Author Topic: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.  (Read 585 times)

sea storm

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My sister inherited a lot of money, about 300,000 dollars and it has made it nearly impossible for me to be around her. Money is soooooo powerful and I see that I totally got sucked in to ancient , primitive and age regressed behaviour. This money has been a long time coming and the aunt that sort of adopted my adult sister always treated my with extreme disgust. It was pretty odd and like something out of Charles Dickens.  This aunt was a twisted narcissist and yet at times I think that she was a case of arrested development. Anyway, my sister has a big problem with envy where I am concerned. She thinks I was treated better than her by my difficult mother. This auntie hated my mother. I mean HATE. She would tell stories about her that bordered on the delusional.
There was a time when I wanted to be part of my aunt's circle of trust and my sister would sabotage this every time. It is sickening to me.  I gave up and it was for the best. My aunt is very racist, homophobic, and pretty mean.
Since inheriting the money my sister wants me to move to the city she lives in and she will buy a posh house and I will live in an apartment in it. She changes her mind about this due to her overwhelming fear about spending one cent of the inheritance.
I thought it might be a Live Life Like the Waltons opportunity but now I would rather live in a cave than with my sister.
She is telling me all the things she is buying and it is hard to explain how creepy this feels to me. She has always been very frugal and now she is ten times more frugal and worries incessantly about preserving the money as a legacy and making sure she doesn't blow it.
I wish i could get along with my sister but it is probably impossible. At the same time, I am disgusted with myself because I would like a little help from her but that will never happen. I found it hard to tell her I didn't think we could live together and I let her know that I am sick of her micro managing, over bearing, bossy and controlling behaviour. I  just can't stand how she is about this money and how she feels entitled to control me. There is nothing for me in moving into an apartment and paying her rent. I have my own cute little house and a lovely yard.
She is my older sister and she has a strange power over me. Sort of a dominatrix thing. Good grief. That sounds pretty weird but I am spilling the beans here.
She finally has the upper hand with the money and it creeps me out.  Ok here is an example: I drove one and a half hours to have lunch with her. She paid for lunch  and expected a great big thanks for that. I spent more on gas than the lunch cost or maybe it was just even steven. Parsimonious, penny pinching. She complains about how difficult it is to do housework but she wont spend a cent on a housekeeper because she cant stand anyone disturbing her stuff.
What a frigging rant.
I feel bad about telling her off and I really let her have it. In my heart I think it is never good to do that no matter what. THE way that the cousins manipulated to be in the will was very creepy and I lost a lot of respect for them. Now I need to be a better buddhist  or gain insight into my own resentment and control issues. This is really bothering me so I hope some of you can tell me about your experiences or what you know about this mad sibling envy and manipulation.
For some reason I didn;t want to mention that she has a diagnosis of Bi Polar and she doesn;t take medication. She is hugely insulted at the very idea of taking medication. This is no picnic and in the past I have been supportive when no one else has.       
Sea

Twoapenny

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2017, 03:26:51 AM »
Sea, that's tough.  I have struggled with all of my siblings, to the point where I have very limited contact now with three of them and none at all with the other two.  By limited contact I mean texts and the odd get together with one, a Christmas email exchange with another and a Christmas and Birthday phone call with the third.

My personal feeling is that families can be difficult even with any major health problems or dysfunction.  Add narcissism, favouritism, abuse, etc etc and it just becomes a whole shit storm to deal with, not least, I think, because each interaction brings up a thousand things that happened before.

I have also struggled over the years with watching abusive, dysfunctional people who've done terrible things to me receive large sums of cash that they haven't had to work for and live very comfortable financial lives, whilst I have struggled on a low income, scrimping and scraping and going without.  I've found myself to be very judgemental at times, to people I know who blow a lot of cash on unnecessaries - booze, tobacco, scratch cards and so on - and then claim I am 'loaded' because I have savings.  My savings are minimal and what I have is in there because I go without things like booze and fags and we don't have things like Sky or smartphones.

So - my way of coping - as it is with everything now - is to try and focus on me and channel what I feel into something else - write a poem, clean the oven, go for a long walk, sit and watch TV and eat a bar of chocolate.  I have stopped trying not to feel the way I do at times.  I'm trying to work towards recognising it but using it in a more productive way.  I'm not finding it easy but I'm not sure, what, if anything, can be done.  Feelings are there and I've never found I can dismiss them quickly or easily so I'm trying to work with that at the moment.  I am glad you're not going to move in with her, though, that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

The only other thing I can think of is with things like the lunch you mention (I've experienced similar in the past).  If you need/want to meet up, make it somewhere half way between the two so it isn't down to one of you to do all the driving.  Alternate paying the bill or split it 50/50 each time.  If she won't agree to that then there's nothing wrong with you not meeting up and just conversing by phone instead (which is easier for you to control as you can just get off the phone if your head starts melting).

