I just don't know anymore.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by KayDee89, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. KayDee89

    KayDee89 New Member

    This is the link to my very first post here at CD.

    Since then we have made no progress. I was only 18 at the time and I can't make my mom do what she does not want to do. I can't help my sister if my mom isn't willing to help too!!

    I am so frustrated and upset with myself. And although the school isn't making DK miss school any more .. they aren't helping her either.

    I want to make my sisters life so much better and be able to help her so that when she is older she can lead a normal and good life. On her current path that just is not going to happen.

    But although I have this passion to help her ... I also think about my own life. I have college now and a fiance. I can't devote the time and effort I need to, to her. It would be possible if she was MY child and I didn't have to fight my mother on everything ...

    I can't say that my mom is a bad mom. She is just a single mom with three kids who does the best she can. I know she didn't ask for a child like DK ... and I know that she isn't willing to help her either.

    I am moving out with my fiance in a few weeks, and DK has asked to live with me. I am only 19 years old and although I plan on starting a family of my own soon enough ... I just don't know if I can take on the responsibility. My mom seems to be ok with the idea and has agreed to let her come ... but I am not sure that I can help her the way I know she needs to be helped. Lets just say I am scared, I guess.

    DK deserves a chance in life .. and I don't think that me or my mom are equipped and willing enough to give it to her.

    I need some advice ... some direction... something.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi KayDee, I can certainly see your dilemma, trying to lead your own life, start a marriage, grow up, have some fun. And you are due all of that.
    What a loving, responsible person you are.
    I think the best you can do is offer to take your sister on weekends or something, and maybe help tutor her, or give your mom some time off. It sounds like you and your mom are butting heads because you are trying to redo what she is doing, IOW, do the same thing.
    So I'd suggest taking a different tack and working around your mom. Take your sister to movies, help her with-homework. That way you are a helper, and not a boss, so to speak.
    Be your sister's mentor, not her mother. You can be a powerful influence, with-o completely taking over.
    I am so sorry that your mom isn't will to help your little sister in the way that she needs it.
    How terribly frustrating. And what a loss for your sister, as she grows up, to lose out on certain emotional and educational growth opportunities.
    Can you freely talk to her on the phone? I would try to stay on good terms with-your mom, just so you have open access to your sister. (Machiavellian, I know, but hey, you have to make it work.)
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I agree with Terry - stay involved as a mentor. You are so amazing to consider taking on the responsibility of your sister 24/7, however, I don't know that doing so would solve anything in the long term. I think it will be easier for you and your sister if you have a level of detachment. If your sister did move in with you, she may soon loose the level of respect she has for you. As she becomes a teenager, she will start defying authority even more so and if you are her guardian, you will get all her defiance. If you keep the relationship as a loving big sister, you will have a better chance of her following your advise. If she only sees you on weekends and a few hours each night a few times a week, it will stay special for her.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hello, KayDee!

    You're a strong and caring young woman to want so much to make a difference in your sister's life. If she was living with you, would you have the ability to make decisions for her, or would you be fighting your mother at every step?
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi! I went back and read your earlier post. You seem to have a lot of insight into your sister's differences. For a lot of us understanding that they are just BORN this way and not CHOOSING to be this way is a major hurdle.

    I am not sure your mom is past that hurdle. I am concerned that your mom is fine letting a 9yo go and live full time with a 19yo. It just seems that it would be too much responsibility to place on ANY 19yo, even one as level-headed as yourself.

    I know you have had a large role in raising your sister. Esp as your mom is a single parent, I know she had to really rely on you. So you are probably MUCH more mature than most people your age.

    Is your mom willing to take your sister for any testing to figure out what is really going on? To have her put on medication again to see if that will help her? To ask the school for an IEP for her? Would she fight you if YOU typed up the letters and worked with the school and docs to get these things done?

    You really DO have to focus on your life. Be a mentor, take some of the weight off your mom. Even research whatever medications and diagnosis the doctors suggest KD may have. Type up letters for your mom to sign to get more help in school for KD, that kind of thing.

