My family

About six months ago my sister decided that she would rather be an addict than a mother to her two beautiful daughters. I now have the oldest living in my home and the younger one is living with her bio dad.
In April my mother (for lack of a better term) decided that she was going to move out of state with her girlfriend. Now normally this isn’t an issue because people more all the time, but my birth giver did this to duck out of reality.
I haven’t talked to the birth giver in almost three years because she is a toxic person. She has a problem with prescription pills and she is a hypocondriac to the point of going to doctor after doctor until she finally got her way and had one of her lungs biopsied after being told there was nothing other than emphazema, no cancer. That turn in to her telling people she had half of her lung removed.
Not to make light of it but I’m really glad munchausens was more well known when we were children. I don’t I would be here.
After my grandmother died my mother inherited a good chunck of change which she has gone through in two years. But, her bills were never paid. They shut of the power and had gotten a few eviction notices.
She spent it on tattoos and toys for herself. I mean toys. She got a candle maker and a soap maker and a sticker book, three fish tanks full of fish and turtles and on it goes.
There is a thread around her where I had her commited but that didn’t work out so well. The aunts and uncles who said they would support us and actually gave us shit for not doing this earlier turned on us.
Couldn’t we see she was mentally ill? She needed her children around her and as her children we were supposed to be at her beck and call and help support her.
But because my aunts and uncles moved to different states and rarely called home they had no idea that my siblings and I had been doing that from the time we were born. We knew she was off her rocker and had no family to turn to except my grandmother who insisted it was just a stage.
So we did for her what we could when we could even though we knew she would crush us in the end. She is manipulative and twists people. She also has marred my brother and sister’s credit reports in the past.
I eventually realised that she couldn’t manipulate me if I took myself out of the picture and did so almost three years ago.
Back to my sister.
Last november my sister ended up moving back in with the birth giver because the guy she was living with was fed up with her shit.
My sister started doing strange things, there were rumors she was into drugs.
It started to click with me when she would miss family dinners or birthdays and she was starting to come to things late with tons of excuses.
The school started calling because she wasn’t getting them there on time and not picking them up on time. She started to call me every other day to pick up her girls because she was “out of gas” “had a flat tire” or many other excuses.
I told my brothers something was going on and she needed help. Yep, they were right behind me. Sure.
Shit got way out of control when the birth giver moved and my sister got the house to herself with the girls. The birth give moved to start a new life with her new girlfriend and be stress free you see. We are talking thousands of dollars in medical bills and many failed attempts at social security and eventually they just started sending things that said she should seek counsiling.
She turned a blind eye when my sister would put the girls to bed and go out and bring multiple men home. Some at the same time, right next to her daughters room.
Until the birth giver moved. Then my sister had free range to do what she wanted.
The school finally just started calling me to pick up the girls, side stepping her altogether and I would either drop them off at home or have to call my sister many times to come get her girls.
The power got shut off a week before school ended and my sister asked me to get the girls from school and could they please stay with me until she could get the lights back on.
She never came back to get them. The first night she said she was on her way to drop off clothes and then up until I finally called it a night and went to bed she made excuses of still being at the store, stuck in traffic, what have you.
She was sick and I knew it so I wanted to have her civil committed. The oldest of my two brothers stopped answering my phone calls because he washed his hands of the whole thing and it was disrupting his home life.
I ended up having to go to my sisters house and go through a window because I needed clothes for her daughters. The house was trashed. That is not my sister, she is a neat freak. I found her stash in her private bathroom under the sink. I had no clue what the stuff was but there was a glass tube and steel wool and baking soda. But there was also this capsule with something in it that looked like a black crayon. It’s something new the police said. A combination of Crack, Meth, Black tar heroine and tylenol pm. Nice.
The younger brother has addiction problems of his own and was too busy sleeping it off to come with me.
So I got a friend to go with me and finally got ahold of my sister and had her meet me at the library to sign over temporary custody in front of a notary and when we walked out the sherriff was waiting to take her in.
