By | January 3, 2014 18 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I have NO family now, my sister has turned them all against me

Editor’s note: The following letter was received from a Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call  “Arabella.” Names have been changed.

I’ve been searching and searching for someone who understands. However, for me it’s not a lover ”¦ but my older sister, who has taken great pleasure in trying to destroy me.

Strangely though, I’m wondering if my mother is also touched with psychopathy. Her emotional reactions to things are very questionable. When she’s been with me and my sister, mum has never raised an eyebrow at some of the REALLY awful provocations. My older brother has treated me like dirt on so many occasions.  Mum sides with him no matter what he does. Mum also made a mistake of telling me how our father used to get upset with her because she never showed any emotions. However, she’s not as obvious as my sister so it’s still a question in my mind.  It isn’t a question relating to my sister though.

Finding ways to make me feel and look bad

Eight years ago my sister informed me, point blank, that she’d been “finding as many different ways to make me look and feel as bad as she could whenever an opportunity came her way.” She’d been spinning lies about me to all our relatives too, to make them be not nice to me.  She said she’d been doing the same to her husband and on reflection, I can see that she also does it to her younger daughter.  My sister wasn’t telling me as an apology.  She was just telling me.

Both of us were in our 40s. Prior to her telling me, I thought we were best friends, ringing each other numerous times a day for years.  I’d stay with her for days and days when her husband was away.  He eventually left but she managed to get him back.

Covert charm

She’s highly charismatic and very clever.  She presents as a quiet type, pretending to be very gentle.  Her main game (apart from other things) is to provoke.  She does it so covertly, and then quickly mixes it with friendly charm again ”¦ just to leave you completely confused but still enamored with her.

Now that she knows no one in the family believes me, she’s really let her act down with me. She’s said and done some blood curdling things to me.

Devastated and destroyed

I’ve been devastated by it.  My work life is destroyed ”¦ I’ve lost four jobs in the last two years.  For 30 years before that, I had always been employed. My finances are only just okay because I have a boyfriend who kindly lets me live with him. I have NO family now, she’s turned them all against me. I must say though, I always used to feel very hurt and perplexed at how my aunts and uncles used to speak to me with such disdain, despite my efforts to be extremely helpful and polite with them over many years.

My whole sense of self worth and acceptance has not been developed properly from birth I’d say.  Hence, my choice in friends and partners has always been under par. I’ve awoken to the fact that I’ve always attracted people to me who don’t treat me with respect or care. That’s all I’ve been used to and hence, surrounded myself with uncaring types. Plus, my choice in jobs has always been way under what I’m capable of, hence, I’m not a wealthy woman.

The spiritual healer and extra weight

I went to a spiritualist healer a couple of years ago. I hadn’t said anything to her about any of this when she said to me, “I can see your sister holding a gun against your heart since the day you were born.  What’s that all about?”  As you can imagine, I was blown away.  It sent shivers down my spine.

I’ve put on a lot of weight due to being very depressed.  I’ve lost interest in my hobbies (dance and music being the main ones).  I couldn’t even listen to music for quite some time.

When it became apparent to me that my sister was doing the same to her younger daughter, I said to my sister, “Please, if you can’t stop doing it to me, at least stop doing it to Pamela.”  Well, she immediately called her daughter over and provoked her into anger about something.  Clearly demonstrating she had no intention of doing anything I said.

Strength vs victim strategy

I’ve tried showing strength rather than “victim” to my sister.  The only theme I stick to whenever I’ve had to communicate with her is “I feel so sorry for everyone around you. You and I both know you’re a sociopath.”  So I stick to that as opposed to trying to elicit anything from her.  I can’t trust anything she says and I can’t trust what she does with anything I say either.

I can’t help but wonder if she is concerned about her sociopathy (psychopathy) being exposed by me.  Maybe psychopaths don’t even care who knows they’re psychopaths?   Since I tweaked about her doing it to her younger daughter, she’s managed to put that daughter off ever contacting me, which is such a shame because Pamela and I were really, really close. My sister doesn’t want her getting wind of my claims.

