She's too old (57 years) old) for hard work !!!

by Lori
(Detroit, MI)

I am an enabler and I am sick and tired of being one. My older sister has been unemployed for five years but good news folks! She has been applying online for those five years. But here's the kicker, she had been hired to work at a new major retailer in the front office, but the training had required assemblying shelves. That was the hard part that made her quit, poor baby was sore and retail was not for her!! So, what is she doing now, watching tv paid by me, enjoying my apartment and spend time going to her daughter to babysit so that her 31 year old , married and has five kids can work on her pre-med classes and become a doctor. Renewed my lease recently and made a promise to not be miserable for another year. Told daughter, daughter is trying to give me the quilt trip. You know, the look out for family, we're sisters and do I want her, the daughter to quit school and take care of her. No, my sister is physically and mentally able to work. She has a stiff knee but who doesn't ? You can tell that I am fed up with enabling because her daughter thru texting had asked me where would she go to a shelter or I just don't care ? I had replied at this point, both answers are correct. The daughter feels that her mom might not want to stay with them, feeling that she might be imposing on them > Really ?!!!My sisters day will start early on her "off day" she will shower, eat, watch tv. I or shall I say we, live in an apartment. My sister sometimes take out the trash, 1 bag but if it contains any wrappers that were mine. it wont be taken out. The trash cans are in the laundry room which is 2 doors down. She would wash her dishes, well sometimes but will not wash my one plate. She gets 200.00 on a food assistance card but buys her food. My food comes from a local Chinese food place, now they give me extra food. The situation is so bad Dr. Phil producers had called me twice. I mean I cant believe it, asking for support and they are compassionate to her. Don't worry by the new year, she would be living with them of course I probably would have Thanksgiving dinner by myself.

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Jan 03, 2014
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Boundaries
by: Don

Hi,

Sorry for you plight with your sister. Here are a few thoughts I had as I read your post:

First of all, we teach people how to treat us by what we tolerate. If the arrangements are not tolerable, then change them. This is YOUR life and YOU are response-able to protect it.

Here is my favorite analogy for this type of scenario. Imagine your life is a playground and it is surrounded by a chain link fence:

1. No fence = no boundary.
2. A solid 12-foot tall privacy fence = prison
3. A chain link fence allows you to see outside, yet stops trespassers and forces them to come in through the gate.

Anyway, inside your playground is nice, sturdy equipment set up just the way you want it. On a board by the gate is a list of rules that must be followed by anyone who wants to come in and hangout on your playground -- YOU write the rules and YOU must enforce the rules.

If you do neither then you can kiss your equipment goodbye and watch your playground deteriorate -- it is YOUR response-ability.

If there are no rules at the gate then people don't know what's ok with you. If there are rules spelled out but no consequences for breaking them then they have no power and won't be respected.

If you find setting these boundaries difficult to do then click here and look at some possible reasons for this lack of internal permission to say "no."

Hope this helps,
Don Carter

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