to her. But I guess enough was enough. I'm not going to back down. If there is going to be a relationship, she has to make the first move. And if she does, I'll be thrilled. And no matter what, I'm going to love her. I just can't live like that. What do you think?
9 people like this
22 responses
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
12 Feb 12
I think this discussion sounds like my oldest sister and myself. After 50 years of letting her push me around I let her have it......totally! We didn't talk to each other for a year! She did everything she could to leave me out of special occasions etc but the rest of the family including some of my cousins....set her straight....when our parents got sick she also didn't want to do a thing....and she is a nurse!!! She wouldn't even take her days of helping take care of my dad when he was dying!.....so I know how you are feeling...when this blows over things might be better for the both of you. After my sister and I made up we get along better then we ever did.....I told her that from now on whenever she pulled any crap on me I was going to expose her to the whole family.....funny thing happened.....she changed! Good luck honey. I know what you are going through!
3 people like this
@gabs8513 (48716)
• United Kingdom
12 Feb 12
Sweetie you did the right thing, you Mum and Dad cared for you both, was there when you where sick, went without to make sure you have what you need and your Sister should start remembering that and now be there for your Mum and Dad but she certainly does not sound like she is even considering it You stay strong Girl Yes I understand that you will always love her she is your Sister but there is a limit to what you can put with so well done to you Maybe one Day your Sister will realise and come to her senses I am sorry with what your Parents are going through, it must be so hard on all of you Big hugs
3 people like this
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
12 Feb 12
I'm sorry Ambie, you have told me a long time ago about how your sister is and though we can't pick our family, it's tough when there is a division. My sister and I are also not close. I called and left a Happy Birthday message on her phone, but she never returned my call to even let me know she got it, so she obviously no longer wants any contact, which is fine with me, because I have my spiritual sisters who i can talk to..:) If you like, I can be your spiritual sister as well..
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
12 Feb 12
Thank you!
2 people like this
• United States
13 Feb 12
You're welcome..
1 person likes this
@yanzalong (10151)
• Indonesia
13 Feb 12
I don't know what to say but I can feel how you felt about your sister. I don't see (from what you said) the reasons for her not being helpful to your parents and you. She might have been influenced by her husband (you didn't mention how her husband was) not to get mixed up with you and your parents. What I hope is that she will understand how important it is to have you and your parents.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
13 Feb 12
She's really blessed to have her husband. He's a great guy. He's suggested that they come up and help my dad, but she always shoots him down.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
12 Feb 12
I think you are being very nice to her - she's a self-centered person and one day its going to come back and bite her in the behind - does she have kids? If she does then they will probably not step up if something were to happen to her..
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
13 Feb 12
They are trying to have kids.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
13 Feb 12
I think that this can work out one of two ways. I think it might be a wake up call and after she thinks about it a bit, might actually change...BUT it does sound as though she is a bit self absorbed so it might actually mean the two of you will be estranged for some time. I am never one to advocate dismissing family easy because of the fact that many of my years has been without any but I am also not one to agree that just because they are family they should be allowed to push you around or take advantage of you either. I know this must be very hard for you and my thoughts are with you. Take care.
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
13 Feb 12
well things happen like that and about time you spouted back. SHe will make the first move might take awhile but she will get to wondering how things are going maybe!
2 people like this
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
13 Feb 12
I think it's for the best. I'm not really close with any of my family and have estranged myself from my brother. Personally, I don't believe people deserve love and respect just because they're related to you. I think even family has to earn love and respect from one another. Since she has no love or respect for you, then you should have none for her.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Feb 12
Your sister probably feels that you are trying to lay a guilt trip on her for NOT helping out and not watching them suffer. She lives in her own little world where they air doesn’t move. She doesn’t want you to disturb her little fantasy world. I’m glad you were honest and told her exactly how you felt about her. She may never want to be close to you now, but such is life. She wasn’t close anyway. I bet she will be the first one to cry crocodile tears when your mother or father passes… she will make a scene of the only one who loved her parents… hide and watch if I have her pegged.
2 people like this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
12 Feb 12
You summed it up perfectly when you talked about what you've done for her, and what she's done to you. You're making the correct decision to not back down. In the long run karma will take care of this, and you will have the pleasure of a clear conscious, while she may not. The bible teaches us that we reap what we sow, and surely she will, too.
2 people like this
@LadyMarissa (12161)
• United States
12 Feb 12
I think you can love someone without liking them!!! I'm sorry you & your sis have become estranged. I hope that with time that you work things out!!!
