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  1. #1
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    Sister might die and I feel nothing...

    Hello,

    I am really unsure of whether or not I'm some kind of sociopath and I feel a little disturbed. Actually, afraid people might find out is more accurate.

    The reason this has come up in my life is because my oldest sister is very sick and likely to die and I feel absolutely nothing.

    Before you judge me, please note that there might be some things about our relationship and her lifestyle that make this climax rather unemotional for me.

    First, she has been an addict for a very long time. In that time, she has lied, cheated, abused, stolen, and manipulated every member of my family. She was never really a big sister to me. I didn't get to know her very well because she was always doing something else (partying, stealing, being a "bad ass"). She only came by when she needed something, and was rarely, if ever, "there" for me.

    Second, she has been very sick for some time, and this is the second time she has been in hospital in life threatening condition in 13 months, so I have expected this for a long time.

    I ma trying to feign interest in her condition so my family doesn't think I'm awful, and so my mom doesn't get upset, but I really don't care.

    I am very confused about whether or not I have a severe personality disorder.

    I often feel empathy and remorse, but just as often I can be very cold and even ruthless.

    I have wondered if there are more complex layers to the phenomenon of pyschopathy, ASPD, and NPD, such as whether people could exhibit the necessary traits strongly in some situations and not at all in others? I don't mean getting angry and violent, I mean being able to have discreet parts of their brain that show no emotion towards some people/places/situations, yet still be able to empathize with other people and towards other situations?

    Another thing that puzzles me is that when my Granddad was in hospice, when he died, I didn't feel anything either, although I cried at his funeral. I also cried at the practice intervention for my oldest sister (the one in hospital), but I wonder if I was crying over other frustrations in my life that finally came out in those emotional settings?

    I tend to hyper-analyze my thoughts and feelings to the point where I'm unsure of what I think or feel (about most things,but a few are clear) so I really don't know if I was crying over my family members death/pain, or over my own stuff.

    I should also add that my life is highly self absorbed, but I do enjoy helping others and have been making an effort to do so....BUT I also step on other peoples toes unthinkingly quite often and get over it pretty quick....

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: Sister might die and I feel nothing...

    I think everyone reacts differently in these situations, and not necessarily with the kind of dramatic reaction seen in movies. Your own sense of sorrow or sadness may express itself differently from others, but this doesn't mean you don't have feelings for the person in crisis.

  3. #3
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    Re: Sister might die and I feel nothing...

    I have a brother who, if something were to happen to him, I wouldn't bat an eyelash about and wouldn't even bother going to the funeral. Actually it's my only brother. I didn't cry at my grandmother or grandfather's funerals and I probably won't cry at my dad's. I don't have a severe personality disorder (that I'm aware of)...I just don't have a strong emotional attachment to these people. Like Steve says, people react differently to different situations and given what you've been through with your sister, I'm not sure I'd react much differently in your shoes either.

    You can still respect the loss, and grieve, without being sad or sorrowful. Grieving doesn't mean being consumed with grief. Sometimes we can grieve for what never was...sometimes we just detach because it's so much easier. I don't think any of these things are wrong. They just are. That's why grief and loss are personal experiences and no one can tell another how to move through them.

  4. #4
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    Re: Sister might die and I feel nothing...

    Everyone reacts to death differently. They have every right to, in my opinion. Every grieving person left alive has to deal with their own private and personal thoughts and feelings.

    You're not a bad person or mentally ill just because you don't have an emotional reaction to death. It makes sense if it's someone who's hurt you as well. But nonetheless, the fact that you are doing what is necessary to support your mother and help her cope shows your maturity and commitment, even if you're weary of your sister.

  5. #5
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    Re: Sister might die and I feel nothing...

    Maybe it's not that you don't care,maybe you're just detached from your feelings(?).

  6. #6
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    Re: Sister might die and I feel nothing...

    Another factor not yet mentioned is that in some circumstances there may be a prolonged period of anticipatory grief so that when the person actually passes it is merely a marker of a past loss.

    One example might be someone who dies after an extended illness or series of health issues where there was little doubt about the eventual outcome. Another might be where one has grieved the figurative loss of a loved one over a long period of time before the literal loss occurs, for example as in the case of Alzheimer's Disease or severe drug addiction.

    And finally, the mere fact that the deceased was a family member does not necessarily elicit grief if this was someone you really didn't know. This is not uncommon with grandparents or extended family members today, where people are much more mobile and there may be great geographical distance between relatives.

  7. #7
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    Re: Sister might die and I feel nothing...

    Thanks for your replies everybody.

    I expressed my feelings to my family and they didn't think it was odd at all.

    My sister is a drug addict and has been for some time, and this is not her first trip to the hospital or her first brush with death.

    I feel much better about my attitude towards this situation,

    thanks

  8. #8
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    Re: Sister might die and I feel nothing...

    You have had to protect yourself from the emotional fall out from this situation and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Like turtle there are many within my family I will not grieve in the traditional sense when they pass this includes my parents and as David suggested your grieving may already have come and gone for your sister given her lifestyle and other brushes with serious ill health.

    What matters is the relationships you do have are the ones you not only want but also provide you with what you need!

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