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Advice and support needed

Old 03-19-2019, 08:52 AM
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Advice and support needed

I am taking a bit of a risk by posting here since I know my sister has been on here before, but I really need some advice and I can't really talk to anyone in person right now. My sister is a brilliant woman and a mother of three great kids but she is also mentally ill and addicted to meth, among other substances. Please read and give some advice if you have the time, I appreciate it. If my sister happens to read this, she will likely be able to figure out who I am despite my leaving out details and if she does see this: I am not making this post to judge you. I love you and I want you to get the help and compassion you have always deserved and needed and have not received.

I come from a very broken family. I am the middle child of three siblings who were born to my mother during her crack addiction in the 80's. (We don't all share the same father, but that isn't relevant to the sibling I need help for) We all had pretty rough childhoods. My siblings and I were all split up into different homes because our parents were unable to care for us and it had a very different impact on the three of us because of where we ended up. This post is about my older sibling, I'll call her Anne for the sake of her privacy.

My sister went to live with our shared father's family as she was a few years older when my father and mother split up. She lived very far away and we didn't see her or my father for many years after that. In that time, a lot of awful things happened to her and she suffered from not having her mother at all. To be honest, our parents were extremely selfish and too angry at each other to put our best interest first and we all suffered for it. I fared a bit better than my sister as I was placed with my maternal grandparents. Our family has generational addiction issues, so my grandfather was an alcoholic with major problems in his own right, but my grandparents put me in therapy and were very well off, so in many ways I had it much better than my sister.

Bad things happened to my sister while she was living with our father's family. I won't go into details, but that side of the family had it's own share of mental health issues and addiction. People were able to do things to her when she was little that were horrible and it was because no one was there to protect her or watch her. I want to cry when I think about how she must have felt as a little child. It left her with a lot of emotional scars. She moved back to live with our mother (who was ostensibly sober at that point) and even more traumatic stuff happened due to neglect in that home. It was not an easy childhood for her.

She has suffered with substance abuse issues, eating disorder problems and has been diagnosed with a few mental health disorders. At one point she was drinking heavily to self-medicate, but has now replaced that with smoking meth. She tells people that she has ADHD and that meth is medication that she needs. She always says "I don't look like a tweaker, do I?" and gets upset if anyone tells her the truth, that she does. Her teeth are falling out, her skin looks dry and wrinkled and her conversations are nearly impossible to follow. She just talks non-stop for hours about very inappropriate things and hustles off to the bathroom every few hours to smoke again.


This is so much worse because she has three children who have never really known a normal life. My sister has moved them around frequently (sometimes fleeing places in the middle of the night with little more than their clothing) and removed them all from school when CPS nearly caught up with them. She claims that they are home schooled now, but that is very unlikely. I had them over for a recent holiday and she literally ignored them. She didn't feed them, bathe them, take them to do anything or even discipline them if they acted up. The youngest says disturbingly sexual things and they are all fixated on death and murder and sex. She seems to have lost all sense of responsibility to them and it is so disturbing.

I wanted to intervene earlier, but my mother asked me to wait. Then nothing happened. I know that in reality, my mother just doesn't want to do anything to help because it will be work, but this can't go on much longer. I love my sister, but I can't sit back and watch this. I really want to get her some kind of help, though I am not sure she will accept it. It is more important to me that the kids are removed from her for now, so they can go back to school and get into therapy. I suspect they have now been through a lot since my sister associates with some shady characters (including their own father) and they are left alone with people. I am not willing to wait any longer for my mother. I just don't know where to start. I have a young child of my own who has special needs, and my husband and I are not particularly wealthy. My ability to help her is limited. I hate that I am contemplating calling authorities on my sister, but this can't continue.

Can anyone give me advice or just offer some support? I can give more details if anyone needs them. There is a LOT more to this story than I have put here, but I don't want to trample on my sister's privacy too much. She has an addiction but she is not a bad person. It has led to some very dangerous choices though and her kids should not be around it. Thank you in advance for anything you can. I feel helpless right now.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:44 PM
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First let me say that my heart goes out to you and all your loved ones. This is quite a dilemma.

It sounds like you are very well educated about the perils your sister is flirting with. And it sounds like you have figured out that you don’t have much support from your mother in dealing with it.

So– what can you reasonably do?

In the 15 year battle with my addict – (also meth addicted, ADHD, then become psychotic/bipolar) I have found that timing is everything and fate favors the prepared. Your Higher Power can orchestrate some amazing things and it is a marathon, not a sprint, so pacing yourself and taking care of you is critical for the long haul.

