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How to deal with family?

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:24 PM   #1
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Well I'm having VSG surgery in 9 days, YIPPEE!!!! I'm so excited and a ball of nerves all at the same time. This will probably end up being a very long post but bare with me. When I started the process of having wls only my husband and 1 friend knew of my plans. I decided to tell my mom because I wanted her to possibly come to colorado (from Maryland) to help me during the recovery and this would be a good time for her to visit and see her grandkids. Of course like any mom she was nervous but she said that she supported me and would fly out to CO. My mom took it upon herself to tell my sister about me having wls. I didn't plan to keep it a secret but I felt that it was my journey and if I wanted to share it with the rest of my family, then I was hoping to be the person to do so.

My sister has been giving me nothing but problems since she found out that I was having surgery. My sister is also obese but she probably weighs about 15-30 lbs less than me. She's also struggled to lose the weight and about a year ago she went to the diet doctor and was prescribed a diet pill (gosh I can't remember the name of it) that helped her shed about 30-40 lbs. I was happy for her and a little jealous because I was on WW for the millionth time and just couldn't seem to lose the weight this time around. We didn't fight or anything during that time and I was happy for her and would vent to my husband about my frustration of everyone being able to lose weight while I couldn't.

Well back to the story. My mom told my sister and I was very mad because my mom feels the need to always share my personal life with my sister and vice versa. I'm "the baby" so of course everyone feels like they're entitled to know every little thing about my life. My sister was mad about the fact that I didn't want her to know about my surgery. Heck I didn't want anyone to know unless I personally told them. It's sort of like when a woman finds out that she's pregnant and she only wants to tell a select few until she reaches the 2nd trimester and then she will proceed to tell everyone. Well that's sort of like how I am. I only want a select few until the time came where I felt comfortable telling everyone or whoever I wanted.

Gosh I keep rambling, sorry. My sister seems to be taking everything that I say personal. My sister says that she's tired of everyone making excuses for me or letting me get away with everything. She mentioned the fact that I forget birthdays and other things but I told her I'm so busy with my 3 kiddos that I forget and of course my sister gets offended and says "I'm busy also! You act as if you're the only person with things to do". I also told her that I couldn't buy her a ipad for her birthday because I had to buy the kids school supplies and clothes and we just don't have the money right now. Well of course her reply was "you act as if you're the only person with bills to pay". Ever since she found out about my surgery it's been 1 fight after the other. I don't know if it's jealousy or the fact that she's under a lot of stress. I just don't know what is going on with her anymore.

Well yesterday I posted on facebook that I was having surgery on the 2nd, I didn't mention what the surgery was because I'm not ready to share that type of info yet but I do appreciate the prayers, etc. of course my sister text me and basically says, "I find it funny how you don't want us to know about your surgery but yet you're willing to post it on FB". I wasn't expecting for her to keep wanting to feud and crap because I'm so over the drama. This has been going on for the past 2 weeks and I hate drama. I'm currently not on speaking terms with my mom and sister because I just need a break and if all they want to do is continue to be negative towards me, then I'd rather not deal with them at this moment. Of course we will all eventually talk but I can't deal with the constant fighting and everything that I say being blown way out of proportion. It seems like a lot of the feuding always comes back to the surgery and there negativity about it.

Sorry this is so long but I was wondering how other people deal with the negativity?
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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I find the only way to deal with any kind of conflict is to confront the person and if that doesn't work, sever ties with them (not forever) just for as long as it takes for you both to sort your heads out. Negativity won't do you any good so why deal with it? I hope things get better. It is possible your sister is jealous but she would probably be angry if you said that so just tell her to be happy for you and if she isn't then take a break from communicating with her.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
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^^^Thanks so much for the reply I don't remember me and my sister ever being this rocky and I know it will pass with time. It really sucks not to have their support but I've realized that I'm doing this for me and I can't please everyone. I think the best thing is to distance myself for a while because everything that I say seems to irritate my sister. I love my sister to death. In order for me to keep my positive mindset about having surgery in a few days, I will need to push the negativity far away.

My husband has been my rock and extremely supportive during this time. I'm pretty sure that my mom isn't flying down but oh well.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 19Deltawifey View Post
I was wondering how other people deal with the negativity?

1st of all congrats for your excitement & 2nd of all do we have the same family ?

I went through something similar with my brother a few weeks ago. My advice is

DO NOT FEED INTO THE BS.

