Sisterly Friction

By Annie Lane

July 22, 2017 4 min read

Dear Annie: My conflicts with my sister, "Amy," began when she crossed boundaries in an incident between our adult children. My daughter, "Leslie," decided that she no longer wanted to live in an apartment she shared with Amy's daughter. Amy's daughter, in turn, chastised Leslie and me, using vulgarity. Amy took her daughter's side and blamed us.

The conflicts then continued when it was time to settle our parents' estate. She refused to give me my inheritance. Her lawyer, who is a friend of hers, is biased and will not abide by the will, which says that all "should be fair and equitable." Nothing has been equitable for me. I left my job to care for my mother until her death. Amy did very little.

There are so many more problems between us. Amy is a narcissist. She has no respect for boundaries. She lashes out at others constantly. She talks poorly about everyone (family included) and passes judgment on everyone except her own children. She does nothing for others unless there is something in it for herself. She says, often and proudly, "I make other people do my dirty work."

She is toxic and has never apologized to me for anything, and I know she never will. She invites my family to her family events and pretends there is no problem. I have stayed clear of some family functions when she has been there. I have my own family events and have no desire to invite her or her adult children. (It is sad, but it is what it is.)

I have endured her bullying for many years but can no longer do it without losing my self-respect. I remain conflicted about this but don't want to be drawn into her chaos. I am done with taking the high road. What do you think? — Disgusted

Dear Disgusted: I think the high road is a good place to be if you're trying to gain distance from your sister; her route seems considerably lower. Don't let her drag you into that gutter. If you're concerned about getting your inheritance, hire your own lawyer to advocate for you so you don't have to battle it out yourself. Keep her out of your life, and don't involve yourself with hers. Loving her from afar might be the only way for you to love her.

Dear Annie: This is in response to a recent column of yours that featured a letter about children misbehaving in television commercials. The letter writer, "Watching in Disbelief," was upset to see such behavior presented as cute or otherwise acceptable. Dear "Watching": Say something!

I saw some advertisements on TV recently that sent bad messages. One showed young kids passing a big rig on a two-lane rural road. The driver was wearing a seat belt, but his girlfriend wasn't. I called and complained, and now it's gone. If you see something, say something. But be nice when saying it. — Taking Action

Dear Taking Action: Great points in your letter, especially that last one. We're always free to speak up, and it costs nothing to be polite when doing so.

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