At My Wits End


#1

I know tons of other people have posted with similar problems but I am at my wits end today with my family. My mother and my oldest sister hate each other. If I have one good word to say about my oldest sister, mom treats me like there is something wrong with me. I recently helped her find a new job. She found a job that she truly loves and got a $20 thousand a year raise on top of it. My mom only found nasty things to say about this and has treated me less than wonderful since I have helped my sister out so much. My middle sister can’t/won’t keep a job so mom sent her to me so I could help her. After all, if I could help my “horrible, no good, evil” sister, then I should definitely be able to help mommy’s little angel, aka my middle sister. I have spent the last two or three weeks trying to help her. I have submitted her resumes online for her. I have monitored and checked her e-mail because she says her computer is not working. My dad and I have both offered to fix it but she finds a million excuses not to. She got called for a phone interview for one of the jobs that I helped her apply for but she didn’t even give the interviewers a chance. Nobody will tell me how it went other than it just wasn’t for her. I found her the perfect job 2 weeks ago and she refuses to apply. I printed out a pile of about 20 different jobs that she is perfectly qualified to do but she lost the information and made up a bunch of excuses to me and my mom. She told mom that she wasn’t qualified for them and then she told me that mom never gave them to her. She spent over 4 hours at my house and didn’t apply for a single job. I told her all she had to do is fill out the applications and I will mail them and do whatever it takes to help her. The bad thing is that I try to discuss this with my mom because she is the one that recommended that she come see me but my mother won’t let me say anything “bad” about my middle sister without bringing up how horrible my oldest sister is. When my oldest sister came to me for help, she listened to what I had to say and applied for the jobs that I recommended even if she thought they were a stretch. I guess my point is how can I help someone that does not want to be helped. My mother is impossible to talk to. In addition to the family feuding between mom and sisters, my brother is in prison and mom can’t seem to understand why his x-wife won’t let my family see my son’s daughter. A little background info…My brother was sentenced to 7 years after violating his probation. He was actually on probation for 2 separate agravated felonies. He violated his probation by harassing his wife. Also, his house mysteriously burned down and they still don’t know how it happened. There are a lot of other things that my brother has done during his life such as molesting & raping sisters, hitting various family members, and who knows what else. He has a history of violence and meanness but my mother continues to make excuses for him. I love him and have forgiven him but I would like for my mother to acknowledge that he is not perfect. They don’t have the money to pay bills but they are somehow finding the time and money to take an hour trip to go see him in prison. I put together his parole packet for him. There is no chance of him getting out any time soon because he is serving time for 2 agravated felonies. The only time I get letters from him is when he wants to ask about me doing another parole packet for him. I get really frustrated with all this because I have my own problems to deal with as I have a husband and 2 kids to take care of and we are experiencing financial difficulties. I have prayed about my family of origin more times than I care to admit. I try not to tell my mother when I talk to my oldest sister but my daughter loves her aunt and insists on telling grandma every time she sees her aunt and cousins. I have 2 birthday parties for my kids and maintain pretty much separate functions so my mom and middle sister don’t have to see or talk to my oldest sister. Does anybody have any advice? Like I said, I am at my wits end and feel like I am ready to explode trying to juggle having a relationship with ALL of my family members.


#2

I think you need to tell your mom that her problems with your sister are exactly that. HER PROBLEMS!

If she expects you to communicate and interact with her she needs to act like an adult. If she isn’t capable of that ask her if she would like for you and your family to just stay away.

If need be, do so. At least for a while. It may seem harsh, but I speak from experience that your life will be much easier in the long run.

As for your sister, give her exactly as much assistance as your other sister, and then tell her to sink or swim. Otherwise she will be a weight around your neck forever. Even if you wanted to carry that weight, you are not doing her any favors. You won’t be here forever, let her learn to take care of herself.