If they cant be happy for you then scr*w em'. Stop sharing everything with your family there's always jealousy to rear it's ugly head.


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Old 09-23-2012, 07:07 PM   #5
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Carly - I wish with all my heart that i had an answer for you - or at least some decent advice. The only thing I can offer is a few thoughts. It sounds to me as if your sister is afraid of you losing weight. So far, she's the one who's lost weight, and now you're taking this drastic step.

So, jealousy? anger? resentment? I doubt that her real issue has anything to do with you forgetting bdays or having to budget your money [just like everyone else has to]. Imagine these sentences: YOU ACT AS IF YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN'T LOSE WEIGHT. YOU ACT AS IF YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON WHO TAKES THE EASY WAY OUT.

Can you picture her saying something like that?

One of my sisters was downright angry with me for losing weight. The relationships have changed dramatically, because I can no longer use food as an emotional coping mechanism. And therefore, relationships have to change. Unless the other person is willing to understand that the relationship will be different and willing to work towards making it the best it can possibly be, the only path left for YOU [and for me, in fact], is to protect yourself and live your own life.

Therapy for everyone? maybe. Counseling for you so that you can understand the dynamics of what's going on? maybe. Ignoring them and hoping it'll all stop? well, that's one strategy, but this one doesn't usually end well.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 1spunkygal View Post
1st of all congrats for your excitement & 2nd of all do we have the same family ?

I went through something similar with my brother a few weeks ago. My advice is

DO NOT FEED INTO THE BS.

If they cant be happy for you then scr*w em'. Stop sharing everything with your family there's always jealousy to rear it's ugly head.

Yesterday when she texted me about me posting about surgery, I just told her "I'm over the drama so just stop plz". She didn't text me after that because she knew that I wasn't going to feed into the unnecessary drama. The only reason why I told my mom is because I was hoping she would fly out here and I honestly had no idea that she would take it upon herself to tell my sister. I'm sort of thiking that my sister was patiently waiting for me to tell her that I was having surgery and since I didn't, maybe that's what angered her. Unfortunately I'm a open person by default but I'm becoming more private with age and things like this are making me learn to keep my mouth shut even more. :/

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Originally Posted by jiffypop View Post
Carly - I wish with all my heart that i had an answer for you - or at least some decent advice. The only thing I can offer is a few thoughts. It sounds to me as if your sister is afraid of you losing weight. So far, she's the one who's lost weight, and now you're taking this drastic step.

So, jealousy? anger? resentment? I doubt that her real issue has anything to do with you forgetting bdays or having to budget your money [just like everyone else has to]. Imagine these sentences: YOU ACT AS IF YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN'T LOSE WEIGHT. YOU ACT AS IF YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON WHO TAKES THE EASY WAY OUT.

Can you picture her saying something like that?

One of my sisters was downright angry with me for losing weight. The relationships have changed dramatically, because I can no longer use food as an emotional coping mechanism. And therefore, relationships have to change. Unless the other person is willing to understand that the relationship will be different and willing to work towards making it the best it can possibly be, the only path left for YOU [and for me, in fact], is to protect yourself and live your own life.

Therapy for everyone? maybe. Counseling for you so that you can understand the dynamics of what's going on? maybe. Ignoring them and hoping it'll all stop? well, that's one strategy, but this one doesn't usually end well.
My sister unfortunately has gained back the weight that she lost with the diet pills and I'm honestly sad for her because she's always been the heavy one in the family and my aunts and even our grandmoms would talk about my sisters weight when we were young. I didn't struggle with my weight until I turned 16 but I was always into sports and was very athletic so I carried my weight rather well. Weight is a huge issue in my family. If you are thin you are praised, heck you could be a major screw up in my family but as long as you are skinny everyone is okay.

I've enjoyed the fact that I live far away from family and my weight issues aren't mentioned or really discussed, that I know of. Unfortunately my family doesn't believe in therapy (I do but they don't) and when I was on anti-depressants for postpartum depression after giving birth to my son in 2007, they felt as if it wasn't necessary.

I didn't think about how me having wls would affect (or is it effect?) the dynamics of my family. For some reason I expected to have tons of support but instead it seems like it's caused nothing but drama. I don't have any close friends here in Colorado so I haven't had to deal with friendships changing or anything but the family part I wasn't expecting. I don't think me avoiding them is the best thing long term and it's not possible for me to completely cut them off but I think the break for at least a couple of weeks might help us all calm down instead of trying to solve issues while fighting. The crazy thing is that me and my sister made up early this month but as soon as she got home from her honeymoon with her husband she decided to call me start with the drama again. When she called me I was surprised but we started talking about her honeymoon in the bahamas and all of us possibly taking the kids on a Disney cruise next year but sure enough she called to bring up the drama again. I told her that me and her wont agree and that if I wanted her to know about my private life then I will tell her and that it wasn't right for my mom to share my business.