I do feel for you, it's a shitty situation to be in xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 08:20:00 AM »
Sea - it's OK that the subject of money brings up uncomfortable feelings, along with the old stuff in the family history. Bound to, no way around it. It surely doesn't make you a bad person.

When my Dad died and the lawyer & trustee began educating my brother & I on just how much money was involved in our inheritance, I distinctly remember feeling a swoon come on. It was that life-changing to someone who'd spent all her life at that point intensely involved in managing where every penny was spent, just on the necessities. And making do, and doing without to be able to cover those.

My brother and I have totally different attitudes about money, although there are some in common. He stashes his away and forgets about it - completely. I don't think he wants to face and resolve the conflict of his feelings about spending money vs watching the bottomline grow every month. It can't be called miserly really - and he's not saving it for any other reason than to pat himself on the back every month at how much more there is. He is another, like me, who has a hard time giving himself permission to enjoy himself.

I DO still cringe about spending money and can be totally anxious about my budget. Buying curtains for the new windows in the bedroom & living room - the sum total with shipping almost was physically painful. I had to remind myself that they have a functional purpose (not chust fer purty) in helping to manage heat & a/c. No one but a helicopter pilot is going to be able to see in my windows; and the new ones are energy efficient... but blinds and curtains are necessary in the extremes of summer & winter. And I'd been wanting a silk-look fabric in my bedroom for a long time - just a little girly and pretty - and there's no guy here to tell me it's too foo-foo.

My philosophy is that a big pile of money sitting somewhere does no good, at all... and in many ways that growing pile does pass the tipping point of providing security to "the root of all evil". I want to enjoy the opportunities that money has the power to obtain - not just for me, but for others - so it allows me to start teaching the kids how to manage money better. You can't manage what you don't have. It also lets us do things together that we couldn't have, without it. But it's just a tool or resource and not a replacement for real relationships.

What I'm hearing most from your description is that the relationship with your sister and your feelings about it, are the true issue here. Money figures in as the catalyst for throwing that relationship into high relief again. And there is still a lot there to deal with.

Maybe you remember - at the time my Dad died I hadn't had a relationship with my Mom and brother to speak of, for years and years. Yes we talked. Or rather my mom talked and I just made sounds like I was listening. So when Bro & I became business partners there was that whole ancient history of us, the current void of no relationship or even appreciation for knowledge/skills gained in the intervening years, nor the pressures of our current obligations. Old canards, stereotypes and family pecking order slots took over... and I even seriously considered just selling my half of the business to him to not have to deal with him. He was that passive-aggressive and infuriating.

He and his wife (bi-polar, probably) spent 5-6 years in counseling. Probably divorcing soon - though knowing the Bro he's going to drag his feet through this change too. He now comes right out and says he hates change. Progress, LOL. When Mike died we talked a few times and he's had some heart issues that terrified him too. Our relationship has improved so dramatically it's like night and day. There is no stress, no drama... and we can just talk... and acknowledge how each other is different, without seeing that as a threat to our own lives. He still has his blind spots, but he notices more than I gave him credit for and his perspective (a very different way of processing facts and deciding things) has proven pretty useful and wise at times.

We're rebuilding trust - and we can do that because I went off and worked through my issues after getting help sorting it all out, and then so did he. We both had to look at our own places that we avoided acknowledging and reconcile them, before we could start working on what existed between us.

And I still have many days when the feeling of gratitude washes right over me for how things have turned out. So far.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 08:35:25 AM by sKePTiKal »
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sea storm

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 11:03:45 AM »
Thank you for your replies. Feeling the calm and care and wise words helps a lot and I read the posts several times.
It isn't about the money comes through and the relationship just got amped up because of the catalyst. So hard for me to take responsibility for my part and it is not a pretty picture. Apparently, I am selfish, greedy, envious  and resentful. So much so that I can't stand to even talk about it but I am talking about it.  Your kind words are helping me to get back my balance.

