A once strong family falling apart


My family has fallen apart. It has caused me pain, anger, confusion, and saddness.
I have no idea what to do any more. It is not a simple story either I just don’t know where to begine with it all. I am looking for spiritual advice to help me see my path and start to heal I hope. I am worried that I might have not make right choices. Is God going to be dissapointed with me.

My sister Antonia: I am the oldest she is 10 years younger than me. She has 5 children all girls. She has lived with my mother and father for about 6 years with her children. Even though she for most of the years had no job she basically did not help my mother with anything. Chores, bills. even taking care of her own children.
In December of 2009 my sister moved her new boyfriend into the house, this was just one more person for my mother to care for. This caused a big fight which ended when my sister threatened to kill my mother. That was enough for my mother she moved out to live with my uncle in a small town 40 miles away. I had gone to my parents house a few time shortly after to visit but soon stopped going by. I could not deal with the horrible things Antonia would say about my mother (lies lies lies) I also could not stand how she destroyed the house and how she neglected her children. There is no talking to Antonia she is always right and does not listen to any reason instead she become angry and hatefull. I often feel bad that I do not go by, but I just cannot deal with the situation over there.
There is of course many things in between what I have said here so please ask questions.
I am going to start here because this is one of the situations that is going on. But this also has snowballed into many different situations with the hole family.

I hope to find friends to listen to my hole story ask questions and give me ideas how I can deal with all of this in a spiritual way. I believe this is the only way to help


Welcome Tanya!

Your sister sounds like a bully, someone who uses her temper/emotions/words to get what she wants. She has taken advantage of your mother, but your mother allowed herself to be taken advantage of. Losing her own house to a daughter? I can see how your mother would be afraid once the boyfriend was in the house. It may be really difficult to fix that situation now.

Is your mother providing any support whatsoever to your sister? Any money? I'm sure it's hard not to, because there are children involved, but your sister will always hold out her daughters as bait to gain your mother's money and/or other property.

I hope no one else in the family is supporting your sister. If you can see the girls without going to the house, great. If you can help them in some way that does not benefit your sister, OK. But if you can't be sure that your sister won't end up with the money/clothing/food, then it's more problematic.

But here's the thing - if she is neglecting her kids she should be reported to CPS (child protective services). Usually they contact members of the family to see if the kids can stay there while they investigate, so someone in your family might need to volunteer to keep the kids. If not, I'd still report her. I'm more of a "tough love" type of person, though. I'm sure a lot of people will say "just love her out of it." That's not me.


I am sorry for what you are going through.

It is hard when someone has to always be right like you said your sister is. How can they ever improve themselves if they cannot take criticism?

Can you explain more of the situation so we can get a better understanding of everything?

You said your family was once strong - was your sister always like this? Did someone get invloved in drugs or something? Was she once Catholic but fell into a bad life with bad friends?



It sounds like its time for you and and your husband to stand up for your mom and bounce your loser sister and her free loading boyfriend on their ear. Keep her kids for her or turn them over to child services.

Hard telling what is going on in the family home but most likely what ever they are doing could easily cost your mother her home one way or the other.



Tanya, you need to stand up for your mother. You did not mention whether you are married or not or how old you are, just that you are older than her. It sounds like your sister is making poor choices in her life - having 5 kids and having no means to support them, living off of your mother and driving her away from her own home! She obviously has no respect for her in spite of the fact that she puts a roof over her and kid’s heads. She needs to be accountable for her actions. Tough love is right like what Julianne said. She made choices, and she needs to own up and grow up.:mad:


I am afraid this is happening a lot in America today.

In my opinion, and within the family I witnessed fall apart in the last four decades, it was due to a luke-warm faith and a liberal, heresy-filled parish.

Doe you have any of these elements?


tanya, does your mother want your help? if not, there’s nothing you can do about the relationship between mother and sister and the occupancy of the house.

it’s likely your mother will want to vent a lot of resentment and frustration and STILL not want to do anything concrete about the situation because she is worried for the children and doesnt want to kick them out. if so, your sis has mom over a barrel (and she knows it well) and you have no power but prayer.

but if your sister is neglectful or abusive to her children, you have a moral obligation to the children and a legal obligation to call authorities. remember, children living with mother’s boyfriends are most especially at risk.

if you do call, you will be hated amongst your family— even your mother will not understand-- but that is little concern of yours. if the children are in danger, you must call.

btw, do a background search on the new boyfriend.


First of all thank you all for your answers it is so wonderful. I will answer as many questions as I can get through. (please know my spelling is horrible).

My mother has not supported nor has had anything to do with her since then. My father still lives in the house. Although he is now 83. He is in good health but has very bad arthritis in his knees and hands. He also feels his age and sleeps a lot. He is not capable of taking care of small children. He pays for the utility bills. My other sister Kike does help out with the children as she can. But Anontonia started to take advantage of her to. Now kiki just goes over to help my dad.
As far as CPS I did go that route. I complained about abuse to my parets which both qualify at their age for elderly abuse. I had to make a seperate complaint for the children.
I asked my brother and sister kiki, and sister may all to help. My hope was to get my mother back home, for temporary custody of the kids to my parents and counceling for every one. This whole thing went bad because 2 of my sibling did not want to be involved.
But after many complalints CPS did have a family meeting. They believed that the family was just trying to harass my sister. They did say how ever that my father should never be left alone to watch the children and that my sister and her kid should be in counceling.
None of this ever happen though. On the way to the meeting I prayed to God to please help. But I guess he has other plans.
My husband and I have help my mother since in many ways, but she does not want to go home because of my sister. We are all cautious because Antonia is the type to get mad and take her children to live in the street, strange peoples home, or even her car. At least if she is where she is at we know the children are some what ok.
I have accepted many things and let a lot of anger go, but I still feel bad. But I get so upset and angry when I go over there, I do not like being angry so I stay away.
But in the back of my mind I remember “forgive me for what I have done and what I have failed to do”. I have a feeling of failing buy not going over to the house.

This whole situation though caused problems between my sister kiki and my mother. It also caused problems with my sister may and the rest of the family.


Compassion for all involved.

Your parents are perfectly capable of intervening IF THEY CHOOSE TO. Even if they are elderly and in poor health, they can enlist your help and that of outside agencies, IF THEY CHOOSE TO. They do not choose to. Whatever the reasons, whatever the conditions, they have decided to allow your sister to live in that house and at least her children are safe. It may not be ideal, it may not be what you want, it may not be much of what they want, but they have struck a kind of bargain with her. As long as she is not truly abusing your father, it is what you have to deal with.

Pray for your sister, your mother, your father, the children. Pray for God to soften your heart to the whole situation and all in it. It’s a mess. Only God can solve that mess. Only God can fix it. It’s in His hands.

Do keep an eye out for abuse - either of your father or her children. You have to keep up with that and let the authorities know if anyone is being hurt. Maybe your other sisters can also help keep track, since you say it’s hard for you to visit. Remember that your father deserves to be visited even if you are angry at your sister.

I will keep you in my prayers.


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