My sister and me


#1

Fair warning: this is going to show my cruel, mean-spirited side.

I am the oldest in a family of three girls. My youngest sister and I were born premature but the sister in between us was not. I was the only one who ended up with a multitude of health problems (more on that later). My mother has told us numerous times that, when my first sister was born, I was very protective of her. Whenever someone would come near her I'd "shoo" them away! I was also protective with my youngest sister but not nearly as much because of the age difference (4 years between me and my first sister, 8 years between the baby and me).

Fast forward to the summer of 1996. By this time, I was 16, my first sister (Melissa or Mel) was 12 and the youngest (Samantha, I call her Pickle ;)) was only 8 years old. I received a heart/double lung transplant. While the physical aspects of recovery were "easy" (HA!) the psychological aspects were not. During the first month post-transplant my parents had my sisters stay with family in Boston. Why? Because they knew the girls would be bored with my constant hospital visits for clinic and/or physical therapy. Also, to be honest, my parents and I needed to get used to this new post-transplant lifestyle.

Melissa's middle school years were alright. She was never a "brainiac" (that was Sam though Mel did end up in "honors" classes) but did well enough. High school was another story. Since I missed a year of school pre-transplant, when she as in 9th grade I was a Senior. We each had our own friends and pretty much stayed out of each other's way but we were (slowly--or so I thought) starting to become friends. As her high school years went on things went down hill. She flunked Sophmore Honors English and had go to summer school yet acted as if she was better or smarter than the other kids in the class. She hooked up with a ridiculously gorgeous guy from school only to be royally dumped.

Melissa has always had problems with her weight. Remember when I said she was the only one full-term. She weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz. was like a shark (according to Mom). When she was 3 her chubbiness was cute (I'll admit that!) but when she was a teenager it wasn't so cute. To add insult to injury, she is an emotional eater. As soon as she started being treated like dirt from guys she'd balloon up....and never loose it.

Anyway, she barely graduated high school (she and I had the same English teacher Senior year but while she hated the woman, I liked her!), flunked out of the university in town (a pretty decently known one in the state) AND community college.

She was in a long-term relationship from the age of 17-21. We LIKED this guy!! The other men she's been with since then? Pretty much hated 'em.

Unfortuntely, even after all these years, she blames me for her problems in life. In 2007, I moved out of town (I'm now about a 4-6 hour drive away) and to be perfectly honest, I'm GLAD I'm away from all of the drama. Her latest problem? In August of 2009, she got together with a guy she just met at her (then) new job. They moved in together in the following month and they both had to quit their jobs because they broke office policy in regards to relationships. I met him twice, Thanksgiving and Christmas. He seemed OK. She's done better but she's also done a lot worse. In January, Mom told me they had become engaged (sans ring...don't ask) and suddenly an October, 2010 wedding was in the works. On April 3rd I went to my local David's Bridal to try on dresses (HATED IT!! THEY ARE TOO SMALL!! :mad:) and 12 hours after my "adventure" my sister tells me the wedding had been canceled. Huh???

Well, they have since broken up and this past weekend was the kicker. My parents and sister went down south for Sam's college graduation (the only one out of the three of us with a Bachelor's degree! :D). Even though he moved out earlier, while she was out of town he stole (and sold) her car (yes, he had a key... :rolleyes:), stole her TV, plus a check a friend had written to her. Before Mom told me all of this in the early morning hours she said "....and don't say woo hoo" Well, I have to admit that when I first heard this my jaw dropped but inwardly I was snickering thinking sucker, you GAVE him a key to your car. What did you expect?

My problem? I get a secret thrill seeing my sister suffer. Why? I think it's because I know (she's told me, point blank) she still holds resentment towards me over things I had no control over and I just think it's "amusing" how my parents are still so blind to my sister's psychological issues. Also, how do I stop being such a jerk about all of this?

If you have any questions (in terms of wanting more details about this whole soap opera) don't hesitate to ask! Comments are also welcome.

Alright, I think I'm done. Gimme your best shot.....


#2

Both of you are lacking the basic concept of forgiveness...

Okay... my opinions on the rest...
:)

  1. A baby's birth-weight has no effect on their adult weight issues. (I weighed more than my DH at birth, and he's over 100lbs heavier than me.) I'm really not sure what your sister's weight issues have to do with the rest of the story...:shrug:

  2. Your surgery was not your fault, nor was it your sister's fault. Your PARENTS made a decision on how to handle the family affairs after your surgery. If you or your sister have a problem with this you need to bring it up with your parents. To be honest, it's time to move on - you're all adults now.

