As some of you may know, I have a younger sister named Esther who is a senior in high school this year. I love her dearly, though we don’t always see eye to eye, and lately I have been extremely worried about her. She has been depressed for the past year or two, and tends to shut herself off from communicating with the rest of the family. Despite this, I’ve enjoyed the time I spend with her when I’m home. We’ve had some scary incidents involving her hurting herself, but she always seemed to he holding together overall. I guess that simply wasn’t the case.

I found out today that she has been skipping classes at school and is nearly failing some of them. The implications of this are multifold. First, the treatments she is undergoing such as therapy and medication are obviously not doing the full/right thing for her. Second, she’s unable to or perhaps simply doesn’t make good decisions. Third, she’s been lying or at least obfuscating the truth from my parents. And four, if her grades don’t get better, she risks losing her college acceptance.

All this being said, I find myself feeling utterly helpless. I simply don’t know what I, or anyone for that matter, can do for her. I call her to check in and say hello… I let her know I care about her and appreciate her… but she doesn’t want to talk to anyone, and she doesn’t want to let anyone touch her. I can’t be at home for her, but even if I were she doesn’t let anyone “be there” for her. I feel bad because I know she must compare herself to me on some level, even if that is not at the root of the problem. I want to understand what she’s going through, to let her know it’s okay and that everyone has rough times. But how can I do that if she won’t talk to me? I feel worried and terribly distressed.

Comments 3

  1. zaldreon wrote:

    Here’s one thing that I wish I had told my brother while he was having difficulty in his senior year of high school:

    College is a lot better than high school. A LOT better. It’s not a matter of facing four more years of the same grind. It’s a matter of forcing yourself through the last few months of high school, getting it out of the way in a satisfactory manner, so that you can move on to (much) better things. Compared to the amount of middle and high school a senior has already completed (about 6.5 years), the last few months are nothing. It is worth it to push yourself through that last bit, because college is not only the next stage in life. It’s also a big reward for making it so far.

    The reasons college is so much nicer than middle and high school are many, but some of the major ones are:
    • You have a lot more control over the sorts of things you study.
    • You have a lot more time not spend in class. More hours per day are spent in class at the high school level.
    • You have a lot of independence. You can do whatever you want whenever you’re not working.
    • You’re bound to meet all sorts of amazing people. I am not entirely sure why that experience is so universal, but whenever I speak to anyone (ranging from older relatives to friends in other states who have gone everywhere from Harvard to totally unknown and non-prestigious colleges), they all speak about how great the people are at their respective universities. This seems to be one of the defining experiences of college.


    Posted 19 Apr 2006 at 13:51
  2. faerieloch wrote:

    My younger sister just failed out of college. So she’s applying to community colleges and eventually going into Nursing (at least that’s the plan). It was really hard watching her doom herself and not being able to do something. I think what’s going on with your sister is probably different, but it is hard watching someone you love doom themselves without seeming to care. *hugs* I really hope things work out.

    Posted 19 Apr 2006 at 13:53
  3. qcvar wrote:

    I wrote about three and a half pages of comments when I first saw this, but there are a lot of things that I’d rather not post and you can ask me about later if you wish.

    I’ll say that I also considered just not commenting, because this is hitting extremely close to home, but the state your sister is in worries me. What makes me much, much less comfortable is that I’m afraid she might be at the point where nothing is going to help at all. If no one knows why she is feeling this way, then I feel that very little can be done… If she won’t talk to you, I suggest that you ask her to see if more therapy and medication will work as a temporary solution. I’m being pretty damn hypocritical here, but other people still worry me.

    Could you also let me know just how functional she is?


    Posted 19 Apr 2006 at 14:05

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