After more than a decade, my sister has finally hit rock bottom

Back story (and this is the cliffs version):

I am the oldest of five children between my parents. The youngest two were fraternal twins, and the male died doing something stupid when he was 15, 8 years ago. My folks divorced when I was 22, about a year and a half after that youngest brother of mine died.

The sister that comes after me in age started becoming a problem child when she hit high school. She fell in with the wrong crowds of people whose sole goals in life were doing drugs and partying. Unfortunately for her, this was not a phase. Irresponsibility and bad choices became the hallmark of her life. She made so many bad choices in EVERYTHING, that it is nothing short of astonishing that she’s alive. She chose lousy boyfriends, lousy friends, lousy jobs, and abused the family that tried to help her. She is easily the most selfish, manipulative person that I’ve ever met.

When she finished high school (barely), she went with the rest of her friends into the world of low-paying jobs that allowed them to live off of shitty food, live in shitty apartments, and have their lives where chemical entertainment was paramount to anything and everything. She got some education as a nurse tech, but washed out of that program due to her lifestyle.

At some point in time, she went off with one of her many loser boyfriends to California and lived there for some time. They showed up about a year later with a recently purchased, but never maintained Cadillac. Through some more ugly shit, they broke up and she moved back in with my mom.

Some time later, she begins dating some other loser and ends up pregnant. My sister has this kid about a year after my youngest brother had died. We lean on this guy to get himself straight, and he tries it for a bit, but ends up addicted to crack and trying to sell it for money. Eventually my brother catches him trying to rob my mom’s house and holds him at gunpoint for the cops to arrive. He spent a few years in jail and just got out this year. He still doesn’t have much interest in his son.

During the years after he went to jail, my sister went on a roller coaster of more drug addiction, alcoholism, and trying to get clean. She left the apartment she shared with the father of her child and ended up with my mom again. For about two years while her son was an infant and young toddler, she got somewhere close to normal, but that changed. Eventually she discovered that my mom was putting lots of effort into trying to give her son a good upbringing, so she decided to start treating him more like a pet (an inconvenience) that mom was taking care of. She started to turn back into her old self…


This brings us closer to the present. As she let my family do most of the work raising her child, she went back to the life she wanted: total lack of caring for anything but entertaining herself. If you look at her myspace, her major interests are clubbing and house music. No mention of her child, friends, or family… just more mindless garbage. My mom, my brother, my brother’s girlfriend, and my other sister are the ones mostly raising that kid, with my father who lived in a different part of town being involved here and there.

Eventually she ends up with no other than the former cell mate of the father of her son. (I should get us a talk show appearance. ) They get together and she gets pregnant again. When I asked her how this happened, she stated that she didn’t think she could get pregnant again. Awesome…

So this guy tries to be straight about things. He has a past, but he seems more willing to be a good father and responsible person. They move in to a house together with some physical assistance from my family, as neither of them are good at anything. That second son was born last November. I met this guy once at Christmas. He seemed alright, but history of my sister gives me reason to be leery of this guy. My understanding from then until now was that both were pursuing legitimate work and trying to raise those two boys.

Yesterday I get contact from my father who tells me that the police raided their home. It turns out that dad #2 had been dealing ecstasy with occasional help from my sister when he wasn’t around. She also had a handgun in the house. Dad #2 is probably on his third or later strike and is facing 15-30 years. My sister is charged with one class A and two class C felonies for up to 15 years. There’s no avoiding hard time for her and it will be lawyers and plea bargaining that determine how hard she gets hit.

So now she’s in the clink, and frankly, that’s where my father, my brother, and I believe she needs to be. She has spent nearly 30 years avoiding reality and now she can’t run any more. She’s going to likely do a few years in jail before ending up on a long parole. Maybe she’ll eventually get straight, but now she’s going to be starting from square one.

In the mean time, my family has ended up with her children. I have a feeling that I’m going to end up as a foster dad to one of them for at least some fraction of their lives, as my girlfriend and I have pretty normal lives and will likely end up married (we’ve been dating for several years). The whole family worries about these boys because they’ll never have a normal upbringing… it’s already too late for that.

Anyhow, this is some fucked up shit that has gone on for half my life and I needed to vent. I’ve never seen anyone do so much damage to the lives of their family while doing even more to their own. I feel horrible for my parents more than anything as I would be so very ashamed if that were my child.

… and to think that people wonder why I’m happy being so far away from my family.

I feel better now.
Holy shit. Thats crazy. I totally agree that she probably belongs in jail, maybe it will be her wake up call, because she sounds like she desperately needs one.
Its great when people can be so objective about their families/siblings though. A lot of time you hear "well, she’s just going through a hard time", which is never really the case. I feel bad for your parents as well. My brother is a jerk (but has not nearly done shit to this extent) and I hate to see the way it makes them feel.
One of my cousins sounds a lot like your sister: 2 kids she lets my aunt take care of while she parties and stays out all night, no ambition, goals or anything. I’m also pretty sure that she’s started using meth from what my aunt and mom say. Its painful to see her at holidays, I cant imagine what it would be like if she were closer family.
Emfuser, why do you think you and your sister are so different?

Both of you grew up in the same household with the same parents. What do you think happened to her that made her the way she is? Was there any point in her childhood where you could see this coming?
well hopefully her hitting rock bottom will turn her around somehow. she definitely needs help…maybe some sort of intervention even?

anyhow, her children need to be the focus at this point. while they are not your responsibility, i think it is in good nature to care for her children or at least make sure they are cared for by responsible, loving adults. Your sister is living the life she wants obviously, if i were you i would continue to disregard her if she chooses not to change the life she lives.
Wow. I’ve got some dysfunctional family issues but nothing like that.

