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AlmiraGulch

NPD Spinoff: "Dead" sister comes back to life

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Do you engage, or do you run and protect yourself from the zombie?

 

Here's the deal.  She and I were extremely close for most of our adult lives. I don't know if she actually has any personality disorder, but she is completely controlled by our oldest sister.  That one (the oldest) is awful, and I never have had, nor do I ever wish to have, any kind of relationship with her.  The two of them are super close.

 

About 3+ years ago, this sister stopped talking to me.  Just...stopped.  We live close, and we'd always shared most holidays together, hung out a lot, spoke frequently, etc.  Then....nothing.  Part of the problem is that I'm extremely close to yet another sister, and the two of them do not get along or speak, so I believe I suddenly became gulity by association or something, via the manipulation of the oldest crappy sister.  So, 3+ years of this one not speaking to me or to two other siblings, telling our mother "I don't know why they're so mad at me,"  crying "woe is me," basically. My mother bought right into her crap.  I was hurt for a long time, then really angry, and then I just mourned her and our once great relationship as if she were dead. 

 

Two days ago, she called me.  She told me she was sorry, she misses me, she loves me, she admitted I hadn't done anything wrong, and that yeah, I was sort of guilty by association in her mind because she pretty much hates my best-friend sister so much.  So she's not interested in a relationship with the other two she cut off, both of whom I'm close with, but she wants one with me.  I said I have spent years mourning the loss of her, but I don't see any way we could ever have any type of relationship we used to have because I don't know how I could ever trust her again.  I also know it will cause drama with best-friend sister, who would never tell me what to do (because she's not a controlling freak), but who did tell me that she's concerned this other one is trying, and will continue to try, to come between us. 

 

What do I do?  

 

Right now, I've decided to do nothing.  I have always fantasized about running into her in a store somewhere, or while I was getting my hair done (we go to the same place), but I never have, and don't know what I would have done if I had.  I also miss her kids and my great nieces, one of whom I haven't even met because of this.  Still, I can't decide if it's worth the risk.

 

Please give me some perspective, here.

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Wow, what a mess.

 

I might agree to pick up again with the relationship with the condition that sister not say anything nasty about the rest of the family you are on good terms with. Your relationship is between the two of you only and no one else should be involved.

 

I'm so sorry things are so hard in your family :(

Edited by maize

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My siblings all get along fairly well but I have found that things are most comfortable and straightforward when we focus on whoever it is we are interacting with and don't delve into talking about the lives of others. Even in good relationships, gossip tends to muddy the waters.

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I have 6 siblings. With sibling relationships you really just have to not compare them with other sibling relationships. None of us have ever had a falling out but there have been times that we've been jealous of the close relationships between different siblings. The jealousy was never serious but sometimes you'd wonder, " why don't they call me up to hang out on a Friday night." But that was it. You just didn't make it about you.

 

So if you have any interest in reconnecting I'd be very honest that any sibling bashing or attempts to try to get between you and another sibling will result in you doing the actual cutting off communication. She needs to know that it isn't a choose me or her. You can have a relationship with both as long as no one is trying to pull you away from the other sibling. Ask her if she can do that. If she can't then you know you can't attempt to fix things

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I don't suppose there would be interest in you and your sibling (or siblings) going to short term therapy to try and create a healthier dynamic? Sometimes it can be exceedingly difficult to avoid falling into old patterns of behavior without some outside help.

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This sounds really yucky. I would be tempted to have a relationship of some kind for my kids to know their cousins, but only if the sister who apologized owned her lies to your mom. That would be a deal breaker for me. And I would always be on guard for any manipulation from her.

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I don't suppose there would be interest in you and your sibling (or siblings) going to short term therapy to try and create a healthier dynamic? Sometimes it can be exceedingly difficult to avoid falling into old patterns of behavior without some outside help.

 

This.  You need some help to create a new relational dynamic. 

 

Also, asking the other(s) to go to therapy with you will help to gauge their seriousness in fixing things vs engaging in drama.

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I don't suppose there would be interest in you and your sibling (or siblings) going to short term therapy to try and create a healthier dynamic? Sometimes it can be exceedingly difficult to avoid falling into old patterns of behavior without some outside help.

 

Not really.

 

I don't think there would be anything short-term about it, and I don't have the time, money, or inclination to open wounds that have long since scabbed over.  I really didn't have much of a desire to have this one reopened, but she did it, and here it is, and now I have to figure out the best way to heal.  

