A Tough Situation

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I have a topic that I have never really touched upon on this blog because it's pretty personal and, as many bloggers know, you can write about everything you do in a day, and yet still leave out a lot.  I'm still not even sure if I'll publish this post, but sometimes I just need to write down my thoughts.  I also have hopes that someone out there will be able to commiserate with me and maybe even be able to give some advice.

So my situation, which I have alluded to in previous posts as "the reason I need to get out of my house asap" is a very difficult family member.  A sister to be exact.  She was developmentally delayed as a child and struggled with learning and speech.  She is fine now, but because of the difficulties as a child she developed some pretty intense anger problems which have affected my entire family for many years.  She is now 22 and has a baby and I had high hopes that she would turn her life around and control her moods a little more.  If anything they have gotten worse.  She refuses to take no for an answer and will throw fits to the point where I truly begin worrying about everyone's safety (my dad had some heart problems a few years back and I know that this is not helping him).

My parents have been saints through all of this and have supported her no matter how much I'm sure they would like to do otherwise, but I'm afraid we've reached the point where they are simply enabling her to get worse.  She doesn't take care of herself the way she should and of course we are concerned for the baby, too.  (I know she does care about and care for the baby but we know that there is always more that could be done to make the baby's life even better).  She recently lost her job and now has to borrow my mom's car (not to find a new job, but to hang out with her friends).  When my mom says no it instantly turns into one of the aforementioned fits.  She will take the car and not answer her phone for days, miss appointments for herself and the baby (we are trying to get both of them help), and when we finally do get in touch with her she acts like we are trying to ruin her life.  In her eyes, my parents are always to blame for her problems and they never get any appreciation for what they give her (which is basically everything).

We have all tried talking to her on many different occasions but she refuses to see the problem the way we see it.  I am the "princess" because I did well in school and "got all the attention".  It's funny because all of my memories of childhood are her throwing fits and everyone in my family focusing on her 24/7.  She won't listen to me.  She won't listen to my parents.  She won't listen to anyone.

It has become almost unbearable for me to continue watching her act this way.  I cannot stand the way she treats my family and I've reached the point where I just have to move out to remove myself from the situation but I know that this will not make the situation any better.  It's not fair that my parents are stuck in it.

I feel like the only thing we can do now is simply cut her off.  She takes, and takes, and takes, and then gets mad when we don't give more.  She is getting worse and I honestly do not think there is anything we can do to help her now but stop giving in once and for all.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a very fine and delicate line here.  I (and my parents) are afraid of what will happen once we do cut her off.  I honestly do not like thinking about it because it makes me sick. But at the same time, will any good from the situation we are in now?  I don't believe any will.

Coincidentally, this is my horoscope for today:

I guess that by making this public I'm attempting to consider what to do next and ensure that I'm dealing with this with an open mind. 

So, blogging community, have any of you ever been in a situation like this?  I know every person is different, but the stress and pain everyone in my family has been feeling for a few year is not healthy and I simply do not know how to fix this.  

16 comments:

  1. Erin, I am so sorry to hear about this. I can imagine how terrible this is for you. I guess I won't be a big help because I haven't been in a situation like this but I do agree that something has to change. I mean, it seems like this is going on forever and it won't change when everything stays the way it is now. I guess cutting her off remains as the only option but it makes it a lot more difficult that there is her child too. So I don't know. This is really a though situation and I just want to let you know that I am there for you and thinking of you

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. It isn't easy but lucky there are enough good people around me (and in the blogging world!) that I can get through it all.

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  2. I do know that you get to a point where it's time to be on your own anyway. You very well just might be at that point and this is making it so much more so. Dealing with other peoples problems is tough and nobody can blame you for wanting to remove yourself from the situation. I say do what you gotta do.

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    1. I am more than ready to be on my again. Money is the main issue. And even if I do get to leave the situation I know it won't help my parents. But I know what you mean... it might just come to me having to do what little I can.

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  3. It sounds like our family dynamic is similar. I have a younger sister (22yo) who was diagnosised with bipolarism years ago and I have always been her scapegoat for anything that went wrong in the world (because I was the "perfect one" who never got in trouble). If you ever want to talk or at least hear my story feel free to email me at msmorgansrealitycheck@gmail.com

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    1. I wouldn't wish this on anyone but it is good to hear that there are other people out there that know where I'm coming from!

