Wow, this is just amazing! I went to visit my only sister (who is the baby of three) a few weeks ago and this scenario happened. I avoid seeing her because she is my flying monkey enabler. I took a friend with me, who witnessed her behavior and her in ability to listen and comprehend. She was much younger than me, so she was brainwashed I feel. As soon as she starts talking about “my” past with my mother and the abuse I endured, she talks non-stop about her feelings. She tells me that I hold “grudges” because I won’t entertain my mother. She’s older now, and delusional, schizophrenic (another story for another day), but she tells my sister she “regrets” how she treated me as a kid. The rationale she gave to my sister for the abuse and staying with one of our abusers was some bull crap about making sure we had a good Christmas. Just screw the other 364 days of the year. That made me even angrier…but I just listened. Again.
My mother has never told me anything, because I don’t entertain her. I told my sister I have 18 years of abuse, and I am going to live out the rest of my days doing things that bring pleasure to me. Being around my mother is not one of them! I am going to be around people who bring me pleasure. My mother (and father) are not in that category. My sister continued to tell me that I just won’t let things go, and I’m living in the past which was not what I was saying. Finally, I asked my friend who was present during this terrible conversation what she heard me say. Her response:
“You said you’re going to protect yourself from anyone that can hurt you, and you don’t care if it’s family.”
That’s EXACTLY what I said.
People hear what they want to hear as long as it suits their narrative.
Thank you so much for writing about these situations. The older I get, the more these scenarios arise as people try to get rid of their baggage. I appreciate your writing so much.