Boy do I feel your pain. My bipolar sister (older by 2 years) is manic as we speak. Apparently everyone is to blame for something EXCEPT HERSELF!
Everything you've said that your sister has done, mine has as well. Because of her I need counselling, and my memory has been foggy after her recent mania. I think I have PTSD. She's extremely paranoid and jealous of me when she's manic. Meanwhile I walk on eggshells and try to make myself invisible, talk down about my accomplishments, and never celebrate my life. Even my mom avoids praising me or paying attention to my achievements when she's around. Of course, my mom has paid off over 50k for her, and moved in with her to take care of her and her son.
So I feel like I lost a sister and a healthy normal relationship with my mom. I'm SO pissed off with my sister sometimes.
Sorry if I can't be more helpful, all I can say is that my Family Doctor, my friends, and her friends, my husband, counsellors - ALL say that I should distance myself from her and keep her at arms length, never live with her again, and possibly even in a different city. Sometimes helping is enabling, and taking their abuse does not help them get better.Sometimes I wonder if they really need to hit their absolute rock bottom before changing...
Hi reading this response was kind of a trip. You sound like you're going through the exact same things that I've been going through with my sister. I'm her 27 year old brother and she's 25. She is currently manic. Only 2 weeks after my mother and stepfather put her into a really nice, extremely expensive rehabilitation centre (to hopefully put a stop to her drinking habits that mix terribly with bipolar disorder) she has been "occasionally" drinking again and her old symptoms are coming back. Presumably, she's been taking her meds, put it's always a guessing game.
Thank god for my mother who puts up with 95% of the irrational behaviour. It's particularly difficult for me to coexist with her as I'm doing perfectly fine, achieving my goals, in a loving relationship etc.. - this makes her incredibly insecure and jealous and she will find everything she can to try and get under my skin to break me down to her "level" - of course the horrible things she says to me would affect me greatly when i was in my teens before we knew about the illness, but now i've just been having to sit through it, feeling for her pain. I'm completely there with you when you said that stuff about your disconnect with your mother, this past christmas my mother and I weren't even speaking because my sister's illness getting between us. We all have difficulty finding ways for my sister to live in this world. She's burned a lot of bridges in terms of friendships and it's really hard for me to have an adult conversation with her as everything she says drives me crazy inside - just knowing the complete selfishness and ignorance behind everything she says makes it really hard for me to agree with anything that comes out of her mouth.
She's experienced a lot of failure in her life (but would never admit it), but my mother has always been there to get her back on her feet. She's enrolled in massage therapy school, yoga instructor school, early childhood education, but hasn't stuck to any of them. She had her heart broken in 2007 and she talks about that breakup as if it were only last year still - to give you an idea how traumatic it was for her. I'm starting to wonder if she'll just continue to relapse over and over and continue to get picked up time again and it will just be this never-ending tired and frustrating cycle. I'm wondering if my mom just needs to back off from the constant support and let her hit rock bottom - but this scares both my mother and I as my sister has said really scary things like "I think I'll die soon". Fuck this disorder. I hate it
I feel your pain, and more importantly, I understand your anger. In fact, I was so fed up today that I did a google search for "anger with bi-polar sister". Lo and behold, I found your statement. I too, have a bi-polar sister who has spent her entire life being irresponsible and destructive. I have answered the door to the police multiple times only to find out that my sister was back in custody for some stupid thing that she did and so that I could, once again, pick up her three (completely effed up) kids. I have my own issues and am completely pissed that my family treats her with kid gloves while leaving me, the "long suffering" sister behind to deal with the aftermath. And before you judge me, let me tell you about mother's day. My sister showed up drunk off her ass (after driving over here with her three young children) and spent the next three hours bossing me around beacause "It's mother's day". Excuse me? A) You are not MY mother and B) You are a pretty shitty excuse for one anyways. Her kids sometimes slip up and call me mommy. Alright. That felt good. The best advice I can give you is to enjoy college. Your sister will be living in her own private hell for the rest of her life. Bipolar disorder robbed me of the sister I loved. I miss her. I fucking hate this disease. You need to live your life, make some new friends, and be strong. You sound very well put together for a 17 year old! I think some distance will do you some good. Good luck:-)
I am so very sorry that your sister's illness has affected you in such a negative way!I am bipolar and I understand because the ones that are the closest to me are the ones that I hurt the most! I don't mean to do it and after awhile I can see how that excuse may make the ones suffering from our actions sick! We have so much guilt because we do not mean to do what we do but yet sometimes it is out of our control, doesn't excuse any behavior but it's really hard to live with yourself knowing that you may have caused someone else so much pain and ruined their lives or chance of one, anyways :( I have wished many times to just die and even thought how it might be without me; but I have children and love them and they need me too. If you could just look at your sister and see the disease and learn to seperate the two and pray. God knows your pain and only He can give you the forgiveness, grace and peace that nothing else can. You can't get it alone, it is not humanly possible, only God can perform miracles in our hearts like that! I will be praying for you.
Cry out to Him,He loves you and understands!
Have a wonderful time at college and do seperate yourself from this if you can, college is a great excuse, a legitimate one! I do reccommend counseling 100% for you and encourage you to seek it ASAP.
God Bless you and your family.
My sister is also bipolar. We are only two years apart in age (I am the oldest) and what you are describing is how it has been for at least the last 10 years of my sisters life. She is 44. She has two children and is married. Her marriage has been troubled at best, although she has been married for 20 years. Her illness has created many problem for her children, both socially and emotionally. She was diagnosed with many things over the years including depression, anxiety disorders, etc. until the bipolar was diagnosed. She has been medicated for many years. I think the medication would work better if she didn't drink so heavily. Bipolar has ruined my family. My sister is currently not speaking to me or our mother because she thinks we are to blame for everything. She has gone from job to job over the years and thinks it's becasue of the horrible people she has worked for. She is extremely paranoid. I miss my nieces, but rarely speak to them for fear of how it will affect how thier mother treats them. Speaking to me can lead to loyalty issues with thier mother. I fear that nothing will ever be "normal" again. I know it's not my sister's fault, but I have a hard time separating the bipolar from my sister at times. I am angry. I understand how you feel. I wish I had some words of wisdom that will make your life easier, but ther are none. It is a day by day struggle. I'll pray for you and your sister. I pray for bipolars and thier familes everyday.
I agree with Bobo on this one. Its not your sisters fault. Do you really think she would "want" to be this way? NO one wants to be bipolar I don't think. I know I don't. :( Try to be patient with her, it is not her fault she is the way she is. She don't do these things on purpose. Try to not get angry with her, get angry with the disorder instead. Educate yourself on it. But I agree, that your parents should give you more attention and/or equal attention just in a different form.... the kind that YOU need, which is probably some good therapy. I love my psychologist, having her to talk to is wonderful. I am OCD as well and I have PTSD. You are just as deserving of good help as your sister and your parents need to realize that. Just please keep in mind that your sister is sick, like Bobo said. And bipolar is SO NOT FUN. IT IS A HORRIBLE DISORDER AND I WOULDN'T WISH IT ON ANYBODY. :( I HATE IT. :(
I hope this helps some. Take care and let me know if you have any more questions. :)
Your sister is sick. She is not to blame for her actions. But neither are you. The healthy sibling always gets the raw end of the deal and noone should blame you for being angry, least of all yourself. Your parents owe it to you to get you a good therapist so you can work on your own issues. They are part of your childhood and the sooner you deal with them the better off you'll be, in college and later in life.