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I say do what you want to do.  If you want a relationship with her then give it a try.  If you feel you have done better without her, then don't do that. 

 

I don't have a relationship with my sister.  I'm not sure what I'd do if she suddenly contacted me.  I've been doing pretty well with the way things are.  I suppose a part of me wishes things could have been different, but it is what it is.

 

 

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This.  You need some help to create a new relational dynamic. 

 

Also, asking the other(s) to go to therapy with you will help to gauge their seriousness in fixing things vs engaging in drama.

 

I understand.

 

I'm not at all interested in facilitating anything between any of the others.  I've done that before, and it was quite successful, but it wasn't my issue to begin with and I probably just should have stayed out of it.  I'm a firm believer that people own their own relationships, and that's that.  So, I don't care to ever have a relationship with the eldest, but I don't care if anyone else does.  They're lives, their relationships, theirs to manage.  I'm not even a tiny bit up for a big family saga, and it would be one, kwim?

 

In this case, my concerns are:

1. I just don't want to set myself up to be hurt that way again.  I don't have to, I realize.  Relationships change, and maybe there could be one, just different than what we used to have.  But the risk is still big.

 

2. Best friend sister.  Frankly, my relationship with her is more important than reconnecting with this one.  Like I said, I spoke with her, and she did not try and tell me what to do.  She wouldn't.  She knows that I know how she feels.  I just don't know if trying to have some sort of something with this sister is even worth the possibility of the BF sister having discomfort and negativity because of it.  I realize that she owns her own feelings and thoughts and reactions, but it's in my power to protect her from that right now.

 

All of our kids are grown, and have never been close anyway (mine are significantly younger than theirs) so the cousins relationship isn't so much on the radar. 

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I do think it's "nice" (for lack of a better word) that she apologized.  She's at least not making it seem like she has no fault here.

 

Yes, I do appreciate that.  There was no hint of excuse in her words.  No "buts".  I believe it was sincere.

 

I think the bottom line is that I would like to have a relationship with her, but one like it used to be, and that's not even possible. 

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This is so hard.

 

I let my zombie relatives back in. And then they really hurt me and the kids. I mean, really bad. But, if her kids are older, they could decide to stick around and have a relationship with you in the long run even if she bails.

 

Those relatives are back to being the dead to me. I wish I never let them back in. It was a huge mistake. You need to decide how much you love her and miss her. It might be worth giving her a second shot. If that behavior was out of the ordinary and she was not otherwise cruel to you, it might be worth a shot. My relatives that are dead to me, they had been cruel to me for years. My brother and sister would always gang up on me and torment me. They would make fun of my children. My brother spread gossip about me around school. My sister was so competitive with me and my children that she constantly put my children down in order to build hers up. And yet, I kept letting them back in. It was awful.

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Wow, what a mess.

 

I might agree to pick up again with the relationship with the condition that sister not say anything nasty about the rest of the family you are on good terms with. Your relationship is between the two of you only and no one else should be involved.

 

I'm so sorry things are so hard in your family :(

 

Yes, thanks for this.  I don't think there would even be a hint of discussion about the others anyway.  She knows I will protect my BF sister no matter what.  I have always been very clear with the "your relationships are yours to manage, mine are mine and none of your business" message, but given the circumstance I simply wouldn't tolerate it.  I'm sure she would say the same if I were to speak negatively about the oldest.

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I say do what you want to do.  If you want a relationship with her then give it a try.  If you feel you have done better without her, then don't do that. 

 

I don't have a relationship with my sister.  I'm not sure what I'd do if she suddenly contacted me.  I've been doing pretty well with the way things are.  I suppose a part of me wishes things could have been different, but it is what it 

 

But I want you to tell me what I want to do!!!!!!  :-)

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IME, I've had two close people in my life with whom I had long-term-falling outs. With a once-best-friend  . . . After "reconnecting", we've been in regular touch, and I care for her and her kid, but I simply don't feel like I used to. I grieved for the 4 years she was out of my life . . . And in the 15 years since . . . I am, I think, utterly immune to it. She's been a bit dramatic and disappeared fro 6-12 months a couple times . . . and, meh, no biggie. I'm just not emotionally vested. This has allowed me to be in relationship but not care that much when things go south. I care for *her* but not so much for our relationship. I have a family member with a similar trajectory . . . That relationship is closer since it is close family, but, in both cases, the years apart during which I grieved and processed gave me a lot of perspective and distance and ability to deal with them now without much risk to my well being. I am MUCH more immune to being hurt by them, and when the inevitable dramatic disappearances and reappearances occur, they get to me much less than you'd imagine. Like if the BIG drama was 100 pain, then the subsequent ones were all under 10. 

