This is very OT so stop now if you don't like them!
Have you ever noticed that the person in any given group that causes a problem or makes an issue out of something is not the one held responsible by the group but instead it is the victim of such displeasure?
Here is an example. One person expresses her displeasure towards two other members by banishing them from her life. This of course skews the whole dynamic of the group. Who is complained to about this? The banished members! Not the banisher (last not a real word!)
Who is complaining to the banished members? I'm not sure I understand the example.
You lost me.
Yes, I've seen it happen to others, and experienced it, both. I think there are so many reasons for it, so many perspectives.
It's nearly high school peer pressure being used to influence (manipulate) the banished to change their behavior so they will be accepted back in the group.
Touchy situation for sure.
In a similar way, I've seen people who behave terribly being given chance after chance (still invited to activities, still included in a circle of friends, etc.) yet those who refuse to tolerate their shenanighans are slighted and left out of the group by the others. I just don't get it.
Jewel, don't you think that's just a case of the bully ruling the group? And don't you find that that is usually the case?
the other members of the group.
In the situation I am speaking of it is much more what SM says than what Jewel says. It is not the dynamic Jewel is describing but that is also a valid observation. Just not in this case.
Oh, I so hated Jr. High, I refuse to relive it now.
I tend to just ignore them best I can. Confronting them is a no win situation and it really isn't a contest is it? I just try not to fuel their ego trip.
And, it can happen anywhere--in social activity clubs, here on the boards, family situations, etc.
this is family so pretty hard to ignore.
The banisher does not want the banished back in the group and since the "behavior" is imaginary it would be hard to change it.
Maybe I should say beyond trivial in severity.
Actually what it is, is an attempt to displace some very real pain caused by an unavoidable situation, on to some others. Will it lessen the pain felt by the person? No, but if she is going to hurt, so will some others.
I could be wrong but this is what I think.
Family conflict is the pits!
1st DHs sister was married to a pervert - literally. We kept all the little girls away from him. Nothing could ever be pinned on him. He made a pass at a foster girl we had living with us. Because MIL wanted to continue to have her daughter at her house, the pervert was welcome too. Therefore, we basically were not invited to any family function. Oh yes, we would be called.
Dinner at 6.
Will perve be there?
KeepYou -- Since you're speaking in past tense, I hope that means DH's sister has since divorced perve?
I think the telling is - 1st DH.
These family and friends problems are sooo not a problem in my sandbox of love and friendship! I just don't give it any creedence. If someone can't get along, it't not for me to understand, mitigate or fix.
I tend to think like Lurah. If people can't get along I rarely take it as my problem. If I have a relationship problem myself, I settle it as soon as I can. Can't stand drama.
And KeepYouInStitches: Good for you! Children need to be protected above all.
There is no drama. there is no not getting along.
I'll explain it in terms so there is no misunderstanding. Cocok, I believe you have four children. Now pretend that one of your children said (emailed) to another or more than one: "I do not want you in my life anymore."
You could certainly give it no "credence?" and it would not be up to you to understand, mitigate or fix. But there sure would be a change in the dynamics of your holiday celebrations.
You will probably write back and say "I could not imagine that happening in my family"
that is right, who could? Except it happens to have happened.
Lurah, unless I am very much mistaken (and perhaps I am) there have been lots of posts by you where you are complaining about some in-laws or other relatives. But perhaps I have you mixed up with someone else.
"I really was on my toes that day and let her hear how I felt she was being addled-minded and uncaring for those she works with closely. I admonished her for what I basically feel is a "I don't give a rat's a-s about you" personality. I went on to explain that this is the most normal of conversations in the office settings no matter where you work, it is polite to listen to our colleagues' harmless banter and build on the working relationship by showing that you care about them."
You admonished and let her hear? Sure sounds to me like you were trying to mitigate, and fix.
Esp in a circumstance that plays no part in your own life!