    But you are at a point in your young life where you need to focus on YOUR education and life. If you need to have your sis come live with you in a few years, that is one thing. But 19 is just so very very young. And you have so much to do with college etc....

    by the way, how does your fiance feel about all of the stuff with KD? IS he willing to help? To have her live with you? If he is not on the same page that alone could spell disaster.

    Just so you know, having a child with this kind of difficulties often tears a relationship apart. The last time I heard stats about it, most marriages ended within 7 years of a child getting a serious mental health diagnosis. That is pretty scary as you are just heading into a relationship.

    Take things slow with taking responsiblity for your sister. Help out for now. When you are on more solid footing with your OWN life, then if you need to raise your sister you would be in a better position to do so. Make SURE, if you take your sister in, that your mom will still cover insurance, medical stuff, etc... This can be extremely expensive, and you MUSt discuss it ahead of time with your mom.

    You really are a wonderful daughter and sister. Your mom must be very proud of you. I know I am proud just to know you.

  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    WOW - are you a special kid er......teen.......er lady or what???!!!!!!!
    I'm very impressed. I'm also impressed with your avatar - made me laugh. Thanks for that. RAR....too cute.

    I think having your sister come to live with you is a HUGE mistake. Bigger perhaps than having her live at your Moms. What happens when it doesn't work out? How big of a rift do you think there will be?

    It is, of course, possible that she will once out of that environment be a different person - is that what you are thinking? Yeah well if it is then see my HUGE mistake sentence above. People don't change locations and instantly grow a conscience or better behavior. If that were true then everyone that has sent their kid to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or group home here would be writing happy posts not ones of WHY doesn't he get it he's at the best place.....etc.

    I think the best thing for you to do is to advocate for your sister. If your mom isn't willing to - ask her if you can do it for her and your sis. You could attend IEP meetings at school - your Mom 'could' potentially make you her guardian so you could help out and get her the services she needs.

    Also not that it's a consideration at all....but does your Mom realize that if your sister lives with YOU and YOU are out - she now can only claim ONE Earned Income Credit on taxes? Don't need to start a war over that, but if she's living under YOUr roof? You're paying for her? It could get ugly.

    I commend and applaud your efforts and heck - maybe you'll just throw caution to the wind and do it anyway. Just don't bank your sisters future on "I think" - she needs to bank on herself and be accountable for herself NO MATTER WHERE she lives or what she's up against. Maybe with you out of the house it will give her the opportunity to be the big sister and she'll shoulder some more responsibility?

    Hard to tell hon - I wish you the best and keep us updated. I'm glad you came to post today -

  7. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Wow!!! Your sister is so lucky to have you. I, too am so impressed by your selfless attempts at helping your younger sister. It isn't everyday you meet a young woman with the insight, passion and love in her heart as you seem to have. Your mom must be doing something right, you turned out GREAT!!!!!

    I also agree that bringing her to live with you on a consistent basis would be a mistake. I know you love her but you also have to live your own life. You are still so young. I like Terry's idea, weekends with you would be great for her and maybe give your mom a break. That way maybe she would be more willing to fight the good fight. Has your sister ever been evaluated? Is your mom willing to do anything at all to advocate for your sister? What about the school system, have they stepped in to make any suggestions? My daughter received her very first evaluation from the school district. Maybe they can be of some help to you.

    I am so sorry you are carrying this burden all by yourself. Your efforts are commendable to say the least. The mere fact that you found us is astounding!!!!

    Good luck and God bless. :)
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello KayDee,

    You are a wonderful and devoted sister to be doing this. Add me to the list of people who think it would be a mistake to bring your sister to live with you full time.

    You're at a stage in your life where you need to focus on your goals, your hopes and your dreams. I think you are well positioned to be an advocate, a mentor and a safe haven for your sister.

    The others have already given you some great advice. Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus.