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Joan@DebtofGratitude
September 29th, 2013, 06:27 PM
Hi friends,

Like everyone, I've had my share of heartache in family relationships. After plenty of sad moments, I had a happy one yesterday after talking to my sister.

We are not close. In fact, I haven't seen her in more than two years and I hadn't talked to her in more than a year. It's a complicated story. You can read more about it if you are interested in this blog post:

The Beverly Hillbillies. ? Debt of Gratitude (http://debtofgratitude.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/the-beverly-hillbillies/)

I just wanted to encourage any of you who are struggling with a family relationship to reach out. I know hard hard it is to do. I know how many times it leads to frustration or heartache. I also know it sometimes ends well. And even when it doesn't, I'm convinced it still makes a difference.

Happy Sunday all!

HdWench
September 29th, 2013, 06:30 PM
So sorry Joan it didn't go as planned, but you can keep trying?

Joan@DebtofGratitude
September 29th, 2013, 07:41 PM
Actually, Debbie, it ended well. Which reminds of the importance of reaching out and hoping for the best.

easyquilts
September 29th, 2013, 07:56 PM
Jean.... First if all, I am glad that you had a "happy moment" with your sister..... I understand how hard it is to reach out to someone, only to be hurt again. But.....as you have discovered.....the rewards of persistence can be pretty awesome.

I hope you will be able to share more happy moments with your sister....

MRoy
September 29th, 2013, 08:54 PM
Keep reaching out if you can. My only sister passed away Dec 2011 and I miss her every day.

KathyCrofoot
September 29th, 2013, 08:56 PM
It is amazing what time, distance, and acceptance for who you are can change a relationship! Congratulations on reconnecting with your sister. May that bond strengthen and grow.

Lisapc
September 29th, 2013, 10:14 PM
I would hold onto that ending if I were you. My sister D. is 10 yrs older than I and we were together all the time. My mother worked very early in the morning and she used to get me and my little brother off to school. She eloped when she was 19. 4 yrs later she had her first son, 2 years later another son. I was with her all the time. I babysat, did all kinds of things with the boys and frankly had far more interest in her and her two boys than most any friends in school. I had my daughter when I was 20 and she was 30 and that was it. She never called, never came to any event and never asked me to babysit again. Within a few years whenever she would call the house she wouldn't even talk to me. Family gatherings she ignored me except to make snide comments. It gets far worse from there and I still don't know what happened to change things so drastically. I tell myself that I am better off but the truth is she lives 10 minutes away, we have granddaughters close to the same age. I just don't know what happened. I miss having a big sister a lot.

I hope you can continue to have more happy ending conversations with yours. Good luck!

Joan@DebtofGratitude
September 29th, 2013, 10:20 PM
I'm so sorry, Lisa. I know how difficult it is. Our relationship was so difficult for so many years, but it has gotten better since my mother died. That seems terrible to say, but the difficulty is no longer triangulated by our mother, and we both realize life is short. Perhaps there is an opportunity with your granddaughters to build a bridge?

PeggyM
September 29th, 2013, 10:28 PM
This breaks my heart. I am so very, very close to my sister, and just as important, so are our children. I even let my sister share my granddaughter with me. My brothers haven't exchanged a word in 15 years. No animosity, just no connection. I hope one day you all come together.

Mchelem
September 30th, 2013, 03:57 AM
I don't have sisters, only brothers.

Glad you took a chance and it ended well.

Iris Girl
September 30th, 2013, 08:28 AM
I have no sisters or brothers. Would love a sister to share things with... but having said that I see the relationship between my hubby and his sister... leaves a lot to be desired. But my 2 sons get along wonderful except for a few minor quirks here and there.

MayinJerset
September 30th, 2013, 11:01 AM
Joan, Glad you reached out to your sister and the results were good.

