Not so Mundane and Pointless Sibling Dilemma

Short version: My sister and I are not speaking to each other and I don’t even know why. :frowning:

Long version: I am going to school in Florida and recently went to Illinois to spend two weeks visiting my family. I spent the first few days at my dad’s house, then went by my mom’s house to spend the rest of my vacation visiting my family and friends that live by her. My mom was in the process of moving and had no where for me to sleep so I called my sister and went to stay with her and her husband. Last time I visited I felt bad because she told me I could stay there multiple times but I stayed at my mom’s house because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. So I thought it would be great, now I can stay with her, we are really close and I miss her a lot. She also recently found out she is pregnant so it was great to be able to spend so much time with her talking about her pregnancy and her upcoming baby shower.

My first night there she leaves me a note in the morning telling me to help myself to breakfast and that she is getting a key made for me so I can come and go as I want while I am there. The first few days seemed fine. We got along great and talked a lot. Then a mutual friend of ours went to the hospital to have her baby. I also planned my visit so I would be there for the birth of her baby. I have been friends with this person (I’ll call B) for about six years. Since I have moved she and my sister have also become very close. My sister called to tell me she was going to the hospital after she got off of work because B was being induced but it was coming along very slowly. I told her I’d meet her there if she wanted and she said B didn’t want me to come with because she didn’t want a lot of people there, only a select few. I was hurt but ok with it and just said ok, and that I’d see her when she got home. She later called to say B said I could come up there but I was at an appointment with a friend and couldn’t make it up there before visiting hours ended. The next morning I called B to see how she was doing and she was slowly dialating more and told me I could come up there because she thought it would still be a while before the baby came. So I went to the hospital and surprisingly she had the baby soon after I got there. I called to tell my sister that the baby was about to be born and she was noticably angry. She asked why I was there and was rude to me on the phone and eventually hung up on me. B said she knew my sister was going to be mad she couldn’t be there when the baby came (she was at work) but that she was surprised she was taking it out on me. Later that night I was at my mom’s new place helping her unpack when my sister called her. I asked to talk to her, hoping she wasn’t still angry. She told my mom she didn’t want to talk to me and hung up. So I tried calling her but got voicemail and left a message saying I don’t understand why she is mad at me because I didn’t do anything, and I am sorry she couldn’t be there when the baby was born. She called me back screaming and told me to “get the the fuck out of her house, take all my shit, and leave the key!” Then hung up.

I was so upset I called my boyfriend crying my eyes out begging him to change my flight so I could come home. I still had four days left until I was supposed to leave and couldn’t imagine staying there one second longer. I finally composed myself, went to my sister’s house and left the key. I took all of my stuff and stayed with a friend.

My sister had offered to take me to the airport when I left so I then had to make other arrangements. My mom told her to call me, and when she didn’t she began to mention it daily. She finally did call only to say “what are you too chicken-shit to call me?” I told her that I wasn’t scared to call but was hoping she would call to apologize. She said “for what?” When I explained how much she hurt me she just lauged and hung up. My mom attributes all this to her pregnancy and raging hormones. I don’t see how that would cause her to treat me like that repeatedly. I called her back and left a message saying how upset I was and how hurt I felt by what she did. I haven’t heard from her since. I sent her an email saying that I thought she was happy I was visiting and that she wanted me to stay with her. I thought we were really close and I can’t believe that all this has happened. I have yet to get a response.

All of this has upset me so much. I’ve been home for a week and a half now, and I still don’t even understand what exactly happened and why she treated me that way. I keep thinking about calling her to try to ask her why she is so mad, but I don’t because I am afraid she will just get me all upset again. We were really close before all of this. She asked me to come out there so I could go with her to her first pre-natal exam, which I did. She sent me pictures all the time. She even drove an hour to my dad’s to see me the day I got in instead of waiting until I went out to my mom’s house. I don’t understand how things got to where they are now, but it tears me up to think about it. I’m supposed to be helping plan her baby shower, and now I don’t even know if she wants me there. She is a stubborn person anyways so I don’t think she’ll ever call me. She is also not one to apologize, but I don’t think I can just forget about how much she hurt me unless I get some explaination.

So I guess my reason for posting all this is because I have no idea what to do. I miss my sister and want the closeness back. I feel the ball is in her court because I left her a voicemail and sent an email both with no response. I just don’t know what else to do.



I don’t have siblings so I have no advice to offer. I don’t see how your sister could blame the timing of a baby’s arrival on you. Maybe you could get your Mom to kinda run interference or something?

Thank you Snakescatlady. Last time I talked to my mom about it she told me she is staying out of it, and suggested I call and apologize, though I don’t know what I’d possibly say or apologize for.