Instantly the oldest brother found this a travasty and how dare I gang up on our poor fragile sister who doesn’t have a problem. Youngest still not reachable.
Come to find out that sometime in October DHS was called and my sister had a dirty UA and they let her keep her kids as long as her mother was still in the house and they would make random visits.
They also gave her a UA at the hospital since the civil commitment was for drugs and the judge put her in treatment.
Brother one still doesn’t believe it. Sister swears the test is wrong and is being set up. Of course the stuff in her house wasn’t hers.
I spent three days packing up her house because the bank was going to put a lock on it. I packed as much as I could take of her stuff and the birth givers stuff and moved it all in to my house. Drop the kids off at school, pack other peoples shit, work by candle light when the sun goes down, ask my children to please figure something out for dinner “yes I’m sorry we’re almost done here”, get home after midnight, lather, rinse, repeat for the next three days.
I packed everything I could but I had to sell her loveseat, couch and dinning room table. This is important.
But hey, the good news is I now have the full set of china instead of having to split it with my sister and I got my great grandmothers stoneware.
The oldest of brothers whom couldn’t be bothered and wouldn’t answer his phone came over and got the washer, dryer, and fridge after my father called him. He was there in ten minutes flat for that stuff, but wouldn’t give me a hand when all I needed was his truck for the heavy stuff.
During detox my sister decides to tell everyone that I broke in to her house and stole all of her stuff and she was going to sue me. I had the second owner of the house with me and a key from the youngest brother so I was pretty well covered there.
But holy crap?! I stole her stuff? I put my home life on hold when I could have just said fuck it and let the bank toss it all. Now she will admit I didn’t steal her stuff but she is still pissed I hand the nerve to sell her furniture. She just won’t accept I don’t have the room for it and I had no help.
DHS is involved now because they were involved in Oct. last year and it’s ongoing. My sister swears that there is no way in hell that they should be involved with her older daughter because she wasn’t named in the case file. I tried to get her to understand that when one child is in need of assistance they are going to realise that they should probably look in to the second child as well.
She got herself thrown out of in patient re-hab by breaking damn near every rule and finally got busted in the act of having sex with another resident. When she got out she moved in with two other people who had just gotten out, one of them being the man in question. But she only stayed there for a few days before leaving that house to go back to her friends and using again. From what I understand the two she moved in with are still clean and she didn’t want to be.
She calls randomly now and it mostly ends in threats of her calling DHS on me and trying to get her daughter removed from my care since I won’t let her see her daughter until she complies and goes to classes and takes another UA.
She has denied two so that is automatic dirty and I just found out that CAD’s booted her because she hasn’t been there in 30 days.
The birth giver has called me once and left a message, and she continues to call friends of the family to get information about my sister. I’ve told the friends to either not answer or tell her that if she was really that concerned then she shouldn’t have left, but don’t bother comming back because there is nother here for her.
People ask why I don’t want to talk to her. I have nothing to say and I think if I did talk to her I would simply ask her to die and go away.
My neices have told some horrible stories of things they saw and heard. Loud nasty sex with multiple men, my sister always locked herself up in her room or bathroom, no food in the house. Yes, they are both now in cousiling.
It all seems like it happened so fast and at the same time I feel like an idiot for not figuring it out sooner. I thought my sister was depressed, and yes that’s not a good thing but it just took me too long to figure out what she was doing.
She blames everyone but herself, and has made it so her girls see things the same way. Nothing is their mothers fault. It’s the ex-boyfriend, it’s grandma, it’s such and such friend and they are lieing.
But really, what the fuck? How do you do this to your children? Why won’t you just fucking pee in a cup and get some help so you can see your children again? You went from a wonderfully, well dressed successful single mom to crackwhore in a matter of a year. You look like crap and you are killing yourself.
The girls are happier being in stable homes without wondering who is comming in or if mom’s friends are going to eat all the food in the house.
She’s right, I don’t understand addiction but I would like to try. I offered to take her to meetings and classes and church and whatever else she needed to do to get clean and it’s all excuses.
I think I remember hearing there are meetings that family members can go to. Not AA but another program. I might look in to that so maybe I can wrap my mind around it a bit.
I want my sister back, I want my neices to have their mother back.
I hate being the oldest.

