It's Time For My Big Girl Pants

We are only 3 weeks into the year.

After a wonderful Christmas and New Year,
I was focused with game plan in hand,
and raring to go.

My New Year goals/objectives were
on track and I was making small
but consistent progress.

I was amped.

And then something unwanted and unexpected
comes along and completely knocks the winds
out of my sails.

My estranged and unstable sister shows up
after 10 years and instigates a chain of
events that sees me go into a melt-down, 
my poor Dad quaking with fear and my protective
but confused Husband
wondering can the family he married 
into get anymore crazy ;-)

It's left me raging with an anger I never
knew I had in me

It's left me so sad seeing the confusion
and sadness in my Dad's eyes

It's left me emotional watching my
poor Dad trying to keep
strong for me; a strength I know
he doesn't really have.

It's left me bloody angry that someone
who has not cared about anyone but
herself, suddenly feels the need to 
disrupt everyone's life and 
getting immense pleasure from it.

It's left me not having the energy to get 
out of bed, but knowing that that
isn't even an option.

It's made me realize blood is not
always thicker than water.

It's made me falter with indecision between
"she's mad, don't do anything", to
"I have to lawyer up if for no other 
reason but to 
protect the people I love".

It's made me determined but frightened;
this is legal territory I know nothing about.
But I will learn-I have too.

It's left me tossing about at night as 
I visualize scenes from CSI (of me
being handcuffed to Warwick ;-)
after being arrested for murder

It's left me getting up in a cold sweat.

It's left me feeling if I just 
take things one step at a time
I will come out of this the other side, 
(but still not totally convinced).

I know this calls for my
"big girl pants";-)

 I know it's  reminder that I  really can scrap 
with the best of them
if it means protecting the people I love.

I know how intensely
damaging hate can be (but I still
haven't worked out how to get past 
this one).

It's reminded me just how cathartic my
blog is. What started as a business tool
has now become much more than that.
I can sometimes bear my soul in
what is still a fairly anonymous way

Some would say take the high road.
But there are just some occasions
when you have to get down and 
dirty with the best of them.

It's made me realize that no
matter how I feel inside,
I will always put on my happy
face and sparkle for the outside world

stacking rings, gold stacking rings
This helped me maintain my sparkle
this week

It's made me accept
there are times when I just cannot
be "zen" about everything-but
that's not bad either.

More than anything
this week has reminded me 
what doesn't kill you
makes you stronger.



  1. Oh Vanessa, come lean on me, you are always there for me, I have a sister who is persona non gratis in my life, both her and her husband are horrific and I won't put a foot into that lion's cage again. It will pass, but that doesn't make it any easier at the moment, like your dad my old mum was caught up in it, what are they thinking causing this kind of drama - I will never understand.

    1. TY so much Tabs. Always thought you were an only child, so surprised to read it's not only me who has a witch as a sister ;-) xx

  2. Dear Vanessa...
    totally, totally feel your pain + hurt...
    being meshed together, not by choice, with a disordered and unstable person is never, ever easy...
    so hang in there sweet lady, stay strong, and you're absolutely right--this too shall pass~ xo

  3. I hear you and know how you feel, unfortunately Hubs has two estranged sisters, they have both caused a lot of damage in the family and now have nothing to do with the family .....until there's a tragedy/death, then they turn up at the hospital, at the funeral home, etc etc my mother-in-law holds on to every bit of hope that there will be a family reconciliation, but there never will be. Last time a tragedy occurred, Hubs and his remaining siblings confronted 'them' at the hospital after their latest antics (oh yes, this was public, see we have a nutso family too!) and since then they've kept their distance. There's three of them that are, like Tabitha says, horrific!

    1. Wow! For so long I thought it was only me that had a sister I hated. It's so reassuring to know it's just my family that are mad ;-)

  4. Vanessa, it WILL pass! There's always ONE in the family. I have a family member who is utterly ridiculous, knows it and continues to do things. PRAY, HAVE FAITH and KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

    1. Thank you lovely Kim. I'm already feeling much better in the last few days xx

  5. Vanessa, So scary for you. I hope it gets resolved. Keeping you in my thoughts and heart. Be strong friend. xo Kim

  6. Oh, Vanessa what a nightmare you're having...stay strong and you'll get to the other side of's great how your blog can help you and I'm sure you felt a whole lot better having written's cathartic...
    wishing you and your Papa peaceful times ahead. xx

    1. TY Catherine. Already felt so much stronger after writing my thoughts down in my blog xx

  7. I am so sorry for everything you have been going through. Just know that it will get better and that you have people who care for you.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

  8. Hi sweet Vanessa ... this post made me tear up! Can't stand the thought of someone causing you such frustration and sadness! If this had been caused by a complete stranger it would have been much easier to put on your "big girl pants" and play "tough cop" with them, telling them to hit the road, who do they think they are! But because she's family (albeit not close obviously and many issues) it can only make the situation even more difficult and emotional. Rational advice would be to tell this sister that she has to have all discussions with YOU only, without your father present, and to put on HER big girl face when she's with him, just as they tell parents not to fight in front of children. But this doesn't sound like it's a rational sister so rational answers to problems probably go right out the window. I've known a few people in the past that leave me feelling as if i'm putting the jigsaw puzzle that is life together and all is going well but where they are concerned the puzzle has missing pieces, making it very confusing and not making any sense and no matter how you try and solve the problems, you come up spinning your wheels. I bet this is the way you feel in trying to communicate with her. So frustrating. All I can offer is my friendship and an ear should you ever need one. Want me to tell her off for ya? (lol, just kidding, I'm no good at that either!). Take deep breaths, a long bath, meditate, do anything that will bring some calmness while you try to figure it out. Keep us posted. xox ~S

