Sister says I am exaggerating pain- I need to forgive her, but how?


#1

I am ashamed to admit I am having a hard time forgiving my sister.

She told me the other day that I am “giving in” to my Rheumatoid Arthritis and she doesn’t understand how it could get so bad in less than a year. It has been implied by both my sisters that I am exaggerating about the progression of the RA.

She also said that “everyone” (probably everyone in my family= parents, 2 sisters, brother-in-law) have noticed especially that my husband has been doing more to help (even though he has always helped). She said that I order him around to do everything. My dear husband disagrees strongly with that.

It really hurt my feelings as I have never been one to wallow in self pity. it has gotten much worse in the last year and I will begin medicine next month to help (Dr. was waiting until time was right). Maybe I have been talking about it more with her but we have always talked about our issues with each other. She calls me at least twice a week about her problems with family, etc.

She was also upset because I have asked her to pick up my little girl from preschool, as her son goes to the same preschool, and drop her off to my house. I work from home 25 hours a week and it is about 6-7 minutes for her to do so, so it is very helpful for me not to wake up the baby to take him out and quit working. I even offer her gas money. I can understand if she doesn’t want to do this but she has said I ask her to do this every day of school (3x a week), which isn’t true.

Anyway, my husband is really upset because he says she doesn’t see what goes on in our home and he is furious because she said “everyone has noticed”, leaving me paranoid that others are talking aobut me.

She has fibromyalsia (sp) and says she understands about chronic pain but that I should get over it. However there are certain days when my joints hurt so badly that it is hard to hide the pain.

It is really causing a lot of tension and I am having a hard time with it. I have already decided not to disclose information to her or ask her to pick up my daughter from school.

I could use some advice, I am feeling a little sensitive, so please charitable posts only. :o


#2

I have FMS and have run up against family members who don’t understand the kind of pain I have and so simply ignore my condition or treat me like I’m a hypochondriac. My sister too said I am making too much of it, when all I intended to do was tell her why I find doing certain things much harder than before. I think it’s fear on their part. When people don’t want to face a fear they simply go into denial and fill in the empty place that leaves with their own storyline. It’s very typical, so I wouldn’t be too upset about it. Let your family members think what they like, and just go about your life as you need to. In time they will come to terms with the implications of your condition and things will ease up between you. :slight_smile:


What is this "scientific method" you all speak of?
#3

Hi Lynn,

I am sorry for what is happening to you, and as for your sisters my advice is to leave them be… Pray for them, but if you can keep your RA too yourself, your husband and your friends don’t let them see you like this. I am going through some sister stuff myself and sometimes it helps if I back away and work it out myself one thing I do now is offer it up it helps a great deal. Focus on the things that are important and keep praying. If you ever need to vent feel free to email me. I hope this helps.

God Bless
Kathleen


#4

It is very hard in this situation. I have TJM and lots of pain myself. My sister thinks I’m just trying to get attention. I just have tried to keep my issues from her. From what I understand, your condition is very different from hers. No one knows how some else handles pain, that is a very personal thing.
SAHmommy


#5

Whenever she calls, just say “Oh, I’m sorry I have to go, the baby needs changing.” Or “I can’t talk right now.”

**She only has the power over you that you allow her to have. ** Quit telling her your business, pick your child up yourself, and basically have minimal contact with her. Toxic people do not change. They prey on your kindness.

Just because someone is related to you it does not give them permission to be mean, hateful, nosy, and gossipy.

Maybe the book Toxic Families or Toxic InLaws could help you.


#6

Oh boy I’ve been there many times myself…in fact during the times where I asked for a helping hand, I was accused of infringing on others (my own sisters) and needed to be more independent…
It got so bad that interiorily I began to think I was what evreyone thought of me and questioned “love thy neighbor” and what it meant!

