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Dad is being a jerk to my sister

  • 14-02-2020 6:16pm
    Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭

    My dad is an asshole to my sister. She's 23 and lives at home and works in the local shop. Today is our mothers 7th anniversary. My mother and I had a very bad relationship, she was extremely abusive (verbally and physically, she went to great lengths to make life difficult for me) however despite this my sister and her were very close. She passed away extremely suddenly and my dad and her were still together at the time, however they were quintessentially a couple who got married cause it was the done thing. I really don't think there was any love there at all. Anyways my dad got a new girlfriend a year ago. Today my sister was apparently a mess at home crying. Our dad got furious with her and started yelling and shouting at her, she went into work but basically got sent home cause she was such an emotional mess. Our dad is furious. He's gone off and booked her an appointment at the gp for Monday as apparently she's mentally unwell to still be this upset 7 years on. He's a jerk to her in general. I tried explaining to him people grieve at different paces (he has a new partner who actually likes, my sister is still torn up, she can't subside the pain with a new mother) and not to tell at her. But my dad is an old man set in his ways and doesn't listen to anyone. I dont know how to make him see sense, or help my sister feel better. I can't reminisce with my sister, all my memories are bad. I don't know what to do. Any advice?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    7 years is a bit long to be 'a mess' on an anniversary imo- allowing of course that we are all different.

    does your sister be 'ok' besides, and has your dad any other basis for booking the gp appointment?

    and, again, we're all different, but you don't seem to consider that it's a strange day for your dad and his new partner too- whatever your projection of his relationship with your mother, he was with her a long time.

    from your description, nobody is handling the day well, but I'm not sure that you coming down all on one side is necessarily a good reaction either. can you try to be a go-between and appeal for everyone to go a bit easier? that would be my advice.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,278 Mod ✭✭✭✭The_Conductor

    All you can really do is be there for your sister.
    Different people grieve in different ways- you don't grieve for your mother, but you recognise that your sister does.
    How about doing something with her as her sister, to show that you support her as a sister?

    As an aside- your Dad is being a right stronzo to behave in such a manner towards your sister.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13

    Sorry, I don’t understand this:

    “(he has a new partner who actually likes, my sister is still torn up, she can't subside the pain with a new mother) and not to tell at her.”

    Can you explain this?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,891 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    I don't agree with the person who says 7 years is too long.
    Anniversarys are highly charged, emotional days.
    Everyone takes them different.
    I wouldn't be hard on the duster for being so upset.
    Anyway, OP unfortunately there's nothing you can do to change your father at this age of his life nor is it fair to try to.
    Just acknowledge he is as he is and put your energy into your sister.
    You don't have to sit reminiscing about your mam if that makes you uncomfortable but you can do something neutral with her this weekend.
    Go to a movie together, go for lunch etc.
    Also, can you help her in transitioning to get her own accommodation?
    She's clearly living in an tense atmosphere with your dad.
    It might be time for her to find her own space.

    To thine own self be true

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,252 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    Your sister is 23. Maybe time to leave the nest if she is not happy there (on the assumption that it is your Dads house).

    7 years is a very long time to be still getting into an 'emotional mess'. Does your sister need extra supports?

    You say your Dad is an 'old man' but to have a daughter who is only 23 he cannot be that old?? What age is he?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,695 ✭✭✭December2012

    Your sister was 16 when your mother died? Did she ever get any counselling then? Maybe going to the Dr to work on her grieving process will be beneficial.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13

    A few questions:

    - can your father legitimately book an appointment for another adult (your sister). I would have thought (perhaps wrongly) that the GP would query that
    - did your sister ever get grief counselling? Feeling that upset after 7 years does seem somewhat unusual
    - even though you weren’t grieving for your mother on the anniversary of her death (which sounds very understandable, given the circumstances), could you not have brought your sister out or engaged with her?
    - do you think her level of upset was compounded by the fact that your father has a new partner?
    - is it time for your sister to move out of home? Could there be underlying conflict arising from her still living at home/possibly (I don’t know, but it sounds like she may be on minimum wage) being financially reliant on you father?
    - how did you and your sister get on with your father when your mother was alive? Or now.

    You don’t have to answer any of these points! I just raise them as they could be relevant/worth thinking about

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,676 ✭✭✭strandroad

    qwerty13 wrote: »
    Sorry, I don’t understand this:

    “(he has a new partner who actually likes, my sister is still torn up, she can't subside the pain with a new mother) and not to tell at her.”

    Can you explain this?

    I read it that the father (who never loved the mother in the first place) has a new successful relationship to help him move on, and the sister does not have such comforts and no one to move into her mother's role.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork

    Is your sister moving out of home an option? I think if she was able to move out of home - even into a houseshare - it would ease the tensions somewhat. Would your father be open to giving her some money towards the rent if her job doesn't pay well enough to cover it comfortably?

    I see a couple of things going on here. Your sister was very young when her mother died and she is still struggling to process that loss. She probably shouldn't be in as much of a mess 7 years on as she is but she is a a victim of circumstances beyond her control. Your father doesn't sound like the sort of person she could turn to after her bereavement and that's not helping her heal. Did she talk to any of you? Anyone else?

    It is undoubtedly very difficult for your sister to deal with your father moving on with another woman. It is something that many people find challenging anyway but it's even harder for your sister. I don't think it's helpful for anybody that she is still living at home. If your father is bringing his girlfriend back to the house, that's not going to be easy for her at all. In fact, it's probably upsetting her greatly, even though your father isn't doing anything wrong. Looking at this from your father's point of view, he probably wishes he could have some privacy at this point too. There is probably a bit of "this house ain't big enough for the both of us" going on here, along with your sister's grief. Accepting that your old childhood home/environment is gone forever can be very hard for people to get to grips with.

    Your father's attitude towards your sister isn't helping at all. But if this is the way he has been behaving all along, then she needs to accept that he's a jerk and she has to protect her own mental health. Putting a bit of distance - geographical and emotional - between the pair of them might help things immensely.

  • Registered Users Posts: 461 ✭✭Pistachio19

    Id say your sister feels very alone in her grief. You all had different relationships with your mother so therefore you probably cannot understand each other's grief. She has every right to still be very upset after 7 years. There is no time limit on grieving and your father's attitude is appalling. Your father has every right to meet someone else and move on. You have every right not to get upset thinking about your mothers anniversary. None of you are wrong. However, a little compassion towards your sister wouldn't bloody well kill your father at this time! I'd strongly encourage your sister to get counselling, be it through bereavement group meetings (if there are any locally) or one to one counselling. She should also be encouraged to find somewhere else to live and start being more independent from your father. He doesn't sound like a very nice person to live with.

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