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    Question about sister
    Anon_11642 posted:
    Hi - just a question here - I do appreciate your responses below and will follow them and some good advice too.

    One thing I want to mention is the last time my sister called she was eating out with friends and going to go to some ballgame and she would call me on Friday.

    I guess I couldn't stand to hear that again so what I did was I hung up. Anyway, my sister is very controlling and in our lives she would always threaten and say things like "if you do such and such" I will never speak to you again.

    What I am saying is she will probably never call me again because of what I did to her and feel our relationship is over because I hung up. I just couldn't stand to hear the same ole excuses like she is so busy now - it just made me feel like I am very important.

    I did share what happened with my daughter - she understands why I did that as she knows how frustrated I have been over this.

    Anyway, thanks for listening. I do have nice friends and am trying to keep myself busy and not worry about her.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    I'm sorry to hear that things went so badly, but I'm glad you updated us. I'm also happy to know that you have nice friends. Hopefully, your relationships with them are fulfilling and help you to really feel connected, or that they are at least growing into that. Because your sister is important to you, you will no doubt continue to have feelings about your relationship with her-- but hopefully your friendships will grow to take up more space in your heart and mind. Then, perhaps, you will find a way to accept your sister's choice to be more distant -- not happily, but without it eating you up so much inside.

    All that said, maybe you are wrong and you will talk with your sister again -- either because, with time, she reaches out, you reach out, or some circumstance puts the two of you together and you find a way to bridge the space between you. Given that you hung up on her, if you decide that you want a relationship with her, you might want to be the one to reach out-- sooner rather than later (as too much time might make this even harder)-- and apologize. To make this work, you might find it helpful to approach it like this: even if you feel like you need to explain why you hung up, keep that part short. Acknowledge that hanging up is not okay and promise to handle being upset differently next time (like by saying you are upset and need to hang up).

    Good luck.
    sunflower1943 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    Hi - I did apologize yesterday - I tried to call her 3 times but gave up so put the message on her answering machine - this is what I said "Hi ____ - This is _____. Say, I know I hung up on you the other day and want to apologize for that. I would appreciate from now on that when we do talk you will take the time for me. That is all I want to say so I will talk to you whenever okay"

    How did that sound - no response and not going to call anymore - it may be months before she calls me back or years - as I said she is very controlling - once she makes up her mind she never fails - she is VERY strong willed. Since I did apologize on her answering machine, I feel I'm done with what I can do and just let time pass. I do have a birthday the end of this month and we always exchange birthdays - so it will be interesting to see if she does nothing or does something.

    Anyway - thanks for your help and feel you gave me very good advice. I am done now as far as what I need to do so it's a relief off my back. The ball is in her court now.
    transferedhere responded:
    You have a lot of people picking on you. First it was your DIL now your sister. At some point you need to look in the mirror and realize that everyone else's downfalls are not the problem in your life. It is your own downfalls that you need to take ownership of.
    ImMe26 replied to transferedhere's response:
    I think you seek attention thru conflict. It cant be everyone is agaisnt you. It doesnt happen that way. Sounds as if they are all living their lives and you are busy trying to find reasons to upset them, so you will have something to *do* or say.

    Get some hobbies, where you arent relying on others to keep you company.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to sunflower1943's response:
    I can see how you tried to reach out, but I do have concerns about the way you apologized. The apology might have gotten overshadowed by your request that she make more time for you; in other words, it might have sounded more like a complaint than an apology. This is not something I can really know from reading a post because I don't know everything you said or how you said it. But, this is something for you to think about.

    Other things to think about are: Are you asking or demanding more from her than she can or wants to give? While it is not okay for her to be disrespectful or cruel to you, fighting against her choice to be distant (for whatever reason) will only create more distance between you and resentment in her.
    Anon_11642 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    Hi - say thank you Leslie for responding - I just want to say a few things here - I don't like being compared between my sister and DIL - this is supposed to be anonymous and they are connecting my two different posts with my anonymous numbers or whatever but it should not be that way and yet some of the posters are not helping me at all - I want to say one thing - I am a very liked person - I have many friends - I just want to fix a few problems in my life - my sister and DIL - I know my sister more than anyone else on this board. Like my daughter said to me today - "Mom, I wouldn't even apologize because she has treated you like crap all your life" - ok - that will really surprise some of these responders.

