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StacyAtheNurse StacyAtheNurse (New Member) New Member

Your opinion would be greatly appreciated

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This isn't a nursing post outright but I am lost for resources.

I come from a small family of 4 and I left my home state and family three years ago to pursue nursing. I am now finished but as the economy would have it I was able to land jobs in my current state and will be away from my family for at least another 2-3 years (i signed a contract)

In the last few years, my beautiful little family has unraveled by the seams without me there to police my younger sibling while my mother works. My younger sister has begun to leave the house for days, weeks, with no warning. At the crack of dawn while everyone sleeps to do whatever she is doing. We have tried talking to her. She is now very disrespectful to our mother which leaves my mother running to me for help. And i would usually be there for her but since i left, i am completely and utterly useless. Aside from surprise trips during which my siblings behave themselves when i leave it is bank to business as usual. I feel incredibly guilty for leaving my mother alone to do this (and please refrain from saying this is her problem because it isn't, I want raised to think that way) and i feel offended that my sister would abuse her mother this way. I stopped short of telling my mother to change the locks and disconnect my sister's phone line. My little misguided sister is living life for someone else, a boyfriend I'm sure or a bad group of friends, who she will not tell us or allow us to come around.

I have been trying to find a way to track her using her phone number, she recently bought a phone not registered to our mobile company so they cannot assist us and she locks and hides her phone in locked bags. Anyone have any advice? At the current moment she's been gone for 3 days we finally got in contact with her and she says she is out with someone what's our problem.


A young 19 year old.

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If she is 19 she is an adult and from my own experiences with my own family - she won't get it together until she hits the bottom and WANTS to. Which...might never happen (unfortunately). I can't imagine the pain this must be causing your mother because no parent ever dreams of giving up on their child but the truth is, at the end of the day your sister's choices are her own, your mother's choice to put up with it and allow it to harm her emotionally is her own, and all you can do is follow your path and make your life what you've always dreamed it to be.

Family can be a tricky thing - I know all too well. It's hard but you can't sacrifice yourself for them. All you can do is be the shoulder for your mom to lean on and let your sister know that when she wants to change, you'll be there to help.

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First, your love and devotion to your family is admirable. A a parent, I know how heartbreaking it can be to see your child go down a different path than that you would choose for them. I was also married to some one who indulged in self destructive behavior, and spent many years trying to control and "help" him. As you can probably guess, nothing changed despite my policing, watching, and controlling.

You love your sister and your mother, but they are not your responsibility. Your sister is an adult and must make her own choices and her own mistakes, no matter how much it hurts you to see this. Your mother is also an adult and should not be relying on her other child to fix things. Would your mother be willing to go to counseling? It might help her to learn to cope with the situation, but it will not teach her how to "fix" your sister. Perhaps your sister needs to find another place to live, to see what it's like to make it on her own without family support. Bottom line-there's not much you can do. The best thing is to encourage your mother to seek some help, and not from you. Detachment with love is an incredibly valuable skill to learn. Your sister will change if and only if she wants to. Tracking her movements, threatening her, begging her will likely only make her more resolved to continue her current behavior. Detaching, putting consequences on her behavior (i.e. not paying for her cell phone, not giving her money), and taking care of yourself is all you can do. The only behavior you can control is your own.

Best of luck. I hope you and your mother can find some peace.

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