National Eating Disorders Association

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Hi. I am having ongoing difficulties with my sister who moved in I guess by now about four months ago. She is very difficult to live with, and communicate with. She does not share in house hold duties, she does not share in the kitty for household expenses, because she doesn't use toilet paper, napkins or tissues. Now in her car she has a case of toilet paper in the back seat. I asked her if she planned on sharing it. She said a few rolls. I said how many is that. She said a few. I asked her if she wanted me to bring them in the house as she is sick and often weak. She said no she will bring them in. I said we only have to or three rolls left, do you know when you'll bring them in and how many you will share. She said I will bring them it. Since she was so evasive, I went out and bought my own case of toilet paper at a good price. I then went into her room and said I wanted to talk. I said we seem to have a problem with communication. I said you are very elusive with your answers when I ask you a question. She said I answered you. I said I would give you some TP. I said but you didn't give me a complete answer. She said I can not expect to expect her to answer the way I want her to.

My question is do you think she was communicating or being evasive? This is how she is with everything. But she drills me to the last degree when she wants to know something about me.

I am finding it very stressful. My parents expect me to let her do her own thing. Never ask her about the kitty, ask her if she cleaned, never ask her if she did x y or z. She gets to do whatever she wants to do period.

This is all causing me so much stress and then to have my parents blame me for tension in my relationship with my sister.

It has not affected my behaviors. I have not self-injured
and my eating is becoming more normalized as I am forcing myself to eat even if it makes me feel sick. So I am proud of that. There are days I want to and then there are days I don't think about it. I thank God for that. If anyone has any insight on what to do with my sister or my parents, please let me know. Thank you. iwanttolive

It's hard to help without

It's hard to help without knowing the whole situation. We can only see her behaviour through your eyes, maybe there could be an explanation for it you didn't consider, maybe... I don't know. From what you told us, it would appear she's quite elusive and she's used to it. Chances are she has no idea how unusual her way to communicate is.

I would suggest

Getting your own apartment. Tell her if she doesn't want to answer your questions, that's fine, but that you will be moving to your own apartment. I find it to be one of the only alternatives to keep your sanity. See how she responds. Maybe your parents can take care of her.

re: communication

Hey iwanttolive--I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. You're doing this really incredible generous thing by helping give your sister a safe place to live and she seems to be responding ungratefully. That must be so frustrating for you. Relationships between sisters are always so fraught, I feel like they're either really intimate and supportive or really destructive just because we know our sisters so well and vice versa.

If I'm remembering correctly from your past posts about this, you don't really have a choice about living with her, whether because of family politics or because you care about her even though she's behaving this way. The only thing I can think of is to have one intentional conversation where you talk about what's going on and set some ground rules (ie: "You will buy new toilet paper every 2 weeks," "You will clean the bathroom once a month," etc.). It seems like she's not super willing to have a relationship with you right now so maybe you don't even have to introduce it with any language about the emotional toll this is taking on you, but just make it clear that you need to have some ground rules if you're going to make living together work.

I've had some shitty roommates in the past and sometimes setting up these ground rules can help relieve some of the tension, just because then you're creating a dialogue in which they have space to reject one of your ideas if they think something might work better. And once you've agreed on a way forward, it's not only something you both decided together, but it's also out there in the open in black and white. I'm not sure if you've already tried something like this though and she's still not respecting it.

Again, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. But congratulations on continuing to be symptom-free--that's so impressive and we're all so proud of you!


Good morning dropthemetaphor,
Thank you so much for you kind and thoughtful response. Unfortunately I did try to have a talk with my sister. I asked her if the bag of toilet paper in her car was for the household. She said some. I asked how much is some. She said some. Since she is ill most of the time I asked her if she wanted me to bring it into the house, NO I will she said. When I got back from buying our own, my other roommates and mine from the kitty we both put money we put into, my sister doesn't, I asked my sister if we could talk. I explained to her that it is very difficult to communicate with her as she is very evasive and doesn't give answers. She said she told me we could use some tp. I said you did not say how much or when you would bring it in.
She is like this with everything. Very nosy about my every move yet unbending when it comes to things about even stupid things like tp. My parents told me to not ask her any questions about did you dust, or I can't think now but no questions, just let her do her own thing. SO ....

Thank you again for your suggestions. It is very difficult but God will give me the strength and I will survive!!! iwanttolive