My Sister Excluded Me From Her Wedding Due to My Looks—What Should I Do?

Dear Newsweek, I'm a lady in her mid-20s with a serious problem. Not only do I have epilepsy, but my sister can be pretty mean.

My sister/partial guardian, who I'll call Danielle, can have a mean streak. When she told me she was engaged to her husband, who I'll call Scott, she promised me I would be in her wedding.

I found out that was a lie after I had a good day at work. I confronted Danielle, but all I got was lies and excuses. I feel like Danielle excluded me because of the way I look and my disability. My mom went straight to being Danielle's lawyer and never calls Danielle out on her bad behavior. Scott stays out of the fray, as does my brother, who I'll call Shaun.

Before the wedding, we met with my therapist and Danielle pulled the same b******* and made the same excuses while smirking and rolling her eyes at me; Shaun wasn't there. I always make excuses for her bad behavior because I'm afraid of my family's reaction.

Sisters Argue Stock Image
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Fast forward to now. I found out she's pregnant and instead of being excited, I'm having serious anxiety because of how full of herself Danielle can be. I found out a couple days ago that she deliberately didn't post one picture I'm in on Instagram, so I called her out, without attacking her character. Danielle gave excuses after excuses to do something mean-spirited; I caught her in a few lies.

I told Danielle how fed up I was with her bad behavior and I hope she learns a very painful lesson about why it's not okay to treat people badly. I also told her that I would be there for her when she falls off her high horse so she can learn what it's like to have nobody supporting you when you need it. She gave me the most immature rebuttal and told me that my feelings were invalid. Scott doesn't call her out and neither does my mom.

I talked to my best friends, who I'll call Erin and Kelly. Kelly, Erin and I have been the best of friends since we were teenagers and show no signs of stopping. Kelly and Erin thought I was being counterintuitive, but her actions were unacceptable. They thought the way I did it was poorly executed.

I talked to my boyfriend, who I'll call Vince, and his mother, who I'll call Cindy. Cindy thought I did the right thing, especially since neither my mom and Scott are willing to tell her that her behavior is wrong. Cindy also told me that she thinks that my mom and Scott might be scared of the way Danielle would react if they called her out.

Vince said I absolutely did the right thing by putting her in her place and letting her know what the consequences of her actions are. He thought I did the best thing because nobody tells Danielle she's wrong when she does something cruel; Vince and I have been together for six and a half years.

Did I do the right thing by calling her out?

One Angry Sister, Unknown

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Whether It Was Intentional Or Not, It Shows You Are Unimportant to Them

Chase Cassine is a behavioral health specialist at DePaul Community Health Centers.

As social creatures, humans have an innate drive for social belonging with others. So, when you're part of a social circle of friends and family unit, you may assume because of the relationship with them that you will always be included in their activities, conversations and invites to their events.

But, if you're excluded from the list without a valid explanation, you may feel rejected and confused. Although painful to process, all of these emotions are valid.

Whether the exclusion was deliberate or not, it sends a subtle message that you are unimportant to them. As a result, you've become angry and upset (rightfully so), and it's healthy to sit with your emotions and acknowledge them.

However, if we sit with negative emotions for too long, things can escalate into a verbal argument filled with passive-aggressive communication that will not resolve anything.

When someone's actions make you feel excluded, communicate using "I-statements," such as "When I was not included in the wedding, I felt excluded and would like to know what happened."

This allows for a healthier approach that may give you a better perspective on what happened and allow you to speak up for yourself in a direct and respectful manner.

Toxic Is Toxic, and Liars Are Liars

Marni Goldman is a certified life coach and author of "True to Myself."

Living with the physical symptoms of epilepsy is such a challenging task. Not only does it affect you physically, it puts an enormous toll on you mentally. You have a medical condition, and your sister Danielle's behavior is a serious problem.

You can't change or control her, however, you can change yourself. We think we have to love and tolerate people because they are family, but toxic is toxic, and liars are liars.

It's human nature to want to be loved and accepted unconditionally, but sometimes we need to show ourselves love and acceptance instead. Surround yourself with people who show you respect, and don't chase those who don't.

I know this is a hard pill to swallow, but Danielle can't be any more blatantly clear that she really doesn't want to have a relationship with you, other than the one it seems she's forced to have. You are an easy target for her emotional bullying, but remember, it has nothing to do with you.

I know it's easier said than done, but you need to take your power back. Vince and Cindy, those are your people. I am so happy you got everything off your chest and called her out. You were the only one in your family brave enough to do that, good for you. Saying nothing in order to keep peace is such a betrayal to oneself.