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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My sister apparently hates many people, and I am apparently

Customer Question

My sister apparently hates many people, and I am apparently one of them. She tells people lies about me all the time. For 42 years I've tried to help, love, understand, and forgive her. But she's become ever colder and more destructive to me. I know she needs help, but my help is not making any difference, and she slanders me and lies about what I do for her and her family. Her husband recently attacked me, using her lies about me ... believing them. I want to be a Christian and help this my sister, this is a messed-up person. But I'm really ready to get out of this destructive situation. How to balance my moral duty to help her with my exhaustion and need to get far away? Sad and mad.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.
This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area.
Hello, I am so sorry that your sister is behaving this way towards you and is just pushing you farther and farther away, I know how hurt this must make you feel. I do commend you for trying to help her after all these years as most people would have rejected her long ago given how she has treated you. While I know that you want to help her, and you have obviously tried on numerous occasions, it is up to her alone to accept that help. You can provide all the tools necessary to help herself, but she is the one that must decide to use them. At this point I think it is time to accept that this situation is outside of your control and that you should distance yourself from your sister for your own safety and well being. I know that is hard to hear, but remember you did not make this decision lightly and it is your sister that is rejecting you, not you rejecting her. Your moral duty as a Christian is to help her only if she is ready to help herself; you can provide the hand to help her rise up and accept that she needs healing, but only she can choose to take that hand in support, and so far she has only slapped it away and taken advantage of your good nature. You can try to end things with her by writing her a letter or an email stating why you are going to giver her the distance she has been pushing for and why you are saddened by this, but in addition you can write that if she truly needs your help and that she is ready to accept that she needs mental health treatment than you will be there for her no matter what. This way she knows she can rely on you when she is ready to admit to herself that she needs help. But right now it would be best for yourself to distance yourself and protect you and your immediate family from her.
I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. I truly wish your sister all the best and I hope one day she accepts the need for help/treatment that she so desperately needs. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.
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