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27 year old estranged sister

Community Member

Hi All, looking forward to supporting people here. Even if I cannot be helped.

I have a younger adult sister who has been under my parents roof for many years. I have barely felt connected to her in almost a decade. She has been very deceitful and constantly lying about relationships and friends as well as taking alcohol. Although she has supposedly sought help she won't let anyone in on her mental issues. She constantly attracts bad partner who physically abuse her. Recently she has estranged herself by the most unusual way of lashing out at our mother and taking out an ADVO against her.

I personally do not feel her absence as she was always draining to talk to and I don't live with her.

I just worry that she will end up in a worse state and it's a shame that there is very little that can be done. She seems to have this 'I'm an adult, treat me like one' facade but then she has made poor financial decisions which the folks bail her out of.

Because of patient privacy and laws I cannot help her. In actual fact I refuse to help her. I feel betrayed that she allowed herself to fall down this spiral. Especially of alcohol misuse. I honestly see her as a big lie.

Its like she has no respect for her own self let alone family. The real world will be a harsh reminder of her easy life at home.

I just wished she would get help with whatever mental issues she has so she doesn't destroy anyone else's life. Is that so hard to get from an estranged adult?

2 Replies 2

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Kittyang, a warm welcome to the forums.

No matter how much we don't get on with a close family member, estrangement is never easy to cope with.

Obviously, your sister has unacknowledged/unresolved issues that are getting the better of her. I agree that you cannot take responsibility for another adult, which leaves you with the painful feeling of helplessness to contend with. Acceptance sure doesn't come easy but there is unfortunately no alternative. Your sister is now in escape mode (via alcohol) so not ready to confront the source of her problems. And there is of course no way we can fix what we are not ready to confront.

Perhaps having to fend for herself instead of relying on others will be part of the wake-up call she needs. I understand your distress, as it is a swim or sink situation. If she finds herself out of her depth, perhaps she will be tempted to seek help a little more seriously. Perhaps...Mental issues go hand in hand with loss of self-esteem and isolation. The ill-functioning mind sees little outside itself so it is easy to get caught in that bubble of pain.

Perhaps you could try to copy and print some of the info (top left of this page in the Facts section), including the K10 test and leave it lying where she can find it. It may give her an idea that mental conditions are medical conditions that should be considered and treated as such. The stigma is often self-imposed.

Please take good care of your own needs and do not hesitate to seek counseling for yourself if you are feeling overwhelmed. An in depth chat with someone neutral who cares and understands can make a big difference.

And feel free to continue to talk with us. Rest assured you will be heard.

Good to have you on board.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Kittyang, it is very difficult when you want to help someone, family or not, when you know that they aren't going to take one bit of notice, especially when her mind is clouded and soaked with alcohol.
A person like her has no respect for anybody except for herself, she drinks and you aren't sure whether any drugs are involved as well, by what you have told us and the bad r/ships she's been involved in it's quite possible it includes them.
Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they realise that real help is needed, and until this happens her path will be very difficult, only kept going by what everyone else dislikes.
You must look after yourself first, she has to come second no matter how much you want to help her, you won't be able to do so if you're not well. Geoff.