Dear Amy: When my parents were living, I traveled to seasonal family events, despite the taunts of a younger sister who is a classic bully.
She needled and provoked and then found a way to blame me for her actions, which no one would discuss or correct.
There was no right approach. To confront or walk away were equally disparaged by family members.
Finally, I stopped attending events when she was there because of the discomfort and lack of respect.
Once our parents died, she felt free to exclude me from the three separate weddings of her children, none of whom were ever friendly to me, despite my efforts to have relationships with them.
These actions contributed to an estrangement from her family, and eventually that of my younger siblings.
I have since reunited with the other siblings.
All of them live in the same area.
I declined to visit because I want no further contact with the bully or her family. The siblings do not understand why I can’t let bygones be bygones.
I say that her family already made its decision years ago and has avoided me ever since. Your opinion?
– Beyond Bullying
Dear Beyond: I’m with you. However, I think it’s important for you to understand that by declining to visit with your other siblings because of your estrangement with your younger sister, she is continuing to control you.
You maintain that she is avoiding you. So – let her continue to avoid you as you enjoy your renewed relationship with your siblings.
In my opinion, refusing to let this person control you IS “letting bygones be bygones.”
If you do encounter her and she resumes her bullying behavior, you can calmly and promptly make the choice to leave.
©2023 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.