JLBD: My Sister

Ed’s Note: JLBD has something she wants to get off her chest.

Dear Sister,

Writing this letter comes as a surprise.For so many years I’ve kept my words with you to a safe minimum. I’ve wanted to open up to you more and reclaim the closeness we once shared, but can’t bring myself to do so.
Even though you’ve recently told me that you’ve changed, that you’re not the trouble-starting hellion that you once were ten years ago, I have a hard time believing you.

See, when I was much younger, we were very close. We only share the same father. But I still longed for a strong and solid relationship with you. I was raised as an only child due to the fact that you and I never grew up in the same household. But, during my teens you reached out to me and I happily obliged. Our relationship grew strong over a two-year period and I felt safe telling you all my personal business including my escapades with boys and my interaction with other females. I felt like you could do the same with me, although you were a few years older. I felt we could have a sisterly bond that would go untouched. But, you tampered with delicate information.

I failed to realize that even though you and I were close, you still held a strong discontentment with our father. I failed to realize that I was born into a marital union and you weren’t. I failed to realize that you longed for the relationship that I had with my father. I failed to realize that you like drama, confusion, unhappiness and malevolence.

You like this stuff. You’re not comfortable until this stuff is festering like a witches brew. You like to stir the pot of dung so it can stink more and more! You decided that our harmonious relationship was too… harmonious. You decided to betray my trust and tell the family all of the personal things I shared with you.

You see, you couldn’t stand the fact that the family viewed me as the ‘good girl’ who could do no wrong. I was stealing all the shine with my good grades, positive upbringing and peaceful nature. You had to have the spotlight, if only for a little while. You would NOT be outdone. Everyone would pay attention to you, no matter what it cost.

Well guess what? When you showed me your true stripes, I couldn’t trust you anymore, and in my eyes it cost you a future relationship with me. The strong bond was broken and the hurt reached all the way down into the bowels of my soul. You were my sister, but I could no longer be close with you. I slowly fell out of touch with you, went off to college and lived most of my adult life keeping a safe distance from you. I would be cordial with you when we were around each other. If you called me, I would talk with you like normal and enjoy the conversation.

But I still could not trust you. It didn’t help that other family members were constantly telling me about the drama that you kept going in your own life. It didn’t help that our father would tell me about fights you two would have and your disrespect toward him would go to levels beyond comfort. It didn’t help that every time I turned around someone was telling me about more confusion that you kept going over and over again. This gave me confirmation that I was correct in handling you with a long handled spoon.

Well, now you are angry and hurt by me because I chose to not include you in the most important day of my life, in my wedding party? Honestly, the women who will be standing beside me on that day are women who were there for me constantly during my ups and downs.

The women standing beside me did not show intentional spite with their actions over the course of our relationship. You are angry because you feel that blood relation automatically makes you eligible to stand beside me, even though you have shown the world that your life is nothing but a big confusing mess. Sadly, you aren’t aware of the fact that everyone that comes near you experiences confusion, hurt and ruin. We are not allowed to choose our family, and with that said I love you Sis, but that will remain the extent of our relationship.




27 responses to “JLBD: My Sister

  1. I’m glad that you got that off your chest, I’m sure you feel better now.

    I was just having a conversation with one of my close friends who just got engaged about picking the wedding party and guests. You should only have the people standing by you and watching you that have your best interest at heart. Those that are truely happy for you and want your marriage to succed. I can understand someone being upset that they weren’t invited or that they weren’t asked to be in the wedding party but I also feel that most of the time deep down inside they know exactly why they weren’t.

    I hope the wedding planning is going well 🙂

  2. I think you are choosing your wedding party for the right reasons and there are quite a few women who don’t look at it that way….. it’s more of a show thing.

    I don’t blame you for treating her with a long handled spoon… be cordial, forgive her, but be careful.

    Happy planning!

    • @Nicki Sunshine

      ‘be cordial, forgive her, but be careful.’

      That’s exactly how I want to deal with her but she doesn’t understand my sentiment. She feels that I am judging her and not giving her a chance to show that she’s different. However, I feel like the old adage of: ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me…’ I love her and forgive her but I can’t help not wanting to be close with her anymore *shrugs shoulders*, I’m actually kind of lost on this one….