Eeek. Pregnant women suck.

Disclaimer: Not that that’s an excuse, and not all pregnant women, but plenty.

I’ve seen a lot of normal, rational, calm women fly off the handle at the least little thing when pregnant. I don’t have a lot of advice to you…hang in there, though. Hopefully she will come to her senses soon. I hope she doesn’t prolong her grudge until after the baby is born.

If your mom is saying you should apologize, can she at least tell you what for?
Her stating that, in and of itself, is not exactly “staying out of it”. If she has the opinion you are somehow in the wrong, mom should at least tell you why from her point of view. Unless she’s essentially saying, “I have no idea why either, but if she’s having that much of a snit, take the easy road and apologize”. :rolleyes:
Hell, sometimes people just go off for whatever irrational reason that is currently running through their mind and nothing you say or do can convince them otherwise. Sometimes all you can do is be the bigger person and act like it never happened because a) they’re family, b) you know they just aren’t going to apologize because in their mind they were completely justified, and c) you still have to see them at holidays. I’m not saying you should apologize; I’m saying try to forgive and forget. Kind of hard in your case when she’s being so actively nasty by ringing you up, though. Maybe give her space and time to cool down and see if she comes to her senses.
It would be nice if she would act semi-rational and at least explain why she’s upset (makes me wonder if she even knows - as you said: hormones :eek: ) but if she’s going to insist on continuing to act that way, well, try your best to ignore her no matter how much it hurts. You know you did nothing wrong.
Good luck with it and hang in there. :slight_smile:

My SIL, who is a lovely, well balanced, fun to be with kind of gal, turns into a psychotic, raving lunatic when she’s pregnant. She’s unplesant, ugly, nasty and wacko.

Personally, I would wait 9 months (or whatever) and then contact your sister. In fact, she’ll probably contact you.


Your sister is mad because she thought you intruded on a woman in the midst of giving birth. She is sensitive to this issue because she is currently obsessed with the process of giving birth, as are most women pregnant for the first time. She is scared and not really rational.

I think your best bet would be an email saying, “I’m really sorry if it seemed like I was intruding on B. She invited me up there because she thought there was plenty of time for me to drop by before the baby came, but then things speeded up unexpectedly. I wish you could have been there, and I’m sorry you had to be at work. I miss you, and I hope you’ll let me back into your life again.”

The other piece is to call B and explain that your sister seems to be upset with you and you think it’s about you visiting in the hospital. You apologize if you were intruding at all, and you certainly didn’t mean to. (I would have been way stressed about anyone coming to the hospital and expecting to see me during my long induction, and more so if they’d been there for the main event. And if you think pregnant women are sometimes irrational, wait until you’ve seen a woman in labor. B could very well be mad at you without you knowing about it, and your sister is mad because she does know.)

If B accepts the apology like you owe it to her, end there - just ask about the baby and let her blather on about how incredibly perfect s/he is and about how she hasn’t slept in a week. If she tells you not to be silly, that you didn’t do anything wrong, then ask her if she’ll talk nice about you next time she talks to sis, to help heal the rift in your family.

I’m gonna have to call bullshit here - your sister is pregnant and has all kinds of wacky hormones, but that doesn’t give her a free pass to act so horribly to you or anyone else. She’s an adult, and she’s still responsible for what she does.

You did nothing wrong; I’m very sorry she’s treating you this way. My best advice to you is to leave her alone, and do your very best to let this episode go (i.e. not dwell on it or play it over and over in your mind, why she acted that way, what you could have done differently, all that stuff). If she never acknowledges she has done anything wrong, you will need to adjust your perception of your relationship with her.

Read ENugent’s post again. It says some really important things, including a great non-apology apology.

Yeah, your sister SHOULD be an adult and SHOULD not let her hormones get the better of her and SHOULD be the one to apologize. She SHOULD be rational and SHOULD understand that you weren’t taking away her opportunity to be at the birth (which it sounds like was the plan with B, but it didn’t work out) and she SHOULD understand that you aren’t horning in on her special New Mommy Sisterhood with B, and she SHOULD get that you can be friends with B while she’s special mommy friends with B, and she SHOULD just get the hell over it.

But is ruining your friendship with her and your relationship with your niece or nephew worth a bunch of SHOULDs? Being pregnant is hard. Working while you’re pregnant is even harder. Having expectations which don’t pan out around childbirth - yours or your good friend’s - is really hard, and when you’re both pregnant at the same time, it’s even harder. My best guess is that she wanted to share something really special with B - and perhaps have B at her own birth as well - and that didn’t work. And you got to be there. Which sucks.

No, it’s not your fault. But it’s understandable what she’s feeling. It’s not allowable that she’s been a bitch to you, but it’s understandable.

