Ask Amy: Sister responds to family trauma by wallowing in her own self-pity
4 min read
During a very hard year, her sister offered little support. Now that she's having a hard time, the tables have turned
Dear Amy: I have had a horrific pandemic year: Pandemic, breast cancer diagnosis, a child with depression, suicide ideation and a long stay in a psychiatric facility for them — and our business almost failed. All of these have turned out OK, but we are still reeling.

My sister tends to be extremely self-centered. She tried a little to be supportive, but I really got tired of the hug and heart emojis she sent me as support.

I also got tired of her telling me how great I looked.

Neither of those are very supportive gestures from a 50-year-old woman.

When I told my family about our business failing, she texted back saying how helpless she felt … blah, blah, blah.

She relies on me visiting our parents, even though she goes on vacation.

We don't have the greatest sister relationship.

She just had a personal health crisis which was scary and worrisome, and I am finding it really hard to send her support. I am still dealing with all of my traumas and I don't know how to ignore my resentments toward her. There is only so much I can handle right now.

I guess I keep hoping that at some point she will grow up and we could have a better relationship. She is better now than she was 15 years ago.

Any ideas?

– Struggling

Dear Struggling: Your choices in responding to this sister are:

Do nothing, which changes nothing (you continue to stew in your juice and resent her).

Send her a few hug and heart…
Amy Dickinson
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