If you or your family members are interested in going in for the long haul as far as the upbringing of the boys is concerned, perhaps examine your options with legal custody or even adoption. At least then their lives would be as stable as they could possibly get, and you wouldn’t have the what-ifs hanging over your head about when your sister gets out of prison.
I feel for you Em…..

That is some fucked up shit, and I say that as somebody who’s done some retarded things to fuck up my life (though nothing in your sisters ballpark) and trying to get myself sorted out.

Unfortunately as I know, no matter how much a family tries to help nothing is ever going to change until she hits that bottom. Maybe this is it, but with her history I’m not sure if it is.

I definitely feel bad for those kids, but at least they have you and your family willing to care for them and won’t end up placed in the system.

They had nothing to do with your family being fucked up? Im asking a serious question here.

Okay, its not always a parents fault.

I had the best parents, the best family, that gave me everything i could want.

I have fucked up quite a few times, of my own accord. I was being an idiot, and I can’t place blame on anybody but myself.

Obviously if he and other siblings turned out okay, it wasnt the parents just picking on one child. Shes just an idiot.. sorry to say, but she is, and I used to be like that(not as bad, but still not good). I feel sorry for you, I hope she straightens up for her sake and her kids sake.

I also think that loosing a sibling may have been very very hard for her(i dont know if you said the death and her starting her shit happened at about the same time). She could be taking out her pain and frustration in the wrong way, people do. She needs someone to talk to. I would try telling her that you are there to talk to if she needs someone, that you are willing to LISTEN and not judge.
Your story didn’t make sense. You said dad #2 is the father of the 2nd child yet you said that dad #1, the father of the first child, got back together with your sister, knocked her up, and got her pregnant again??????

The time you spent writing this response could have been better spent re-reading the OP so that you would understand it. 2 kids, 2 dads.

Emfuser, why do you think you and your sister are so different?

Both of you grew up in the same household with the same parents. What do you think happened to her that made her the way she is? Was there any point in her childhood where you could see this coming?

Because I’m the first child and I took after my parents. The others after me were different. They were more rebellious. My living brother was the troublesome one in the family before the sister in question took over that role. He grew up once he hit his 20s, though.

My parents were good parents. My mom spent her life at home raising us. Dad worked, but when he was home he spent nearly all his time with his children. We weren’t abused or neglected, and both of my parents put lots of time and effort into raising us.

My parents divorced because my dad grew apart from my mom. Dad is an engineer, very rational, and was the one to field the problems with children. Mom has an IQ of 74 (car accident as a teenager completely wiped her memory and left her with permanent, but minor brain damage), is very emotional and spent many years deluding herself into thinking that nothing was ever wrong with any of her kids. That eventually caused my dad to leave.
she sounds like somebody on that show intervention hopefully now she will learn

That’s not how it works here. This is not the main.
well for whatever my take on it is worth it… i’ll give it my best shot tho.

I basically agree with your father and the rest of the family that at the moment and in the state she currently is, she belongs in jail right now. Even if it was just from preventing herself to go in the wrong even more. I feel terrible for the fact that you and your family are being pulled thru this path of devestation that’s she’s left behind.

Unfortunatly a lot of the talk about her seems to be in hindsight, the word intervention comes to mind, however i feel that your mom (because of the car accident) never ‘felt’ that there was anything wrong, and as a result thought no intervention was needed. Basically it wasn’t your job either to raise your sister, and it comes down to that there’s no one really to ‘blame’ ,it seems that purely the situational composture of the unfortunate circumstances created this pile of devastation. More over that i feel your family is rather ‘reserved’ and would be rather hesitant to ask help from outside when it comes to family matters or personal situations they cannot handle, despite an internal intervention in your sisters life from the family did took place i really have to assume your mom couldn’t ‘deal’ with your sister’s outburst and excessive partying. And the longer it took place ,the more out of control and harder to handle the whole situation became. As to being embarrased about her, every family could have a ‘black sheep’ in it. No one is perfect and this could and has happend to a lot of people, i really hope no one in the family is blaming themselves for this situation because once again no one is to be personally blamed. As a kid you’re much more easier to be influenced, and if she went into a bad group of friends then they just dragged her down the drain along with them.

I believe that the family has got to set strict borders for her,clearly showing that they are not accepting that kind of behaviour. Even if she’s 30, she’s irrisponsible like a little kid, so when visiting jail, id try to convince her (even if it is in vain) to constrain herself from bad behaviour , that maby then they’ll let her participate into a drug rehab program. But its not just a drug problem, its a behaviour problem too. Usually when teens have their rebellous period, parents make clear to where the borderlines are of what is acceptable behaviour. I think she unfortunatly hasn’t been made clear were the borderlines of acceptable behaviour lie, and stilll has to be made clear of these facts.

I personally think that for the kids they should be grown up by your dad and mom also, if thats not a viable option then it might be a concievable idea to give them up for adoption if they are still young. I really don’t think you brothers and sisters should have to take the blows by having to take care of them, but in the end thats an extremely personal choice.
Sounds like a more extreme version of my mothers family. She had an older sister who hung out with the bad crowd and is an on/off alcoholic. Her son ended up getting raised by my mother (before I was born), her other sister and my grandmother. The "black sheep" has gotten worse and barely talks to the family anymore, except to ask for money. She made that choice in life.

However there is a good side to it. My mother really put energy into raising my cousin, and while he did have some trouble growing up, which I’m sure was partially caused by the issues with his mother, but now he has turned into a great guy. He has a good family, he joined the AF and has progressed fairly quickly, has good finances, and so on.

So even if your sister abandons her kids, please make sure that someone takes the kids under their care. Just because their mom had problems doesn’t mean they will.

And sorry to hear about your sister, it seems everyone has one in their family, you just got one on the real bad end. Maybe finally going to jail for a bit will straighten her out.

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