I can't stop really resenting my invisible sister and her great life

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by grouse, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. grouse

    grouse Registered User

    Nov 11, 2013
    86
    mum died 3 years ago and I still feel like this

    my sister was invisible when mum was alive, when everything needed done...mum sort of accepted it, I think, but I struggled with it always and any time I brought it up I was shushed down like a naughty child

    I cared for mum when my own kids were still in primary school and boy was it hard, I was completely torn down the middle, but there was no one else so I had to do it, I loved my mum and wouldnt have done otherwise

    meanwhile my much older sibling was on holiday 4 times a year, her kids were grown up and she spent her time suiting herself, she had a good job as mum babysat for her when her kids were young so she could climb the career ladder ( I had to give up work to care for mum and now earn minimum wage).

    then mum died and it destroyed me. my sister didnt grieve, she carried on with her great life...then she had grandkids and now is surrounded by grandkids and is retired and living a full and happy life. Everyone said she would be consumed by guilt over leaving it all to me, for years and years, but nothing is further from the truth. I cleared mums house and settled all her bills, there was no inheritance. The one time I spoke to her she was amazed I was still missing mum.

    I was left to grieve alone, she never once asked how I was, her life is too full and exciting to bother asking how her younger sister who did all mums care is.

    I'm so very very resentful. I think karma is a load of rubbish.

    Please can anyone who has been in this situation tell me how to overcome these feelings, they hurt no one but myself. There is no use talking to my sister, she acts like I'm making a fuss over nothing and being pathetic.

    God I wish I'd been an only child.
     
  2. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    840
    Fife Scotland
    :eek: I am so so sorry to read your story, I just want to cry myself. All I can do is give a hugg if you will accept
     
  3. grouse

    grouse Registered User

    Nov 11, 2013
    86
    thank you, I can always use a hug xx
     
  4. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi Grouse,

    I really feel for you. But I think your last sentence says it all. In practice, you WERE an only child. Your sister was and is a sister in name only. Sadly we can't choose our relatives, and you have been unlucky in the sister you ended up with. What you say, especially that part about her being amazed that you are "still" grieving for your mum, speaks volumes. Your sister is clearly a cold individual without sympathy or empathy. Those people never feel any guilt and would be surprised if they learned you expected her to feel any. Other people are just there for her convenience. They are objects in her life rather than people.

    However, you can feel great comfort in knowing how much you did for your mum. Your mum also seems to have known that your sister was a lost cause - she maybe shushed you because she knew it was pointless talking about it and she probably relied so much on you because she knew that you were the one who cared and was the one she could rely on. I am sure deep down it must have been upsetting for your mum to have such an uncaring eldest daughter, but she had your love to make up for that. Try to concentrate more on your great relationship that you had with your mum and those nice memories.

    As for your sister, do you need to keep in touch with her? Is there any reason too? It might make you feel better if you just quietly drift away from her and try to concentrate on the other, nice people in your life.

    But saying that, I know how hard it is to stop obsessing on negative things and people - I'm like that myself.

    Keep posting on TP about how you feel. People will always listen and try to help.

    Take care,

    LS
     
  5. elaina

    elaina Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    41
    Somerset
    Goodness relationships are difficult.
    I was really struck by your sentence saying about wishing you had been an only child. I have spent the last 4 days saying I wish I wasn't - having just lost my dad and feeling so alone in my grief. Seems I am wrong - you can obviously feel just as alone with siblings.
    From what you have written, it is clear that you are capable of real love and your sister isn't. In my books that would make you the better person here. If she is incapable of real love, she may end up very lonely as life goes on. You, I suspect, will be surrounded by love.
    So difficult for you .

    Be true to yourself

    Elaina x
     
  6. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    Go to your Gp and ask for a referral to a counsellor. Resentment is not something that is easy to get rid of on your own. It is highly destructive.
    I know because I have had it too and I feel so much better now that I am working my way out of it. No one else has changed and neither have the things that happened, just me.
    There may be a long wait for counselling but see if you can get on the list, it's worth it.
     
  7. piedwarbler

    piedwarbler Registered User

    Aug 3, 2010
    7,188
    Female
    South Ribble
    I can't really add anything to what everyone else has said, apart from to say I really sympathise, and can understand where you are coming from. It is very easy to say let go of negative feelings, but I know I dwell on things myself, and would find that very hard to do. I have tried to come to terms with similar situations by distracting myself when I catch myself dwelling on those type of thoughts, and finding something else to think about. Or, you might try to set yourself a time when you will allow yourself to think about your sister, say, once a week at 5 til 5.30 pm. If you catch yourself thinking resentful thoughts, try and say, "I will think about that another day" and postpone it.