Now we're getting somewhere. As it happens, I am a "banisher". After many years of putting up with my sister and her monstrous daughther, I put them out of my life. Unfortunately the daughter and her husband live with my mother. And, of course, my mother took up for them which left us on the outs for several years. My mother is one of those people who can't see shades of gray--she feels like my sister needs her support so, of course, everything my sister says must be true. I refuse to engage anymore. And, of course, my mother went around complaining to everyone else in the family and only managed to get herself on the outs with my brother and his wife. Jeezalou. Now, with no apologies, my mother has waltzed back into my life. That's okay so long as she ubderstands that my sister and niece remain "banished." The only way to lead a peaceful life is to avoid them!!!!!!! I could list my grievances against them so that you could understand, but you'll just have to take my word for it. Sometimes the "banisher" has good reasons.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
Well of course this is true. But "good" reasons or not every person has the right to not associate with any other person regardless of the relationship.
One can accept the necessity of "banishing" someone from their life, but it is also a fact that if (in your case) you banished your niece and her husband and they live with your mother, that creates difficulties in both your life and that of your mother. This may be the wisest choice for you but it still creates difficulties.
People have all kind of competitions, jealousies, resentments etc. I knew a sister once who had a Rumpelstiltskin type fit because her 89 year old mother asked another sister to accompany her on a 2 minute ride in an ambulance from the hospital to a nursing home!
LOL No. The perve divorced her!
1st DH died after we'd been married 25 years.
Boy, lady of shallot, that is really hard.
You are right, I have 4 children, and I would be beyond sad if one of them decided to start up the "banish" behavior.
The only thing I can relate it to in my life is my brother who has basically banished himself. (I have a large extended family). We never see him at family gatherings. He never calls. He won't answer his phone if one of us calls him. It makes me sad, but after a many years of calling to invite him to dinner etc, and him not even responding, I finally gave up. I have decided that I still love him, but his problems with the family are his own, and I'm not going to worry about it.
As I read what you have posted Lady, What I think I understand about what you wrote is that person A has banished persons B and C from his/her life. B and C are unhappy about it. Person A probably wants them to be unhappy about it. Maybe you have to suffer through hearing B and C complain about it. When the whole family gets together what do you do? Invite them all? Leave out A, or leave out B and C? I agree, it is a headache.
I still stick with my original thoughts on trying not to take on other people's problems. If I were having a family gathering I would probably invite A, B and C and let them come or not as they see fit. Otherwise person A has way too much power to disrupt the family. The more upset B and C become, the more A's fires are fed.
And I can insert my brother for person A, and my parents for persons B and C. I could also insert one of my sisters and her husband for B and C, and any of my other sisters for person A. I can see how it would be very hard to deal with. With my personality I would tell them all to come if they want to, or not, but the bottom line is that none of them get to spoil the party for the rest of us.
(just using the scenario of a party as an example)This message has been edited. Last edited by: cocok,
los, what relationship doesn't have its difficulties? Even if I got along beautifully with my sister, there would still be the problems of p o l i t i c s and r e l i g i o n to torment my mother.
LOS, I've refrained from posting on this thread because I didn't really know what you were talking about or asking. The follow-up responses have given me a better idea but I have to say that I still don't really understand the situation.
In any event, if it was a social gathering, civic club or other and such disharmony came about, think I would be with the camp that says to ignore it and proceed as if you had never heard it ~ meaning treat everyone just the same and refuse to acknowledge the petty differences that are causing such discord.
But, if it is family? Well, that isn't as easy to ignore. Think I would remain friendly with each side, refuse to engage in any discussion about the other side and hope that they grow up (even if they have grown old) in time for fences to be mended....
Have to say, it's hard enough to realize that the years have passed by when we still feel the same as we used to feel; much harder to realize that time might be running out while some hold fast to imagined insults, slights or whatever.
Sorry that you are caught in the middle ~ only thing I can offer is to get the h*eck out of their drama and let time do its magic ~ it usually does. Let's just hope they don't take too much time as it can and will run out....
I agree with IR, when it is family the dynamics are completely different. In addition the relationships varies from family to family.
In my own family I will be the first to say we are very unusual in our relationships. DS and I would go for months without a word and then pick up where we left off. Other times we talk and text daily. We had an unusual upbringing that has caused a closeness that many siblings do not have.
If this is the sister problem you have mentioned previously - do you know what the issue is? If it is older siblings and the parents are deceased, I don't see it as much of a problem. Celebrate with whomever wants to join you and let the other sulk. If they do not want to face their problems like adults, there is not much you can do.
