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Living with someone who won't deal with their past
July 8, 2007
8:00 pm
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rosie101
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Hi,

I am new to this board and I am hoping that someone can give me some advice on how to deal with a sad situation. I live with my sister and her four year old son. My sister was molested by a family friend when she was 11 and 12 years old. At the time that this occurred, there really was not a lot counseling or any kind of help that my parents were aware of that could help her cope with what had happened to her. She has had problems dealing with everyday things that most people take for granted and don't think about. She can not keep a job and will do anything to stay on Social Security. I work from home so everyday I watch her in front of her computer doing nothing but play pc games and virtually waste away. Meanwhile her son spends a lot of time with me while I am working. Every day all I hear about is how she doesn't feel good. She has bad mood swings and she takes her irritability out on everyone in the house. My house remains unkept because she would rather escape into her pc games than deal with anything. I love my sister and I want the best thing for her. She needs some help and I don't know where to get it for her. She has had many opportunities to see therapists and group counseling in the past, but she blows them all off. She is not bi-polar, but she is deep pain and needs assistance so she can cope with day to day life. I have done everything I can to help her, but at some point she needs to help herself. This behavior has begun to affect my job and I am very close to losing it. I hope that I am not being selfish here, or maybe I am, but I can't stand to watch her waste away like this, when I know that there is someone or some group that can help her. Today I told her that she needs to make a decision and start helping herself by getting counseling, find a job, or move out. I hate to be that way, but I can watch her do this anymore and I am out of ideas to try and get her to go talk to someone. She chose to move out, which I don't think is the answer. I think she just doesn't know what kind of help she needs and how about getting it. If anyone knows how they can help us, please respond.

July 8, 2007
8:28 pm
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Rasputin
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Hey rosie~

It sounds like co-dep life with your sister. You're not requested to live for her or make her dependent on you. You have told her what she needs to do clearly and probably many times. Now, since she knows all about that, let's see...Is she welling to seek help and start to work on herself.

I would recommend you to purchase 2 copies of codependent no more" by Melody Beattie for each of you and since she's on social security or can't afford therapy how about inviting her to come along with you to coda meetings. They are so good and free of charge. Don't forget that you're being codep upon her mood swings etc. So this puts both of you in a place where you both need coda sessions and it will be very illuminating to you too. You will learn a whole lot about this subject and your sister will identify herself in so many situation.

In a few months of attending and reading lots of good stuff, you will both notice that you will have more peace and serenity in your life and you will be able to improve your relationship with each other.

Good luck in your healing journey!

July 8, 2007
8:29 pm
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atalose
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It's so sad and breaks our hearts when a loved one can't see they need some kind of help. I can imagine your frustration. I think it was good on your part to set some boundaries about her getting a job or moving out. The part about her getting counseling is out of your hands, we can't force anyone to seek that kind of help. Many people I know who were forced into counseling go but also bring along resentment and anger for having to be there, the counseling doesn't seem to help, especialy if they don't want it to.
Has your sister always had someone to care for her. You said she and her son live with you, what about prior to that?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

July 8, 2007
9:19 pm
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rosie101
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Prior to living with me, she lived on her own for a long time and then with my mother before that. I think I did the right thing, but my heart is aching inside. I so much want her to get some help for herself and so she can raise that little boy without him having to see day to day how much she is hurting inside.

July 14, 2007
10:52 pm
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rachaelhale
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I beleive when there is child involved, the child comes first. You have to believe in yourself and you have to tell her how you feel so the childs wellfare is more importmant than anything.

July 14, 2007
11:10 pm
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mj
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Hi Rosie,

Tough love is hard. I have learned that you can't make anyone change. They have to want it for themselves. You took a tough stand so that you wouldn't be an enabler. I understand why you would feel sad. I admire you for wanting good for your sister. There are lots of support groups available, like Depressed Anonymous or Codependents Anonymous which help to learn how to become self responsible for our own choices in life as adults. My Best to YOU and your Family. Take care of YOURSELF. Endangering your own job is not helpful to you. Being financially responsible for ones own obligations is modeling self care to your sister. Does she care for her son, your nephew in between playing her pc games? Sounds like she is using them as a escape. Anything we do to the extreme may seem to be a way of not coping with reality.

Please Take Care and know that you will get through this.

July 15, 2007
12:02 am
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_anonymous
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I think u made a good choice. It is not up to you to decide what she should do. I am glad that you recognized the fact that her problems had a negative impact on your life and you chose to let her go and move on. You might want to talk her into leaving the child with you until she gets her act together. People who are on social security usually cannot work do to no fault of their own.

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