Loving From a Distance

| 3/10/2015 4:48:00 PM

Family fight

Tim White, PhD, LPC, NCC offers advice on family planning and parenting, LGBT issues, disability issues, education and work issues, relationships, ethics and "unusual" social issues. Send questions to Tim for future columns through his website.

Sometimes, you have to love people from a distance and give them the space and time to get their minds right before you let them back into your life. - Robert Tew

Hi Tim,

I’m a middle-aged woman with an elderly mother and two older siblings. My brother is never around unless he needs something, and my sister lives much closer to Mom than I do. Mother’s Day is approaching and my brother will never show up or call, but I’ll be there and so will my sister, who never fails to turn every holiday into drama by berating Mom about all her past failings. Mom wasn’t perfect, but nor were we abused or neglected. Mom always cared for us and kept us safe, even when our father disappeared after I was born. Still, my sister constantly reminds her that she’s a disappointment and bad mother, sometimes directly but always passive-aggressively. When I defend my mother, my sister turns on me. I dislike my sister and I’ve come to terms with the fact that she’s just an unpleasant person I don’t want in my life. I don’t feel much differently about my brother. But I like Mom and want to make her happy; what can I do?

- Peacemaker

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