If neither party has caused you harm or grief, then you can try to be the peacemaker and have both sides angry with you, or you can invite them separately to different events and let them solve their own problems.
If it is really important to you to have peace in the family - you can get other family members on board and have an intervention, only if you really know the underlying cause for the split. Otherwise, be civil to both parties and treat them equal.
If one pulls the Jr High - if you're talking to Susie, I'm not talking to you - then you might want to avoid such toxic behavior.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
I spent some time talking to an acquaintance this morning about this as she has 6 daughters and I knew she would understand.
This is the story. I am one of 5 sisters. We had a brother who died in 2009. The middle sister's husband has a terminal illness but it does not at this time (and will for only a short time) mean he is bedridden.
Here we are (I think it is my 75th) I am on right top. Banisher is on left sitting next to the other banished.
I live in Maine, the oldest sister lives in Calif. But she goes to central NY state every summer where other 3 live (has her entire life) for several weeks.
She and the youngest sister have no husbands (widowed/divorced)
The middle sister (I am next older than she) emailed me and the next younger to her, that she no longer wanted us in her life.
The other two want to maintain relationships with all of us but they also want to blame me and other banished sister. We haven't done anything. I have been in friendly email communication with middle from the last time I saw her in July till about March when she stopped emailing me. (I continued to email her)
In May I sent a long loving email to her husband and maybe that is what prompted the schism.
In truth my other banished sister and I have suffered much more unkind treatment from middle than we have ever sent her way.
My own thought is that she just really realized that her husband (they have had a very good marriage) is really going to die. She is in pain and she wants us to be in pain too.
We have done nothing but send cards and positive things to him during his illness, we have not created any problem.
This means the 5 of us will never be together again and we have had some wonderful times. They all have come here, we have met at DD's cabin and the four of us plan to do so this summer too.
We are old, this is terrible because in a way this cuts us off from all our extended family. Can we go to the funeral? Will we be allowed at the huge family gathering that will be held?
The only "reunions" our family will have now will be at funerals!
The oldest one said to me that this is hard on her too, but she wouldn't say that to the middle sister.
It is odd to write this on a public forum but this is really stressful and I have never heard of a situation quite like it.
For a large family we have basically been pretty close, attending each others major events (they all came to our 50th) we have all gone to all weddings that weren't elopements. They all came when I graduated from college at 50. We used to swap kids in the summer etc.
Oh, came back to add, middle sister was Dad's favorite.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
Can you talk about this situation with middle sister's husband to: a) get his take on his wife's behavior; and b) see if he's willing to help facilitate a reconciliation?
Of course, in the movies, the banished-for-no-valid-reason just show up on the banisher's doorstep and refuse to leave until the banisher realizes the error of his/her ways. Don't know how this would work in real life, but do know that the physical miles between you makes it easier for her to keep the estrangement going.
Maybe you ought to schedule with the husband a time to come visit HIM...with a terminal illness, his time on earth is short so you naturally want to see him while you still can? While you're there visiting with him, perhaps the banisher will be more open to having a dialogue about how she's feeling.
Oh, no I would never be allowed to see him.
He would not agree to see me, if she didn't want him to. They were totally estranged from his mother, aunt & uncle (with whom he and his mother lived). Never saw them at all or attended any of their funerals.
They live over 400 miles from me. I had been planning on going to their city this summer but it would have been so odd only seeing one sister when there would be five of us there! So instead the other 4 of us will meet elsewhere.
Dang. That's tough.
This may be one of those things that works itself out with time. Just write the banisher a note/letter and let her know that you love her and will support her no matter what.
When it is time for the next family gathering - invite everyone.
Just a question...Banisher is the one in the yellow blouse? The only person not smiling?
As far as the family reunion goes, keep your relationships strong with the banisher's children and all your other nieces/nephews. Invite them to come visit you, keep up to date on their lives (friending them on Facebook is great for that), stop to see them when you can, celebrate their accomplishments with cards/notes, etc. That way, your presence at the family reunion will make sense because you're coming to see multiple relatives who want to see you versus wondering if you shouldn't go because there's one person who doesn't want to see you.
LOL! I wondered that, too! If so, it totally makes sense...