      • Sounds like you are doing the right thing to me. If she likes the drama you might consider not inviting her as well.

        • @Travis

          I thought about that, especially when she started getting ignorant about the whole situation and dragging other family members into her cesspool. But, I can’t not invite her, that would make me look like an evil (insert word for female dog here), and I’d never live it down…lol

          • I’d rather have one person think poorly of me than have that one person potentially ruin what should be a cornerstone moment of my life. Just sayin’.

          • When she started dragging other people in, I would’ve had to let her know that THAT was the reason she wasn’t in the wedding party.

            • @ASmith

              I tried to….she still didn’t get it. Trying to make her see the error of her ways is like trying to get an infant to play hopscotch…it’s pointless effort…

      • And that’s how I feel…. what happens if you give her another chance and she screws you again???? Now you have a HUSBAND to consider- no need to bring that into your home life.

        Plus, she needs to get herself together.. it sounds like from what your family and friends have told you, she’s still pretty much how she was ,just not with you involved this time.

        • You are exactly right, and even though he is refraining from saying much, I know my fiance’ is not too thrilled about this situation. We are both people that don’t like drama and will go to extensive lengths to avoid it. I’m going to continue to pray on it…smh.

  3. I just want to be clear, you did deliver this message (not the letter but the sentiment) to her? And she still took it wrong? I dont think you need to be heavily involved with someone who lacks the empathy to understand what you’re going through

    • @peyso

      Yes, she and I actually addressed all of this over the weekend and she got real ignorant with it at first. Later, though, she did apologize to me and asked that I get to know her for who she has grown to be now. She fails to realize that I speak with family members to this day that keep me updated on her shenanigans, and IMHO she has not changed much…

  4. jlbd, um, yea. i know EXACTLY what you’re going through, only difference being my lil sis & i share both our mom & father. her cuttin’ up started once our father passed and has only gained mindless momentum ever since.
    my sentiment to you is ask yourself if you honestly want to have a relationship with her. know it will not be the SAME kind you all shared in the past, but starts with this question because if you deep down inside want to share some kind of bond, you acknowledge you do want that connection rekindled. for me she’s my only sister, and i know i can be the example she needs, even if she doesn’t want to admit it to me.

    boundaries are important. they help maintain your peace, and ensure you are not being drained. i established up front i don’t tolerate lying, and anytime she does lie, i call her out on it, regardless if we’re in private or public company. rebellion requires accountablity that has lacked before.

    the part that hit home was where you commented your sis wants to show you she’s different. when it comes to family, they will always fool you. you can’t listen to relatives who very well might have a bad POV about you lil sis. i decided i was going to call my sister MYSELF and see what’s going on–not listen to any auntie, cousin, or family friend who only know what they know ’cause they heard it from so-n-so. if you truly want to mend the relationship, you have to give her a chance. be concious that what you give as advice may be received as judgement. this has to do with her heart, not yours. it is not going to be easy, but restoring any relationship is a process.

    to this date, i do not have the same relationship my lil sis & i had growing up, but i can see her decisions & choices have changed. she still has things to clean up about her life, but she knows i am here for her no matter what. she’s my sister and i’m a firm believer there’s a reason why we cannot pick our family.

    • @nn

      I appreciate everything you just said, I feel like I’m about to sit on the leather couch and divulge this to you. In short, if I saw my sister on the street, or met her in another setting, I would happily gravitate AWAY from her….we have absolutely NOTHING in common. Her lifestyle is the complete opposite of my own and I am very hesitant to be around that environment. I guess that’s the cloud that still hangs over my ‘getting to know her now’. I am SCARED. I know what I’ve been through with her and how she’s hurt other people, I know she’s obviously also been hurt in her life or else she would not behave the way she does. I honestly feel that the only way we can truly recapture our close relationship is if we attend therapy! You may think that’s far-fetched but I am so serious. This girl has serious demons that I am not excited to allow in my peaceful zone. *puts face in hands and takes a deep breath*

      • and there’s nothing wrong with therapy (just some of these phoney therapists). as with all relationships there’s different levels of relating. you’re closer to some fam/friends than you are with others, and the same will apply for you and your sis. (just in your case, you’re not relating at all) so you can still touch base with her, but don’t have to condone her foolishness, or be involved/dragged into it.

        you say yall have ‘NOTHING’ in common—the only thing i know my lil sis & i have in common is our bloodline. we don’t share much either. but i’m not asking for my best friend back, i’m reclaiming my only sister. our differences are what makes me want her even more ’cause i can see the gift & talent she’s got, but has misdirected it with wasted energy & poor choices.

