My sisters and I were having a conversation about my aging father. I told them I would be willing to let my dad move in with me. Then, the elder sister started telling me how that would work – I would have to pursuade one of my kids out of their room so my dad had a door, and I would have to have him live with me for 5 months so that he could save money. When I thought about it, I decided that it wasn’t in the best interest of me or my kids to have my dad live with me at all. The next day I told my sisters this and suggested we find another solution. My eldest sister said, “What the F**k, Claire! I already told dad the plan, you can’t change it now.” I said I was sorry, but that was how I felt and I would let Dad know. Then she said,
“This is your piece now. This is how you are going to chip in. Since you changed the plan, you have to call dad’s sister and get her to pay his rent until the senior spot opens up”. I said, “No, I won’t do that.” She protested with something similar to what she wrote before, another sister joined in agreeing with the elder sister, and I wrote: “I can’t work with you like this, sister. It seems we are at an impasse. I am removing myself from this equation.” There were 2 more large paragraphs she sent that started with the words, “You can’t remove yourself from the equation…” that I didn’t read. I knew that if I read them, I wouldn’t soon be able to forget what she had said, and I would spin on it. So, I blocked both sisters for 3 days.
C: Sister said, “you will call dad’s sister and get her to pay dad’s rent until he get’s in to the senior center by you and then you will go get him and move him there”
T: I am not to be controlled
A: Tell sister I would not work with her like this, told sisters I was removing myself from the equation, deleted next three texts from sister before reading them, block sisters for 3 days, spin in head feeling guilty for changing my mind about my dad, feel judgement for my decision to block sisters, justify blocking the two of them, think my sisters should have behaved differently, don’t call them, think about the situation for three days, carry around worry that this would change how they felt about me and I would be excluded from events, exclude myself for the next 3 days.
R: I am not in control of my thoughts and emotions
I’m a little stuck on the R. Like somehow I am trying to control them. I know that I get to show up how I want to, and I get to set boundaries for self protection. The thing I am struggling with is how I brought this on myself thinking, “I am not to be controlled” or in reality, “she is trying to control me.” In practice, I know my sisters get to act how they want to, and I get to make their actions/words mean whatever I want to. When I think they are trying to control me, I think that I try to control them in a way – like control their communication to me – by blocking them.