Thanks for all the responses everyone. I still not sure what I’m going to do, or not do for that matter, but it really helps to hear other peoples’ viewpoints.

Unfortunately that is exactly why she said that. She just wants to not have to hear about it anymore it seems. I agree she may not even know why she is so upset with me. I just wish she’d at least contact me so I can know what the heck is/was going through her head.

alice_in_wonderland: I understand that people sometimes go crazy and become irrational when they are pregnant, but I just don’t undstand why it’s being directed specifically towards me. I really hope I don’t have to wait until the baby gets here for this to be resolved. Before this all happened she updated me almost daily about her pregnancy and everything that was going on.

ENugent: I already tried the email, which I have not gotten a response to. She is definitely obsessed with the process of giving birth. When I called to tell her that B was about to have her baby I said that “B is in labor.” To which my sister replied “I know she’s been in labor since yesterday.” I clarified that the baby is about to be born, and she said “Oh you mean she’s pushing, that’s not labor, you don’t know what you’re talking about!” She was very snooty about it and tried to make me sound like an idiot. From what I knew I thought that was also a part of labor. B and I are fine. She actually is not happy with how my sister has been treating me, and doesn’t understand it. She even asked me to help her take the baby home and get settled when she was discharged (her husband had to be at work), which I’m sure my sister was also not happy about if she knows about that too. I’ve talked to B several times and she says that my sister is really being mean to me and that even her husband can’t believe how she acted when I was there to visit. No one seems to understand it but my sister.

featherlou: I completely agree with what you said. I understand her hormones are changing and she may have severe moodswings, but I don’t see how that justifies her repeatedly being so nasty towards me and still not talking to me. If it were hormones I would think that after the moodswing subsided she would realize how much she hurt me and feel bad about it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
I’m just so confused by all this and miss hearing from her all the time about her appointments/how the baby is developing each week/her cravings and all that. She is my little sister (four years younger, but still) I loved that she made me such a big part of this experience with her. I was even the first person she called after she took her first pregnancy test. Now I just feel hurt and confused. I don’t even know if I should still be helping with her baby shower or if she just wants me to butt out of the whole thing, or even if she wants me to show up. :frowning:

Thanks for all the advice. It really helps a lot.

Yeah, I’m with featherlou here. Being pregnant does not mean you have a pass to act like a vile, spoiled brat.

Seems to me that she is angry that YOU got to be there when SHE is the new close friend of B. Is your sister usually a jealous person (or the kind of person that always wants to be there for a big event so she can tell everyone the story)?

I do agree that you should just let it go for now. She’ll eventually realize she acted inappropriately…and if she doesn’t, that’s not your fault either.

Yeesh. I’m a cranky pregnant woman, and think your sister is being a psycho. I agree that you shouldn’t apologize, since you did nothing to apologize for. If she was disappointed that she didn’t get to be there at the birth, which is what it sounds like her major malfunction is, that’s certainly not your fault, and to take it out on you like that is just selfish and juvenile. It sounds like she irrationally felt that you were horning in on B, which is just silly. She didn’t have any kind of exclusive rights to the birth, pregnant or not.

If she can’t see that it’s strictly her emotional reaction and absolutely nothing you did, well, I don’t know that there’s much you can do about that. You’ve tried communicating with her, so the ball is in her court until she decides to start acting like an adult again. Your mom definitely isn’t helping by putting the responsibility on you instead of on your sister, where it belongs.

You know your sister’s always been a little shit. And she will probably always will be. So buck up and take I it if you want a relationship with her or drop kick her like your neighbor’s shitting chiuaua.

This is MPSIMS, right? checks thread

Then for the first time ever, I’d like to pass around a few hugs.

{{{{hugs to all the women who have been pregnant and know that pregnant does not have to equal cranky!}}}}

Love you guys!

I’ve been thinking about this ever since I read it, and I sincerely hope this is your sister’s only child if this is how she treats people when she’s pregnant. I haven’t ever been, but I have been around more than a few pregnant women, and none of them ever came close to this kind of emotional abuse.

You got to be there when the baby was born, and she didn’t. Therefore she is going to punish you, because she knows how much you care for her. I don’t give a rat’s patootie if she’s pregnant or not, that is very selfish behavior.

I hope you are taking to heart that you didn’t do anything wrong. You spoke to B, who invited you to the hospital. If B isn’t upset that you were there, what right does your sister have to be upset? So she missed out on something. If she’s going to have kids, she’d better get used to the idea that it’s not all about her anymore.

And I’m not trying to put down or badmouth your sister, OhFace. For whatever reason, she seems to have a problem. It isn’t anything you did.

