My sibling is over the top furious!


#1

I suppose I just need a place to vent. I don’t have many friends I can talk to about this and when I speak with my Mom it just upsets her and I don’t want to do that. Hope it’s OK. Maybe someone can give me some incite. My sister has been away from the church for some time now. As I have been; but I have been back for over a year now. She is married outside of the church and her husband unwilling to help her come back. But she has been making an effort, at least going to Mass and praying and asking questions of both my Mom and I. She finally just completely lost it and turned her back completely…absolutely furious with me and my mother telling us that we told nothing but lies and that Catholics are the worst for helping those who want to come back. I am so sorry that I caused her to feel like this. I was just trying to help answer questions she had although I’m no expert thats for sure; and I did suggest that she talk to a priest right from the start. I believe it is her unwillingness to follow the rules, husband or not. She has even turned her back on me…saying I’m not the same person since I came back to the Church. I have never forced it upon her…I thought it was something she was seeking out. But I guess I was wrong. Now she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me or my mother. And when I try to smooth things over she just comes out with hateful horrible things against the Faith and us constantly calling us liars liars liars. She is even hysterical. I don’t want to lose my relationship with my sister; she is always in my prayers and I love her so much.


#2

will certainly pray for you and your family.
I imagine your family is like mine, in that those who stay away from the Church have as many family issues (or more) than they do issues about Church doctrine or practice. The fact that she is reacting to you shows that your re-conversion has impressed her deeply, or she would not need to fight against that grace so strongly. Just continue to be a good example of a loving practicing Catholic. Search and REscue by Patrick Madrid is your best guide through this situation (he is great on what NOT to say and how NOT to say it).


#3

My prayers go out to you and your family. Your sister probably knows that to come back would be problematic for her marriage. How difficult that must be. I don’t condone her actions of taking it out on you. However, she is angry at God or at the church. You are reconciling and she can’t and I would say she is jealous. Just keep her in your prayers. I have an athiest brother and we used to be very close. I will always pray for him to return. I know I will do my part and I pray that the Holy Spirit will revisit him.


#4

I don’t know if it’s her or you, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of detail given. Does she specify what it was that you were lying about? Does she specify what you’ve done that has infuriated her so much? Or is she just as vague as your post?

If she just throws out vague accusations and goes hysterical - I think things may be working. Once you know the truth, and you’re not in a state of grace, virtue and vice slowly pull you apart. It’s a painful rending, and people don’t take it that well.

At some point you may decide that it’s time to quit telling sis’ about God and begin telling God about sis’. In other words, just pray behind her back.


#5

I sense that demonic forces could be at work here. Place these issues within the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Love… and Pray, Pray, Pray!

…for we wrestle not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12)

I shall say a prayer for you.


#6

First I want to thank you all for your suggestions…I have ordered Search and Rescue. And another book as well, I sure need some spiritual reading.

As for being vague…I believe it all started with a conversation my sister had with my Mom 20 years ago. It had to do with contraception and condoning vasectomy over tubal ligation and my mother told her she misunderstood as she (Mom) would never condone it. Anyway next thing I know she’s calling me and screaming, and of course I side with Mom now I’m a liar too.

Thanks so much for listening.


#7

With all due respect, your sister sounds like she has a screw loose.

Clearly…something more recent than a 20 year old conversation happened to prompt her outburst–though you don’t really explain, if in fact you even know. Perhaps getting to the bottom of that mystery would be a good start.

After that–if the issue is one she cannot manage reasonably–then I think you need to draw a line in the sand and agree to avoid it in the future. Family members are not all necessarily of the same mind when it comes to faith or values, but no one is entitled to abuse family members over a difference of opinions or belief. If she cannot respectfully disagree, then some radio silence might be a good idea until such time as she can either get her emotions and behaviour under control or get her medication dosage adjusted!


#8

Your sister is manipulating you and behaving like a 2 year old.

I would let her cool her jets. Let her contact you when she calms down.

And, when/if she comes back to wanting a relationship,** establish clear boundaries and ground rules.**


#9

Leave the conversion to the Holy Spirit.

If you sis has questions about the faith - “Sis, you can find out that answer by looking in the Cathecism of the Catholic Church (and give her either a copy or a web site where she can look it up) or give Catholic Answers a call (and give her the Apologist’s line number).”