 

If you don't think that's the case for you, then I'd steer clear of her . . . But if you feel pretty immune, then it may be OK to reconnect a little. It'll never be the same, for sure, IME.

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That's a tough decision. Do you think she's really sorry or do you think you bf sister is right and she will try to come between you? I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize the really good relationship you have with your one sister. 

 

OTOH, do you want to try again? Do you think it would be good for the kids (all of them, yours and hers) to get to know their cousins? If so, I'd suggest a limited, arms-length relationship at least until you get a feel for what's going on with her. Is she still really close to controlling sister and could that cause problems? 

 

Try maybe a few short things like meeting without your families, for lunch or coffee or a drink. Take baby steps and see if this is something that you really want and that will not hurt your good relationship.

 

ETA: autocorrect victim. I don't know how it changed jeopardized to justify but I fixed it. As usual, I had already been quoted before I was able to do that.

Edited by Lady Florida.

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I have a sister in law like this. I know that I know that I know that we can't be close because she hates my sister - for no good reason except a big dose of green eyed envy - but I didn't want to just be cut off forever. So I keep it simple. I don't talk with her a lot, but do make an effort occasionally, and I time it in such a way that we are only meeting for a few minutes at a time, and steer away and redirect any topic that could ever come around to my sister. It is chit chat plain and simple, and often we only end up "catching up" about our kids because we aren't talking on the phone or meeting up all the time. This keeps it pleasant. She talks about my niece's high school accomplishments and running track and what not, then she asks me about my boys and with one in college, one going in the fall, one in high school yet that is very busy in 4-H, rocketry, and robotics, and our daughter recently giving us a grandchild, we have a lot of happy chit chat that has nothing to do with my sister, and then oops, oh look it's time to leave, I'm glad I was able to buy you a cup of Starbucks coffee, God Bless, and I'm in the van and on the road again. If she calls, it is still the same. I don't stay on the phone for long, and over time, she is "trained" I guess that we will never be that close or in close contact. She seems to have accepted that, and so it stays pleasant, we never talk about my sister, and there isn't any drama.

 

it is a definite deliberate effort on my part to keep the relationship this way. It is kind of a friendly acquaintance thing, but at least neither of us has the pain of being 100% out of each others' lives.

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This is so hard.

 

I let my zombie relatives back in. And then they really hurt me and the kids. I mean, really bad. But, if her kids are older, they could decide to stick around and have a relationship with you in the long run even if she bails.

 

Those relatives are back to being the dead to me. I wish I never let them back in. It was a huge mistake. You need to decide how much you love her and miss her. It might be worth giving her a second shot. If that behavior was out of the ordinary and she was not otherwise cruel to you, it might be worth a shot. My relatives that are dead to me, they had been cruel to me for years. My brother and sister would always gang up on me and torment me. They would make fun of my children. My brother spread gossip about me around school. My sister was so competitive with me and my children that she constantly put my children down in order to build hers up. And yet, I kept letting them back in. It was awful.

 

Oh my gosh, that's awful!  I don't understand how people can treat people that way.  I wouldn't even do that to a stranger, much less a family member.  Even the ones I can't stand!  I'm so sorry.

 

She was never cruel to me in that way.  There were times that weren't great, where I felt very marginalized, and it hurt.  When I confronted her about it, she basically said oh, well.  Really.  She didn't seem to care.  On the other hand, the vast majority of our years have been great.  That's what makes it hard.

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I understand.

 

I'm not at all interested in facilitating anything between any of the others.  I've done that before, and it was quite successful, but it wasn't my issue to begin with and I probably just should have stayed out of it.  I'm a firm believer that people own their own relationships, and that's that.  So, I don't care to ever have a relationship with the eldest, but I don't care if anyone else does.  They're lives, their relationships, theirs to manage.  I'm not even a tiny bit up for a big family saga, and it would be one, kwim?