        “I am SCARED. I know what I’ve been through with her and how she’s hurt other people, I know she’s obviously also been hurt in her life or else she would not behave the way she does.”

        this is what i meant by boundaries. chaos is the absence of boundaries. you must establish them in order to get any kind of results/change from her. these boundaries you establish will also protect you from getting too close. you won’t breach them ’cause you’re POV is hella-different than hers.
        and the fact that you know she’s only acting out of her own hurt is reason enough why i believe you’ll be successful in getting through to her. my sis & i went to a beach resort this past july 4th. going in i asked for the right words to say so this vaca will be different and a turning point towards the right direction. i patiently waited until the right time. as we’re walking on the beach she finally confessed why/what the hurt she feels. it’s not going to come out when you want it, that’s why you must be honest and ask if you really want to rebuilt your relationship. because if you really do, you must also embrace patience. it is this patience and persistence your sis will see (trust me, she will), and will be translated to her and received by her heart. everything begins in seed form. nothing happens overnight. i’ve waited years for my sis’s confession, and i confidently know it is an irreversible step in the right direction.

  5. This sounds like my brother and me…

  6. Good post JLBD! Hopefully your sister has enough couth to know, your wedding day is for you and your man, not her and her selfish ways. Your wedding is definitely not the venue, for her to prove she has changed…smh! But it sounds like your special day is getting closer… See you at the gym! 😉

    • Thanks girl, I need to get back in that gym ASAP! I’ve been sick off and on so much that I’ve completely fell off my schedule!

  7. JLDB,
    My sister too has destroyed our relationship as well as her relationship with our parents and other family members with her lying and other abuses (emotional, financial etc.). She began this behavior with the entire family when she was 18. She is now 41 & has not stopped yet. This is her way of existing/ living and I refuse to particpate in it. Habit says something about character, and until she goes to get counseling to intentionally change I cannot participate much in her life. You too cannot do anything about your sisters issues either except set boundaries and take care of yourself until she takes accountability and positive action for her own life. It sounds to me like you and your fam have been very patient and loving with her already. The real issue is can you have someone that you do not trust, has attention issues etc. be there for YOU on your wedding day. You’ve decided no and it sounds like a wise decision to me.

    Keep doing what you are doing and take care of yourself. I know folks want things to end well because this is family and who would not want their fam involved – esp. a sibling – in their wedding? If things were different your sister would be welcome with open arms, but it is what it is. She with her behavior/decisions caused this rift and she is now getting the effects of her behavior. She is not ready to start a healthy relationship with you because instead of readily accepting your choice (she has full knowledge about the whys of your decision) and supporting you & your soon to be new hubby she has the audacity to get angry. REALLY? Wow.

    Enjoy your day with folks that you know love you, would never intentionally hurt you and want your marriage to be successful. I pray that you both have a wonderful and full life with each other.

    • @kitadiva

      See, she is the prime example of folks getting amnesia and having selective memory about past events. She claims to be completely astonished and surprised at my reasoning for not dealing with her over the years. However, I find it ironic that she has openly spoken about what happened with other family members. She claims that it happened due to her trying to ‘help’ me, when any blind person can see that she intentionally trying to ‘harm’ me. People like this will NEVER come around. It’s going to take a divine act of God for her to ‘get it’…

  8. Actions have consequences. That seems to be a lesson people don’t ever really learn. We grow up and think that we can do what we want and if we say the right thing on the back end, it’ll be like it never happened. That’s just not true. Actions have consequences.

    Being in your wedding party would not be her opportunity to show she has changed. She’s had years to show that; being in your wedding party would be her reward for changing. You can’t keep up mess in your life and think people don’t notice. I feel bad for people who think they’re not living unless there’s drama and I don’t mean that in a condescending way at all.

    Excellent letter, jlbd. Your point is well made and if your sister were to read it, I wouldn’t be surprised if she still didn’t get it, but it wouldn’t be because you didn’t explain it well.

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