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Sister 2

Dynamics of my family? Attention was always on my sister. I was happy with that, kept my head down, beavering away with my life. But – and not by choice – it all changed 9th September 2008. My sister hated that my parents flew to Australia. If that had happened to one of her children, would she not have done the same?

Christmas 2009 when Paul and I flew home. My sister and her family were there. It was a pleasure to see them and meet my new niece!

I invited my sister up to Glasgow for a weekend visit: trip to Edinburgh, art galleries and a meal out. It went well and felt great.

Then it all changed, she said

- You are not seeing my children as you swear

- You took my eldest aside and taught her how to say “fuck”

- You constantly swore when I visited

- How dare you send presents to my children – do that again and they will go to a charity shop

- I have told my children you’re horrible

- They hate you

My psychologist told me swearing is a phase that survivors go through which subsides. Taking my niece aside to teach her how to? My parents and husband all said that was absolute rubbish

My sister has reinvented herself running a jewellery business. She’s on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and has blocked me from it all.

She’s been on Countryfile promoting her philosophy: if you feel low, then nature helps. Written several books, illustrating them herself. She has referred to me in them “a close family member nearly died…”

My only contact since then has been written messages. I am devastated losing contact with her children. From what I see they are growing up to be creative, interesting people.

I’ve made a website for them to show who we are, who their cousin Jack is, my art, our travelling. I designed business cards and flyers for them. I am “allowed” to send them gift vouchers as presents.

My sister is adamant that I’m damaging and hurtful to both her and her children. I don’t fit in with the persona she shows the outside world. I am nothing to her. I grieve over this every day of my life.

Do any other brain injury survivors relate to this happening at all, in terms of family members and/or friends? It'd be great to hear from you.

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