How to speak to younger sister about alcohol abuse and life?

Question by CuriousKitty: How to speak to younger sister about alcohol abuse and life?
I am concerned about my younger sister, and I will attempt to give you as much detail in as possible without writing a novel.
I’m 26, live on East Coast. Younger sister, 22, lives 2000 miles away, with her fiance, 36, their 10 month old son, and our mom. Sister and mom have been out there about 5 years now, going to school, trying to live their lives, I guess. Fiance has full time job, Mom is finally pursuing the degree she always wanted to get; sister is 1.5 semesters away from a Bachelor’s in anthropology, which the highest degree anyone in our immediate family has achieved. I’m so proud of her, and I want nothing more for her to finish, and ideally, move back east.

The problem is that from what I hear from my mother, she and her fiance drink every night, and not just one or two drinks. The drinks ranging from beer to whiskey. In addition to the amount of money they spend daily/weekly on alcohol and cigarettes, they tend to leave evidence of their drinking everywhere, and I guess sometimes are so exhausted from it all that my mother ends up taking care of the baby in the morning until one of them gets up. When she and fiance fight, it’s loud, angry, and something tends to get broken, but it’s definitely from both sides. There’s never threat of physical violence toward each other, or the baby though. Just objects or walls. This in turn stresses my mother out, because she’s going to school full time, and has 2 part time jobs just to try and have a little money, and is sick to death of the alcohol, drugs, and breaking of things. None of us want my sister screwing up her schooling, when she’s so close, because of the drinking, but it’s hard to talk to her about things like that, because she is infamous for getting REALLY angry and not speaking to anyone. I tried recently when I visited to give her some insight, some things I’ve been learning about relationships and life and such, and I thought she had taken it to heart, but I’m concerned that wasn’t really the case.

All of us have our own issues. I’m dealing with my own problems right now, and don’t feel as though I am in a position to be able to help- I’m going to start seeing a counselor next week, I’m unemployed and trying to regain my life and figure out a complex relationship myself. My mother has her own issues to deal with, as does everyone else in our family, it seems. My older sister, here on the east, too, also has a young child, no partner, is going to school, and has a personality and attitude quite similar to my younger sister and my mother, and likewise is also in no position to help. What kills me most about this, is that even though we come from a long line of alcoholics, addicts, and depression, not to mention women who enable and love too much, on both sides, neither our mother nor our father did things like that. Our childhood was not necessarily the best- there is a large extent to which I don’t think our parents were there for us or encouraging/loving on an emotional level as much as they should have been, but they didn’t drink, or abuse drugs, or throw and break things. Yell, yes. But that was the worst of it.

I guess I understand to an extent that she’s acting out because she doesn’t necessarily know any better, and her fiance, too has his own issues with himself, his family, and his addictions, that really need to be addressed. But, he’s a 36 year old man, he’s been on his own since he was 17, nobody can tell him what to do. I want to help so badly before something terrible ends up happening but I seriously feel helpless. I don’t want to just sit back and watch their lives go downhill, even though that’s what my boyfriend would suggest I do- they’re adults, they make their own decisions, you can’t worry about them. Well I do! I want them all to go to some kind of counseling, if they can fit it into their schedules, but I cannot make them. I know you can’t help anyone if they aren’t willing to help themselves. I just don’t know what to do. I would like to be there for my sister, be the sister I always should have been, but I am at a loss. I’ve asked her to talk to me, anytime she wants, but she doesn’t. How can I communicate to her without her taking everything as a direct insult and potentially not talking to me again? I love her so much, I love my nephew, and I’d love the fiance if he would stop acting like a teenager. I just want us all to be happy, healthy, and no longer participate in this stupid cycle we’ve known all our lives.

Please help me help my sister. Thank you.

Best answer:

Answer by Schweppesy

“Its none of my business what you do with your life so I’ll stop being nosey and get on with my own life” then follow through

Answer by loyal_sequeira
this might sound stupid, but copy and paste your question to them. what I admire most about this question is that you are not taking anyone’s side and you are being neutral…it is important for them to understand that their behaviour effects you, and why does it effect you, because you truly care for them…I would suggest that you pose them (your sister and her partner) this question and see what you get for a reply.

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