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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I have a sister who is 53 years old, and who is consistently

Customer Question

I have a sister who is 53 years old, and who is consistently terribly verbally abusive to me. She yells and screams at me, when I only try to make peace with her, and try to speak calmly to her, although she makes it quite difficult because my voice cannot be heard above her screaming.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. May I ask, what is your specific mental health question that you would like an answer to in regards ***** ***** situation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why is she behaving this way, when I only try to be friendly and social? Also for the past two years she has not even sent me a Christmas card. She has also invited me to her house one time with my husband where my mentally ill mother was present with my dad, and my mother crocheted beautiful scarves for her grandchildren. I said that I liked the scarves and asked if my mother could make me one. She said she could not and refused. I said that I wanted one and why could she just not make just one more. She said she did not want to make anymore, and I got upset and my sister started yelling at me, and I felt hurt by her because she was yelling at me very loud, so I started to cry. Now she falls back upon this visit to imply that I was yelling at her, when she was yelling at me and that is why I cried. So since then this has been 10 years since this incident, she uses this incident to say why she yells at me on the phone, and why she is filled with insults and accusations against me, she accuses me of yelling and says that this is the reason why we cannot celebrate Christmas with her family anymore. Meanwhile, every Christmas I spent with her family, I bought lots of nice gifts for them, and they didn't seem to appreciate it because all over a stupid scarf, that my mother eventually made for me, and I threw it away, because of the whole fight how it all got all blown out of control, and then the scarf didn't even seem worth it and I was sorry that I even visited her and even commented on what a nice stitch it was, and nice wool, and could my mother crochet me one. She says that whenever I ask my mother why me and my sister cannot be friends, she also brings up the incident, agreeing with my sister that I yelled. Meanwhile, my husband said that I never yelled at her house, and he does not know what either one of them is talking about. What my husband remembers is what I remember also. That she yelled at me so loud and so much that I finally started to cry. And she uses this incident to say why we cannot be friends, why she cannot forgive me, because she accuses me on having yelled in her house, (which I did not, and my husband stands firmly with me on this issue.) And when I call on New Year's Day to wish her and her family a happy New Year, only because my mother begged me to do it to make her happy, it created a screaming war on her part, but with the screaming she was accusing me of screaming. I could not have a chance to get a word in edgewise, never mind scream at her. I do not know what is wrong with her. She seems to have changed personality-wise around the year 2000, when she got pregnant with her second child. She used to always be nice, friendly and helpful. We always were friends growing up, and even after she got married we stayed close. Her first daughter was born in 1994 and she started to break away around that time when her daughter was complaining of nightmares. My brother was violent, and he lived at home with my parents, and he might have been volatile in front of her. So I told her not to visit with her daughter if it were affecting her negatively, that her emotional health was more important to me than me missing her or wanting her to visit my parents so that I could see her and visit with her. So my sister stopped visiting with her daughter and then we only seen her and her daughter and husband on her daughter's birthday, and Christmas, twice a year we visited my sister. But I never yelled at her house, and my husband can attest to that. My brother was always the one who was violent. My brother passed away May 5, 2005 and my parents never gave a real reason as to what he died from, or was he sick or why did he die so young. His death remained a mystery. Nobody talks about him, and now my sister wants to put the blame of his behavior on me. My parents just told us that he died in a mental hospital in the Bronx, that he was supposed to go home the next day, but that he died the night before. My father said that he had an autopsy done, and that it didn't reveal any cause of death so it still remained unknown, which does not seem quite right to me. My father is dying now, and my mother is very sick. My dad is 92 and my mom is 87. I do not have any specific questions, I just need to get all of these problems off of my chest. Also, I would like a lot of these issues I mentioned her explained to me. I was told by a social worked about 25 years ago, that my whole family was sicker than they knew, and sicker than I knew, that they did not love me, and I was the only one, "still standing". I felt that this was a very cold and callous way to tell me something was wrong with them. She also told me that if I continued to talk to them on the phone in work, I would lose my job. All because she told it all to me very meanly, I insisted that my family did love me, and I insisted on continuing the family ties. And in the end, she was right, I lost my job.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I cannot tell you why she is acting in this manner since I have never spoken with her nor can I read her mind. In all honesty the why does not matter much because the fact is she is treating you poorly and her reasons why will not change how she has been treating you. Instead I would recommend not talking to your sister at all because she treats you so poorly and causes you this much distress. Your sister could have a mental health disorder or is just purposefully treating you this way because she wants to be mean and callous to you, either way it does not matter as you have to distance yourself from her if you want to get any sense of peace.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns as I would be happy to continue assisting you regarding this issue.