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I know I have written about this issue before. I have a narcissistic sister who is extremely judgmental and critical and IMPOSSIBLE to please. Our 78 year old Mother was diagnosed with ALZ this past November. She has been successfully living in an ALF since January. My Sister and I seemed to be on the right track until recently when she has just stopped talking to me. She hasn't come out and said what the problem is... but I suspect that she feels I don't come out and visit my Mom enough. I'm not going to get into how often I come or get trapped into defending myself. All I will say is a truly feel I come out as much as I possibly can considering I have 3 young children. Here is my question... She knows that I am coming out to visit June 22nd AND the following weekend. Usually when I come to visit I bring my twins and I stay at her home. But now I am feeling awkward and unwelcome. Do I just act like everything is fine and stay with her OR just book a hotel room??

LMAO, LoLo! Forgive me, I know it's just me, but this tickles me right on the funny bone.

She hasn't come out and said what the problem is. You suspect x, y and z.
And rather than talk to her about it, you are wondering if it would be a good plan to shun her house and her company and book a hotel room, instead.

You're not by any chance identical twins, are you?

PICK UP THE PHONE AND ASK HER WHAT'S EATING HER, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. And if it is that you're not there often enough for her liking, spell out the only 24 hours in the day and only one of you thing.

And if she's still unhappy, let her be unhappy. Pleasing her, in itself, is just not something you need to do.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Countrymouse
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I'm always amazed by folks who voluntarily spend a lot of time with difficult people. I'm glad you and your sis have apparently been able to get along reasonably well in the past (before this latest Wall of Silence) but has it really been pleasant to be in her home for these visits? If you can afford it, why not stay at a motel or hotel or AirBnB and get together for some meals and other time together for short, manageable amounts of time?
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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Don’t let this escalate. You have too much on your plate to play games.

Find out what the problem is and then take action.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Oh Serenity, I am sorry if I trod on your corns, I really didn't mean to. Honest.

If it explains anything, I am no contact with my sister. I try not to think about it, because it ends up in rumination which as anyone will tell you is terribly bad for the karma and the blood pressure, but as a classic example (one I no longer find painful, though): on the weekend of her child's christening I woke up with the 'flu that my kids had brought home earlier in the week. Full blooded 'flu, too, not just a nasty cold. No way I was driving, let alone driving small children in the car, let alone spreading it round the rest of the congregation. So I rang my parents, so as not to interrupt her in the middle of organising everything, and asked them to take my present and apologies. Honestly, you'd have thought I'd planned this on purpose. She called me, didn't let me get past "hi", informed me that she would never invite me to anything again because I "always did this", and then hung up on me.

Once (there was only one!) = always. If you hear that from your critic, you know what you're dealing with.

Anyhooooooooo.

It is sad not to have the sort of sister you would like, or to be the sort of sister - if you could only somehow fathom what she wants - that your sister would want to be close to. I agree.

Meanwhile, though, there are still two important points (which I hope you will find more useful).

1. This is not your fault.
2. You have practical arrangements to make. You must not allow your sister's behaviour to make *your* life unnecessarily complicated or more stressful than it already is. If she won't pick up, then either leave a voicemail or send a text, brisk but cheerful, pointing out that you are visiting as agreed on [dates] and need to confirm arrangements, so call, please. Imagine she's a hotel receptionist and Do Not Worry about what her response will be. Chances are it'll be 'nothing's the matter, why do you think there would be' type; but if it's rude or offensive - yes, then you make your independent arrangements. But you *still* refuse to worry.

Hugs to you. Forgive me.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Serenity just accept the fact that your sister has some resntment towards you for some unrevealed reason. Mostly when these arise it is not something you have/or have not done it is about the acusers problem not the accused.
Maybe you never will be close and you won't solve the common problem if she chooses not to share it with her.
Send her a nice card like "Thinking of you" and say something like "Dear sis I am sorry you are choosing not to communicate with me but that is your choice. As you know the twins and I will be visiting Mom on these dates and the twins would really love to see you and the cousins. Is it possible to let byegones be bygones for some at least of the visit and may be let the kids get together one evening and we can all have a meal together. We will be staying at ABC motel and it has a lovely pool and a great game room"
As I am unsure of our reception at your house I felt it best to book a hotel rather than inconvenience you. We truly would like to see you and the kidsbut especially for all the kids could we just get together for a visit." tell he r you are missing your conversations and are very hurt she has chosen to block your number because that prevents the kids talking to each other.
Do not apologize and most importantly make excuses for anything you may/or have said or done.
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Reply to Veronica91
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"Spend the buck and stay in a motel. Find one with a pool for the kids."

