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Sister Out of Control

Isabel wrote:

I'm 31 yrs old and my sister is 26. We're both adults, and we live together, but I can't stop worrying about the people she decides to hang out with. She has a history of consorting with unsavory characters since she turned 21, and the habit isn't dissipating at all. This isn't a phase. She doesn't seem to reject anybody that comes into her life. There's no switch in her head that says "not cool", she wants to give anyone and everyone a chance. It's as if she's unable to discriminate a good crowd from a bad crowd... or doesn't want to.

I recently discovered next to the phone a mailing address to a prison, and she admitted to writing to someone in jail. Since people in jail have access to email, I can only assume that she needs the postal address in order to mail packages to him. This is bad news, and I can only see things getting worse.

Is she so starved for attention that she doesn't care where she gets it from? Or is it a way to relieve boredom? She is equally promiscuous, has unprotected sex, and often does naked-chats online with strangers. Her so-called friends often hurt and manipulate her, but she doesn't learn from her mistakes. It's her life, and we're adults, but I can't help but be concerned. How can I turn a blind eye? She's my sister! Do I have the right to be concerned, or should I just mind my own freakin' business? If I'm right to be concerned, what can I do? This issue has come up many times before, communication has always been open, and she's aware of my worries about her lack of discrimination. Two close mutual friends have expressed the same concern to her, and she responds the same way. She insists she's not stupid, and is fully aware of the choices she makes. How can I stand by and watch her make these wrong choices over and over again? How can I help her, or reach her?

Thank you, I'd be grateful for any advice.

Dear Isabel

The key to your problem is not her behaviour, but the fact you live together.

You are both adults; her behviour is none of your business - sure, you care; so you tell her what you think. After that, it's up to her.

Nagging won't help, nor will worrying.

Move out.

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