So many relationships are just imploding right now. My daughter is going through her own version of hell and although she is visiting her dying father, she is not coming to see me and is not talking to me. I have offended her. Since she lives in Ontario several thousand miles away I will miss seeing her. She didn't call or text or anything and on the day she is supposed to come there is no word. That is today. So I sent her a message saying whatever she needs to do is ok. It is my own fault that i went crazy cleaning up the house and buying groceries and getting stuff for the kids and finding things for them to do etc. Just have to let it go. I think it is all my fault but i sure cant fix the people I love and must let go. It is hard to be lonely but I must not be afraid.

I think it would be so great to work through these things with people I love and I don't want to be an obstacle in the way of their happiness. This will pass so I might as well not have a nervous breakdown over it but very tempting.

Sea

lighter

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 03:39:34 PM »
I'm sorry you're struggling, sea storm.

I'm sorry it's hard to work things out with the people we love. 

Lighter

sKePTiKal

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 07:25:15 AM »
Hang in there Sea! It's another day to try to do something differently or see it differently.

(I don't think you're those things you called yourself, in any amount more than normal human reflex. I too, envy some people, resent & fear some others - but not to the point that I can't enjoy them. When someone won't LET me enjoy them... well, there are a LOT of people on this planet.)
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Twoapenny

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 03:54:56 AM »
Thank you for your replies. Feeling the calm and care and wise words helps a lot and I read the posts several times.
It isn't about the money comes through and the relationship just got amped up because of the catalyst. So hard for me to take responsibility for my part and it is not a pretty picture. Apparently, I am selfish, greedy, envious  and resentful. So much so that I can't stand to even talk about it but I am talking about it.  Your kind words are helping me to get back my balance.

So many relationships are just imploding right now. My daughter is going through her own version of hell and although she is visiting her dying father, she is not coming to see me and is not talking to me. I have offended her. Since she lives in Ontario several thousand miles away I will miss seeing her. She didn't call or text or anything and on the day she is supposed to come there is no word. That is today. So I sent her a message saying whatever she needs to do is ok. It is my own fault that i went crazy cleaning up the house and buying groceries and getting stuff for the kids and finding things for them to do etc. Just have to let it go. I think it is all my fault but i sure cant fix the people I love and must let go. It is hard to be lonely but I must not be afraid.

I think it would be so great to work through these things with people I love and I don't want to be an obstacle in the way of their happiness. This will pass so I might as well not have a nervous breakdown over it but very tempting.

Sea

It's very hard, Sea, particularly when these big things hit all at the same time.  I'm sorry about your D and hope that things there get a bit easier.  I can get how her being focused on her dad would make her thoughtless (by not telling you she's not coming) and completely understand what it's like to put time and effort into something only for the other person not to turn up.  It does feel like a kick in the teeth.  I can only say the old, cliched thing, be kind to yourself, give yourself a treat, take yourself off to a spa or bookshop or down the pub, whatever it is you like to do.  Cry if you want to.  We're all here for you xx

One of the things I've found hardest to do is accept the less than perfect parts of my personality.  I have been called selfish, greedy, envious and resentful in the past, probably in much the same way as you have (because I voiced an opinion).  I have thought a lot about those things over the years and whether they really do apply to me.  I came to the conclusion that selfish and greedy definitely don't.  It's not selfish, or greedy, to put boundaries in place, refuse to do things or put up with abuse, or to want to be treated fairly.  It took me years to realise that I was being told I was selfish because I wanted safety and equality, basically.  Envious and resentful, yes, those things are me at times, as well as sometimes bitter, angry, hate filled (that one less so now but for quite a few years I was brimming over with hate for my mum and that really wasn't a nice place to be).  I also tend to blame other people for problems before I look to myself (victim mentality, sometimes).

I found it incredibly hard to accept that yes, some aspects of my personality aren't great but they are a part of my package and overall that package is a good one :)  There are things I would like to improve (and have improved on) but I definitely think that accepting my own faults has been one of the hardest parts of all of this for me.  So I am not saying that any of those things that you were told apply to you or are true about you but, if it did turn out that some of it is valid, it's not actually that big a deal.  We've all got a bit of that inside of us.  So again, I would say just try to be nice to yourself, Sea, and if some bits come up that you aren't keen on maybe just keep telling yourself it's okay to have a few mouldy bits :) xx

Hopalong

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 06:49:56 AM »
Sea, I think $300K given intentionally to my sibling in a way that deliberately hurts/excludes me sure would make me temporarily selfish, greedy and resentful!

Jeez. We expect ourselves to be such paragons of virtue sometimes. You have lived through fear and real struggle. Plus all the toxic dynamics to boot.

So, you blew. It's terribly hard to forgive oneself for exploding, especially if one is at core a gentle person. I understand that. But keep at it...you know you deserve your own kindness. It's hardest to give when you most need it.

