Post # 1
I’m so torn up inside. I got a job offer to move across the country to finally be with my SO of 4 years. I’m already super scared at the prospect of leaving what i’ve known to try something new and take a risk on my personal life. Tonight it became much more complicated by the fact my older sister (i’m 29, she’s 33) kept me on the phone for 2 hours while she wept (wept like the can’t-catch-your-breath type) over the fact i’m considering leaving my job here. She and I were never close and presently lives a 3 hour flight away, so it isn’t like I’m leaving a super great relationship with her. I presently work in finance (but have no background or education in it; I just fell into a very low-level job in it)and have been offered a job in retail management, so she was crying about how if i take that job, it will be the end of the road for me career wise; crying that if I move, I will never be able to move back; crying that the job offer doesn’t have a clearly outline career trajectory set up for me so that must mean they will eventually fire me; crying about how she will never see me because plane tickets are too expensive…..the list goes on and on.
she has never been diagnosed, but my own personal therapist has suggested that it seems apparent that she suffers from borderline personality disorder and cannot handle my change of routine and it taking it as a personal attack and abandonment. I know that if she does indeed have this disorder, her reactions are not her fault and she can’t regulate how drastically she views progress.
the problem is, her having this reaction makes me wonder if it is just so much easier to not take the job just to keep her happy. Typing that out makes me see how crazy that idea is…but I do wonder if it is easier. How do I sleep at night knowing that my actions make my sister weep uncontrollably? How can I be that selfish? I want to know that my family supports me, and my sister obviously does not. I am so resentful of her basically dictating my life. I can’t believe I am sitting here honestly wondering if I should not move (which would end my relationship) because dealing with her is so emotionally exhausting I cannot handle it anymore.
Post # 3
You move to your Fiancee. Thats what is important, and if your sister is going to keep doing what she does, then let her. No one is allowed to dictate your life but you. Don’t ruin a beautiful relationship all because your sister is emotionally abusive to you.
Is she going to be there to give you children and a family? No. But your Fiance will.
Personality disorder or not, it is emotionally abusive to you.
Post # 4
@bluehydrangeas: I am so resentful of her basically dictating my life.
She’s an adult and if she does in fact have this disorder, she should seek help; perhaps you should suggest it for her (although, who knows how she’ll take that). I personally feel that you can’t put your life on hold for someone elses issues. If you stay you’re going to be always thinking “What if I moved and took that job?” You’ll grow to resent her and that’s not going to help your relationship either. Like you said, these emotions she’s experiencing are likely a reflection on her feeling abandoned, not necessarily her goodwill or worry towards/for you and your career. Also, and I don’t mean this in the wrong way and I’m not a therapist or psychiatrist, but it’s co-dependent to stay and encourage this behavior, right? If things don’t work out you can probably move back?
…but I do wonder if it is easier
Just because something is easie, doesn’t mean it’s right or more worthwhile.
Post # 5
Your sister is an adult and she is responsible for her own life. If she’s unhappy or unable to cope with normal stuff like this, she should be seeking help for that. You shouldn’t let her make you feel guilty for living your own life. Your actions aren’t making her weep uncontrollably, she’s doing that because of her own personal issues, I mean, you said it yourself, despite all her crying, she was really just upset about how it would affect her.
Remember, looking out for yourself is smart not selfish. If you don’t focus on taking care of yourself, no one else will do it for you.
Post # 6
@bluehydrangeas: if you already live 3 hours away from each other, it is not as if you see each other daily. She might be upset as she feels you have a good opportunity that she doesnt. You still need to live your life, if she has a personality disorder, nothing you do may ever be enough for her. Sometime you can give and give and give until there is nothing left to give. Just try to reassure her you can skype, talk on the phone, text, email, visit etc. Dotn’ change your life (and your SO’s life) for her if it goes against what you really want to do.
Post # 7
As a recovered borderline myself, I would advise you not to have any guilt over your sister being upset. Borderlines are master manipulators. Live your own life with your own best interested in mind and don’t worry about your sister. If you give in to the tantrums, it will never end. She may not be able to control her feelings of abandonment, but believe me, she will get over it.
Post # 8
You have to do what is best for YOU, not your sister.
