Where to draw the line for family member's request

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New Contributor

Where to draw the line for family member's request

My sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago. She often uses her illness to get family members to do what she wants. Is this common and where do you draw the line? Her request right now has been for me to speak with an estranged family member who is very abusive.

4 REPLIES 4
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Super Contributor

Re: Where to draw the line for family member's request

Hi Mitsy,

 

Don't let anyone force you to do something you don't want to do.  No matter how sick they are, they have no rights to make anyone do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.  I have heard of some people with cancer who play it up quite a bit.  

At the end of the day,  only you can decide if you are willing to do what they ask.

 

Budgie 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Where to draw the line for family member's request

Hi Misty,

I agree with Budgie entirely. Assuming you do make contact with your estranged, abusive family member. The meeting goes pear shaped and you are left regretting the whole thing, how is that experience going to leave you feeling toward your sister.

No, best just to say, straight out to your sister, your there to help but can’t go down that path. It’s best for both of you.

Good luck

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New Contributor

Re: Where to draw the line for family member's request

Thanks so much for the confirmation. I drive 3 hours to bring my sister to treatments, cook meals and drive her around on errands. I bring food to her house and take her and her husband to dinner. It hurt that I was told I was selfish. I talk to her every day and listen to her struggles.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Where to draw the line for family member's request

The thing is Mitsy, your sister has had this terrible disease for 3 years now. She has had a chance to get into a routine. Obviously the routine is variable, depending on tests & treatment. 

I have no idea how her relationship is with her husband, good, great or better, I hope.At the end of the day, he is with her a lot of the time. He is probably in as much of a rut, routine as  she is. That’s where you fit in. Her husband knows most everything about her & her cancer. You on the other hand know SO much more.

You have lived in her life, in it’s entirety. You know when she is looking for sympathy, looking to get that extra pat on the back, from mum & dad, as kids. Everything, nothing can escape you. 

she is using your unbreakable ties to get to a happier place, like when you were kids. That’s good, that’s what brothers & sisters do, but you need to let her know, there are limitations. Your there, you help, and your a great sister,but, it cannot take over your life.

 

without sounding horrible, your sister has the cancer and your not meant to suffer it by proxy, with her. A sibling is a support, not a crutch. Love her, but don’t die from the stress in helping her.

 

Thats my thought. I really wish you and your sister all the best.

 

Lindsay

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