The best gift anyone can be given is self reliance even if it is through tough love.
Finally, PRAY ENDLESSLY


#3

Sounds like you are the peacemaker in your family. It sounds very draining. I think if I were in your shoes, I’d have to find some distance. My family’s problems are much less serious than yours and I still have had to disengage. Everytime I visited, I’d come home in a state of turmoil. I still pray for them. I do small talk. If they start on one of the upsetting topics, I have a sudden need to go to the bathroom or I remember an appointment. I don’t call. I am lucky that my parents are wonderful, it is my siblings who drive me nuts.

I don’t invite them to birthday or sacrament celebrations. We just have our friends over. The kids don’t seem to care as long as there is a celebration. Just tell your family that you are toning down parties because of money, stress, materialism, etc. Whatever you find partially true.

I think you are cheating yourself, your husband, and your kids by being so involved in your extended family. Give yourself a break. Maybe all you are called to do is to pray for them. May God Bless you and your family.


#4

There is a book called Toxic Parents. You should buy it. There is another one called Going Home Grown Up and it also discusses how to deal with parents.

Honestly, you and the older sister sound like the sane ones. If it were me-- I’d just cut the other ones OUT.

You must set boundaries and if your mom or middle sister act inappropriately, just cut them off. Don’t help your ungrateful sister anymore or waste one more minute.

You have nothing to lose, and lots of peace to be gained by getting rid of the these people in your life. You do not choose your family, and you do not have to tolerate this sort of behavior.


#5

[quote=mommyaprilj]I think you need to tell your mom that her problems with your sister are exactly that. HER PROBLEMS!
[/quote]

I think everyone in the family has told my mother this. Mom will go to family reunions and run down my oldest sister and then denies it. She says she is just stating the truth…Uggh Of course, I am not alone here. My dad has to sneak around just to talk to my sister and see her kids. My oldest sister can be a juvenile jerk but I think mom has carried things too far when she tells everyone about how horrible my oldest sister is. I laid down the law and told her that she cannot say anything bad about my sister around my kids if she wants my children to continue to have a relationship with her.

I learned at a very young age that my mother is incapable of acting like an adult. There have been periods where we have stayed away but she always ends up back in the picture. What prompted me to post this today is the fact that she was being extremely difficult. I was trying to share my frustrations about my middle sister and follow up on some of the stuff I gave her and she went off on one of her tangents. I found an excuse to get off the phone and then called her back later at which time she went off on a tangent about my dad who is experiencing health problems. He is scheduled for a stress test and an upper GI to find out the source of his recurring chest pains. She went off on how he never cared about her, blah, blah…so I just hung up on her and haven’t talked to her since. I did get a little snooty with her because she wouldn’t shut up about how big of a baby dad is and how he doesn’t care about her and so on and so forth. I thought he was the one with the health problems not her. It is always about her. I was harsh and said well maybe he will just die and then you won’t have to put up with him.

The sad thing is that I have actually given her more assistance and time but mom won’t see it. It seems like I am being blamed for her inability to get a job because I am not giving her as much time as I gave my oldest sister. Of course, it has always been an us against them proposition. My brother and middle sister have always been mom’s pets and can do no wrong. My oldest sister and I have always been dad’s kids. Dad is the one who usually has to take up for us but always fails because mother will persist until everyone sees things her way then she will cry and whine that the whole world is against.


#6

[quote=JMJ Theresa]Sounds like you are the peacemaker in your family. It sounds very draining. I think if I were in your shoes, I’d have to find some distance. My family’s problems are much less serious than yours and I still have had to disengage. Everytime I visited, I’d come home in a state of turmoil. I still pray for them. I do small talk. If they start on one of the upsetting topics, I have a sudden need to go to the bathroom or I remember an appointment. I don’t call. I am lucky that my parents are wonderful, it is my siblings who drive me nuts.

I don’t invite them to birthday or sacrament celebrations. We just have our friends over. The kids don’t seem to care as long as there is a celebration. Just tell your family that you are toning down parties because of money, stress, materialism, etc. Whatever you find partially true.