Lisa, Sad about you and your sister. DH and I have been through something like your experience with a DS his wife. Realized after many attempts to find out what went wrong that some people don't want to talk about their reasons for cutting family out of their lives - makes it difficult for the persons cut out to deal with it or to do anything to change it. We now have a 'friendly' relationship instead of a family one. Sometimes half a glass is better than none at all and hope that may be in your future with your sister.

Miss Sheri
September 30th, 2013, 11:17 AM
Lisa, sweetheart, have you ever explained to your sister what you just shared with us? I ask because of my own experience with my brother. When we were growing up, he was the oldest boy and I the oldest girl in a house of 8 kids and with another brother inbetween us. I was his biggest supporter as he went off on two years of missionary service followed by enlistment in the army. I wrote letters and encouraged him and was that constant 'sis' that he relied upon. Sadly, I had no idea how much my little letters meant to him. We each got married and life changed. My DH whom I dearly love, has never really taken to my family. It has been the biggest heartbreak of my married life. He is also, such an intense personality that I was fully overwhelmed during the first years of our marriage. So, external family ties were pushed to the background as I first survived, and then fought for our marriage to succeed. Over the years, my marriage got much, much better, but my relationship with my siblings had faltered. It took a courageous letter from my brother, letting me know how much it had hurt him that I had seemed to disappear off the face of the earth, to wake me up to the damage that had been done. We now have a very loving relationship again, as I do with all of my siblings, but it took work and time and desire and patience to rebuild what I had always had, and had taken for granted. My husband still doesn't love to spend time with my family, but I no longer avoid family events to 'keep the peace' at home. I just go without him. I make and send cards and take an interest in all of my siblings families again. I just wonder if your sister realizes how much it hurt you when things disolved and that you still have no idea what caused things to fall apart. I ache for you and your sister, and hope that in time, you will both be reunited with a renewed love and appreciation that you clearly desire. (((Lisa))) Hugs for you dear. ~Sheri

alliek
September 30th, 2013, 12:19 PM
First big step... scary sometimes... you took it.. GOOD for you. It will bring a kind of peace to your heart. God's Blessings for you both.

Joan@DebtofGratitude
September 30th, 2013, 01:11 PM
Miss Sheri's advice is stellar! Lisa, perhaps it can help you.

In the case of me and my sister, there is very little unspoken. The hurts are well-known to both of us and we are both responsible. Now that my mom is gone and is no longer the peacemaker (which, honestly, just made things worse), it's up to us to be honest, set our boundaries, and be courageous and loving enough to move past our former difficulties.

Interesting, Shari, what you said about you and your brother and DH. It sounds like you have done a lot of soul-searching and growing and learning and standing up for yourself -- and I applaud you. My DH has a distant relationship with a brother he used to be very close to. Like Lisa's situation, it went downhill over time and the brother won't say what's bothering him so it's hard to fix. Because of my distant relationship with my sister, I tried to intervene, and that didn't work of course. My DH's brother won't say what's wrong, and my DH won't ask, so they are stuck.

Shari's point is well-taken. Have the courage to reach out, speak your heart, and good things might follow.

Miss Sheri
September 30th, 2013, 07:09 PM
Interesting, Shari, what you said about you and your brother and DH. It sounds like you have done a lot of soul-searching and growing and learning and standing up for yourself -- and I applaud you.

Aw, yea, you have no idea. . . It took me 19 years to really be able to tell my HUSBAND how much I was hurting inside during the early years of our marriage, and I also had to learn to recognize that he wasn't just a bossy bully, but that his whole personality was very intense, and I was very fragile at that time of my life, avoiding contention, and trying too hard to please everyone and feeling like I was failing at every turn. I grew stronger, strong enough to really be a much better match to my husband's strong personality. He really is a wonderful man. I am so glad that I stayed with it to see that light at the end of the tunnel get brighter and brighter. My siblings are amazed that we are still together, but they are also quick to see the wonderful things my husband does too. I am so grateful that my oldest brother had the courage to write that letter... my relationships with each of my siblings mean so very much to me.

