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Question
Posted by: Moody Blues | 2012/05/14

Having “ one of those days” 

Hi doc. I’ m having one of those days. I didn’ t sleep well last night (or rather this morning, no way I fell asleep before midnight). There are things bugging me and I don’ t know if it’ s worth it.

My future mother in law. We haven’ t spoken in a while. We had a fall out (I don’ t even remember what about) and it has been fueled by the lies of a stupid girl who has a problem with the world. Anyway, so I decided to invite her for last weekend. We never got around to doing this as my husband got sick and we decided to rather wait until he is better (which she didn’ t mind- she had already made other plans for the day I invited her over). I sent her a bunch of flowers for mothers day on Friday (marked from my husband- she thinks badly of him but has been really nice to him this weekend because of the flowers so I’ m happy about that) but declined our invite to go out for dinner on Saturday. I sent her an SMS on mothers day, no reply. I decided to try for my husband, no more. It’ s quite hurtful being rejected like this.


My younger sister. I lent her money to fix her car- she was supposed to pay me back in installments because she can’ t afford it in one go (and I don’ t expect it back in one go- I’ m not greedy). She never sees anyone anymore  she is just with her boyfriend and his family. Her boyfriend is a control freak, doesn’ t even encourage her to spend time with her family. When I get annoyed with my sister about it, I get messages from her boyfriend telling me to back off (he’ s an only child so never been subjected to sibling fighting and stuff). My sister, over the past year or so, has missed my birthday party this year and last year, my older sisters birthday party, two mothers days (this year and last year), our cousins 18th birthday, another cousins 21st birthday, my uncles 50th birthday, my mothers birthday, my step fathers birthday and two Christmas’ s. She doesn’ t bother to see anyone over the weekend or come to any of the lunches or braais we have, and we are never invited over. I’ m so annoyed with her, as is everyone else in the family- they stopped inviting her to things ages ago but I keep insisting because I am the kind of person that doesn’ t want anyone to be excluded. It’ s such a slap in the face because of all the help I have given her over the years (paid for this, fetched and carried her here and there, etc).


My older sister has decided to marry her girlfriend before the government makes gay and lesbian marriages illegal (which I think is not going to happen, there will be too much of an uproar about it). I feel is making a mistake, because honestly I don’ t think it is genuine. I don’ t have a problem with the fact that she is in a same sex relationship, but my sister is the kind of person that changes who she is according to the people she hangs out with. She’ s been everything from a clubbing and raving person, to a druggy, to a church going and hospital volunteering person. And the girl she is dating is not a nice person. My sister is a helpful person in nature, placid, etc and this girl is selfish (whenever we go visit someone far, we have to go in MY car because they don’ t want to use their car, thus using their petrol and wear and tear), a control freak, spiteful (they work in a small shop together, when they fight my sisters girlfriend just up and leaves the shop), etc. And she (the girlfriend) is young- she is only turning 21 this year. I don’ t want to offend my sister and alienate her (because the whole family thinks the same way and have been so bold as to tell them, but I don’ t want to). My sister says that the two years they’ ve been together (they moved in together after 3 months of knowing each other) has been the best two years of her life, and I’ m happy she feels this way, but from what the family has seen, my sister has backed down a lot to keep her girlfriend happy. But I’ m not going to say anything about it- if it makes her happy then so be it. I’ m just worried because I’ ve seen my sister is not as happy as she is making out to be.


I don’ t know if these are things worth getting upset about. I feel I am the only one that cares about the family- when I asked my sisters to keep last weekend open to visit out granny (which we haven’ t seen in 3 years), they said fine and then come the Friday, they both had excuses not to come anymore. I just feel that I am the only one who cares and it puts a lot of stress on me, because I feel obligated to make up for everyones lack of care.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Wll, at least, if it's one of "those" days, it's a long one !
Let's see. In life, we really can't control ( sometimes, perhaps influence, but not control ) what other people do - but we are in charge of what we choose to do. So we can decide to do the right thing and act kindly, whether or not the other person response appropriately. You don't need to choose to feel hurt if they don't respond well.
OK, so you seem to have a fairly unsociable sister who is REALLY bad at attending birthday and similar events. It might be polite to still ask her, but there's no need whatever to expect her to turn up. Apparently she's a disorganized and ungrateful creature. So be it.
But, like your older sister, she's an adult ( however childish in some ways ) and is fully allowed to make foolish decisions, and to live with their consequences.
Both opf them are responsible for their own happiness ( or unhappiness ) - not you. You can't make them happy or keep them happy, and they will resent it if you try to. You are responsible for your own happiness.
I'm not sure you're "the only one who cares", but the only one who cares in this particular way, who feels she has to take responsibility for what other people choose to do, and to try to organize them rather than letting them prosper or fail as they choose

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: P | 2012/05/14

Must say I used be feel like this too, but I''m beyond this point now. No-one really cares when they don''t need or see you, so, as Nikki says, look after yourself first, its ok to be selfish in this way, then you have peace of mind at the very least.
Just let go and the burdens will not be yours anymore.
Good luck.

Reply to P
Posted by: Nikki | 2012/05/14

Hi MB,

I think we are similar in personality. I also care for people, but I think to my own detriment. I gave and gave and gave and finally I said enough is enough. I felt stripped bare from all the caring I was giving and I got NOTHING back. If someone said " I dunno what to do" , then I would spring into action and fix their mistake. But when I was in a spot of trouble, NO-ONE came to help me. So I have pulled back and decided to get on with my own life. I think you should do the same. Let your family get on with their own lives, you get on with yours. If you feel compelled to phone someone, then do it, but don''t always be the one phoning. Life will pass you by and then you will realise that you have not done much for yourself.

I think you should take care of yourself first, then you will feel good and start sleeping better.

Hope my 2 cents worth of advise helps!

Reply to Nikki
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/14

Wll, at least, if it's one of "those" days, it's a long one !
Let's see. In life, we really can't control ( sometimes, perhaps influence, but not control ) what other people do - but we are in charge of what we choose to do. So we can decide to do the right thing and act kindly, whether or not the other person response appropriately. You don't need to choose to feel hurt if they don't respond well.
OK, so you seem to have a fairly unsociable sister who is REALLY bad at attending birthday and similar events. It might be polite to still ask her, but there's no need whatever to expect her to turn up. Apparently she's a disorganized and ungrateful creature. So be it.
But, like your older sister, she's an adult ( however childish in some ways ) and is fully allowed to make foolish decisions, and to live with their consequences.
Both opf them are responsible for their own happiness ( or unhappiness ) - not you. You can't make them happy or keep them happy, and they will resent it if you try to. You are responsible for your own happiness.
I'm not sure you're "the only one who cares", but the only one who cares in this particular way, who feels she has to take responsibility for what other people choose to do, and to try to organize them rather than letting them prosper or fail as they choose

Reply to cybershrink

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