You can’t help someone who won’t help themselves. Wash your hands of your sister and your mother. See what you can do to get permanent custody.

Your priority now is the little girls. Hopefully you can straighten them out.

How did you turn out to be so normal?

Kricket, am I remembering correctly that you’re in the Quad Cities?

My god that is awful. I want to cry for those kids. How old are they?

Kricket, egads!

Kudos to you for being with your nieces.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, there is some out there, if you’re willing to do a little digging. I don’t know where you are, but check locally for a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) office near you. They are mostly an advocacy group, themselves, but the local offices will often know what programs are available locally to help you and your nieces. They will often have contact names, too that can be invaluable in getting doors open.

For that matter, the local office here has a bi-monthly get together for friends and family, just a social meeting with a little information before hand, but mostly letting people who do know what it’s like to see loved ones go down like that.
ETA: I know you said that your sister’s problem is the drugs she’s on, but often a persistent mental illness, esp. depression, can be a major contributor towards drug addiction. Believe me when I say that drug addiction and mental illness often go hand in hand.

One last thing - let me second what ivylass said - see about getting permanent custody.

I’m sorry you’re going through this, but I’m glad your nieces have a stable person to look up to. They may not blame their mom now, but they’ll realize, someday.

Al-Anon ?

“I think I remember hearing there are meetings that family members can go to. Not AA but another program. I might look in to that so maybe I can wrap my mind around it a bit.”

There’s Al-anon for adults and there’s Alateen for teenagers, if the girls are old enough. You say they’re in counciling, ask their counselor about groups they can go to.
I wish you lots of luck and patience, and bless you for standing up and doing what’s right for the girls, it’s not easy in the face of dealing with their mother and grandmother.

Thank you for the laugh. Funny thing is that in one of my finer moments during the initial melt down I made a comment about how am I the most stable person in my family and I’ve got issues.
I am in the Quad Cities on the Iowa side.
The girls are 12 and 10. The 12 yo is already hesitant to talk to or see her mother. Not that it’s going to happen any time soon. They’ve seen and heard too much.
Thank you Emily Litella and Equipoise that is exactly what I was thinking of. And I will look into NAMI as OtakuLoki suggested.
I’ve kept all of the kids busy this summer in an attempt to keep our minds off of it for even a little while before it all comes rushing back. A few minutes of get away time really does help.
The girls are seeing a therapist but I really wish there was a place for them to talk to children with the same issues. I have a friend who has custody of his son because the mother made the same choice as my sister and I’ve suggested the kids talk. Helps that they have known each other for years.
There is a ChINA (child in need of assistance) in effect right now and she is placed with me for the time being and one of the social workers said she will suggest permenancy placing.
The civil commitment was for both drugs and mental help. They commited her on the drugs but in re-rab addressed her depression issues.

One day at a time,** Kricket**. I admire you for your strength. I hope the girls do all right.

A small request. Can you be persuaded to hit the “enter” key twice when a paragraph ends? It’s awfully difficult to read your posts the way you format them. Thanks.

If you could use a laugh now and then (and maybe a cry), you might want to check this out. Assuming you have the time for things like reading.

It does really give one a feel for the overwhelmed sense that she’s undoubtedly experiencing, though.

What’s a “UA” ?

I assumed urine analysis.

yes, urine analysis.

For starters, Kricket I wish you well in your attempt to provide some love and stability to your neice. She’s lucky to have you. But, just to give a bit of a perspective on the other side of this story, let me say that I am currently attempting to get custody of my two children back due to substance abuse issues I had over the last couple years. As to why your sister “won’t just fucking pee in a cup and get some help so you can see your children again?”, it is because she is an addict. She likely knows exactly how much she’s fucked up her life, especially if she is/was as intelligent and competent as you claim prior to her problems overwhelmed her. She probably feels hopeless, helpless, and stuck. She also probably knows that her children are better off where they are right now, and that can be a huge blow to a mother’s sense of self worth which just perpetuates the cycle of self-loathing and seeking escape through drugs. I know it did for me anyway. There’s no such thing as “just get some help”, it’s a huge step and it comes to different people at different times.

It took me nearly nine months after my parents took custody before I was ready to seek the help that I needed. And now as I’m about to have another child and with months of sobriety behind me, I still have days where I feel overwhelmed and completely out of control. Regaining custody, at least where I am, is NOT easy. Child services keeps setting higher and higher hoops for me to jump through, with nary a reward in sight. I have been in intensive outpatient treatment all summer, I’m attending a group aimed at teaching me how to be gainfully employed (even though I have a college education and a very steady work history prior to my addiction) since I was prostituting for a time, I’m going through weekly court hearings, dropping clean UA up to four or five times weekly, attending AA daily, with another handful of requirements just waiting for an opening in my schedule, and on and on and on. And despite all this I was just told today that they will be seizing custody of my unborn child as well. I am heartbroken. To do all the right things, and finally be on the right track again, it is incredibly frustrating to have the powers that be basically scoff at your efforts and take away the one thing you were clinging to.

