My problem sister

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My problem sister

Postby Jackie » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:13 pm

Following on from confused

HI guys,
I decided that I would break up with him, really the problem is that we are spending no time together and it's my life really getting in the way..my work and course are enough for me at the moment, and I'm happy to have him as my friend. That's not today's problem though..basically My problem is this: I have been living with my sister for the last three years and during this time I have experienced the most violent rows and been subjected to temper tantrums all fuelled by alcohol. Each time I've spoken my mind and there has always been some apology and niceness from her...until the next time. Aside from the drinking, my sister is very negative about her life and the slightest thing that goes wrong, there is a big drama and everything is about her. I am the person closest to her and I end up tolerating her bahaviour and giving her advice which she never uses. (including advice to see a therapist) I just don't have peace of mind and relaxation where I live. The last straw was the other day when I came home from work and she told me that she had had a panic attack, and our father had spent the whole afternoon with her(he is nearly 80) calming her down and calling the doctor who gave her tablets. When I arrived home she was lying on the floor having taken a tablet and I had to wrestle a glass of wine from her hand. I have now made the decision that enough is enough and I am going to find another place to rent. I have already told her that I am looking for a place to buy and she is ok with that but complains that I have to give her 2 months notice. I have now decided that I amgoing to rent somewhere else as soon as possible as I am thinking about how I have been putting my own contentment on hold for three years. I mentioned it to my Dad this evening(he knows that she drinks but really doesn't want to gat involved in all that) and he was quite upset at the idea of the boat being rocked, ie that my sister may have to come back and live with him and that will disrupt the peace he has, my sister is really a very noisy and intrusive person to live with. I told him that it is my decision and my life , and he understands, but then he started talking about selling the family home and moving into a flat of his own, and if I can do what I want so can he. It sounds very juvenile for a man who is supposed to be old and wise, but I think it's a reaction to me changing things by moving on and now he had to deal with my sister. So in ways I have been like a parent for the last few years. More than ever before I feel sure in my mind I am doing the right thing, but how do I do it without alienating my Dad? I value him a lot, and don't want to cause a lot of turmoil for him at the age he is at. He lives independently and is quite happy with that(my mother passed away some years ago.) At that same time I need to look after my own needs and stop putting my life on hold. Sorry this is so long. Any advice you all have would be much appreciated. :wink: :) :) Jackie
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Postby reckoner » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:42 pm

Hi Jackie,

I'm going to apologise in advance because I know that seeing it from outside the situation can be very different to the reality for you, especially in a family situation. But I have to say that, at 80 years old, your Dad just sounds too old to be able to deal with your sister.

Your sister is a terrible responsibility, and I understand that you've got your own peace of mind on hold, but he's at the end of his life. And if your sister's violent and having panic attacks, I don't see how you can leave her with an elderly man.

In an ideal world, your sister would be there for you, you would support each other in taking care of him. Instead, you're the one left in the middle. I can only imagine how horrible that must be. But it sounds like your Dad would be at serious risk from your sister.

She needs professional help, it sounds like it will only get worse. Have you looked for support, both for her alcohol problem and for you? Finding a way to sort your sister out will be the best thing you could do for her and may be the only way you'll get peace of mind in the long run.

By the way, I think this needs to be moved to a new thread into another section so you can get the best help from others.

Good luck and all the best.
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Selfish Sister

Postby Jackie » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:54 pm

Thanks for that, I have tried to talk to my sister about her problems and to get her to see someone but she refuses to admit that she has a problem. I am doing a course at the moment which is of a pyschotherapeutic nature so I am talking to a therapist about all these things, as part of my debriefing. So the bottom line is my Dad's health. Do I stay living with her then forever or until she decides to sort herself out? Because right now I can't ever see that happening. She is 13 years older than me. What if i was to get married in the meantime? I really feel that I can't spend my whole life looking after other people. Thanks for your help, I do appreciate what you have to say. By the way I dontt know how to move this to another thread, but I would like to!
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Postby peecee » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:20 pm

Whoaaaaa, hang on a minute. Why do you think your sister will have to move back with daddy? And why do you have to live with her?

Whoops - sorry if that came across as being abrupt, hun, I didn't mean it to - your problem really touches a nerve with me, because my dad is just gone 80, and he's so very ill that my sis and I are waiting for THE phone call from the nursing home he had to move into two years ago, because from being an independent boy like your dad, he went downhill, and it's made us reconsider our whole lives. pm me if you want to discuss it. :)

I don't think your dad's reaction is in the least bit juvenile; he's reacting in a way that he hopes will make you both understand that he can't cope with the threat of a volatile woman moving in with him and taking over his life; our old dads can't express themselves the way WE would, that's all it is. Please don't make your dad the villain - it's your sister.

