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Have not seen family in 12 years, issues

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  • Have not seen family in 12 years, issues

    My husband moved to NZ in 2010 and I have not been back to see my family in NY for about 12 years. I have mostly kept in touch with my father, and maybe talk to my sister 2 or 3 times a year only. I was about to go back to NY (I am 60) to see my elderly parents and sister, when my sister called me right before I paid for the tickets. She did not sound enthusiastic to see me again... There was no ''oh i am so glad that you are coming'', or any enthusiasm ....she almost sounded bitchy from the gitgo as she was afraid she would have to arrange transport for me from LaGuardia LGA. The conversation went from how I was going to get from LGA airport up to the Hudson Valley, where I would take a shuttle to Grand Central Station and catch the metro north railroad. This trip is very long and expensive for me, and about 3800.00 NZD and my health has not been good for the last year, so it is a real effort. I was planning to stay for 2 weeks. When the five minute or so conversation turned to where in my parents house I was to sleep (it turns out Mother is now sleeping in my old bed), the conversation went South. There is a 55 year old pull out mattress from our youth to use that you can feel the metal bars. I suggested getting a memory foam mattress topper (24.00 from Walmart BTW) and my sister quipped back ''I was going to ask you to stay over my house for a few nights, but it sounds like you want me to buy you a brand new Temperpedic bed'', real sarcastic like. I then said no I wasn't asking for that, , and I said i would never talk to you like that... My sister suggested that I sleep in the same room as my Father, in a twin bed, which I would not feel comfortable sleeping in the same room as my father, and I suggested to ''try the bed'' and maybe we could ''move it to the spare bedroom''. Her reply was nasty '''I am not going to run out tonight and test it''. And then I replied back ''i never asked you to run out tonight and test it''... ..She also mentioned to me that I could sleep on the couch. At this point, I tried to convey to her how stressful the trip around the world from New Zealand to NY would be for me, and then her reply was ''You're not moving into a hotel''.. So you can see that I was trying honest and being very polite to resolve an issue where I was going to sleep, and it seemed that everytime I opened my mouth and said something, she had an ungracious comeback. I was very confused with her behaviour and cut the conversation short and wanted to get off the phone so I could process what was said. I called my husband up and he immediately said ''Forget about going''. My sister has a long history of being a bully, especially with me. I would have to rely on my sister if i went, if I wanted to go out anywhere, as I have forgotten to drive on the other side of the road, and the last time I was at my parents house, before I moved to NZ, I was not allowed to use the car, even though I have a perfect driving record, and was trapped in the house, that was like 12 years ago. I am very afraid of being with my sister and being treated like this.
    She sent me an email the next day ''Reaching out because I don't like ending phone calls like that. Besides I am not the one that matters so don't base your decision on anything said between us.'' In reply I pretty much relayed in a logical fashion some of the quips she said to me and ended with me writing back to her
    ''If these are the type of ungracious comebacks i get from you, everytime I open my mouth up and say something, it will be trip to hell. I can see I am unwelcome by you and going to be a huge annoyance to you. I was crying after I got off the phone . The trip will turn my health deeply South. Forget about it''.
    I ended up canceling the trip, and letting my Father know, but I did not give him any details, and now he is against me too, as I got a real unfriendly email from him stating 'bluntly
    This the silliest reason to cancel up a long trip: ie "No place to sleep!" ''I think you had cold feet and found a reason to blame (sister's name) for cancellation.
    No, it was her meanness that scared me. I don't really need to travel around the other side of the planet to get abused by anyone.

    What do you think?

  • #2
    A taxi from LGA to Grand Central is about $40.

    Look, if you want to see your family, just go and see your family. Take what accommodations they offer or stay in a hotel, for crying out loud. You're 60 years old. Stop acting like a baby and worrying about your sister's comments.
    "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay


    • #3
      You claim your sister is being a bully.
      Well stop allowing her to be a bully. You're giving your sister way too much power by letting her ruin your plans.
      If you don't want to deal with her attitude, then just figure out how to make the trip on your own without her help.

