Mentally Challenged sister not "bad enough" for dad to get rights

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by 3Sisters, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. 3Sisters

    3Sisters New Member

    I'm posting on behalf of my dad, as he's not too internet savvy. I am looking for advice and direction in helping figuring out what we can do to help my sister.
    Here's the story: My older sister (nearly 30) has the mentality of a child in some cases and a young teenager in others. About a year ago, she suddenly had major change in behavior (with her then upcoming 29th birthday) as she was upset she was nearing 30 years old and had never been on a first date, etc. She's always been extremely shy, even diagnosed as 'elective mute'. She didn't even want to go to prom or other social events. She didn't even have any real friendships (another words, her 'friends' were people who weren't picking on her in school, but not anyone she ever actually spent time with). She had preferred to watch shows like "Pokemon" on tv instead. I am 4 years younger than her, and as I grew up and began dating, my first job, etc, she would play with toys with my little sister (4 years younger than me/8 years younger than her) as if they were the same age.
    Last November, my dad got the call that she was in the hospital resulting from a serious car crash. Her car was already in the shop for minor accidents she had been in (bumping against poles, bumping cars in the parking lot, etc. I really dont think she should be driving, personally). So, she had decided to take my car out late one night. This guy she had met online (which ended up having quite a history during my online research of him. Sex predator, in an old online newspaper article for beating up an elderly man, etc) decided to drive. They were both drunk and he had flipped the car at high speed. The entire passenger side of the car was smashed in and my sister's head was ground down to the skull. He and his friend actually tried to bail the scene, but police came just in time. On top of that, the dummy even tried to say she was the one driving (as she was pinned upside in the car, seat belt on, in the passenger seat). He was arrested. My sister was in a body brace for months, and has lost some range of motion to one of her arms and wrists. Her scalp was pulled shut and stapled closed. She was very, very lucky she didn't die. My dad and I went to the accident site later on and it was horrible. A whole section of scalp and hair... a huge circle of blood on the road, etc. It was the scene of a horror film. My dad is very good at keeping strong and never cries, but he was shaking so hard after seeing this and then seeing the car. I wont go into anymore graphic details. We thought she had learned her lesson, but as soon as she was able to walk, she was back out with that group of people. She would actually sneak out of the house and have them meet her someplace else. She bought them TONS of stuff and she even admitted that she knew they were using her. Looking at her cell phone text message history, she was even giving them prescription medications of hers and even taking some from my mom (which are some serious pills). The guy wasn't in jail long. I was upset that we didn't go to court to testify against him, but my dad was afraid that some nasty lawyer would make my sister out to be some bad person (she's not 'bad', she just doesn't understand the severity of these mistakes, etc). and possibly end up in jail herself.
    My sister immediately met some other guy. This guy seems decent, but you never really know. Just this last month, my parents found out my sister had taken $8,000 from their credit cards. She's made this mistake before, but never nearly this big. They always think that they're safe and she no longer has their information, and next thing you know, there's another bill in the mail.
    Since my car was replaced with hers (my car was a gift from my dad. Her car was a hand-me-down from grandma. She never had to actually buy a car before, let alone pay insurance, etc), she decided to go buy another one. She didn't take my dad, or her new boyfriend (which she got 'engaged' to after only two months), or even do any research online for tips in buying a car. She was sold a lemon and locked herself into a contract of $6,000. According to the contract, she could have gotten out within the first three days. However, she parked the car on a different street for a week so no one would know about it. By the time we found out, it was too late and the dealer refused to take it back. I dont even know how she could have bought the car with her very miniscule paying parting time job and lack of credit. How could she approve her? How was she even approved for her 'PayPal' credit card? Who knows how much debt is on that.... all we know is credit collectors are calling the house all day for her.
    She says she's learned her lesson, but sneaking on to her ebay account, I see she's continuing to buy stuff and we dont know if we'll end up seeing more mysterious charges on any of our cards. I was extremely hurt when I found out she decided to buy two wedding dresses. Now we can't even have that wedding dress shopping experience with her. She also has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (obsessive compulsive disorder) so when she buys, she buys in bulk. She bought 20 fake belly button rings alone in only a month, a hundred hand towels, etc.
    I'm afraid shes going to end up brankrupt. Even worse, I'm worried about her eventually getting into drugs... and with her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), potentially overdosing on them and killing herself. When she was in the hospital last winter, I read through her text messages to try and figure out what had happened, and I read about how crazy she was over beer. She was binging on it (our family is anti alcohol) and hiding 6 packs in the house. She has a very tiny framer and there were days she'd come home and I had a feeling she was hungover. What if she ends up giving herself alcohol poising because she becomes so obsessed with it? She could do that with drugs, or anything else. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow she bought her boyfriend a motorcycle (shes been buying tons of harley davidson apparel lately). We are at a loss of what to do. My dad looked into trying to get legal control over her, but they say she's not mentally 'bad enough', which we both beg to differ. How did Britney Spear's dad get control of her? Did she willingly sign her rights over to him or what? We need to know that secret.
    If we kick her out or 'cut ties', she'll end up moving in with her boyfriend and the situation will worsen for her. She obviously needs some sort of therapy, but we can't force her to go into therapy. Even if we could, my dad needs some sort of legal control until then.
    Any input is appreciated.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board 3Sisters. (((hugs)))