I think you are cheating yourself, your husband, and your kids by being so involved in your extended family. Give yourself a break. Maybe all you are called to do is to pray for them. May God Bless you and your family.
[/quote]

Parties in our family have been toned down for quite a while now. We didn’t buy anybody any presents for Christmas and we only give birthday cards to family. Nothing more. I have instituted a rule where anybody that comes to my house has to call in advance. I have found just about every excuse to get out of conversations and leave a situation. I have finally learned how to just get up and walk out without an excuse or reason. I am also not afraid to just hang up on my mother. I have done that several times. I let my car go so I would have a reason not to go see them. She used to call and nag me to come over until I would give in. If I want to go see them, I take my husband to work and then go see them. That way I have a reason to leave at a certain time. They have no concept of boundaries or common courtesy. I will go to their house and they will proceed to ignore me the entire day or be too busy with business to play with the kids. It is best for them to come see me on my terms. For some reason, my parents aren’t as apt to be as annoying at my house. Maybe all the crucifixes and religious items help keep them in line. I am usually pretty good at balancing but it seems like my middle sister has really gotten under my skin. It doesn’t matter where I see her. Mom has been sending her over to me to deal with so I told her she better not send her over here again. Poor dad is caught in the middle more than I am, I tried to talk to him and he just said better you than me. Of course, mom and dad planning an 8 hour trip to see my brother in prison annoys me because they are complaining about how short they are on money right now. Not only that but they have let it slip that they are paying my middles sister’s bill too. If mom and dad don’t have the money, then why are they doing it and why are they complaining about it.


#7

the good news about being at your wit’s end is that you can completely surrender this and all your other problems to Jesus Christ. In other words, you can now admit that you cannot change your mom, you cannot change how she acts or the way she treats members of the family and you have absolutely no power over the situation.

One of the best ways I have found to deal with these kind of hopeless situations is making a “Jesus Box”. I take an old shoe box and cut a hole in the top. I decorate it anyway I want. Then I get a notebook and I start writing - in much the same way you have written here - about whoever or whatever it is that has me at my wit’s end. When I am done, I put it on the table and kneel down. Then I say a prayer like this:

Jesus, here it is. This is what is bothering me, hurting me and causing me to pull out my hair. I cannot do a darn thing about it and no one seems to have any better ideas than I do in terms of how to handle this deal. So I am giving it to you. Totally, Lord, it is all Your problem now. I hand it over to you completely and I promise you that I will spend my time doing only what You would have me do - every day, turning my attention to helping those who wish only to be helped and loving those who are unloveable, praying, going to Mass and being the best wife and mother I can be - but this problem? This is YOUR’S, Lord…and I thank you so much for taking care of it for me.

Amen.

Then put your writing in the Jesus Box and WALK AWAY.

If you have to write it down a bunch more times, go ahead…but say the prayer each time you have to put the problem in the box.

Jesus told St. Faustina that the biggest mistake we make is we do not go to Him with everything that is in our lives…the good, the bad and the ugly. He wants it all - why not give it to Him?

Oh, and if you are still worrying about it - then you have NOT given it to Him. Keep trying…it will pay off.


#8

[quote=mommyaprilj]I think you need to tell your mom that her problems with your sister are exactly that. HER PROBLEMS!

If she expects you to communicate and interact with her she needs to act like an adult. If she isn’t capable of that ask her if she would like for you and your family to just stay away.

If need be, do so. At least for a while. It may seem harsh, but I speak from experience that your life will be much easier in the long run.

As for your sister, give her exactly as much assistance as your other sister, and then tell her to sink or swim. Otherwise she will be a weight around your neck forever. Even if you wanted to carry that weight, you are not doing her any favors. You won’t be here forever, let her learn to take care of herself.

The best gift anyone can be given is self reliance even if it is through tough love.
Finally, PRAY ENDLESSLY
[/quote]

Time to stop being co dependent it really is not your problem but your mothers and it sounds to me that you have already went beyond the call of duty. Pray for them all and you may just sleep a little better knowing that you do not have to answer to God for any of them. Just prayer at this point will be your commitment until God shows you differently.


#9

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