Those years were hard for me, but it did change but it took a conversion from me and my own sister, so much so that now I have a sister who insists on helping me so much that I have to say NO to her more times than yes. :rolleyes:

This is truly difficult, espacially when ppl are suppose to help one another in times of need, the human reaction to this is to withdraw and maintain a distance… Find support in others that know the meaning of "love thy neighbor"
I did, those many years ago, in time the hurt from knowing the ppl you are closest to will subside with prayer…I promise
If I was close I would help you, :heart:
and don’t think for one minute your the crazy one, bc your not, you need support and that is not a sin…
your sister in Christ


#7

[quote=LynnieLew]I am ashamed to admit I am having a hard time forgiving my sister.
[/quote]

First, you can’t forgive someone who doesn’t want to be forgiven.

What you can do is come to understand that she does not understand your situation and may never understand it. You don’t have to subject yourself to her comments and attitude. That isn’t revenge, it is just practical.

But again, you aren’t a bad catholic for not forgiving someone who doesn’t want forgiveness.


#8

[quote=SemperJase]First, you can’t forgive someone who doesn’t want to be forgiven.
.
[/quote]

Not only can you BUT you have to.


#9

[quote=estesbob]Not only can you BUT you have to.
[/quote]

I have seen no where in the Bible that says so. Repentance always preceeds forgiveness. Not even God forgives without repentance.


#10

[quote=SemperJase]I have seen no where in the Bible that says so. Repentance always preceeds forgiveness. Not even God forgives without repentance.
[/quote]

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”


#11

[quote=estesbob]Not only can you BUT you have to.
[/quote]

That is my struggle. No, she hasn’t asked forgiveness but I know that to hold a grudge in my heart will only bring further problems. Maybe it is my pride or feeling like I have been wronged. I know I should forgive even though she hasn’t asked for it.


#12

[quote=LynnieLew]That is my struggle. No, she hasn’t asked forgiveness but I know that to hold a grudge in my heart will only bring further problems. Maybe it is my pride or feeling like I have been wronged. I know I should forgive even though she hasn’t asked for it.
[/quote]

Discussions like this (either in cyber space or in the real world) always get sidetracked with “technical issues”. First off we need to define forgiveness. I come from the point of view that forgiveness must be requested and, if it is, we are obligated to forgive that person and not hold a grudge.

** Some people confuse forgivenss with acceptance (my definitions). You need to accept that this is who your sister is and move on. To dwell on it or let it “get to you” only hurts yourself and those who love you. I am sure there are still good qualities about her and you can enjoy somekind of relationship…you just need to set the boundaries.**


Now, to get to the main issue… I have two chronic pain illnesses that I have been suffering from since the age of 12 or so. I am very lucky to have the support of my immediate family (mom, dad, sister and husband). But no one else understands. I have known the “get over it” types, the “you’re just trying to get attention” types, the “you just have to try harder” types, and even the “God must be punishing you” types.


I used to let that control my life. I used to let my illnesses control my life. Now, I control my life. It is not the same as everyone else’s. I have many limitations and challenges. But it’s MY life and I am responsible for each and every decision that I make regarding my life. **


Even with the support of my family it is hard. They are not me, so they don’t know how I feel. Some days I feel so alone. But that’s ok. I realize that they are trying and that is good enough for me. As for those in my life who don’t try, good riddance!!! I don’t have the energy to deal with them, lol. I know that is easier said than done when dealing with family, but you’ll get there. It took me over 15 years to get comfortable with my conditions and my life…it doesn’t happen overnight.


You have the support of your husband. Let everything else roll off your back…as much for his sake as for yours. You know this is totally stressing him out too. Just watch the look of bewilderment and then joy appear on his face when you can say “oh well, not my problem” when your sis or family is acting like an a.**


If you ever want to PM me feel free.


By the way, one of my conditions is Fibromylagia and if your sis has it and still tells you to “get over” your pain then she does NOT have it very bad. Trust me.