*end of mini-rant* :oops:

Right; I think you are completely justified in moving to your own space, go fot it. My sister and I couldn't live with each other for three years now, and we mostly get on very well - probably because we don't live together! But you are entitled to your own life and space, no argument on that.

What will your (grown-up!) sister do if you move out? Can't she get a lodger, if she needs someone to share with? She doesn't live with your dad, is that right? So I don't understand why she even needs to threaten to move in with him, unless she's trying to upset you - is that it? She's not ill, needing someone there 24 hours a day?

Post again, tell me where I'm wrong, because I would really like to work with you one this one, sweet pea.

Lots of love

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Postby Bel Bel » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:24 am

I 100% agree with all that peecee has to say on this one
She is neither yours or your dads responsibility and maybe this will lead to her hitting rock bottom but it is only when that happens that people usual seek help so whilst this might seem harsh it is better for this to happen long term
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Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:15 pm

I agree, she can't have someone looking after her FOREVER. She needs to be a big girl and learn to take responsibility for herself.
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Postby Jackie » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:11 am

Hi Peecee,
Thanks for your long message, I used to love long letters(when people used to write letters) and now I love long mails. Firstly though can you post my original message, I am happy to do that but I just don't know how! I'll try and answer all your questions.
History: my sister is 13 years older than me and has lived in many places away from home including time in a different country. She even owns a property which she rents out, so when you think about it she is in a much better situstion than me to sell up and buy a new place, or even move into a new one. I, on the other hand, have only ever lived at home and with my sister. Oh I lived in Spain for a year, student kind of thing which was great. So yes I know that it is high time that I lived away from my family, the only reason that I have not done it so far is that I have never put myself first. When my mother died I was the only one left at hime,and I stayed with my Dad as I did not want to leave him on his own. O probably could have done it years before I did as he never put any pressure on me, it was just me and my way of feeling sorry for people. So when I did eventually decide to move in with my sister it wasa while before I was able to not feel that I had to rush off and see my Dad every day. Its not that I'm one of those people who needs their family as their crutch, on the contrary I'm quite independent and always travelling, doing new things and really I consider myself quite adventurous.
You thought you could ramble? Watch me!
The situation at the moment is that my Dad and my sister have had a row on the phone and has has called her an alcoholic. She has not spoken to him since but has left several angry messages on my phone to the effect of me betraying her and what sis I tell Dad? The truth is that he has known for some time that she drinks too much and changes her behaviour when she drinks. I have mentioned things the odd time if i've been upset but lately I try and hold it as I don't want to stress my Dad out. Now I am staying back with my Dad as If I go back to apartment where I live with my sister there will be another row. She wants me to talk to Dad and intercede on her behalf, and I just won't do that as I am quite angry at her myself, and she has treated me horribly in the last few days. (and mush more if I go back in time) I think that she can't understand my reaction this time as I have never acted this way before. I did speak to her briefly tonight and just kept repeating that it was between her and Dad, and that I would speak to her when she could be calm about things. I am trying not to feel sorry for her as I know that she is trying her vest to manipulate me.
MY Dad has appealed to me and asked me to stay living with her for the next three months until she finds out if she can be made permanent in her job. (At the moment her probation has been extended) He feels that if I were to tell her I was moving out now she would have a complete breakdown. And I guess he might be feeling that then he will have to deal with her on her own. I really feel that if I go back there that no point will have been made and that the same old stuff will just happen again or that I'll have the fear that It will. IIt's a lot calmer here in my Dad's, but like you I think I will have to strangle my Dad if I have to live here for more than a week. I could rent somewhere easily , and if my Dad was not a consideration I would do that in the moning. I feel very trapped right now. A friend has offered me his place to stay for a week as he knows what's going on and he'll be away that week.
I Have suggested therapy to my sister and she did go for two sessions two years ago but did not continue as the therapist freaked her out. And i don't think that she liked digging that deep. I really have suggested lots of things to her over the course of time and given her numbers but she never follows anything up, and sometimes even lies about it just to keep people happy. There is part of me that is intensely worried about her as I can see that she is deeply unhappy and destructive, but then another part of me is so angry that she has rejected people's support and walked all over them.
Despite all this there are times when me and her are very close, but it's getting harder and harder to even be in the same room with her.
Peecee, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad, that sounds like it must have been a very traumatic sitaution for you all. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you right now, but I'm happy that you and your sister are pulling together for the priorities. I would love me and my sister to do that, and i hopeful that it will happen, but right now there is no talking to her and getting her to see sense. I guess that maybe we have to hit rock bottom to come up.
I hear you on the holiday: unfortunately I have a lot of course work to do for the beginning of Dec but after that I am planning a weekend away. In the meantime I'll have to find a space where I can concentrate on what matters.
Thanks for listening...I bet you're sorry now you asked!
J xxxxxx
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Postby Bel Bel » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:26 am

