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Rocky relationship with my Sister
I have a sister who is just 13 months older than me and we are both in our early twenties, we are both still living at home with our Mum. My sister has Asperger's which makes it really hard for me to get along with her and live in the same house as her. Ever since I can remember we have been at odds with each other, and being so close in age, and with her Asperger's I've always felt like the older sister. I always used to tell her what to do and felt like I was responsible for her because of the way she is. Now that we're older, I still feel like the older sister, she's currently unemployed and just hangs around the house a lot and gets money from our parents. I still order her around a bit, and pick on her for leaving messes everywhere that Mum has to clean up, not trying to get a job and being irresponsible with the money that she gets from our parents etc. This has caused her to really dislike me as a person; ever since we were little I've done the same thing, trying to look after her by constantly critiquing her, but this just makes our relationship worse and we get into fights and we can barely stand to be in the same room as each other. I also have anxiety and I think her behaviours because of Asperger's flare up my anxiety and I really want to keep control of the situation. I have really tried to change my behaviour towards her a few times, but I always fail, I think because its been such a long time that our relationship has been like this.
So, I wanted to ask for any tips on how I might change my behaviour? If there's any strategies any of you can suggest, please let me know, I really want to change and have a good relationship with her. She's my sister after all, and we love eachother.
It sounds like you already know the answer to me,
Your sister isn't your problem, if your parents have an issue with the mess she leaves, the way she spends her money and unemployment it's up to them to challenge that behaviour
As frustrating as it is for you to watch these things happens, you need to accept it and move on.
Focus on your own doings.
She's probably struggling herself with the mh issues she has, without it being compounded on her by everyone ganging up on her.
Welcome to bb and thank you for sharing your story. I can understand from your post why you and your sister have a difficult relationship. And I think it's wonderful that you love your sister and want things to improve.
Perhaps you could start by not critiquing her so much. Instead you could identify your sister's strengths and positive attributes. Then give her some praise. Be generous with your kindness.
It shouldn't take too long for the dynamic to shift a bit. As you both relax, perhaps you could invite her to spend time with you, going for a walk, shopping, coffee, etc. Try not to criticise. As you get closer, you can gently help her to develop as a person.
There is a big difference between telling her to go out and get a job, and casually asking if she might appreciate some help with her resume. If she doesn't, let it go.
You're not responsible for your sister. And you can't change her. Part of the challenge is to love her just the way she is.
Kind thoughts to you
Welcome to the B. B team.
I myself have Aspergers and I totally agree with Summer Rose ideas and suggestions. Your sister would find leadership very hard. She be talented but find every day things maybe harder than most people. Organising and Balance would prove hard for her to handle. Some Aspergers people find it difficult to have a job. I have one but had my ups and downs in the workplace more than the average amount. I think plan events for her regularly like go for a walk at a set time as regularly as possible. Clean up things together. Talk about her interest. Every Aspie has a interest and talent that above the average. Money is tough I not good with money either Maybe try to start a joint saving account with her. Each go in and put money in account. This will help with money confidence. She be trying hard as much as she can. It be hard for people to understand her. I have the same problem. Hope some of these ideas help. But like summer rose says kindness will bring better results.