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Family Heirlooms Divide Two Sisters, And We've Got Feelings

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We lose each other over the most materialistic things when in reality its each other we should be taking care of. And here we are-two sisters losing each other over family heirlooms.


u/outerbanks2114 told the sad tale:

My mom (60) gave three family heirlooms (rings) to my sister (29) and nothing to me (32). Feeling left out of some family memories and not sure if it's worth bringing up

I have one sibling -- a younger sister (29). For years, my sister struggled with school and in her personal life, and in a (what I believe) was a misguided attempt to help, my parents babied her big time. They moved her into an apartment while she was in school and paid her rent/expenses. Meanwhile, I couldn't move out until I was 22 and could afford rent/all my expenses on my own or with roommates. Today I have a good job, and although I'm not well off by any stretch, I'm doing pretty good for myself.

My sister finished school last year and now also has a good job. One that if she really applies herself, she could make more than I do. However, I recently learned something and I'm not sure how to feel about it.

For years, my mom always said that Sarah would get my great-grandmother's engagement ring. This thing is a serious rock. It's beautiful, with several huge diamonds. Fine by me -- It's not quite my style and my mom said that she believed the "types of guys" my sister dated would never be able to give her anything like it. I always thought that the latter was a weird reason (and a big assumption) but the former reason making sense -- It's maybe not something I'd appreciate as much as she would).

Fine, totally fine. However, now, I was at my sister's last week and she ended up showing me two more rings -- one from the same grandmother, and another from our other grandmother -- that my mother also gave to her. Now, one of those rings I always loved -- it's more of a vintage-looking band and I always assumed it was probably costume jewelry, but my sister told me she had it appraised just to see, and it's actually very much a real gold band with real diamonds. The other ring is a gold band my other grandmother used to always wear. That one is a little strange to me that my mother would have given it away, as it was her mother's and the only thing she had of her mother's (one of my aunts wiped out my grandmother's place when she died).

I really don't know how to feel here. The not-as-important factor here is the fact that my sister now has or will every valuable family heirloom from both our grandmothers, and the main factor is that my mother seems to have left me out of all of these discussions/isn't setting any heirlooms aside for me. I don't know how to bring it up to her either, because she's super sensitive/nonconfrontational and will either try immediately to say she didn't mean Sarah could keep them forever/she didn't mean to/Sarah just asked for them so she didn't know what to do/I'm so independent and Sarah is not so she'll never be able to buy something like that for herself. IDK…I feel kind of hurt, but also like maybe I'll need to just let it go. Thoughts? Should I try to bring up? I really would hate if my mom thought I was fishing for valuables or something.

$%^&*()&$%^&*()

TLDR: Found out my mom gave my sister two valuable rings/family heirlooms and has another set aside for her for down the road. To my knowledge, there isn't anything set aside for me and I feel like I've been left out of having any piece of family memories. Should I let it go or bring it up to my very sensitive mother?

Here is some of the advice she was given.

One

This is actually something I would bring up with mom if this was something that has hurt your feelings.

It genuinely with heirlooms is not always all about the money.

It feels off to me that the split of three heirloom family rings was Sarah 3 OP 0.

lemonade_sparkle

Two

So....I reread your post after reading the critical first comment, and I disagree with that first comment. You sound hurt over years of feeling like your parents (esp your mother?) Love your sister more.

I know exactly how this feels. I won't go into my 'story' because this isn't about me, but I too have a little sister with whom my parents have an entirely different relationship and expectations. This hurts so much.

That being said, I understand your hurt. I think it is legitimate hurt. I would ask: can you talk to your mother (because I think letting it go will just foster further hurt and resentment) without bringing up all your other hurts regarding her relationship with your sister? I ask this because any time I have tried to approach my parents on this type of thing, they insist I am 'hanging onto the past' and they don't actually end up hearing what I am saying.

Maybe write a letter. Explain how you would have liked the one you loved. It's done now, but I think expressing your feelings on the subject will help you move on from this. I am so sorry OP. This is tough.

QueenoftheExiles

Three

It always sucks to feel like the "secondary" child. But there are only really two choices with this: confront your parents, or let it go. She has the rings, your mom made that choice. You can talk about it with her, which might not do much. Or you can just take a deep breath and move on.

It seems like there's a little bit of resentment towards your family's favoritism with Sarah, which is totally normal. I know friends who have similar situations. Therapy helped them a lot. Maybe look into it?

kelefreak

Four

Of course you're miffed about it, and it doesn't matter if it's because of memories or money or a mixture of both. Sadly your little sister is the golden child and you will probably always come second for things involving money.