I just wanted to emphasize this - and I hope your sister starts acting like an adult again soon, since she will be a mom soon.

In your past relationship with your sister, were you were the one who did the apologizing and appeasing, OhFace? Were you the one who always smoothed things over? It sounds like your sister’s behaviour has hurt you quite a bit here, and it is perfectly okay for you to be hurt and confused by it. If she does it again, however, that is your opportunity to tell her that this is not acceptable. Nobody in our lives gets a free pass to abuse us, family or otherwise. I think your sister needs to learn that if she wants a relationship with you, there are boundaries she needs to respect. You want a loving, healthy relationship with her, but not at the cost of your own self-respect.

Just thought I’d post a little update. I was really upset about this the other night and couldn’t get to sleep. I decided that I needed to talk to someone else about all of this since my mom doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. I called my stepmom the next morning and told her about what happened. She was obviously surprised and didn’t really know what to say. She told my dad about it and he called me this morning to ask me about it. He said he’s going to ask my sister what is going on with us and see if she’ll talk to him about it. I know he likes to believe he can fix anything that relates to his daughters, but I honestly don’t think he’ll get a good reaction out of her. I told him I think it will only make her more mad at me, but he insists. We’ll see what happens. He’s pretty ticked off that she did that and said he’ll be even more mad if she lashes out at me after he says something about it. Though he promises to just inquire about what happened and not get upset with her if she doesn’t talk about it. I told him I’d prefer he just not say anything, but he says he’s going to anyways. He feels obligated to get involved as our father…

I hope this doesn’t make things worse, but I doubt it will make them any better. Also my best friend is engaged and I am her maid of honor, she has also asked my sister to stand up as a bridesmaid since she has known her her whole life. She’s been trying to get a hold of her to ask her about ordering our dresses and about a few of the things my sister had offered to help her out with. She hasn’t returned her calls. I’m sure my sister assumes she’s just trying to talk to her about me.

…Well in the midst of typing this I talked to my dad on the phone. He says “I talked to her and she’s fine. I understand why she did that to you and I have the same issue with you and you should know what it is, I shouldn’t even have to tell you.” WTF! So that made me feel just great. After making it completely clear that I still had no idea what he was talking about he continued to tell me that I’m a bad guest and don’t offer to clean the house while I’m there, and the spare room is usually messy, and I’m basically not a pleasure to have visit. So he pretty much validates what she did and only makes me more upset. I admit the room I stayed in had clothes all over because I had two suitcases and multiple bags from buying new clothes, but I kept it contained to my room and made it as neat as I felt I could before I would leave the house for the day. She asked me to make more lemonade because it was almost gone and I did immediately. She never said a word to me while I was there about anything that may have been bothering her, apparently she just kept it to herself and then blew up and continuted to leave me in the dark about why.

My dad is saying he’ll fix it and mediate or whatever it takes. I still feel that I deserve and apology because she hurt me incredibly and not only left me to have to find a place to stay for the next four days but also a ride to the airport. She didn’t check to see if I was able to find someone or even want to see me before I left. She also felt it was better to not respond to my voicemail or email than to have to talk to me or attempt to resolve anything. If I was that much of an annoyance while I was staying with her than I am sorry for that, but I still think that she handled it very immaturely.

Let me see if I understand this. You were living out of suitcases, so the room was a little messy. You didn’t clean your sister’s house, which you didn’t understand was the price of staying with her, nor did she tell you that you were expected to clean her house. And for this she throws you out on the street and leaves you without a ride to the airport. And your dad is ok with this?

The mind boggles.

I am sorry for the pain you are feeling, but I don’t think you’re ever going to get an apology out of little sister. I really feel sorry for her child to be, cause it can be hard enough to please a parent without having to read her mind to know how to please her. In the interest of family harmony (Og I hate those two words) I guess you’ll have to let it go, but I damn sure wouldn’t be going out of my way to throw her a baby shower. Let her find a mind reader to do it so she’ll get exactly what she wants and you won’t get blamed because someone gave her a yellow blanket when you know she wanted a green one.

I’m sending comforting thoughts your way. I know I’m not your sister but comforting thoughts sent by a Doper can work wonders!! Just ask anyone!!

How old are you and your sister?

I’m with Snakescatlady–my mind is boggling. Your sister sounds like a self-involved psycho and your Dad is encouraging her lunacy. If nothing happens from your sister’s side to clear this up, I know I’d be very inclined to forget about helping plan her baby shower. Maybe just send a gift and move on. Family troubles suck because you almost HAVE to deal with family members, even if only at a superficial level. I understand you’re unhappy about her attitude, but you really don’t have the power to fix this by yourself. I hope she returns to her former behavior, but she doesn’t seem headed that way so far…