When my daughter was 5 yrs old (15 years ago) One night, I went with my daughter to visit my sister who was married with a 13 yr old stepson and 2 little girls. Our mom was also there. We had dinner and talking in the kitchen when they noticed the bedroom door closed to their son’s room which they repeatedly told him to keep it open however it was closed. When they went to check what was going on, They found their 13 year old son under the covers with my 5 yr old daughter. According to him, he said nothing happened. On our way home, something wasn’t right with my daughter. The next day I told my sister and she called the police to file a report. She also met me at the doctors where they did a full exam on my daughter. They didn’t find anything. Thank god! But I was still haunted by what did happen and how this was going to affect my daughter!!
Well, it affected all of us going forward. we were no longer invited to anything involving my sister and her family. (15 years going) Obviously, after what happened it wouldn’t feel right to be in the same room with their 13 yr old son who is now 28 yrs old. A couple years ago, my daughter asked my sister why she wasn’t talking to me. I found out from my husband a couple weeks after that my sister said I almost broke up their marriage, I pushed her off the boat one time when we were young (playing around), we are not in the same social class meaning she has more money than me, etc…why did she tell my daughter these things is beyond me. I never kept my daughter from spending time with my sister and her family all these years. I have never been able to spend a minute with my nieces.
This isn’t the first time this happened but I saw a picture of my mom, my sister, her daughter and my daughter with a comment “just having fun with my family one night out before my surgery” on Facebook. My daughter is 20 now and I feel like she doesn’t care at all about what this is doing to me! I guess I have a few problems—I desperately need advice! (From the USA)
What I haven’t seen in your explanation is a direct conversation with your sister. Since it was her stepson and she called the police there seems to be a clear sense of taking responsibility, but her not connecting with you remains a mystery. I’d encourage you to have a one-on-one conversation with your sister in a neutral environment, a café or diner. Talk about your feelings and your needs and that you would like things to change. I’d be direct, and vulnerable with your needs. Perhaps the direct approach would help to initiate a change.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2019). Family Doesn’t Include My Husband and I. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/10/11/family-doesnt-include-my-husband-and-i/
Last updated: 8 Oct 2019 (Originally: 11 Oct 2019) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Oct 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.