Seeking advice

I’ve contacted all manner of psychiatrists to get advice as to how best to deal with my sister.  I haven’t had anyone come forward with anything yet.  My gut instincts tell me not to display victim mentality around them.  Remain as unemotional as they are when in their presence.  What do you think?

Kind regards,

Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of

Arabella, it’s good you’ve come forward with your story. I think you’re going to discover in your journey that it’s not that unusual for a family with a “sociopathic style” to pick one member of the family for extra-special attention, though none are immune to the emotional abuse. In your family of origin, it seems you are that member. In your sister’s home, it seems her daughter is that person. Sociopaths will also often choose one as the golden child, and another child as the object of abuse.

I’ve had years of therapy. I’ve tried to set healthy boundaries only to have those family members blow through them time and time again. Believe me, I’ve tried to fix an entire family only to find out that I was the only one who truly wanted meaningful change.

A sociopath lives to be a puppet master, pushing your buttons and inciting emotional outbursts that feed their desire for power and control. They live for the constant drama of pitting people against each other.

The only acceptable way for me to cope with it is essentially to cut ties, at best maintaining a very low contact with some of them. That definitely means keeping an unemotional tone in any conversations and keeping myself on a tight leash. It also means that I share absolutely no information about myself or any of my loved ones. These people aren’t safe. Don’t give them any ammunition to use against you.


Dear Arabella, what a tragic betrayal, since you believed the two of you were very close. You need to cut ties completely with your malintended sister, and if your other family members take her side, them you should probably distance yourself from them as well. If I were in your situation, I may try to write a letter to my favorite family members letting them know what is going on and letting them know you are going to distance yourself if they continue to support her. Then just do it. Sounds like you do have some insight into how your upbringing has affected your life. This is a good jumping off point for change. The best revenge you will have against your sister is to be happy no matter what.

I hope you will start dancing again!


Hi Arabella,

Any of the websites educating about psychopathy, or other personality disorders, recommends no contact, or extremely limited contacted for reasons of legal or child rearing matters.

In reality, no matter that she is ‘family’, there is no reason for you to have anything to do with your sister. And, as Stargazer wrote, if any other family chooses to treat you badly as a result of cutting off your sister, then they need to go to.

Family isn’t the holy grail of human connection. There are other ways to have your need for human connection, intimacy, support, and care met in the larger human community.

I think part of the reason we get completely bogged-down, depressed, uninterested in our lives, and basically despondent is when we keep trying to fix something that is not fixable, instead of walking away and taking care of ourselves.

Your sister told you exactly what she is going to do. She is not going to stop doing it. No matter how you interact with her she will continue to do it. Your strategies will not work with her. She will work around every healthy coping skill you display.

It’s true that we cannot ‘win’ with these types. Winning is a concept that is only part of the game they play with us. As long as we enter into this contest of wills we will only lose.

The only solution is to quit caring about what a sick twisted person thinks of us, and stop playing the game. Walk away. Start to heal. Find other things, people, places to fill our lives with.



Great post, slim!


Hugs to you! It’s good that you vented all of this out, that helps so much. It’s one thing when it is your husband or bf who is the sociopath but it’s quite another when it is one of your own blood family members…. there is only one thing to do in either position and that is to follow the “no contact rule”…I believe lovefraud has info on this but you can also google “no contact rule narcissist” to read more.

I think the advise posted above is great, I like the one where they suggest you talk to your relatives that are not disordered and show them what you have learned. Tell them how you feel about your situation with your sister and your sisters smear campaign of lies against you and others. Sociopaths pick on everyone that does not fall in line to their every demand or someone they have power over….you have seen her behavior for a long time but more importantly you knew instinctively that it was not normal…now you have a name to go with her abuse…that helps a lot to start your healing process.

My ex h loves to push everyone’s buttons…I now know that it is a way of making someone a normal person feel insecure but more importantly to have power over their target….never give away your power to anyone especially your family member like in your case. Donna’s books are excellent as well as The sociopath next door by Dr Martha Stout and Freedom of mind by Steven Hassan. Plus

I am truly sorry that you have endured so much abuse by your family. Wishing all the best for your future. take care.


