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03/06/2011 09:24 PM

Crisis 1 under control...time to start another!

Izzy87
Izzy87  
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

So, as some of you may be following, I have my 19-yr-old brother living with me, my husband, and our two kids for a few weeks. It was under some messy and unhappy circumstances but we are all doing ok.

Ahem. Also as part of this troubled family of mine, we have my little sister, 21, who is married to a man who I am increasingly sure is an abuser (as in domestic, not substance). I have no proof, keep in mind. A strong gut feeling and noting that my sister, since her relationship with him, has proceeded to drop all of her friends and previous relationships, seems increasingly sad and overwhelmed when I do see her, and hints that he leaves when I see him that tells me he has a huge sense of entitlement and superiority. For instance, when she was pregnant with their first child, they were at the fair with my mother and my sister commented how thirsty she was. My brother-in-law excused himself, and when he returned he had a soda for himself. He spends money on his hobbies but she has no hobbies herself, except to participate in his. Small things, but red flags nonetheless. I also suspect he pressured her into getting married very quickly, as they had only known each other three months and married in secret when she was 18. Not only that, but their reasoning was to avoid living in sin, when previous to this relationship my sister was a loud and vocal opponent to the ways of the church (particularly sexual limitations) in which we were raised and he belongs. She now subscribes to very conservative religious views, although generally he is the one talking in discussions and she just nods and agrees. I've gathered from conversations with her that the only people she has much access to is his friends and family. She does not attribute any of this to him, mind you. She would tell you that it's her fault for not keeping in contact with people.

Over the few years she has been married I have kept telling myself that it's possible it's all in my head and that I'm just bitter/hypersensitive/overprotective. I have been involved in an emotionally and sexually abusive relationship. I used to talk to her about things I've learned about domestic violence, not even thinking of her, and she tells me that I am overly dramatic and just like to speculate about people. My mother once spoke to them about some things they did that made her uncomfortable (my BIL would often grope my sister in my mom's house with us present, or they would hold entire conversations in whispers, again with all of us present) and my sister sent her an email saying she didn't want her to be involved in her life anymore. Again, my sister would probably insist that all of this is her choice and had nothing to do with her husband; my sister and my mom have had contentious issues for a long time. But I'm just not buying it.

So here's my dilemma. I do not often talk to my sister, and I have ceased talking to her about many personal things as I am usually met with indifference, judgement, or the idea that I'm crazy and "just like our mother seeing things where nothing is there". But I'm getting fairly worried about her, and I want to give her an "in" so she can talk to me if she feels comfortable.

I did this once with her already when we were a few years younger. My older sister and I strongly suspected that my dad had done something sexually inappropriate to her when she was around 12 and my parents' marriage was falling apart. She burst out crying and told me he had touched her in ways that made her feel uncomfortable. She has insisted since then that it was no big deal and that he did nothing worse than that and it didn't count as sexual abuse.

So, I hesitate to open this door again, as it may further drive it into her head that I see things where nothing exists, and give her a reason to cut me out of her life as well.

I can't just sit by though. I want to just call her up some evening, sometime soon, and just ask if she is ok. I don't want to incrimate her marriage or husband because I'm sure that will close the door immediately. Is this the way to approach this?

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03/07/2011 02:48 AM
patty777

Yes, Izzy...I went through it for seven years. If not a little longer than that. If my elder sisters or Mom or Dad cared enough about me , I think my life would be totally different today.

Remember, it is going to be hard for her to keep friends. If he is hurting her...they can tell by any marks of abuse , so this is why she stays away from friends. The church they go to may accept this behavior...just hoping she is not too brainwashed by this man.

So it would help if you just talk with her about anything and then when she finally gets close enough, she may just open up again..all I can do for you is pray...Gentle hugs, Patty


03/07/2011 06:08 AM
nanavick
nanavick  
Posts: 772
Member

Hi Izzy any time you have something like that going on in the family it is always hard to know what to do. My suggestion is to just be there for her whenever she needs something, don't push, maybe if you got into a habit of calling once a week and just asking what her child is doing and how things are going with her she will not be suspicious of your calls. Don't know if that will work, but it is worth a try just don't say pointedly are you alright. I too will pray for you and your sister and her family. Hugs Vickie

03/07/2011 06:12 AM
mem9113

Izzy,

He sounds like a big bully control freak! I don't have any history of abuse in my family except for mental however I am watching and waiting for my son because he is in a desparate situation and only he knows when he should leave this woman that treats him horribly and doesn't love him. This doesn't sound like love for your sister but it is what she is use to and until she decides to say enough, you can only just be there for her so that when and if she does make up her mind that she doesn't want this kind of relationship anymore you will be there to help her. Smile imagesCA9IAUAC


03/07/2011 09:11 PM
Izzy87
Izzy87  
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

I've basically decided I just need to see her more, and maybe the rest will follow...it's hard because we don't have the best relationship history either. I think she percieves me as judgmental and crazy (I have thought the same of her in the past)...but I realize I've got to work hard to build this up/maintain it. I think I want to believe that it will change overnight, but I know this is going to be a long, difficult road. Thank you all for your responses and caring!

03/08/2011 05:38 AM
nanavick
nanavick  
Posts: 772
Member

Izzy I am so proud of you for the decision you have made. You are right it will not be easy and it won't change over night. My sister and I are a good example of this. Mostly I was just so jealous of her because Mom always favored her, and made no bones about it. When Mom got sick Sis and I started mending some fences and she started noticeing how Mom treated me and that has helped, but it is still a work in progress. Good luck with this endevor you are taking on, my prayers will be with you. Hugs Vickie

03/08/2011 05:51 AM
mem9113

Good luck izzy imagesCAEYHPAQ
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