Upset about sister’s pregnancy announcement
I am having a tough time as I’m very upset but from the outside it seems inappropriate or weird that I would feel upset during this situation.
Last night my sister casually announced in a bar when we arrived for drinks (with my sisters husbands parents, my siblings, and boyfriend) that she was 12 weeks pregnant. To give some context to this, I’ve always had a pretty up and down relationship with my sister but since her wedding in February we have had a consistently poor relationship where we have hardly talked. This is because she has essentially told me that I ruined her wedding as I was “not supportive enough” as her maid of honour. Since then I had apologised and tried to move on but she didn’t accept it saying “just because someone is a blood relative doesn’t mean you have to be friends with them”. I have been extremely hurt by this situation as I truly believed I did everything I could for her wedding and told her this.
Anyway, when she announced her pregnancy I could not help but feel shock, as if it were surreal (I didn’t expect it so soon), and almost resentment. I attempted to hide my feelings by going to the bathroom and crying in secret. However when I came out, people were saying “why haven’t you congratulated her”, and it was then that I burst out into tears again. I then explained to my sister and my family why I felt so upset: firstly, because I found out my mum has known for weeks already (I live in the same house as my mum yet didn’t know), but mostly I was hoping that by this point I would be friends with my sister again. I think I was upset that this is such a pivotal moment for sisters and I feel sad that it didn’t play out differently. I feel so embarrassed about this response I had in public and I think from the outside people would think it is selfish and “it’s not about me” etc (my own partner even telling me this). I also feel upset because again my sister and her husband are going to say that I ruined another life moment for them. Which I feel so upset about as it well because I believe I always have good intentions at heart and now I am positioned to be some kind of selfish crazy person.
Im still not sure why I had this kind of response, I think I can put it down to grieving moments that I can never get back. And also because I feel that the more serious life gets (ie marriage and having kids) and yet I am still not talking to my sister, the more reality sinks in that I feel like this estrangement might stay forever.
Sorry to hear about what u r going through right now . You know most of what you say has a lot to do with expectations . Their expectations of you ...societies expectations of you and it is unfair. I too have experienced that . It is unfair but that will forever be the case cos u cannot control others and their expectations or their actions .To be honest u be very tired if you go pleasing everyone in town just to paint the perfect picture of a sister .or a daughter or a partner . Just a bit of history of myself . I split from long term partner ..they all want me to keep in touch ...but I cut them all out and chose to just do things my way ...it took me a long time and for a long time felt guilty for doing what I needed to do for myself . I still to this day don’t contact them unless the house burns down. Now back to your plight ...to me I see you doing your best given the circumstances .u have apologised for not being a good maid of honour and I know if you get to do it all over again ..you would ...but you cannot ..
dont let that hinder your relationship with sister or other family member . That was the past ...and trust me there are things you can do...if you want to make up to her only if you want to ...you know you got good intentions and that’s all that matters.
the past doesn’t determine the future ...unless you decide you want it to .
start today to do something to nurture that relationship .only if you want to .then she also needs to meet you halfway ..if u don’t water a plant it dies ...things only flourish when people put in effort . I hope this makes sense to u .
because you were a not so good maid of honour ...it doesn’t make you a terrible sister ...is what Im saying .
because u didn’t leap up with joy at the thought of her having kid ...also doesn’t make you a horrible family member ..it was your reaction...and that’s it ...nothing more .
dont be too harsh on yourself Cindy ...being a single child myself ...lol i only wished I had a sister to bicker with ...hahaha
keep smiling and keep writing
Cindy Your struggle with you sister /Family sounds so familiar. All I can suggest is don't let it change you. If your sister or another family member needs you be there. I have been basically been shunned by my family. For reasons unknown. But the way I was raised you are always there for family. So I wont keep my family out of my life. I suggest you try to be there for your sister as much as you can because one day she may see you have been there for her and she could be there for you.
I am pleased you found your way here. Welcome to the forum.
Relationships are always tricky, even when they are generally good. It takes hard work from both people to get along. One thing to bear in mind is that the only person you can change is yourself. That doesn't mean other people are right to continue in their same ways, but you cannot change them.
I have found that when life begins to pile up and I start to become overwhelmed by it all, it only takes one unexpected event to bring the whole house down. This has happened several times and each time I resolve it won't happen again because I will keep myself emotionally fit. It doean't always work out like that unfortunately. I know I need to stop caring more about what others think of me and concentrate on doing the best for me. And yes, it does sound selfish.
One of the images often used on this forum is that of fastening your own oxygen mask before helping others. It is so right. I know I have some mental health issues and if I am going downhill I need to stop and get myself right. I cannot write here if I am lost.
You have now told your family how you feel and that includes your sister. Did your story help the family to understand how you felt? Your partner says it's not about you, which is true in the main but unexpected shocks like that can be devastating. I get the impression your sister made a deliberate choice not to tell you about her pregnancy when she told your mom. Not nice but not your fault. How are the family dynamics now?
I didn't get on with either of my sisters when we were young. They are both older than me and felt I should do as they told me. However, as we grew up we got on much better. When my eldest sister was getting too frail for more treatment of her cancer I returned to the UK to be with her for a while. It was the best time we had ever had together and I wish I could have stayed longer.
I think all this chat adds up to suggesting you stop trying to get on with your sister. Treat her with courtesy and respond to any overtures she makes but stop making it a major goal to be friends. I know this will hurt but being continually rejected also hurts. This way you can concentrate on what you want out of life instead of simply reacting to anything that happens and losing sight of yourself.
I hope this helpful to you.