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'AITA if I reach out to my half-sister who asked for space after how my family treated her?' UPDATED

'AITA if I reach out to my half-sister who asked for space after how my family treated her?' UPDATED


"WIBTA if I send an email to my half sister?"

Here's the original post:

My elder sister is estranged from us. She was the scapegoat and I was the golden child. I was a spoiled brat and I rubbed it in. She was still a great elder sister. She was there for when I needed it and she protected me when I messed up. I didn't deserve that at all. She cut us all of when I was 17.

She had written me a letter where she explained that she loved me but she couldn't have me in her life without my presence reminding her of how sh!tty they were to her. It has been 8 years. I have respected her wishes because It had truly started to understand how horrible our parents where and I am sure I will never properly get how bad it was for her. I have wanted to see how she was doing.

I have heard about her from mutual friends b really miss her but I understand why she wants the distance. She was always compared to me. She was constantly criticized about things that were not in her control. I was a little shit and loved how much they cared about me, They adored me while trampling down on her. It must have been hell. Pure hell for her and I was the tool used to hurt her.

Last month, My boyfriend had a zoom company conference. I was dropping off some snacks for him when I saw it was my sister speaking. It brought back a lot of memories. I really miss her. I really do. I have been thinking about her lot.

I want to send her an email asking her how she has been, Telling her I realized how sh!tty my parents were and apologizing for my actions and that I have cut them out of my life too. I just want to tell her that I really wish that she is happy and she was able to move past what the hurt they caused. I really hope that she is happy and I want her to be happy even if I have no place in her life,

Would that be too much? I talked to one our old mutual friend who knew some of what went down and she thinks that It would be too much and that I should just move on and forget about it. I still want to send it to her.

I know it is selfish. I should just ignore all these emotions and let her live in peace. That mail could drag back so much bad memories and I don't want to hurt her again. I still want to send it to her. That is what makes me an @$$hole here, I feel. I want to try to text her when she told me not to.

What do you think? WIBTA if she reaches out to her half-sister? This is what top commenters had to say:


NAH if you send a caring email with no guilting or expectation of contact. She is within her rights to not respond or to reiterate her 'don't contact me' boundary but you're within your rights to ask, in my opinion, as the elder estranged sister of golden child siblings.

She might never be okay to see you again and that sucks but that's not on you. That will be what your parents have put on you, the repurcussion you have to carry, like your sister carries her trauma.


NTA, one email with all your contact information and letting her know that you have also disowned your parents and that you clearly see what they did to her and how damaging it was. Tell her you apologize for your actions.

Let her know you love her and miss her and want to be part of each others lives whenever she is ready. If she feels it should be joint therapy or coffee at a local shop. Tell her you will not attempt to contact her again after this, eight years is a long time.


I think the fact that you're wanting to express remorse, hoping that she's happy, and not trying to push your way back into her life (but accepting that you may never have a place in her life), would not make you an asshole for sending her a message eight years on. NAH. (you certainly were one in the past, but doesn't sound like you are now)

And [deleted] said:

NTA as long as you accept (1) her life might be happier without you, and (2) a non-response means her answer is no. Hit send on that email only when you are ready to give her complete control over what happens next. If she doesn't respond to your email, don't follow-up by asking your mutual friends, your boyfriend, or her co-workers to talk to her.

Don't find out where she lives, don't stalk her on social media, and don't hang around your boyfriend's Zoom calls. But also don't beat yourself up - you aren't a bad person, or a worse person if your sister doesn't want to reconcile with you.

If she does respond, listen. Even if she says things you don't want to hear. Don't make the conversation about yourself, or try to equate your suffering with hers. Be prepared for the possibility that you two will reconnect, but she will later decide to go low or no contact again. Focus on making her feel loved and listened to, because that's what her family failed to provide her for the first 25 years of her life.

Do you agree with commenters?

OP did end up reaching out to her sister. She then shared this update on what happened:

I received a lot very helpful advice. I wrote a short email telling my sister that I wished her well, I apologized for my behavior when we were living together and told her that I have cut of our parents and that I will love to be a part of her life if she wants me to be but I do understand it if she doesn't want to.

I sat on it for a week and send it to our mutual friend. She read the email and she said she had talked about it with my sister and she was willing to read it. Nothing happened for two weeks but then she started to follow me on instagram!! I got so excited that my boyfriend was worried about me for a second. I have a photography page and she like a really old photo so I know she was browsing my account.

She texted me a day later and we finally talked. I talked to her after 8 years. It was pretty emotional and yeah, it was fine. She is coming over to meet me next month. I am excited for it. She hasn't really changed and it makes me feel terrible, The first thing she asked me was how they treated me after she left, I don't know how I was so terrible to this wonderful woman.

It is funny, She ended up being the perfect daughter they wanted me to be and I ended up being a college dropout with a career in flighty arts stuff. Funny how that turned out.

Sources: Reddit
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