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Desparately seeking your input
March 28, 2007
5:17 pm
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smiling
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I am having problems even articulating my feelings -- I am angry. I know I am codependent and don't know what to do. This regards my sister. I love her dearly, but she has a history of problems that have impacted me tremendously. I recognize I am responsible for how she has impacted me and at 40 I am realizing how much of life I have lost because I have made decisions based on her hysterics. I need help as to how to get beyond this moment and then how to further deal with my own codepency.

My sister tried to commit suicide when she was 20 years old. I was 23 at the time. I was working in another town with a fabulous job. I left my life behind to come home to help with taking care of her. The family was in turmoil. This was not supposed to be happening to our family. My parents are loving, kind and supportive. My sister and I were responsible kids. The reality though was my dad was from a family where his mother was mentally ill, possibly schizophrenic, they never had a real diagnosis. This impacted all of us as it had impacted my father.

Anyway, in the past 17 years, I have been very supportive of my sister, putting my needs aside (I didn't realize until the past 4 years as I've tried to figure out where I am going wrong), and forgetting that I was entitled to my life.

She has been on track but now I recognize with codependency traits, controlling, etc. She is very bright. But she has always been in unhealthy or bad relationships. I am tired of that.

I say that because I've tried to help so many times, and she is a master manipulator. She lies without "technically lying -- ala Clinton didn't have sex theory." And now, that I've been working on myself I see how bad off she really is. I guess I loved her so much and was in so much denial that I couldn't see all this. Now, I've stopped being an enabler and supporter. But now she has wrapped my dad into the drama. He's 69 and I see how she manipulates him. This bothers me greatly. It also bothers me that my parents support her financially.

This bozo that she is in love with is just sleeping with her to meet his needs, leaves her when it is not convenient for him, etc. This bothers me greatly. I've tried to put it aside to say she has learn from her errors. I pray the serenity prayer about this. I pray for her, all asking God to intervene to do His way. But I get wrapped, emotional and frustrated. This is not good for me. But when I see my dad suffering it really bothers me because now it is not just about my health but about him.

Also, the reason I think our entire family worries and gets sucked into the drama is because my sister has tried to commit suicide and what if this time it actually happens, and we are not there and no one else is. The thought of her not being around is more difficult to take.

What do advise? How do I support her but possibly show her what she is doing? How do advise my dad to not enable her more? I am just at a loss and would love your honest and direct thoughts on this.

Smiling!

March 28, 2007
5:26 pm
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lettingo
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As they say in most 12 step group, Live and Let Live. My opinion is get on with your "own" life and let your sister and father do the same. Why is it any of your concern what she or your father do. I don't mean to sound harsh but you are acting very codependant. You say you want to get your father to stop enabling your sister but aren't you trying to do the same thing? If your sister wants to commit suicide there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. All we are really suppose to do is worry about our side of the street and let people worry about yours. Who has made you keeper of your sister? Wasn't you in the first place but now you are complaining as if you are a victim. You might want to try to lean on your Higher Power to take care of the situation. I know it is hard to let go of a loved one but the illusion that you can change someone will make you crazy. Maybe there is something about your own life that you are running from and you are using your sister as an excuse to not have to focus on yourself. I did that with my now ex husband who was an alcoholic/addict. You might want to try a co-dependancy 12 step group.

March 28, 2007
5:32 pm
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lettingo
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Smiling,
I re-read my post and it did sound kind of harsh although I really didn't mean for it to. I just know the frustration you are dealing with. I tried to help my ex for years and felt so frustrated and angry. These people really do get better when we let them go. Your dad is another story and I know you worry about him but he too will find his way in all this. Again, sorry if I came across a little rough around the edges. Wasn't my intentions. Peace.

March 28, 2007
9:35 pm
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Anonymous
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Smiling, as I attempted suicide and consider myself a loser in my family in many respects, I can give you an idea of what your sis may expect from you. When I needed help and wasnt given any, much less offered, Id be very sad and angry. Then when I got help, I realized it wasnt what I really needed. And as one person in the family tried to anticipate my needs, I realized she many times did it out of guilt, control and only from her comfortable point of view. One wrong expectation I had was doing therapy for all us. Sort of like hiding there to say I was being cared for and was also indirectly enlightening them. Powerful me, hey?
So with therapy Ive learned to worry about me first and depend more on me.

As to what you can give her, put yourself in your place, not hers. How can you figure her out if she may not have it?

At the hospital´s family meeting, one of my sisters asked the psychiatrist what she should do for me beyond all the things she was doing already. This implied She was already doing much, it was costing her in every aspect but she was afraid she´d be responsible from keeping me from suicide. The doctor answered: Well, nothing. (Myname) is gonna be (myname) and you are going to keep being you.

We can only really be who we are.

I hope these thoughts can simplify much of your equation.

hugs

April 2, 2007
3:31 pm
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trueidentity
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this is very interesting sininho. I never saw this from that point of view. I have the same problem as smiling and I have put my life on hold to make myself available to my family when needed. The only thing is that I have not started my life and at 35 the clock is ticking. I finally realised I was the only one missing out on my life and decided to stop blaming the situation for what i didn't do for myself. The hard part starts now.. going into therapy and searching my heart for the things that truly make me happy. I agree to let go and let God. As adults we have choices and I finally chose me. It is not selfish, or sinful. Actually it's a sin not to.

Hang in and stop focussing on "their" lives and start focusing on yours. First you may have nothing to say about you but in time you will.

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