So my first advice is pray, pray, pray. If you are not religious, pray anyway. I have seen numerous miraculous things that I cannot explain any other way than my HP orchestrated some events I could not even have imagined. For every minute worrying, spend 10 minutes praying. (at least)

If you have called CPS and missed the window by her pulling the kids out of school – you do not have to stop there. There are requirements made of parents who home school and if she is not living up to them, you might have another opportunity for intervention. It does not cost anything but a little time to check up on things. Consider being as tenacious as your sister’s addiction.

Don't be shy about calling CPS more than once. I'd say call anytime you think the kids are in danger of any kind. The worst that happens is that they inspect and do nothing. However, if you are diligent and honest about why you are calling and what you are concerned about, I have discovered that these reports accumulate and after a time it creates a trail and weight of history that at some point will tip the scale.

Keep records. Write down every incident – date, time, what happened. Having records like this is important both for the sake of your sister’s mental health care if/when she hits the wall and also legally if it comes to that.

I would also suggest you call every person you can think of in any capacity that might help, tell them your story and find out what they suggest. I’d talk to the local police, local social workers, non-profit organizations, children’s services, the people who manage the commitment process, probono lawyers or lawyers in the county offices – anyone and every one you can think of in the welfare department of your county, legal department etc. You will get a lot of "I can't help", but eventually you'll find someone who gives you a tidbit of info here, and a recommendation there, and eventually you'll put together a picture of what to do.

I would tell them what you are concerned about and ask them what they personally would do in your situation. Don't stop if you get some apathy - there ARE people out there who can help.

This can also serve another purpose--the more people you talk to, the more people are aware of you and your sister and it can make a difference. One incident with my addict was resolved because a nice policeman I talked to tipped me off that my niece was picked up on a “health and welfare” check and taken to the hospital and I was able to get her committed and treated because of that. So a 30 minute cup of coffee with a policeman helped me get her the help she needed. (That conversation with the policeman was due to my filing a missing person’s report after I had not heard from my addict in 24 hours).

I don’t know how old the kids are, but I’m guessing they already know something is wrong. Do they know how to get help if your sister overdoses or if things get bad? If she is treating her ADHD with meth, it is only a matter of time before she becomes psychotic. If you are lucky she’ll have her psychotic break in a public place (a good thing to pray for), but if not, making sure the kids know what to do in case of an emergency is important.

In the final analysis, the best we can do is pray for knowledge of our Higher Power’s will and the power to carry it out. Sometimes that means doing some really hard and costly things, sometimes that means letting go and letting the worst happens. Only you can discern that.

Praying you find the clarity and strength to be a force for healing. I hope some of this is helpful.
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:37 PM
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What a horrible situation to be in, my heart goes out to you. In my opinion there are two very different situations going on here. One is your sister the addict who doesn’t seem to want to change and two are those innocent children caught in the crossfire.

If it were me I’d call child protective services and get the ball rolling on getting those children safe first and for most.

You don’t need your mothers approval or your sisters blessing, neither of them are thinking in a healthy way like you are. Your mom probably doesn’t want to truly deal with it that is why she postpones doing anything and your sister, well, she is doing what addicts do.

We are here for you, to listen, to offer support and how ever we can help.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:58 AM
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Thank you both for replying. I am going to contact CPS again and see what can be done. It may work out better this time since I am not planning to tell anyone else. I am pretty sure my mother tipped her off last time CPS got involved.

The kids are great kids and they deserve to have security in their lives. I know they are very loyal to their mother (she raised them to be) but she is not caring for them at all. She used to be a lot more attentive. It is sad to see what her addiction has done to her. Meth is not a joke.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:53 AM
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I know what a hard decision it is for you to get CPS involved but really your sister has left you no other choice. I think your mom tipping her off is a clear sign to you that you and your mom are not alias on this particular issue and it’s probably best not to even discuss it with her.

It’s very hard becoming the sane thinking one among those consumed with the addict. That is why support for yourself is essential.

I think you did something great for those kids!!

((hugs))
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:07 AM
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HornseyFrap

Good for you! Prayers for guidance and strength for you.
You are doing the right thing taking another run at this (one person's opinion).

Blessings
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:23 AM
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Hi Hornsey. What a terrible situation. I have nothing to add to the great advice that has already been given but just wanted to say that making the decision to help these children is absolutely the right thing to do. You are absolutely right that they deserve to be safe and secure. Please let us know how you get on.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:29 AM
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Call CPS and also in the course of that conversation find out who to report her to for not schooling/sending her children to school.

You are doing the right thing. She deserved more as a child. That does not mean it's ok for her to do what she is doing to her own children. When you have children, you put them first. Before your own needs, wants, issues. Since she will not do that for them, you can.

Huge hugs and support to you.
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