She Used to Love Me

Question:

Hi Mrs. Naylor! I wanted to tell you that you did a very good job on Alice in Charge. It was so real. I love how you have different topics in each book. But here’s my real question: I have an older sister who who really hates me for some reason. I remember when she used to love me and we would have sleepovers in her room. But that all changed. A few days ago she came over to our house to pick up her 2 year old son. She had to take a quiz first on the computer and got mad because I was on it. Then she wanted to use my phone charger but I really didn’t want her to use it because she always takes things from me. So we got into this fight but it was really her who did most of the talking (or yelling). I finally got up to get the charger because she was scarying me a little. When I handed it to her she rips it out of my hands and calls me this really mean and bad name. It was like the worst possible name you could call someone. My dad heard her too, and he yells at her, but she doesn’t listen because he’s her stepdad. What I’m trying to say is, should I tell my mom or not?, and if I do tell her how do I tell her? My mom loves my sister though, she’ll probably just yell at her and then take her out to lunch.

Phyllis replied:

 

Not knowing any more than what you’ve told me, my guess is that you have very little to do with your sister’s unhappiness, and she does seem like an unhappy person to me.  I don’t know if she’s a single mom or what, but I think you may be getting the brunt of some of her anger simply because you’re there.  She showed her love for you when she was younger and probably not burdened with some of the problems she has now, and it’s even possible she’s jealous of the life you have that she used to enjoy.  Unless there is a real issue between you two that I don’t know about, why don’t you try dealing with her first before letting your mom in on it.  The next time she is over at your house and she is ranting at you, say calmly, with concern, “Jane, I wish I knew why you are so unhappy lately.  I wish I could help.”  This should startle her.  It could, of course, make her more angry, but it should also make her think.

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