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Detachment - reminders please!

Old 04-13-2011, 08:14 AM
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Detachment - reminders please!

Oh lordy - it is so hard to watch someone be soooooo determined to self destruct.

It's not the RAH - he's actually doing good right now - its my sister. Let me just refer to her at "the addict without a substance" because her behavior is frighteningly familiar but the missing component is a DOC. I am beginning to wonder if this is mental illness? Because I just can't imagine anyone can be this belligerent and stupid!

She is 'unhappily married' and 'hates her husband' and 'hates where she lives' and 'hates her job' and blah blah blah...yawn...this is nothing new to the drama queen.

Now she's saying they are divorcing and she is moving 3000 miles away with her 3 kids, with no job waiting, no skill set to fall back on to even begin looking for a new job, no money, no home, no support system. Her kids are under 10, all boys. And guess who she is using as a "role model" (said with great disdain)! ME! GAWD I am so appalled.

Single parenthood is very difficult; I struggled with it for years, and had a little tiny break when I remarried but that didn't last long! Now I am back to sole provider and breadwinner with two teenagers and college looming around the corner. Yesterday I had BOTH vehicles break down. BOTH! On top of trying to move into a new house, work, finish school for me, and parent two teenagers. I had to move closer to my family to be able to pull this life off. And she wants to BE ME? Are you flippin crazy? Yeah, possibly she is.

To top off the craziness, she is refusing to "speak to me" and darn near threatened my Mom about sharing her woes with me in a very paranoid email. My folks are super upset. Neither me nor my brother can stand to associate with her. My Dad is financially supporting her and her family after her husband's mortgage business tanked. So she wants to be ME but doesn't want to hear what it is really like to BE ME from me?! WTF?!

My fingers are itching to shoot her off a long diatribe-based email about the realities of single parenthood. My mouth is twitching to call her and MAKE HER LISTEN! My program reminds me this is not the way I want to live, and this morning I am struggling with detachment.

Remind me, SR friends, to detach. DETACH! If she wants to self- destruct, it is her choice to do so. I cannot change that. I can only change my reaction to it all. And today I am choosing not to react at all. Accept the things I cannot change...BIG DEEP BREATH...detach!!!

ARGH!

Have I mentioned how much I dislike my sister??!!!
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:18 AM
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Well, if she moves 3,000 miles away, you won't have to deal with her. So, there's a silver lining in that dark cloud.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:23 AM
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LOL!
My half sister is something else, so I understand.
SO hurt from her childhood. I'd dx her as a sex addict...and codie. She makes choices that are SO not in her best interest. She's in her 50's, still using sex to get attention and love (but how long will that last?). No savings. No job. No money. Hasn't paid taxes in years, so no social security. Defaulted on her student loans. Lives off teaching classes here and there and being funded by her revolving door boyfriends.
Ugh.
She SUPER DUPER pissed me off on my wedding day. I didn't talk to her for 3 years (we don't live in the same place and she didn't notice (!). )
Finally, I realized she was taking my mental real estate, even if she wasn't directly in my life.
I finally detached (a bit!) and am not NOT talking to her. I just am not seeking her out. She gets to do her crazy thing (she's a mom, too) and I can't control it.

Remember the 3 c's, tuff!

Hugs, p
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
Well, if she moves 3,000 miles away, you won't have to deal with her. So, there's a silver lining in that dark cloud.
Oh Suki, if only it were that easy. LOL!

But history tells me she will haunt me for the rest of my life in some fashion. I just need to learn to deal with that prospect. As unpleasant as it may be.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Oh Suki, if only it were that easy. LOL!

But history tells me she will haunt me for the rest of my life in some fashion. I just need to learn to deal with that prospect. As unpleasant as it may be.
Why? It's possible to cut off communication with toxic people.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:17 AM
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I am going to play devils advocate, here...

Maybe leaving a man whos business tanked and who has your parents paying for his family is the right thing for her.

She may not be working on herself, yet, but, if she does go, then maybe reality will grow her up.

Yes, it will be hard, but it sounds like she is inspired by you taking a stand in your marriage.

I know you are trying to detach, but why does her choice bother you so much?

And does she really mean it, or is she having a mood swing?

If she is just swinging around, and has been, then your experience can tell you that its not worth getting all worked up over, and it is probably best not to listen to her swinging decisions, or impulses.

Im sorry if I am out of line, or uninformed, but I dont remember the history w your sister.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:19 AM
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I'm sorry you are struggling.

