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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I am a 42 year old adult with 2 adult sisters. One of them

Resolved Question:

I am a 42 year old adult with 2 adult sisters. One of them had or is possibly still having an affair and the other is a self-proclaiming "bitch" who takes pride in being able to manipulate people. I have no contact with the later and little contact with the former. The problem I'm having is with my parents. Without giving them specific details why, they are aware I don't care to be around my sisters (nor have my family around them). They think I should tolerate and spend time with my sisters (i.e Christmas together, etc.) "because they are family". I have lived in a different state than my parents and sisters for many years, thank god! BTW, mother: suffers from chronic depression and anxiety, sleeps all day for the past 20+ years, father and cheating sister's opinions and actions are fed to them my manipulative sister. I have always been the "scapegoat" and feel I have no voice among any of them. I just don't know how to deal with my parents at this point in my life.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are the soundest member of a very dysfunctional family, and thus are the scapegoat.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You do not see your family very often. When you do, it gives your sisters the opportunity to attack you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

However, you can choose not to engage them.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

They want you to react. Don't give it to them.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Visit your parents, and just give them false smiles and cheerful talk as a way of fending them off without engaging them in battle, as they would like.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can deflect them much as a bullfighter deflects the bull who expands all of his energy into attacking the cape. He weakens while the bullfighter dominates by outsmarting the bull.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear with your parents directly. When your mom asks you, just say that you love your sisters but you do not see eye to eye with them. Tell her its alright. You all do your best. Don't lay blame. Be positive and change the subject.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Try to spend one-on-one quality time with them when you see them and find opportunities to do that when the sisters's are not around.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let them say anything to you, call you anything they want to. Don't engage them and don't react. They will finally back off for want of getting the response that makes them happy.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are only the scapegoat if you take their rantings as having any value. It is really not about you, but about their own miserable existence. When they speak this way they reveal to you how unhappy and unfulfilling their own lives have become.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Pity them, if you can, but don't let them hurt your feelings. They are pathetic and miserable. You can't change your relationship, but you can maximize the one with your parents.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I see that you are typing but I see not text.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can send it and continue if you have a message to send to me.

Customer:

I don't know how to maximize my relationship with my parents. They think I'm the one with a problem; I'm the one who broke up their family. It angers me.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You do want to continue to see them, don't you?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your family is not broken up.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot control their thinking. Their believing this does not make it so. The fact that your very disturbed sisters have done this is not under your control.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your mother is always depressed and she will always see the negative.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you benefit from your visits to see your mother and father, then continue to do so and make the best of it. You will not see any transformations.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you don't benefit, the stop going there.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You never said anything about your father's place in the family.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This situation has been going on for years.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot change it. If you get angry, your sisters win.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You will never have the relationship that you want unless they change.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You must also change internally. Anger eats you up but it does not help you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You live far away and can choose when to see them. As you said, Thank God.

Customer:

You're right. My father...I'll give you an example of his emotional intelligence. 2 years ago I visited my parents and told them during that visit I hadn't spoke to either of my sisters in months and didn't care to be around them nor have my family around them. Later that same day, I regrettably agreed to celebrate my father's birthday with my cheating sister, her family and my mother. At lunch suggested we all take a vacation together in the summer; both sisters, their families and my parents. Either he was trying to stir the pot or just couldn't hear what I had just told him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have to accept the way things are. You can let this continue to ruminate in your mind and tear you apart, or you can let it go. You cannot change anything, and it is really time that you move on with your life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your father was in denial. He couldn't emotionally hear what you told him. He thinks he can make it better,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He wants to make it better. He believes that this plan will heal everything.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Just tell him it's a great idea dad. Just go along with the idea. You don't have to do more than that and you will appease him and add a bit more peace to the situation and calm his troubled mind.

Customer:

Okay, I understand he is doing the best he can. And that's what I did, went along with him. I have a great life and as you said, probably need to make some changes internally so I can move on with my life and not let these people bother me. I geuss I just lost confidence in my decisions and let some old wounds creep back in. Thank you for your advice. I will reread all that you have written and try to see where I've been falling off my path.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are just bringing up old stuff. You would do well to control your thoughts.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have a good life and they are miserable. You cannot help except by not engaging with them on their level.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have a good book that might help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If there is not any other way that I can assist you today, let me encourage you to get that book, take control of your thoughts and moods, and accept what you cannot change.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep you in my prayers.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Customer:

Thank you for your time and book recommendation.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

God bless you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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