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
16 Feb 12
You dont know what may be going on in your sisters life. To be well off they must be working also. Maybe they dont have time or maybe her husband will not want your mom there. I see tht you live in the good ol USA. We have resourses you can contact to get asistance. There are programs that she can be cared for at home. Asistance that will pay for those services. Why dont you try calling them. Last year my mom fell ill and i live 1,000 miles from home. Our mom didnt raise us her mom, our grandma did. Our brother wouldnt have nothing to do with her. Didnt even visit the hospital when they didnt expect her to survive the weekend. I was actually surprized that my sister took her in. It wasnt a nice experience for either of them. She stay with my sister for about a year and improved to be allowed by her doc to get her own apt. Often i wished i was closer to be able to help out. But given the choice of moving back there to a place i hated all my life to a mom who didnt raise me and being where wanted to be where my kids and grandkids are, i will stay right here. Sorry birth mom and sis but i choose my kids and grandkids above all the rest of the family. And its not like i can afford to help them with $$$. Im barely getting along myself. When we went back to see her both times my daughter paid for everything. I had food stamps and bought some eatables to take along on the trip. That was the only way i could help her.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
17 Feb 12
My sister gives music lessons from house a couple times a day to keep from being bored, not because they need the money. My brother-in-law has a very good job at a bank. I live in the good 'ol USA, but they don't just give you care. She got disability, but that didn't even include prescription coverage. They will have a woman come in and babysit twice a week for a few hours, but that's all. She's not even allowed to bathe her, they don't even do that service. She's not elgible for any other health services. She's only 52, and even though she doesn't have the sense God gave a goose because of the dementia, she isn't eligible for a lot of programs that would normally come in and help out. If she were 15 years older she would be, but not right now. My dad has called around everywhere he can to find some help. But I'm basically all he's got.
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
17 Feb 12
Thats horrible. I suppose you two would not consider nursing home. Or if your parents can move in with you or you with them?
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
19 Feb 12
My mom's insurance doesn't cover a nursing home, and my dad doesn't want to put her there since she's only 52 and she knows who we all are. As for living with them, oh my word. If I value my sanity I cannot live with them. My mom, oh my. She will wake you up in the middle of the night to tell you she wants to go to sleep. She'll come into a room and just yell at you because she had some conversation in her head and is convinced I said something hateful. She walks in on people using the bathroom, and she constantly paces up and down the hall. Plus, my disability is tied to me living on my own, so it would be a sticky situation to change it. And I do have hope of meeting someone someday and it wouldn't work well if I were living with them. There are just no words to describe her behavior. I've never seen anything like it. Like, she can read, but has no idea how to even sign her own name anymore.
• United States
13 Feb 12
It's too bad that you and your sister aren't getting along right now. However, it sounds as though you are carrying over issues from your childhoods into your adult relationship. Just because you're siblings doesn't mean that you are necessarily best friends. Often, siblings aren't close. However, that doesn't mean that you should go through life being estranged from a sibling (unless there are issues with abuse or such). You have made your mother's illness a primary focus in your life. You keep trying to use your sister as a sympathetic ear, but she has her own life--one that doesn't revolve around your mother's illness. Your closest friends should be your "sympathetic ears"--not your sister, since the two of you have never been the best of friends. If you're constantly complaining to your sister about how hard things are, she's going to develop fatigue from hearing about it and simply shut you out--which is what she has done. While your sister should be involved in helping with your mother, it is quite likely that she feels you're pressuring her to drop everything and make your mother the focus of her world. Does that mean that she's in the right? No. However, what I am saying is that there are years of sibling issues going into this. Give it a bit of time. If she doesn't contact you within the next few weeks, make the move and hold out the olive branch. However, when you do, don't mention your mother or stress of dealing with her; contact your sister and be very casual. Ask how she and her family are doing. Also, you may want to find a caregivers' support group with which you can get involved. You need to have the support of others--support you're unlikely to ever get from your sister. Even if she were more supportive, a support group would still be a good idea.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
13 Feb 12
I can understand what you're saying, but I guess it is hard to convey all the complexities of our relationship in one post. I have not complained to my sister about my parents. I never do. Because she doesn't like to hear about it. Not from my dad or grandmother. The e-mail I sent her was the first time I complained even a little bit to her. When I talk to her usually, it's all about her. I don't bring myself up because I've learned not to. The thing about being on disability is that when you spend 10 years in and out of hospitals, those friends you counted on dwindle. And all you are left with is family. So my closest friends as you mention, are not around. People on the internet are all I have. And since none of them are in my life up close and personal, there are only so many people who can understand. I should be able to talk to my sister in one e-mail about this, but I can't. Our entire family walks on egg shells around her because it is so easy to tick her off.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Feb 12
There should be a support group in your area. I would recommend turning to it. You need more support than what you currently have. Sibling relationships are complex. Your sister sounds like she still has some maturing to do. However, it may be that things are just too much for her to handle--starting with your years of problems combined with your mother's health issues--and her method of handling things is to be angry, defensive and even self-centered. Seek out the support that you need. Don't let your sister stress you out, but also don't be too quick to completely write her off. She may mature into a decent human being one of these days.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
13 Feb 12
I've thought about a support group. Sometimes I'm just incredibly shy. I mean sometimes I can walk in a room without knowing anyone and be fine. Other times I can't. I think it's because I'm bipolar (heavy on the depressive side, not the manic).
