especially if they are creating pain in your own life? I was thinking of potentially converting to Catholicism but my family have always caused me a lot of pain so now I find myself going to Mass often on the verge of tears.
I have had some many problems around my family and they do not seem to have been alleviated since I started going to Mass. I just wanted to provide you with a few examples.
My elder sister is very ill with an auto immune disease and has been for the past 12 years. Before her illness she used to bully me a lot. This has not changed at all. Often she shouts at me quite literally for nothing and it is very hard as it leaves me feeling quite worthless and depressed and scared to be around people to be honest. She had been shouting at me so frequently over the course of about two weeks that I finally said to her in a very meek voice* "If I am saying anything that is especially upsetting you, could you tell me what this is so I can change it"* I also told her that I was becoming scared of saying anything for fear of her response. That was all that I said and she shouted at me and said she should be able to speak to me however she wishes as she is ill and has enough to contend with and then put the phone down on me and has not spoken to me for a month. I phoned my younger brother in tears to tell him what had happened and he said that I was wrong to have said that to my sister and he also stopped talking to me.. I was left really questioning myself - I still am. I have to add that it is not my sister's illness that has made her like this. Any attempt to stick up for myself leads to these sorts of responses and have done for as long as I can remember - only now it has become worst. Only one year ago, she told me by email to go and lie in front of a train to put my family out of their misery. So it has been hard.
My mother is the same... She was made redundant from her job and this coincided with me receiving a large legal settlement last year. With the money I prioritised my mother. I gave her a proportion of it and went without myself (not because I was being a martyr) because I felt guilty spending any of it on myself. I paid her bills, did her shopping every week so her pension would go further, and then treated her to a holiday in the Maldives in March of this year and also took her to Lourdes two months ago (She is not a Catholic and used to go to a pentecostal church sporadically). During the holiday to the Maldives she called me a parasite which also left me feeling bad and confused as I had paid for it all - and it seemed the more I helped her the worst she was towards me...Everything is kind of back to front with my mother. If you help, you are treated badly and shouted at and ignored for months on end. If you do not help in any way , the same thing happens only worst.
The point I am trying to make is how do I deal with situations such as these and still strive to be a good Catholic convert to be? You could say to me to ring my sister and try and reconcile but she is not like that. She would simply slam the phone back down on me. Am I not supposed to love people even who act badly towards me and turn the other cheek? Even though I had been going to Mass regularly, I felt like my family were trying to undermine my progress and sabotage things for me and it worked for a while as I simply stopped going to Mass. I was becoming deeply depressed by what was going on with my family and despite praying and praying, nothing was changing and I no longer knew how to cope with the family machinations. I still do not.
Am I supposed to keep letting them do what they do despite the fact that it leaves me feeling awful? Am I permitted to break off all contact and try and forge a life for myself outside of all of this. I feel that being a Catholic is not compatible with being around my family - it simply is not. There is a lot of bitterness and anger and dysfunction and i do not want that in my life. I really just want some peace...