Hugs and wishes for continued strength. It sounds to me as if your mother was adept at “splitting” behaviors and that kept one child pitting against the other and in your case, you were a bit confused (understandably) from not feeling secure in your own home.
For whatever reason, your sister became quite similar to your mother. She has one child the golden, the other child gets tormented and so do you as the sister.

I doubt your sister can change or even desires to change. This is ingrained in her character now and comes as naturally as inhaling and exhaling to her. I’m afraid if you allow a special exception for her, that being “she is family and therefore exempted and I must therefore continue to suffer her”, then she will prevent you from breaking out of this long-term abusive relationship. I agree with the other posters here in that your wisest course of action is to go no contact with her. No letters need to be written to the others for whom you choose to maintain contact with for it will be in your own good character that they know who you are. You need not provide a resume of sorts to prove yourself! You are fine as you are. Those who have appreciated you will continue doing so. Those who want to keep splitting the family will cease to be of concern to you. I am so sorry you have had to face all this, but family (the abusive ones) cannot be given free reign to stomp over others, no more than a stranger could be allowed to do such damage to you. There comes the time when we have to show respect to ourselves, I have learned, or else we hand over our lives to these kinds of people. Have faith in your decision, you deserve much better in life and it may take some time to realize just how peaceful you CAN feel after these types are gone from your daily life. It will happen! God bless you.


Hi Arabella,

Firstly, I am so very sorry you have been suffering so much at the hands of your sister. I have been in the same situation as you with my own sister (1yr younger). She has done exactly what your sister has done since we were both children. It’s taken me until my 40’s to finally deal with her and the catalyst was having my 2 children and deciding that protecting them came above everyone else.

It took me a year of therapy after I’d cut ties with her about 5 yrs ago to get her out of my system, as she was still pulling the strings through my weak link; my love for my extended family. Our parents died when we’re were teens so there’s been noone to reign her in or to know what she’s really been up to except me.
I have lost my Mother’s side of the family through my sister’s ability to look them in the eye and lie to them while turning on the tears. She has put stories around about me that actually contain the things she does.

It took me years to accept and a psychologists help to understand that the people I loved in my extended family that actually involved themselves in the drama and believed my sister instead of staying neutral- didn’t really love me. A painful but freeing truth.

Arabella, if I can convince you of anything, it would be that the beginning of this 6th year of no contact with my sister and 3 years of no contact with my Mother’s side of the family, I am so much better off than when I was trying to deal with her, seeing my family and trying to withstand her games and sociopathic mischief-making. You question yourself due to their ‘gas lighting’ you through being nice in public and to others to the point that noone else could believe you if you told them the truth. There is a kind of withdrawal, not from her but from the people I have loved all my life, and moreso since my parents died when I was young. BUT, what they were doing in supporting her and allowing her evil to have power in the family, is NOT love. I deserve better than that, my children deserve better too.

The support of a wonderful community like the loving souls here and a good psychologist to validate the brave and difficult choices that dealing with a sociopath require, really help you move on.
As others have noted ‘no contact’ is recommended by experts and from my own experience, it has been the only way to be free as I am the vulnerable one. The chaos and destruction her behaviour causes is of no negative consequence to her, it makes her feel powerful, and I simply didn’t have the defenses to deal with her because I have a complete range of emotions.

You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to steel yourself or do a lot of preparation to protect yourself from her. The internal stress for you means you have no peace.

I now have an uneventful, peaceful life. Even though my sister tried to have the last word by moving into my suburb & sending her children to my parish’s school. Luckily my children go to school elsewhere. I am expecting at some point to start hearing stories about myself through the parish grapevine and if I do, we will simply move. It sounds extreme, I know, but nothing will stop her until 1 of us is dead.

Your sister sounds like she has the same spiraling, all-consuming need to continually need to ‘beat’ you to fill her bottomless empty void inside. In my case, my sister is so extreme that she will never stop. No contact has given me my life back and protected my children’s lives. I felt terribly guilty that I wouldn’t be able to be there for her children but the psychologist drilled into me that I would never have been allowed to help them & I could not save them from her. I hope her husband is trying to ……..

