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CONTROLLING OLDER SISTER, FEEL TRAPPED AT 20

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This topic contains 49 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by avatar ron 4 months ago.

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  • #756604 Reply
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    Kasey

    Hi everyone (:
    I am a 20 year old college student currently studying business. I was raised by a single dad as my mother was never active in my life. My father got diagnosed with cancer when I was 16 and we moved in with my older sister (20 years older than me) to take care of him. My father passed away a year ago and I am currently living with my sister and her husband. My sister has always been pretty overbearing and judgmental in general so when I met a guy I wanted to start seeing I didn’t mention it as it was early on. About 6 months into the relationship she found out I had a secret boyfriend who I was sexually active with for the first time. After finding this out she made me quit my job and forced him to come to the house and meet her. Following this, she stated that I needed to stay no contact with him (no phone and no in person communication) for a little over a month. After that was over she stated that for the next 45 days the only way that we were allowed to see each other would be if he came to the house. Once that was completed she would determine on the basis of his efforts whether he was “good enough” to date me. I know that she has good intentions and wants to protect me but don’t you think this is too much to do to a 20 year old? I’m wondering if you think I should stand up for myself and risk having to move out whilst still in college or just deal with it for a few more years till I graduate? She scares me and I don’t know how to stand up to her

    #756605 Reply
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    kasey13
    Member

    Any advice/ thoughts will be so so appreciated thank you for taking the time to read this

    #756609 Reply
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    Ange

    Well it’s a shame she made you quit your job as that would have been a good way to find your way out and on your own. Generally I always think it’s better to go out and sink or swim on your own, especially at 20. Do you have the means to go live by yourself? Are you able to secure work?

    #756612 Reply
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    Carol Evans

    So from my perspective two things are going on. One is your sister sees that you are essentially a young woman without a father to protect her and thinks she has to step in and take this role because yes, there are a lot of jerks and predators out there who WILL take advantage. This is probably coming from a good place inside her heart and this is just her style of helping you. The second thing is that you are over 18 so you are free to have any sexual relationship you want and she has to back off a little and not be so controlling as this kind of over-the-top strictness can backfire and have the opposite effect than what she intends. Finally, you do live under her roof so you also have to abide by her house rules. Your best bet is to tell your sister that you understand and appreciate her concern and respect her house and the rules but that you are also an adult now and do respectfully ask her to trust your judgement and your privacy as in regards to your intimate relationships. Tell her that you know she loves you and you love her as well and that you appreciate ALL she is doing for you.

    #756619 Reply
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    kasey13
    Member

    Yes the job was hard because she won’t let me work much whilst living under her roof so it makes it very hard to leave (hence why I feel a bit trapped) my best bet would be staying with someone so I can get a job and continue on my own that way , if I do leave.

    #756620 Reply
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    kasey13
    Member

    Thank you carol that is very true and I appreciate the perspective, I will definitely take your advice

    #756651 Reply
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    Fyodor

    The making you quit your job seems pretty abusive-she doesn’t want you to have any financial independence so you’ll be under her thumb.

    #756652 Reply
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    Fyodor

    Is there someone else that you can stay with. Another relative? A friend’s family?I have to think that if you explained that she won’t let you work while living with her someone would take you in until you can get on your feet financially. I am normally a fan of sucking it up while you are a student to save money but this situation is so controlling and abusive that I think that you need to get out ASAP. Set the relationship aside for now and focus on getting out of the house.

    #756659 Reply
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    anonymousse
    Member

    She made you quit AFTER she found out about your bf? How did she force you to quit your job?

    I agree you should try and get your job back, or a new job and stay with someone else.

    Trying to understand the motivation she has in being abusive and controlling to you is a lesson in futility. There is no just cause for that behavior. No attempt at looking at it from her POV is helpful to you. No caring or loving father, sister or person would treat you that way. You’re an adult now, it’s time to exercise your independence and leave.

    #756661 Reply
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    JD

    Uh. She can’t make you do anything. Call him if you want. Keep your job if you want.

    #756662 Reply
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    ron

    Not that it makes sister’s behavior acceptable, but I’ll guess that the reason she made her (she probably can make her because she is still dependent on her older sister’s financial support, with the job not paying nearly enough to live independently) quit the job, either because she and bf met and worked at that job (or he was a customer) or because LW has been giving money to bf. Older sister may be treating LW as she believes her parents would want, or she promised them, her to treat LW.

    I doubt sister will be saddened if LW moves out. Supporting her to this age is probably seen as an unwanted obligation.

    #756666 Reply
    Lucidity
    Lucidity
    Member

    You either need to figure out a way to change the dynamic between you and your sister from a parent-child relationship to one between two adults who respect each others’ agency, or move out.

    It’s very disturbing that your sister would force you to quit your job. If she really had your best interests at heart, she would be encouraging you to gain work experience and build your savings. As as 20 year old, adult woman, nobody has the right to tell you who you can date or who you can sleep with, even if you’re living under their roof. You might be obligated to follow her house rules about when and how he can visit you in her home, but she does not have the right to control who you date or sleep with. At 20, YOU are the only one who decides if a man is good enough for you. I agree that this control of your employment and relationships is a form of abuse.

    Unless you’re afraid of standing up to her because she is physically abusive, I would sit down with her and have an adult conversation. Do not treat it as asking her permission, but as simply explaining what you’re going to do. Tell her that having a job is important to your future and that you’re going to ask for your job back and/or start applying elsewhere. Explain that as an adult, you can assess for yourself if a man is good enough for you, and that you will be dating whomever you please. If she refuses to accept this or tries to stop you (which sounds likely), it’s time to move out.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your dad. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend grief counseling or some other form of therapy. Therapy would also be helpful for finding ways to effectively communicate with and stand up to your sister. Your school likely has free or low-cost counseling services on-site. They should also be able to connect you with other services that can help you find alternate housing if you don’t have any friends able to take you in.

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