Dear Sister-In-Law:

I was happy when you married my brother - you were so smart and athletic and mostly, you were good for my brother.

That was a few years ago. Slowly I began to notice things. See, in our immediate family, we have two parents, five siblings, two spouses, one significant other, two nephews and a niece.

But...we only talk about you. More specifically, you only talk about you. Everyone else follows.

Every holiday, birthday, anniversary, graduation must be about you. And not just about you, but about how you outshine everyone else. The time you had to send your diploma back because they forgot to put "with honors" on it. How you helped a small child at they gym. How your house is the nicest and newest and cleanest. Your career is the best and your sister wants to follow in your footsteps. Hell, you know more than the professors in your MBA program.

If anyone dares to stop kissing your butt for a few moments, you become enraged. How dare anyone besides you expect to be treated like a human being? How dare anyone else want to talk about their own life?

So you get to work sabotaging the nay-sayer's life. You try to ruin their relationships with everyone in the family. You enlist a mole and show up every time the nay-sayer dares to visit her very own mother.

Your husband - my brother - has been engulfed by you. He is now you. He talks like you and treats others like you do.

This past year has been very difficult for me. I've begun to dread going to family functions - even skipping a few. This makes me sad.

I've picked up books about how to handle people with narcissistic personality disorder.

"Disengage," they all say.

So I will.

I wish you the best, but it's time for me to walk on. After all, I have my own humble life to live.

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