DEAR ABBY: After my mother died several years ago, my father's sometimes violent behavior flared up. A few years ago, I decided to stop spending time with him. My sister, who has received -- and may continue to receive -- significant financial support from Dad, is scolding me for it. I have asked her to respect my choice and to stop criticizing, but she continues to contact me, asks to see me, accuses me of "punishing" her and my father over "nothing," and makes vague apologies for him without referencing specific behavior.
My dilemma is whether I should continue trying to get through to her. I'd like to see her children, but I'm unsure whether she will respect my boundaries if I see her in person. Her continued haranguing is stressful. I'm tired of being labeled a punishing, overly sensitive shrew for attempting to set boundaries with my father. However, I'm loath to cut off all contact with her, given that I'm not seeing my dad. Is there a middle ground? Or am I wasting my time by trying to get through to someone who doesn't want to hear me? -- FAMILY TROUBLE IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR FAMILY TROUBLE: Tell your sister you love her and would very much enjoy seeing her and her children with one proviso: You do not wish to discuss your fractured relationship with your father. Ask if she can respect your wishes, and make clear that if it would be too difficult for her, you will understand and not visit. You do not have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, and you should not allow yourself to be forced into contact with an abuser.