    SANDY M Illustration

    1. TYSM Sandy. You always give me such sound, heartfelt advice. You're an angel x

  9. So sorry for you, that do sound dramatic enough. And I so agree with you that we cannot always be zen about life,just accepting that fact makes me feel better. xo Caroline

    1. Ha! Sometimes it does feel really good to throw zen out of the window ;-)

  10. Good morning Vanessa dear. I am so sorry to hear that you have been going through such a challenging and heart wrenching time. You have a right to feel all the emotions you are feeling as you walk through the process of dealing with this trauma. Trust your gut instinct as you move forward and boundaries are essential. It's a good thing to draw your own lines in the sand. Thanks for sharing and I hope you are feeling loads of care and support.

    1. Love your advice of drawing a line in the sand. TYSM xx

  11. Dear Vanessa:

    I have a sister very similar to yours. She's a narcissist and totally incapable of seeing the hurt and pain she causes those around her. She has reared her ugly head once again, and even though I have to deal with her for the next several months on an estate issue, I have vowed not to give her the power to hurt me, or disrupt my life. If I've learned anything from her, I've learned that you can reason with crazy. Stay strong.

    Lurker of your fabulous blog


    1. Thank you "lovely lurker". I love the advice of not giving "her the power to hurt me". That is so powerful Bonnie. Thank you so much xx

  12. Dearest Vanessa, I'm SO glad you're taking steps to protect yourself and your loves. XO Having been in a similar situation I empathize with your grief and anger and frustration and the great desire to just shut down and hibernate. You are right, you CAN do this. You are strong and brave and wise and you are worth fighting for, your peace and safety are worth fighting for. Hugging you tight and cheering for you from Australia. XO

    1. TYSM Krista. I know you have been through so much worse so your advice is most welcome xx

  13. Sending you a big hug. There seems to be one in every family that is so selfish and only thinks of oneself ~ it maddens me. I have gotten so angry at my brother at times ~ knowing he is using my mother and she just lets him walk all over her. I want to punch something ~ most of all him and I am not an aggressive person. Chin up ~ hold your Dad close and hopefully she will slink off again for another 10 years. xo

  14. TYSM Lori. It's been so reassuring to hear how many of us have a "mad one" in the family. So many have contacted me by email and have been able to give personal advice. It's been so comforting. Thank you Lori xx

  15. Big hugs to you. I've had to take steps, too, to protect myself and others from a crazy person, so do not be afraid to take legal measures if you have to. That's what big girl pants are all about! A united front of your and your husband lovingly guarding your father will bring you all closer together and will show you the strength you already have inside.

  16. Oh Vanessa. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this added stress in your life. I can SO relate. I also had some family issues pop up which forced me to set some very clear boundaries. Which of course didn't go over well. I even wrote about this on my blog knowing the person might read it. But I've stopped trying to make difficult people happy, so I thought, what the heck. There's so much freedom in giving up the job of trying to prevent blow ups. Hang in there and take care of your sweet dad....(that puppy photo is too precious)...
    sending you all my positive thoughts ...

  17. Oh darling....I hope now everything has turned out ok? Disrupt people can be such a damage to themselves and to others, and they are impossible to talk reasonably with. What would you suggest to yourself as a life coach? As a learner still dealing with her own monsters I suggest to do as little as necessary. Is she a real threat or is she just rambling about? Pack up for a short vacation with your dad, don't answer her calls, don't be there to engage in any sort of fight. Don't talk about her, everything bitter you say, you are listening to it and it's hurting you. Your husband has a jewel in his hands as precious as her creations, in good times and bad times. I'm here for you, as you have been there for me. Get in touch whenever you feel like. Love you <3

  18. Such a sad post, I have a brother and from the get-go we have always been told we are a team and approach life united; be there for each other come what may, each do anything to make the other's life better. Even though he is abroad, the ring of confidence that I get from knowing that unconditional love is there gets me through anything.
    It is so sad to have a sibling and NOT to have that. Do you analyse the past and think if only we hadn't done so and so she might not have become the person she is today?
    It's like you say, to a degree, 'What doesn't kill you...' although there are extremes that leave you damaged/changed forever. I try to NOT make my kid's life too easy, it is often a sense of entitlement that leads to all the traits that you mention above. For sure your dad's feelings will be influenced by a sense of guilt, 'did I raise that? what could I have done better'. It's such a sad situation and only your sister can resolve it, but that plays straight into the power games. But it will be her that looks back at the end of her life and thinks 'What did I miss?'

  19. Dearest Vanessa - My heart and thoughts are going out to you ... know it's not you ...some people are just so unhappy in the path they are walking that they have no regard for the precious thing called life. I'm so sorry to hear what you (your father and family) are going through courtesy of your sister. I'm sending you hugs across the miles via the loving angels and also asking the angels to help your sister find the peace that she is missing in her own life - that she has chosen to chaos you so much heart ache, pain and turmoil. ~ Many blessings to your hubby - who needs all the gratitude one can give him for trying to keep the situation from exploding. You will survive this ... even if the end is no where to be seen, I know you are strong, determined and filled with love. Your father is strong too and he will get through this with your love and support... Sending you hugs across the miles. Oh how I wish I could pop over with a cup of tea, some yummy treats and sit and listen and hug you. xo C.


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