- 8 years ago
I suppose this post is more of a vent and a plea for support or similar stories than one seeking exact advice. While I would love some, at this point, I’m not sure there is a solution to my problem, but I welcome any words of wisdom. I’ve wrote about this issue in the past, but it seems to be resurfacing hardcore with the holidays approaching.
A little background: My younger sister is 21 years old, purposefully unemployed, and only recently obtained her diploma through an alternative continuation high school. She spends each and every day with her less-than-awesome boyfriend, watching television, smoking pot, eating take-out and generally “hanging out”. Her source of income for recreational funds (dinner out, cigarettes, a new pair of shoes here and there) comes from her boyfriend’s car accident settlement money (he is 27 and also electively unemployed). While her lifestyle is vastly different from my own, I could possibly better deal with it if she was an active member of our family.
At this point, she is virtually impossible to get a hold of (our parents stopped paying for her cell phone when she turned 18), hardly calls or drops by for a visit unless hounded to do so, and cannot be relied on for any sort of favor or collaborative effort. She is full of broken promises, empty declarations of change, and false hope. But she is also my only sister, and I love her to death and then some. On the rare occasion we do spend time together, I always feel so conflicted – on one hand, I’m furious with her inability to be a visible daughter and sister, but on the other, I’m just elated to share some laughs with her. We have a deep emotional bond and were very close growing up. She is a wonderful person, deep down. It hurts that we have drifted so far apart.
Above all things, I despise the way she treats and neglects our wonderful parents. They desperately try to reach out to her, even set up a bedroom at their new home, in hopes she would reconsider and officially move back in with them so they could help her get her life on track. When she mentioned wanting to go to a dentist for a tooth ache, they immediately put her back on their health insurance plan – she then failed to show up to her appointment, and my parents paid the no-show fee. I know my parents mean well, but there are times when I am beside myself with frustration. Our father was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure last year, and while he’s doing stupendously, it’s so important that we are able to appreciate him while he’s still in relative good health. My sister showed her appreciation by failing to show up or call him on his birthday this past October. Mind you, we all live within 15 minutes of one another. Yesterday was our mother’s birthday, and after she ditched out on lunch reservations, she showed up at my parents house for less than two hours before bouncing out the door when her boyfriend called. All this when we were smack dab in the middle of a board game she was participating in, leaving my Dad partner-less. The cake she was supposed to bake and bring over? Didn’t happen. I called my Honey at work and begged him to pick up a cheesecake on his way over.
In all the years of her life, my sister has never gotten a member of the family a birthday or holiday gift that she paid for on her own. Now, I gave my sister an offer that if she came over this morning to help me clean out my guest bedroom, I would front her some money to get our parents something nice for Christmas. Of course, she is missing in action. I’m livid, but I should have expected it, right?
I try so hard to make up for her absence by making sure I spend a lot of quality time with our parents and do my best shower them with thoughtful gifts around the holidays. They expect and demand none of it, and I gladly do it with love. But it’s so hard feeling like I’m the only capable and responsible adult between their two children. I know I shouldn’t pressure myself, but I feel bad if I don’t pick up her slack, because it would be my parents who would ‘suffer’.
Any thoughts on how to deal? I’m sorry for the length, and thanks for reading through!