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My Own Space

My sister has been living with me since mid-July.  I thought since Sean and I couldn’t find a place together, and I hate not having someone keep me company in the evenings, having her here would be nice for a while.  When she moved in, we were all aware the living room would basically be her bedroom, and I moved things around so she could having some storage space to keep her belongings tidy and out of the way of daily life.

It was nice to have her here at first.  She had moved here out of foster care, and it was nice to have her back around.  We had all missed each other, and it was great having someone to talk to.  But as time passed, she got comfortable and stopped following the house rules.  I really wasn’t asking much of her.  I wanted her to do a couple of simple chores every day such as pick up after herself and other minor things, finish school, watch the kids from time to time, and work a part time job.  After a couple weeks she quit picking up after herself.  She blew off the job opportunities she had, and refused to put true effort into finding anything else for income.  She only did chores about half the time.  And she would watch the boys, but then I would get reports from them later, and the people they talked to, about how rude and mean she would be while I was gone.  The only thing she was doing right was continuing to go to school (which, don’t get me wrong, is great!!)

After a few more weeks, the negative energy in my home was unbearable.  I never wanted to be home, I all but gave up on keeping my house tidy in any way, my kids didn’t listen to me anymore, and everyone was about 90% obsessed with TV, internet, and video games.  Finally I layed down one final rule for her: put in one job application per day, and you can stay.  I wanted her to leave the house and be productive and contribute somehow.  She put in an application the first day after I put that rule into effect, then went three days without.  When I called her on it, she put in 4 all at once, as if to make up the difference.  But to me, that just proved that she couldn’t be trusted to do her required task.  So with only 1 month left of school before she is done with the requirements for her diploma, I booted her out.

Today was her deadline.  She quick found a place to store her things at the last minute.  She packed a bag and was well aware that she had no place to stay.

stock-illustration-16976834-homeless-personNow before you ask how I could be so heartless as to kick my sister out onto the street: be aware that in foster care she couldn’t stay in a place for too long either, for all the same issues I had and more.

I pray that pushing her out the way I did will spark a fire under her butt to take care of herself.  To find a job and make some money, to realize how expensive it is to survive without money and do something about it.  To be a better guest and pick up after herself.  To not take help for granted, and to be more self-sufficient.

I really did have the best intentions when she moved in.  I wanted to help her learn how to be a responsible adult.  But I learned that you absolutely cannot help someone who is not willing to help themselves.

Now that she is out, my house feels like my home again.  I will be better able to manage the tidiness without my living room being someone’s bedroom.  My kids will be better managed when it comes to homework and reading instead of video games and TV shows.  The negativity will dissipate and we can have a home full of happiness again.

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