older sister hates me

my (26) older sister (29) has been dealing with some form of mental health issues for at least 10-12 years now. it was ok for a while and then it got so much worse after marriage and now shes divorced with a child. we live together with our mom (single mom since i was born) now. At the current state, i feel like im walking on minefield bc one thing i say wrongly makes her lash out on me and my mom (accusing her of supporting me).

i cant help but wonder if i caused my sister to be like this. when i was young and stupid as a teen, i shouted at her because she was being an awful daughter and granddaughter. she constantly was rude to my gma and mom and i couldn’t stand it. tbh even in recent years before my gma died she was awful to her. and i had to butt in and defend my gma… in hindsight, she was probably like that because she was depressed. but maybe these incidents and me acting like i had moral superiority made her resent me even more. it doesn’t help that i had a “better” life going overseas for school and being single while she was stuck in sg and had a bad marriage AND a child as a single mom. she constantly brings these up when she can. (e.g., “oh you’re so perfect and happy while I’m the problem child and made all the bad life choices”)

since i live with my nephew now, i try to be present in his life bc he shouldn’t be affected by my bad r/s with my sister. i buy him stuff and make sure i go out with them on weekends. but she says i don’t spend enough on him, don’t offer to pay for school fees etc. and im stingy. she says i don’t care about them and only care about going out with friends. i KNOW im trying to spend a lot of time with my nephew (i buy him presents, etc) idk why it never seems enough to her. it came to the point where my mom defended me on two occasions and both times my sister got so mad she became physical (pushed/shoved my mom). i hate myself for causing this rift within my family and I’ve no idea what to do. im trying to be patient and not react to what my sister says (and feed into her anger) but its hard sometimes. my mom and i tried to get us all to go to family therapy but my sis refuses to cooperate. now her mental health is just deteriorating and being at home feels miserable. i love my nephew but im scared of being judged by my sister for every interaction i have with him. im also scared he’ll grow up in a dysfunctional family (ours). i feel bad for my mom who has to try to deal with my sister’s hatred towards me (and by extension hating my mom for taking my side at times).

i tried to tell my sister i wanted to stay out of her life because of how much pain it caused all of us. my mom encouraged me to apply for a masters overseas. but my sis accused me of not caring about my family and trying to escape and lead my “fun single life” while she and my mom stayed here and “suffered”. that’s not what i meant. anyway i haven’t applied because im so exhausted from work and coming home feeling even more tired having to think about how my every action could cause more havoc.

today, my mom cried and scolded me for making things even harder for my family because i took my sister’s snide comment to heart and refused to go out with them. my mom then defended me and got verbally abused and shoved by my sister. my mom didn’t deserve that. i didn’t deserve to be defended bc i chose to be selfish in that moment. i know my sister has a tough life and is likely depressed but i find it so hard to be patient and let things slide ALL the time. when i don’t let things slide my mom ends up being hurt in the process and now i cant help but think im the cause of everyone’s problems. i just want to not exist anymore. what do i do… im also very sorry for this being so long!!!

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Hi @tryingvhard

Thank you for sharing with us how you feel, I’m truly sorry to hear that you’re going through such a difficult and emotionally taxing situation. I can see that you care deeply for your family, and I acknowledge the complexity of the dynamics involved.

Firstly, I would encourage you to consider seeking individual counselling for yourself. A mental health professional can provide a safe space for you to explore your emotions, help you process the guilt you’re feeling, and offer coping strategies to help you manage your feelings. Please do consider reaching out for help from any of these methods:

  1. Limitless : Talk To Someone - Limitless
  2. CPH chat : https://www.cphonlinecounselling.sg/hc/en-us
  3. IMH CHAT : Home - CHAT
  4. ec2.sg : https://fycs.org/ec2-sg
  5. Walk into a Family Service Centre near your home

Next, I think it’s important to set clear boundaries with your sister. You could let her know that while you care about her, you cannot tolerate physical aggression or constant verbal abuse, and reinforce that a healthy relationship requires mutual respect.

While your sister may resist, you can gently encourage her to seek professional help for her mental health too. It’s challenging to support someone who refuses help, but expressing concern and offering resources might make a difference to her over time. Don’t give up on encouraging her to seek help.