    I really don't care what they say but our posts should be anonymous - they should not know who I am with another post - anyway - I thank you, Leslie, for your good advice. I am not threatening her - I am just telling her that I only want time with her when she calls - not always giving me the rush act

    I am 67 and she is 71 - all our lives it has been this way - so it is NOTHING new - she has her family there in Calif and I have mine in my state - she doesn't need me is the reason for all this. Even growing up she never had time for me - she was an awful sister - only I know this - okay - and you can think whatever you want - but I know what I know - I grew up with very low self-esteem and didn't even date until I was in my middle 20s - most siblings don't believe what siblings say when they grow up but I took all of her ugliness to heart so lost a good deal of fun when I was growing up - I was very sad and unhappy - my aunts came to my rescue many times and even wanted me to live with them it was that bad so I know what I know okay.

    Anyway I am a good person - last year I got 14 birthday cards and a friend made me a cake. I have a loving husband, daughter and son and grandchildren - 4 altogether. I am only posting on these two individuals because I want my life to be happy with all the people I know - but as you know you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

    My little granddaughter who is 11 called me the other day to say "I love you, Nana" - so anyway - don't think none of you are getting the broader picture here.

    Thanks for your posts but from now on I won't post in this community board as I don't feel the people who read my posts understand what I am trying to say.

    Thank you Dr. Leslie for your good thoughts and appreciate your input.

    God bless all of us.
    BalconyBelle replied to Anon_11642's response:
    Anon_11642, the reason the posters were able to link your current issue to previous posts you've made is because you forgot to check 'post my discussion anonymously' in one of your replies. They weren't snooping, or somehow digging to uncover your virtual identity--you left it right out there for all to see. Granted, it was by accident, but it's hardly their fault they picked up on it.

    You might find your life becomes much more peaceful when you stop keeping score. When you stop feeling the urge to dig up so much supporting evidence that you're such a great person, your DIL, or sister, or whoever, just has to like you, simply must want a relationship with you--if they don't they simply don't understand you, so you'll keep pushing and pushing until they do. You could be the most wonderful person on the planet, and some people still wouldn't like you. You need to learn to let go, stop being so defensive, and just accept yourself and others for who they are without trying to change them or convince them they're wrong if they don't want to associate with you.

    In all honesty, why would you try so hard to shove yourself down their throats when you know they don't appreciate it? Why would you set yourself up in that kind of situation? Why try so hard to close a gap with a sister who's apparently been nothing but mean & dismissive? Just enjoy being with the ones who love you and appreciate you--and stop beating your head against the wall with the ones that don't. Civility and distance may be what is called for, not continuous attempts to thrust yourself into their lives.
    FCL replied to Anon_11642's response:
    But yu ARE anonymous. None of us has the slightest idea who you are in real life. Why so defensive? Some of us (and I'm sure I can't be the only one) check out posters history so that we can get a better idea of their backgroundso that we can help them better.

    "I don't feel the people who read my posts understand what I am trying to say"

    This is just a remark but, if none of us understands what you're saying perhaps you could try another approach that might get through to us?
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    ImMe26 replied to FCL's response:
    Thats because we are on the outside looking in, your judgement is clouded, which is why you posted here looking for advice, why dont you like it, cause it isnt what YOU WANT to hear??

    Its like you just want all of us to say.."you know what you are the greatest human on earth, how dare they treat you like that!!" But clearly there are others in your life you have conflict with , the situations are similar in nature so why not connect the two posts??

    Live your life and be happy, let things you cant control go, like other peoples attitudes and actions.

    Good luck.

    (p.s and as it was stated above you didnt hit the right button so you posted with your screen name)
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to Anon_11642's response:
    I'm glad that you appreciate my input, but I am also sorry that you are struggling so with the other feedback. One thing that I hear others suggesting is that you might do better to stop trying so hard to change your sister; and you might benefit from accepting the relationship as it is since she doesn't seem to want to change the relationship. Whether you ultimately want to do this or not, it is something well worth considering, given the misery that relationship is causing you. And, if you decide not to find a way to accept it, you might want to think about what makes you want to keep trying when doing so seems much like trying to walk through a brick wall-- each time you hit the wall, it hurts, compounds previous hurts, and does not seem to get you any closer to getting through it. Just something to think about...

    Good luck.

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