You are not alone Arabella. You are in a heartbreaking situation. Make the best choices you can that make you feel better and surround yourself with as much genuine support as you can get when you make choices that will result in fallout from your family. You already realise the affect she has had on your life since childhood; you are smart and articulate and you deserve so much better than what’s been dealt out to you. When you are ready, make your plan, surround yourself with support and then break contact with her and her supporters ‘cold turkey’. When you question yourself, text, phone a supporter to stay strong.

I really suffered in the family fallout when I cut my sister loose and those family members still try to contact me to draw me back into the drama & I simply don’t return their calls or letters. The peace it’s given me has been worth it and I know I wasn’t ready to lose so many family members 20 years ago so I try not to regret taking so long to cut her off. The important thing is that the last 6 years of my life without her have been the best 6. Now it’s up to me to stay strong and focus on having a good life. A year of therapy has taught me that her punishment is to be who she is and live the way she does…. I am the scarred but lucky on who got away (too bad I can’t say the same for her husband)…….

Take good care of yourself and invest in counselling to help you give yourself all the love you deserve and have needed since you were a child. You won’t regret it and you deserve every kind word, sympathetic shoulder and empathetic ear you can find.

I’ve rambled on, sorry about that, I feel for you so much as my sister has shaped my life too but I promise you there is life after these people and you are the ‘normal’ one who can move on. You sister will stay the same until the end of time.

Good luck and please let us all know how you go. I am on your side, cheering you on as one survivor and sister to another :))) xxxx


I had an aunt (now deceased) who was a psychopath and behaved much like your sister. Her main target (from babyhood) was my mother (her only sibling), but she delighted in hurting anyone close to my mother – with snide comments, gossip, undermining of trust, deliberate lies, and cruelty toward her sister’s children (my sister and me). She also did a good job of fooling my brother – who never could see her true nature beneath her charming disguise. As a result of her “grooming” of him, he did some things which were extremely hurtful to my mother. Her behaviour has resulted in my sister and myself becoming strangers to our cousins and to our brother.

Perhaps thinking of this situation as sibling rivalry in Nature may help you to understand that you need to protect yourself and cut the ties.

It is like baby birds in a nest. Often they fight to the death, with one ousting the other from the nest so that they themselves receive all the food, protection, and attention. Sometimes it is done when the parents are away from the nest, but often the parents and other members of the flock seemingly are unaware or uncaring – and simply stand by while slow murder is taking place. Humans are part of Nature, and this behaviour is not uncommon.

Another thought to keep in mind – “we can choose our friends, but we cannot choose our family”. There is nothing that says families will be friends – or even neutral onlookers. It is well known that more murders and other aggressive or destructive behaviours take place within families than between strangers. Unfortunately, although we all wish to be part of a loving and cohesive family, this is often not the reality.

You’ve already started to understand your situation, so now it is time to protect yourself. You should keep detailed records and photos in a safe place. Get counselling. Plan your escape carefully. If a psychopath thinks they are losing control, they often react very nastily.

At some point (maybe years into the future) you may be able to individually convince other members of your family of the true situation, but in the meantime, work on building a safe and healthy life for yourself. Best wishes.

Heartbroken Mom of 1

Most of the time we hear about the sociopathic spouse but many of us have family members. As others have advised, it is best to cut ties with them. My only child, my son is a sociopath but my family thinks he is wonderful! He can do no wrong. He is the victim, my husband and I are the villains! For the past 7 years I have wasted my breath trying to wake up my family to the truth. Because he is so good at what he does and charming, no one believes us. We are told to “Just forgive and forget” just to keep the peace in the family. I have stopped trying to convince everyone (though they have all been given the facts about him but won’t believe them). They will NEVER believe you even if they see it first hand! These people do not realize that by supporting him they are actually aiding and embedding him to continue his manipulating and deceiving ways!(he now has a family so in everyone’s eyes all is well! He is so great!) We have cut ties with our son since he now tries to use his babies to manipulate us. No remorse on his part for the pain and heartache he has caused, No regret, no sorrow. It is our problem , not his. The “no contact” with him has all but destroyed our immediate family. I keep a distant contact with them which is hard since I grew up in a close-knit Italian family. The time may come when I will have to completely sever ties. It’s all my fault the family is falling apart! Not my son who caused all the problems. My advice to you and others is to call upon the Lord Jesus for help. Without Him in our lives, we would be lost. I pray you have the strength to move on, even if all forsake you. The Lord will never leave nor forsake you. If it wasn’t for Him I wouldn’t be here now….



