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Sibling Drama

Last Thursday I got a call from the woman who has been raising my son’s older sister, who has come to stay with us on a few occasions. It was a long, difficult conversation. The impetus for her call was mostly because she believed the sister was spreading misleading and damaging rumors about her and she wanted to be sure I heard her side. She started off the conversation by telling me she didn’t want my son to hear what we were saying. He never left my side the entire time we were talking, except to keep the baby quiet. In the hour plus that we spoke, this woman, who considers herself their aunt, did not say one nice thing about the sister. She called her a money grubbing, gold digging, lying, manipulative, slut. This woman lied to make herself out to be a victim. I asked her how I could help and she asked me to see if there are any services that she could use for the sister. I spoke with two case workers about her situation and one said it sounded like the girl was being verbally abused. She is 18 but still needs to complete her final year of high school and I don’t think she is emotionally ready to be living on her own. The case worker suggested she could sign herself into foster care, thus removing herself from her current home. My son wants her to move in with us and given how insane things seem to be for her, I consented stating we would worry about the legalities after the fact ” sort of like asking for forgiveness rather than permission. My heart breaks for this girl and she sent my son a picture of her arm full of hundreds of nasty red slashes because she had repeatedly sliced herself with something. Her phone had been taken from her, so we were unable to hear her side of the story. When she was finally able to call, she sounded so broken it took everything I had not to pile the kids in the van and go get her away from the mess. This is hard because I want to help and I care about this girl simply because she is family through my son. But, I also don’t want to start a war with the “aunt” (she is a friend of their mom’s whom they all once lived with so they call her their aunt) and I don’t want to over-step my boundaries, which I may have already done. Things are going well for us right now and I don’t want to upset the balance by inviting in this drama, but I feel like we’re in it anyway. Has anyone else had to deal with drama from members of your child’s biological family? How do you manage to care but not get involved? Or do you just dive in and figure it out?


If the girl is 18, nobody has legal custody of her because she’s an adult. You can attempt to rescue her, but I’d immediately take her in for a conversation with a social worker. Services wise, she may be better off in a foster setting so that more services are available to help her.  While the aunt is a piece of work, some of her frustration at dealing with the girl is most likely justified, and the aunt is just poorly equipped to deal with it.  I will say shame on you for letting your son sit next to you and listen to all that for an hour. He has his own growing up to do and his own issues to deal with. Distracting him with the emotional roller coaster his sister is on served no purpose other than to permanently shift his feelings about his aunt, and possibly about himself.
Best wishes.

Posted by hdctx on Jul 24, 2015 at 4:40pm

If it is a different school system and she is a legal adult there may be issues re her getting into school. If she is cutting there are issues. She is probably losing her medical card. Sounds like counseling is in oorder but who will pay?

You will upset the system in your home because you are adding a person. She may not be one to blame but if her behavior is off track she will be an issue.
The social worker may be right she may need to sign up as a foster child to get services she needs.
I doubt you have the full story from anyone.

Posted by Regina on Jul 26, 2015 at 6:13pm

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