    Does your sister have any other dxes along with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? Has she ever had a neuropsychological evaluation? (and I hope to heaven someone thought to give her an MRI after that head injury! Oh my!)

    Scary stuff, indeed. I would imagine a paper trail is going to be needed in order for your dad to prove her a danger to herself/others, or that she is incompetent to care for herself. It can be done, but it's not so easy to do these days. I think we've had a parent or two who has had some experience with that........

    I'll post more later. I just happened to pop in tonight and see your post. But it's after 2am here and I am supposed to be in bed sleeping.

    Others will be along as well.

    I'm glad you found us.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    To begin with she needs an accurate diagnosis. I'm wondering if she isn't on the autism spectrum...Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a big part of autism. Also, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) adults are often not really "grown up" and do not do the no rmal adult things or "get" relationships and my nineteen year old son still watches cartoons. He is certainly not up to age level. I don't know if he will ever be. I am his legal guardian because he continues to need some adult help, including at work, paying bills, and looking for a place to live where he can be safe and pay a portion of what he makes. Sounds like your sister never has had any clue how to socialize. She is doing another common Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) method to make friends...buying them.

    I don't know what she has, but to establish any sort of disability that gets any adult services, you have to have an evaluation, a "bad enough" diagnosis, a history of failure, and then apply for social security. Then the interventions follow if she can get social security. Often you must apply four times to get accepted as disabled (this is what we were told) but it is worth it. However, it's not for those who give up the first time. You have to persevere. It sure sounds like your poor sister has no clue how to take care of herself so something is going on beyond Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    Of course at her age she has to agree to have an evualtion and to apply for disability. Good luck!
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry I don't have time to post a long response but wanted to say welcome. Do share with us her medical history. Was she able to complete high school? Has anyone kept a log of her inappropriate behaviors? Does she understand birth control and STD's?

    Have you and your parents taken steps to make sure that she can not access your credit? In some cases, I think, it is actually necessary to utilize an attorney to make sure that it is known "we are not responsible for debts incurred by x". Many of us have had teens who used similar methods to gain money/possessions. It will not get better as time goes by and I am sure your parents do not want to press legal charges (none of us want to do that) but truly she can cause havoc for your parents financial security so I think that needs to be explored pronto. Sadly, in my humble opinion, she has got to be held accountable for her costly impulsive decisions. You are right...her "friends" do not care and she likely will end up paying a big personal price for them.

    Give us an update. Other people will come along with supportive advice...likely better than mine. Hugs DDD