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Question
Posted by: ANGRY | 2012/10/05

SISTER

Dear Cyber Shrink,

I''m a 24 year old female, my sister 31, has a son 5 years old. Her boyfriend (father of child) was murdered and we both saw him die, there was nothing that could be done to save him.

My sister and i have been very close and this experience just strengthened our bond. I fought all her battles with her from my family (not speaking to them for months) to her in - laws, my nephew is like my own son, i love him to bits.

Sometime after the two year anniversary of her boyfriends death, this new guy, a friend of our brothers came into the picture. Now this one was a real piece of work, stole for a living, did some drugs and worst of all was living with his girlfriend and their daughter. I expressed my concern to her about this relationship and she didnt like that, from then on we grew further and further apart as this guys was coming around more and more often. We hardly ever did anything together anymore and conversation was tense to sy the least. They were discussing me, him telling her that i''m a control freak and that i had a relationship with her deceased bf.

Well the boyfriend turned pshco, beat her (whilst my nephew and i were asleep) and demanded she drive off with him. She then left him and admitted the truth to my brother, she never once apologized for treating me like scum.

A month or two after this incident, she tricked and lied to me and went out with another guy. At three that morning i finally reached her and she had the audacity to tell me she was getting drunk at some -|- tail bar.

When she returned home, we had a huge blow out fight, which ended with her demanding that i pack my bag and leave her house immediatly.

I did this and am glad to say that i''m doing okay on my own now. A month or two after the incident, she sent me this long soppy sms about how she misses me and how sorry she is. I never replied or initiated contact as i feel there is no space for her in my life anymore.

My problem is that my brother and parents insists that i forgive her and speak to her again. This infuriates me to no end, do i not desrve a proper apology, do i not deserve some respect?

What your opinion doc?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Obviously someone who steals for a living and chooses to be a drug addict, is bad news for anyone sensible. And someone living with a girlfriend with whom he had fathered a daughter is hardly free to form a new and sincere and promising relationship.
Maybe in retrospect it wasn't wise to have become so active in fighting her battles for her, as that didn't encourage her to develop her own battle-fighting ( and avoiding ) skills. This may have given the impression of you being a control freak, even if you were only being sensible and caring.
Apparently the new guy soon showed his true colours, and she probably felt ashamed to admit to you that you were right about him. But she apparently continued over-reacting to your attempts to be caring. I['d worry about whether her fondness for sleazy company and night-drinking could include neglecting her child, for the child's sake ( and eventually child welfare might need to become involved ) but otherwise she is an adult and adults are allowed to be stupid.
Its good to hear that you have been managing well on your own.
But is it reall wise for you to have decided to cut her out of your life, and to ignore her attempt to apologise and reconcile ?
As an abstract question, maybe you do deserve an apology, but these seldom arise in real life. And indeed she has written you a long apology by SMS, which you seem to ignore/ Isn't that an apology ? Wouldn'\t it be worth meeting, maybe on neutral territory, and talking together ?
YOu would never have gone through all those ordeals with her, if you didn't basically love her very much. And remember that people who have suffered a horrible trauma, as you all have in the past, do sometimes become more erratic and less sensible afterwards. Her behaviour was foolish and wrong, but that isn't uncommon in people who have suffered such a terrible trauma.
What do you really want for your future ? To have lost a sister you love and annoyed your family who will see you as mean and unyielding ? Or to reconcile and find a more fruitful way to relate to each other, even with the assistance of a counsellor if necessary ?

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Jenna | 2012/10/05

I think you should listen to your parents and your brother and forgive her. It must have been very traumatic for both of you to watch her boyfriend die, but remember this was HER boyfriend and the father of her child that she witnessed dying. This has the ability to screw her up, especially if she didn''t deal with it properly. Two years may seem like a long time, but people experience grief differently and she may not be over this. She may have fears of being in a committed relationship, and that''s why she is not concerned about who she hangs out with now. Honestly, the way she was out drinking at 03:00 (knowing she has a child to come home to) is irresponsible but it may be an indication that she is going through a difficult emotional time, possibly even some kind of breakdown.

It is hard to apologize when you know you were wrong, and it may be easier to admit to other people (instead of the person you SHOULD be admitting it to). Have you told her how you feel? You say that you deserve a proper apology, but she DID apologize in the SMS and you did not allow her a proper chance to apologize by returning the SMS, allowing a conversation to start.

Life is short, she''s been through a rough time obviously and so have you. You may be more level headed, but at the end of the day remember it was HER family that was ripped apart by the death.

My older sister went through a drug stage where she stole from us, would ask me to buy her things only for her to sell them, etc. She owes me money, etc but when she snapped out of her phase, she never apologized properly, she never paid me back (like R3000 worth of money and items, which considering I was only 22 when I thought I was helping her, is a LOT of money). We fought, didn''t talk for months, fought some more, etc. I know how you feel, but really, if something had to happen to her, how would you feel knowing that things ended the way they did?

Reply to Jenna
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/10/05

Obviously someone who steals for a living and chooses to be a drug addict, is bad news for anyone sensible. And someone living with a girlfriend with whom he had fathered a daughter is hardly free to form a new and sincere and promising relationship.
Maybe in retrospect it wasn't wise to have become so active in fighting her battles for her, as that didn't encourage her to develop her own battle-fighting ( and avoiding ) skills. This may have given the impression of you being a control freak, even if you were only being sensible and caring.
Apparently the new guy soon showed his true colours, and she probably felt ashamed to admit to you that you were right about him. But she apparently continued over-reacting to your attempts to be caring. I['d worry about whether her fondness for sleazy company and night-drinking could include neglecting her child, for the child's sake ( and eventually child welfare might need to become involved ) but otherwise she is an adult and adults are allowed to be stupid.
Its good to hear that you have been managing well on your own.
But is it reall wise for you to have decided to cut her out of your life, and to ignore her attempt to apologise and reconcile ?
As an abstract question, maybe you do deserve an apology, but these seldom arise in real life. And indeed she has written you a long apology by SMS, which you seem to ignore/ Isn't that an apology ? Wouldn'\t it be worth meeting, maybe on neutral territory, and talking together ?
YOu would never have gone through all those ordeals with her, if you didn't basically love her very much. And remember that people who have suffered a horrible trauma, as you all have in the past, do sometimes become more erratic and less sensible afterwards. Her behaviour was foolish and wrong, but that isn't uncommon in people who have suffered such a terrible trauma.
What do you really want for your future ? To have lost a sister you love and annoyed your family who will see you as mean and unyielding ? Or to reconcile and find a more fruitful way to relate to each other, even with the assistance of a counsellor if necessary ?

Reply to cybershrink

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