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View Full Version : I need to vent about my sister.



Avalon
11-17-2011, 07:27 PM
I am so frustrated with my sister right now, and I can't really talk to friends and relatives because the issues are so sensitive. First, the preamble:

I am homeschooling my 14-year-old niece, my sister's child, this year. This girl has ISSUES: her dad is a drug addict and is slowly dying from a brain tumour, and they have a restraining order against him. There is always lots of "big drama" going on at their house. She's been depressed and is taking various anti-depressants and god-knows-what other medications prescribed by a doctor. She is in counselling. She is just not in a place where she can attend school, act normal, and get her homework done, so school was a disaster for her for the last couple of years.

I am happy to have her with me. She shows up calm and happy, she has an excellent work ethic and does everything I ask her to do. She is working significantly below grade level, so my goals with her are simply to provide a wholesome environment, work on math, and hopefully improve her reading and writing levels.

The problem is MY CRAZY SISTER. I swear that she is the direct cause of at least 50% of my niece's problems. We all (meaning my whole family) learned last week that my sister has been PROVIDING MARIJUANA TO HER KIDS. (I also have a 16yo nephew). She provides it, because "it helps to calm her down." Apparently, they all partake frequently.

I had a talk with my niece, and she said they're not doing it anymore (HA!). My sister says they've cut back a lot. I explained all the reasons why I think it's a very bad idea, and why what my sister is doing is wrong, and that I want her to continue coming to my house.

I would like to give my sister a piece of my mind, but I don't want to jeopardize my niece's coming here. I want her to keep coming, because at least I know that she gets breakfast and lunch and some math and literature. It's probably the most sane part of her life.

On top of that, my sister only brings her about half the time. At least once or twice a week, she calls to say my niece isn't coming because "she's tired" or, today, because it was snowing.

GOOD GRIEF! THE LEAST SHE COULD DO IS GET HER DAUGHTER HERE!!!

Thank you for reading, if you got this far.

farrarwilliams
11-17-2011, 07:30 PM
:_s:Wow. That's... some serious issues. Hugs to you and no wonder you need to vent.

Do you feel like it's at some sort of point where you might want authorities involved?

lynne
11-17-2011, 07:45 PM
I honestly don't know what I would do in that situation but I agree you should insist that she continue to bring your niece over for school. I'm really sorry you are having to deal with this.

dbmamaz
11-17-2011, 07:47 PM
Serious kudos to you for doing this for your neice! Take Farrars suggestion with the understanding that she is trained as a teacher . . .probably trained to report such things for the good of the child. (i otoh spent a lot of time living in subcultures where you dont call the cops no matter what .. . which probably wasnt really a good plan) but yeah, have you thought about trying to get custody? probably would create an awful lot of family craziness tho. Do you have room in your house for her? Could she stay over on school nights?

dragonfly
11-17-2011, 07:59 PM
That really sucks. I'm sure it feels like an impossible situation.

I know it's hard, but I think reporting this to the authorities might be the best thing, ultimately. It sounds like the home environment that your sister is providing is toxic, at best. What if she starts providing them with...alcohol? Narcotics? What if she already is?

I know you want to keep you niece safe. Maybe there is a way that you could gain some kind of custody in the event that your sister is reported.

Maybe you could do the report anonymously?

This sucks, it's a horrible position for you to be in, and it's going to be a mess for you and your family no matter what. I think you have to figure out the best thing to do for your niece, even if it means your sister gets hurt.

Good luck, and big hugs!!!! (((())))

OrganicFrmGrl
11-17-2011, 08:07 PM
If you call in a report to CPS they will not release your name. I do think you need to do what YOU can! That means do what you feel is right in the situation. We can support you here and read all of your venting! Could you give your niece a drug test? THey are available over the counter. When it is positive take it to your sister and explain that it has to stop and what will be done if it continues.

farrarwilliams
11-17-2011, 08:17 PM
I just want to say, I don't know that you *should* call CPS, just that I think that's a question worth posing for yourself. I dislike greatly how demonized some simple pot is in our society sometimes and how organizations like DARE encourage kids to tell cops if their parents occasionally partake, but the judgement involved in giving a 14 yo pot is just so skewed.

Avalon
11-17-2011, 08:17 PM
I believe that there is already a social worker involved in the family, or at least aware of the family, although I'm sure said social worker doesn't know everything that goes on.

I already know that my sister also provides cigarettes and alcohol to my nephew, but my niece doesn't partake.

I did have my niece live with me for several months when she was 8yo, but her real issues are with her mom. Living here almost seemed to make it worse. She would have to choose to live here. If anyone tried to force it, I'm sure she would just take off and stay with some of her very questionable friends.

Maybe I could just let my niece know that she could stay here if she wants to. I'm not that interested in being a revolving door. I'd rather she lived here, or not, as opposed to just staying here when she's mad at her mom. But maybe that would help her. I think she likes coming here because it's an oasis of calm, but I'm not sure she could tolerate the no drugs, no television, no crazy friends, totally wholesome atmosphere day in and day out.

coloradoalice
11-17-2011, 08:58 PM
Wow. I don't have any advice at all because I have no idea what I'd do but I think that what you are providing for your niece is awesome. It sounds like a very difficult position to be in and one that could involve you being taken advantage of a lot. Keeping yourself open and available to her like that is a wonderful gift.