 

In this case, my concerns are:

1. I just don't want to set myself up to be hurt that way again.  I don't have to, I realize.  Relationships change, and maybe there could be one, just different than what we used to have.  But the risk is still big.

 

2. Best friend sister.  Frankly, my relationship with her is more important than reconnecting with this one.  Like I said, I spoke with her, and she did not try and tell me what to do.  She wouldn't.  She knows that I know how she feels.  I just don't know if trying to have some sort of something with this sister is even worth the possibility of the BF sister having discomfort and negativity because of it.  I realize that she owns her own feelings and thoughts and reactions, but it's in my power to protect her from that right now.

 

All of our kids are grown, and have never been close anyway (mine are significantly younger than theirs) so the cousins relationship isn't so much on the radar. 

 

Seems to me then that you really don't want to have a relationship with her. 

 

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I know a lot of people seem to think we need to be extra forgiving towards family..you know blood is thicker than water.  Yadda yadda.  I don't believe that. I am sure you have already been extra forgiving before.  But if there comes a point where someone is making us miserable or really is treating us unfairly then I don't care who they are.  They don't get to do that.  If you have gone your own way and have been happier for that, don't mess with it.

 

 

 

 

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Not really.

 

I don't think there would be anything short-term about it, and I don't have the time, money, or inclination to open wounds that have long since scabbed over.  I really didn't have much of a desire to have this one reopened, but she did it, and here it is, and now I have to figure out the best way to heal.  

 

Look, just because some lobs you a crap-bomb doesn't mean you are obligated to pick it up.  You are well within your rights to just delete and move on, if that's what you want to do.

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, but it's in my power to protect her from that right now.

 

 

 

No, it's not.  Whether you pursue a relationship with the "dead" sister or not, your BF sister is going to have a reaction.  She already knows about it, so any theoretical ability to protect her is out the window.  You can't protect anyone from reality.  You also aren't required to shove it in her face.  If you want to pursue a relationship with the dead sister, do so, and just don't talk to your BF sister about it.  If she asks you can legitimately say, "For now, I'm more comfortable keeping these things apart.  I'll let you know if that changes."

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I know a lot of people seem to think we need to be extra forgiving towards family..you know blood is thicker than water.  Yadda yadda.  I don't believe that. I am sure you have already been extra forgiving before.  But if there comes a point where someone is making us miserable or really is treating us unfairly then I don't care who they are.  They don't get to do that.  If you have gone your own way and have been happier for that, don't mess with it.

 

Probably my Catholicism influences my view on this, but I think (ETA: some) others may feel the same way.

 

I don't feel like we need to be "extra" forgiving to family.  I believe we need to be equally forgiving to everyone, and reconciling with those who we can. 

 

But reconciliation has requirements.  The other party must own their faults.  They must be sincerely sorry for them.  They must change their behavior.

 

I find this is almost never the case.

Edited by TammyS
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Probably my Catholicism influences my view on this, but I think (ETA: some) others may feel the same way.

 

I don't feel like we need to be "extra" forgiving to family.  I believe we need to be equally forgiving to everyone, and reconciling with those who we can. 

 

But reconciliation has requirements.  The other party must own their faults.  They must be sincerely sorry for them.  They must change their behavior.

 

I find this is almost never the case.

 

I think I am extra forgiving towards family.  For one thing, we sometimes have insight into that person's details that we may not have otherwise.  For example, some of my family members have a mental illness and that sometimes means they do stuff that is hard to take.  If I did not know them, I wouldn't put up with any of that because I may not even know why they are doing that.  As their family member I know. 

 

So maybe "need" isn't quite the right word.  I think in fact we tend to be.  People have said to me that I should overlook certain things with a family member and need to patch things up.  I don't agree.  They may be unhappy with the situation, but it's not their situation. 

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Oh and speaking of Catholic views of things, there were members of my family who thought all they had to do was ask for forgiveness.  If they kept screwing up even willingly, it was ok because if they asked for forgiveness that is all it took.  I don't agree and have no idea if that is an actual Catholic "rule" (for lack of a better word), but they did say that.

See it's no wonder I'm not religious.  There were too many instances in my life where people used religion as an excuse or cover for their craptastic behavior.

 

 

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Oh and speaking of Catholic views of things, there were members of my family who thought all they had to do was ask for forgiveness.  If they kept screwing up even willingly, it was ok because if they asked for forgiveness that is all it took.  I don't agree and have no idea if that is an actual Catholic "rule" (for lack of a better word), but they did say that.

