Background of My Dysfunctional Family

I was adopted by my step-dad at the age of 6.  Within a few years my brother (6 yrs younger than me) and sister (8 yrs younger than me) were born.  Unfortunately, my step-dad was a very controlling person.  He also liked to “tease” me, but it was put downs wrapped up in “joking” form.  As I and my siblings grew older, I was constantly put down and made fun of by my step-dad and my siblings.  If I got mad, I was told I was crazy and treated like I had no right to be mad.  And if I got mad at my siblings for being cruel to me, I was yelled at and told that since I was the oldest, I should know how to handle it (which meant – let them do it and “ignore it”.)  Unfortunately, all this taught my siblings was that it was Ok for them to insult me, put me down, make fun of me, and call me “crazy”.  My step-dad called me “crazy” a lot.  There was no licensed therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist who declared me “crazy”…. it was just my step-dad’s way of being condescending and putting me down in a way in which I had no defense for myself.  And it’s something that my siblings clung to.  I have been to therapy to get through a lot of this.  Ironically, it never seems to be the people who NEED the therapy in the first place to get the therapy they need.  It’s the people who they’ve abused and damaged who end up getting the therapy for the destruction they’ve created.  

Finally, I told my sister I don’t want anything else to do with her.  I gave her an ultimatum, either we go to counseling together and I would pay for it, or I was done with her.  Of course she refused claiming that SHE doesn’t need counseling and she’s not the one who is “crazy”.

Ironically, my family has this weird and twisted sense of psychology and therapy…  They think it’s “crap” and that psychology is a “crock of sh*t” .  And that Psychologists are weird and they all have problems and are crazy themselves.  But then they tell me for YEARS that I’m “crazy” and need to see a therapist.

Who wants to be tortured by people like this?  Every time they reminisce, they always remember my failures or most embarrassing or humiliating moments…. never times where I succeeded or something positive happened to me.

My sister is a very manipulative person.  She doesn’t listen or get her stories straight.  And she’s a loud mouth.  She was a bully and is very bossy.  She thinks she knows EVERYTHING and she thinks she’s absolutely right about everything.  She has no humility or ever thinks she might be able to learn something knew or that maybe at 35 yrs old, that she doesn’t know it all.  She’s the baby of the family and still acts like it.

I find it interesting that if my husband, son and I take a trip with my biological father and his wife, then my sister pushes my mom and step-dad into going on a vacation together.  My sister seems to have a desire to make more money than us, and have the same car as us. She seems to be in competition with herself.

I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago…  I have a couple stories that go with this one…

Story #1:  I was waiting for the doctor’s office to call with news as to whether the cancer had spread to my liver or not.  (Liver biopsy)  IF the cancer had reached my liver, that meant that my cancer was stage 4 and terminal.  While we were waiting for that phone call, my sister called and wanted to know if we knew what time a certain basketball game was going to be on.  So we told her the time and she said, “You don’t sound very happy.  What’s wrong with you?”  So I explained that we were waiting to hear from the dr about my liver and what it meant if it was in my liver.  She replied, “Geez, Maggie!  You don’t have to be all negative.”  I said, “Whatever” and hung up.  

The next day I get a call from my Mom, yelling at me, “What did you say to your sister?!?  She’s all upset and telling everyone that you’re dying!”

All I could think was… are you serious?  I’m the one who has cancer and yes, I am dying.  But I’m getting yelled at because my sister is all upset about it???  This is seriously screwed up!

Story #2:  A needle biopsy had been done first to determine that I had cancer.  So when I had surgery, my Mom was there.  However, I found out later, that part of the reason that she was there was to make sure I wasn’t making it up and that I really had cancer.  (This was prior to story #1)  Apparently, my sister was telling the whole family that I didn’t have cancer and I was making the whole thing up.  My Mom told me that she had to tell my sister that she (my mom) was there after my surgery when the surgeon came out to talk to the family and she heard with her own ears that the surgeon did in fact say that I had cancer.  I’m thinking WTH???  WHY do they think I would lie about something like that?  And where in the past have I given them reason to doubt me?

After being diagnosed with cancer, I heard nothing from my brother or sister.  Not a phone call, not a card, not even so much as an e-mail.  It wasn’t until after I told my mom that I hadn’t heard anything from either one of them that suddenly my sister sent something to me – about a YEAR after my diagnosis.

It’s the holiday season again which tends to bring all of this stuff up again.  There is always a fight about me not wanting to be anywhere around my sister.  My therapist told me that they (my family) will NEVER get it.  They will never understand how I feel or accept or realize that they’ve done anything wrong.  It’s hard and upsetting to me.  I wish they could or would understand how they’ve treated me over the years.  How much damage and hurt they’ve caused.  How abusive that was.  Ironically, when they see other people being treated that way, they recognize that it’s abusive…  I just don’t get it.

My Mom has helped me off and on through this whole thing.  Although I feel like every time she goes to a drs appointment with me is going to result in a report back to the rest of the family as to whether or not i’m telling the truth.  And often times I get a phone call quizzing me as to what EXACTLY the dr said – and I can tell someone is questioning her on the details.

If you have something similar going on in your family, have something supportive to say, you’re welcome to respond.