your son sounds like my wife, she has all her friends and family convinced she is this little frail woman that works hard and struggles and has her life in order while they all think im a jerk and she can do better, she had my parents for a small time thinking this, but the truth came out thankfully to my side, but her side I have spoken too and attempted to tell them how erratic her behavior and mood swings are, and the lies and aggression, not sure if they believed me or not but they did nothing, and now will not speak with me at all as she has forbid it cause she doesn’t want my side coming out. She says I do nothing yet when im kicked out everybody has to come running to help her (only aiding her behavior really) and none of them ever stop to think that if its true that I do nothing why then when im not there does she need so much help from friends and family?

As with your son,,its all my fault according to my wife, I tear our family up, I don’t provide, im aggressive, only care about myself ect ect….and of course everyone else she speaks to believes this goody two shoe act (oh poor me) and tells her to leave me cause im lousy. Using his babies is nasty, mine kept my whole family from my son for 3 months with a protection order on me lying saying I broke her ribs, even though the police were there and no charges filed and her medical documents showed no evidence of harm, it was then that my family and friends realized how crazy she was.

sucks, I feel for you, I don’t know what to do cause my whole life was with her and my kids and she gets everything while I live in my parents basement starting over.


My advice, based on personal experience: maintain complete NC. (my attorney said I should send each family member one sentence stating that, upon his advice, I insisted on NC from that moment on.)
Second, save yourself and do not be concerned with “educating” other family members. They are either complicent in the psychotic’s plot and if not, they will come to you with querries. Put them out of your life and thoughts and develop your ibndependently valuable life instead.


Wow, Arabella and Everyone who has responded, the patterns are all the same aren’t they whether the sociopath is immediate family, spouse, child? And our stories are all so similar. I feel for all of you (& myself) who have to make awful choices to end the sociopathic behaviour which destroys your life. The only comforting thing about it is we know it’s not us with so many stories all on 1 site following the same path. I take heart in that and it reinforces that protecting myself from her & choosing not to be responsible for the behaviour of my extended family, is the best thing I could ever have done. And with it I accept my family who have rejected me will likely never see her for what she is and will believe I am the monster…. And after enough no contact I can live with that 🙂

To the responder living in his parent’s basement starting over. I am so sorry you have been devastated this way (I’m sorry I forgot your screen name too). My sister did what you’ve described to her 1st husband (who we are still in contact with). Thank god in his case there were no children. I won’t bore you with all the details that you’ll say ‘snap’ too. Her measure is summed up in this incident- she had conned me into staying at my house for no charge when she separated from her husband (after cheating on him within 1 yr of being married) & was plotting revenge on him for not doing what she wanted. Her husband’s grandmother died and she was the 1st person he dearly loved to have died in his life and he was taking it really hard. Instead of organising through the lawyers for her to go and get her stuff, she got a locksmith, a moving van, a friend she’d conned into believing her husband was keeping her from her things, and then broke into the house on the day of the grandmother’s funeral & started emptying the whole house! The husband came home between the funeral and wake and found it in progress. The police had to be called to keep them apart. She had a savage divorce lawyer & took him for as much as possible. It took him 5 years to be able to date again- the good news is he is now married to a lovely women with 2 beautiful children. He recovered eventually but it took years…….