See it's no wonder I'm not religious.  There were too many instances in my life where people used religion as an excuse or cover for their craptastic behavior.

 

Not a Catholic rule at all.  Just that we have confession (now called in some places "the sacrament of reconciliation") and so spend some more time thinking about forgiveness and reconciliation.  The sacrament has a form: admission of guilt, receiving of forgiveness, act of contrition (which includes the determination to "amend" our lives/ways), and act of penance.  You can't actually be forgiven in the sacrament if you don't have the intent to change the behavior, the priest will send you away.

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For myself, I would give it a second chance but approached with extreme caution and strict guidelines.  Then I would know that I did what I could to be forgiving, and if it goes bad it is on her.

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Not a Catholic rule at all.  Just that we have confession (now called in some places "the sacrament of reconciliation") and so spend some more time thinking about forgiveness and reconciliation.  The sacrament has a form: admission of guilt, receiving of forgiveness, act of contrition (which includes the determination to "amend" our lives/ways), and act of penance.  You can't actually be forgiven in the sacrament if you don't have the intent to change the behavior, the priest will send you away.

 

Yes, I made that sacrament.  Although my mother in particular didn't agree with the concept so I only went twice.

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For myself, I would give it a second chance but approached with extreme caution and strict guidelines.  Then I would know that I did what I could to be forgiving, and if it goes bad it is on her.

 

Like what kind of guidelines?

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No answers, but lots of questions come to mind:

 

Is zombie sister still in contact with dreaded sister?  Is she likely to bring information back to her?  If so, are you okay with whatever dreaded sister does with that information?

 

Would you consider having your mom present for meetings with zombie sister, since she was the one who sabotaged your relationship with your mom previously?  Would this help you mend things with mom?  Would zombie sister be more likely to behave with witnesses present?

 

Is your tolerance for drivel high enough to handle an ongoing relationship in which very little intimacy is possible?

 

Is the issue between beloved sister and dreaded sister one that is ongoing or in the past?  Is beloved sister likely to probe for information?  Are you okay with constantly having to keep a portion of your life secret from her?

 

What is the best case scenario you can imagine coming out of this?  How would beloved sister react to that scenario?  Are the risks to your current relationship with beloved sister worth it?

 

 

Edited by Plink

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Family members getting a break from each other for a few years is not that huge a deal to me. If you need a friend, then get reacquainted. If not, don't.

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I think everything depends on whether or not you want a relationship with the sister who wants back into your life.

 

I don't think much of the whole "If you're friends with so-and-so, then you can't be friends with me" thing. Nobody owns another person's time, attention, and friendship. That said, if you decide to rekindle a relationship, you have every right to let sis know you won't tolerate or participate in any gossip about BF sister (same rule applies with BF sister and other sister) and that you appreciate not being the subject of gossip yourself with anybody else.

 

Unless sis-who-wants-back-in did something unforgivable to BF sister, their issues are their issues, not yours.

 

Sounds like a messy, difficult situation. What matters is what you want.

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No answers, but lots of questions come to mind:

 

Is zombie sister still in contact with dreaded sister?  Is she likely to bring information back to her?  If so, are you okay with whatever dreaded sister does with that information?

 

Would you consider having your mom present for meetings with zombie sister, since she was the one who sabotaged your relationship with your mom previously?  Would this help you mend things with mom?  Would zombie sister be more likely to behave with witnesses present?

 

Is your tolerance for drivel high enough to handle an ongoing relationship in which very little intimacy is possible?

 

Is the issue between beloved sister and dreaded sister one that is ongoing or in the past?  Is beloved sister likely to probe for information?  Are you okay with constantly having to keep a portion of your life secret from her?

 

What is the best case scenario you can imagine coming out of this?  How would beloved sister react to that scenario?  Are the risks to your current relationship with beloved sister worth it?

 

1. Zombie sister and Dreaded sister (I love that title!) are as close to each other as Best Friend sister is to me. 

 

2. To be clear, my relationship is great with my mom.  She stays neutral, for the most part. Openly, at least.  The problem with our mom is that she always champions who she perceives to be the underdog or persecuted, and in this case zombie sister has painted herself in that light.  It's crap, but my mom doesn't hold it against me.  She has talked to me about it, and she knows about the phone call, and zombie's admission of guilt.  

