Re managing relationships?

I have a delema . I have been diagnosed with multiple autoimmune conditions with primary conditions being severe, seropositive RD, Sjogren's, Pericarditis, Osteoperosis, Bletharitis and on and on..My sister, who lives on the east coast has Grave's Disease, Fibromyalgia both of which are poorly managed. In addition she suffers from manic depression.

The issue/delema: I sent her a model train and several items for her dog. I became annoyed with her for not calling to say package had arrived. I was also intervening between her and my niece regarding custody of her grandchild. When I last spoke to her, December 25th I called her and said she could have called to let me know it had arrived and she flipped out. She has not spoken to me since. On one hand I am relieved at not needing to deal with her constant drama but I know from speaking to my niece that she has foolishly done exactly what I told her not to do and will likely loose custody as a result. I worry about her but currently have a lot of my own problems. Is this selfish ?

10 Replies

  • No. Sometimes you have to concentrate on yourself and let others manage (or not manage) themselves. Otherwise you could both end up in a mess. And if she can't cope then in the long run perhaps better she doesn't have custody of her grandchild? We had a similar sort of thing when had to decide not to support a family member having custody of a child, because we truly felt that the kid would be better off with the other parent/family. Needless to say we have had no contact since, but know that the kid is ok and that's enough.

    Once your disease is stabilised perhaps we can have another go,but. Right now it sounds like you don't need the stress.

  • I'm sure you realise we can't order anyone else life so must sometimes accept those things we either can't change or are in effect despite the negative outcome actually none of our business. Thus your priority must be to look after the only person whose life is under your control which is yourself.

    Your sister is an adult and must be allowed to make her own mistakes and then live with the consequences. In reality the short answer is its not selfish but simply life in the raw.

  • I think it sounds the opposite of selfish.

    You are fighting your own battles but reached out to send the gifts and it's understandable to want acknowledgement of a kind act.

    However, pain and depression can do very funny things to people so it sounds as if your sister is very wrapped up in her own issues.

    Perhaps you could in this age of Internet write a letter if the lack of contact worries you long term.

    If not then send caring thoughts from a distance and concentrate on looking after yourself. This is not being selfish it's sensible in my humble opinion.

    Best wishes.


  • From what you've told us no I don't think you're being selfish. She may have her health problems but so do you & you need to prioritise, without wishing to sound harsh.

    I'm thinking along the same lines as helix, it doesn't really sound as though she's a position health wise, including mentally, to be awarded custody of her grandchild, especially if the legalities there are as stringent as here.

    At least you have contact with your niece, that may be the best way to go just now as far as having contact with your sister, an intermediary of sorts. Your direct input may not be appreciated with how things are going 're custody so little point fanning the flames. I'd let her make the first move unless it becomes a ridiculously long time without contact then maybe your niece would give you the nod if she realises how she upset you but feels unsure how to right the wrong.

  • Thank you, and I agree, she does not want to hear the truth. Best it comes from an outsider. I am concerned because she pushes everyone out of her life then has no support when it all blows up. But I did move across country to escape that madness. I like to stay positive even when a situation like this appears insurmountable. I just celebrate the small victories and before you know it you achieve the big for me🐶

  • You are not selfish. I know this might be hard to have to hear, but sometimes the child is better off in Provicial care. I was in a similar situation last summer. My cousin (we grew up as sisters) was trying to get custody of her 4 granddaughters. She asked me if I would write a letter to the ministry to give her a reference. I couldn't do this. My cousin and her daughter have a drug problem. They just wanted the kids so they could continue to recieve government cheques. I love these little girls so much. I was one of the family members who reported their mother...The girls are in foster care and once I get this RA under control, I will be a part of their lives. The girls are thriving with their foster parents.

    My advice to you is to work on getting your health under control and then form a relationship with the grandchild. Leave the drama back east.

    Take care


  • Sometimes you have to let go of negative influences in your life to help yourself. If your sister was that caring towards you she would have rung you. You take care of you and worry about those that worry about you

  • Selfishness is not always negative. You need to be as strong as you can, not just for yourself but for everyone else. Your sister is obviously unwell, mentally as well as physically, and she made need space herself right now. As for your great niece, maybe her grandmother isn't the ideal person to have custody.

    Try not to be hard on yourself. Easier said than done, but it won't help anyone, least of all yourself. .

    Families can be very tricky!


  • I have problems supporting my daughter who is a recovering heroin addict - 2 children - different fathers - none of them work - all on benefits- I'm nearly 70 got RA working nearly full time and trying to financially and emotionally support her. Like you one word from me that doesn't please her and there is endless drama. 6 months ago I decided enough was enough. At the moment I rarely hear from her but the peace is bliss and at the moment I'm spending my money on swimming lessons - buying a new swim suit and visiting friends. Selfish maybe but the whole constant drama became unbearable - probably due to my RA - but she seems to be surviving

  • Thank you, it is a new experience not trying to fix everything. These days hard to fix anything. Current crisis is my store. The buyer backed out on closing day &$$$- now have new buyer but out of time. It is do or die this week. I cannot do another lease payment. Now risk a financial death. Realistically have my own drama to contend with. It just keeps pouring lol

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