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How to help my brother and sisters?

P

photogirl

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Mar 10, 2008
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A little history: I am 27-years-old, married to a wonderful man, and my half-siblings are 5, 10, 12, and 14. My mother was drunk the first 10 years of my life but was sober until last year. Now, from what my brother and sisters tell me, she has been drunk nearly every night for the past couple of months and does nothing but yell at them. They live in a two-bedroom apartment and my 14-year-old brother sleeps on the living room couch, he doesn't even have his own bed, space, or even a dresser. Her home is absolutely filthy (mice and bug filthy) and the kids never have anything to eat. I have provided food and clothing for them as needed because I can't stand to see them go without. Just this past weekend, all four came to stay at my house and my 5-year-old sister didn't have any underwear or socks. When I asked them about it, they said she just doesn't have any at home so I went out and bought her some. Just the simple basic need fulfilled of new socks and underwear put the biggest smile on her face. The kids also do not receive the medical care they should and none of them have been to the dentist yet although two of them need braces badly.

I grew up with her drunk so I know what these kids are going through and I want to take them away from her before anything bad happens. I was diagnosed with PTSD last year. I was having a hard time because my youngest sister was the same age that I was when things happened to me because of my mom's drinking. I don't want anything to happen to these kids. My husband and I have a house and are financially set to be able to care for all four of my siblings. We have a plan to get legal custody and their biological father is on our side because he wants them cared for but he doesn't want to do it.

This all brings me to my question: as miserable as the living conditions may sound, my siblings still love my mother and want to be there. If we take them away, at least they will be safe and cared for, but it is likely to bring out some anger and resentment. They would be leaving behind the only home that they know, moving to a new community, and having a new school come fall. My youngest sister especially is too little to understand. They already have health insurance through our state and I plan to make sure they get counseling as needed but does anyone know if there is anything else I can do to make this easier for them? Any other advice in general? I guess I just also needed to get some of this out, thank you for reading.
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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I don't know the circumstances, obviously, but what I say...and always say....is it is best (in my opinion) for children to remain with their natural mother if at all possible. I wonder if there is another way around this? If your mom could get help to become sober and responsible again would the children be happier. Does your mom know what is happening/likely to happen? Would the thought of losing them be something that would help her? What kind of help is available to her? Helping mothers is always the best way to help children (again this is just my opinion).

However, given that I don't know the circumstances maybe my comments are unhelpful and, perhaps, there is no other way forward (even if I hope there is).
When I was hospitalized during a breakdown my son stayed with my mother and was not allowed to return to me. This time was deeply traumatic for me. My son was reasonably happy to stay with his Grandma for a while but was also angry and resentful at the situation. He was also quite angry with me. Happily he is now home again (7 months later) but I feel angry that more was not done to support me in caring for my son at home.

My maternal Grandmother was a neglectful alcoholic....her children were often in the situation you have described. She later turned her life around and became completely sober and a much loved and respected member of the family. There is always hope.

Perhaps the children could feel less upset if they feel their mother is getting the support she needs in order to be well enough to have them home again?

Again, I don't know the situation....but I believe that recovery is possible for everyone and I hope your mom, and all of you, will get through this difficult time with the least discomfort for all concerned.

Take care :flowers:
 
M

maudikie

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I think you are wonderful caring for your brothers and sisters as you do. But you have your own life to live, andI thik you need professional help for both your sibs and your mother.
Things are often done better by writing first, as they should not be ignored. S I suggest that you write and ask for an appointment to go and see a Social Worker (I know they haven't a good name, but they have a job to do and are very busy) Incidentally you should keep a copy of any letters you send. Ask for an appointment to see them yourself first and explain the situation. Then I think your mother is in need of help , but the Sccial wworker should assist with this, as there is a matter of confidentiality there. In your letter tell them who y our G.P. is(or that of y our Mother and sibs if different.)
I am wondering why your father isn't taking some action. Butno doubt that will all be dealt with by Social services.

Best wishes and take care:hug:
 
ms_P

ms_P

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For what it's worth, I became a full-blown alcoholic after my children were taken away from me. My ex-husband had used my confidential mental health problems against me after my mother had passed away (he was afraid of her when she was alive), siting that a "borderline patient" is not fit to be a mother. Little did I know that he'd had someone new on the side for well over a year and wanted me out of the picture. The emotional and physical abuse I took from him that year (2001) drove me to overdose on medication...which played right into his plans to get rid of me, keep my children, and continue on with his new partner.
If I had had a bit of support at the time, I would not have done what I did out of desperation and my children would be with me and not in a children's psychiatric facility. Of this I'm certain.
My 2 cents on mothers and children.
 
J

Jolene

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My mum has got a mental illness when she gave birth to my youngest sister, she had a relapse because she stopped having her injection for her illness...
This was nearly 10 years ago everthings okay now
in the time she got ill for 3 months she was on a mother baby ward in a rehab. I was seperated from her except I visited her but I missed her, I lived with my sisters dad he was drinking after a few weeks social services only let me go there for weekens so I had to live with my nan till my mum come home I can't remember How long My dad was looking after me I was only 9 at the time.
I would suggest you get help for your mum and look after your siblings till she gets better let her see your siblings weekends. This might be the same as what there going through and what you went through but I know what it's like to have a parent missing and ill. :grouphug:
 
FastLaneC3

FastLaneC3

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I really don't believe a child is best off with their natural mother: just because you birthed a child does NOT make you a mother.
I was taken away by my aunt and uncle, from my biological parents, because both my mother and father neglected my sister and I. Even though I was removed at 2, I still have memories and still have to attend counselling 15 years later.
Currently I am helping my step father to remove my half-brothers from my biological mother. She tossed away two children(my sister and I), always divorces and re-marries, would probably take my brothers, move away and toss them to the curb as well. If anything, I will make sure that every child she has is removed: it's even more funny that the boys are BEGGING the court to allow them to go live with their father.
If a person can't take care of themselves, and isn't taking proper care of the children: for the sake of the children, they should be removed!
My sister and I were found left alone in an apartment building (I was 1 year and my sister was 4 years old) ... ya biological mothers are great...
A good mother is someone who loves, and provides for her children, not just a woman who gets pregnant.
So do what you can to help your siblings! No child should have to live through that!!!
 
P

photogirl

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Thank you for your feedback, everyone. Right now things are at a standstill because my mom is trying to kick it but she's not getting official help, such as through a counselor or AA. She's done it before, I'm hoping she can do it again for the sake of the kids. I visit the kids as often as I can and they still stay over at my house frequently. They at least know they can turn to me if anything happens.

Thank you for your support!
 
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