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She's left her job of many years and had a breakdown. She also had surgery that is still giving her difficulties. And her husband doesn't treat her good. They both drink, smoke and use pot. She's not looking for work at all and he doesn't work much, just a little under the table. We have helped them numerous times over many years but now she's not looking for work and claims she can't because she's so depressed. We're trying to be there for her emotionally. But it's getting to be a bit draining financially. How do you know when helping isn't helping anymore?
Butterflysisters Butterflysisters 46-50, F 6 Answers Dec 18, 2009

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Stark words from Joe, but likely accurate.<br />
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You hate to see her on the street, destitute, whatever, but they're buying booze, smokes and weed. Depression is real. Real ugly.<br />
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You know that your financial contributions haven't fixed(not the right word) her situation. Might be time to bring in a pro. It needn't be on your dime. There are very good people in public service, working with folks like your sister.<br />
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As for mom, MYOB. Your sister is her child. She'd likely give her life for your sister - and for you. Don't be measuring Mom's actions - try to understand them.

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She can't take advantage of you...unless you let her take advantage. <br />
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The real crux of the question is: Can you live with the consequences of putting your foot down? Things sometimes get ugly, but you are not required to support her bad choices no matter where they may lead.<br />
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If you can't bear the thought of her suffering or dying because you've stopped your support, then you are not strong enough to make this decision on your own. Find some public assistance or call one of the many help lines posted on the Internet. <br />
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As for mothers? I respect mine too much to take advantage of her.

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