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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » My sister...

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Author Topic: My sister...
Ana Simone
Member # 30361

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I am 20 and my sister is 30 years old. I used to have the coolest older sister in the world. When I was younger we used to do all sorts of things together; shopping, road trips, holidays, and I would say at her house for weeks during the summer. We would share makeup and talk about relationships and go out to eat. I couldn't have asked for a better sister.

My sister had her first child (my niece) and I became an aunt almost exactly 5 years ago. For the first two or three weeks of her life I stayed at my sister's house and helped take care of her. My sister and I still did things together as often as we could, but she slowly started to change. Every once in a while I would notice that the baby was crying and I was the one who had to go soothe her, or she was crawling off and I was the one who had to keep up with her. Sometimes I would be left with her for hours. It didn't bother me too much though.. I really wanted to be a part of her life.

My sister had her second and last child (my nephew) three years ago. That's when I really started to notice that my sister was a different person. She never went to work (since my niece was born) and quit doing odd jobs to help out with the bills. We would sell goods together to make some extra money for her and not only did she not pay me (I didn't mind then) but she would leave me for long stretches of time with the kids and the business to run. We began to argue about money. She would offer to take me places and then ask our dad for as much cash as he would give her to "feed" me, etc. Then she would waste it all on herself, feed me something cheap and then claim I'd used up all the money and ask for more. Her children became unruly. They would slap me (and her for that matter) and be completely rude and disrespectful without much more than a sidelong glance from my sister. I began avoiding her phone calls and steered clear at family functions.

Every time I see my sister she seems to be worse. She is super cheap and tries to take everything from leftovers to toilet paper from family members houses (sometimes openly, some discreetly.) She can't go five minutes without making a negative comment about what she doesn't have or how somebody has wronged her. Every time her kids misbehave it's someone else's fault. She tries to guilt trip me every time I see her about what I don't do for her, and when I give her money to buy something instead of saying "thank you" she spends the change on something more. Her own husband has taken up hunting every animal that moves in South Carolina so that between that and work he is never home.

I don't know what to do. I feel sorry for my sister but she is making us all miserable. I am beginning to resent her more and more. I don't want to confront her because I'm afraid she won't talk to me anymore, but I'm at the point where I may just blow up. She is selfish and lazy, and no one wants to be around her or her bratty children (it's not their fault!) I wonder if she has post partum depression, or if this is just a side of her that was always waiting for the children to bring out. And if she does have some kind of mental problem, this negative reaction (or avoidance) from my family could only be making it worse. Who knows how much worse she will get?
I just want my sister back. Any advice?

Posts: 18 | From: South Carolina | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Post-partum depression can last for quite some time for some women, so that's certainly a possibility. But it also sounds like her husband has essentially abandoned she and the kids, so the stress of being the only available parent is likely to also be taking a pretty serious toll. Not knowing what her financial situation is and what's going on there, there may also be something behind the scenes in that regard fueling some of this.

It does sound to me like someone needs to have a kind, but honest, talk with her though. I'd avoid using words like selfish and lazy, or saying her children are "bratty," and instead just let her know that you've observed some changes in her which you feel are straining your relationship. You've noticed behavioral problems with her children. You feel taken for granted. And then I'd ask her if she is earnestly okay, because it seems like something is very wrong for her.

See what she does with something like that. She may well share what's going on if approached in that way. If she doesn't, or denies anything is wrong, then I'd just set a limit for yourself, and let her in on it, that you need for your own mental health, however much you love her. Make clear you don't want to abandon her, but that with the dynamic as it is right now -- and her saying, if she has, that nothing is going on -- it's not healthy for you, and you also feel you're enabling her more than helping.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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