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I think I'm being bullied by my sister, but I don't know what to do

Hi, I've been having trouble with my sister for a long time. When we were younger it was really bad, got better, but now it's gotten worse again. She isn't necessarily nice to many people but kisses up to my mom a lot. I've talked to my mom and dad about it, but their solution is to just "let her be her". It took me a while to realize it, but she definitely bullies me. She can be fine one moment, and then the next say something really rude to me. She constantly eggs me on, and I'm pretty much a doormat so I let her. My mom said that I just had to grow thicker skin and not let it bug me as much, but I don't really know how to. I'm cyber-schooled and had to transfer out of my previous school due to mental health and self-harm issues. Since then I've pretty much lost contact with any of my old friends so I can't even talk to them about it. It's not even really what she says, it's how she says it. It's always really snarky and snide, and makes me feel terrible. Even though my mom tells me to stand-up for myself, I can't really tell the difference between stooping down to her level, or standing-up for myself. She's a lot better with smart remarks than I am, and even when I try to say something back, I just end up feeling worse than I did before. Specifically tonight, she was shining a flashlight in my face because she was drawing something, and I was trying to work on my graduation project (I'm 17 and she is too, but she's 8 mos. younger). I asked her to turn the flashlight off since there was already a light on, but she refused and laughed at me like I was the one in the wrong. After a short argument, I just went up in my room to work rather than argue anymore. Every time though I can hear her making fun of me downstairs and I'm so done with it. It just makes me upset and I end up feeling like I did something wrong. My mom even asked me if "I was done sulking yet". To me I left the argument because I thought I "was being the bigger person" like you're supposed to and walking away rather than continue to argue, but to them I'm having a tantrum and going off to my room. I have autism, so I don't know if I'm really the one doing something wrong, and I should just suck it up or not. I've had problems with self-harm before, and I was doing really well for almost a year, but tonight I had a relapse. I've had a problem I haven't been suicidal (as in actually planning on doing something) but every time something like this happens the only thing I want to do is die. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, and I don't know how to stop it. It really gets to me and I'm getting so sick of constantly feeling like crap every time I have the misfortune of talking to her (and that is unfortunately daily). Any advice or suggestions are welcome, I just really need some outside advice because I literally have no one to talk to about it.


  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 13,283 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    I relate to this very much and hear what you're saying. Especially when you say "it's not really what she says, it's how she says it" it's a horrible vibe In its self - My sister is the same & we are twins. Feel like she speaks & looks at me like I am actually shit. Also makes me suicidal & wanna leave

    But found I can feel a massive difference in my mood sometimes when I just have my own space every now & then and feel spend too much time with her. Is there away you could get more of your own space? sometimes even people can get overwhelming & I find is good to have own time where just by yourself & then feel like actually can cope & want to be with people after. And also find other ways to self care.

    Do you have any friends to surround yourself with or other people who are a bit more positive?

    Sometimes I have to remind myself that even though my sister is speaking to me like I am shit most times; I just think to myself,... Well is my sister & not gunna get on all the time. -And sometimes that takes some edge off the overwhelming arguments & atmosphere. But understandably is still hard. But I think is good on how you handled that situation and removed yourself before got further into argument

    I'm sorry this is making you feel so low and get suicidal. I hope you're getting support for how you're feeling & try to remember that one day you will be able to move out from where you are currently living and have own space & not everything is set on how it is now

    Take care
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Sibling rivalry is common whether it's brothers and sisters, or sisters together and what your sister is trying to do is marking herself out to be totally different than you, but she is being hurtful in being spiteful. Though your parents are seemingly taking a back seat by saying 'let her be', they need to realise she is bullying and this behaviour is destructive and putting you down. Parents should treat their children equally and not show favouritism, but in your home your parents may be unaware of the seriousness that has happened.

    Which parent are you closest to? Mum or dad? I feel they should be given a list of basic rules that fit your family values. Importantly, you should draw up a list of boundaries explaining to your parents what is acceptable and what is definitely not. They should be made aware that violence, even fighting is unacceptable and your being made to feel bad is hurting you inside quite badly.

    This is a strategy that I set between my older sister and me at the time when friction between us was bad.

    1. Siblings deliberately tease and annoy just to get attention. So ignore her. Bit your lip from retorting, otherwise it will make her worse.

    2. Leave the situation, walk away and go to your own room.

    3. Or, pretend to have an errand and go out of your home without arguing back. This action not only defuses your sister's argumentative manner, but disarms her verbal ammunition.

    4. Listen to her by all means. Try and use humour to deflect her nastiness.

    5. When your sister is out, make a cup of tea with your parent and use the time to talk to them.

    I had a similar unpleasant conflict with my older sister until discovering she and I had a common ground. For her privacy I cannot enter into details, but it took time for her to listen and I remained gentle to her. I listened quietly and this enabled her to open up and tell me what was really wrong, what was upsetting her so badly. Okay, we still had some friction, but she is emotionally needy and though still is, the bond between my sister and I grew stronger. It has taken me 3 months to bring her close, but it paid off. Nothing is impossible, but you must talk to the parent closest to you. That way, your problem becomes halved and then your parents can help you set those important boundaries.

    Wishing you all the best,.

    ~ Belle

    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • tashtastictashtastic Posts: 30 Boards Initiate
    Hey @curiousincident23

    It sounds like you're going through a really hard time at the moment with your sister. I think in these kind of situations, having your own space/time is so important, as it's often the constant nature of the bullying that can make it so difficult to deal with. I had a horrible fight with my brother last month and found that when I was able to just spend half an hour on my own I felt a lot better.

    If you feel comfortable, it might be also be a good idea to tell a friend what is happening at home, especially if it gets really bad as you would have a place to go to.

    You mentioned how you've had some suicidal feelings. I know that it can be pretty hard to fight these feelings, especially if they are almost like habits, but with some support it is possible. Are you seeing a counsellor or therapist at the moment? If not, if you would like to get some support you can talk to your gp or a possibly a self-referral service if there's one in your area. If you are already seeing someone, you could try talking about how your sister treats you.

    If you ever want to talk, you can always chat on here or use the helpline 0808 808 4994 or online chat.

    Hope this helps
  • nish215nish215 Posts: 64 Moderator
    Hey curiousincident23,

    I'm sorry that you're going through such a hard time right now, you mentioned how this situation makes you feel like you want to die, which is understandably tough so in times like this it's important to give ourselves some space and time to get away from it all. Perhaps when you're feeling like this you could find a quiet space to retreat and unwind or maybe you could even chat to a friend and get a few things off your chest. It's important to put yourself and your mental health first and do what's best for you.
    You could even use the mix helpline [URL="tel:08088084994"]0808 808 4994

  • FranFran Posts: 118 Boards Initiate
    Hey @curiousincident23,
    how brave of yours to write such a detailed post! thank you for sharing your experience :wave:
    I believe the advice that has already been given to you to let it go is a good one: sometimes when things like this happen, it's the reaction that the other person has that "triggers" the person that act as a bully the most. if you pretend like her behavior doesn't annoy you there may be a chance for her to reduce.
    In addition, have you ever considered talking to her sincerely and letting her know how her behavior makes you feel? Maybe you could start talking about that with your parents, explaining why it hurts you so much and after that you could do the same with her. It would be a continuation of your strategy of being the mature one.

    Let us know how you feel and if anything changes,

    - Fran
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