Joined: 1 May 2010
Location: Boise, Idaho
I've talked a lot about my little sister on this forum, but I've never really been forced to deal with her. She's been the same person she has always been through the last 6 years since my 72 year old dad and my 56 year old mom divorced. She still doesn't like my dad, but she still expects him to watch her 2yo son. She's accumulated loans at a for-profit college and hasn't paid them off and has collection agencies harrassing her (at least they were for a long time). She dumped a loyal boyfriend who loved her son (product of another boyfriend) in favor of fun-loving, hard-partying friends. She can't hold down a job for more than a month or two. She's asked me in the past to use my computer when her's broke down, only to install spyware-laden music programmes on my computer. She's asked me for money, and then grudgingly paid it back after my dad told her to. When she gets mad at my dad, she brings her son in for me to watch, telling me to not let my dad touch her son. Specifically, the fear of another fight has caused me to watch her son even more and to mute the TV whenever they have any kind of interaction. She will watch her son for a couple hours at most, then she wants to go get on her computer, go to the gym, take a walk. To top it all off, she's got a hair-trigger temper.
I keep talking to myself all the time about how determined I am to tell her I can't help her with anything. Yeah, I am really tired of it. I have gotten to the point where all my waking hours are spent obsessing over how to deal with her in the few minutes I do talk to her. I have tried to distance myself from her over the years, but she's complained that "I don't talk to her" to my dad. My dad (who believes we should all act as a family) tells me I should become more friendly with her. This hasn't happened in a long time. However, since she had a son, I have felt obligated during the days to watch her son to relieve my dad of the stress and strain. Which probably begs the question, "why don't you guys just get tough with her and tell her you can't help her anymore?" Well, she explodes very easily when she is told no, and she will misinterpret things easily and not listen to reason. Also, on at least 1 or 2 occasions in the last 6 years, she has asked me where my dad's guns were so she could kill him (I told her I didn't know). She also says she wishes my dad would hurry up and die when she gets mad at him. He used to be more forceful and assertive with her, but he has gradually backed down and let her do what she wants (whether that is driving his car to go on dates, taking her son to the play ground, or letting her buy expensive energy drinks which he can scarcely afford as a fixed-income retiree). Although the argument really only has traction after him and her have fought, I have tried to tell him he should kick her out. He doesn't want to, either because he feels he "would be shirking his parental duties" or because he is worried about her son's welfare. Although at this point he has no health problems besides a healing rotator cuff and some arthritis in his hips, I know within the next couple of years, he may very likely have a heart attack or stroke or otherwise become bedridden. I know if my dad gets sick, I will be dealing with having to help him with ADL's. I don't feel like anyone else in the family is going to help me in that situation. My other sister moved out and is roommating with my mom (who is on SSI). She doesn't seem very interested in helping out take care of my other sister's son, and pretty much quit helping after 2-3 days. I don't know if I should admire her for having more gumption than me or not like her because she is very selfish and does not like to be inconvenienced with helping out with household chores/babysitting.
As for other family, most of the friendly relatives do not live in my area. And the ones that do, either do not talk or talk to my dad very infrequently. I have no grandparents left. My aunt quit talking because my dad and I were helping my mom out (she thought we betrayed her doing so) and also because we do not share her fundamentalist Christian, end-times beliefs. One older sister from my dad's previous marriage lives here, but she doesn't come to visit and doesn't call. It seems to me all she wants to do is golf and spend time with her girl-friends.
Now as for me, I graduated with a bachelor's degree a few months ago, but it's basically a useless humanities degree. I've tried interviewing for a couple of jobs, but I've been extremely awkward in most of them. The questions aren't quite as probing with public-sector jobs, so I've done better there. I want to continue looking for jobs and once I get one, I want to move out in the months after I get the job. So for anyone who wants to answer this post by saying I should get a job and move out, there is your answer. She's also cash-strapped, but she wants to save her TANF for a "rainy day." She is still too young to qualify for food stamp benefits (in Idaho you have to be 22). In a few months, I'm going to be starting an online graduate school program, so if I am still at home at that point, I am worried about the quandary of establishing boundaries. I have fought with myself so much that I just feel paralyzed. I have to admit I am afraid of her getting mad. I know I need to tell my sister I can't help her with free childcare any longer (because even right now, I feel like the barrel of the gun of her anger is pointing at my dad and I am still in the sights), but I am scared if I do, she might become violent or try and commit suicide. So I need some advice on trying to detach myself from this situation. I tried to give as much information about the family situation as I possibly can so you can give relatively accurate advice.
Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Location: northeastern US
i am concerned about the welfare of your sister's son. he's innocent in all of this. i wouldn't lend your sister money, but watching her son helps him and your father. you are a good role model for the boy. that's valuable. on the other hand, if you need to study, it's okay to tell your sister that you're too busy right now to watch the little fellow. i would hate to see you entirely out of his life, though.
when your sister rages, ignore her if possible. leave the room. if she gets physical, call the police. by the way, threatening to kill someone is illegal. she could already be in hot water if anyone knew that she threatened to kill your dad.
Joined: 1 May 2010
Location: Boise, Idaho
I wouldn't mind being completely out of his life though, since the stress is causing me to become a little bit cross with him at times. And dealing with the situation over the last few years has definitely affected my mental integrity. I associate him with pain and stress and responsiblity, and I don't give him as much love and nurturing as he needs. I provide him with all his physical needs and play with him a bit, but I feel like I'm on a slippery slope towards total custody of him. I wasn't prepared to take care of him in the first place, let alone assume the sorts of responsibility that an actual parent has to cope with. And I'm just his 24 year old uncle. I don't feel like I would be a good parental figure for him. Also, I'm afraid she will make accusations since she is easy to anger if he falls and starts to cry. I just have no desire to assume custody over him in any circumstance, if that's what you're thinking. If, years from now, it is discovered he is being abused/neglected by his mom or if she dies, I think he should probably go to the state for placement in a foster home. Call me hardhearted, evil beyond measure for feeling that way, but I just can't deal with kids the way I think they should be cared for, dealt with. I am concerned with his welfare, but I just can't be fully responsible with the limited emotional/physical/financial resources I have. Especially given I will be driving myself 30,000 into debt in the next few years. I don't even have too much in the way of savings.
Joined: 27 Sep 2012
Why is her child his responsibility? How much of his time will influence the child more than his mother and the people she hangs out with? It's sad, but as someone prone to over-responsibility I thought I'd highlight that issue.
Violence from you "family" isn't okay. I hope you find a way to cope and stay sane.
Joined: 17 Feb 2012
Location: Mountain View, California
I would move away and change my phone number problem solved hehe.
Your Aspie score is 193 of 200
Your neurotypical score is 40 of 200
You are very likely an aspie
No matter where I go I will always be a Gaijin even at home. Like Anime? http://www.anime44.com/anime-list
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