@RitterSport (2452)
• Lippstadt, Germany
18 Feb 12
Dear Ambie I wish I was closer to you and could do more than just type away right now. Want to back you up on your courage to tell her what you think. I have read quite a bit by now about how she treated you, even being so heartless to tell your Dad he should not bring you along on her bday. And I fully agree with you. It would not hurt her the smallest bit to at least listen to you as her younger sister who is taking the load on her shoulders. Sometimes I ask myself whether she has any conscience at all. I mean I could not use my surplus for whatever if I know my own sister is on disability. Hope it didnt backfire at you (I reckon she is very quick in complaining to your dad about you........) Hugs
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
19 Feb 12
I'm kind of afraid to ask my dad if she said anything. He would not say anything to tell me if she complained unless I asked him. So I kind of went on how he treated me in the days following my e-mails with her. He was just as genial and just as nice, so I assumed if she did say something, it wasn't anything to change his opinion about how I handle myself.
• Lippstadt, Germany
19 Feb 12
hi dear Ambie yes you are right if your Dad doesnt mention any thing she has not managed to turn your own dad against you.
@GardenGerty (99419)
• United States
14 Feb 12
Sometimes when you are in a situation, like you are now, eventually it frees you up to be truthful with yourself and others. You do not have to earn her love, and if she wants to be part of your family she needs to act like it. Sometimes friends are more family than family is and we just cannot help it. We love them anyway, and that love lets them hurt us over and over again. I think you have reached your limit.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
17 Feb 12
Heather, all the support I have is from you guys. I call my grandmother, but even she can stand so much. I don't think I have ever felt so alone in my entire life.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (99419)
• United States
17 Feb 12
You know, I am really sorry that this is going on in your family. It was bad enough before your mom began deteriorating, and now, I am sure it is even more hurtful. You just keep being true to yourself and who you are.
1 person likes this
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
13 Feb 12
OH Ambie, dear Ambie...I just wish your life was simpler, I really do! It always amazes me that children of TWO people, can have such different demeanors...different personalities, after all they were raised in the same environment...but some , like your sister walk thru this world, with the attitude of total entitlement. I don't think she will change, Ambie...and I know you are feeling badly for finally standing up for you---but the time had to come! You can be the only ANCHOR for so long...before something gives! I just hope, somehow, that she will come to her senses, and realize she needs to share this burden, AND I pray for strength for you, to see this thru! LUV & HUGZ!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
13 Feb 12
Thank you. It's a hard concept for me to grasp, but I guess we are not going to be close friends. I've wanted it for so long. I just thought having a sister is such a great chance to have a best friend. And my family kept saying as we got older she'd want to be friends. But she never did.
1 person likes this
• Canada
13 Feb 12
I pray...Ambie, that you DO NOT carry this, as your burden..it almost seems like she is disconnected..unplugged, and has been for some time! You have been the trooper, the glue that is holding your family together..and I am truly sorry...this is YOUR single burden, what a load, and that, dearheart is what your other family here at myLot is for; when the burden is too heavy, let us share!
2 people like this
@LittleMel (14055)
• Canada
15 Feb 12
she probably has resentment towards your parents I feel that she has none towards you, but because you brought the issue of your parents needing help, then she was upset anyway I hope she realizes that family is family and give the family some help
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
17 Feb 12
I don't think she has resentment towards my parents. Towards me, totally. But she idolizes my dad, and was always wanting to be around my mom before she got the dementia. But she totally resents me.
1 person likes this
@mariamac (145)
• India
13 Feb 12
I understand what you may be going through as a daughter to your parents and as a sister. I guess all fingers are not same. Each one's way of expressing may be different. I know she has been rude to you but i think your sister has been hurt by you or your parents unknowingly and that is making her treat you like this. I am not sure again, but as you have said at the end that she too has done a lot of good things to you and you to her so you both had shared that sisterly love. So try to find why she is keeping herself away from you guys, you will surely get an answer. If nothing of that sort then i guess, give her space, if she wants to be left alone, be it so, and pray that she realizes her mistake and comes back to the family. I am sure she will come back after all you are family.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
13 Feb 12
We haven't hurt her. My parents have been so good to her. She's just always been like this, since she was a kid. She still calls my dad to talk to him. And on the rare occasion she visits they get along famously. She's just never taken to me, and when it comes to our parents, she prefers to forget their problems as soon as she leaves their presence.
1 person likes this
@MandaLee (3726)
• United States
12 Feb 12
Hi AmbiePam, Forgive your sister for her behavior and love her. That is the best thing that you could ever do. I will keep you in my prayers.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
12 Feb 12
I have forgiven her. Every time she does something. Whether she asks for it or not.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21029)
13 Feb 12
Hi AmbiePam, It seems that your sister lives in a different world to the rest of the family and cannot seem to relate at all to any of you nedding support whether practical or financial, as you live so close and are so close to your parents she has just left it all on your shoulders. I feel for you. It is a shame when families fall out. Is there anyone else that can perhaps step in and help your dad from time to time, in the UK we have carers who pop in daily but the state provides it we do not have to pay for it so perhaps something along these lines may be available for your mum and also for you if you are on disability. Love and huggles. Ellie :: x
1 person likes this