Joan@DebtofGratitude
September 30th, 2013, 08:19 PM
I am so glad that I stayed with it to see that light at the end of the tunnel get brighter and brighter. My siblings are amazed that we are still together, but they are also quick to see the wonderful things my husband does too.

This made me smile. My family hasn't always seen the good in my husband, either. He's very direct and very analytical, and my family is . . . not. They thought of him as a "Spock" type person and thought he was too cold -- though I know and see the very kind and loving side of him.

I am convinced many marriages fail because people give up too soon. We've been very blessed -- don't get me wrong -- but we sure had to figure out how to work things out and compromise and it was hard but oh-so worth it.

Congratulations on making it work with both your husband and your family. You sound like a kindred spirit.

kensington
September 30th, 2013, 11:37 PM
Sometimes, you have to give people the gift of goodbye. Even family. I believe in forgiveness and restoration. But, in cases where the person does not change, show a desire to change or take responsibility for their choices... you let them go so you can remain healthy.

It's like this... You see someone who can't swim choosing to go out in the ocean to swim, and you try to warn them, and plead with them to change their mind and come back to shore. But, they go on. Of course when they get out, over their head, they start to drown and are calling to you to save them. You swim out to them, and you reach for them and rather than allow you to rescue them, they start climbing on you pulling you down.

You look to shore, you see your children there, calling you. Do you let the person continue to drown you, or do you pull away and swim back to the children God gave you to care for? Me? I swim back to shore.

kensington
September 30th, 2013, 11:50 PM
Sheri, Your testimony is beautiful. God Bless.

Lisapc
October 1st, 2013, 01:22 AM
Lisa, sweetheart, have you ever explained to your sister what you just shared with us? I ask because of my own experience with my brother. When we were growing up, he was the oldest boy and I the oldest girl in a house of 8 kids and with another brother inbetween us. I was his biggest supporter as he went off on two years of missionary service followed by enlistment in the army. I wrote letters and encouraged him and was that constant 'sis' that he relied upon. Sadly, I had no idea how much my little letters meant to him. We each got married and life changed. My DH whom I dearly love, has never really taken to my family. It has been the biggest heartbreak of my married life. He is also, such an intense personality that I was fully overwhelmed during the first years of our marriage. So, external family ties were pushed to the background as I first survived, and then fought for our marriage to succeed. Over the years, my marriage got much, much better, but my relationship with my siblings had faltered. It took a courageous letter from my brother, letting me know how much it had hurt him that I had seemed to disappear off the face of the earth, to wake me up to the damage that had been done. We now have a very loving relationship again, as I do with all of my siblings, but it took work and time and desire and patience to rebuild what I had always had, and had taken for granted. My husband still doesn't love to spend time with my family, but I no longer avoid family events to 'keep the peace' at home. I just go without him. I make and send cards and take an interest in all of my siblings families again. I just wonder if your sister realizes how much it hurt you when things disolved and that you still have no idea what caused things to fall apart. I ache for you and your sister, and hope that in time, you will both be reunited with a renewed love and appreciation that you clearly desire. (((Lisa))) Hugs for you dear. ~Sheri

I haven't. She hasn't called me in 9 yrs. I saw her a few weeks ago at a party at my parents house and she ignored me and then yelled at me and left. I am very aware now that she used me before I was an adult and had responsibilities of my own. Once I became no longer available to her beck and call I was useless. She is sort of a user. If you don't have a case of hero worship and brand worship which I have neither of those except for quilting fabric of course she has no use for you.

Truth is I miss what I thought we had. I know it was all a lie. I am better off than having to be subject to her snide comments all the time. I am a person who believes if you speak it you mean it so the little nasty comments hurt me. I don't want to be hurt anymore.

My mother tells me she is very jealous of my GD's. Everyone goes crazy for Kora and now Lillyana. I have nothing to do with that. She is right. All of my brothers think those girls are special and take time to make sure they see them. They were the same way with my daughter when she was little. Maybe that has something to do with it, I had a girl. She didn't and desperately wanted one.