  3. Love starts from within you... why would you be so bitter toward your sister and actually enjoy seeing her hurt? Sympathize with her and maybe she'll learn from your example and share that love back with you. Yes, maybe she was emotionally scarred by being sent away after your surgery... it wasn't your fault or hers... but you can still sympathize with her plight... maybe that can help her start to heal.


#3

Ba! Nietzsche would have a field day with this.

It won't be much practical help, but here is a philosophical take on it. I answer here, in a short summary, why we enjoy watching people suffer (according to Nietzsche):

Nietzsche asks, “to what extent can suffering balance debts or guilt?” The answer is that when we are cruel (i.e. when we take pleasure in the suffering of others) we experience a sense of power. Bringing about the suffering of others is satisfying, although we also seem to be satisfied when we can identify with others who bring about the suffering in others . Sol speculates that the awareness of power lies in the experience of making someone suffer , so in other words by making someone suffer and by being cruel we are intensely and acutely aware of the power that we have over them. The sense of power comes from the realisation that we are making them suffer against their own will, and we are in a sense depriving them of the same free will that we are enjoying . The joy in being cruel to others is actually the joy we experience when overcoming their will and exercising our power, a power that is given to us by our role as an agent that is balancing a debt .

Nietzsche does have some funny views, but hey, playing devils advocate as such here, it seems natural that you enjoy watching her suffer.


#4

You are not going to hear any condemnation from me. I have had some rather similar experiences with my sister, only with her the problem is not that she blames me, but that she sees my 'perfect' life and despairs of ever being 'good enough' and believes she will never be functional and happy. It is easier to have compassion on someone who is not blaming you, but it is still so frustrating to see someone pigheadedly choosing men that are wrong for her, failing to provide for herself, and alienating and using everyone who tries to help. You have the added burden of having your sister blame you for her lack of happiness. It must hard for you to watch her drowning and blaming you for pushing her in, rather than accepting your sisterly support to get out. (sigh)
I hope you are able to forgive yourself for the unbidden uncharitable thoughts. Don't you start blaming yourself, too! When you have those uncharitable thoughts that you don't like, reject them, don't claim them as your own! It is a twisted way of your guilt over your sister's despair trying to prove to yourself that you really are to blame, which is absolutely ridiculous of course. You are not to blame, but you may be a source of comfort to your sister in times when she can be reasonable. Just pray and wait for those opportunities, and when she blames you for something, then correct her gently and compassionately. She may not like being corrected but it will certainly give her something to think about.
I have been through some similar things with my own sister, so that is why I jumped to these conclusions about some of the deeper things that might be going on emotionally for you. If I am way off base, then I am sorry, but I do hope this has helped you.


#5

Your not going to like my post.

When people watch others in pain, or have bad things happen to them, the natural reaction is sympathy. You would almost have to go out of your way to feel glee towards someone elses bad situations.

There are guards in the holocaust who did terrible things to their captors. Those captors have forgiven them, and wish them well.

Really, really think about that.

Forgive, forget, and move on.


#6

That simply isn’t true. While that should be our reaction, it often is not. Many of us take delight in the misfortune of others because it means “at least that isn’t me” or “I feel better about my situation because look at their’s”.

We are called to sympathize and help if possible, but it is certainly not the natural reaction for everyone or even most people.


#7

I disagree with you completely.

I know way too many people, happily including myself-when we see people who fall down, we walk up to them and help. When we see something bad happen to someone-a car accident-we want to help. My friends and I have seen, and have done both.

Sure, some people may be different, but I think the majority of us would do the right thing.


#8

Good morning and God bless!

Yikes, yes, drama indeed. Time to put all of this to rest and forgive. Take this from someone who have lost family members (passed) and still grieve. Please do not misunderstand my post, as it is not my intent to dismiss your situation; however, in the great scheme of things, is this worth the guilt. Please let go! Ask God for His forgiveness, accept His forgiveness and forgive yourself.

Maybe it is the “law thing” in me, but I do have to ask this question. How on earth did this guy sell your sister’s car? I understand he had a key, but who had the pink slip?