Good advice.....Toxic people love the silent treatment. It's a wonderfully passive aggressive way to upset someone while the instigator comes out smelling like a rose.

Ie-"I have no idea why she's so upset with me, look she just left this crazy message
wanting to talk. She's soooooo difficult." *Sob* *Poor me* *Weeps plaintively*

Call her, tell her your dates, but I'd think twice about discussing anything. I doubt she
wants to resolve anything. Rather this sounds like bait on the hook, fishing for you to react emotionally. Then she gets to reel in all that yummy delicious drama while you suffer needlessly. And look like a lazy goon in the process. Which I'm willing to bet is precisely what she wants, given your description of her past behavior.

Your priorities should be your own health and sanity, your children, your mom, your
nieces, then somewhere down the line start thinking about your sister. Offer to help
pick up the slack with dealing with logistics. Document your efforts by communicating
via email as much as possible. If there are assets in the family, sometimes sibs
start acting difficult to circle the wagons around the parents, which usually has
to do with controlling the assets. Even if there's not a lot. Hopefully that isn't an issue, but brace yourself if there's a possibility.

Good luck, hang in there!!! ((hugs))
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Reply to bettina
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Hi serenity, I do agree that you should talk to your sister even though from the sounds of it, she is a difficult person. I would stay at a hotel or air bnb & our fourth an effort to talk to her and find out what exactly the problem is. If she doesn’t want to talk, at least you know you tried. You should not feel guilty for anything. You do have a family to take care of. When my MIL first went on hospice, I admit I felt like our lives had stopped for the time being. I saw others making plans and continuing on with their normal lives and I was surprised and didn’t know how they could do that. So it took me a little while to realize that we can’t just press pause on our lives while we wait for MIL to pass on. We have to keep living our lives, for ourselves, for our families. Maybe your sister doesn’t realize that. Maybe she thinks now that mom is in this condition, she should be your main priority. Anyway good luck to you!
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Sometimes you can never make a family member happy. It sounds like you have made a lot if effort to make the relationship work with your sister. Some people hold grudges for years that you may be unaware of. It is not your fault. Give yourself the compassion your sister can't seem to give you. It sounds like you both have children at home - the fact that both sisters are juggling busy family lives with caregiving needs for your mom can be so overwhelming. Talk about the sandwich generation!

My two sisters live on the East Coast, and I live in Cali. I try to make it up as best I can with more frequent phone calls to my dad, taking care of some administrative stuff by phone, and when I do visit I see him almost everyday. But I'm sure my sisters feel that I have it easy because of the distance and do resent it.

I would stay in a hotel or Airbnb, and email or send a gentle note to your sis to let her know that you would love to see her and your nieces/nephews. Keep it short and simple.
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Reply to sorryselma
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Serenity, I understand how you feel. I am an only lonely but married into a large family. I thought I was getting a few sisters and brothers but I wound up with a group of mostly judge mental, snarky people who made me glad I was an only child. Did I ever confront them and ask why they didn’t like me? No. Like you, I am very non-confrontational. Let sleeping dogs lie and all that.

Spend the buck and stay in a motel. Find one with a pool for the kids. If you really, really, really need to know what’s eating Sis THIS time, then sit down over coffee for a chat. I’d suggest, if you want to have a heart to heart with Sis, leave the kids at home so you’re not doing childcare while trying to talk to Sis at the same time.

You’re #1 reason for going is to visit Mom. Who knows. Maybe you should visit more often. Rearrange your life, leave the kids with Dad and pop in every other week. But chances are, if Sis has issues with you in general, that’s not going to make much difference. Remember you’re going to see Mom. This is the reason for your visit. Soothing Sis is secondary.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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WorriedinCali... thank you for your support. Yes, I guess I need to talk to her. It is SOO exhausting. I am the first one to admit I don't like confrontation and she seems to thrive on it. I have been trying to have a close relationship with her for 50 years.. I have never been successful. I know she and I will never be close. Which is very sad too.

thanks again for your help.
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Reply to SerenityNow2018
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