My Sister


Adhd and developmental problems. I think it was a brain haemorrhage at birth. She has the mental age of about a 7 year old in a 13 year olds body, and she is not catching up. She was a very premature baby as well.

I feel so sorry for my Mum. She doesn't deserve the stress that my sister puts the family through, but as we all know the universe doesn't give any special treatment. I've told her she should consider sending my sister to a special school on the south-island, but she is unlikely to... she worries it will break my sisters heart, and she feels that my step-dad wouldn't be happy with sending his daughter away (Apparently he put up a slight fight when I was sent to my boarding school almost ten years ago).

The worst thing is that as delayed as her development is, she has a spark that can make her even more trouble. She can push buttons like a pro to get attention, and then cry like a refugee to get back on your good side. Some people say she looks far wiser then she is supposably, but the truth is that her behaviour shifts rapidly. She might seem like nothing more then a naughty girl if you visit us, but the moment you leave she is likely to revert to unravelling the strings of sanity… asking the same questions endlessly, hurting the animals on the farm, hurting herself, picking scabs so they never heal, going through bedrooms, following like a shadow.

She was a trying fixture in my childhood, and is now a heavy responsibility to my family. My other sister will not suffer like I did; things have changed n the family since my childhood, now she will have the freedom of the farm and the company of the horses where I had only my books and small back-yard to escape into.


In the nineties a single mother under extreme strain drowned her mentally disabled child, it was a big media story, the healthcare industry was figured for not providing the support. But there’s nothing you can do in cases like this, my mum has tried every technique under the sun in New Zealand, recently my grandmother funded thousands for mental training up here in the city, which my mother has cancelled after 6 months with no change in my sister but lots of $ spent. My mums strain shows in her reaction to that drowning story, she said ‘I understand why she did it’, and to tell you the truth so do I.

I give my mother the ultimate respect for her life work, work that has years to go.

Going home is a time of mixed feelings for me.  


smebro smebro
22-25, M
12 Responses Dec 5, 2007

Hi Smebro and Tate3. Smebro...I don't have any respite. My family is too busy, my mom tries but she is in stage 4 cancer (in fact I'm her caregiver too). No friends to speak of that could handle her. My only respite is when she is in school and I'm home studying or cleaning house. <br />
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Your mom is a strong woman. My own mother has said she doesn't know how I do it. She calls me the patience of a saint LOL<br />
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Tate 3..I totally agree.rewarding yet draining. Can you go into more detail of what is happening in your family?<br />
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I believe you because my sister is basically the same. Take her shopping and you are in for a stressful time. She wanders off, picks up things, yells, whines, asks socially unacceptable questions (Which for some people is comedy, but embarrassing if she’s with you)<br />
I mentioned what you were doing for your daughter to my own mother and she said she wouldn’t have had the strength, she said one of the most important things is having time away from my Sister... all the time would be far too full on. I hope you have people that can relieve you sometimes :)<br />
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Other people never understand how trying it is to have a mentally disabled child, she can appear so normal sometimes, and family have been known to gossip about how my mother exaggerates the stress she gets from my sister, this couldn't be further from the truth... <br />
Interestingly when my sister goes to stay with my grandmother she behaves almost angelically.

Thank you very much Smebro. You are awesome as well. My most frustrating bit is there are no resources for EI children and their families. It's hard because with a disability, if people don't see it (say like cerebal palsy or such) they don't think of it as a disability. <br />
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My 9 year old is very smart and a wonderful girl but her mental state is that of a 5 year old. She throws tantrums, hits, bites and when I'm in public and I'm doing my best to calm her down, I get looks that you wouldn't believe. Would they do that if she were in a wheelchair? <br />
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You're very strong Kirsty, I wish I could offer you some advice.

Hello Everyone. Glad to have you here. <br />
<br />
I can understand what you're going through. With my daughter having EI (Emotional Impairment), she is 9 but with the mental ability of a 5 year old. <br />
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I'm a single parent and understand its very hard. Don't feel guilty. You sound like a wonderful family member.<br />
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me I visit.

Yeah I do love to sit in the paddocks and enjoy the wide sky, or beside the river watching trout. <br />
But eventually I need people and things to watch.

Love does not ackowledge borders, space or time...<br />
I like the city...but when I am here I miss the country. No matter what.

But I'm far away!<br />
I wish I could be near them always, but the city is where I am happiest.

All in all it sounds like they have a wonderful brother to love and protect them. They are lucky to have you.

I see some of my personality traits in her, and I wonder what the difference really is between her and a 'normal' person. She is normal, but she will likely never live a fully normal independent life. <br />
And of course, now she is in puberty… so time to be very careful. Someone like her that craves attention could easily meet and be taken advantage of by the wrong people, she’s a pretty girl. <br />
I hope my other sister, who is three years younger then the under-developed one but behaves years older, grows up with extra responsability and virtue because of what she goes through; as I think I have.

I am sorry to hear this...but I feel so bad for your sister...she doesn't even know what she is going through...your family must be strong if they are holding it together in the face of such adversity...<br />
Home is home; all of us feel that way at one time or another for various reasons...<br />
Hugs to you, your family and especially your sister.