 

3. I don't know, and I guess that's why I'm struggling.

 

4. The issues between BF sister and Dreaded sister all came about as things that happened in the past.  They have had no contact in...I don't know....decades, maybe.  They never will.  Neither is willing, and because Dreaded sister continues her crap, and continues to manipulate relationships between the rest of us (or has tried to, anyway), there is no hope there.  BF sister will probe for information, and I'll give it to her.  I don't keep secrets from her.  If I decide to have contact with zombie sister, BF sister will be the first to know.

 

5. I guess the best case scenario I can think of is that we'll at least be cordial.  Maybe I can let go of some of the dread I carry from the loss of the relationship.  Maybe when my parents eventually move to here (4 of us live in the same state, but my parents do not) and move in with zombie sister, because they will at some point since she has the space, I'll be able to see my parents without having to be completely uncomfortable.  Maybe I could go see my niece and brand new great niece when I'm in New York this summer.  

 

Are the risks worth it? That's what I'm trying to decide. As a matter of principle I think that people need to mind their own busines when it comes to other people's relationships with people  For years I was close with zombie and BF sort of chided me about it, but I would tell her to butt out and let me handle my business.  It was fine.  Never came between us before, and it still shouldn't.  The reality is, it might now.  So do I stand on principle and go see zombie?  Is it worth the risk? I can't answer that right now because I can't think all the way through to what could possibly happen as a result of my meeting up with zombie.

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I think everything depends on whether or not you want a relationship with the sister who wants back into your life.

 

I don't think much of the whole "If you're friends with so-and-so, then you can't be friends with me" thing. Nobody owns another person's time, attention, and friendship. That said, if you decide to rekindle a relationship, you have every right to let sis know you won't tolerate or participate in any gossip about BF sister (same rule applies with BF sister and other sister) and that you appreciate not being the subject of gossip yourself with anybody else.

 

Unless sis-who-wants-back-in did something unforgivable to BF sister, their issues are their issues, not yours.

 

Sounds like a messy, difficult situation. What matters is what you want.

 

I agree with all of this.

 

I just don't know what I want.  No one can tell me, I realize, I just like the thought-provoking questions, comments, and experiences I get here.  Helps me look at things through different lenses.

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Maybe take things very slowly.  No harm in talking once in awhile or meeting up for coffee or whatever.  Nothing says you have to jump back in full force.

 

I don't think people tend to change much, but they do often mellow out. 

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If you want to be in contact, set some good boundaries.  

 

Things like these:

 

I will never engage in conversation about any family members or issues with ZS.

I will never be alone with ZS in a way that I am trapped.  (Eg. maybe she never comes to your house)

I will always be in a public location when I meet with ZS.  (Prevents scenes.)

I will always have a means of getting away from her (Eg. don't ride together to the coffee shop or whatever)

I will never engage in money issues with ZS.  

 

You don't have to tell her the rules; you just have to keep them yourself.  There might be others that are more important for you.  These rules let me keep a friendsihp on life support for a few years, but eventually, it all blew up anyway.

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But I want you to tell me what I want to do!!!!!!  :-)

 

I only have one sister, so not familiar with larger family dynamics.

 

But I'd do everything I could to preserve that relationship. Both because I love her and she's my sister but also so my kids can know her kids.

 

We didn't know our cousins growing up, and I still miss that, as an adult.

 

Put whatever boundaries you have to on it.  But yes, you could get hurt again.

 

Because the only way to avoid hurt is to avoid the chance of loving as well. The two are related.

 

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  Maybe when my parents eventually move to here (4 of us live in the same state, but my parents do not) and move in with zombie sister, because they will at some point since she has the space, I'll be able to see my parents without having to be completely uncomfortable.  Maybe I could go see my niece and brand new great niece when I'm in New York this summer.  

 

 

This changes everything imho.  If zombie sister is going to be caretaker for your parents, you really need to put together some sort of not-hostile relationship just for logistics sake. I'd make sure to sell it that way emphasize that necessity to your BF sister too, so that she can see you aren't trying to slight her, but preserve a relationship with your parents.  

 

ETA:  That doesn't mean that you need to be close if you aren't comfortable, but with this scenario I'd at least try to be on basic speaking terms.