I forgive you.

love,
Hops
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JustKathy

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 07:04:57 PM »
Hi Sea,

Ns absolutely delight at the idea of using their wills to tear families apart. It sure sounds like your Aunt made a very calculated move, knowing the will would drive a wedge between you and your sister. My mother did something similar, and it worked. I think, for an N, the will is the final f*ck you that gives them comfort near the end. It gives them a sort of immortality. They may be gone, but they know their manipulation will continue. 

My father is still living, but my NM had the will changed before she died with the intention of driving a wedge between her three children. It worked. My brother, the GC, had been sole heir, but was completely disinherited because NM did not approve of his wife. I was also disinherited, though that came as no surprise. My sister will now inherit everything when my father passes. Her new status as GC and sole heir has changed her in ways I never would have imagined. She went from being a shy, quiet, downtrodden daughter, to suddenly assuming the position of Queen. Shes become as wicked as NM, and I dont see her changing back. As with your sister, mine also feels entitled to control me. When she emailed me about the change in the will, she wrote, as executor, I suppose Ill try to be fair to you. Man, that is so cold and condescending.

The damned thing about money is that we all need it. When one gets a huge amount and the other gets none, there are going to be problems. What I don't understand is how the child who is left out ends up blaming herself, or hating herself for simply speaking up in her own defense. Maybe it's a actually a good thing. We're sensitive to the feelings of others. We're not bad people; we've just been manipulated into thinking that we are. :(

Twoapenny

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 04:15:27 AM »
Kathy that's a good point about Ns using wills as a final control, I hadn't thought of that.  My mum's disinherited all of us over the years, lol, I am quite sure she will have found a way to pass on her debts or something though :)

sea storm

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2017, 02:45:16 PM »
Thank you dear people for your wonderfully helpful insights and support. It is true that the rich auntie was a bona fide narcissist and she has sent out her final thunderbolt and sent the family into a spin. Winners and losers. Of course i am a loser however I will send back her poisonous gift of shame and exclusion with a tiny card that says thanks but no thanks. I can thank you guys for helping me restore my balance and feel ok again.

My daughter was too busy to call and she is moving back out west if she can swing it. She is also swamped with PHD last minute changes to her thesis and she defends her thesis on September 13. She came to visit for two nights and it went really well. At one point we were sitting on the couch together and she put her head on my shoulder and it was the sweetest thing. She cried when she left and told me she misses me. So I was manufacturing all the rejection in my head. Not all of it but most. She also talked about how hard it is to be with her dad because the deep conversation never comes, instead he prefers to talk to a handyman that he has never met.  Even though he is probably dying.

Last night I had a dream and I was yelling at him and telling him what a bastard he is and was and will always be. I woke up kind of freaked out about being so blatantly angry. Now I think I don't want to be consumed by a narcissist. I want my own life and I am not so depressed that I will just take scraps. No more just taking scraps. Scraps of inheritance are not going to dominate my story or my life. Scraps of affection aren't what it is all about. I can let go of desperately wanting a sense of family and have life worth living. I actually enjoy my own company more often. Right now I am really self centred and paddling as fast as I can to make it to safe ground.You would laugh if you could see how sweet my life looks on the outside. But inside there are sharks circling.

I ran beside my three year old grandson on his bicycle yesterday and we went for nearly three blocks. What a funny sight we made. Him on his four wheeled horsie and me trying to keep up or stopping to pick blackberries. But it was the sweetest thing. Lily took the bridle and pulled him with it while he lifted up his feet. We went to the park and they were soooo happy. A running three year old is so adorable. His big sister has flaming red hair and she was busy going in circles on a spinning tire. Good to remember that adults are really nuts.

I am not speaking to my sister. I can't stand it. The money talk is putrid and heartbreaking. There is no way out of it. and I must deal with my greed and disappointment. I told her I don't want any money and she can stuff it. It is better that way.
It amazes me how I am thrown back to my childhood where I lived under her very bossy domination. She was particularly controlling and still is, one of the qualities i least like. I realize I am the creative one who burns the rice but I want to enjoy what life I have left to live. Even if I am overweight, even if I am alone, even if I am not rich, even though I am forgetful and distractable, even if ........ well you get the drift.

I also realize that I am no angel and must see my part in this.  I am not able to be supportive anymore  for my bi polar sister. I can't handle it and she doesnt want professional help. It is a rollercoaster ride I am too old and tired for. THE RAGES AND THE PARANOIA.

