Bipolar Sister, Narcissist Boyfriend


My sister who has been diagnosed with Bipolar came to live with me and my boyfriend of 4 years. She has been in trouble financially for many years. For many years my family and myself have helped her with thousands of dollars and time. Enough is enough we thought, I chose to take her in, to see what in the name of hell is going on with her. I spent countless hours and hundreds of dollars ready for her arrival. She was moving from Tx to Ct and I was preparing her room with a tv, computer, bed… etc. Family helped get her 12 year old daughter, her three pets (needed vet checked, kennels, airline tickets) to Ct. We went thru chaos getting her out of being homeless basically, but we were so happy she was finally safe with me in Ct. I was so very happy when she arrived. Two weeks later she and my boyfriend are in love? I get kicked out of my home (boyfriend’s house in his name). I stayed on purpose for a month preparing to leave because I got word that boyfriend is indeed a Narcissist (explained a lot while living with him) and I wanted to witness the works of these two ‘evil’ beings. Make no mistake, shell shocked, battered by my pain and barely standing, literally, I could not believe what I saw in that house. My mother, daughter, my girl friends were there in the house helping ME stay sane while preparing to move out. I could care less about the boyfriend. WHAT in Gods name would compel my sister to do this to me? I could almost understand, but I have helped her incredibly in her worst time of need. Thank you Dr. Schwartz.

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I must admit that this is a horrible story. Who can blame you for feeling betrayed and confused. 

Perhaps it would help to try and think of it this way: "It could be worse, You could be married to him." In other words, you are fortunate to be out of that relationship and away from him. As for your sister, that is a lot more complicated.


You and your family had good intentions towards your sister. Well, do you remember the old saying that "Hell is paved with good intentions?" Unfortunately, it is true. Another way of stating this concept is to use the term "Enabling."  In other words, by attempting to help your sister the entire family has made it easy for her to be irresponsible.

It is true that she has a Bipolar Disorder and that is serious. Of course, there are varying levels of severity for that disorder. If she her mood swings are accompanied by audio visual hallucinations then we refer to the illness as Bipolar with Psychotic features or Schizoaffective Disorder. Either way, those symptoms are extremely serious. That is not to minimize the impact of Bipolar Disorder without psychotic features as the Mania and the Depression can be extremely dangerous.

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There is help for your sister in the mental health community without you and your family expending huge sums of your money to support her. A diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder usually qualifies a person for Social Security Income (SSI). SSI would qualify her for Medicare and Medicaid, both of which would cover her treatment for this psychiatric condition.

If she refuses this type of help then the consequences need to be her own. I sense that it was with some naivete that you and your family thought that it would be wonderful to help her. Having a Bipolar Disorder does not prevent a person from being manipulative and selfish. In fact, having that disorder often means that the person carries a personality disorder diagnosis.

I regret the fact that you have been badly hurt by your sister but I hope that it has helped you learn a lesson about "good intentions." She has a mental illness, perhaps does not take her medication, and may have a personality disorder by whose nature motivates her to manipulate people to her own purposes.

Next time do not help, do not enable and do not pave hell with good intentions. There is plenty of help for your sister in the mental health community and I have a hunch, based on experience, that she is well aware of this.

Sorry for your pain and best of luck to you.

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