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Caught between 2 sisters - any advice?

(145 Posts)
Traviata Thu 22-Oct-20 11:44:14

Absolutely strung out by this. My 2 youngest sisters fell out irrevocably 5 years ago, a bitter time and despite the best efforts of me and our mother this cannot be healed. As a retired nurse of 45 years in the profession I have most of the conciliatory skills off pat, nothing worked.
Mother lives in the younger sisters house, and I help with providing care, she’s virtually immobile and fully dependent for all daily activities. She’s recently been very ill ( she’s 92). My other sister, quite reasonably wants to visit. Younger sister will not allow her in the house under any - and I mean any - circumstances, saying that t’other sis made her choice and has to live with that. She holds all the cards . AIBU to say visits should be allowed? After all the stress of being piggy in the middle I can’t cope with much more war.

Luckygirl Thu 22-Oct-20 11:46:37

Sister who has care of your mother is clearly not being kind, but it is her house and she can make her own choices.

What does your mother want?

Grandmabatty Thu 22-Oct-20 11:49:55

I don't think you should get involved. It is your younger sister's house, not your mum's or yours. Your sister has the right to choose who is welcome in her home. What does your mum want?

MissAdventure Thu 22-Oct-20 11:54:38

Of course visits should be allowed!
Not allowing your mum to see family is a huge concern.

maddyone Thu 22-Oct-20 11:54:44

Surely if the sister whose house it is could go out for an hour and allow the other sister to visit. Perhaps you could be there to chaperone. Despite it being her house, I really don’t think your sister has the right to deny her sister an occasional visit to her mother.

MissAdventure Thu 22-Oct-20 11:57:20

When you take someone vulnerable in to share your home, it also becomes theirs, too, so all this "her house, her rules" doesn't wash.

It's abuse. Plain and simple.

maddyone Thu 22-Oct-20 11:59:30

I agree Miss Adventure. A parent who probably doesn’t have a long time to live should be allowed to see her daughter.

Chewbacca Thu 22-Oct-20 12:03:18

I have a little experience of a similar situation. Yes, it is your younger sister's house but is also your mother's home too, she just happens to share that home with her daughter. If your mother wants to see her other daughter, and it's reasonable that she would, I think it's rather cruel of younger sister to deny her that in view of her advancing years and declining health. If younger sister feels so strongly about it, perhaps she could go into another room for an hour or so, so that she wouldn't have to see her sibling. Afterall, if your mother was living in her own home, or a nursing home, she would be able to have anyone she wanted to visit her in her declining years. Younger sister is putting her own grievances before the wishes of her elderly mother.

gulligranny Thu 22-Oct-20 12:05:25

Your poor mother! How dreadful that she can't see one of her daughters because of a family feud. I agree with both Maddyone and MissAdventure, and perhaps it's time to bang two stupid heads together and remind them that the only person who matters here is Mum.

Hithere Thu 22-Oct-20 12:28:19

Why did the two sisters stopped talking? What created the fight?

How long has been your mother been taken care of by one of those sisters and living at her home?

cornergran Thu 22-Oct-20 12:39:12

From your description your two sisters fell out, your Mum didn’t fall out with any of her daughters. On that basis you certainly aren’t being unreasonable to believe a visit should happen The choice that was made wasn’t for your Mum to be separated from one of her daughters. As has already been suggested for your Mum’s sake surely the resident sister could go out for a while to enable a visit. Doesn’t have to be a long one. Otherwise, I know this isn’t the same, could anything be done with FaceTime or something similar? This is about your Mum’s needs, not her warring daughters. Having said all that you are in a horrible situation, you sound both physically and emotionally exhausted. I imagine you have anxiety about being banned yourself. Perhaps what is right won’t be able to happen this time, if so please remember it’s not your fault.

Roses Thu 22-Oct-20 12:44:24


Why do you need to know these things?

Chewbacca Thu 22-Oct-20 12:48:13

Roses, I agree. The cause and timeline of the initial fall out between the sisters is irrelevant here. What matters now is that a very elderly, sick lady is being denied access to one of her daughters by the actions of one of them.

Hithere Thu 22-Oct-20 12:48:49

Because things are not black and white, there are plenty of shades of gray in the middle

I am not happy to condemn the sister who is taking care of the mother without more information.

MissAdventure Thu 22-Oct-20 12:50:30

It's a contravention of a basic human right.
I would be informing the sister of this, and telling her I would be reporting it, unless she changed her stance.

Hithere Thu 22-Oct-20 12:51:36

How long did the fight between sisters happen
When did your mother move in with one of those sisters?

MissAdventure Thu 22-Oct-20 12:53:16

Regardless of any of those details, the mum has the right to have relationships of her own.

Hithere Thu 22-Oct-20 12:55:34

Timing is not irrelevant, in fact, it is the most relevant

If the mother moved in with one of the sisters after the siblings fought and cut off happened, I can see how the mother may be perceived to pick on sister over the other, for example.

Expecting the sisters to "get along and tolerate each other" for the sake of the mother is very unrealistic.

Why is this board so allergic to gathering more facts to give better feedback?

MissAdventure Thu 22-Oct-20 12:58:37

My feedback is this, and it is the most important fact.
It's abuse.

sodapop Thu 22-Oct-20 12:59:24

It is the sister's house but its also her mother's home as Chewbacca said, it's sad that this feud is affecting a person who was not involved in it. A little kindness and forgiveness would go a long way. It must be very difficult for you being caught in the middle Traviata.

Purplepixie Thu 22-Oct-20 12:59:30

Her bullying abusive behaviour is unacceptable and it must be heart breaking for you and your mother to see. Sorry I don’t have any answers. Sending you love and hugs.

TrendyNannie6 Thu 22-Oct-20 13:01:05

I feel so sorry for your mother in all this, just because two sisters have fallen out surely doesn’t have to mean the poor mum can’t see one sister on occasion, it’s her daughter after all, yes it’s the younger sisters home, but she has to remember it’s also her mums, why can’t the younger sister go out for a couple of hours or FaceTime etc, ridiculous situation poor mum

Summerlove Thu 22-Oct-20 13:05:56

I suppose, for me it depends on why your sisters fell out.

Your sister has the right to decide who is in her house. Is it possible for you to take your mother out for an hour?

Getting in the middle of this will win you no favors. You run the risk of losing one, if not both of your sisters.

Chewbacca Thu 22-Oct-20 13:11:47

Is it possible for you to take your mother out for an hour?

Traviata says in her OP:
she’s virtually immobile and fully dependent for all daily activities. She’s recently been very ill
(she’s 92)

Hithere Thu 22-Oct-20 13:13:17

"despite the best efforts of me and our mother this cannot be healed. As a retired nurse of 45 years in the profession I have most of the conciliatory skills off pat, nothing worked."

This is a huge mistake that people make - adults intervening on other people's disagreements, making it worse.

Then the problem that originated the fight becomes secondary and what is said by whom and why becomes the issue.

We do not know what OP or the mother said or did trying to fix this.
This very much have an impact on what is going on now.

Bottom line: let adults fix their own issues and stay aside.

Bring elderly just doesnt give you priority yo override everything going on around you so you get what you want