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Needy/greedy older sister

(19 Posts)
Mebster Wed 22-May-19 21:46:11

My older sister is a hoarder who was never very close to me and spent years grabbing everything of value she could from our parents. In 30 years she never visited me. Now she is estranged from her children and her second marriage is failing. She has no close friends. I've kept up communications, had her for Xmas two years in a row and included her on our friends beach trip. I even spent 10 days cleaning her home and caring for her after surgery. Now she wants to be included in all holidays and is mad that I haven't planned a spring/summer trip, even though I have a grandchild suffering from cancer and am spending each night at the hospital. I took two days off at a friend's summer place and she cried about not being invited, then hung up on me. How do I deal with this? (My trip to care for her revealed that much of our mother's lost or stolen jewelry was in her possession, left out in plain sight. (I didn't snoop).

notanan2 Wed 22-May-19 21:50:11

Well. She is who she is. Doesn't sound like she is going to change.

What do you want from the relationship?

Mebster Wed 22-May-19 21:56:35

I'm happy to have a mutually supportive relationship where we get together once or twice a year but I'm not interested in her co-opting my friendships or family or listening to endless whines about her miserable life. I've suggested many ways for her to make friends but she resists.

crazyH Wed 22-May-19 21:57:05

First of all, sorry to hear about your dear GC. I hope the treatment is working and he/she is doing well.
Your sister is indeed a greedy , ungrateful so-and-so. With relatives like her, who needs enemies ? Just because she is your sister, you do not have to love her or even like her. Keep her at arm's length. Seriously. you do not need her in your life.

notanan2 Wed 22-May-19 22:10:48

I'm happy to have a mutually supportive relationship
Well that is unlikely to happen isnt it?

where we get together once or twice a year
That part is achievable

but I'm not interested in her co-opting my friendships or family or listening to endless whines about her miserable life.
What if that is just who she is? You can see her but you cant expect her to be someone else

I've suggested many ways for her to make friends but she resists.

M0nica Wed 22-May-19 22:18:37

You will have to tell her how you want to conduct your relationship and be firm about it.

Tell her to begin with that while your DGC is so ill she is the centre of your life and that you cannot even consider any holidays now.

If the yammers to come on all your holidays, tell her that you are happy to go away with her for a wek in the autumn (for example) but all other holidays you and your DH just want to be by yourselves or with immediate family.

Some one like this has to be told quite explicitly how much you want them in your life and then do not feel sorry for her. She is a grown woman, she has made the decsions that place her in her current situation and she must live with it.

All of us have boundaries in all our relationships. If someone oversteps the mark and refuses to recognise them they have to have the boundary spelt out and insisted upon.

notanan2 Wed 22-May-19 22:23:25

Yes. Your boundaries are set by you. And upheld by you.

jeanie99 Thu 23-May-19 00:26:04

Unfortunately we cannot choose our family as the saying goes.
Your sister sounds a selfish uncaring individual and wants to be the centre of attention. My brother who died some weeks ago was exactly the same.
Do whatever makes you and your close family happy if she can't go along with that it's her problem not yours.
Keep in touch but don't allow her to control your life.

sodapop Thu 23-May-19 08:47:29

I agree with MOnica You have done your best to help your sister and now you have other committments which must take precedence. Set your boundaries and don't feel guilty about it, your sister is not going to change now. Don't stress about things which have happened in the past, concentrate on your grandchild and family.

Starlady Thu 23-May-19 11:57:27

1st, so very sorry about your DGC and hope they are well soon.

As for your sister, well, I have an idea why she is estranged from her AC and having trouble in her marriage. I hope those situations improve, but it doesn't sound likely.

She may have been advised to fill in the void her AC's absence has left by socializing with others, focusing on other family, etc. But that hardly means she has the right to demand attention or complain about not being included in your holidays, etc. It's not your job to make up for her lost or failing relationships. I understand her reaching out, but she needs to accept whatever is feasible.

So I agree with Monica - let her know when you're available and stick to it. She may argue, push for more, and play the victim card - in fact, she probably will. But if you stick to your guns, over time, she'll have to accept it.

Starlady Thu 23-May-19 12:01:25

"... but I'm not interested in her co-opting my friendships or family or listening to endless whines about her miserable life."

You may decide to keep her away from your friends, but if she's around them, what happens is as much up to them as her. If they know anything of how you feel, they probably won't let her get too close.

IDK what you can do about her whining, if anything. Maybe just let her go on for a while, and then change the subject?

notanan2 Thu 23-May-19 16:57:43

You cant change her so

See her within boundaries that suit you and nod and "uh huh" at her whinging.

Or dont see her.

Dont expect her to be a different person to who she is showing you she is.
Dont try and "fix" her. Even if she DID want to change, only she can do it. And nobody likes beinv someone elses project.
Dont expect her to be your support system. If she stays true to form you will just be disappointed. If you dont expect it and she does something supportive: pleasant surprise!

Give your attention to the people who are supporting you while your wee GS is ill flowers

Mebster Thu 23-May-19 21:46:12

Thanks for all your comments. Right now I've blocked her on my phone as my GS is leaving in less than a week for extended rehab (he had stroke like symptoms from chemo overdose). I'm just not up to dealing with her until that's done. Then I'll set my boundaries and try to stick to them. It's hard as she is my only sibling and I think her kids have gone too far in their estrangement but I can see that she needs clear limits set.

notanan2 Thu 23-May-19 21:56:45

I think you are right to focus your energy on yourself and your GS right now. Hope rehab goes well for him thanks

Eloethan Thu 23-May-19 22:32:36

I think you have been pretty supportive, given what you say she has never made the effort to visit you in 30 years.

As your grandchild is ill, it seems rather selfish of her to expect to muscle in on your life when you must already be under a lot of pressure.

Do what you feel you can do but don't give in to whining and self-serving behaviour. She should realise that all relationships require a degree of give and take - and the person who is expected to give all the time will soon tire of the arrangement.

fizzers Fri 24-May-19 13:38:41

I feel so sorry for you and yours right now, but I also feel for your sister, she obviously has some deep rooted mental issues going back many years, pity she can't seek some counselling

ditzyme Fri 24-May-19 13:47:06

Agree with notanan.... but I find it so sad when I hear stories of siblings not getting on, as I didn't like being an only child and now an older lady, that's still the case. So she's not the perfect sister, she may say the same about you and list your faults. But for now you are right to concentrate on things that really matter, which you cannot do anything to change, and later, take time out to spend a day with her, talking, and maybe tell her how you feel and as has been said, set boundaries re contact and so on. Good luck with everything that's going on in you life right now.

Gemmag Fri 24-May-19 13:51:54

Webster........I too have a sister who can be difficult. I put up with her endless talking on the phone, only coming to stay with us on her terms i.e. when it’s convenient for her. Always wanting to be entertained when she is here. She is my sister, very close in age to me and I love her and appreciate that she has had a very difficult life whereas I have had a very contented life so I make amends and overlook a lot of things. Have a break and don’t resume contact until you’re ready. Best wishes.

PopMaster34 Sun 26-May-19 18:10:44

Your sister sounds like a selfish bitch, if she was my sister I would cut her out of my life.