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Worried about sister

(22 Posts)
Pinbeak Mon 29-Oct-12 12:29:34

Need advice about what to do with my sister. There is 5 years between us and she is a bit of a handful at times although she is a good person at heart.
Anyway we went out together a few nights ago. I was really excited as have hardly been out over the last few years due to having little babies. My sister has no children. All she did was talk about herself and the more drunk she got the more negative things she was saying. She was saying she used to be anorexic and then she was abused as a child bu a young family friend.
Writing this down it seems terrible, and both of these revelations really are and I am so worried about her. But the problem is the few times I have seen her since I've had kids, she gets drunk and something else comes out. For example she's told me she's self harmed on another occasion.
Everytime she starts getting into these monologues I always listen and then say she needs to talk to someone independent as these issues are just getting worse. She says she won't. In the morning when she's sober she plays it down and says its fine or just completely blanks me about it.
This weekend felt like the final straw as she's told me this huge thing and now she's gone off and won't acknowledge it.
I just don't know what to do.

CogitoEerilySpooky Mon 29-Oct-12 12:52:09

You've done all you can reasonably do by advising her to talk to someone independently. She's an adult and she can decide for herself. If she plays it down and does nothing you've either got to conclude that she's telling the truth but doesn't want to resolve the problem or she's exaggerating/lying to get attention. Does she think you have a nicer life than you?

raskolnikov Mon 29-Oct-12 12:57:39

I wonder if the drink is giving her the courage to talk to you about her problems and then when she's sober she can't face up to what she needs to do. I'd try talking to her again and offer your support but say that she needs to take the first steps to helping herself. Not much else you can do.

Pinbeak Mon 29-Oct-12 13:00:33

I do worry that all isn't as it seems then I feel bad and at the back of my mind I'm worried she'll do something really stupid as she has a history of self harming.
I am angry with her now as I was really looking forward to having some fun and she felt that was the right time to tell me all this stuff. I feel bad for feeling angry too.
I don't know if she thinks I have a better life. I don't think she envies the relentlessness of small children and seemingly uneventful life I lead.

SparkyTGD Mon 29-Oct-12 13:03:32

Try not to be angry at her, she clearly is having difficulties, I think you should try to get her to talk about this when sober, or is there a mutual friend/other family member that you think could give her more support?

swallowedAfly Mon 29-Oct-12 13:08:00

tbh i think you're right to feel bad about feeling angry. so your night out got spoiled a bit - hardly the end of the world compared to being really fucked up about stuff past and present crowding in on you and being so desperately unhappy that you end up talking to your sister (who clearly hardly knows you) whilst pissed.

she's clearly desperate and turning to the wrong person.

raskolnikov Mon 29-Oct-12 13:08:22

If you haven't been very close in the past, then maybe she does envy you, the stresses of having kids don't always look the same when you're on your own and wishing you had a family of your own. Tell her you're concerned about what she's told you, you want her to be happy and you'd lovel to spend more time together - maybe she'll open up a bit more so you can share the issues and help her to do something about it.

CogitoEerilySpooky Mon 29-Oct-12 13:10:33

@swallowedAfly.... She's not 'turning to the wrong person'. The OP is doing exactly the right things and should not feel bad.

Pinbeak Mon 29-Oct-12 13:10:44

I know being angry isn't helping and I wasn't. I was and am sympathetic. She has lots of friends and a boyfriend. She won't talk to them either but says she does get upset when drunk with others.

raskolnikov Mon 29-Oct-12 13:12:01

fly that's harsh

CogitoEerilySpooky Mon 29-Oct-12 13:14:47

You can only do what you can do. Someone slams you with a big heavy issue like this all you can do is say 'seek help' and offer support. You're not a medical professional, I'm assuming. If someone doesn't accept the support, doesn't seek the help and just uses you as a shoulder to cry on it is very frustrating and it is not wrong to feel bad.

What do others think you should do? Frogmarch her to a treatment centre against her will?

swallowedAfly Mon 29-Oct-12 13:16:18

it's not harsh - the op knows it herself. we know when we're being selfish - it doesn't make us monsters but it does make us wrong. grown ups can handle that.

pinbeak - how's your relationship? is it able to withstand you saying look you are not right, you've clearly got shit going on and you need to do something about it and bollocks to you pretending all is dandy now you're sober! honestly i think cut through the crap and pleasantries - you're her sister not an associate. if you can't who can?

swallowedAfly Mon 29-Oct-12 13:17:27

and realistically that's probably why she's choosing you to tell.

CogitoEerilySpooky Mon 29-Oct-12 13:19:37

Selfish??? The OP is feeling bad because she wishes she could do more. Same as all of us have felt when faced with someone close that seems hell-bent on self-destruction and rejects all offers of help.

swallowedAfly Mon 29-Oct-12 13:21:33

selfish in terms of boo hiss i wanted a light, fluffy night because it's my first chance of child free time in ages and now you're dropping all this heavy shit on me. it is 'selfish'. not evil and perfectly understandable but selfish none the less as the op herself acknowledged.

raskolnikov Mon 29-Oct-12 13:22:08

which is why I said it was harsh to say she'd turned to the wrong person - the OP clearly didn't realise her sister's frame of mind when they arranged to go out, so she was looking forward to it and was then disappointed - undertandable. Now she's beginning to realise the implications and that her sister is asking for help.

Pinbeak Mon 29-Oct-12 13:25:05

I haven't shown I'm angry. I have spoken numerous times, emailed her info and text her but in the cold light of day she just won't respond.

CogitoEerilySpooky Mon 29-Oct-12 13:25:07

How is it selfish on the part of the OP and not selfish on the part of the DSis?

raskolnikov Mon 29-Oct-12 13:28:11

I suppose if she's not ready, she's not ready, just letting her know you're there and you care may be all you can do right now.

CogitoEerilySpooky Mon 29-Oct-12 13:28:37

" in the cold light of day she just won't respond. "

You cannot make someone get help if they don't want help. It's not your fault, it's not 'selfish' and there does come a point where you have to ask yourself why are they content to tell you all these terrible things, saddle you with their problems and bring you low, if they then reject any efforts to help. What is the point?

Having spent too many years around various alcoholics they did the same thing. You can argue that they have no choice in being an alcoholic, that there must be some trauma that has led them down that path, and that we must be sympathetic. But when they are content to make you as miserable as they are with no intention of resolving their own problems... then I think they deserve no sympathy

Mayisout Mon 29-Oct-12 13:30:10

Sounds like a self-indulgent drama queen who needs to grow up. And why arrange to go out with someone if you just intend to get shit faced.

Perhaps OP you can include her in some family outings so that she can see your life isn't blissful motherhood and it might take her attention away from herself for a while.

If she is anorexic and self harming (though it's unlikely to have completely passed you by as her sister) it is counselling she needs.

EldritchCleavage Mon 29-Oct-12 15:14:35

Just to give another perspective, maybe being told she needs some expert help (which is undoubtedly right) feels to her, in her very ill state, like being fobbed off, or told to go away? I think sometimes people just need to be heard, and shown love.

You could try letting her know you empathise, you care and you are there for her (not suggesting you haven't done that btw), and only after that saying, please find someone qualified to talk to, I'll help you. That is what my sister did for me and it is really the reason I'm still alive to tell the tale. My mother just told me perhaps I should talk to someone and it felt like rejection.

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