Originally Posted by provocativa
Hmm. I wonder if we would feel the same tough love impulse about the sister if the sister had cancer, and couldn't get it together to keep housing, etc. Often in our society, we forget that mental illness is still. . . . illness. We praise the person whose willpower we perceive helps them overcome mental illness, and denigrate the other who hasn't the pull. . . but we don't do the same for those who have more immune system power to fight their physical illness. It's not acceptable to denigrate as a weakling the guy succumbing to cancer versus the lady sinking to bipolar. Is the sister also an addict? By her financial behavior it seems that's likely. I do agree that you have done more than necessary for her, but I would still send grocery store gift cards when I could, and send some small ones in separate envelopes for the kids when they're barely ready for it. Also, sometimes people have to face that they can't own a car, and instead need bus passes and bicycles. Has she applied for social services? I've known many people with bipolar and anxiety that also had obvious food allergies, plus there are natural aids to her meds like Natural Calm Magnesium.
My mother committed suicide and was bi-polar and manic depressive, i do agree it IS a disease. She was in "treatment" and on meds and had 3 kids and was a single mom. IMO she needed a job and a social life but was terrified of getting a job b/c she would go into manic states that would last months...she was enabled by her parents financially and my father...not like we had any money still but she ended up dieing with $50,000 debt on credit cards! we never had a house or a new car or any fancy clothes none of that yet still my mother had all of that debt?!
Im sure OPs sister needs more help mentally absolutely, but financially OP enabling her sister is not going to do her any good. My sister has tried to commit suicide over 15x since she was 11 y/o. she has a LOT of problems. I love her dearly and am there for her emotionally and physically and always have been. I know for her it helps to keep busy, she was on SSI for disability for a while and got worse. I got her to get a job and pushed her to do for herself. She now works FT at a bank and is taking care of herself. she still has control issues and impulsive spending issues, but they are her problem and it not a free ride. recently she called me and said she JUST realised she makes $1700 a month and her bills only come to $900 so she's blowing through $800 a month. she asked me to help her set up a budget, I helped her but it's her responsibility to stick to it.
a cancer patient does not have cancer forever they either die or go into remission, a mental disorder is for life. IMO someone who is sick mentally NEEDS to learn how to cope with their illness like any other chronically ill person and try and live to the fullest extent they can.
Clearly OP's sis is a grown woman who has at least half functioned financially, i mean she somehow GOT a mortgage....she has 2 children...she was married even that is a lot more than some people with depression can have. my sis knows she could never be a mom, she doubts she will get married (but I encourage her she will someday), she knows her limits though which is a blessing really.
OP: I am not sure what state you are in but I am in MA i know if you go to the welfare office here and you are homeless you can go to a shelter. They have special shelters for moms and their kids or for families if her BF must come...
they can help her get on her feet and find housing. my friend did that and now shes working and has an apartment in housing she pays $270 rent...in MA
she is in counseling and has learned how to budget and everything b/c they make you in order to stay there.
Yes, your sister has a mental disorder, but she is a capable person and CAN do it on her own if she CHOOSES to. either way you can not support her financially.
as a pp said food is one thing. if you want to send her gift cards to supermarkets thats perfectly fine IMO. thats a whole different thing. if my sis wasn't eating i would do that for her.
Idk if your sis is an addict but I know my sis is not one and she can still blow $2000 bucks in a month easy on absolute crap. she used to go out to eat EVERYDAY at about $50 a meal...hello! thats money! but i also thing her food intake may be an addiction in itself...
anyways good luck!