The old saying "you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family" really couldn't be more appropriate than right now.
My eldest sister is 62 (a few months off 63 actually) but you'd honestly believe she was about 14 and a school ground bully at times.
In the last...gosh, I don't know, 10+ years, I've found it increasingly difficult to talk to her. Everything I say is wrong, everything I do is wrong and she's all doom and gloom. She's retired, has a good standard of living with her husband and a nice house but I can only assume she is unhappy. Desperately unhappy. Why? Well, she slates everything else. That even includes her neices and my husband.
I have put up with a lot. Yes, I do mean a lot. Too much in fact. We've had our rows admittedly and I've slammed the phone down on her more than once as she's wound me up so much.
However, last week she really put the icing on the cake. Not only did she ice it, she did it with the thickest butter icing you can get. Yep, that bad!
She managed to phone our neice - although she likes to introduce her as a 'friend of the family ' - go figure - and reduce her to tears. What could this be about you ask? Well, it's about both my neice and I not going to her husband's 80th birthday lunch. It's not that we're mean and don't like him (although my sister said I was "mean and nasty" followed by "she is evil" in a text to said neice - no, I did say she as almost 63 not 16 - but it's because she hasn't invited our children. I take that back, she invited my eldest but not the two youngest. I therefore, on behalf of my husband and I, declined the invitation and said have a nice party. This resulted in a call to my neice last week having a go at her, saying we'd never be invited to any other event again, ever (see how devastated I am...yeah, right) and she'd have it out with me. Yes, of course she will, not!
So, I thought long and hard this weekend about her, the things she says (such as not liking my husband, accusing people of being drunks, saying to me she wasn't sure if she liked our new baby girl as she didn't know her yet, slating our girls Naming Days, etc, etc) and decided that if she was a friend, well, she wouldn't have been from a long time ago, so why am I putting up with her behaviour just because she's my sister? If my 13 year old had the sort of text she has been sending, I'd tell her sharp-ish to dump the 'so-called friend'. So, decision made. I will not put up with her behaviour and I will put an end to it.
I considered telephoning her but decided it would become too aggressive very quickly, text is no good, so I finally wrote a letter. It became quite long diatribe I'm afraid so I cut it right down, put a few points in and then told her very clearly not to contact me, no presents for the children or I'd simply return them and not welcome here ever again.
Do you know, I feel so relieved. No more answering the phone and my heart sinking when it's her voice, no more having to be pleasant when I don't want to, no more not telling her things and being guarded when I'm talking as she'll find fault, just no more nonsense.
I have a great circle of very good friends, my husbands family are smashing and my older (youngest) - did you follow that? - sister is brilliant. I have 3 beautiful daughters. I'm a lucky lady and from now on, only good things and people will surround me. About time huh?! :)