I ache for your neices, because they didn’t ask for or deserve their situation, but I feel just as bad for your sister, because although she’s put herself in this position, she’s hurting too even if you can’t see it and almost certainly wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy knowing now what an excruciating position it is. Love your neices and keep your sister at arm’s length if that’s what is best for now (and it sounds like it is), but don’t write her off completely and try to let her children draw their own conclusions about her without badmouthing or judging her in front of them. It’s a horrible, complicated situation for everyone involved, and I hope things work out postitively in the end, one way or the other. (Thanks for giving me a place to vent too, it helped a bit.)

Delphine, wow. That had to be hard to write. I hope you can keep things on the up and up. Don’t give up hope, please.

You know that book is somewhere in my house oddly enough.

Delphine thank you for posting that. I really do love my sister I am just so frustrated with her right now. She’s right and so are you, I won’t really ever understand but I would like to try.

I’m sure she feels hopless and she has said she knows she fucked up a lot of things. I don’t badmouth her in front of the girls. Wow, one of the few things my mom taught me. She never bashed our father in front of us and just let us figure it out on our own.

I just want my sister back. I want the girls to have their mother back, and I would do just about anything to make that happen, but I’m at a point where I can’t trust her.

Al-anon is for families of alcholics but maybe someone could put me in touch for our situation. I would take her to whatever meeting see needed, whatever appointments she had, anything to have her back. It’s been suggested I read the Big Book as well?

Delphine if you are up to it would you mind chatting with me off boards or will that be diffuclt? I would really love to get a fingerhold of insight. I really am clueless to all this and I feel so lost. I would very much understand if you declined, and I am very sorry about the newest baby having to go through garbage from the start. How heartbreaking for the both of you.

Yes, I will make more of an effort to double space. I’m sorry, I really understand because I have a hard time reading things run together like that as well. But it all just came out in a big rush. There is much more I’ve left out.

She swears she hasn’t prostituded, but I’m really not so sure about that. She been pretty broke and still has money for buying new phones and getting her stuff somehow. If she is sleeping with guys for the money or the drugs isn’t it the same thing? That’s not a smart-assed question, I really don’t know the answer.

A few other laughs I’ve had is when I was wrapping up the china for the boxes I was singing christmas carols because the only thing I had to wrap them for boxing them was the birth givers christmas paper. The one friend I had helping thought I finally snapped until my mom’s first ex-girlfriend explained it was just the way I deal with stress. I was scared that if I didn’t laugh at something I would never stop crying.

So she was pretty much just wasting time in the in-patient place until she could get out and go to her friends again? I really thought she was on the right path. Not that moving in with two people who they themselves had just gotten out was the best decision, but from what I understand that house is still clean.

She got into the house on a Thursday and moved out by Saturday. The last time I heard from her was that Saturday afternoon and it was another two weeks before she called again. It comes in goes that she calls. When I ask why she doesn’t call more she tells me that I could call her at any time.

No, either her phone is off, dead, stolen, lost, out of minutes, some guy answers it or the other numbers either don’t answer or tell me she’s not here. I have tried to call.

And she’s sick. She sounds like shit. Always sniffling and has a horrid cough like from an upper respritory infection. Big deep rattley coughs. I’m scared for her. She was born with health problems like having only one kidney and slight spinabifida, hypoglycemia that causes seizurse.

I sleep with my phone in my hand. Not just next to me on the desk, in my hand. I am so scared of getting that phone call in the middle of the night.

My mother can fuck herself sideways with a rusty pole with hopes it will get infected and she will get gangreen and will slowly rot away because nobody will believe she is sick.

Too long, bad spacing, didn’t read.

Moral: If you want response/feedback/empathy/help, make it easy on us.

What a mess. Hopefully sissy will wake up and get herself together soon. In the meantime, I guess all you can do is what you are doing. It is too bad your family won’t help and it all rests on your shoulders.
I am not so sure it was okay to sell her belongings though. Didn’t someone have a garage to put the stuff in? What happened to the money?

Really, was that needed? If you would have read any of this thread you would see that it was nicely suggested that I double space and I complied with that request. Everything in the OP just came out in one big rush.

Foxy40 I kept as many of her things as I could. Dressers, beds, wall hangings, pots and pans. Remember this house was still full of the birth givers stuff as well.

It was either sell three items that can be replaced and use the money to get the girls a few new things that they needed (clothes mostly) or leave it and just let it be trashed by the people locking up the house.

She had pretty much alienated or pissed off her friends by this point. I have no friends. Nobody was answering their phones or would help. It wasn’t easy on me to sell her stuff and if I could have I would have rented storage for it but I just don’t have spare money in the household budget for that.