My sister (31) has been living with my parents on and off for the last 10+ years (I’m 34 and have been out of the house since I went away to college). My mom and I are very close, but my sister is the one issue that has caused friction in our relationship. My parents are enablers because it’s easier than confronting the real issue. In the earlier stages before she was diagnosed I warned my mom that our situation would just get worse if they kept supplying her with alcohol, weed, money, etc. without addressing the core issues.
Well, here we are and the situation is worse than I could have imagined. My sister was diagnosed with schizophrenia a few years ago, but she hasn’t been consistent with meds and seems to have anosognosia. She’s made my parents’ lives a living hell. She’s totaled 2-3 cars, she has expensive self-medicating habits with cigarettes, alcohol, weed, and she has destructive tantrums not to mention the screaming fits. They pay for it all because she hasn’t been fit to work for the last 2 years. They honestly can’t afford to support her and her addictions.
The really terrible part is last November ('22) my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She was told she has two years. I know those time frames can be very hit or miss, but we’re over a year into her treatment and it’s not going as well as we hoped. I’m just a wreck with it all. I love my mom so much and have been dealing with the grief of losing who she once was (we used to go to happy hours, shows, go on trips together, a lot of fun bonding experiences) as well as dealing with the anxiety and grief of losing her completely in the near future. I want to spend as much time with her as I can, but she doesn’t have the energy to leave her house (they live 1.5 hours from me) most days, and that’s where my sister is becoming a huge blocker. Not only is she preventing me from visiting, but she’s making my mom’s remaining time just awful.
This past Christmas ('22) was the first time I witnessed her having a psychotic break in-person. (I’ve experienced them from a distance before when she’s had paranoia episodes thinking the mob was out to kill her and her family.) This time she was hallucinating demons and physically fighting them and stomping on them. She even assaulted me to try to get my glasses off my face after I told her she couldn’t have them because I need them to see. My partner told me he won’t go anywhere near her after that experience and I, of course, respect his boundaries, but it just makes me feel that much more alone.
I just want my mom to have a nice, relaxing life with what she has left and I want to spend that time with her. I also know this will still be a big problem once she passes. My dad is 72 and equally as clueless about knowing what to do. My sister won’t take her meds and won’t get help. He’s not going to be around forever and I know I’ll be the one who has to deal with her. I feel guilty because I’m already preparing myself for the lifelong guilt of abandoning my sister once both my parents pass. I should have started this search for help and advice ages ago, but I can’t change that now. I’ve reached out to therapists and am waiting to hear back and signed up for a support group. I’m also going to check out the book “I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help!” that I’ve seen recommended in other threads.
Anyway, I’m struggling with it all. It’s a lot to deal with while still trying to live a normal life and it’s been consuming my thoughts and affecting my mood more and more. Thanks for listening.