tell your dad you mental helath will be at risk if you go back and you could be driven to a mental breakdown
If she has one it will leadto her getting the help she needs
You really are just going to have to stand your ground and it's your dads choice if he decides to involve himself with your sister
He is being a bit dramatic about it, why on earth is you moving out going to casue her breakdown anyway as you say she has options that you don't.
I think you need to move out on your own so you can't be used as piggy in the iddle by eithr of them
Your sister is not ready to face her problems and as I said before she needs to hit rock bottom before she will choose to do that
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Re: My problem sister

Postby Jackie » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:10 pm

Hi Guys,
It's been a while. You could say that my situation has come on in leaps and bounds sinve November, and in many ways I have defined my boundaries more than ever. However things with my sister are still quite messy. BAckground: Things came to a head and I decided to move out from my sister, move back home for a bit and find my own house. I have done that and am getting ready to move in in May. I decided to contribute a little bit of cash to my sister each week to help her iwth the rent, and I spent most weeks staying there one or two nights, in order to have a bit of space for my dad and I guess subconsciously to keep an eye on her. Her alcohol consumption reached an all time high at Christmas of which the family were all aware and I even called some rehab places(her idea but she was drunk when she said it) Right now, I know she is boozing most of the time and keeps it secret. The fact that I'm not around her anymore when she is drunk means that our relationship is slightly better, yet false. I should mention also thaht she lost her job in February and has been living on money that Dad has given her. She cut the grass for him today and he paid her 40euro. My sister is 46. The real issue right now however is that last weekend me and her went out for a drink, we hadn't been out together for a long time and Ireally thought that it would be ok and the night would not turn into a mess as it has on so many occasions before. I was a fool to think that, and it ended up that we were back in her apartment, with some platonic friends that she invited back. She got really drunk, accused me of coming on to one of the guys saying that she had had her eye on him for ten years( I have never heard mention of this guy in my life) She tried her best to taunt me and be really bitchy but I refused to give in and kept talking to this guy as I won't be bullied. When the guys left, my sister went hysterical, shouting banging doors, screaming and tried to slap me, and threw a bottle in my direction. She then collapsed on her bed into s very drunken sleep, I was naturally frightened and stayed awake till morning when I could leave. I told her waht had happened and she said she couldm't remember any of it. I left and we did not speak until today(a week later) I have been away for the week, and could not bring myself to even really look her in the guy. Before I left she left messages on my phone, screaming at me, and texts saying that all I cared about was myself and that I was the coldest person she had ever met. As I am living with my Dad I told him that she had been drunk and been nasty but I did not tell him about her throwning the bottle at me as I thought that it would upset him too much. He was very sympathetic and told me not to be upset. I went away on hols and tried to gorget about it. I got a text message from my sister saying that she was very sorry. Somehow I cannot bring myself to forgive her, as it happens again always. I said thanks though. Now that I am back, I feel strongly about this and that I want to stand my ground and not be taken advantage of or screamed at. She makes me nervous. She has totally charmed my Dad, he now feels sorry for her and wants me to be nicer to her. I have not been rude to her, just distant. I just feel that If I'm all friendly and familiar as if nothing has happened, then she will violate my boundaries again. Really it has nothing to do with my Dad, I guess I just need my space from both of them. She makes me nervous, and i feel that I cannot trust her in any way. It is imminent as I am moving in May. What do I do in the meantime? Stand my ground even if it's awkward? Or pretend for my Dad's sake? My Dad is upset at the atmosphere between us, I don't want him involved in it at all but I cannot see how he can be angry at me when she is the alcoholic, violent mess. Help!
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Re: My problem sister

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:23 am

It seems like your dad knows there is a problem but wants you to be nice to her because she'll need it. You are the "normal" daughter. My friends mam was an alcoholic and her gran (her mam's mam) always treated my friends mam better than her siblings because she needed the help.

I'd just try and put up with the situation as best you can until you move out!
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