Dear Abby: I have a younger sister I love dearly. I respect and admire her. “Elise” is intelligent and talented. She is a minister’s wife and a mother to small children. Due to some unfortunate family circumstances when she was young, she has some emotional scars she’s trying to overcome. Sometimes at family gatherings she’ll “explode” and lash out at whoever triggered her. Her outbursts usually take us all by surprise.
How do we, as siblings who have grown up in the same environment, handle this? We don’t think our childhoods so terrible, although we did have some challenges, and our daddy does have narcissistic tendencies. He actually recognizes that and is trying to improve himself. Sometimes we feel she makes mountains out of molehills, but we want to be sensitive to her pain. I’m concerned she’ll end up controlling our family gatherings in a negative way if these flare-ups don’t stop. What do you think could be done? — Befuddled Big Sis