(Closed) My Sister is Destroying My Family…

posted 8 years ago in Family
Post # 3
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012


I feel like if I were in your situation I would cut my sister out of my life, but that’s easier said than done.

Sorry I don’t have any good advice for you 🙁

Post # 4
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley

I may have missed this – but does she live at home still?

Is it at all possible to invite your parents to your home and express that sister is not invited because you want to spend time with *just* them?  I would insist on it, and if they insist on bringing her, I would prepare for a come-to-jesus meeting about your feelings on this issue. 

Post # 5
655 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@LadyBear:  I have a brother that is very similar, and the only way to make our family function is to not enable him, and let him participate in the family as much as he is willing. 

He is child 3 of 4, is an alcoholic, bipolar (undiagnosed), and has made himself quite the pity party. Its been difficult on my family, and we all babied him for a long time in attempts to avoid the anger lashing and guilt trips, but in the end, I’m a million times happier now with him out of my life.

I continue to invite him to things, but refuse to plan around his schedule. I won’t help him financially or let him stay at my house when he’s fighting with his girlfriend. He is the least successful of us 4 kids, but like your sister, gets maximum encouragement for minimal achievements. 

Bottom line…you can’t fix your sister. Only she can do that, and if she isn’t willing to make a change, then it is best to distance yourself from her. But really, the whole family needs to change on some level and let her know that her behavior is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. 


Good luck 

Post # 7
7414 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@LadyBear:  I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this.  I wish I had advice, my own middle sister is a bit of a drama/spolight hog and expects congratulatory calls for everything and is miffed that her life isn’t the centre of everyone elses.

I think your sister probably needs counselling, but you can’t force her in to that.

Post # 8
177 posts
Blushing bee

@LadyBear:  I can’t even begin to address how many things are wrong with your post. Any kind of comment I would make, I don’t think I could make it tactfully, because I pretty much find fault in everything you said about your sister. So basically I will say the only thing I think I can say without breaking forum rules:

People have different needs in their life. Not everyone is the same. Your sister does not sound like a bad person, she just sounds like she is sick, and I really hope you wouldn’t talk shit about someone who has cancer the way you talk shit about your sister. 

There is really nothing else I can offer, because it sounds like your mind is made up that she is to blame and that she is at fault. Trying to ask you to look at it anyway else would be pointless as you’d likely say “I’ve already tried that.” But a change in your perception is still what is sounds like you need.

Post # 9
1878 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I don’t know, to me it sounds like your parents need counseling, too!

When you say your mom can’t see you without giving your sister a call… it’s pretty obvious that co-dependancy is still going on there.

Post # 10
1311 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015


View original reply

Hi! Well-adjusted, happy, and healthy middle child here (as far as drama goes in my family, it tends to come from my older sister; we’re all pretty awesome though)!

OP, I wish I had some good advice for you. I don’t know what its like to be the big sister in this type of situation. . . but I can relate to a certain extent to your little sister.

I went through a really rough patch late in High School through early college. Lots of reasons for it (dad had cancer, starting college, generally viewing life as sucking). I got better because I sought out help. Therapy didn’t work for me because of the therapist – I felt like he wasn’t really listening to me – so I fixed myself. Took some time and a lot of effort, but I did it.

Your sister does sound as if she is sick. That is an incredibly sad thing, especially because she may not realize she is. But the only person who can make her better is her.

Set boundaries with her and with your parents. Emphasize that while you love your sister and want whats best for her, you also need time seperate from her as well. If they comply then thats awesome and you can start limiting the amount of contact with her. If they don’t, then be prepared to decline visits and phone calls for a while. You need to show them that you are 100% commited to your decision.

P.S. My mom’s little sister commited suicide 20 years ago. Completely sucks and it changes your family forever. I completely understand how conflicted your parents must feel.

Post # 11
1311 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@LynnSnow:  +1 It does sound as if the OP’s parents and sister do share some blame for how she turned out (for instance, the codependency).

However, her sister sounds very sick as well. Most people do not suddenly wake up deciding to be sick one day. . . and a lot of people are actually born with a mental disorder or a genetically pre-disposed to have one. In my family alone: I have an Aunt lost her battle with depression, my mom was on anti-depressants for three months after her sister died, both my sisters have taken anti-depressants, and I suffered from depression as well. 

Its a very serious subject and I wish more people were open to discussing it in a loving and healthy manner. I certainly understand the OP’s frustation with the situation, but I also feel that there are better ways to handle it then just lashing out at her sister (which, hopefully, she hasn’t done in real life).

Post # 12
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

LadyBear: My family is the same–me, my middle brother and my youngest brother, and my middle brother has a plethora of psychological conditions. He falls on the high-functioning end of the Autism spectrum.

He’s threatened suicide and has attempted numerous times. He drains every last penny from my parents because he can. He can be a horrible, horrible person at times, or can be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. He’s definitely changed how my family could have been had he been different, but it’s not his choice to be this way. And my other brother and I have come to the understanding that this is just the way it has to be.

In short, you can’t do anything to change it, you can just cope with it.

Post # 14
177 posts
Blushing bee

@LoggerHead91207:  I am not sure I follow your post. I said she sounded sick, though I don’t think it has to be bipolar (not the only mental health issue that causes mood swings), and I can’t say I agree with the OP’s view of her sister. I am well aware of mental health (which is why I likend the illness to cancer, an illness no one refuses to acknowledge) as being a serious thing. Too many people just give up on those with mental health issues because they get fed up with the person that the mental health is affecting, and it really upsets me when I see people do this, as I’ve been on the same end as her sister. I went undiagnosed until I was 21, up until that point I just thought I was a moody, horrible person, because there was such a negative stigma against people with mental health problems (read: It isn’t real, just use some self control and get over it). Getting or seeking help is a very hard first step to take, especially if you’ve had a bad experience with a therapist (I had a bad one, and it turned me off of therapists, and I didn’t seek help or treatment for nearly a year after that, but luckily I had people who actually loved me and supported me, not shut me out.)

EDIT: Ohhh I totally misread your post. Sorry about that.

Post # 15
465 posts
Helper bee

@LadyBear: It sounds like BPD to me too. I’m going to recommend a book that is very helpful for families with a loved one with this disorder. I had to read it my first semester of graduate school: Loving Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder by Shari Manning and Marsha Linehan. I think you will find it as a helpful tool to help you live your life while also dealing with your sister. Unfortunately, these individuals are difficult to be around but reading this will be a good starting place 🙂 

Also, even if she is not diagnosed with this disorder, it has tips to help you deal with your sister when she becomes difficult for you to be around. Don’t give up on her! Mental Illness is serious and she will need to know that her family supports if IF she decides to seeks help from a professional.


Post # 16
177 posts
Blushing bee

@LadyBear:  Look, I tried to be nice, and no, sometimes people just feel like crap and DON’T know they are sick until they finally go get help. However, with PHYSICAL illnesses it is easier to realize something is wrong. Due to the HORRIBLE stigma attached to MENTAL illnesses, many people do not seek treatment, and many people get turned off from treatments because they have a bad experience. Having members of her family have such distaste for her is one of the worst things, and my heart hurts for your sister.

YOU resent her so YOU SHOULD BE THE LAST PERSON trying to fix it. To help someone with a mental illness you HAVE TO come from a place of unconditional love. If you can not offer that, please, do yourself and your family a huge favor a don’t get involved with it. About the only thing you CAN do is talk to your parents, express your concern, and let someone who actually likes your sister help guide her to a good path. 

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