My partner and I agreed, after about six months of heavy discussion, to allow my kid sister (she's 35) and her 3 year old daughter to live with us. Now we are regretting this BIG TIME and don't know what to do.
We have been together 5 years and have a solid relationship. Unfortunately my sister needed serious help leaving a physically and verbally abusive marriage to a total asshole. We had many talks about this together, I explained over and over what she could expect here, and how things would be. My partner and I have a 6 year old son, and are not new to the challenges of parenting.
Fast forward to two months later, which is how long she has been here. We spent right around $7000 getting her here - paid for an attorney for her divorce, had her entire house packed up and put on a truck, had her car towed here, and flew she and her daughter out from TX to PA where we live. Since she has been here we spent another $1000 repairing her car, and the overhead of having them here i.e. groceries, cable, sundries, etc. is becoming greater by the day. She has literally NO money until she begins receiving child support in about a week, but it's only $500 per month and we are not asking her to put any of it towards the bills here.
We just wanted (and told her we expected) her to get settled, and get a job, and save all of her paychecks so she could afford to get out on her own with her daughter in about a years' time. In two months she has done nothing except sit on the sofa in her bathrobe all day, every day, and chain smoke on the balcony. She NOW refuses to get a regular 9-5 job, saying "that's a dead end" and that she doesn't want to put her daughter in day care because the cost will eat up the bulk of her paycheck. This is actually true.
So she has a lot of flaky ideas about how to make money working at home, like having a website where people ask her for advice (OMG), and she would charge like $30 an hour. Or that she can start a drop-shipment business, or some other wacky idea. We've tried telling her these ideas are not realistic.
All of her belongings are in our garage; we can no longer go in there. The rest of our house is covered in toys, messes she never cleans up, and cigarette butts are all over the place outside. The list of annoying and intrusive things is endless. Of course we expected most of them; but not to this extent. But the most worrisome issue is that her daughter displays major behavioral issues way outside the realm of normal 3 year olds, due to emotional trauma. This breaks our heart, and we love the little girl. But she is VERY hard to deal with and this situation and the stress resulting from it is now causing our son to have issues he didn't before. He has developed an acute facial tic his pediatrician says is the result of stress. This makes me so sad.
In a nutshell, my sister is a goddamned basket case. She definitely has post traumatic stress, but she is also a very strong willed individual and very stubborn. She insists she is "not depressed" even though she clearly is and refuses to see a therapist or go on medication. It is all I can do to get her to take walks a couple of times per week or get out of her bathrobe!!!
The past week I have been more vocal in letting her know she REALLY needs to get an exit strategy and start focusing on how to get on with her life. She has done nada to meet anyone here, get involved in the community, get her daughter into playgroups or activities, etc. I have presented many opportunities to her in this aspect and she ignores them.
Now my partner is becoming so stressed out by the money we are spending, her shitty attitude, and laziness. He resents me as well because I reassured him many times that things would not be this way - and they are. My niece wakes us up every morning at 5 am with her shrieks and screams, and it goes on all day and through the night. We can escape to work during the day, but evenings are hellish.