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I'm struggling today . . . Cried myself to sleep last night.

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Kristin (KAlbrecht) Posted: Wed, Jan 2 2013 9:33 AM

I just had to write this down somewhere . . . I chose here because I know I have friends here.

My mom was my only advocate in my "family"  My brother (older) and I have never really gotten along.  My dad and I were never close.  My sister (younger) and I were close up until she had her kids.  My mom died 2 years ago.  I get up to see my dad (MN) a few times a year but I make sure it's when my brother and sister are not going to be there.

After my sister had her kids (they're now 11 and 8) she changed.  My younger niece was even named after me (Erika Kristin).  My sisters "rich" sister-in-law and in-law-family started buying anything and everything for my nieces.   After a few years I definitely noticed a change in my sister and how she interacted with me.  The girls stopped coming to see me . . . choosing instead to go visit their other Aunt (she happens to live near me) when they came into town.  Now it's to the point they don't want to talk to me on the phone and are eager to find out what the next gift is that their other Aunt gives them (this year they each got an iPad Mini).  Oh, my niece (the 11 year old) as 2 horses.

Ever since my mom died it's like I don't exist anymore.  My brother and sister include me in things only when it involves my dad or it involves giving one of their kids a gift.  When we do happen to be together, my brother and sister are very condescending and rude.  My sister is like a puppet to my brother.  The two of them plan things that will involve me but they don't include me in the planning until it's all done.  "Mitchell and I think it will be fun to do this".

Well, this coming weekend is my dad's 80th birthday.  My brother and sister started planning a party for it in July.  Several times I've reached out to them to offer help in planning.  They would turn me down saying "that's already done", or "we're working on it".  When I ask for information on the planning I get told I'll learn about it when necessary.  I went ahead and made hotel reservations for us all to stay at but my DB and DS chose instead to stay somewhere else so I canceled the reservations.  I finally gave up trying to help and let them do their thing.  Now comes along my brother and sister . . . instead of calling to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year" or "How are you", instead they call to complain to me that I didn't do any planning for the party.  And now it appears their families are all converging on the Minneapolis area a couple days early to spend time together and visit with some family friends.  Do you think I knew about it, or was even so much as invited?  When asked why we (my DH and I) weren't there too, I politiely mentioned to some family friends that we weren't invited or even knew the "pre-party" was going on.    My DH and I would have certainly changed our plans to be there early . . . it's too late now for us to change our plans . . . we'll be heading up on Friday AM.

The women and nieces are all going shopping for a day (DS, DSIL, DA, DN, and some family friends).  The men (my DB, DBIL, DU, and DNephew) are going to hang out at an indoor driving range.  That's just today.  I don't know what's happening for tomorrow (Thursday).  The party is on Friday.  Then I've learned they've planned to take dad out for breakfast Saturday AM before we all get on the road to head home (My sister is in Omaha; My brother is in Milwaukee).

This isn't the first time that I've gotten the shaft from them but it makes me so ANGRY when it happens.  I should be used to the treatment that they give me by now . . . . but I guess every time it occurs it just brings up old wounds.  There've been incidences at other milestone birthdays where they didn't so much as TELL me that a party was happening until the day of the party . . . too late for us to make the party. 

They're so certain to send me gift wish lists at Christmas and the nieces and nephews birthdays.  They're certain to ask me when they need money for an event such as this.  They're certain to involve us (my DH and I) only when it's convenient to them.  When my mom was alive they would at least pretend to include me in their family gatherings.  I say pretend because those family gatherings always seemed to be at times when my DH and I couldn't get there.

Oh did I mention that at my Dad's 75th birthday they all converged on my house?  Good, right?  They're trying to make an effort?  Will it change anything if I mention that the day before they all showed up I had a chemotherapy treatment so I was sick in bed when they were here celebrating?  We have a small ranch style house so it's not like I could retreat to a bedroom and have piece and quiet. 

I am sorry for airing out my dirty laundry here.  I just don't know how to get past this weekend.  I dread anytime we have to get together with them because of the way they treat my DH and I . . . I cried myself to sleep last night because I've always tried to be part of the family but the way they act it's like they don't want me around.

I'm sorry.

Kristin Lee WICKMAN Albrecht  

(I'm a WICKMAN . . . Don't let anybody tell you any different)

 

 

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Barbara replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 9:40 AM

Kristin sound like to me your sister is buying their love ,and one day they will realize it.  but as far as they rest of the family I understand just how you feel .I suffered the same response from my family when my mother died. I was not there to help ,act so why did I even bother to show up for the funeral.I was really hrut by them. . I would just say go and don't let them get to you .Its your dad to . One day they will have to endure some of the same issues you are and then you can sit back and smile .

