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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5401
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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nother taxing week. If youll remember my family is completely

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nother taxing week. If you'll remember my family is completely dysfunctional. My sister left, went back to LA, and it was tense when she left since she was already criticizing how i'm dealing w/ my dads situation.
Now, however, we have a new event that occurred. I was driving to work and got a text from her saying " um where is Brandon(my sons) gift card I got him for his new job". I cant believe you spent it?.. I was like. uh. what are you talking about..
then remembered. Oh crap. I had picked up the mail last Friday, and since Brandon stays at his legal fathers home a couple days a week. The few pieces of mail that I had gotten for him. His college bill, bank statement and this card. with my sisters writing on it came in the mail, and I shoved it in the box in the back of my car. ( which is where I keep my to do, or pressing things to do) since i'm a traveling nurse my car is my second home.
Now, I do have a host of thank you cards at work, for this reason.
My sister EVERYTIME she sends the kids something, if they don't send her a thank you card withing 48 hours makes a huge to do.. saying.. under the breath snyde comments like. "your kids never send thank you cards, so why would anyone mail them anything" .. I never even got a thank you for your kids's x mas presents.. blah blah blah.
Last x mas I sent her flowers from them just so she'd shut up about it.
So, when I saw the card in the mail. ( no return address, but knew it was from her, because it said " congratulations" on it, in her writing and felt hard like gift card in it. I sent a " thank you card" from my son Brandon. simply saying thank you for the card.
(note,.. this was wrong of me to do I suppose) and my son does need to learn to send his own thank you cards. ( hes 18). but I just didn't want to hear the shit that I constantly hear from her and my mom about how crappy my kids are. (note... one is an architect, and the other majoring in biology 4.0 students.. and great great kids).
At any rate, returning to driving to work and getting the text about the gift card.. now i'm like.. crap.. I have to tell her that I didn't give him the card, and it's in the back of my car.
so that's what I did, said, I didn't give it to him, its in the back of my car.
this prompted her series of name calling. you are such an f'ing liar, theif, I cant believe you've stooped this low, you are a thief, I thought you would have changed, turned your life around, but you make the same mistakes you've always made. you've stooped to your lowest low, broke my trust.. I just sat there like. what the heck.. but knowing her.. this is HER!. So she starts demanding that I pull over in the middle of the highway and take a picture of the card. I'm like.. um. no. i'm not going to do that.. I've told you what occurred and if you don't believe me i'm sorry. Get to work. try to work my day. but the whole day now, is interrupted with e mails, and texts etc, that continue all day long.. liar, theif... etc..
mentally exhausting, finally turned off my phone, came home, told my fiancé what happened and he's like lets give Brandon the card, and then send her a picture of it. I'm like. NOOO!! that is ridiculous. We are NOT sending a picture..
but what does he do. sends a picture of the card, and then envelope anyway. Now my fiancé and I are bickering. She gets the picture, and immediately starts saying that the card is forged, it's not her signature, as a matter of fact, it's not the same gift card.. liar, theif.. etc.I go to bed with her and my fiancé texting behind my back about this or that.. and sleep
next morning. another e mail. she has blown up the picture he has sent her and written on it the innacuracies.. Its not her postage machine, it's not her handwriting. its a different card.. etc.
My fiancé finally says listen with the upcoming wedding (she is maid of honor). can we just put this aside.. and drop it.. He HAS the gift card.. done.
No,, I /we go through another day of texting. e mailing.. she is right , we are wrong. she didn't mail it, it's not her writing.. im a theif, and a liar..
try to work.. stressed again by the texts/ e mails. now affecting my work. Block her e mail address, and turn phone off at work, but she continues to have this battle w/ my fiancé over who is right. Finally she got to apologize on day 2.. just saying she thinks its wrong that I sent the thank you card from Brandon (I agree also.. ). and she agrees to drop it.
Until... day 3.. wake up, and it starts all over again. same thing. she is right / we are wrong.. etc..