I would outright say how hurt you are that she's either given your sister the rings or not put up a fight when your sister claimed them. Let her say all the things you think she will and then just tell het again that you're hurt. Don't let her derail the conversation by saying it and just keep telling her she has hurt you and that it's up to her to fix it.

anyanka_eg

Five

Without being confrontational so your mom goes down all those avoidance rabbit holes, could you just say, "I noticed Sarah has several of grandmother's beautiful rings, and I would love to have some heirlooms too because I loved Grandmother very much. What are your plans for xyz items?" (About ones you would actually want, if there are any.) I don't think that's weirdly fishing for "valuables" or anything -- they are mementos of a loved one, and if you want one, you should say so.

foggycactus

Six

Let me ask you something. Have you ever in the past pointed out to your mother that something she did was wrong or unfair, and had her take you seriously and not lash out? Even a small thing.

I ask this because if my mother did something like this, there would never, ever, ever be a good way or a right moment to talk to her about it. She's incapable of handling criticism. I suspect a mother who shows favoritism like yours does is going to fall on that side of the criticism spectrum. But that's not how healthy people act, and maybe your mom deserves more credit than I've given her.

So. If she's a reasonable person who will listen to what you have to say: talk to her. If she's not: don't. Accept that things are going to be unfair, and stop looking there for care or fairness.

StarryMotley

Seven

Speak up, OP. Tell your mom you want one of the rings and be specify which one.

When your mom said, "Keep them," that could have been an unspecific request for your sister to hold onto them, not that she actually gets them.

I have two daughters and let me tell you, my younger kid is an attention hog. Any parent that tells you their kids get equal attention is LYING to themselves and everyone else. The squeaky wheel gets the immediate grease and then you make it up to the other one later.

Be the sqeuaky wheel and get what you want.

arahzel

Eight

Could you ask your mom offhand when you see her next if you could see your grandmas gold band? Then your mom would have a chance to explain without feeling like it's a confrontation that she gave them all to your sister (and potentially why).

Then you could bring up how you're a little hurt because you always pictured using one for your wedding/passing down to your kids, etc. It might just gently show her that you're feeling left out of the heirlooms? Just an idea!

Doctor_Spaceship

Nine

God these things suck, don't they? It comes across to so many people that you're greedy and it's about material objects, when actually there's a genuine deep pain that your Mother seems to indicate she cares for and loves your sister more. And it f***ing sucks.

I struggle with this too. God, do I struggle. I have 4 siblings. My parents have helped out 3/5 them for significant portions of their adult lives, and the fourth she just seems to keep handing off thousands of dollars to in the form of cars and rings. My Mom handed off a 15k ring to one brother for an engagement ring with nary a word to us. She bought him a car. She bought the other boy 2 cars. She's half-supported both my sisters for years.

In contrast, she was mad at me for YEARS for not taking on the ParentPlus loans she told me she'd pay off by herself (in exchange for me going to grad school when I didn't want to; combined with a threat she'd throw me out of the house unless I went---fascinating considering how many years of free rent the rest of my siblings got).

Whenever I bring any of this up, I'm told how competent, capable, and strong I am. No one has to worry about me. I make great money. Mom keeps trying to wheedle promises out of me that I make x amount of money I'll give her y.

It hurts. Right? It f***ing hurts. Because it isn't money. It's care, attention, thought, and the giving of something precious to them to the next generation. It could be a goddamn teddy bear she'd loved her entire life and I'd be upset.

Most likely she doesn't even realize she's doing these hurtful things. Share how you're feeling with her if you think it'll be productive. Sometimes that works for my Mom if there's no actual action on her end. Like last week when she send out an email saying she'd call some of us (she's overseas) soon, specifically Child A and Child B and Child C (don't know what the other kid did to get left out this time). And the lovely time she listed all the people she missed in an email and it was everyone BUT me. She apologized when I mentioned I'd prefer NOT to receive emails that explicitly make it clear I'm not a priority.

But when it comes to things with monetary value? Omg. You'd think I was some goddamn leach wanting to bleed her dry, greedy to my core and selfish for ever holding it against my siblings that they got something I didn't. It's exhausting. And when it comes to these things, in my experience, you gotta go to therapy and just try to NOT CARE. Whenever she does something thoughtless like this repeat to yourself the facts about her that prove she loves you.

For me, I remind myself that when I truly need her, when I need her time or her attention, she is there. Always. And despite all this money being thrown around to seemingly everyone but me, despite the emails that clearly show she isn't even prioritizing me the same way, despite SENDING me the damn emails...despite all that, she must love me.

Jeeze, just tearing up thinking about it. It's hard.

wefsix

Ten

All the reasons you gave for favoritism/extra help is inexcusable imo. You are also a daughter. It really depends on your goal, do you want to salvage/ improve your relationship with your mother? Any complaint will just make you look pretty or jealous. Your mom sucks for putting you in this situation. Our personalities and values probably differ, but if I was in your shoes, I'd reciprocate fairly based on the amount of love/help/teachings they provided me during but up bringing. But like someone else started, let your sister change the diapers since she gets the priority in your mother's eyes.

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