Malia





#13

[quote=LynnieLew]That is my struggle. No, she hasn’t asked forgiveness but I know that to hold a grudge in my heart will only bring further problems. Maybe it is my pride or feeling like I have been wronged. I know I should forgive even though she hasn’t asked for it.
[/quote]

Correct-you dont forgive her for her sake-you forgive her for YOUR sake.

I have seen this from the other side also. When i workled the seps in AA their is a step where you make amends. A lot of the people i made amends to didnt forgive but it didnt matter-I can only work on my side of a relationship. i did what I needed to do and moved on. you should do the same. I will be praying for both you and your Sister


#14

Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing, either. You can forgive wholeheartedly but that doesn’t mean the relationship is reconciled enough to return back to where it was originally. If you know someone can’t handle being fully honest and intimate with you, then don’t be fully honest and intimate with them. (That doesn’t mean be DIShonest, but instead filter what you choose to share.) Love them for where they are at and pray to get over your disappointment. It’s tough to deal when family isn’t what we wish it could be.

Btw, filtering doesn’t mean you’re holding a grudge, it means you’re applying knowledge recently gained.


#15

[quote=estesbob]“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”
[/quote]

May I respectfully disagree. The soldiers actually crucifying Christ, were not aware they were killing the Son of God. They were just doing their job as soldiers. That is why Our Lord said, forgive them, they know not what they do. It was the Jewish leaders who truly killed him.

May I give another example. Someone steals, say a lot of money from you…but they feel they ‘needed’ it more than you so they justified their actions and were not ‘repentant’.

How can you forgive someone who refuses to admit they have done something wrong and refuse to repent?


#16

[quote=sconea]May I respectfully disagree. The soldiers actually crucifying Christ, were not aware they were killing the Son of God. They were just doing their job as soldiers. That is why Our Lord said, forgive them, they know not what they do. It was the Jewish leaders who truly killed him.

May I give another example. Someone steals, say a lot of money from you…but they feel they ‘needed’ it more than you so they justified their actions and were not ‘repentant’.

How can you forgive someone who refuses to admit they have done something wrong and refuse to repent?
[/quote]

Yes-because to not to do so harms me.

BTW-I beleive most interpert what Jesus says as forving all of us as all of us killed him. To lay the blame on the Jewsh leaders kind of destroys the whole purpose of his dyng on the cross. He died for ALL of our sins.


#17

LynnieLew…May I also suggest an exellent article by Jimmy Akin, available right here from This Rock at Catholic Answers, titled

“The Limits of Forgiveness”

catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0309bt.asp


#18

I have suffered with migraines since I was 8 yrs old and I’m almost 32, I also have the beginnings of fibromyalgia (my poor mom has is just terrible) I have one sister and one brother, I know that even when my sis calls and says “how are things” I don’t need to go into too much of my pain, she knows and really, beyond praying for me, there is nothing she can do, sometimes people say “tell me how your doing” but they don’t always want to hear it, it is hard to know. Now, my mom knows she can be brutally honest with me and tell me how bad her pain is and how angry she is sometimes with her pain, it really ticks her off that “pain” is causing her to miss out on life but…she doesn’t feel like she can confide like that with just anybody, even her own brother and sisters, some people may say “tell me everything” but they really don’t want to know cause they have their own problems too, and I’m not excusing your sisters actions but I know my own sister would not want to hear about my pain each time we talked or even more than once a month, unless she says " no, you tell me how you are really doing" so instead, I say, oh, same ole ya know and how are you, my sis is not perfect and she has her own life with her own issues and I love her and want her in my life so I just don’t tell her some things and that is what works best for me and her, she knows I have a lot of pain, she can see it, and I know she feels bad and she is praying for me but that is all she can do, she lives four hours away, so there is nothing she can do but pray.