Post # 9
My Fiance has a cousin with Borderline personality, and believe me, don’t let her hold you back. This is typical behavior as BPDs are extremely manipulative. People with this condition also have a hard time adjusting to change and can not see outside of themselves. Instead of being happy for you and your new opportunity, she is only thinking of herself and how much more difficult it will be for her to see you. While I feel bad for her sickness, you have to seperate yourself from her feelings. People with this disorder only care about themselves and what XYZ means to them, they have a hard time grasping the whole picture and seeing how their behavior affects those around them. They feel everyone must follow their rules, but the same rules don’t apply to them. It is extremely frustrating, and in my experience, even when diagnosed people like this will never commit to keeping on medications and will always be on and off. She is your sister and you love her, but don’t let her get you down. Her situation is unfortunate, but if she is truly BPD it will be toxic for you to be around her, and you will always hold resentment toward her that she held you back from this opportunity.
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Tell her you love her and you would love it if she comes to visit you in your new home with your SO once you get settled in. Moving doesn’t mean you don’t love her, it just means it’s time for you to move on to the next chapter of your life. If she cannot understand (and I am guessing she won’t) then you just have to deal with it. When she calls crying reiterate that you lvoe her but you’re moving and that unless she calms down and stops crying over it, you can’t talk with her about it anymore. Do not feed into her mental illness; suggest that she see a therapist about it if she doesn’t already do so.
Post # 11
She can only ruin your life if you let her. Sorry if this sounds insensitive, but she is a grown adult and it is not your job to make life decisions based on her. There is nothing to say that if you stay in your current situation it will make her any happier, or “better”. It sounds like she needs professional help-you staying in a situation you are unhappoy in is most certainly not the help she needs.
Also, think about how staying will affect your relationship with your Fiance. He is your future. Do what will be best for that relationship.
Post # 12
Thank you so much for your replies. It truly helps to have outside opinions and I appreciate them so much. I wish things could have calmed down since last night, but my sister now is at the bargaining stage and attempting to pull every string to see if she can get me interviews here so I don’t leave. If she knew so many people, why has she been holding out so long in contacting them? She claims that she didn’t considering helping me get out of this job I hate because I didn’t explicitly ask for her help. She has now biased my previously supportive mother against me and the situation.
I cannot believe it is so hard for people to let you live your life and if you make mistakes, be there for you. Isn’t that the point of living? If I stay here, I have nothing other than a job. I know my family wants the best for me, but to respect the fact I’m 29 and capable of making decisions. I was unaware 30 year olds needed to ask for permission still.
Post # 13
@bluehydrangeas: WOW. She is basically saying she would rather you be unhappy and not live with your SO rather than have you happy. So… now understanding her motivations, what are you going to do? This should should be incredibly easy for you to answer.
Post # 14
I remember many years ago Miss Manners offering advice on some topic or other that came down to ‘state your story and just keep repeating it until they go away.’ In this case, that would mean saying over and over and OVER: “I can tell by your crying that you’re finding my decision difficult to accept, I’m so sorry about that, but I’m sure it will be better for you over time.” “I see this is causing you some pain, but I need to live my own life and be happy and I know that because you love me you will support it in time.” “I’m so sorry this is distressing for you but my decision is final” – Just keep repeating them. Don’t negotiate, don’t waffle, do not allow your family to manipulate you or hold you hostage with their emotions. She *will* accept it over time. And, By The Way, you are not ending your career. If at some point in the future you want to return to finance, you can do so. My sister decided to change careers from stay at home mom to finance at the age of 45 – she did have to get some additional education, but her career is going gangbusters now.
Post # 15
@MrsWoW: “”I’m so sorry this is distressing for you but my decision is final” YES.
OP, this is exactly what she needs to hear. She’s bargaining because she thinks she has wiggle room. This is FINAL. And you don’t need to answer to her, I understand that you have a good heart but you do realize you’re just kind of her toy right now, right? Nip it in the bud and start making your moving arrangements. Good luck!
Post # 16
The catch phrase of borderline personality disorder is “I hate you…don’t leave me!”
Sound like your sister?
There is no reason in the world why you should not move to take this career change and be with your SO. If she really does have BPD, her thoughts are not rational, and you need to accept that. You clearly have some of your own concerns and fears and maybe what she said is making those concerns seem bigger?
In my experience, when it comes to dealing with people with mental illnesses, you need to build some solid boundaries and really try to build up an immunity from some of the things they can say when they are being irrational.