The hardest lesson of all

Now after reading all these posts of how my sister has been treating my family*, you might be wondering why I don’t just severe all ties. She’s made it obvious she wants nothing to do with my family. She has gone out of her way to exclude us from every facet of the life she and my niece have built.

So why don’t I move on and just forget about her?

This is the lesson that I am trying so hard to get through and what I need the most help wrapping my head around.

I can’t move on and completely severe ties because my sister won’t let me. See my sister is very brave when she has no one to answer to. She is one of those people who have no qualms about being abrasive, aggressive, rude or dismissive to just about anyone. She doesn’t care if she comes across as a b*tch to most people. In fact, she relishes being known as a b*tch. There is one exception though, our parents. When it comes to our parents, she needs their approval. She can’t show them who she really is, instead she chooses to blame her bad behaviour on everything and everyone but her. She defaults back to being the victim. She lives for their perception that she is an innocent bystander, just collateral damage with no control over the situation. This means she will go out of her way to tell my parents how her behaviour is a result of my wronging her in some way, then she doesn’t have to take responsibility for her actions. She selectively omits things she has done, and places she has gone so she comes across as innocent, absolved of all wrongdoing. I am the bad guy and my parents make me feel as if I am responsible for everything that she does or says to me. I fully admit, my parents have a strong hold on me. I don’t crave their approval the way my sister does but I would like them to see this situation is not my doing. Constantly being blamed for a mess I didn’t create has been mentally draining.

Here’s what I mean.

My parents have been travelling since mid – December. Prior to them leaving, my sister and niece would come over every weekend. During those visits, they would spend time with the boys. In the eight weeks since my parents have been gone, my sister and niece have come by to see the boys twice. Once for Christmas and once when my sister needed to use the bathroom after she got her eyebrows threaded** a couple weeks later. Two times in eight weeks. Not bad right? She lives over an hour away, so coming by once a month is pretty good and I agree it would be if she wasn’t visiting weekly when my parents were here or in my neighbourhood every weekend. See she comes to the same neighbourhood the boys are in every weekend but has only come to see them when she needed to go to the bathroom. With all that being said; I know she made no attempt to see my children when she has been in the neighbourhood for the past eight weeks and because of that, I have begun purposely making plans with my boys so they don’t realize their aunt and cousin haven’t been by to see them. I try to keep them busy so they don’t realize the people they are so used to being around, are purposely not coming around anymore.

All of this will change when my parents come back because she will come see them every weekend. Which makes sense since my mom feeds her and she is in the neighbourhood every weekend anyway. The only difference is when they start visiting every weekend again; I will still continue to make plans with my boys and not be home when they are. This is when she will play the victim. She will tell my parents how I am ruining the relationship between my niece and the boys because I am taking my children out while they are there. I am making plans with my boys and not including my niece. SEE!! She is justified in not including my boys because I don’t include her daughter. She fails to mention the eight times (and counting) she has been in the neighbourhood and failed to even attempt to include my boys.

My parents will then turn around and tell me about how I am mistreating my sister and niece.

Boom! I am the bad guy again. In order not to be, I have to sit quietly and take the blatant disrespectfulness, accept the way my boys are being treated and not stand up for my boys or myself because if I do; I am in the wrong.

In short, she plays my parents against me.

Now I know all this sounds dramatic but I can assure you it’s not. This is what happened last year. Last year my parents were travelling for about seven weeks and in those seven weeks there was one attempt to see the boys. While my parents were here, she and my niece were heavily involved in the boys but as soon as my parents left so did they. She made sure our parents got the impression she was heavily involved in the boys lives but as soon as they were not around anymore, she made sure to exclude us. She was in the neighbourhood a lot but she never came by but when I called her out on that, it was somehow my fault and she fed the same story to our parents. It’s all about the perception that she is present in the boy’s lives, but as soon as our parents live, she doesn’t carry on the charade any longer.

That has been the hardest part. It is the part I cannot come to grips with yet. As hard as I try, I just don’t see why I need to be painted as the bad guy. In my sister’s world, she is never at fault for anything and she doesn’t have to take ownership over anything she does. She has her reasons for wanting to severe ties with my family. She has made a concentrated effort to ensure we are completely eradicated from the life of my niece or herself. She has made it known her friends are of greater value to them, than my boys ever were. My family was a convenience she used until we weren’t convenient anymore and then she discarded us at her leisure. These are all truths that are quite obvious. She admits this in every time she walks into my home and does not even say hello, every time she disrespects my family, every snide remark towards us, every text message she fails to send, every phone call she refuses to make, every picture she doesn’t post or post she makes in secret, every time she laughs because she has argued my seven year old into tears over a game, and every exclusionary action she takes. She just won’t admit it to our parents. And because she won’t admit this is the life she wanted, we are the ones continuously being beat me down. Do you know how hard it was on the boys last year when my niece and sister were around every week while my parents were here and then suddenly they disappeared as soon as my parents left? What it took for me to convince my kids they had done nothing wrong and they weren’t at fault for the lack of interaction. These people drain me emotionally and test me mentally. And it isn’t fair. I didn’t choose this. She did. She just won’t take responsibility for her actions.

*and these are just the tip of the iceberg. So many other things have been done and said but I digress as these were the tipping points for me.

**during this visit they stayed for twenty minutes, used the bathroom, tried to pay my son for making them a sandwich (!!) and tried to facetime my parents (because they need to perpetuate the illusion of caring, you know).

In case you were wondering, an attempted visit was made to their city. In the past we would drive out to the city where they live once every couple of years. It’s in the Snow Belt. The highway has no lights. And it is over an hour away. We have no reason to go so we didn’t go. But since they moved out there, Millhouse will make the drive out there every couple of months. Millhouse drove out to their home the weekend after Valentine ’s Day. They weren’t home. When Millhouse texted them to let them know he was in the area McDonalds and he had left the Valentine’s the boys made for them on their front porch. The response was “thank you”. That was the end of it. It wasn’t “where are you / we can come meet you / are the boys with you / come back and come in for a minute”. It was thanks because they were busy doing something they didn’t want us to know about and they weren’t going to make time in their day for Millhouse or couldn’t even be bothered to find out if the boys had come out to see them. They won’t tell our parents that part though.

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