I think I see where this is heading... Well, she held down a job as a cashier for five years, but I talked her into quitting it and going back to community college. (Not very successfully, though, but I'm working on that.) I have a passive income, pre-tax, of $2100 a month. I give her $200 a week to replace the lost income from work while she goes to school. She also is the primary caregiver for her 7-year old niece with "special needs", which also takes up a lot of her time. (Other members of her household include her brother who has a heart condition and is on disability, her brother's girlfriend who has her own psychiatric issues related to being abused as a child, and her 92-year-old grandmother.) On top of everything else, she has chronic back pain and Type II diabetes, both of which are going untreated for lack of health insurance. She also shows symptoms of what might be bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder, but not being a psychiatrist I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis. (These aren't the symptoms I'm not allowed to talk about, though.) She used to self-harm but hasn't for many years.

So yeah, I'm fully prepared to admit that she's a screw-up and I might be enabling her, but I really think I've helped her get better. Specifically, I've gotten her to go to the dentist for the first time in many years (her family paid), I got her to go back to school, I've helped her apply for Medicaid and it seems like she'll actually get it this time, and I've helped her with self-image and self-esteem issues. I often feel like what she needs is a parent, but hers are dead and her family wasn't and isn't up to the task, so I'm doing the best I can.

Alright, so, with more background acquired I'm ready to try and propose a solution. Hope it helps.

You got right to what I was thinking when you mentioned that your relationship is more parent/child than two adults. Cross clan relationships between grownups and screwups always feel a bit skeevy, because can he/she really consent when the alternative is to starve? Its much more palatable to think of the whole thing as a strange version of parent/child.

If we do that, your dilemma is one that has been shared across the ages. How do I make my kid clean his ... (read more)

Open Thread, Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2016

by Elo 1 min read8th Feb 2016224 comments


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