Should I Cut My Drug Addicted Sister Out of My Life?
(South Africa north west Rustenburg)
I am 29, my sister is 35, and she has been addicted to drugs for over 6 years now. She is now back with my mom - it has been going very well for 2 weeks until her boyfriend came yesterday.
I think she used alcohol last night and that makes her very angry and want to use again. She said very hurtful things to me last night and it also causes me and my husband to fight.
She has been using me all the time and she only knows and loves me when she can get something out off me. I need to know how should I handle this or should I just get her out of my life?
She does not want to be helped unless it is on her own terms. She does not care for her 4 yr old boy - my mom has been taking care of him since he was 3 months old.
I am tired of fighting and protecting - I need advise how to deal with her.
When it comes to dealing with someone that suffers from an addiction and who's an important part of our lives - whether that be spouse, family member, or friend - it's important to establish clear boundaries around the kind of behaviour you'll tolerate and find acceptable.
Addicts will manipulate, lie and do whatever is necessary to protect their addiction - but at the same time you need to understand that is the 'addict part' of your sister and not necessarily the 'real' her.
That however doesn't mean you should simply accept or tolerate her behaviour. Make it clear that you love her - but that you are no longer prepared to tolerate and deal with her behaviours - and until she commits to a life of sobriety and cleans up her act, you don't want to have her part of your life.
Be clear, be firm and explain your reasoning, but leave it at that. Don't get into an argument. She'll try and twist things to make it about you and your fault - again understand that's just the addicted part of her acting out, so try not to take what she says or does personally.
Your sister needs to learn to become accountable for her behaviour - and that acting out and behaving the way she does when she's been using or drinking is no longer acceptable to you.
Let her know that as long as she's clean and working at her recovery, you'll be there for her, but until she gets to that point, you are no longer going to let her use you and be her 'punching bag.'