After mom died, my sister made awful phone calls

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister is a deeply unhappy person, always on the lookout for some reason to be offended.

Everyone in the family has always tiptoed around her and tried to read her mind, lest we failed to fulfill her unspoken expectations. We all struggled to be absolutely perfect in order to keep the peace and avoid her wrath.

Of course, it did not work. Somebody seeking reasons to be angry and bitter will always find them. One by one, she chose estrangement from all of us, though her hatred always burned hottest toward me and our mother.

Mom really struggled with the hurt and embarrassment of the situation. She was always a very private person and did not want to be the subject of gossip, so the situation was never discussed outside the circle of people who had been rejected by my sister. Only I knew what Mom was really going through.

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