#10

As for being vague…I believe it all started with a conversation my sister had with my Mom 20 years ago. It had to do with contraception and condoning vasectomy over tubal ligation and my mother told her she misunderstood as she (Mom) would never condone it. Anyway next thing I know she’s calling me and screaming, and of course I side with Mom now I’m a liar too.

Wait a minute?! Do I understand this correctly?

Your sister feels like she was lead astray 20 years ago by her mother. 20 years ago she thought your mom condoned some version of contraception, but now as she investigates the Catholic faith she finds that contraception is wrong, and always was wrong. So here she sits in a state of mortal sin, and she feels she was given a bad direction by either mom or you or both.

I can understand why she would be mad. Especially if neither of you admit that you could have been the source of her bad direction.


#11

Even if we assume some mis-information was provided the sister some 20 years ago–since when are “mom & sis” the ultimate authorities on all things Catholic?! And what of the intervening 20 years?! This woman left the faith and married outside the Church. She has stayed away for years. Now it sounds like she’s trying to come back under her own terms. Spewing vitriol at family members either for your own ineptitude or sloth in failing to learn the fundamentals of a faith you profess or desire to join is indefensible.


#12

Sorry, I didn’t intend to leave the impression that I thought her sister was justified going ballistic. Just that I can *understand *the situation.

Sometimes my wife and I go 'round and round over some issue. Our tempers flare. Then at some point I realize that she’s not really insisting that her view is the correct view, she’s just fighting with me to get me to acknowlege that I could understand her situation. I do the same thing to her.


#13

I can’t remember ever having a conversation with her about it. But my Mom being devout as she is would NEVER condone it. It’s just not in her nature. What I believe took place was at one point my sister made up her mind to have a tubal ligation…a conversation ensued according to my sister that mother told her that it would be easier for her husband to get a vasectomy then for her to get her tubes tied. Now my mother cannot remember ever having this conversation in the first place. Maybe it was a conversation she and I had; but that’s not what she is saying. I have no problem admitting I could have told her such a thing; and I suggested that to her only to get blasted that it was not me but mother. However, I don’t believe I would have said it was the right thing to do. I believe the morality of it was never in question as far as my sister is concerned until now. She was an adult back then already with two children she knew right from wrong and she knew the rules. Now she looks back on this conversation as permission to do whatever she ended up doing back then. She made the decision in fact to this day I don’t know what she did. But my Mom would never say it anyway you put it!!

I don’t know if I’m making myself clear. It is a confusing matter because really truly no one can remember it except my sister. And I have few details. She just remains hysterical and it’s impossible to talk it through with her.


#14

One thing that contemporary Americans have not been taught is how to have a controlled debate/ argument. People are also taught to feel vicitmized and “on the defense.” Finally, with television and such, there are not the same opportunities to form one’s intellect according to classical instruction/philosophy.

Bottom line: Americans have short tempers, are very defensive, do not know how to verbalize their [misguided] feelings, are governed by their passions, and do not want to take the time to get out of this mental BLAH they are in.

You are taking the time to learn and share your faith. That’s a gift of grace in and of itself. The fact that you are oding this to try and help your sister is a heroic act of charity - especially given her recent behavior.

I would recommend focusing on your personal prayer life, private study, and frequenting the sacraments (esp. Confession and Mass). Something is not right here, and you may be tested soon. Let God work on you for a while and burn off any dross that has accumulated in your own spiritual life. Show your sister nothing but charity, and try not to take her comments personally. She is looking to get a response from you. If you respond with nothing but love, she can’t write you off as easily as she’d like to.


#15

Ummmm… no offense, but it seems like a whole lot of displaced aggression to me. She is mad at herself but she can’t be wrong so somebody had to have misled her so it is their fault even though she know in her heart that it was her decision and nobody forced her… is that about right??? Tell her to grow up and take responsibility for her own decisions!


#16

Elizabeth,

My point isn’t to get into the details of who-said/she-said. My point is to understand her viewpoint. It sounds more like she’s ticked that she was given the green light to commit a mortal sin, and now feels betrayed.

That’s hugely different from taking the position that she agreed to ligation/vasectomy and maintains that this was the right decision.

In one situation your sister acknowleges the evil of contraception but is angry with her mother and sister (you). In the latter situation your sister denies the evil of contraception and as a result is in conflict with the Church.

I’d say for your sister’s sake it would be far better to be in agreement with the church and in conflict with you and your mom, than to be in conflict with the Church AND in conflict with you and your mom.


#17

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