The postscript to the story is that my sister ensured that if I ever found out about it (& I did 3yrs after the fact) I would have no credibility if i wanted to illustrate her behaviour to the extended family, she did it by telling them extreme lies about me over time including: that I’m bi-polar, I cheated on MY husband, that I am insane from doing so many rounds of IVF, miscarriages & losing a baby on my birthday. I am lucky that some family members on my father’s side used their brains & could see that using our IVF experiences against me was truly evil & they made up their own minds. Mum’s family swallowed it hook, line & sinker… They still have no idea what she did to her 1st husband……..

Take care of yourselves as best you can and know that you are worthy of much, much better. I wish I could reach through the site & hug you all. …….. 🙂

Vicki Kuper

I haven’t read all of the comments so forgive me if I repeat someone else’s advice.
I would suggest distancing yourself from your sister and anyone who judges you negatively. There is no need to tell her you plan to stay away, just do it. If you inform her you are going to distance yourself from her, she can and probably will tell everyone she can about it in order to turn them against you.
In my life, I have just distanced myself from anyone who attempts to bring me down. I have chosen happiness and have no room for negative people in my life. I’m done attempting to please people who insist on being miserable. I’m much happier and feel the weight of trying to please these people has been lifted.





I have noticed in so many of my friends a belief that you must keep your family in your life at all costs because they are, after all, your family. “Blood is thicker than water” etc. This belief – or whatever your own version of that is – is causing you great harm. Your sister is obviously not good for you. It doesn’t matter what her diagnosis is – whether she’s a sociopath or just has a really malignant sibling rivalry with you. Let her go. She is not meant to be in your life, and she doesn’t deserve to be.

My mother (who is deceased) and my only sibling – my sister – both were cruel and jealous throughout my life. I always loved them, but when I tried to have close personal relationships with them, I was severely depressed. Eventually, I had to find the distance that allowed me to still express love for them (and receive whatever love they had to give, if any) without feeling destroyed. For my mother, that was sending her a mother’s day gift or card every year. For my sister, we send birthday gifts. That’s it. I wish I could have been closer to both of them. Sometimes I dream at night that we are all three close and connected. I wake from those dreams and feel very sad. Grief and loss and having things not be the way we wish they could be is all part of being human. Fortunately, we can bond with other people or with our pets in ways that are healthy and fulfilling.

For those of us who had shit for families, there will be a tendency to feel sorry for ourselves, like we are missing out on something. I am changing this tendency in my advanced years. When someone asks me if I miss having a family, I tell them that the whole world is my family. And then I treat people everywhere I go like they are actually my family. This is one of the reasons I like to travel. People in certain other cultures are like that, too. You meet them once, and you have a friend for life. I try to be grateful for the relationships I DO have in my life. There is love all around. There is family everywhere. But if your energy is tied up with unhealthy relationships, you will not be free to experience this.

I still hold my sister with love in my thoughts. I remain open to the possibility of change. But until then, I keep a healthy distance.


My reply to the comment people make about “blood being thicker than water” Is “so is urine”.

We are not obliged to have un-judgemental or destructive relationships with relatives. Murders and other forms of violence are most common amongst relatives and those connected to you. Do not feel guilty if you distance yourself from destructive people – no matter who they are. Remember also – decent people will keep their distance from you if you are involved with people they see as destructive or even dangerous.

Seek out positive activities and people, but be wary of the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.


Bobbie – you said something really important that is worth repeating: “Remember also ”“ decent people will keep their distance from you if you are involved with people they see as destructive or even dangerous.”

You need to break free of the control of the sociopath in order to attract healthier people into your life. It is a catch 22 to stay emotionally connected to a sociopath and then wonder why you can’t meet anyone better.


The most important point I forgot to mention….that void that is left when we have to disown our families can come from ourselves. We can give ourselves the love we wish we’d gotten from them. We can choose to be different from them. We don’t have to beat ourselves up and treat ourselves the way they do. We can be kind and loving to ourselves. When we do that, we break the cycle of abuse in our families. Sometimes those cycles can go back generations.

Lovefraud is being upgraded. Comments and forum posts are temporarily disabled. Dismiss

Send this to a friend