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  4. Oh Erin, I'm sorry you're going through this. It's terrible to say, but sometimes it is necessary to cut people out of our lives so they don't drag us down with them. Even if it is family. You and your parents can only do so much. There comes a point when individuals have to take responsibility for their actions.

    Has anyone brought up counseling or any other mental health options to your sister? It sounds like she might be resistant, but if push comes to shove, it might be the only option remaining and the final ultimatum.

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    1. Thanks, Kristen. We have tried counseling on several occasions throughout the years but I don't think it has helped much unfortunately. She will admit that she needs help but when it comes time to actually go it doesn't happen. She's also past the age now where we can force her to do anything :-/

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  5. I don't have any firsthand experience with any similar situations. Even so, I'm glad you trusted us (your readers) to open up and say something. We all struggle with things, both that we share, and those that we keep private. We are your family, and are there for anything you might need. If you need to talk or get in touch with someone, all you need to do is ask and we'll be there. I'll send up some prayers for you and your family, and hope that things get better.

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  6. i love you erin. you know i am always here for you, i will be praying for you all. xo

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  7. I have. When I was 22 I was more or less kicked out of my Moms home b/c her new husband saw me as a free loading burden. My sister was lucky, she was engaged and was getting ready to move in to an apartment with her future husband. I then moved to my Grandmothers but could not stay too long b/c my Uncle (who is much better now) had very similar problems as your sister. He would have these extremely frightening out bursts in which you could feel the rage radiating from him literally. He frightened grown men and one evening during such an out burst in which he later admitted himself to the mental hospital, my Grandmother, her boy fried and myself fled the house. I was running through the streets in 20 degree weather in shorts and a T shirt. I was so stressed I spontaneously got my period for 24 hours with horrendous pains. But the upside is my classmate at college told me I should apply to the dorms which were all single rooms and at the time only $200/a month. I never thought I would get in b/c I lived to close to school and Hunter College was the only CUNY school with dorms so they were reserved for the out of state students and students from abroad. My friend told me I could get in under an emergency and knew other people that had done so. So I had an emergency meeting with the Dean and I GOT IN! I had the money b/c I am very good at saving and saved enough money to cover the costs from my part time job. Also a job materialized with the A/V department at school where all my friends worked. So with in a week or so I had new job, and a new place to live smack dab in the middle of NYC! I will never forget the day I watched my mom and her husband pulling away from the curb after we moved my stuff in to the dorm. I WAS FREE!! I will never forget this. So when it is very dark, miraculous things can happen.

    Ali of

    www.dressingken.com

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  8. I think it's very courageous of you to publish this post. Honestly, I can somewhat relate. I was "the good kid" and my brother had similar issues as a child and now at 18 is the same exact way (without a child) and will not accept no for an answer. My parents do everything for him and I get frustrated about it. Fortunately, I don't live in the house but I continue to tell my parents now that he's 18 to cut him off. He throws fits and my parents cave which isn't teaching him anything and won't get him anywhere in life.

    Your situation is tough because there is a child involved and I know that you really want what's best for the child. At the same time, I think the best thing for you is to cut her off. At 22, your parents can't continue to give. If they say no to something your sister needs to find an alternative way. Her child will eventually suffer if she grows up learning that you can throw fits and get your way. It's not a good role model. Also, if you cut her off and fear for her child maybe you could get DCF involved? I know you'd probably feel bad but if your sister is that way it might be for the best. It also seems like you're at a point where she's ruining your lives and you can't live that way. It sounds like you've talked with her and done more than what you've needed to do. Life isn't easy and sometimes you have to make decisions that don't always make sense but better both situations. I think cutting her off for a while is for the best. If your parents don't agree, it might be best for you to get out and hopefully eventually they'll realize they need to pull the plug too.

    I know it's hard...

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    1. I could totally relate to your most recent post. It is such a tough situation but I know we'll get through it!

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  9. Hi, Erin! I'd come here to say thank you for following my little blog and to say hi. I don't know if my comment here is appropriate since we don't know each other yet, but I'd like to say that I support your and your parents' decision. I can only imagine how hard it must be to live with someone so close to you who is so problematic! I'm sorry you have to go through all this and hope everything will get better! Have you guys resorted to some kind of professional to help you deal with your sister? I'm sure you could hear some useful tips to be more prepared. May it all work out the best way! ;)

    Hugs!

    Miki.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the support :) I'm looking forward to reading your blog more!

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