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by Abigail Van Buren

Childhood Bullying By Sister Continues Into Adulthood

DEAR ABBY: My older sister bullied me from the time our parents divorced. I was in elementary school, and she was in middle school. We are now adults and retired. Her form of bullying now is to exclude me. It started with announcing to me that I was adopted and progressed to saying in front of me, "Let's have a family reunion" and not inviting me.

When our father died, she was his executor. She showed the will to my sisters, but would not allow me to see it. Yes, I was in the will as an equal. She told the attorney I was a granddaughter, which I caught and corrected.

When I told my oldest sister my feelings were hurt, she accused me of being jealous and blocked me on social media. It's hard to disengage because I have no other family, but I keep busy in other social circles. I was unable to have kids, and the one child I adopted is busy working in another state, so it's just my husband and me now.

I tried for years to be nice and to contribute as much as possible. I know I have done nothing wrong. I have searched my soul to see why I deserve this treatment. I don't! Should I just let go of my family since at least two of my three sisters seem to want to let go of me? -- LEFT OUT IN FLORIDA

DEAR LEFT OUT: Yes, you should. Disengaging from the emotionally abusive sisters who treat you cruelly would be healthy for you. Maintain a relationship with the one who is open to it.

I have advised more than once in this column that sometimes it's necessary to create a family of one's own if circumstances prevent a normal relationship with a person's birth family. You and your husband should continue branching out socially. I predict that once you move in that direction, you will be far happier than you are today.

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