Its Ok to talk here we have all had our problems ..  Love Barbara

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Susan replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 10:00 AM

Kristin, My heart aches for you ! I dont know what to tell you , everyone handles it differently. I have not spoken to my brother in years and am at peace with that. I have not seen my sister in seven years but do talk with her on the phone every couple of months. I love them but do not like them so I said to myself  if they were not family would I be friends with them, no way, so why beat myself up over it. I must say when my Mother was alive we tolerated each other for her sake. They were amicable and that was enough. We were all very close at one time, but after my 28 year old sister,s death we had a falling out much like Barbara had, and have not been close since. It was devastating at first. However, I had a marriage and my own family to look out for so I poured all my heart into them. Its easier to when they live in Mass and I in Florida. Just know my prayers are with you and we are always here for you.   Hugs,  Susan

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CarolynT replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 10:02 AM

The best revenge for such meanness is to show them that you're not hurt, even though you are. Go to the events that you're supposed to go to, holding your head up. Be gracious, charming, and don't let them see that their mean actions have impacted you. Give the louses warmth and hugs, and they won't know what to do with it. They might even feel ashamed of their actions. And make sure to give your Dad a big hug and kiss on his 80th birthday. And when it is all over, go quilt up a storm and cry it all out. Best of luck!

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Kelli replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 10:06 AM

Kristin,

I am sorry that your family is treating you like that. Hopefully, one day they will regret it. My family can be jerks too. I just take comfort in knowing that karma will get them someday. Keep your chin up and don't let them get to you. ;-)

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Kristin, I'm so sorry that you're dealing with all of this.  Wish there were something I could say to help.  Obviously, you can't choose your family, but thankfully, we all get to choose our friends and the people we surround ourselves with.  Do you have any local friends that you can get together with and spend some time?  That always helps me.

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Lesley replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 10:29 AM

Don't really have any advice except go and give your Dad the biggest hug you can, and have a good time. The old saying you can choose your friends not your family comes to mind. Cherish your Dad my Dad's 80th birthday celebration is one I hold very dear as sadly I lost him 15 months later. Bug hugs for you too. Deep breath and smile. Lx

 

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Diana replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 10:38 AM

Kristen,  I know exactly how you feel.  You're not alone and there are a lot of us out there.  My Mom lived with me for 9 years.  She was my best friend and we did everything together.  My brother lived across the country but he was a truck driver, so when he was in town he would stop, stay overnight, get a home-cooked meal and laundry done.  My sister was local but 30 miles was toooo far to drive.  We moved 800 miles away to Tn. from upstate NY.  Mom loved it here because she was no longer snowed in for 6 months of the year.  Well, Mom passed 6 1/2 years ago.  I haven't heard from my brother since 4 days after we buried her.  I've seen my sister once and it was like talking to a stranger.  There was no longer any connection with them.  Mom was our connection and since she's gone...nothing.  I'm at peace with that because I have memories with Mom that they were always too busy and self centered to join in.  DH and I never had children so we always bought gifts for their kids but never anything in return.  We just stopped giving when a thank you was never uttered.  I have friends that are closer than they are.  You can pick your friends, not your relatives.  Go and have a good time with your Dad.  Enjoy his company and his love.  Overlook the rest of them. 

Huggs,   Diana (Bink) in East Tn.

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MNnancy replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 10:42 AM

Carolyn :
Do you have any local friends that you can get together with and spend some time?  That always helps me.

That was my thought, too.  

Are you a woman of faith?  Perhaps a talk with your pastor would help - he/she may be able to provide guidance.  Is your DH supportive through these family issues?

Sending you <<<hugs>>> to get you through these difficult times.


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Nana replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 10:54 AM

Kristen

Unfortunately families can be very hurtful.  Try to remember that you are loved and don't let them get to you.   If you can try not to let it bother you so much they will loose their power over you.   Karma will come around and bite them in the butt someday.  Big hugs coming your way.

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Kristin, My heart goes out to you! In this time of taking care of my Mom with my Sister, I feel forgotten, but expected to do what needs to be done without thought or consideration. It hurts to be left out until it's convenient for them. In this time of looking after my Mother, I have had 1, only1 person ask and how are you doing, what do you think? Just try to weather this and LOVE your Dad. I do not believe in revenge thinking but life does have a way of coming around to revisit those who are unkind. Hang in there!