My mom doesn't quite get it either because she feels that she should be able to share everything about me to my sister. I'm just going to take a break for a little and then set boundaries. I know wls is a huge taboo in my family and my mom and family were very negative about my aunt having bypass surgery in 2005. My aunt is very mean (even before wls) so I can't ask her for advice about dealing with our family.

Thanks everyone for the replies, it's really helping me sort this ball of emotions that I've been feeling lately.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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Weight loss is very personal and emotional and your sister is obviously afraid you are going to be more sucessful in the journey than she is.

But angry because you won't buy her an ipad for her birthday????
that is a very expensive gift to expect of any family member but unbelivable to expect from a family in the very expensive business of raising children.
she sounds quite unreasonable.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:30 AM   #8
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Unfortunately I'm a open person by default but I'm becoming more private with age and things like this are making me learn to keep my mouth shut even more. :/
I'm just going to take a break for a little and then set boundaries.

ARE WE RELATED ! ? ! YES i forgot to mention boundaries are good. There are certain subjects I won't even discuss with my brother & he knows this. When he tries to go there i say "I dont want to talk about that with you".

Good luck hun I wish you the VERY best


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Old 09-24-2012, 01:22 PM   #9
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Stop texting. Stop posting on Facebook.

Call her.

Tell her, "I love you. I'm scared about this, but I think it is the best thing for me. I was scared to tell you about it; I think it is the best thing for me, but it is hard to work through other people's reactions. Everyone has an opinion, but in the end the opinion that matters is mine and my husband's.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you myself. Sometimes that conversation is the hardest thing in the world, and I did not know how to start having that conversation with you. This is going to be hard for me and I want your support[/prayers/thoughts whatever your belief system is] to be with me the day of surgery, and in the days after surgery."

I do think that you have to start this conversation with her with the intention of apologizing to her for not telling her sooner - without excuses, without explanations that implicate her specifically in any way. There is a dynamic there that I don't know, of course, but she's hurt that you didn't share such an important, emotional thing with her. Maybe she's scared for you.

---

Also:

1. Buy a calendar. Write the birthdays on the calendar a couple of days ahead. Send cards. Or call if you don't get the cards out. It's clearly important to her. I am the forgetful type, too. But fundamentally, when you say, "I missed your birthday because I am so busy with my three kids," she is hearing you say, "I missed your birthday because I think I am 100000 times busier than you and can't be arsed to remember what is important to you even though you manage to remember what is important to me."

Please note: I'm not saying that she is correct, just that it helps to be sufficiently open to the mindset of others to understand that what they hear is never exactly what you are saying, and often a bizarre, distorted, fun-house mirror version of it.

Then instead of getting into an argument of who has bills or who is busy, maybe you can get to a place where you say, "I am so sorry. You know how I am. But I love you guys so much and you know that the week-late package is like the extra Christmas package stuck beneath the coffee table that you don't find until late in the evening, a hidden, half-forgotten treat tucked admist the branches."

2. She wants an iPad for her birthday from you? That's insane. But whoa: did she give you one? ALSO insane. Why not chat with her (and any other siblings) about a $ limit on birthday gifts. Both for each other and for your kids. Make it reasonable. $25 for adults, $50 for kids. Or $0 ot $15 for adults and $25 for kids.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #10
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1spunkygal-lol we probably are. I need to start doing that also because I'm getting tired of them feeling like they are entitled to know every single thing that I plan to do.

Patns-She said that's not the reason she was mad but it sparked the huge fight that day. I was actually texting my mom and had no idea my sister was sitting right there next to her, so when my mom asked me, "your sister wants to know where her gift is?" I explained my reasons for not being able to get it for her. Then my sister texted me yada yada but we made up after that incident. My sis just wants to keep feuding and I don't have time for that crap. I just told her that me and her wont agree on the subject about me not sharing everything with them.

mnemosyne-I agree with certain things that you said. This is the exact post that I made on FB "Surgery on the 2nd=NERVOUS! My baby girl stil doesn't have any teeth and she will be 1 on the 4th of Oct." It had nothing to do with my sister and I wasn't expecting for her to send me a angry text because of it. I don't think it's necessary for me to apologize, I'm not expecting a apology from her either but I do expect for them to understand that they aren't entitled to know every single thing about my personal life. I'm 28yo and she just turned 30. I moved out of the house when I was 19 and moved to Kansas with my husband. We've always been financially independent. I haven't seen my mom or sister since 2009. My sister just got married early Sept. and she wanted us to fly out for it but every estimate that I got for plane tickects was several thousand dollars and we were only going to stay a weekend since the kids had school. If we were to drive it would be a 30hr straight drive with 3 kids and a dog (torture).

