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Lifetime of trouble with siblings

StormyMiss wrote:

I am the youngest of five children. My oldest sister is 18 years older than me, my brother is 17 years older, middle sister is 14 years older and last sister is eight years older. We are from a very small town but I am the only one who has moved away. Our mother is still living but our father passed away almost nine years ago.

Growing up wasn't a picnic... not to talk badly about the deceased ...but my father was verbally abusive to my mother, me and others in the family. I didn't get along with him very much because I was always defending my mother who just always took it. There are two of my siblings who have always treated me badly all of my life and still do. They are my brother and sister who is eight years older than me.

My oldest sister has a medical mental condition (bipolar) and is constantly trying to get into everyone's business. The middle sister has been to family functions etc but other than that has been distant (my father and her husband didn't like each other) until recently (my brother became paralyzed).

Anyway to make a long story short... I had a baby last year and pretty much stayed away from them while I was pregnant cause they always get me upset. I helped with my brother for eight months after the paralysis until one night he went off on me like he had done for years... cutting me down etc. My sister still does that also.

My question is would it be wrong to just STAY AWAY? Everyone always says that blood is thicker than water but I have never been treated like family. My mother is pressing me to go around but I get so upset when I do and then I dwell on it and drive my husband crazy with it. I feel resentful because I feel pressured to be around them. I don't like to go around people who treat me badly especially family.

Even when I don't see them for a year they still have hurtful remarks to say. If I say anything they say I am just too "sensitive". They have said really mean things like when I cried at Dad's funeral that I "faked his funeral". They didn't go to college and I did... not that that makes me better but I think they are resentful but they had the same chances that I did. They don't want to see me happy and different things that are said make me not trust them.

I don't know what to do. I dread going around them and usually have to take a valium or zanex to do so. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Has anyone had or still have any problems like this? They are all so much older than I .. one would think they wouldn't act like that. They have raised their children up to disrespect and make comments as well. I can forgive but I don't think I will ever be able to really trust or be close to them and it makes me very sad.

My husband and friends say stay away and forget it but it is hard to do.
Please advise. .

Dear StormyMiss

People do say blood is thicker than water - but they also say that your family is an accident of birth, and no law says you have to love each other.

Of course it's nice if you do, but it's not a perfect world.

Do you really care for them, or just "think you ought to", and have you really tried to make it work?

Consider a list of advantages and disadvantages of 'leaving the family' - less anxiety, for a start, but will there be guilt?

What other changes might follow, good and bad?

Then consider how to do it. A huge row would make it final, but might be very unpleasant. Simply ignoring them from February One might work, but might leave serious confusion.

Might be wiser to look at each family member and decide how to handle it. Think carefully here; is it really one particular person that stirs the others up? Is it your mother, pushing you in, when you'd rather be elsewhere? Is there one person you want to stay in touch with?

If these folk were work colleagues, or friends at the gym, would you give them the time of day? What is really so different?

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