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Question
Posted by: Bongi | 2012/03/08

Difficult sister (sorry it''s long)

My father had nine kids with his 1st wife before my mother. He threw out the 1st wife (literally) coz he claimed she cheated on him. Then he abandoned the kids and not maintained them. Their mother never re-married, she carried them with her teeth alone and made something of their lives (one became an engineer, one a doctor, one a teacher). Now my sister hates them with a passion. She is angry that they all have such good jobs but when she was unemployed none of them offered her a job or gave her any money. She even hates that I visit them and I am friendly with them.

She also hates all our neighbours back home because after our mother died in year 2000 none of them offered her any food or money since she was now an orphan. Mind you, we were both adults in our 20s by then.

She hates all our relatives because she says “ what have they ever done for us” . She won''t even go to their funerals. She never forgets about one cousin, saying “ Yo I am not talking to that one, I asked him for R300 and he only gave me R100” .

I have never been unemployed, so I can’ t really put myself in her shoes. I gave her money monthly when she was unemployed (so I am safe from her wrath) but I can’ t help but feel pissed by her attitude towards the others.

As we speak she is currently employed as an Assistant Manager. Last week she formally applied for a demotion because she says that her manager makes her do all the work and is always shouting at her. She has 2 children. She has a new born baby (7 months old) with an unemployed BF, yet she is asking for a demotion.

Back home in 1999 she found a job as a cop. She finished all the training and was employed. But she resigned and went to stay at home because she said the Captain was always shouting at her. I am so exhausted with her. Yet I don’ t know what to say to her because I still have to be supportive.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

If she cheated on him, one might understand him rejecting her - but not his entirely innocent children, who he had a legal and moral obligation to care for. Its remarkable how well their mother managed to care for them, and what she helped them to achieve.
Your sister's hatred isn't fair, is it ? These kids don't owe her anything, including a job, and worked very hard for whatever they have, without any help from her or her father. Why should they have given her any money ? If they had problems, would she give money to them ?
Faced with severe problems in life, they didnt sit and brood and wait for her to pay for them, they worked with their mother and solved their problems for themselves.
Expectations vary among communities, but in her home community, would neighbours usually be expected to give financial support to someone in their 20's, who could support themselves, because they became an orphan ?
She keeps asking "what have they done for us?", but doesn't seem to ask what she has ever done for them, or indeed for anyone else.
You say you have never been unemployed, yet you presumably faced the same difficulties she did, but managed the situation much better, as she could have done.
YOu're right to notice that she is her own worst enemy. She didn't have to get an unemployed guy as her boyfriend, or to have a child by him.
Somehow, one can understand her repeated complaint that her superiors in whatever job she has, seem to be shouting at her - she probably deserves it, and could avoid the shouting by working harder.
I'm not certain that you "still have to be supportive", at least not in the way you assume. In some ways, it could be said that by just keeping quiet, giving her money when she demands it, and avoiding criticism, you could be encouraging her to be the dysfunctional, angry, resentful and unpopular person she is.
You would be justified to tell her, calmly, that you are exhausted by hearing the same sorts of complaints from her all the time, and would prefer it if she didn't tell you about all the things she feels angry about. If she chooses to include you among the people she won\t speak to, that could be a great relief

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2012/03/08

There is no reason to be supportive when people aren''t even trying to support themselves. Your sister has quite an entitlement attitude - just like my older sister! Always expecting others to help out, but never willing to return the favor without being paid to do so!

Your sister has to learn how to face the consequences of her own actions. She hates everyone, but still expects handouts from those she hates?!? I''m sorry, but she''s being completely ridiculous. Why are you still trying so hard to be nice to someone who obviously doesn''t deserve it? This sister doesn''t need ''support''. She needs a swift kick in the backside. By giving her money or by agreeing with her ridiculous familial compliants, you''re just enabling her to continue with her manipulative abuse towards others. She''s even abusing you emotionally - or you would''nt be so exhausted with her!

Try and distance yourself from her. You definitely don''t need her in your life.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/03/08

If she cheated on him, one might understand him rejecting her - but not his entirely innocent children, who he had a legal and moral obligation to care for. Its remarkable how well their mother managed to care for them, and what she helped them to achieve.
Your sister's hatred isn't fair, is it ? These kids don't owe her anything, including a job, and worked very hard for whatever they have, without any help from her or her father. Why should they have given her any money ? If they had problems, would she give money to them ?
Faced with severe problems in life, they didnt sit and brood and wait for her to pay for them, they worked with their mother and solved their problems for themselves.
Expectations vary among communities, but in her home community, would neighbours usually be expected to give financial support to someone in their 20's, who could support themselves, because they became an orphan ?
She keeps asking "what have they done for us?", but doesn't seem to ask what she has ever done for them, or indeed for anyone else.
You say you have never been unemployed, yet you presumably faced the same difficulties she did, but managed the situation much better, as she could have done.
YOu're right to notice that she is her own worst enemy. She didn't have to get an unemployed guy as her boyfriend, or to have a child by him.
Somehow, one can understand her repeated complaint that her superiors in whatever job she has, seem to be shouting at her - she probably deserves it, and could avoid the shouting by working harder.
I'm not certain that you "still have to be supportive", at least not in the way you assume. In some ways, it could be said that by just keeping quiet, giving her money when she demands it, and avoiding criticism, you could be encouraging her to be the dysfunctional, angry, resentful and unpopular person she is.
You would be justified to tell her, calmly, that you are exhausted by hearing the same sorts of complaints from her all the time, and would prefer it if she didn't tell you about all the things she feels angry about. If she chooses to include you among the people she won\t speak to, that could be a great relief

Reply to cybershrink

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