The lowest quote for plane tickets was almost 3K. I would of loved to have went but that's a lot of money for a 3 day trip and we don't have that kind of money in the bank. She was understanding but seemed irritated. I think they have this false impression that we're rich because my husband is in the Army. I told her I would try to buy her the ipad for her wedding gift but once the time rolled around we didn't have $700+ in the bank to pay for one.

I feel that they should respect the fact that I'm grown and that I don't have to share anything that I don't want to share with them. I guess if I could go back, I wouldn't of shared my surgery with them until it was over and done with. I didn't know it would start so much drama :/
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:24 PM   #11
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Carly,

Trust me, plane tickets are expensive, and I am sure I couldn't've spent that much to travel for a three-day wedding visit. No would I ever be able to spend that much on a wedding gift, no matter the circumstances.

And I don't think that you should apologize for being an adult, or being independent. Or not sharing every aspect of your personal life with your sister.

But I can understand how your sister would be upset that you didn't want to talk about the surgery with her, but then posted on facebook that you were scheduled for surgery. Even if you didn't discuss the kind of surgery in your facebook post. I just see a discrepancy there - between your willingness to share with all and sundry on facebook about the surgery, versus your desire not to tell your family, and I think if you were on the other end of that equation (i.e. - in your sister's shoes), you would perhaps also see it differently.

She's sniping at you, and in a not-kind way, particularly given the task you are about to undertake. But I think that you are sniping back in a way that contributes to the negativity. And if you want to keep the people without the negativity, one way to do it is to apologize for your part in it without expectation or blame - you can slice away that negative stuff as with a scalpel by owning your stuff without blaming her.

But I think that part of the answer of how to deal with negativity is asking yourself how to I contribute to it? and making a sort of amends. Which means not dwelling on why you can't do something that probably made her sad (but reality: is a hard wall) but instead commiserating about how disappointed you are too that you had to miss it. Or whatever.

Listen: I am on your side. I am very private, and if something is personal, it is personal. But at the same time, surgery is serious and people who love you I think have some level of expectation that you will share big things like that with them. If you want it to remain personal, keep it that way, but in a way that lets them in and then sets boundaries. It's moot now of course, and I wish you the best of luck. You know your sister best, but I would try to take the reigns, stop the sniping, and invite her back in in a positive way.

Hence my advice. But good luck however it goes.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:45 PM   #12
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1spunkygal-lol we probably are. I need to start doing that also because I'm getting tired of them feeling like they are entitled to know every single thing that I plan to do.
LOL.....I'm from a big (nosey/ curious midwest family) I'm the only sane girl w / 5 brothers. I needed to set boundries or go totaly insane I've been better off for it . I'm not saying cut them out of your life (did that 1 time too) but we are ADULTS now. They dont need to know every little detail of our lives.

I agree to a point with mnemosyne invite her back in a positive way hopefully she won't continue to be a snit.

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Old 09-24-2012, 05:39 PM   #13
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Carly - mnemosyne has several good points - but as of right now, you have a lot to think about, and post-surgery will be an emotional and physical roller coaster for awhile. This part: "I love you. I'm scared about this, but I think it is the best thing for me. I was scared to tell you about it; I think it is the best thing for me, but it is hard to work through other people's reactions. Everyone has an opinion, but in the end the opinion that matters is mine and my husband's. I'm sorry I didn't tell you myself. Sometimes that conversation is the hardest thing in the world, and I did not know how to start having that conversation with you."

should be enough for now. And then see how the conversation goes. I haven't had any contact with my family since November of 2008. The separation was necessary to protect myself. I hope it doesn't get to that point for you as well.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:29 PM   #14
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me and my mom made up a couple of days ago I just vented to her about how she can't share everything that I tell her. As far as me and my sister we haven't talked since that day. It's best that we take a break and let things simmer down.
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