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Thread: Toxic relationship?

  1. #1

    Unhappy Toxic relationship?

    Hi guys,

    Hope you're all as well as can be.

    Just looking for a few independent opinions about the current relationship I have with my sister as I'm really miffed.

    I'm 45 yrs old, live on my own and have a long history of suicidal depression and anxiety, particularly social. I had another breakdown in October and with a new healthy life style, medications,CBT and ACT am dragging myself out of it slowly. I have low self esteem.

    The relationship with my sister, two years older, has always been fractious. She lives on her own nearby. Over the years she has routinely damaged my self esteem by repeatedly criticising and questioning my illness, not paying income tax and the fact I rely on some benefits. I currently don't work but an trying to get back into employment when well enough.

    I made a stand last yea about the constant rudeness and personal criticisms and said we cannot have a relationship like this. We didn't see each other for 9 months at my doing to get the message over after repeated requests. Since then she has improved a bit but maybe half the time still abuses me for not paying tax. This happened again last night even after I gave her a Xmas card and offered to help with jobs at her flat. She was drinking, which usually makes her worse, and eventually walked out of the bar without a goodbye. I think maybe as she cannot control herself to not stay and be even more rude. She's a Tory and generally anti benefits.

    Anyway, the criticisms are really hurtful, humiliating, demeaning and very corrosive to my self esteem that I'm trying to rebuild through therapy. I'm quite vulnerable at the moment.

    My question is, how can I deal with her? I need to think about my health first right. Shall I just not see her again. The message to not abuse me hasn't hit home with her. I've felt really depressed today and have had pain attacks all day due to her attitude last night.

    Sorry for going on. I'm just at the end of my tether. Thanks for reading.

    Matt

  2. #2
    Boss Lady ;) Suzi's Avatar
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    Cutting her out of your life completely could make you feel worse. Maybe you need to talk to her again - maybe show her the time-to-change website, or write her a letter telling her honestly how thing are?
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

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    Mattypompy (23-12-17)

  4. #3
    Hey Suzi,

    Thank you so much for the kind reply and for reading my post.

    The thing is that her behavior is a repeated theme over a long period of time, even when I was working. I've written to her and asked her politely to refrain from intentionally hurting me as it's devastating to my self esteem and MH to the point of suicidal thoughts. I actually think she may have an undiagnosed personality disorder.

    When I drew a red line last year and didn't see her for 9 months my self esteem improved. She promised not to be nasty again but has done many times. I think she picks on me as she's not happy and projecting thinking I'll be a punchbag. She's a bully and I consider it emotional abuse. Family are supposed to support and love each other not intentionally damage health. That's bwhy its hurtful so much. I have clinical depression and do not need someone to make me feel worthless. I've been suicidal today

    I cannot see an option other than cutting her off.

  5. #4
    Boss Lady ;) Suzi's Avatar
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    If things are so bad that you think that the only thing to do is to stop contact, then maybe you need to do so for a while - don't say forever...
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

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    Mattypompy (23-12-17)

  7. #5
    Hi Suzy

    Thanks for the input

    I saw the GP yesterday and have had several panic attacks today. I'm not in a good place. I have no problem having a relationship with her if she treats me with respect and courtesy but she doesn't. Unfortunately she used to do the same to our late mother. She has never changed, why would I expect her to now after so many requests not to. Why would anyone willingly engage in an emotionally destructive relationship.

    She's a bully, plain and simple. The GP said to give her a wide berth. Are family not supposed to love each other. I was going away for Xmas but doubt it now. Life's too short for unnecessary anguish.

  8. #6
    Moderator of Awesomeness magie06's Avatar
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    Why would you change your plans at the last minute and end up resenting all around you for the duration of the holiday.

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    Mattypompy (23-12-17)

  10. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by magie06 View Post
    Why would you change your plans at the last minute and end up resenting all around you for the duration of the holiday.

    As my depression and anxiety has deteriorated to the point of not wanting to open the door or talk to anyone. I have social anxiety too and thought of being with family when all I want to do is not wake up, is very disabling. Maybe I'll feel a bit better tomorrow. I just don't understand why a family member would want to hurt someone intentionally. Its anathema to me as I like to think I'm compassionate. I just can't process it. Especially at this time of year. My self esteem is shot. This has undone my therapy.

    Hope you're all well.

  11. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzi View Post
    Cutting her out of your life completely could make you feel worse. Maybe you need to talk to her again - maybe show her the time-to-change website, or write her a letter telling her honestly how thing are?
    Thanks I'll look at that website. She won't entertain any notion her behavior is unacceptable unfortunately.

  12. #9
    Moderator of Awesomeness magie06's Avatar
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    I understand what you mean. You have put a lot of hard work and effort into therapy and someone who just doesn't understand may come along and just wipe out all that hard work with a careless comment or throw away remark.

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    Mattypompy (23-12-17)

  14. #10
    Princess Sparkles Paula's Avatar
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    Adding to Magie’s comment, why would you keep yourself away from all your family for the sake of one member? I have social anxiety but I love my family and, even at my worst, couldn’t keep away from them
    Come on everybody, join in the QUIZ, I need the competition!

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    Mattypompy (23-12-17)

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