Post # 1
So let me begin by saying my family is very large and very broken. I do not speak to my biological mother. My “mom” is my dads second wife who raised me with him from age 2-12 when they divorced, and the still tried to fight for me to live with her. My father remarried (a third time) to a woman that my brother and I both hated with a passion. This woman was in a car wreck 5 years before my dad met her, and used that as a crutch to not work, to not keep house, and basically to play with her daughter and eat pills all day. In all fairness she was a good mother to her daughter (who is now 15) until my dad divorced her a little over year ago. I quit talking to her when they got divorced but stayed in contact with her daughter who has always called me “Sissy” and looks up to me. I didn’t think a divorce should ruin a sibling type relationship. About 9 months ago my sister started getting in a lot of trouble and her mom was doing nothing about it. She was talking to 30+ year old guys online and on the phone, skipping school, fighting, failing at her classes. I called and called the mom trying to figure out why she all the sudden wasn’t being a good mom, and I could never get an answer. I quit talking to my little sister because ever time I did she would cuss at me and tell me how horrible my dad was. 3 months ago my sisters grandmother contacted me on Facebook pleading for my help. Little sisters mother who has always been addicted to pills got 50 times worse when my dad left and was hanging out with a druggie crowd, not being a mother, then she got a boyfriend who called little sister “a stupid no good cunt who would wind up in jail, pregnant, or addicted before she was 18”. And the mother stayed with him. The grandmother now has custody, and my little sister spends close to every other weekend here (I drive 5 hours one way to pick her up), but she is still having a hard time with the loss of her mother, and I know that there is nothing I can do to make that situation better. I feel so bad for her, and just wish I knew how to help her feel better about herself. I have talked to her at length about my biological mother and why I choose not to speak to her, and have told her over and over again that even though our parents are no longer married we are still family. Its hard, she lashes out, doesn’t trust anyone, is depressed. Her grandmother has her seeing a counsler who has medicated her (and she is losing weight now which is a good thing) but she isn’t social, and is very lathargic. Any suggestions on how to support this little girl would be much appreciated.
Post # 3
I think you and your grandmother are doing all the right things. I’m very impressed with your commitment to your sister.
Is there any activity she can get involved in? Something she can focus on other than herself? People can find “second families” in sewing circles, church groups, volunteer organizations, etc.
Post # 4
Wow. Well I think the counselling is a good step forward for your stepsister and it sounds like both you and her grandmother want what’s best for her and are working hard to try to make that happen. Does the grandmother have custody of her? It sounds like she needs to be far away from her mother. Her mother sounds like she needs to have a serious intervention and go to rehab and get a heck of a lot of counselling. I think train wreck is a spot on description.
What if little sister moved in with you for a while (more than a couple weeks, I’m talking like at least 6 months)? Maybe the 5 hour drive distance and a change of scenery would help? What if you tried family counselling together? It sounds like she’s acting out and having some potentially dangerous behaviour, so I can see why you’re so worried about her. I think she needs to try to work through these things rather than medicating them away.
Sorry I don’t have much more advice. Best of luck to you. You’re doing the right thing trying to help, you’re a great big sister!
Post # 5
@rachelss:I can’t seem to get her interested in anything… Even really fun activities like a trip to Cedar Point, or the water park. She consistently says she doesn’t feel well, unless we are going shopping.
I am not sure that her moving in with me would fly with her family, they would bring up my hellion teenage years, and I am not sure Fiance would go for that either, we are so busy and I am not sure I could commit the time for her. I am planning on having her down next summer, hopefully I can get her a job at my company so she can learn some work ethic and feel satisfied by making some of her own money…
Post # 6
@Miss Mitzie: You are doing a great job already by just being there and spending time with her. She is going through a rough patch and while it would be great if she could just see that life will be much better now, but it is going to take some time (and I am talking years). She has “lost” her mother and is now in the custody of her grandmother and while it is great that she was able to stay with family it isn’t her mom. I think it’s great her grandmother has her in counseling, that should help her break through a lot of her issues with the situation. As for trying to get her reinvolved in life you are doing a great job by offering her fun trips. It is just going to take her some time so please be patient. We all react to situations differently so just because you were able to overcome a difficult family life doesn’t mean she will overcome it the same way. Give her the love that you have been and just know that at least she has one woman in her life who has a level head on her shoulders and maybe she will be able to use you as a beacon. Good luck!!!
Post # 7
Keep it up and don’t give up on her. Any stability in her unstable life is tremendously valuable. You consistently taking the time to do what you do sends a powerful message that you care deeply about her and she is worth your time. If you don’t give up on her, that message will eventually, hopefully, sink in.
I’m a little concerned about the medication though, especially since there is clearly plenty of environmental reasons for her behavior problems. I would get a second opinion on that.
Post # 8
And I forgot to say – you are awesome!
Post # 9
@fleur99: Thanks… I just feel so bad for her…
Post # 10
I don’t have any advice either, other than to keep doing what you are doing for your sister.
I totally believe that LOVE is what makes FAMILY and it sounds like you understand that too.
I have also learned in my 39 years (not trying to sounf oh-so-old and wise or anything) that there are going to be people who do things that upset and shock you and that are incomprehensible. For example, my best friend from 8th grade, the woman who was at the birth of my second son (and actually assisted in the birth), the woman who TAUGHT me soo much about being a mom, our children grew up together, who acted like a second mom to my kids and who was always an EXCELLENT and loving, involved, doting mom to her own, flipped her freakin lid a few years back and just lost it. She abandoned her kids to go and be with a 21 year old guy she met online while playing WOW. Seriously. Her eldest child was 16 at the time. Her son was 11. It devastated them both. NO one understood. Yeah, we all understood her wanting to leave her husband (long story).. but her babies?! And as a friend, too, she has changed, when she was always the ONE person I knew would be there, and that is no longer the case at all.
The kids are still reeling from that, honestly, and it breaks my heart.
All you can do is try and be there for her as much as possible… as angry and as amazed as I am at what my friend did, I can’t change or fix it.
Post # 11
Unconditional love, I guess. It’s tough, but she needs adults who love her and who won’t abandon her no matter how “bad” she acts.
She’s been told that she’s worthless, and as a kid, she believed that lie. She needs to hear the truth now – that she’s a wonderful individual, worthy of happiness, capable of being successful and healthy.
Post # 12
I really don’t have constructive advice, but i think you and her grandmother are doing the right thing. Counselling, removing her from the negative environment and being supportive are the right moves to make. Keep on keepin’ on, telling her every day that she’s important and significant and integral to the universe: ie important to at least one other person in the world, and she’ll keep going too, gradually getting better and better.