Family Negativity

by Sandy
(New York State)

I need help. My sister is killing me. I love her to death, but I can't take it anymore.

My sister has had more than her share of bad luck and I mean bad. It started 17 years ago when her 17 year old son was killed in a motorcycle accident. After that came divorce (I think because of different grieving processes), then breast cancer. Understandibly she is a very negative has overflowed to me. For years I spent every Wednesday with her just letting her cry over her son, trying to comfort her. That eventually lessesened and pretty soon she was complaining about EVERYTHING. This was wrong, that was wrong and then bang! Divorce. Then after that, breast cancer. I have done everything I can think of to make her feel better. Listened to her, bought her presents, stayed the weekend with her many, many times.

3 years ago I had my own travisty. My 16 year relationship with the love of my life ended with him cheating. But this isn't about that.

My sister called one day to complain as usual and I lost it because I hadn't told anybody about my own breakup. I cried and cried and told her this was about me today. She was pretty good for a while, but it's all back to her world crashing around her. I can't take it anymore.
It's been 17 years since the loss of her son, 10 years since her divorce and 8 years since her cancer recovery.

I'm trying to desperately to move on with my own life. I can't fix hers. She won't even try. I'm afraid I'm going to end up hating her. I even tried telling her she could complain for 10 minutes only then we had to change the subject, but that doesn't work.

How do I move on with MY life without hurting her feelings. Sometimes I wish I lived on the other side of the country. I need help! She's pulling me right down with her. I'm working so hard to rebuild my life and confidence and self-esteem and then she calls and it all comes crashing down. What can I do?

Comments for Family Negativity

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Mar 02, 2011
Sandy reply
by: Hemal

Hi Sandy,

I can understand how you must feel. It must be very difficult being surrounded by someone who is so negative. I experience it slightly with my dad as well - it seems to seep into us and affect the way we think. So I can also understand why you would want to get away from her.

The best advice I could try and give is to try and be as present as you can when interacting with her. If you haven't read Echkart Tolle's "The Power of Now", i would recommend this. You need to be very non-reactive to her complaints, just try and listen without mental reaction. By this I mean, you should let her speak but be very aware of your own internal emotions. Be aware of what is going on inside of you. Noticing if you start thinking negatively yourself. You might soon realise that not only will her words be unable to affect you, but she herself becomes a bit more present. People who complain want a reaction out of us, so they can continue their story. You have to be very non-reactive.

One of the things that has really helped me become more positive, and I can't recommend this strongly enough is just taking some time at the end of EVERY day, and writing out everything I love or am grateful for. I try and look for every little thing to be positive about and it just changes the way I think. I become so much happier. I used to be very negative and unhappy, but as soon as I started doing this, I just went in a totally different direction and it was as though only good things came into my life.

You seem to be very understanding with your sister and I think you deserve to pat yourself on the back for the way that you have been there for her. Since you are a visitor of this (wonderful) site, I'm sure you have a good level of self awareness too, so I'm sure you will be able to direct yourself in the right way.

Good luck

Dec 06, 2015
by: Anonymous

Hello I have 2 sisters I am in the middle we are all 1 year apart. My older sister always made me feel beneath her (superiority complex) we used to be so close she too is divorced and all she wants to do is cry in her soup, complain & gossip about others. I payed for her Y membership to go to Zumba with me since I am also part of the D club (Divorced) So I know what it's like to press on! She only went one time. Instead of going to her counselor she goes to the boat to blow her money & then comes over & cries about her financial issues which she put herself in. My younger sister slept with all my boyfriends, made fun of me with sarcasm and is very manipulative! I have I half sister I met at me Dad's funeral and got my hopes up only to painfully find out she could be my older sisters twin. I have chosen to love them all from a far! I for once in my life am going to put the oxygen mask on my face first! You gotta think of #1 No one else will! God Bless U! You are not alone! I also have a younger brother that has betrayed me so I text them all happy holidays & best wishes for the coming year & I will always love you! NO a RESPONSE! Ouch! Actions speak louder than words! I'm happy I sent that text I am no longer their doormat! P.S. They always miss you when your gone...but what did they do that you had to remove yourself? Misery loves company & toxic people attract what they are. God knows your heart stay hopeful & keep the faith! You can't change ppl's actions but you can change how you react to them! Your a person too! If your not happy you won't be able to spread it to others! Sometimes God closes doors so He can open new ones! He shields us from all harm! Sometimes Family are not always healthy to be around if they are sucking the life out of you! There is always texting & e-mail respond on your terms! People will treat you how you let them & Only What U Allow Will Continue! Hope this helps I just learned this & am putting it into play! For the first time in my life I am enjoying the Silence of Inner Peace! I read the Bible Listen to Sermons & Read Self Help Books! Lighting a Candle & journaling helps me release the pain & heal. Do I miss them YES! Do I miss how they made me feel? NO! Writing how they made you feel also is a good life guide in case you get lonely & go back which you should never do! If they did it once they can do it again! Guard your heart! Hope this helps! Kindly, anonymous angel*

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