Accidental Homeschooler
11-17-2011, 10:14 PM
My brother gave his son (age 14) enough alcohol, that my nephew ended up in the emergency room. They also watch porn together (he told another nephew). Social services have been involved on and off. We were hoping with the alcohol poisoning that he would be removed, but my nephew lied to the investigator and said that he stole the liquor. He totally takes care of his dad (huge alcoholic) and will always lie to protect him. It is really hard and I know how you feel, really, other than I am not dealing with it on a daily basis like you are. Anytime anyone tries to do anything to help it ends badly. I admire you for trying though and you are giving your niece a way to see that there is something else out there besides what she has at home, some other way to see the future besides her mom's life. You can only do what you can do, teach her when she shows up and make your home a place away from the craziness.

hockeymom
11-18-2011, 08:13 AM
Wow. I don't have any advice at all because I have no idea what I'd do but I think that what you are providing for your niece is awesome. It sounds like a very difficult position to be in and one that could involve you being taken advantage of a lot. Keeping yourself open and available to her like that is a wonderful gift.

Yes, this.

((hugs))

Mum
11-18-2011, 12:55 PM
My heart goes out to you and your family. What an awful situation for those kids. If it were me I'd probably do everything I could to get custody. That's easy for me to say though since it's not me. Please keep us posted. You are a good sister and an awesome aunt.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
11-18-2011, 01:36 PM
On top of that, my sister only brings her about half the time. At least once or twice a week, she calls to say my niece isn't coming because "she's tired" or, today, because it was snowing.

Does your province require a certain number of days of instruction each academic year? Maybe you could hang that over your sister's head to get her to bring your niece over every day. Heck, if your sister isn't very knowledgeable about HS laws, you could even make something up and throw in a few "horror stories" involving homeschoolers and truancy officers. :)

Good luck. Your niece is so lucky to have you on her side!

Jeni
11-18-2011, 09:30 PM
Uh, why hasn't anyone mentioned the mixing of drugs your niece is taking? That is SO, so dangerous! And just because your niece "doesn't partake" now in other stuff, doesn't mean she won't. Not to mention, her family history! Does your sister really want her children to end up like her ex? Oh my gosh, your sister has some huge problems that are so beyond you and your family. Join Alanon and get some local information. If nothing, your niece needs to understand the danger to herself if she mixes drugs like she's doing. And your sister needs to get it to AA and/or NA.

theWeedyRoad
11-18-2011, 11:19 PM
No advice from me but plenty of sympathy.

We have relatives who are so.. uh... not the kind of parents dh and I are that even my ds mentions it from time to time. DHS/CPS/whatever it's called now are already involved with the family. They've had home visits, and have been declared fit. And yet... and yet.

The best dh and I can do is to be here for the kids. And plan for the day when the visit doesn't go so well and we get a phone call. We tried talking to the parents from time to time, and it goes in one ear and out the other. One is contemplating some low-level illegal drug use because he thinks it will help a health problem (it's really an excuse imho), and has been warned I don't want it here or around my kids.

I will say it boggles me when I find out stuff like this. i have a half-sib who's mother worked with the sorts of people who lose their kids to the state... and she gave my sib alcohol when sib was a younger teen because the mom felt it was 'safer'. My sib sees alcohol use (and abuse) as no big deal now, and doesn't understand my own thinking. We've talked about it and sib sees what mom did as perfectly acceptable and a logical part of child-rearing. arg. Hopefully there is a change of heart before kids are actually involved.

Avalon
11-18-2011, 11:24 PM
Uh, why hasn't anyone mentioned the mixing of drugs your niece is taking? That is SO, so dangerous! And just because your niece "doesn't partake" now in other stuff, doesn't mean she won't. Not to mention, her family history! Does your sister really want her children to end up like her ex? Oh my gosh, your sister has some huge problems that are so beyond you and your family. Join Alanon and get some local information. If nothing, your niece needs to understand the danger to herself if she mixes drugs like she's doing. And your sister needs to get it to AA and/or NA.

Yes, the drug interactions were the first thing on my parents' mind. They have already had a meeting with the family doctor to advise her the situation. I don't know what she can do, but at least she's aware.

Bizarrely, my sister believes that providing the kids with pot is the SAFEST choice. In her view, at least this way, she knows who she bought it from, that it's not laced with anything else, and my niece isn't being offered anything more dangerous. So, in her own way, my sister is trying to prevent my niece from following in her father's footsteps by providing "just pot." There is a certain logic to it, but it still feels totally WRONG to me. Kids need to learn to deal with life's problems with the love and support of their family.

Avalon
11-18-2011, 11:30 PM
Does your province require a certain number of days of instruction each academic year? Maybe you could hang that over your sister's head to get her to bring your niece over every day. Heck, if your sister isn't very knowledgeable about HS laws, you could even make something up and throw in a few "horror stories" involving homeschoolers and truancy officers. :)

No "instruction days" here, thank goodness. We just meet with a facilitator twice a year, provide summaries and work samples. All that's really required is that we can "demonstrate progress." Not hard to do.

Honestly, her attendance here is possibly better than it was when she was enrolled at school.