Need some support here :(..please.

i'm sorry you're going through this....
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You are NOT being out of line or unreasonable. IMO those state homes should be reserved for severe cases and/or in situations where the family can't care for them. This is not the case here. You have the means, experience and desire to do so.

Get a lawyer and file for guardianship. Find a local support group, they will help you as finding resources. There are plenty of people/groups who will advocate and represent at little or no cost if necessary.
kindred, i don't think you're out of line at all. i think your current thoughts on the matter are correct. he is behaving irresponsibly.

he made a decision to start a family. one of his children has a developmental disability. he should be caring for your sister and providing support and love to you, not moving away to start a new life without the two of you.

if he wants to move away to be with his new wife, then your sister should be with him. you should also be welcomed into the new family. you should not be left to care for your sister on your own, at the expense of your own future, nor should your sister be placed in a home to keep up appearances. none of this is fair.

my heart goes out to you. you are a good person, a great daughter and loving sister. if you feel anger and grief, that's ok.

also, it's ok to love your father and still recognize that his decision to abandon your sister and move away to start a new, easier life with a new family is a childish, hurtful choice. you can love him and still not excuse his behavior.

yes, he deserves happiness, but you and your sister deserve a father and a future. when he had you, he took on the responsibility to put your needs before his own. that's what it means to be a parent.
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i have no words of wisdom beyond what others have advised: get a lawyer and get some respite care for yourself.

you sound like a really good woman.

i'm sorry you're going through this. your sister is very lucky to have you.
3B corkscrews with scatterings of 3A & 3C.
Yes, you really need to see a lawyer, preferably one who specializes in disabled rights. You can probably petition the courts for custody/guardianship of your sister, if that's what you want.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
How would I go about doing this??

I spoke with one of her teachers at the school she attends this morning, and this teacher is supportive of the idea of her going off to live in one of these places! She said I have no say because he is her legal guardian. If I CAN do it, then WHY NOT LET ME?? I don't understand!!

The thing is, I've worked in places like that. Staff turnover is very high, people burnout and get frustrated with the clients, staff to client ratio is also overbearing, etc. I'm afraid for her future, afraid of something bad happening to her.

Amandacurls: I asked him that as well, why can't she just move down here. but he said her heart is up north and she doesn't want to leave. And he refuses to take her in his care.
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Yes, you really need to see a lawyer, preferably one who specializes in disabled rights. You can probably petition the courts for custody/guardianship of your sister, if that's what you want.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
How would I go about doing this??

I spoke with one of her teachers at the school she attends this morning, and this teacher is supportive of the idea of her going off to live in one of these places! She said I have no say because he is her legal guardian. If I CAN do it, then WHY NOT LET ME?? I don't understand!!

The thing is, I've worked in places like that. Staff turnover is very high, people burnout and get frustrated with the clients, staff to client ratio is also overbearing, etc. I'm afraid for her future, afraid of something bad happening to her.

Amandacurls: I asked him that as well, why can't she just move down here. but he said her heart is up north and she doesn't want to leave. And he refuses to take her in his care.
Originally Posted by kindredspirit1983
Find a support group, they will point you in the right direction.
Yes, you really need to see a lawyer, preferably one who specializes in disabled rights. You can probably petition the courts for custody/guardianship of your sister, if that's what you want.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
How would I go about doing this??

I spoke with one of her teachers at the school she attends this morning, and this teacher is supportive of the idea of her going off to live in one of these places! She said I have no say because he is her legal guardian. If I CAN do it, then WHY NOT LET ME?? I don't understand!!

The thing is, I've worked in places like that. Staff turnover is very high, people burnout and get frustrated with the clients, staff to client ratio is also overbearing, etc. I'm afraid for her future, afraid of something bad happening to her.

Amandacurls: I asked him that as well, why can't she just move down here. but he said her heart is up north and she doesn't want to leave. And he refuses to take her in his care.
Originally Posted by kindredspirit1983

I agree...I wouldn't want someone I loved to live in a institution if they didn't have to. Start by asking the school (not that teacher, but maybe someone in administration) if they can point you in the direction of a social service agency that can help put you in touch with some legal services. There are agencies out there to help you.
DisabilityInfo.gov

Here's a good place to start looking.

If you give us more info on your sister's disability, I would and I'm sure others would as well have no problems looking finding more websites and agencies that would help.

ETA: would need to know what state you live in as well.

Last edited by cympreni; 08-18-2008 at 04:14 PM.
kindred, i don't think you're out of line at all. i think your current thoughts on the matter are correct. he is behaving irresponsibly.

he made a decision to start a family. one of his children has a developmental disability. he should be caring for your sister and providing support and love to you, not moving away to start a new life without the two of you.

if he wants to move away to be with his new wife, then your sister should be with him. you should also be welcomed into the new family. you should not be left to care for your sister on your own, at the expense of your own future, nor should your sister be placed in a home to keep up appearances. none of this is fair.

my heart goes out to you. you are a good person, a great daughter and loving sister. if you feel anger and grief, that's ok.

also, it's ok to love your father and still recognize that his decision to abandon your sister and move away to start a new, easier life with a new family is a childish, hurtful choice. you can love him and still not excuse his behavior.

yes, he deserves happiness, but you and your sister deserve a father and a future. when he had you, he took on the responsibility to put your needs before his own. that's what it means to be a parent.
Originally Posted by hennabrain
I agree 100%. I'm sorry, kindred. I think you have every right to feel exactly as you feel.

