My sister is holding our mother emotionally hostage by threatening suicide. She's been doing this for over ten years. My mother will not listen when we tell her that it is her choice to live or die and it's not her responsibility to keep her alive. She has done everything in her power to help her. She will not help herself. She is constantly conning my mother out of money. Using her credit cards, buying whatever she wants online. Before you say why haven't we called the authorities, we have. We've exhausted all options. Nothing ever helps or changes. I think the only thing that would ever get her to change is for my mother to finally stop handing her everything. She's an addict and my mom is enabling her. My mom even acknowledges this but says she won't stop because she will not take the chance of her following through with her threat. She believes that if she stops allowing her to control and abuse her, that she will follow through with her threats to kill herself. I can't stand this anymore. This sounds awful but I'm really tired of hearing about it. It's so toxic. It's literally been years of these threats and manipulation. My sister has even told me she uses it as manipulation and my mother knows she said this. I wish she would just cut the cord already and let her finally fend for herself and stop letting herself be abused. I have no one to turn to about it anymore because no one wants to hear about it. All of the positive things in my life or my problems never matter because she is always more important so I've felt invisible over the years and I resent her. I do love her and I always will but I wish she would stop this abusive behavior. It has affected the whole family. Sorry that was long. I just feel really sad. That's all. Thanks for reading


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It sounds...

Jan 28, 2022 at 12:34pm

... like a fairly bad situation, but you lack perspective.

"My mother will not listen when we tell her that it is her choice to live or die and it's not her responsibility to keep her alive."

Well, it is your mother's choice, why are you telling her it is her choice, but saying "you have to choose this way." It is not your mom's responsibility to keep her alive, but it is also not your responsibility to control your mother, or your mother's duty to act in what you perceive to be her best interest.

It sounds like a typical co-dependent relationship, and you are picking sides. Children never just end up this way, it is a product of environment, not random chance.

6 5Rating: +1

Oh dear

Jan 28, 2022 at 1:06pm

It sounds like you’re the only levelheaded one in such a very dysfunctional family. If you ask me, I thank your sister needs to get some help on dealing with her own issues. Maybe try counselling and psychotherapy.

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I’m so sorry OP

Jan 28, 2022 at 3:12pm

I hope that you have a good source of support elsewhere in your life because it certainly doesn’t sound as though your family can be there for you. My life has been affected by alcoholism and addiction and I know how lonely and isolating it can be to be constantly manipulated. Hopefully knowing you’re not alone helps.

4 0Rating: +4

@Oh dear

Jan 28, 2022 at 3:22pm

"If you ask me, I thank your sister needs to get some help on dealing with her own issues. "

No, the mother needs therapy to address her problem with enabling the co-dependency. If she does not want therapy, well, she does not consent, and it is inappropriate to badger her about it.

I mean, you can ask again, but you can't have the intention that mom should do what YOU want, she is her own person. And so is your sister. SO it seems like the OP over-identifies with the mother and has, ironically, not detached.

The sister sounds quite detached and manipulative tho, that is not a good situation, but, ultimately, attachment issues are the responsibility of the parent because the buck stops with management.

"Look at my horrible workers, they won't act right!" is not a viable business model. You hired them, you made them.

2 2Rating: 0


Jan 28, 2022 at 3:45pm

hey, this is my family too. And now that my sister has 2 kids she has even more manipulation power. I f'cked off to the other side of the world so I don't have to be directly involved. There is no solution for the drama drain.

5 0Rating: +5

yes there is a solution

Jan 28, 2022 at 4:34pm

How old is your mother? A protection order can work but your mother needs to stop enabling your sister. Elder abuse at it's lowest form. Talk to the following entities, they may be able to help or at least guide you. Been through this myself. It's an awful situation to be in and I had to get a protection order. Good luck and let us know how this goes because we care.
Seniors Abuse & Information Line
If you are an older adult who has been abused or mistreated call the Seniors Abuse & Information Line (SAIL) at 604-437-1940 or toll free at 1-866-437-1940, 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., to get a referral to their legal advocate and other programs. For more information about their programs and resources visit Seniors First BC.

4 1Rating: +3

No Regrets

Jan 28, 2022 at 4:39pm

I cut all the “toxic” people out of my life a couple of years ago, including some family members. It was a brutal transition at first but I am now prospering and at peace. You can’t change your sister. You can’t change your mom. You can only change yourself. Take good care of yourself.

7 0Rating: +7

Questions to answer

Jan 28, 2022 at 5:21pm

1. How much $ is your mother giving your sister?
2. Is your mother having trouble paying her bills?
3. Did your mother have RRSPs, savings or investments, property that are now gone?
4. Is your mother in serious debt with loans, mortgage or credit cards?
If so, this is financial abuse if it's going to your sister. Lay this information out in writing to support your case for a possible protection order. Speak to legal aid or the lawyer referral line.
If your mother can't stop giving away money then this can be stopped. There is also the Public Guardian & Trustee of B.C. - check out their site, might be of some help.
Oh yeah, counselling wouldn't hurt either. Maybe find some information on co-dependency to read to her or find a life coach her age to provide an outside view. You are a good person to care.

1 2Rating: -1

Distant siblings

Jan 29, 2022 at 5:11am

I’m fascinated by these situations. Your sister holds your mother emotionally hostage… but I’m guessing you never emotionally invested in your sister. You never bothered when she was emotionally stable? And now she treats every interaction like an emotional bank heist? It’s wrong what she does but can you blame her? There’s two sides to every story. Who spends the most TIME with your mom?

3 1Rating: +2

Oh wow.

Jan 29, 2022 at 7:14am

I can really relate to what you’re going through. Some of the comments make it sound so easy to just walk away, but obviously it’s much more complicated than that. My parents have been enabling my brother forever and he’s also financially bankrupted them. My sister and I have had to pay their debts off many times thanks to this codependent nightmare. I really understand the hurt you feel because it seems to me that the only one of their children they really care about is our brother. All of their attention and resources has gone to him. Every decision they make revolves around him. My parents are old and people outside of my sister and me (including our own children) don’t see the whole picture and they often fall for the lies that they’ve been told by our brother and our parents, so we often get painted as the bad guys. I’ve done my best to detach as much as possible but I’m really struggling with the guilt I feel for not being able to help. It’s a very hard situation and no one who hasn’t experienced it can truly understand.

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