#9

I can tell, by reading your posts over time, that you are a wise and compassionate soul. However, I must disagree with your implications here, and I think recalling the Holocaust victims and the Nazi guards is inappropriate here. Kimothy was already feeling really guilty for having these thoughts, and those of us who have been in a similar situation can understand exactly what she was talking about. There are thoughts that are our own, and then there are thoughts that are like little recordings playing in our head as a result of societal conditioning, and there are thoughts that come from the Holy Spirit, and there are thoughts that come from sources decidely sinister. We do not have the ability to control all the thoughts that come to mind. Sometimes our thoughts rightfully make us feel appalled, like “how could I think such a thing, where did such a thought come from.” Those thoughts we may reject and instead choose more compassionate and charitable thoughts. But that does not stop such thoughts from ever occurring, nor does it mean we are guilty of a sin. Thoughts such as the OP described are often elicited in a situation where someone has been cruel to us, however, we have the ability to reject those thoughts and choose not to act upon them, nor do we entertain them. Those kinds of thoughts are the things that lead to family discord and a loss of love between family members. Who do you think wins when we claim those thoughts and enjoy holding those thoughts in our heart? Conversely, who do you think cheers when we reject those thoughts and choose to act in love instead?
It is not the occurrence of a thought, or a line of thinking, that make us guilty of a sin. It is the embracing of such thoughts, and ultimately allowing them to lead us to wrong actions.
It seemed that the OP wanted to be shocked back into right thinking a bit, but I think we should be compassionate to her, too, as well as her sister.

BTW, I assume you meant ‘captives’ not ‘captors’


#10

[quote="mommamaree, post:9, topic:196405"]
I can tell, by reading your posts over time, that you are a wise and compassionate soul.

[/quote]

Thanks. I try my best.

As for the Nazi captives and guard analogies I apologize .

However-to reinstate this, I think it's among the most dangerous feelings to have. It's a slippery slope to feel any kind of joy towards someone bad fortunes. It can lead to worse and worse things.

Again, I apologize if I offended anyone. For the record, I really like the OP and think she's really cool and nice-I just wanted to warn her, and everyone, that feeling good over someone elses bad fortunes is really, really terrible.


#11

[quote="Kimothy80, post:1, topic:196405"]
My problem? I get a secret thrill seeing my sister suffer. Why? I think it's because I know (she's told me, point blank) she still holds resentment towards me over things I had no control over
ot.....

[/quote]

no I don't need details but somebody does, sounds like the whole family could benefit from therapy, but what family couldn't? I am responding because I bet I am not the only person who has experienced the same emotion, shameful yes, but very human. but the wounded part of our human nature, where Christ's redemption is most needed, and where his prescription for forgiveness is most effective.

When I say "you have to do this" I mean I have learned from my own dysfunctional family's experience that it works. You have to re-write the script. Instead of reacting as you always have in the past when the blame game starts, literally write out what you are going to say the next time she starts in on you. Get help with this, prof. if you need it. You have to act a new drama, not the old one where everybody plays the same parts they have been playing since infancy.

Your health as a child, or her childhood problems, are not factors in anything happening in 2010, they are excuses the keep those affected from facing and dealing with the real problems.

You cannot change your sister or your parents, but you can change yourself, your attitude, your reactions, and stop playing the game that unrolls everytime you are with them.

do you really need to know how my youngest, chubbiest sister and I reacted when our middle (skinny gorgeous) sister gained a lot of weight?


#12

Rascalking~I think you’re cool and nice too. :thumbsup:

To answer a question someone posted (I don’t know how to do that multi-quote thing!), from what my mother told me this morning, over the weekend he stole and sold my sister’s car. How? I have no idea.

I think we tried family therapy about 10 + years ago but (obviously) that didn’t last long. I know some of us (okay, maybe all of us :p) would probably benefit from seeing a professional but none of us is brave enough to approach the subject. Also, I’m up here and the rest of them are in Tampa.

My mother took an extra day off from work to help my youngest sister move back to town. During this time, she’ll be helping Mel as well.

Right now I’m at work so I don’t have all the details. I’m sure I’ll be getting more information once I get home. Oh, and this morning I sent my mom an e-mail with a suggestion that my sister change the locks of her apartment just to make sure he can’t come back.

I’m glad you all haven’t raked me over the head with coals too harshly. :wink:

I think I’m s-l-o-w-l-y starting to feel less “gleeful” about this whole situation. I do feel bad for her but I also don’t want to bendover backwards for her either.

That’s still messed isn’t it? :rolleyes:


#13

[quote="Kimothy80, post:12, topic:196405"]

I'm glad you all haven't raked me over the head with coals too harshly. ;)

:

[/quote]

I save the coals for the really mean people...

...and s'mores!


#14

LOL! Ewww…I HATE s’mores!! Now chocolate on the other hand… :wink:


#15

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