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Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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My younger sister and I were abused children. My sister has

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My younger sister and I were abused children. My sister has always tried to dominate me, and has taken advantage of me many times. Throughout the years, I have taken vacations from her, because I just can't stand they way she treats me, and her attitudes of others. She never takes responsibility for her actions. We are in our 60's now and she is worse than ever. I was my sister's pseudo mother since our own mother checked out of motherhood when our Dad died. I seem unable to cut the cord for good. I was trained to take care of her, and I guess it stuck. Just lately, I agreed to let her sell our house because she is a realtor and poor. She has all these phobias that she uses on people to get her way. We are currently not speaking because she said she is getting me back for previous times when I have distanced myself. I really want this to be it..the end of our relationship. I know she will call the next time she wants something. I just need the courage to hang up without any words or explanation. Why can't I do this? I'm a strong person, not a wimp.

I always feel guilty and some feelings of abandonment do come up at times.  I mean I am abandoning her..that's what it feels like.

Thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd like to help you out.

I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through with your sister, and I can certainly understand why you would feel the need to cut the cord after all of this time. She is obviously doing something very passive aggressive right now in giving you the silent treatment in exchange for the distance that you've already created between the two of you.

The fact that you have continually tried to help her throughout her life is admirable, but considering the way that she continues to take advantage you, it does seem necessary to continue to distance yourself. Since you have admittedly been trained to take care of her, that is a tough mindset and mentality to get out of. It would probably also be much easier if this were a friend or a distant relative, but when something like this happens with your own sister, there is always a tendency to try and remain optimistic that the situation will improve and the relationship will get healthier.

That doesn't make you a wimp or mean that you aren't strong, and I do believe there is strength in your willingness to continue to extend your hand and try and help her. However, if you have reached a point where you know that this is no longer possible or that things will not improve, it probably is time to cut the cord. If that's the case, sometimes it can help you personally to do that if you were to explain why, either on the phone or by letter or email. When dealing with someone like this, it is likely that she won't respond well, so if you were to do something like that it would have to be more about you getting appropriate closure so that it is easier for you to cut the cord. Cutting the cord is very symbolic and would be the end of prominent relationship in your life, so even if it makes perfect sense, it is not going to be easy no matter how strong you are. It is most important that it's done in a way that will give you as much peace of mind as possible so that you can move forward with your life.

I definitely wish you the best with all of this, and if there's anything else I can do to help please let me know.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your detailed reply. I have guilt where she is concerned but it is unreasonable guilt. I know in my mind, I have done everything I can, but some how it still happens..the guilt, that is. Will this ever go away?

No problem I'm glad I can help. That guilty feeling is natural especially considering the situation and your genuine desire to help her out over the years. If she says/does things to make you feel more guilty that only makes that harder. However I'd suspect that once you do actually cut the cord and create some distance that you'll feel better, and the guilt will start to subside. It may be harder initially when she starts to get the impression that your relationship together is over, but I would think that after that as time goes on it will be much easier to find some relief. Hang in there,

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