See my signature. I love it. I remind myself of this frequently.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:08 AM
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sometimes, we need to put a behavior in place even when we don't "feel" it.

you trying to detach emotionally, and actually detaching by not giving advice, trying not to think of her and her stuff, not checking up on her or in with her, could be considered "acting as if".

we act "as if", then one day we realize we are living it on another level as well.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo66 View Post
I am going to play devils advocate, here...
Maybe leaving a man whos business tanked and who has your parents paying for his family is the right thing for her. She may not be working on herself, yet, but, if she does go, then maybe reality will grow her up. Yes, it will be hard, but it sounds like she is inspired by you taking a stand in your marriage.
I know you are trying to detach, but why does her choice bother you so much? And does she really mean it, or is she having a mood swing?
If she is just swinging around, and has been, then your experience can tell you that its not worth getting all worked up over, and it is probably best not to listen to her swinging decisions, or impulses. Im sorry if I am out of line, or uninformed, but I dont remember the history w your sister.
You're not out of line - and I appreciate your questions as it makes me tease out my emotions here.

I guess I'd have to say I am concerned at her logic and her out-of-touch with reality perspective. First of all, her husband just finally landed a really good paying job here and is finishing his first semester of an MBA program, so he's really trying to reestablish himself. Secondly, he is the more stable parent to those boys. Lastly, he is a saint for putting up with her hostility for 11 years. She is horrible to him, puts him down in front of other people, makes fun of his weight, values, character, failures, etc. He can do nothing right, and she considers him to be a loser. Really? This guy who cooks, cleans, pays the bills, has supported her for a number of years, shuttles the boys to hockey at 5am, is a loser? Shoot - I have been envious of her in the past - she got a good man and craps all over him. I got a cheater (1st marriage) and an alcoholic (2nd marriage). And the first marriage - he left me for his GF. The 2nd marriage - I remain married but living separately as we figure out a new life in recovery. I don't consider my patterns to be a role model for anyone. I am trying to change my life. I don't want to be anybody's role model right now!!

Sound familiar, anyone?! She's mean.

She has been working in her first job EVER for the last 2.5 years. Seriously - she has never worked a day in her life until now. And she wants to move to an area of the country with a depressed economy, declaring she can make double the median income, but Daddy has to pay for the move there and buy her a house and support her while she "gets back on her feet". As if he hasn't been doing that already for 3 years...good heavens...our family has bent over back ward to help her out after the failed business. And while she is making these grandiose plans, she is reminding us everyday of our failure to "help her out in her time of need", which is partially the reason why she "has to move" because no one in her family supports her here.

WTF? Does that make any sense? It's madness! It's QUACKING! And that is why I have had such a strong emotional reaction to it.

What bothers me the most is watching my Mom cry over this. My folks, in their desire to help out their kid, created a monster through their enabling. She is self-centered, entitled, mean, demanding, and very very immature for a 35 yr old woman.

Again, sound familiar? It's like having a relationship with an addict who isn't addicted to anything.

*SIGH* I do feel better venting. And I will continue to remain detached. Because as Latte points out - I don't need another ride on the crazy train (thanks, latte, I love your tag line!!!)
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:35 AM
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OK, yes.
She sounds self centered and a Queen Baby.

So, just keep on detaching. Dont feed into it.
She seems like she may need the drama around her for attention.
Dont give it to her, and BTW, just remember, you also cannot control how your parents respond/react to her.

They need to do their own detaching.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:24 AM
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I know that when I find the people in my life with behaviors similar to AH the most frustrating it's usually bc something about my AH is feeling especially out of control.

For ex. When I let AH's brother really, really get to me last week it wasn't bc he was being any different than he's always been-- it was bc I was a lot more frustrated and fed up with AHs antics. It's "unsafe" to be uspet with AH so I focussed my frustration on bil. I also was/am feeling stressed beyond belief about my job being cut, my financial state etc... So, add in bad behavior by bil and that gives me a different focus.

Not suggeting that you're distracting yourself bc your sister sure sounds infuriating but just something to think about:

Is there something about the A in your life that is feeling more out of control than usual?
Is there something going on with you that you're having a hard time dealing with?

These are things I've been trying to ask myself when I find myself wanting to lose it on a sick family member (ie: last week I lost it on my mil. I am glad I did, but I prob wouldn't have if AH hadn't been pushing my buttons in a particularly huge way...) There seems to me to always be a connection between my reactions and what's going on around me and ultimately I need to find a better way to focus just on me.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:38 PM
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Whew... glad you're feeling a little better. She wouldn't have heard you any way. Nope, she didn't want to hear it, the truth is hard and it sounds like she's just wanting to pull a "geographic".
Deep breath. Detach. Sounds like you're doing great.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:19 PM
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OH GAWD there's more to this story...

... its about a guy. She found someone else to replace current husband (or so she thinks) and he lives where she is apparently moving. He is also divorcing and has several kids. They've been having "conversations" lately, and she's flying down there on Thursday for a friend's wedding and he will conveniently be around.



Can I say another WTF?!

Thanks all - now I really need to detach from this, before I kill her myself.

What is it with some people and their constant need for drama? Yuck!
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:53 PM
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Bleh. Now that's a kettle of worms. (Is that the saying?) Yep, time to change the channel. (I know it'd be hard to do with the story being about a sister....) Hang in there.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:02 PM
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So she's taking another hostage, eh? Well, for her husband's sake, it's probably a good thing. It's unfortunate your parents (and, presumably, her children) have to suffer through all this drama, though.