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I sincerely appreciate everybody's heartfelt caring words.  I keep imagining what it will be like after Dad passes (his health isn't great) . . . I am guessing I will never hear from my DB again, and rarely hear from my DS.  That's not all that bad . . . with the stress that I am under when it comes to seeing them it is not healthy for me to see them ever again.  After 3 rounds of cancer and dealing with Parkinson's Disease I have come to appreciate life and appreciate those things that make me happy in life. 

I figure, let them have their fun . . . I have my life with my DH, my 2 dogs, and my 2 cats . . . . and it's a good life.  Since I started up sewing and quilting again I have actually developed a better friendship with my DMIL.

As I look back on our childhood, I think about our Aunt when we were growing up.  My mom and dad didn't like her.  We rarely saw her.  When I moved to Illinois I had a chance to get to know her on my own (She lived in Chicago) and grew to understand her better, and developed a sort of friendship with her.  She gave me a gift that is hanging on my wall in the DR . . . a prized, original piece of artwork . . . one that I will always be able to look at and appreciate it for who gave it to me.  Unfortunately she died on Thanksgiving Day 2011 but when it came to reading her Will it was obvious that she appreciated the fact that we became friends. 

That's kind of how I feel with my nieces and nephew.  They don't know me and don't appreciate me.  What they don't know is the valuable family heirlooms that Aunt Betsy gave me before she died, and in her Will.  While I don't like to hold a grudge, I'm going to be hesitant to Will these items to my nieces and nephews until/unless they come around and appreciate me for who I am.  I don't normally place high regard on material possessions . . . but there are some things that I will always cherish receiving from my Aunt Betsy . . . like what a true understanding for friends and loving family is all about.

Kristin Lee WICKMAN Albrecht  

(I'm a WICKMAN . . . Don't let anybody tell you any different)

 

 

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Linda replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 11:34 AM

Kristin,

I can't begin to tell you how many time I've cried myself to sleep. My oldest son has disowned me and altho the 2 oldest grandsons live with their mom, I haven't seen them since May. His second  wife moved back to CA and I haven't seen those 2 grandchildren in 2 years. He is trying to legally cut off my grandparent rights because of my injuries from my car accident 5 years ago saying I'm not fit to see them or have them in my home with no supervision because of brain trauma.

My other son has 3 children and I'm lucky if I get to seee them twice a year. And I wasn;t allowed to hold the new baby regardless is I was standing or sitting. I might drop her was the excuse.

My children has crushed me. When I had my accident and it was uncertain whether or not I was going to live, neither one came to AZ to the hospital. Nor did they come during the 2 years of my learning how to walk again. They never even called to see how I was doing either. Made me feel like a loved mother....after all the years I loved and cared for them.

Believe me I cried many a night to sleep and I prayed to God to have mercy.

Hugs.

 

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Patti replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 11:47 AM

Kristin, what a difficult thing to be going though.  I am close now with my sister although she had stopped talking with me a few years ago, because "she hated my guts, and never really liked me anyway."  I can say now that I don't know anyone who has a better sister than I do, but that was after years of crying nearly every day. 

Dh's two sister's hate each other, but all the rest of the family (he has 6 siblings) get along with everyone.  At least for a couple years, they became friends again, prior to their mother's death. 

Focus on making this a great birthday for your Dad.  Let him see you rejoicing for him, and treat your siblings the way you would want them to treat you.  Then even if they continue to be rude, you can still feel at peace with your own actions. 

Will be praying for you.

Patti

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Jeanine replied on Wed, Jan 2 2013 1:23 PM

Family is the best and the worst of life.  One thing I have done with those family members (including some of my children) is to disconnect emotionally.  I know that is not easy and can take years to achieve but you need to give yourself permission to do this.  That doesn't mean you stop loving them.  For me, it meant turning them over to God's care including the worry.  I pray for them daily and would be there in a heartbeat if they needed me.  But I have established a life surrounded by a church, husband and friends that are caring and supportive.  I started a quilt ministry to give me a postive outlet to give my energy to and then I am learning to accept what my life is.  You can't change your siblings, but you can change the way you respond to them.  Don't let them get the best of you.  Focus on the positive things in your life and begin to disconnect from the rest.  Hang in there.  I know you are not alone.

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