    Also, have you tried writing down all your resentful thoughts and pouring it all out on paper? A very wise nurse once told me to do that. I scoffed inwardly, but went home and gave it a go, and was surprised to find that it did help a bit, and I think I did offload some negative feelings that way. I still have what I wrote, I put it all in a box in the loft! Mentally, and physically! Maybe just writing it down here on TP will have helped a little.

    I don't know if any of that is any help at all, I really just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you. Sorry if it wasn't the right thing to say, or didn't help at all x
     
  8. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    346
    Essex
    Exactly what I was going to suggest - write your sister a letter, get EVERYTHING that you have been stewing about down on paper.

    And don't send it to her. (Because you are doing it for YOU, not for her.


    I was lucky enough to visit Bangkok some years ago, was taking a walk along the Chao Phraya River and saw crowds of people with beautiful flower arrangements setting them afloat on the river. One of the locals told me I was watching the Loi Krathong Festival. According to Wikipedia the flowers are sent off with a wish, however I was told by this lady that people send their negative feelings off with the floating flowers so that they are no longer burdened by them.

    A few years later I was getting over a really horrible break up and took myself off for a walk by a river near me. I was so ANGRY and resentful at the way I'd been treated! Thinking of Loi Krathong I picked some wild flowers, twisted them together with some grasses, told them why I was so furious and how unfair it all was and set them on the water. I'm not saying all was lovely and fluffy afterwards but I did feel calmer. Done it a few times since and I always feel a bit better afterwards.

    You will always have the knowledge that you were there for your Mum through everything. A mother's love is unconditional (hence she forgave your sister's failings) and your love for her was unconditional too. As for your sister, there is something missing there. A lack of compassion and humanity. No amount of exotic holidays, high powered jobs and flashy cars will compensate for that and I wouldn't bother having her in my life if I were you, she's proved she's not worthy of your time.
     
  9. piedwarbler

    piedwarbler Registered User

    Aug 3, 2010
    7,188
    Female
    South Ribble
    What a lovely idea, Suzanna. :)
     
  10. grouse

    grouse Registered User

    Nov 11, 2013
    86
    Thank you so much for these replies, I was secretly worried someone might come on and tell me off for not saying how wonderful my sister is, years of her telling us how great her life is has made me feel almost ashamed for feeling like it isnt so great, like I shouldnt feel like that. I think it's because she is so much older than me and she always automatically assumes she is right about everything, its hard to say "no, you aren't".

    I could understand how she wasn't as close to mum as I was, she lives far away from us, that's natural, but her lack of feeling when mum died will always shock me. She told me there was nothing in mums house that meant anything to her and once I'd finally cleared mums house and given the landlord the key back, she never once asked how I'd got on. And as a lot of you will know, clearing the family home alone, is almost impossible, its heartbreaking.

    Its just hard to get it, I somehow expect a sibling to sort of have a bit of feelings for you.

    The hard thing is, I could have done with a sister when I was caring for mum and I still would love a sister. I have no female relatives now mum has gone, our family was small and I'm the only one left. Sister has daughters, mum in law, daughters in law..I have none of them. I know she basically doesn't need me and she never did, but I need her. That's the worst of it.
     
  11. elaina

    elaina Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    41
    Somerset
    My heart aches for you.
    As I said in my last post my father died just a few days ago and I am an only child. My mother is still alive but I have lots of negative thoughts towards her which is not good in the situation we both find ourselves in.
    I wasn't always there for my dad as I live a distance away but I loved him and I am sure he knew that. It sounds like your sister just has a missing link.
    I don't know how old your children are, but try and seek your solace in them. For me as an only child friendships are hugely important but I have to admit that at the moment it isn't helping me - a sibling to be there would be fantastic so I can understand what you mean.

    x
     
  12. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,851
    Female
    Scotland
    Standing on the outside looking in makes other people's lives enviable. Maybe she does have a great life - who knows? You dont know what her future will be. She might be the next one to get dementia.

    Maddening though it is I would strongly advise you to get on with your life and forget your sisters apparent luck. You are wasting your own precious life thinking about it.
     
  13. grouse

    grouse Registered User

    Nov 11, 2013
    86
    I do get on with my life marionq. But this eats away at me every so often and I just wish it would go away.
     
  14. grouse

    grouse Registered User

    Nov 11, 2013
    86
    Elaina, I'm really sorry for the loss of your dad xx
     
  15. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Grouse, How much older is your sister than you and do you have any other siblings?

    LS
     
  16. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    346
    Essex
    Good point. And maybe she is scared of that possibility and so distanced herself from Grouse and her mother because that way she didn't have to confront her fears by seeing that reality.

    Or maybe she's just a cold hard wotsit.
     