I keep a daily journal and I write about my pain and in the past I’ve seen a therapitst and talked about my pain, yes, it helps to talk about it but not everyone can handle hearing about it, its not your fault and its not their fault, some people just are not cut out to listen to that and try not to be upset with her for that, you don’t know what is going on in her life, maybe she feels like becuase you have so much on your plate she can’t tell you about things in her life becuase “your in too much pain” some things are best not to share with our siblings, even my husband does grow old of my complaining, he says “honey, I know your in pain, and I feel just awful and you keep telling me, and its driving me crazy, what can I do” it gets frustrating for him, he would like to take it away and he can’t and if I go on about it he only feels worse and then we get irritated with eachother. So, you might want to look at seeing a therapist to talk to. Just an idea :confused:


#19

See if you can make arrangements with someone else at the school for you child. Perhaps you can do a carpool- you drop off, they pick up.:slight_smile:

Oh- and sisters can be selfish and stupid. :wink:


#20

[quote=LynnieLew]I am ashamed to admit I am having a hard time forgiving my sister.

She told me the other day that I am “giving in” to my Rheumatoid Arthritis and she doesn’t understand how it could get so bad in less than a year. It has been implied by both my sisters that I am exaggerating about the progression of the RA.

She also said that “everyone” (probably everyone in my family= parents, 2 sisters, brother-in-law) have noticed especially that my husband has been doing more to help (even though he has always helped). She said that I order him around to do everything. My dear husband disagrees strongly with that.

It really hurt my feelings as I have never been one to wallow in self pity. it has gotten much worse in the last year and I will begin medicine next month to help (Dr. was waiting until time was right). Maybe I have been talking about it more with her but we have always talked about our issues with each other. She calls me at least twice a week about her problems with family, etc.

She was also upset because I have asked her to pick up my little girl from preschool, as her son goes to the same preschool, and drop her off to my house. I work from home 25 hours a week and it is about 6-7 minutes for her to do so, so it is very helpful for me not to wake up the baby to take him out and quit working. I even offer her gas money. I can understand if she doesn’t want to do this but she has said I ask her to do this every day of school (3x a week), which isn’t true.

Anyway, my husband is really upset because he says she doesn’t see what goes on in our home and he is furious because she said “everyone has noticed”, leaving me paranoid that others are talking aobut me.

She has fibromyalsia (sp) and says she understands about chronic pain but that I should get over it. However there are certain days when my joints hurt so badly that it is hard to hide the pain.

It is really causing a lot of tension and I am having a hard time with it. I have already decided not to disclose information to her or ask her to pick up my daughter from school.

I could use some advice, I am feeling a little sensitive, so please charitable posts only. :o
[/quote]

Hey, fellow RA sufferer! Guess what today is for me? Three weeks ago today I had my second knee replacement. Damage done to my joints for our disease has now left me with two titanium knees. Trust me, I understand how you are feeling.

I also have a sister that is on my forgiveness list. It has been a very tough one to do, but I know that the Holy Mother Church teaches that I MUST forgive her or my own immortal soul is in peril.

I have recognized that this forgiveness of my sister is a process as well as an act of the will. I state that I forgive her, but now it is up to me to do the work around the residual feelings of anger and hurt. I am using prayer, the Sacraments and the writing exercises suggested by my 12 Step Sponsor and slowly but surely, those feelings of betrayal are fading. However, I am not perfect so I keep her in my prayers every day.

One of the prayer disciplines that helped me was purposefully praying for everything that I would love to have happen in my life to happen to my sister - good health, peace of mind, prosperity and love. I ask Our Lord to protect her and free her from physical pain, and I offer my physical pain up for the souls in Purgatory.

Not always easy - can you say “OUCH”? Boy oh boy, I can…

I am going to suggest a book that has techniques in it that have helped me…the suggestions around meditation can be adapted to our Catholic way of life and the author used to be the head of the Pain Management Clinic in University of Massachusettes.
The name of the book is Full Catastrophe Living. You can get used copies on Amazon.

Hang in there - and your husband sounds pretty fabulous…give him a big hug from ME!


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