Keeping relationship with my dad, minus one of his kids?
March 11, 2014 12:16 PM Subscribe
I think my half-sister has some sort of personality disorder, and I want to limit her involvement in my life going forward. But I still want to have a relationship with our mutual father...
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a long history with my half-sister (who is 26) of trying to be friends with her, having a good single outing, then having something go wrong shortly after that where she cuts me out of her life. One time, she did not talk to me at all for three years because I forgot a family member's birthday (not hers) and she took up the cause.
The most recent was a lunch we had yesterday where she spent about two hours ranting about an aunt that we never see, intermixed with off-hand questions such as 'so, when you were a kid, do you remember your mom ever trying to poison your mind against Dad or anything like that?'
I was speaking with a family friend who happens to be a therapist (not of that type, and he has never met her, but still) and he said something about how people with 'personality disorders' can be difficult to really work with about stuff like this. I looked it up on Wikipedia and she has many of the hallmark features of borderline personality: a history of self-harming, a pattern of idealizing then devaluing others (me, the aunt, etc), paranoid thoughts when stressed, history of quitting jobs and being unsure of goal and direction etc.
Meanwhile, I am ten years older than she is and recently engaged. My fiance has a small child from a previous marriage, and is wary of exposing the child to her. He also does not want her to be present at the wedding and to create drama. I am fine with limiting my involvement with her, and have done so in the past.
But I do still have a relationship with my father, albeit a fairly minimal one, and I am not sure how to proceed without damaging that. She is a daddy's girl and if he had to choose sides, I have no doubt whatsoever that he would choose her. So how do I go about, for instance, inviting him to the wedding but saying she can't come? Inviting him when the stepson is visiting, but stipulating she can't come? Going on to have a child of my own and a family, and telling him he can be a grandpa but only if she doesn't come?
Therapist chuckled that once we don't invite her to the wedding, she'll probably be mad enough that she won't want to deal with us, and the problem will be solved. But how do I get through that initial conversation with my dad about this? Fwiw he has his own mental health baggage and we are not particularly close; I see him for coffee every two months or so and we talk on the phone occasionally.