Sad to see sister's life turn out like this....
I find it extremely hard with my only sister (who is almost 8 years younger than I am) find a path to truly help her find her way. I do (and have)tried, but recently she went back to her ex who is a total A** and at the very least a verbal abuser and alcohol abuser. She has dragged out college, been in a series of jobs that range from apt leaser to bar tender to tatoo artist apprentice. She is a cutter along with other issues and when she had gotten so bad while overseas with her husband he literally sent her back home because he couldn't deal with her. Things seemed to be going a bit better as she was employed, looking more like herself and had finally decided to get a divorce. Then her drinking started, she recked her 6th car, got a DUI and is currently back together with her ex-husband who just came back from deployment. I know there is no right answer on this, but it makes me so sad. I'm a fixer, a Type A, and I feel like this cycle of disaster with her will never end.
I can't imagine how difficult it is to watch someone you love go through all this. My younger sister made some not so wise decisions as well and it was tough to see her go through it. I think one of the hardest things to learn from this is that as much as we want to help, that person has to want to help themselves. I apologize if you have heard this a dozen times before! I know it doesn't make it any easier, but its true.
Make sure your sister knows you love her. Knowing she can come to you no matter what will mean the world to her. That way, when she IS ready to change, you may be one of the first people she calls.
Hope this helps! God bless.
Oh, CK, I wish there was something I could say that would may this all better, as I'm sure you do to! You apply your compassion and wisdom so well to other's on this site, its hard to know that your sister is unable to take this in for herself. its' so hard to see someone we love go through such self-destruction. Mer is right, just letting her know she can come to you is all you can do for now until she is ready to make stronger changes for herself. YOu can try recommending ideas or books or therapists, but until she is ready, alas, you are rendered quite helpless. And it is this helpless feeling that is perhaps the hardest of all...wanting to put your mind to the project and fixing it right up. However, what I do see here on this site, is that you have found another means of helping other women, other 'sisters' so to speak, who have needed and found strength in your help and in your wisdom. While you may feel helpless in helping your sister right now, you have been a beacon of caring and support here and have made all the difference to many others.
Kellie Montgomery, LMFT
Thank you both so much Mer and Kellie! I know all too well that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink . I suppose it just makes it so hard when I remember the sweet kid she was, and how full of empathy and talent she was. According to her and my mother when she has gone to therapy it has been pointed out that I covered for a lot of her issues growing up so she didn't display outwardly any psychological symptoms until I moved out of the house. I have moved on from the guilt of this years ago, I can see how and why I did this (parents had a terrible relationship and I fell into the roll of mediator for everyone). I have a beautiful life now, but my sister's and to a certain extent my mother's life show me how far I have come. My best friend, whom I met in a criminal sociology class in undergrad, likes to joke that it amazes her that I turned out so normal coming from my family. Call it amazing, call it inner strength, but Kellie, you hit the nail on the head, I love it on here because people for the most part want to get better and I love seeing them take the steps to reach their end goal.
Wishing you both a wonderful day and I thank you so much for your encouraging words.