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Uncaring parent & Drug addicted sibling

Community Member
I am a 22 year old uni student currently living at home with my brother and mum. My Dad passed away in 2014 and my drug addicted sister has been staying with us the past couple of nights with my mum letting her despite my brother and I saying no we weren't comfortable with it.

Last year my sister told everyone she was addicted to ice (she smokes it) She was hitting it heavy after her boyfriend cheated on her and was always in a psychosis. She didn't live at home at the time and managed to hold on to her job. Recently she was suspended from work (still getting paid) and has been hitting the ice harder. Now her life has been of the rails and has been unable to find a place to live, she's been blacklisted.

She's been staying in hotels still smoking ice. A month ago my mum went on a holiday for 3 weeks and during that time my sister kept asking us to let her stay. We refused but let her keep some stuff here. One day she came over to do washing. Later that night we told her to go but said she was waiting for the dryer to finish. 40mins later my brother caught her with a crack pipe (didn't see her smoke it but we both could tell she was high) and subsequently carried her out because she refused to leave.

I ended up calling the police when she tried to get through the window. This really upset my brother and I. When mum came back I told her what had happened and said that we didn't want her to move back home. She agreed with us. But on Saturday she did a complete 180 and told us that my sister would be staying with us for a couple of nights because she had no where to go, that she needed to make sure she was safe.

We said no to her but she didn't listen and got upset saying she didn't want to deal with it anymore. What really upset me is she justified her decision using my brother and I's personal issues. I have anxiety and need her to drive me places and my brother smokes a bit of pot (He's not a full blown addict like my sister, he has his life under control and can go without it).

2 days later I talked about it saying that we weren't comfortable with her here and I didn't feel safe. Her response was that as a mother she need to think of herself, that we were acting like spoilt brats for our refusal to let my sister move back.

I ask her where her consideration was for us but her response was the same. It ended with her telling me that if I didn't like it that I could *** off. What do I do, I have no means of moving out and am heading for a breakdown.
4 Replies 4

Community Member

Hi jessembell,

I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I don't think you should take what your mum said to heart. It sounds like she's very stressed and her response to you was her way of getting her anger out. I know she wouldn't have meant what she said. As for your sister, as hard as it is, i think you need to accept her staying with you for a couple days. She needs you more than ever right now and with you accepting her will give her strength and possibly hope that she will get back on the right track. This will also help your relationship with your sister and your mum. You are a family - as hard as it is in your situation, you need to work as a team and support each other.

All the best xx

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Jessembell, I'm sorry that this situation is well out of hand, as one decision changes from saying no to then saying yes for a night or two so your mum feels sorry for her daughter, your sister, but if she is smoking ice then she couldn't care a less what actually happens as long as she is high, but there is danger her because she will need the money to purchase the ice, so ornaments, jewelry or anything small she maybe cashed in, without you even knowing.
A mother's natural instinct is to protect her children, but I'm not sure that she really knows the repercussions of someone living with her smoking ice, because there is a chance that she may turn on your mother and assault her out of rage, especially if your mum doesn't give her money for this habit.
I really wish that I could give you a positive outlook, as this situation is very difficult, firstly your sister smoking ice, and then your brother smoking pot, which are both banned substances and illegal, then your mother trying to be the mum and then you heading towards a breakdown.
I wonder whether there is a difference between smoking pot to smoking ice, well yes the latter is far more destructive and makes the person become incoherent and angry, so I wouldn't like to be living with someone doing this, because you could never believe what they have to say, and I know that your brother doesn't smoke pot all the time as you say, but once you're hooked you're hooked, that might not be giving your brother any credit but both you and he know what's going on and refuse to have your sister stay with you.
If I was involved in this family that's exactly what I would be doing, refusing her, unless she is prepared to get help, in which she would need all the assistance that was possible.
What you need to do is give your mum all the information on what happens to people when they smoke ice, because she either doesn't know or doesn't want to know, so all she has done is look at the situation and feel that it is her daughter who you don't want to live in the same house, and denying the fact that she is smoking ice, and ask what is ice, is it something from the refrigerator, because a lot of elderly people wouldn't have any idea of what it is and what it can do. Geoff.

Community Member

Hi jessembell, I can certainly understand your confusion about your mums stance with your sister. One minute she seems to be placing firm boundaries and then next minute she seems to be "giving in".

There are a number of extremely confusing , contradictory, frustrating, maddening and saddening things about having a family member with addiction. Your mother also has the extra complication of feeling a duty of care, a sense of responsibility or maybe even guilt . This puts her in a slightly different place to you and your brother. She probably simultaneously wants to scream blue murder at her AND at the same time put her on her knee for a big cuddle and tell her she loves her.

It's complicated and I feel for your family - all of you. I feel for your addicted sister who is sick (addiction is an illness and her brain is not really hers at the moment, it is acting under instruction of the addiction side). I feel for you and your brother who have to bear witness to the destruction the addiction does to your mother and the lack of safety and trust it brings into your home.

I feel for your mum who is scrambling like so many to save her daughter but at the same time keep herself and her other children safe.

There are no easy answers but some steps are
1. Compassion - please be kind to one another . Everyone is struggling.
2. Boundaries - with addictions, it's really important that there are boundaries so family members can feel safe as you have that right. Tips on setting boundaries can be founds at the Australian Drug Foundation website.
3. Get support - you are not the first family to go this and it may help you to speak to others and get ideas from them as to how to simultaneously look after your own needs whilst also being responsible family members. Maybe a support group through ADF or NarcAnon might be helpful.

Community Member
Thanks for the replies everyone. My mother has let my sister move back permanetly and it has caused quite a bit of tension. My mum thinks that she has not used since she moved back but my brother and I know for a fact that she has, I managed to find her stash. I haven't told my mum yet because I know that nothing will happen because she will keep justifying her decisions based on the fact that my brother smokes weed, even though he is stable and has his life under control. I am trying to sympathise with my mum, she is trying to protect all her children and do what is best but it is difficult. My mum is an anxious person who doesn't like conflict and tries to keep everything calm but this keeps her from seeing the reality of the situation. My sister is still getting paid from work so I don't think she will resort to stealing but I wouldn't put it past her. My plans at the moment are to talk to some of the members of my family to see if we should hold something like an intervention before anything major happens. My brother and I have had many arguments with my sister to the point where I thought she was going to hit me. I have finished university for the year so it gives me time to sort thing out. I do hope that everything will be alright.