      Like Sarah said, get a taxi.
      Go down to Walmart on your first day and buythe mattress yourself. If it's that cheap, I'm sure you can squeeze that little bit of money out.
      Stop depending on people. You're old enough to take care of your own business.
      You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf


      • #4
        baba1 I'm not on good terms with my sister either. She is an enabler to her toxic husband's behavior so it's a lose-lose situation. Note we were quite compatible before her husband #2 came into the picture.

        As for you, I wouldn't spend a ton of money on expensive travel if I felt unwelcome. However, if you truly wish to spend time with your father, work around your witchy sister. I agree with Sarah and Ayla. Either book a room at a nearby hotel or get the darn mattress cover yourself. Don't allow your sister to ruin your time with your father. If you decide to remain cancelled, try to visit him again at another time and this time plan all minutiae in advance.
        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."


        • #5
          My family is just my sister, Mother and Father. No problem getting the damn mattress or bed myself. The problem with getting a hotel (besides the expense) is that I cannot drive in the USA anymore, as I am not used to driving on the other side of the road, and probably would get in an accident. We drive on the other side in NZ like in the UK. Subsequent to me writing the above post, I received another email from my sister, in reply to the mine starting with '''if these are the ungracious comebacks'''... she said ''you went right for the kill, villianizing me and going for the worst case scenario script that you weren't welcome or that I didn't want to see you.'' and ''You have a long history of over-dramatizing things and any infraction against you is catastrophized and you take it to the nth degree. Don't use me as a scapegoat for shelving the trip''. So here is the pattern. She is mean to me, and when I react or try to expain my point of vew, it is my fault, my personality flaw. By the way, this sister, when I was young and barely could talk, pushed me down the very long steps of the farm house, TWO TIMES, where i tumbled down the stairs head over heels and she could have killed or paralyzed me, so this is how she is, and I am not just put off by this event, I am really fearful at this point.


          • #6
            Well, If I were you and I had a chance to see my father before he was gone I'd ignore my sister and work out sleeping arrangements with my parents where you'll be staying. You may never get another chance to see them before they pass away. They are in their 80's after all.

            Swallow the differences with your sister and get on with getting there I say.
            "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


            • #7
              baba1 , I hear you about the darn mattress. It's understandable that an added hotel expense in addition to travel costs would be too much and then there is the driving issue.

              First of all, understand the psychological warfare your sister is engaging with you is called 'GASLIGHTING.' Google that word now! I've experienced gaslighting all my life courtesy of my mother and now my sister. It's as old as time and nothing I hadn't heard before. People who practice gaslighting you, force you to change your perception of the situation, distort everything you've said, turn it around on you as if you are the mentally sick one, not they. It's a very nasty tactic and strategy. I can sniff gaslighters from a mile away; I kid you not. They never stay on topic. They deliberately force you to stomp out fires as you defend yourself at every turn. You end up arguing in maddening circles because this is what gaslighters do to you!

              I agree with phasesofthemoon. If you wish to visit your parents before they pass away, don't miss your chance and your sister be da _ _ _ _._. You need to bypass and work around your sister and when you are with your sister remain polite, civil, peaceful and nothing more. You need to become emotionally detached towards your sister. Once you turn off your emotions, you'll feel more self-confident and stronger. You won't feel defeated anymore. Get tough.

              Cease communication whether electronically or via phone call with your sister unless it is the bare minimum and unless it is very necessary otherwise, limit or stop all contact.

              You can't change her. All you can do is change yourself and how you decide to deal with her. Remain all business. Don't go back 'n forth arguing anymore because you cannot deal with stupidity. You can never deal with those who lack empathy because it's just like beating a dead horse. It will get you nowhere except give you unnecessary frustration and stress and who needs that?

              You can't change people no matter what. All you can do is change your behavior, change how you deal with her and change how you respond or not react. Become a strong person, pick your spirit back up, brush yourself off and you have control from now on. Never allow anyone to get the best of you. It is time for you to become tough internally and remain tough forever. Have guts. Jump out of your skin and become a strong woman. Once you build self-confidence, you will never allow your sister to control your mind forever. Remember that.
              "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."