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My Sister and Me, or The Big Mess

June 3, 2014

So, I don’t have the best relationship with my sister—as in, we haven’t talked in over six months. It pains me that we are not in touch, and I know this is a situation I need to rectify, I just don’t know how.

My sister is 19 years older than me. Technically, she is my half sister, as in she was my dad’s child from his previous marriage before he met my mom. Because of the significant age gap between us, we have never had a completely normal sibling relationship. However, we have always been in touch and fairly close, until a little over a year ago.

The whole situation is wound up in messy family politics that I don’t have the will or energy to explain, but basically, over a year ago, my sister had a big fight with my mom. Now, normally when people fight, they yell and scream a little, but RV Catultimately smooth things out—we are family after all. Well, what does my sister do? She up and moves to Costa Rica. (Now, picture an RV filled with cats, driving all the way through the dodgy parts of Mexico and central America).

Now, maybe you think I am making things up. But it’s the truth. So, my sister (along with her husband and six cats) moved to Costa Rica—and I haven’t seen her since. We sent a few emails, but somehow it just dropped off and it’s been… six months.

My sister is one of those people who have difficultly viewing situations from the perspective of others and has a very strong sense of the rightness of their position. This has caused her to become alienated from several other members of my family, not just my mom. I feel so bad—I want to have a relationship with my sister, it’s just so hard right now. It’s hard because I feel this tremendous pressure from her to ‘take her side’, which is something I cannot do. It makes me wary of talking with her, or someday visiting her in Costa Rica, because I know she will try to engage me in having long conversation about my mom and other sensitive issues that I have no desire to discuss with her.

I know that part of the problem is my own deep-seeded fear of conflict. I should just be able to stand up to my sister, tell her I don’t want to talk about it and can’t take her side, but I still love her and want to be in relationship with her. I need to do something—I feel like there is this huge elephant in the room. Especially after six months of not talking I don’t feel like I can just send her a chatty email about my life. There is this huge elephant in the room. I need to do something to face it head on, but I am not sure what to say or how to go about it.

Family relationships can be so confusing!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2014 9:23 pm

    That’s rough. You say you can’t just send a chatty email about your life, but really, what could it hurt? It sounds like your sister probably wouldn’t respond well to any serious overtures or ultimatums about how she acts, so maybe keeping it light is the way to go. We all have people in our lives who don’t do their share to maintain the relationship, and those situations leave two choices: we either abandon the relationship or accept the fact that we’ll have to do more than our share of the reaching out in order to keep it going.

    • thelittlemerskank permalink*
      June 4, 2014 1:54 am

      You think I can really send an email but not make a big deal out of it? I kind of would like to, I just feel like it has been so long… I feel like I need to address the fact that we haven’t talked in six months, and a passing comment about being ‘busy’ seems super lame.

  2. June 4, 2014 1:16 am

    You can do it! She loves you and while she may not always be great at seeing other people’s points of view. She must be capable. Make her see yours.

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