So far as your parents go, you may have to work more on detaching from THEM than you do the sister. They are really the ones you'd like to "save" here. Maybe you could talk to your mom about some of what you're learning about detachment. Does your mom live nearby? Maybe you could bring her along to some Al-Anon meetings. She probably qualifies by virtue of the RAH. It's a skill that would benefit her greatly, it seems.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
So she's taking another hostage, eh? Well, for her husband's sake, it's probably a good thing. It's unfortunate your parents (and, presumably, her children) have to suffer through all this drama, though.

So far as your parents go, you may have to work more on detaching from THEM than you do the sister. They are really the ones you'd like to "save" here. Maybe you could talk to your mom about some of what you're learning about detachment. Does your mom live nearby? Maybe you could bring her along to some Al-Anon meetings. She probably qualifies by virtue of the RAH. It's a skill that would benefit her greatly, it seems.
So true...I need to be prepared that they will continue to enable my sister in her madness, as that is also a long standing pattern. My brother and I often wonder how we got the shaft in this picture...we both had to work at 16, work throughout college, and work steadily ever since. My sister - well - one would think she is a trust fund kid. And she's not! Can you imagine getting to age 35 and never having worked? Anywhere?!

Mom lives really close by - upstairs to be exact! ; ) at least for another week. And yes, I am seriously 12-steppin her right now. She's pretty upset, and my Dad is just pissed off. Good news is they are excited about my new house (bought and paid for by ME) and that I need nothing from them right now.

*SIGH* I feel very bad for the BIL. He's really a good man. She was lucky he stuck around and endured her hostility for as long as he did. Yes, he would be better off without her in his life.

Thanks, all for your great input!

I continue detaching...no way I am getting overly involved in this drama fest. I have much more calm and serene things to do with my time these days!
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:29 PM
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Wow Wow! You're sis really really needs some help..no offense, but by the sound of it you probably won't take any offense to that. I'm so sorry that she is like this. I pray for her to realize she is soon and seek mental help. BIG HUGS!!!
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I know that when I find the people in my life with behaviors similar to AH the most frustrating it's usually bc something about my AH is feeling especially out of control.

For ex. When I let AH's brother really, really get to me last week it wasn't bc he was being any different than he's always been-- it was bc I was a lot more frustrated and fed up with AHs antics. It's "unsafe" to be uspet with AH so I focussed my frustration on bil. I also was/am feeling stressed beyond belief about my job being cut, my financial state etc... So, add in bad behavior by bil and that gives me a different focus.

Not suggeting that you're distracting yourself bc your sister sure sounds infuriating but just something to think about:

Is there something about the A in your life that is feeling more out of control than usual?
Is there something going on with you that you're having a hard time dealing with?

These are things I've been trying to ask myself when I find myself wanting to lose it on a sick family member (ie: last week I lost it on my mil. I am glad I did, but I prob wouldn't have if AH hadn't been pushing my buttons in a particularly huge way...) There seems to me to always be a connection between my reactions and what's going on around me and ultimately I need to find a better way to focus just on me.
Ohhh this is good - WTBH - and in bold is probably the culprit. I am freaking out over reorganizing my universe right now...moving...getting the new house ready...needing some new furniture...repairs...cars break down...behind at work because of taking time off...and that first house payment looming around the corner...you know what?! I am so f'ing sick of HER drama overshadowing my own!

Yeah, I need to get over myself in that respect.

At least I am not her, and thank heavens for that. My drama will peter out in short order, once I get re-settled and all is calm again. Hers...well...it will continue on and on and on and on...because she likes it that way.

Did I mention how much I dislike that woman? I just want to "Good God" her!
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:44 PM
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WE can't cure anyone. No one can cure anyone.

I am starting to think about making my current city my home. So I would have XABF+GF around, small town and too many connections.

The only way to win is not to play. I start playing, and Oh My God I go back to Day 1, feel all kinds of irrational feelings, and suffer. I have to remind myself I do not have to play. I can cut contact or keep it to a minimum. I can do a ton of things for myself and my peace no matter what. Don't play, even in the midst of turmoil (and I admire you for all you do!! I don't know how you manage so many things and so well!!) I know you have a sense of inner peace.

Keep it. Protect it. Remember it. Hand people to HP. Hand your life to HP. She has her own journey...
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:57 AM
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Ahhh jeez, tuffy. You can't catch a break. You work so hard on you and then another set of issues enters your life.
Side note: I think we're related. Well up until you mentioned the 3 kids of your sister, I thought your sister was my wife.

Anywho, my MIL is an enabler and so is my FIL. My AW is 100% spoiled brat and never needed to do much to run her life. She never really grew up. I know this is slightly different but I've detached from my inlaws in a big way. It's not up to me to decide what they do or don't do for their daughter, my AW. Also, just like our alcoholic's, we need to let them live their life and grow up.
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