Edited by Plink
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So, I am trying to follow here, but it's kind of complicated. Are there 5 sisters? Or only 4? Regardless of, it sounds like the biggest problem is between sisters A,B,C and D. A is the oldest, B her best friend (who hurt and was dead to C), and C and D are best friends. A and C have NO relationship, neither do B and D. I sure hope I got this right, and sorry for using A,B,C,D...I can't use the other words to label them. So, B and C are kind of in the middle. They could, or could not have a relationship, and that could also be influenced by how they each interact with A and D. Well...B apologized, and she seemed honest. Unfortunately, that doesn't guarantee she will not mess up again...we are all humans and mess up, several times. There's a risk for C to go ahead and let B back in her life...not only C could get hurt again, but D could be affected in the process. No one knows what will happen, we just can't predict the future. I'm Catholic, and the older I get the more interested I am in learning the beauty of our faith. Forgive me if you are not religious, but this is who I am and what I can offer.

1) Jesus asks us to forgive. One time, a million times if necessary. Sister B asked for forgiveness and to come back into your life. I would have a hard time saying no. However, I'd proceed VERY cautiously. Not only to protect myself from getting hurt, but also protecting my relationship with sister D.

2) There is a chance that allowing B in your life could hurt you again. But there's also a chance that it won't. You won't know unless you try it.

3) If I was sister C (this is you), I'd try my best to stop mourning the relationship I USED to have with sister B. That is gone. What you can do is focus, little by little, in building a NEW relationship. Who knows, if it all goes well your future relationship could be even better than what you had before! Maybe?? There's a chance, right?

4) This sounds to be a very clear "team A" against "team B" sort of dynamics. Which, in the end, affects everyone involved. If we harbor hate, or bad feelings in our heart, those bad feelings take the place of good and loving feelings that could be there instead. Hate, resent, negative feelings against ANY of the sisters is affecting negatively not only the person "receiving" of these feelings, but also the person harboring them. Negative, unloving feelings are a heavy luggage slowing us down, and in one way or the other, as long as there's still hate between A,B,C and or D...everyone will be impacted by it :(

Hope I sort of made sense in what I wanted to express? Will pray for you and your sisters!!!

Edited by mamiof5
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That's a tough decision. Do you think she's really sorry or do you think you bf sister is right and she will try to come between you? I wouldn't do anything to justify the really good relationship you have with your one sister. 

 

OTOH, do you want to try again? Do you think it would be good for the kids (all of them, yours and hers) to get to know their cousins? If so, I'd suggest a limited, arms-length relationship at least until you get a feel for what's going on with her. Is she still really close to controlling sister and could that cause problems? 

 

Try maybe a few short things like meeting without your families, for lunch or coffee or a drink. Take baby steps and see if this is something that you really want and that will not hurt your good relationship.

 

I'm not concerned with the kids because they're nowhere near close in age.  Hers are much older than mine...adults with kids of their own. Yes she and the controlling sister are very tight.  In fact, as evidence of her controlling nature, my sister had to call her own daughter to get my phone number, and daughter said to her "Aunt Awful is going to be pissed." 

 

I do think she's sorry.  She sounded very forthcoming, with no hint of defensiveness, or "but," or anything like that when she spoke.  She owned what she's done.  If I do meet up with her (and I'm still 50/50 on what I"m going to do), it will definitley have to be in a public place, in neutral geography, for a short period of time.  I will never let her in the way she used to be, but that might be ok, too.  

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So, I am trying to follow here, but it's kind of complicated. Are there 5 sisters? Or only 4? Regardless of, it sounds like the biggest problem is between sisters A,B,C and D. A is the oldest, B her best friend (who hurt and was dead to C), and C and D are best friends. A and C have NO relationship, neither do B and D. I sure hope I got this right, and sorry for using A,B,C,D...I can't use the other words to label them. So, B and C are kind of in the middle. They could, or could not have a relationship, and that could also be influenced by how they each interact with A and D. Well...B apologized, and she seemed honest. Unfortunately, that doesn't guarantee she will not mess up again...we are all humans and mess up, several times. There's a risk for C to go ahead and let B back in her life...not only C could get hurt again, but D could be affected in the process. No one knows what will happen, we just can't predict the future. I'm Catholic, and the older I get the more interested I am in learning the beauty of our faith. Forgive me if you are not religious, but this is who I am and what I can offer.

