The most toxic person in my life was my sister. And there was only one solution.



I’ve decided to break up with my sister.

No, I haven’t come to this decision quickly or lightly. We’ve been trying to get along for more than forty years and the only way I can describe our relationship is that it is extremely bipolar.

We get along like a house on fire and then with no warning, it disintegrates. It’s a war every time.

I’ve given up trying to figure out who is at fault, what I could do differently, how I can steer it better, how I can avoid it ever happening again.

I’ve tried and tried and tried but I just can’t do it anymore.

I have nothing left with which to feed this relationship. I have nothing left for her or for us.

I need to break up with her. I know it.

From today, we are officially estranged.

“From today, we are officially estranged.”

She doesn’t accept this. In her eyes she is perfect and I am something she needs to fix. She’s great and I’m a fuck up.

She is the only person in my life who looks at me like this. In her eyes, I am a mess. It is an uncomfortable reflection that I no longer want to see. I never want to see this again, to feel this way again. I’m almost forty and I only want people around me who love and support me.

If you think I’m being cruel, then you have obviously never had someone in your inner circle who hurts you this much. It is like a cancer in my life.

Nobody can upset me like her. Nobody can leave me feeling like such a loser.


We were having our most recent ‘episode’, an innocuous conversation that deteriorated into a war. Once again, I didn’t see it coming and was shocked at where it went. I’d had enough. Instead of trying to be reasonable and to defend myself, I decided to fight back.

I tried calling her but she refused to answer the phone. I think at this point she suspected she may have gone too far because she refused to answer. So I broke up with her via text. I don’t trust myself to do it to her face because she has a way of making me feel like I am the one who was at fault, who is insane, who is misunderstanding her.

The text was angry and firm and terse and final. It’s the kind of text we won’t ever come back from. That was deliberate.

Some well-known fictional sisters. Not all of their relationships are sunshine and roses. (Post continues after gallery).

I have a friend who has been estranged from her sister and I’ve never understood it. A late friend of mine, on his final days, urged me to do everything I could to maintain my relationship with her. “Life is too short,” he told me as one of the last things he ever said.

His voice is in my head every time my sister and I fight.

I’m sorry. I know you meant well my friend, but I think in this, you were wrong.


“Sometimes the most toxic person in your life is a relative, and as much as this is going to hurt my mum and dad and effect the rest of my family, I feel I have no choice but to completely disconnect from her.”

My husband rang me and checked in on me. He’s picked me up off the floor multiple times after episodes with this particular sister. He gets it.


Now, after forty years, I get it too.

Just because we are family, doesn’t me we have to get along. Just because she is my sister, doesn’t me I am obliged to accept her into my life.

Sometimes the most toxic person in your life is a relative, and as much as this is going to hurt my mum and dad and effect the rest of my family, I feel I have no choice but to completely disconnect from her.

I just can’t do it anymore.

I don’t feel guilty or upset like I have done previously when I’ve tried to do this. I woke up the next day feeling lighter, happier and for the first time in many years, free.

No, she’s not the explanation for all the things that have gone wrong in my life. I have some serious problems I am dealing with this year but I have surrounded myself with the right people to help me through it.

I can’t let her throw grenades into it anymore, all the work I do, all the progress I make, is undone by her in an instant, leaving me reeling and wondering what the fuck just happened.

Now, for the first time, I can say that I will never let that happen again because I have decided it will never happen again. Every single person in my inner circle is good for me. Those who are not good for me have no place in my life or my future.

Have you ever had serious problems with a family member and made the difficult decision to remove them from your life? 

If you really related to this, then you might want to read…

‘I’m still learning to live a life without my beautiful sister Alana.’.

7 things all younger sisters need their big sisters to know.

Leigh Sales’ break up letter to her best friend, Annabel Crabb.