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Feeling resentment, hurt and heartache with Siblings who take me for granted

Community Member

Hi All, I need some solid advice on a situation that I feel I need to resolve or take action on to help bring much needed peace in my life.
Short story is unavoidable and a string of tumultuous circumstances occurred with my step sister almost two years back when she lived with me, my wife and kids which eventually resulted in betrayal, broken trust, broken relationships, hurt and deep anger.
What made it worse is my step-brothers did not support, help, assist nor take responsibility in assisting the situation given she is their blood relative nor providing the assistance and support to myself, leaving me to suffer alone in the wake of the things she had done therefore I eventually experienced compassion fatigue and emotional burn out. (Even to the point of experiencing reactive depression and anxiety.)
This then created strong feelings of resentment, disappointment and anger towards my step siblings, especially my brothers. In essence, I felt used, hurt and heart broken.
I know my step siblings have personal and if not mental health issues themselves such as fears of abandonment, anxiety, avoidance issues but this became a catch 22 for myself, since they would rather avoid and run away from situations their actions or lack thereof further solidifying my negative feelings towards them.
Hence leading up to this day, almost two years and none of them have really made any effort to reconcile or take any action to rebuild our relationships. You can see how this further adds to my feelings of resentment, hurt and anger. For the two years it’s just been brewing, sometimes I feel compassion sometimes I feel nothing but hate and anger. Sometimes I don’t feel anything because I’m focused on other things alas ‘out of sight out of mind’.
But I’ve come to this point where I’m so tired of the roller coaster of emotions and want peace back in my life. I’ve felt a strong need to resolve this myself (again) but this is where I get stuck… I will still have to see them since they are my mother’s husband’s kids so I know I can’t completely ‘walk away”.
So I am writing to ask what can I do in this instance? I need peace back, I want to let go and not feel hurt nor angry anymore. Do I just simply walk away and basically do what they do? Or do I once and for all confront them and tell them that I am letting go and do just that, acknowledge their presence but basically ignore them? Or do I continue making an effort to rebuild HOPING that love will eventually reciprocate?

2 Replies 2

Community Member

Welcome zy,

I'm so sorry that your step sister hurt and betrayed you whilst living under your roof, and that you received no acknowledgment or support from your other siblings. You always hope for an apology and attempt to reconcile when someone so close to you hurts you that badly. I'm very sorry you didn't get that, even after 2 years. That's a very painful kind of betrayal from a sister, I know 😞

I have a feeling you would probably find it more healing and peaceful to back away from them for a while. I feel it would be reasonable to give yourself permission to stay away from gatherings with them, until you feel peace inside again. It might take some time for you to heal, even years, before you feel it doesn't affect you any more.

I went through something like this with my closest step sister a few years ago, and I was very deeply affected too. I think maybe it was a shock to see her true colours , it was like seeing her clearly for the first time, and coming out of my lifelong denial about her. I grieved a lot, and did a lot of processing of our childhood together. She made a very negative impact on my self esteem as a child. I was grieving that too, I think.

I don't intend to have contact with her for a long while yet. I just think she is still in a bad place with her mental health and she is a very harmful person.

I hope it works out better for you and your sister, please feel free to talk about it more you like. Hugs!

Community Member

Hey there!

That sounds like a lot of heartache and disappointment Zy and I'm sorry to hear that.

Personally I have not experienced this but I can do my best as an outsider to help as best I can.

First I think you need to work on yourself and those feelings of resentment. I found writing down all the things I wanted to say but didn't really helped me to move past some of those feelings. Sometimes we run through those things they did over and over and it brings all those feelings up again which can create anxiety issues, especially if you still have to make contact.

You need to decide first what you want from these relationships before you take steps in repairing them or letting them go. Can you forgive them? Will you still harbor resentment? Will they benefit your wellbeing?

If you feel like you won't gain anything positive from these relationships then let them go. Just because they are family doesn't mean you have to put up with their bad behaviour. If you feel like you can forgive and put effort in to repairin the relationships then you have to put the past behind you.

So if I was you I would confront them either way. I would either tell them the reason why you will be ceasing contact and moving on or I would explain how they hurt you but you are ready to forgive and repair.

If you think you made the wrong decision, their reaction in both situations will give you insight into which path to continue on.

Good Luck!