I'm a 24 year old man, and i've been raising my nephew going on a decade now. I am the youngest of three kids, with very good parents. I have two older sisters who managed to do many horrible things in our teenage years up into their early twenties, (running away, hard drugs, hanging with the wrong people, etc.) My eldest sister wasnt nearly as bad as my other sister, and i will stick to what i can without going off on a million different angles of how things came to be.
So when I was 15, I wasnt TOO suprised to find out my sister had gotten pregnant (17yo) by some low life scumbag (been in and out of jail for drugs and violent crimes). Being 15 and already putting up with her most of my life, I saw the direction this was going since day one. She basically saw this child as a novelty item instead of a living breathing human that needed attention 24/7. She wanted a cute kid to hold and kiss, but none of the responsibility. Being the manipulative person she is, she had my parents and I watching him from day 1 so she could "sort her life out". Sorting her life out included alchohol, and illegal drugs (although i will say this alone will not make someone a bad person imo), and pretty much never being home. I awoke one night to her falling up the steps (yes falling UP, it's possible) because she was so intoxicated she was mumbling and having minor convulsions. I screamed for my parents ofc and they called 911. Ambulance came and said she was okay after getting (somewhat) intelligent speech from her.
So this behavior went on for a couple years until eventually she ran away for over a year. Everyday we sat home with her child waiting for a phone call from her or the cops. Not knowing if your sibling is alive or not pretty much allows the worst things imaginable to run through your head every moment they are gone. One day we get a call from her and she says shes 4 hours away and wants to come home. So me and my mother (father is numb at this point and extremely depressed) goto pick her up in the ghetto she was apparently living in. Once we get home, no one cares what she has been through, just that she's still alive (those of you related to drug addicts..you know whats going on here). So she's home about 3 months and we are all helping her pick up the pieces. Until one day she snaps for no reason when my mother confronts her about school, job, career, etc. She said it's too much pressure and threatens us with leaving again (she was already back on drugs at this point, clearly). So what do ya know, she leaves again. This time for about 6 months, just to get the call to come get her again. Mind you, this place is 4+ hours away, and i have drove down there 5 times in 2 years to either pick her up or look for her all day driving in circles.
So finally after a couple more years of her doing drugs and leaving her child with me and my parents (who worked literally all day, both of them), she came home and settled down. I would say by this time she was in 3 different rehabilitation centers and was finally showing some light at the end of the tunnel. By this time, i'm 22 years old and have had to babysit her child everyday for 7 years. I started to feel like i could actually have my own life without burdening my older hard working parents (with babysitting after working 10 hour shifts).
But, apparently, that day has never come. The light i saw began to fade slowly and turn into sorrow. She has managed to get her G.E.D and get a good paying job with benefits and such, and completely stop using drugs. Im very proud of her for kicking the drugs, but i am not proud of her for holding onto some of her old antics. Ya' see..in the years she was getting her G.E.D and good paying job with benefits, i was still babysitting 24/7 for her. I feel like it's impossible for me to have my own life no matter how much time goes by or how much i do for her. I refuse to let my parents struggle to raise another kid after having raised 3 already.
Although i had some insight into what my life was turning into at 15, i had no idea almost ten years down the road i would be in the same situation, raising her child. I had B+ grades in all subjects halfway through my second semester when I realized i was living a dream..what was i thinking going to school while working night shifts and raising a kid? It was d*** near impossible. I was literally half asleep most of the past 9 years because of my responsibility to this child, work and school.
Although she has changed for the better (not the best), I am still in this position. She works all day, then goes straight to her boyfriends house and sleeps there. To make things better, she's pregnant again. The only thing keeping me going is the broken heart i have for my nephew, and trying to make his life as best as possible. I've lost most of my friends around the age of 16 because i simply didnt have time for quality friends. I havent had a girlfriend since i was 20 because i have become somewhat anti-social due to this whole experience dragging out my life. I've never talked to anyone about any of my problems and never will. Im so used to dealing with other people's problems, i've completely ignored my own for ten years. I want my nephew to be happy, and that's all i've come to want out of life.
Truly, idk why im here telling anyone this, nor do i expect anyone to read the friggin essay i just wrote ^^. I suppose i just want to hear someone's opinion or maybe someone else who has been in my position. Most importantly, if someone like my sister is reading this, they will realize the toll this behavior has on family members and care takers. Thank you to anyone who reads this lengthy wall of text, and all questions or comments are welcome.
p.s. There is much more to this story but i can only write so much at a time. This is it in a nutshell, sorry for any run-on sentences or grammar mistakes. i am falling asleep writing this.
Edited by AquaViolet, 31 July 2012 - 06:57 PM.