1) Jesus asks us to forgive. One time, a million times if necessary. Sister B asked for forgiveness and to come back into your life. I would have a hard time saying no. However, I'd proceed VERY cautiously. Not only to protect myself from getting hurt, but also protecting my relationship with sister D.

2) There is a chance that allowing B in your life could hurt you again. But there's also a chance that it won't. You won't know unless you try it.

3) If I was sister C (this is you), I'd try my best to stop mourning the relationship I USED to have with sister B. That is gone. What you can do is focus, little by little, in building a NEW relationship. Who knows, if it all goes well your future relationship could be even better than what you had before! Maybe?? There's a chance, right?

4) This sounds to be a very clear "team A" against "team B" sort of dynamics. Which, in the end, affects everyone involved. If we harbor hate, or bad feelings in our heart, those bad feelings take the place of good and loving feelings that could be there instead. Hate, resent, negative feelings against ANY of the sisters is affecting negatively not only the person "receiving" of these feelings, but also the person harboring them. Negative, unloving feelings are a heavy luggage slowing us down, and in one way or the other, as long as there's still hate between A,B,C and or D...everyone will be impacted by it :(

Hope I sort of made sense in what I wanted to express? Will pray for you and your sisters!!!

 

I followed you pretty closely, so you get an A+ for following all of my nonsensical posts!  Just for clarity, there are five sisters and one brother.  I'm only really talking about 4 of the sisters here.  I think your letters match up with my naming convention in the following way:

 

Sister A:  Oldest, Dreadful Sister

Sister B:  Zombie Sister

Sister C:  Me

Sister D:  Best Friend Sister

 

A and B are besties.

A does not speak to C, D, or the other sister.  We're all fine with that.  We don't want to speak with her, either.  Ever.  

A and D were quite close at one time, but that was over decades ago.

B and D were extremely close at one time, and it wasn't decades ago, but it has been many, many years.  More than 10, I'd say.  They do not speak now and likely never will.  Tons of resentment and anger on both of their parts, and neither of them forgives easily.

 

That said, I am not B, and I am not D.  It is pretty well known that I just am not one that holds onto things like that.  I think it's unhealthy and causes me anxiety.  So, I forgive, and I move on, and I accept that things can be different but don't have to be completely gone forever.  For me, there is gray area.   That's why I think you're probably right, primarily because of your point #4.  I just don't hold on to things like this, generally. It's not in my nature. So I did tell her that I accept her apology, and I mean it.  Now I just have to decide if I want to let her into my life again. I'm now leaning toward just having a coffee or something with her and reevaluate how  I feel after I see and speak to her live.  

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I followed you pretty closely, so you get an A+ for following all of my nonsensical posts! Just for clarity, there are five sisters and one brother. I'm only really talking about 4 of the sisters here. I think your letters match up with my naming convention in the following way:

 

Sister A: Oldest, Dreadful Sister

Sister B: Zombie Sister

Sister C: Me

Sister D: Best Friend Sister

 

A and B are besties.

A does not speak to C, D, or the other sister. We're all fine with that. We don't want to speak with her, either. Ever.

A and D were quite close at one time, but that was over decades ago.

B and D were extremely close at one time, and it wasn't decades ago, but it has been many, many years. More than 10, I'd say. They do not speak now and likely never will. Tons of resentment and anger on both of their parts, and neither of them forgives easily.

 

That said, I am not B, and I am not D. It is pretty well known that I just am not one that holds onto things like that. I think it's unhealthy and causes me anxiety. So, I forgive, and I move on, and I accept that things can be different but don't have to be completely gone forever. For me, there is gray area. That's why I think you're probably right, primarily because of your point #4. I just don't hold on to things like this, generally. It's not in my nature. So I did tell her that I accept her apology, and I mean it. Now I just have to decide if I want to let her into my life again. I'm now leaning toward just having a coffee or something with her and reevaluate how I feel after I see and speak to her live.

Yay!! So glad I didn't make it more complicated with different labels. Coffee is a wonderful idea!! I can tell you are not one to hold unto things, or probably you wouldn't have questioned to let her back in your life...and right away, as soon as she contacted you!! You could have had an initial "what? Forget it!" reaction, but you didn't. Coffee sounds great, and go from there. It might take lots of small steps, just take it one at a time. Will pray for A, B and D (and the rest too), for all of you! Maybe, just maybe, someday there will be healing and forgiveness between all of you :)

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