* inserting in here that 12 years ago. I had a problem with prescription meds, went to rehab, and did have a theft charge during that time*.... have made HUGE changes in my life, and am in a fantastic place right now.. Every time something according to her goes wrong.. She brings this up.. how i'm never going to change, how i'm once a theif always a theif..
So now, I've uninvited her from the wedding.. and she sent a final e mail
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, it's good to hear from you again.

It sounds like your sister has a lot of trust issues. She seems to feel that since you did something in the past that it is ok to assume that you are that same person and have not made amends since that time. And now she is using that lack of trust to take out her feelings on you. However, there seems to be more to this issue than just a birthday card and gift. Your sister seems to be overreacting to the situation. That could mean that either she is too immature to deal with this as an adult, or she is using you to take out her feelings about other problems in her life. And it does not seem from her behavior that she is looking for a resolution to this problem but rather just someone to abuse and hurt. If she just wanted a resolution, she could easily just talk to you once and let it go.

When she gets upset like this again, it is ok to say to your sister that you are sorry that she feels she cannot trust you but you do not need to prove anything to her. Let her know that if she would like to work this out like adults by talking, not yelling, you are willing to do so. But otherwise, you will be sure your son gets the card and will send a thank you (in addition to the one you sent). If she continues to yell and accuse, tell her that you need to go and then hang up, on her if necessary. This will help draw a boundary saying it is unacceptable how she is treating you. And that you will be handling the situation in a normal and respectful way. It may show her that she is out of control as well, though that is not likely.

When you told your fiance what was going on, it would have been ok to tell him that you want to handle the situation and you just need him to listen to you. It sounds like he tried to take over the situation and fix it for you, but that does not help because you and your sister need to work this out between you both. So it is ok to ask him to just listen to your frustration and not do anything about it because including him in the situation only adds to the problem (because of how your sister reacts).

If your sister still tries to contact you after you set the first boundary, it is ok to repeat to her what you said in the first conversation then hang up. If she sends you emails, write back once that you are dealing with the situation as you already told her on the phone. If she sends more emails, do not read them or respond. By responding once you are dealing with the situation but responding any further only rewards your sister for her dysfunctional behavior and tells her that you will continue to accept her verbal abuse whenever she chooses to pick on you. She is not going to like being cut off, but if you continue to accept her behavior as she is treating you, the only one getting anything out of it is her. And you are left feeling upset with no resolution to the problem that started this in the first place.

Kate

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 


My e mail got cutoff. The worst part is that my fiancé and I were talking last night, and although he thinks she is nuts, he also thinks she has some valid points. Something about the postage machine, and then he keeps asking me are you sure you didn’t spend the card, fake the envelope etc..


 


Day 4 (yesterday) I was so sick of all the crap, and mental abuse, that when my son went to work I took the card, gave him the 100 bucks. Drove to the bridge over the water near my work, cathartically while bawling. Took the card and the gift card and hucked it into the river ….


 


Today is day 5, haven’t heard anything yet. My fiancé wants to keep the e mail going so she doesn’t think shes “ won”. I told him I simply cant take any more mental back and forth that no matter what we tell her… she is going to find a way to find something wrong with it. in her mind. I took the gift card, spent it, forged the card, somehow got a postal stamp from LA and that’s that…


On top of this all, I’m starting to contemplate what she said..have I changed? Is my fiancé too young for me? Am I a loser? Have I taken people for granted?


I’m cutting contact.. even if she apologizes at this point the damage is done.. one less plate at the wedding. Now, likely none of my family will be there. Mom is nuts, sister is nuts, dad has alzeimers..


Bawling..

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Your fiance should not be backing your sister in this case. He is to be there for you, not for her. And doubting you only tells you that he doesn't trust you either, not a good sign. He should trust you unless you prove to him directly that you cannot be trusted. And if you have not done that, he should not be supporting your sister over you.

Try not to let what your sister says in. She is not dealing with this in a healthy way and she says these things to hurt you. They are not valid points made by someone who is trying to help you.

If cutting off your sister helps you, that is ok to do. The relationship is not helping you but hurting you instead. And in that case, it is healthy to protect yourself.

Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5401
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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