Miss Sheri
October 1st, 2013, 01:27 AM
Oh Lisa, that just breaks my heart. (((((((((((((Lisa))))))))))))

Lisapc
October 1st, 2013, 01:36 AM
Sheri:

I instill in my children despite the 13 yr age difference that they are our family. They have to communicate in some way every 3 days and if you don't hear from the other one then it doesn't matter who's turn it is you just reach out. I also teach them that if you can't help the other with something than mind your own business. My mother didn't teach us how to treat each other. She didn't know she was supposed to do that. I make sure my kids have each others back. As for the spouse thing. My daughter was and my son and GD's will be raised with this: I may not like him/her but it isn't my choice is it? If they make him/her happy than shut up and be happy they are happy.

My daughter actually has no idea that I don't like her hubby. I just don't. He makes her happy and is a good Dad to the kids. It is her choice not mine. That young man will never know how I feel. That young man has been abandoned by his own family after 4 yrs of them trying to get money from our family and it is my mission to love that young man and give him our family as his home base.

G'night and sorry to have vented so much!

Miss Sheri
October 1st, 2013, 02:32 AM
You dear, have a remarkable grasp on this concept. Your daughter and her husband may never know what a debt of gratitude they owe you. What a remarkable and beautiful gift you have given to your family. That just makes me feel so proud of you for the growth and understanding you have gained over the years. I sincerely wish you the very best, with the kindest regard. ~Sheri

Joan@DebtofGratitude
October 1st, 2013, 09:03 AM
Sometimes, you have to give people the gift of goodbye. Even family. I believe in forgiveness and restoration. But, in cases where the person does not change, show a desire to change or take responsibility for their choices... you let them go so you can remain healthy.

It's like this... You see someone who can't swim choosing to go out in the ocean to swim, and you try to warn them, and plead with them to change their mind and come back to shore. But, they go on. Of course when they get out, over their head, they start to drown and are calling to you to save them. You swim out to them, and you reach for them and rather than allow you to rescue them, they start climbing on you pulling you down.

You look to shore, you see your children there, calling you. Do you let the person continue to drown you, or do you pull away and swim back to the children God gave you to care for? Me? I swim back to shore.

Kensington -- this is the root of my difficulty with my sister. When I say she has lived a colorful life, I am being polite. It's not about morality, for me. It's about basic adult responsibility and living in accordance with laws. I swam back to shore a long time ago allowing my sister to practically drown my mother. Now my mother is gone. I'm trying to figure out if there's some reasonable boundary between being pulled under and being entirely absent from someone's life.

kensington
October 1st, 2013, 09:36 AM
I would hold onto that ending if I were you. My sister D. is 10 yrs older than I and we were together all the time. My mother worked very early in the morning and she used to get me and my little brother off to school. She eloped when she was 19. 4 yrs later she had her first son, 2 years later another son. I was with her all the time. I babysat, did all kinds of things with the boys and frankly had far more interest in her and her two boys than most any friends in school. I had my daughter when I was 20 and she was 30 and that was it. She never called, never came to any event and never asked me to babysit again. Within a few years whenever she would call the house she wouldn't even talk to me. Family gatherings she ignored me except to make snide comments. It gets far worse from there and I still don't know what happened to change things so drastically. I tell myself that I am better off but the truth is she lives 10 minutes away, we have granddaughters close to the same age. I just don't know what happened. I miss having a big sister a lot.

I hope you can continue to have more happy ending conversations with yours. Good luck!

I know what you did... You did something for yourself that wasn't about her. You started a life. You were not at her beck and call. It just wasn't about her when you got pregnant, and when your baby came it was not about her and her children. What you did not realize all those years, is for her... it was all about her. In my humble opinion.

I have six sisters, and one of my relationships was just as you described. My mother is the one who clued me in to what happened. I grew up and it was not just about her anymore. I'm a grandmother now, and she is a greatgrandmother, and for her, it's still about her. Only now, the whole family has experienced it.