Not My Sister's Keeper

06/29/2010 13:23

I'm a single mother living off of financial aid to put myself through graduate school. I just can't leave my son in the kind of place that I could afford and jobs are hard enough to come by in the first place. Anyway. My sister, who is one year younger, moved in with me and so I had to get a 3 bedroom apartment to accommodate her. She immediately was a horrible roommate. Almost never paying rent on time or even paying all of it and I've never gotten a payment to help with the electric or internet bills from her. When she moved to New York with a boyfriend I was ecstatic. I took her name off the lease and moved into the Master bedroom and my electric bill plummeted. I could finally afford to get something other than soup or noodles or chicken to feed my son! Then...she came back. And begged to stay with me. What was I supposed to do? Let her stay on the street? She's my sister. So, when the time came when I was going to ask the apartment complex to move me into a 2 bedroom that I could better afford, I stayed where I was. Her name still is not on the lease because she skipped out on all of her credit cards when she left and her debt would keep her from passing the credit check. Now. (This is 6 months later) She hasn't given me a dime since November...and she just now tells me that she is going to move out because she can't pay me. I have almost no money left and another semester of school that I have no idea how I'm going to pay for. My school may or may not give me more money for summer semester but if I don't go to that semester I'll never get a job in the fall and will be left completely with nothing. Mostly, I just can't believe that a person could do this to anyone, let alone their sister and nephew. What can I do? – Jessi

 What Mary Says...  What Crystal Says...

Dear Jessi:

Your sister knows she can use you because you enable her; this mess is your fault. This sh*t drives me crazy – this notion that because someone is family it’s OK if they take advantage of you, walk all over you, use you and abuse you. WTF? I would’ve let her rot out on the street after the FIRST time she f*cked me over. Now you’re f*cked again because of her, royally. You have a son to take care of and your sister is NOT your daughter. She needs a slap in the face and a dose of reality. I’ve dropped friends for less than this. Do me a favor – change your locks today. Tell her she can live with you when she gives you a year’s worth of security deposit and when she grows up, which I suspect may be never so that means you can live in peace and worry about what’s most important: providing for your son and bettering yourself.                                  











Dear Jessi:

Blood is thicker than water.  I love you no matter what. Family is always there for family.

Those mantras preach an undying devotion - an acceptance of who you are that is lineage deep. It is something we should all strive for. That said, it doesn’t mean you have to deal with all the bullsh*t.  It just means you don’t judge your kin for doing it. In other words, hate the game, not the playah.

You’ve managed to do what a million people do each day. You’ve gone and bastardized the spirit of unconditional love into unconditional putting yourself out. If your sister was hittin’ the heroin and ran low, would you go buy it for her? I think not. And bad living, though not always as harmful as opiates, warrants the same response. Love the person. Try to help them see they need help. Hell, help them GET help. But don’t put yourself in the sh*thole to do it. At the end of the day, you are responsible to you, your child, and your god. Your sister, blood or not, is only responsible for herself. She needs to want to get help. She needs to want to get her crap together. Because you holding her hand all the damn time is only teaching her that you’ll catch her every time she falls. And what she really needs to learn is to fly.                                             







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