Yes, I just noticed that too as I have another pic and same story.
There won't be a family reunion per se.
All the gatherings of family will be after funerals. Since this is the husband of banisher she will be in control of the "reunion"
One of her children has also cut me off (wouldn't reply to an email) the others are o.k. with me.
Facebook is wonderful! I do comment on nieces and grandnephews/nieces posts. Also I have some of them on pinterest I love the way the internet brings people together. some people I never would have met a/c divorce or such I am now in contact with.
of course any of my nieces and nephews would be welcome to visit me but I live far away from most of them and they all have children starting college etc. It would be a rare occasion for that to happen but it has and we always try to make them most welcome!
bTW I immediately wrote banisher that I loved her and knew she was basically overwhelmed.
Her husband is still mobile and slowed down but can go out to dinner, movies, grandchilds sports things. He is not yet an invalid.
Based on her history, it sounds like your sister has a tendency to estrange (and has taught this trait to at least one of her children) It's sad that her husband didn't "man up" early on instead of allowing it to happen when she set her sites on his mother, aunt, and uncle.
Her husband has probably learned over the years that it is best to bow down to her in order to preserve the peace at home.
LOS, I'm sorry that you are experiencing this and, yes, I do understand that it is something that is causing you much stress so a couple of questions?
I've tried to follow your decription/events as they have occured but, to be honest, I have gotten lost since sometimes you talk about the five of you via geographics and other times re age in the family to the point that I'm not sure who is who...
So with regard to the photograph you posted, could you just say (from left to right, starting with the back row) who is who? For example, I know your deceased brother is middle, back row, and you are far right, back row.
Maybe identify the order of age and where they live so I can understand why four of you have the possiblity of a get together this summer but it's not possible because of the fifth one?
I'm not sure which one is the oldest, which one is the middle and which one is the other banished ~ in short, I'm confused. I only know that this is causing a great deal of heartbreak for you. There must be something that can be done but I hesitate to offer anything until I have a better idea of who is who and what has happened to bring your family to this situation.
My DH and I come from large families. There is problems on both sides of the family. During a particular tough time my DH and I just took the Bible opened it up randomly and pointed to a passage. The passage stated "Better a dry crust with peace than a household of feasting with strife." Proverbs 17:1 We live by that and we are now at peace.
IR we always used to take such pictures in age order so in this pic first child is on left (she has red hair of course it is really white but who would know LOL) next child was our brother, they were 6 years apart. Next is me, I am 18 months younger than he. On swing from left is the banisher. She is 18 months younger than me. Next in age is the other banished she is 2 years younger than banisher. then is "baby" she is 5 years younger than other banished. 16 years in all from birth of 1st to last.
the oldest sister lives in Calif w/her DD and DSIL. I live in Maine. Oldest has gone back to our birth city every single summer of her life although she got married very young (WW2) and moved away at 18. She was always the boss and since the rest of us were so much younger we didn't question it for a long time. Till brother died he thought she was the cat's pajamas but she had also done some very hurtful things.
First and 4th child (middle sister) were our Dad's favorites.
My niece-in-law once told me that my nephew (son of banisher) said that it was just easier in their household to let banisher have her way.
My original summer plans were to go to my birth city and have a reunion with all of my sisters. But since the third sister banished me and fourth sister, we would not be able to have that reunion. So first, third and fifth sisters will be together a lot and maybe first and five would go to visit fourth but that would be just once. They would spend bulk of time with third sister.
BTW the calif sister will stay with banisher. this is another interesting thing. I have never been invited to stay at the middle sisters home in 42 years. I once asked her about it and she blasted me "no one was going to tell her who she could or could not invite to stay at her home!"
Oldest sister has always been welcome there as have her kids and other nieces and nephews. It is only me that has not been welcome.
You know it really does help me to write about this here. It makes things clearer in my own head.
One other thing to throw into mix. Middle sister's children are all adopted. One of her DD's and my DD and other banished sister's DD were all born the same year. Middle sisters daughter was always a problem, a serious problem. The other two girls were not, went to college have good lives, stable marriages etc.
Now that they are 50 (yikes) my problem niece has also straightened out and has a stable marriage but lives with all her kids and their kids in less than optimal circumstances. I communicate with this niece as all others.