This reminds me of the old song.. Im soooooo tired.  Forget where it comes from.. Bernadette Peters sings in a bar in the wild west.

Love you guys and gynes,

Sea




lighter

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2017, 02:06:43 PM »


Sea:
You had a lovely visit with your DD and grandchildren.... your day outside with them sounded so nice.  I enjoyed reading about it.

About your anger at DD's father..... it's OK to be angry, and it's OK to process it as white hot energy.... whatever you need to do.  Write him a letter you won't send, or journal about it, paint it out, but maybe finish HAVING it for yourself.  You're entitled to all your emotions. They're a part of you, and they belong.... need to be heard, or they lurk and haunt us, IME.  I'll have to finish processing anger too, at some point.

The touching moment with your DD was a relief to read.  My oldest 16yo dd and I cried today, so many mixed signals and missed opportunities to connect, old wounds and history getting in the way of conversations in the present, IME.  It's painful when clear communication isn't a habit, IME.  I'm glad you had those moments after all the worry in your previous posts regarding her not coming to see you. 






I also realize that I am no angel and must see my part in this.  I am not able to be supportive anymore  for my bi polar sister. I can't handle it and she doesnt want professional help. It is a rollercoaster ride I am too old and tired for. THE RAGES AND THE PARANOIA.

You can't save your sister.  Withdrawing with love might put her in more discomfort, perhaps enough that she does seek out some professional help?  Not sure, but putting distance in place, bc you need it, is OK.  You might put more or less distance in place later on, as clarity settles for you.  You can love her the way you need to, not the way she wants you to, and that's OK too, IME.

This reminds me of the old song.. Im soooooo tired.  Forget where it comes from.. Bernadette Peters sings in a bar in the wild west.   Was it Madeline Kahn singing it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZnzYaboUkY 
In Blazing Saddles, I think.... I love that song: )
Lighter


Love you guys and gynes,

Sea





sea storm

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2017, 06:33:49 PM »
Thank Lighter

Yep I am tired. Ha ha ha. That is one funny video and so true. Thanks for posting it.

I am angry at dying ex. White hot mad and it is just coming out of my dreams and squashing me during the day so that I can hardly get out of bed. Now this is happening even though I had a lovely visit with lots of deep connection with my daughter and her family. I had forgotten how complex and difficult it is to share my child with this man. I don't want to be harnessed to that old plow and I will try some of the things you suggested.
Being angry at a dying person.  .............  I keep dreaming that we are having that final deep conversation but all I can do is scream and rave at him and wake up shaking, disappointed and ... missing him. I mean the golden good person in him that never quite made it to the surface.  nevertheless, I was madly in love and super bonded. All the stuff I tried to stuff down and now here it is. It is spoiling the present moment. Laughing at this.

thank you thank you for listening and caring enough to respond and help.

Sea

lighter

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2017, 12:40:15 PM »
 Sea:

Your relationship with your dd isn't what the anger is about.

I'm trying to say, however poorly, that you shouldn't be so critical of yourself.  You said the anger is strong "even though you had lovely visit with deep connections with dd." 

Lovely connection with dd does not = feeling less anger towards the ex, IMO. 

Lovely connection = feeling less distress and fear in your life.  It's a wonderful thing.  It = less distraction while you deal with the anger, IME.

The anger is the distraction, from lovely connection, that needs dealt with now. 

I wish I had Hops ability to speak with clarity.

Lighter
 

sKePTiKal

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Re: I am reacting strongly to my sister inheriting a lot of money.
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2017, 02:11:57 PM »
I'll try to help Lighter. Anger, being a specialty of mine - LOL.

It's perfectly possible for you to be really angry at your ex - and simultaneously have such a good time visiting with your D, Sea. This sounds like the long, slow anger that burns a long, long time it's so strong - and it's possible to damp it down to take time out to really enjoy yourself and others. Especially since you're angry over long past events, perhaps also - the anger is related to the end of his life too? Angry that time is running out to fix things or make amends or even come to some enlightment of understanding perhaps?

I'm still angry at Mike - and it's soon he'll be gone 2 years now. But on the scale of anger or life-altering reasons for anger... it's not that intense anymore. I NEVER try to "manage" my anger - I have to feel it searing through me like some deadly cosmic ray - and let it dissipate on it's own; or I'll have physical boomerang effects from trying to avoid it. Same with grief. And I guess, it's possible you might even grieve the old nemesis... and so a "pre-grief" phase might be fueling your anger too.

Possibilities to consider.
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