Home Abuse Why Does my Sister Keep Fighting with Me?

Why Does my Sister Keep Fighting with Me?

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a teen in the U.S.: So freshman year of highschool, I developed really bad aniexty maybe depression I’m not sure but anyway, I was so sensitive and cried over everything like one time my brother looked cute and I cried because I thought of myself as a mean person and if anyone said anything mean ab me i cried. Always told myself I would get through it and stay strong because I have so much to live for.

I now am happy and that experience made me so grateful for everything around me. I live my life now and think about everything I say and do. That being said my sister always fights with me and will rip me apart. She will call me a wh*re and a b*tch for no reason and she says I have a God complex because she thinks im being crazy because i try to hold it in. I hold it in because i like to set an example and not curse in front of my younger siblings and i do even when im mad. but its like stop means keep going and she will record me yelling at her once she knows she got to me.

she is so manipulitive and i just want her to stop but all she says is “i dont care, i dont care” i care too much to say that especially since i always feel guilty about bad things i do and honesty is the best policy w me but she goes out of her way to make me mad but then when i flip out I look insane.

I just want her and I to be happy and she doesn’t care when my mother takes her computer away. My mom said we are going to therapy but i doubt that will happen due to her views on therapy. She thinks its nonsense. My sister has always been picked on by my older siblings so i protect her and yet when im the nicest and closest to her she picks on me. I just want to know whats happening with her. I can only take so much and we share a room and go to the same highschool. shes a freshman and recently lost her best friend so i support her but this started before she lost her friend. Maybe she feels alone? I know i make mistakes but she straight up doesn’t care HELP

I am very glad you wrote. You are correct that this isn’t normal sibling rivalry. Without talking to your sister, I don’t know what is going on for her but I have a couple of ideas for you to think about:

You said that your sister has been picked on by your older siblings. It may be that she doesn’t trust you even though you are nice to her. She may think it’s only a matter of time before you pick on her too. She can’t stand the anxiety of waiting for you to bully her too. She therefore provokes you until you confirm her worst fears that you are no different from the others.

It may also be that she has no idea how to be in a friendly relationship with a sibling. She provokes you because to her fighting is “normal.” Fighting does keep people connected with each other, even though it is an unhappy connection.

You are right that she doesn’t really need a fight. She needs help. But until she gets some help, the person who can change things, at least a little, is you.

You can’t change how your sister treats you. But you can do better at declining the invitations to fight. Remember: When you flip out, you are inadvertently showing her that her manipulations work. Instead of fighting, find a few phrases to use to respond like “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I love you too much to fight” and then quietly and calmly LEAVE the situation. You can go to another room. If she follows you, go for a walk. You can go to the library or a friend’s house. The exception to this is if she ever escalates to physically hurting you. Then do involve a parent immediately. Even then, keep as calm as you can. Stress your concerns about her, not your anger. Do tell her how much it means to you to have a sister to talk to whenever she is behaving decently.

Yes, this will be hard. Yes, it isn’t fair that you should have to put up with your sister’s abuse. Things aren’t always fair in families. I hope you can look at this as an exercise in teaching yourself how to stay centered in spite of what others say.

I hope your parents will reconsider their attitude toward therapy. You are 18. You can do the groundwork by looking for a therapist who specializes in family work. School guidance counselors often know where teens can get free or low cost therapy. Once you identify a therapist, you can give that information to your parents and see whether there is insurance to cover it.

If no one else in the family will go to therapy, please consider going yourself. You deserve to have the ongoing advice and support of a therapist.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

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