Maybe my sister has resented us all these years. I really don't know.
Came back to say that the way the four (1,2,4,5) can get together is if we all meet about 1/2 way between the two locales. This is where DD has her log cabin and we can use it for a reunion.
That is where pic was taken. Banisher would not
have come anyway a/c her husband's illness.
Oh, also forgot to say that banisher always calls the shots about when a gathering will break up. Usually earlier than the rest of us want to. This caused some sadness last summer when we had to leave right before a nephew and his wife were bringing over their new twins to show us.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
LOS - so sorry about all this. I take back any suggestion of intervention. As was mentioned earlier - for some reason the Middle Sister has a strong need to control everything in her environment. I sounds like to keep the peace along with her late husband have been complicit in allowing that to happen.
IF having peace in the family is important, write her a letter - paper, stamp, ink etc. telling her that you love her and are at a loss as to why she feels you have done her harm. That you cannot make amends as long as you do not know what you did. We all at some point have said something to tick a family member off and have no clue that we did it. (Recently did the same thing myself with DS. I had no clue until I asked.)
At this point, I would take the reins and invite everyone, including the banisher, to your DD's cabin if that was to be the original plan. If she shows - good for her, but you are all adults and if she wants to continue with such childish behavior, that is her problem, I would not let her issues prevent me from enjoying the rest of my family.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
At this point her husband is still alive.
She did tell us what we did "wrong" but the "faults" were vastly misunderstood and vastly exaggerated. For instance she told us we were mean to our sister-in-law and that simply was not true. In fact I contact and visit our sister in law much more than she does.
I apologized for that in two emails last summer even though it wasn't true!!
This is a picture of my family at my brother's reception (I think that is what they are called. . after the funeral) we have a very large family. Not everyone was there. It makes me very unhappy to think I would be banned from such a gathering esp as that is when most of these people would be together.
Note near the column on the left where the one woman is holding the other? That is the other banished sister comforting our sister in law.
LOS, I really don't understand why you and your other sister are letting her control you and your family interactions.
What do your other 2 sisters say? They can't be that blind to her manipulations. Another thought has she always been this way? Or she has had some of these tendencies and is now getting more extreme?
YOUR daughter owns the cabin, right? If so, I don't understand why you'd feel you'd be banned from any family gathering held there. Explain?
I can understand why los would feel reluctant to attend family gatherings in these circumstances. While my mother and I were not speaking, I removed myself entirely from all family gatherings except to visit my brother who lives far away. I didn't care to have well-meaning aunts and cousins trying to mediate. I am quite sure that my mother and sister bad-mouthed me to everyone because my mother called my brother to get her side of the story on record before I did. Imagine her surprise when my SIL told her that I had never said a word about it. I haven't said anything to anyone even though I know they would see my point. In fact, if I were to tell everything there is to say about my sister, no one in the family would have anything to do with her and it would destroy my mother's relationship with her siblings. They are all in their 80's now and I am not mean enough to do it. So whatever my sister has said to them has gone unanswered. I can only hope that they know what a liar she has always been.
No, no I am not saying that! I am talking about being banned from the reception or whatever you call it that happens after a funeral. Like the picture above. That is my family after my brother's funeral. I am afraid I will be unwelcome at the "party" after my dying brother-in-laws funeral.
We are not letting her control us. Our fear is her control over everyone else! i.e. her DD, my niece to whom I gave a huge set of china last summer will not communicate with me.
Yes, I think she has always been this way and it is getting more extreme.
What I said in my first post in this thread is about the other two sisters. They are asking us to search our memories to come up with something to justify their belief that middle sister is correct in ditching us. That is what I mean. T hey want us to be responsible, not her.
los, why don't you ask them point blank WHY they want you to be responsible? If their answer isn't acceptable, make them justify it.
Could it be undiagnosed or undisclosed problems are a factor in the situation at hand?
LOS, Thanks for the clarification re who everyone is ~ glad it helped you a bit to get things straight as well!
Seems like there are three major issues going on here (I know there are more but these seem to be the three most important ones) so have I got it right?
1. Your fear that the only complete family get-togethers in the future with be the receptions after a funeral and that some may not be welcome there when that time comes.