  17. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,781
    Salford
    Hi Grouse
    I'm sorry to hear your sad tale, I had a very similar experience with 2 invisible brothers when I had my mother living (at my expense) with me for her last couple of years.
    I'm now in a similar position with my wife having AZ and so far this year one of our children has visited twice and the other 2 have visited once, I know that they live a fair distance away and have busy lives, but that busy?
    Since Christmas I've been to the pub once, no one invites us any more and could count on the fingers the number of conversations I've had that lasted longer than 10 minutes.
    You could say I have a lot to be bitter about and I have had a moan on here in the past, but the reason I'm not bitter about it is I know if you go down that road it only goes one way, a spiral of decline that gets harder and harder to break.
    You no doubt seen people who end a relationship badly and how a person can become so bitter and twisted and obsessed with their hatred of the other person, it's the same thing here.
    You do just have to put it behind you, turn your head round and look to the future and not back at the past. You've been a saint and she's been a sinner but don't ruin your life over it, what's done is done and I say that as someone who has already been there and still living being the one left picking up all the pieces.
    Get help if you need to there's no shame in how you feel but however you do it move on before it destroys you.
    K
     
  18. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    This struck such a chord with me. I had an invisible brother, who is 4 years my senior who has always been a selfish s*d, but really came into his own when my Dad died - 30 years ago. My Mum was of the generation that left lots of things "to your Father", whilst she did the housewife-ish things. Mum was completely compos mentis, but very frail.

    My brother did as little as possible to help, and when she became worse, and broke her hip on several occasions, he ignored her, not visiting her in hospital, and leaving me to have the discussions about the future with her. I sold her house and used the proceeds for her to go into a lovely Care Home. She was there for 7 years and in 1996, when she died, the fees were £1750 a month then.

    My brother bitterly resented every penny spent, and visited her about 3 times a year, though he passed the Home twice a day, whilst going to work. I took a teaching job in the vicinity, so that I could visit daily, but although I loved my Mum dearly, and she loved me, she always held my brother high on a pedestal.

    But when he ceased to visit and she began worrying because her funds were dwindling, and she told me he'd rather see her sleeping in a field, than spending "his inheritance" - I was shocked. For years I'd resented the way he was The Chosen One, but when she finally saw him for what he was, I felt sad that her rose-coloured spectacles had been whipped away. :(

    When she was dying, I was awaiting a gal bladder operation, and laid on the floor of the hospital for hours, holding her hand, until my husband insisted we went home. When we reached home, he phoned the hospital and the nurse thought he said he was my Mum's son, instead of son-in-law, and asked, very tartly why he was phoning.

    John was confused and replied that he'd been with me, and Mum, half an hour before and the nurse apologised for her mistake and said "when he was here yesterday, we asked if we should phone him when there was a change in his Mum and he said he only wanted to be phoned when she was dead". :eek::eek:

    Mum died the following day, and when my brother phoned us his first words were "how much money did she leave"? :mad::mad::mad: I've never seen him since the funeral, 19 years ago, (he refused to sign the form at the undertakers, keeping his arms tightly folded) and I'm sure he thinks he was a wonderful son, but there's just no mileage in hating him any more. And believe me, I did. And I typed a 4 sided A4 letter to him, telling him exactly what I thought of him. And then I tore it up.

    I don't know if he's alive or dead, and it really is a case that just because you emerged from the same womb, it doesn't mean you share anything else. Your sister may well resent your kind and caring nature and knows that she failed miserably, and it's best to accept things for what they are.

    You can look in the mirror and know that you did your best, your very best, and nobody can ask more than that. :)
     
  19. exhausted 2015

    exhausted 2015 Registered User

    Jul 5, 2015
    624
    Female
    stoke on trent
    Hello.. Haven't really got any suggestions just offering a little support as I am currently in the same situation I to have a brother and sister who do very little to help my dad it is left to me the youngest.. The only consolation that I can take is that when dad does leave us I won't have anything to feel guilty about as I am knocking myself out with 24 hour care.. Can you take some comfort from remembering how much you did for your mum and that you were always there for her
    Hope this helps a little
    Take care xx
     
  20. piedwarbler

    piedwarbler Registered User

    Aug 3, 2010
    7,188
    Female
    South Ribble
    Plus, you know, your sister's life might not be quite as ticketty-boo as she makes it out to be... Some people appear to be fantastically happy -- and in reality, it is all a show. I remember thinking these two friends at uni had the perfect relationship, and then they split up, and the girl told me they had rowed constantly. Later in life, I had a friend, who was married to a man who was lovely (I thought) - he bought her amazing pieces of jewellery, and I was envious - then she left him, telling me he had controlled her since their wedding day. People's lives are seldom what they appear to be. I'm hazarding a guess that the people who make the best show of being super happy aren't always as blissfully content as they appear to be.

    She certainly hasn't given you any thought, so I wouldn't worry about her. I know you need a sister but a good friend will do the trick... maybe you could think about meeting new people and maybe you will click with someone who will reciprocate your own kindness and generous spirit - which you clearly have loads of! :)

    xx
     

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