Title is vague so here’s some backstory.
I recently moved out of my parents’ house in mid December. Some of my items are still there, as complications at my new apartment have kept me from bringing all my furniture and belongings. So I brought over my necessities, and left my summer wardrobe, furniture, and miscellaneous things.
You’d expect all these items to be safe from theft, right? I should be able to trust my family not to ransack my room. But apparently no.
My older sister, who does not live with my parents, texted me one day in early January saying that our mum had put together some clothes for her and she thinks a few of my dresses are in there. She asked if she could take them on her trip coming up in mid February. I asked her which dresses specifically, she told me, and I told her no. Please bring them back.
My reasons for saying no? My sister has a track record of taking my things without permission, and I never see those things again. I also have a strained relationship with her, and really pulled away from it after she asked me for a $2,000 loan in November. This is worth mentioning because I was in the middle of a crisis, I don’t want to go into too much detail. But someone close to me had attempted suicide that night, and at that moment I was under the impression it may have been successful. She saw this as an opportunity that hey, I may no longer need the money I’ve been saving up to move out, and hounded me for a loan.
Also, another reason for saying no: I’m allowed to. No is a complete sentence. They’re my things and I can deny you the permission to take and use them.
So over the course of the next 5 weeks, I keep texting her asking if she’s returned my clothes yet. She keeps brushing it off saying she hasn’t had a chance yet. Which I don’t understand, since my mother still drives her to and from work every day. Again, despite her not living with them. So a week before her trip, after I had gone home to visit and noticed they’re still missing, I texted her. She replied the next day and told me she put them in the car. I trusted her.
I went back home the weekend after she left, to retrieve some items. I had two dresses I wanted to pick up. One for Valentine’s Day, one for my boyfriend’s grandparents’ 50th anniversary party. I could not find them for the life of me.
Now I see her posting pictures of her trip on Instagram. In my clothes. That I specifically told her she was not allowed to take. That she flat out told me she had returned.
I’m just so frustrated, and hurt, and ANGRY. I feel like my no was disrespected and disregarded. I should be allowed to say no. What makes it worse is she had to go through my room and my drawers to get these items. I’m a girl in my 20s, I have some things in my room that should be able to remain private.
I don’t know if I’m overreacting to this all but there’s more backstory that just adds to my hurt. In 2012, our relationship was *very* rocky. I was going through severe depression and struggling with a recent diagnosis of bpd which I have thankfully received treatment for since. But during this, she was physically and mentally abusive towards me. One day I came home to see she had torn my room apart, stolen all my things. My drawers were literally empty. I had a mental breakdown that landed me in emergency psychiatric care. I never saw any of my stuff again and had to rebuild my wardrobe from scratch. So this happening again on a smaller scale just brings up all those feelings.
This may be an unrelated part, but I’m a victim of an assault. She knows this. I have worked my ass off at learning to say no, and being comfortable and confident in saying no. Because I have every right to say no. And she just disregards it, or guilt trips me on how I should do what she’s requesting because she would do it for me.
I’ve been very quiet and haven’t been passive aggressive about this. I’ve let her enjoy her trip as there’s nothing I can currently do to rectify this situation, so getting angry and putting her in a sour mood on vacation does nothing to benefit me or get my stuff back.
I’m just frustrated. I needed to have a good vent, and I needed some outside perspective before I word my final message to her. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), but that’s what I was in to treat my BPD. They teach you a skill called ‘DEAR MAN’ for situations like this, so that’s what I intend on doing once she returns from her trip.
*TL;DR sister continues to take my things without permission, need advice on addressing it effectively and assertively. No longer concerned with maintaining a relationship.