2. The difficulty of somehow trying to have some sort of family get-togethers (outside of funerals) without the tense feelings that have arisen and the difficulty of who's included/ excluded?
3. And the fact that those who did nothing to justify being "banished" are now being called on the carpet to explain the "whys and wherefores" when no one is asking the one who did the banishing "why"?
Just going from simpliest to the most difficult, number two is easily resolved by choosing a weekend for all to gather at your dd's cabin this summer; send the invitation TO EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY (all those who would normally come to a funeral) and let the chips fall where they may if some choose not to attend.
You really have no control about issue number one so don't spend any time thinking about it. It's up to your sister who will be welcome at her husband's service when that time comes ~ and, sadly, it might not even be him or their family for the next one ~ it might be anyone in the family so the above paragraph is most important to maintain the relationships as you can.
As John Donne said, "Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls...."
Lastly, I understand issue number three (and the frustration you are feeling by being put on the spot) and it is simple ~ people are trying to make sense out of nonsense and that is a no win situation. It isn't possible to explain the inexplicable so just decide to dis-engage from an argument you can't win.
Instead, as posted above, plan a weekend get-together (1-2 days - NO MORE ), invite everyone and let things go from there as they usually do regardless of our intentions. I feel for you, LOS, but there is only so much you can (same as for others who may be reading this thread/lurking or whatever) - do what you can to remedy the situation and you might be surprised at how well it turns out. This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
thank you all for your helpful responses.
The two sisters who want us to be "responsible" (that is probably stretching it) but who think we must have done something, don't want to have to think ill of the middle sister. One because she lives nearby and the middle sister has been good to that sister. The oldest sister
and middle sister have always been mutually supportive and Oldest sister has always visited annually and stayed with both of those sisters.
These two sisters are not happy about the schism but they would not address this to middle sister, only us. For instance every week I would call youngest to inquire about my brother-in-law (middle does not like to be telephoned) evidently youngest never told them about my calls because she says that middle has not spoken of me or other banished at all.
It would not be my intention to invite everyone in my family to my DD's log cabin. We have over 90 people (counting spouses) who are direct descendants of my parents. Such an occurrence would require months of planning and in actuality we have never had that kind of reunion since our mother died and the family was only about 56 people!
The cabin gathering is only for me and my siblings.
#1 is exactly what I fear IR. Yes, something could happen to one of the other of us but that is not as likely as him going next.
I have known my brother in law since he was 15 and we have always had good relations. He is very popular in our family. They live in our birth city (central for most) and it is also home to most of our nieces and nephews (even though they may live elsewhere now) so it would be at his "reception" that I would be most likely to see most of my family.
Lurah, I think the real reason(s) have not been disclosed. Maybe because they are not even recognized. Some things middle sister accused me of were made out of whole cloth. some were pin*****s that she has made gaping wounds of.
For younger sister she misinterpreted something that sister never meant at all.
I think she is railing against fate (her husbands illness) and may think why not one of our husbands? Her husband and she have had a very good marriage and we banished have at times both had troubled marriages. her husband by far is the more popular brother-in-law in family
There is also the question of what I mention above about our girls. It would take a skilled probe of her psyche to understand what is really going on. It also could be as simple as she has always had her way and any infraction no matter how small is intolerable to her.
this is the person who always has to pick out seats in a restaurant, determine when to leave, decide what kind of behavior is acceptable (I got grilled last summer on what I did for the "poor" of my town, the wealthiest town in Maine)
Once years ago we sisters and some of our DD's were meeting at one house to have dinner. This sister accidently drove into a nieces car, which was damaged. She then drove off and subsequently never accepted responsibility for that accident. We all saw it, but no one challenged her on this and niece and she have never reconciled.
Frankly, it sounds like you are well shed of her.
Do you think the problem could be based on class and wealth status disparity?
Unfortunately this is much more common than I first thought. I have a sister (and her daughter) that has not spoken to me since our mothers' funeral, 13 years ago. I don't know why, and I no longer care. We all spent too many years trying to please her. We don't live in the same state and rarely cross paths, so it's not an issue.
Recently I had 5 women over to my house for lunch and friendship. All 5 have some version of "banishment" in their immediate families! I was just amazed.
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