slate

Dear Prudence,
My 19-year-old half-sister is currently living with me. Her mother basically drove my sister into a mental breakdown with her unrealistic expectations and forced activities. Once she reached college, my sister realized she hated her major, her life, and herself. She was clinically depressed and borderline suicidal. Her mother told her that she was “weak and useless” and cut her off financially (our father had left us money but only for college, nothing we could use to support ourselves). I offered to take her in for a year, all expenses paid, so she could catch her breath. I have a master’s degree and a great job; one teenager isn’t going to break my budget.

My boyfriend makes “mooch” jokes around my sister, and it has spread to our circle of friends. Despite my warning him to lay off, it still comes up. I don’t want to reveal what actually is going on with my sister and her mental health, but I don’t know how to express how important it is to drop this joke. Last time, I snapped and told my boyfriend to shut up and that he wasn’t funny. It killed the entire mood and affected my sister badly. She doesn’t have any friends yet and spends most of her time volunteering at an animal shelter or with me. How do I get this across to everyone?
—Not a Mooch

Read more on Slate. This is the second question in the column.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.