((((HUGS)))) to you
have you asked your sister what she would like to do?

what about adult day care during the day?

ok - gonna play a little of a devil's advocate here -

but there are some cool looking *institutions*. what about the ones that focus on young people? some are able to hold down jobs, marry, and have a lot of social interaction. i am also guessing these are the very expensive ones too...

try not to isolate your sister and yourself during this hard time. make sure you do things for you and that your sister gets to have fun with other people too.

why would her teacher support her going to a place? do you think she has poor intentions at heart?

some other institutes also allow for the residents to have a partial say - like they're there during the week and come home on the weekends.

i see nothing wrong with looking into a lot of options for your sister and seeing what she would enjoy the best - cause it sounds like if she's happy, you'd be happy.
Hi Sweetie-

I think your feelings are written really well and really clearly...there is nothing wrong with you or how you feel right now, so please don't be so hard on yourself. Change sucks. It IS hard. There is nothing wrong with mixed feelings, esp wanting to be happy for your dad while missing your mother - there is also nothing wrong with saying those exact words to your father. He will understand. Sometimes saying it out loud is what we really need, and sometimes just having time to deal is enough.

You sound like an incredibly strong and able person who is truly compassionate to others. Be compassionate with yourself, too. One day at a time.

All the best,
L
I am so sorry that you're dealing with this. You've gotten some good starting points in terms of getting this resolved/her at home with you.
do they have conservatorship in your state? in that case, for a person with mental illness / mental disability, you can petition the court to be her conservator, take responsibility for all of her care, and get her benefit checks for her expenses. if the state is named her guardian for some reason, you may have some say in the situation as well.
I agree with everything that everyone has said.

Try talking to your father again, calmly explain to him how he is making you feel, that you understand he is grieving, but that he has responsibilities, he cannot simply abandon you both. You know what sort of father he was like before so only you can say whether his behaviour now is so unexpected. Tell him you intend to get legal aid.

I think it is admirable (and right) that you want to take care of your sister, but you are only 25, I know you are an adult, but that is still very young to be taking on such a responsibility. I would suggest perhaps looking at getting help, maybe a place for young people where she can spend the day, where they would encourage her independence (as much as she is capable of), to give you time for yourself. Do what is right for you and your sister, do not allow yourself to be left to care for her 24/7 on your own with no time for your own life. Perhaps go with her to visit some of these places, and discuss the various options you have. I understand you do not want to just put her in a home, and I do not think it would be in the best interests of your sister either. She has lost a mother, is about to loose her father and of course deserves to stay with you. On top of that there is the financial side of things-if your father leaves, how will you be able to cope? Please let us know how things progress - I will be thinking of you.
Maybe your local legal aid can help point you in the right direction. Or United Way can help find an organization to help you. I'm so sorry you have to worry about this.
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Is your sister over 18? Do you know if your father has legal guardianship over her if she is over 18?

The reason I ask is that my parents just filed for guardianship of my developmentally disabled younger sister because she is 20 and unable to make her own decisions. All of my adult siblings had to sign a form stating that we do not contest my parents' petition for guardianship. For my family, that was just a formality, but for others it can be a critical step in preventing parents from doing something that you don't feel is in your sister's best interest. If he has guardianship, then it might be fruitful to look into whether you can contest it. If he does not have legal guardianship over your sister, then I think in most states he cannot force her to live in any given situation - it is her choice.

I would definitely also suggest, as others have, contacting a lawyer who specializes in disability rights and/or guardianship cases. If your sister has a specific disability, you may be able to find a support group/non-profit for that disability that can point you in the right direction. Another good resource is ARC of America, which often has local chapters.

Finally, I've found that the Sibling Support Network to be VERY helpful. You may want to check if there is a local chapter in your area. Their listserv is also a wealth of information from people who've "been there." You may be able to find a lot of good advice from people who have been in a similar situation.

Good luck. I know you have your sister's best interests at heart.
I'm sorry you're going through this drama. You must, absolutely must seek an advocate for your sister. Too bad if it gets public, but some adult has to see to it that your sister's well-being is considered.

I've seen some lovely group homes for disabled adults. Something like that may work out for her. She could have her life and you could have yours. Then on the weekends or through the week, you could do things like many of us do with our siblings.

I've prayed for your family (including your dad) that you rely on the Lord for guidance and support as you seek government support to meet the needs.
Kindred,

Thanks for the updates. I basically agree with everything that Hennabrain said and in the exact manner that she expressed herself.

Also, I am bumping this earlier post. Have you called these agencies to schedule an appointment to come in and talk??? I believe that they are in your geographical area and relevant to the issues with your sister. Also, if I am wrong about geographical area, I bet that they could direct you to the proper places near where you live.

Good luck! I do hope that things get better soon.

Kindred,

Please consider contacting these legal agencies to at least talk over the situation and get some more information to protect your sister, and also yourself:

(legal provider specializing in several areas that seem applicable)
http://www.jfcschicago.org/p_program.cfm?cat=cs&id=7

(amazing, comprehensive list of resources in the Chicago area re: special ed and special needs, including free lawyers)
http://www.disabilityrights.org/guide3.htm

Also, please don't forget to let us know how it goes. We wish you the best.
Originally Posted by curls on holiday
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
I'm sorry that you are going through this.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
Kindred, I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of this. I've never been faced with anything like this, so I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, but you got a lot of great advice from the curlies here. I just wanted you to know I'm saying prayers that you get the help you need. Sending lots of love your way. Your mom would be so proud of you for caring so much about your little sister. What a strong, beautiful woman you are.
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