Also, how about trying to initiate a calm and open conversation with your family about the need for healthier communication? You can try emphasizing that everyone’s well-being is important, and consider discussing strategies for coping with stress within the family.

Most importantly, self-care is foundational. You can’t help others effectively if you’re not taking care of your own mental and emotional well-being :slight_smile: Make sure to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation and find ways to help you to de-stress and feel emotionally well again.

If possible, I would also encourage you to explore the option of mediation or family counselling. A neutral third party can sometimes facilitate communication and help family members express their feelings in a constructive manner.

Last but not least, please remember that you are not solely responsible for your sister’s choices and actions. It’s a collective effort within the family to work towards healthier dynamics. If you ever feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional support.

Please let us know how you’re coping and share with us your feelings. We’ll be here to support you. Hear from you soon.

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Hey @tryingvhard just want to say thank you for bearing your heart out here its not easy but we are here to listen :people_hugging: It’s not easy trying to balance the needs of your own and the wants of the people you grew up with :disappointed_relieved: but we can see here that you are already doing your best so don’t be so hard on yourself okay :slight_smile:

Also I think what @cottonsoul mentioned regarding seeking help from a mental health professional could help you gain some clarity on what you should do next.

From my experience visiting a counsellor during a time when I was very down for serveral months had helped me have some direction on what I could do to improve on my situation.

What do you think about this ? Is it something that you will be willing to try ?

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It must have been hard to see your mum cry. Actually I think mums are very noble and she probably doesn’t blame you nor your sister for the current situation.

I think at some point your sister needs to realize that you’re not responsible for her life. You have your own life to lead. Yes you can be as empathetic as you want but eventually you might start a family and move out too so you cannot be responsible for her wellbeing (and her son’s wellbeing).

Your mum however probably feels some responsibility to support your sister. I think all parents feel that way and is probably finding ways for you to take control of your own life by suggesting an overseas masters. But at the same time, it seems to me that she also cherishes the time that y’all have left together because (read above para, you’ll start your own family eventually).

It’s a tricky situation, not one that can be resolved easily. I think you can be as supportive as you want for now but also don’t put the blame on yourself, it’s not your responsibility.

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thanks so much for your help and advice!!! I’ve since reached out to Limitless to schedule a counselling session :") therapy is honestly kinda expensive but I’ll consider that if regular counselling doesn’t cut it! my mom also found a therapist for herself so we’ll both try it out and see how it works.

in terms of getting my sister help, we’ll continue to try asking! last time i tried (two weeks ago) she just stopped talking to me and left…my mom and i have decided to start going to therapy/counselling ourselves first, and then slowly bring her in when she’s ready and sees we’re going ourselves too!! hopefully this will help my mom and i figure out how to support my sis better.

I know deep inside of her there is still the sister i know and remember and loved from when i was young and I just want to bring her back!!! She almost becomes a whole different person when she gets emotional its been heartbreaking to see her like this. but thank you so much for your support it really means a lot :")

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@Jaws @Otterworldly

:frowning: thank you so much for this… yeah LOL i honestly kinda hate airing out my family’s dirty laundry especially because i dont want to paint any of my family members in a bad light when they all mean well HAHA my sis isn’t who she is when she has her “moments”/“episodes” and i know deep down she’s still a lovely person i think circumstances have just made her become this way… my mom has been feeling all sorts of guilt bc my sister’s been blaming her for raising my sis badly and apparently “allowing” my sister’s life to go downhill but I’ve been trying to reassure my mom that none of this is her fault (i mean i can safely say, having been brought up by my mom, and seeing her raise my sister, that my mom was/and still is A GREAT mom so idk what my sis is talking about)

but yes!! my mom and i have been putting off seeking hel but i think its about time so i’ll be gg for counselling and my mom has also found a therapist so yeah hopefully this will help us figure out what to do :slight_smile: thanks so much again for your support!! <3

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Happy to hear that you have taken things into your own hands :otter: Jiayouss and do keep us updated hehe :grin:

That’s true but I guess this is a safe enough space since we’re all anonymous. :relieved: