It’s hard having someone in the family that isn’t very capable of taking care of themselves as then your whole life revolves around that person, not leaving much room for your own needs. You can’t really run away from it, especially if you’re living together and even if you refuse to be the caretaker, knowing that you’re abandoning a family member can make you feel really guilty and cause friction with other family members.

Reddit user TiredSister87524 has to face this dilemma herself because she has a mentally ill sister that she has taken care of for her whole life. And now that she is getting married, she is expected to make the sister a bridesmaid; however, she would rather not and is asking if she’s a terrible sister for that.

More info: Reddit

This woman doesn’t want her mentally ill sister to be her bridesmaid but has received a very negative reaction from her family

Image credits: Lee Haywood (not the actual photo)

The narrator of the story is a 25-year-old woman named Sarah who has a 27-year-old sister who is mentally ill. It is quite serious as she requires constant monitoring and she can’t function as a normal person. The original poster (OP) doesn’t reveal what her sister is diagnosed with, but she reveals that “her needs are complex and sometimes conflicting. She has had a number of diagnoses and misdiagnoses over the years, along with bad reactions to medications” in the comments.

Sarah ended up taking care of her sister her whole life because when she was 8, her dad had a stroke, so her mom couldn’t do everything by herself. The OP has two older brothers, but it seems that they weren’t as involved. When Sarah’s dad passed away, she was 19 years old and now the mom is the sister’s primary carer.

25-year-old Sarah has an older sister with severe mental illness and as long as she can remember, she has had to take care of her

Image credits: TiredSister87524

Through the years, there were several occasions when the sister did unforgivable things that Sarah brushed off because she understood that it was the illness’ doing

Image credits: TiredSister87524

Sarah reveals how difficult it has been living with a mentally unstable sister and what nasty behavior she had to endure. The OP feels like she burnt out over the years of being the understanding sister and feels like there is no more real sisterly connection between them.

The woman thinks that her sister does love her in her own kind of way and can be really sweet at times, but it doesn’t last long and even though anyone would say that Sarah is a very loving sister, the only thing she can feel towards her older sister is apathy.

Image credits: TiredSister87524

Because of her experience, Sarah doesn’t want to make her sister a bridesmaid as she knows what might happen

Image credits: TiredSister87524

The woman repeats several times in the comments, responding to people’s opinions, that she doesn’t forget that her sister is mentally ill and her actions are not her fault but a result of the disease that keeps her captive.

Having that in mind, Sarah doesn’t want her sister to be her bridesmaid because as long as she remembers, every single time there was an event when she should have been the center of attention, her sister has had to disrupt it in some way.

Image credits: TiredSister87524

Sarah still wants her sister to be at the wedding, but just as a regular guest

Image credits: TiredSister87524

However, this angered the mother and her brothers who thought that would devastate the older sister

Image credits: TiredSister87524

The OP still wants her sister to be at the wedding, but just as a regular guest so her mom will be able to keep an eye on her. Also, bridesmaids are usually people you care about the most, so a sister she lost a connection with wouldn’t meet that requirement.

It troubles Sarah because she knows that there is a tradition in her family to always choose sisters as bridesmaids. Even saying the thought out loud to her mom and brothers led to a conflict. Her mom especially expressed her disappointment, saying that she’s not sure if she can hope for Sarah to take over the sister’s care when the mom is too old for that.

Image credits: TiredSister87524

Sarah is on the verge of giving up to not upset her family but wanted to know if she was the only one who thought this wasn’t right

Image credits: TiredSister87524

The reaction of her relatives and her own doubts made Sarah think that she is an evil person. At the same time, she feels like she has an obligation to make her sister a bridesmaid, but that’s a wedding decision she should want to make willingly.

Other Redditors thought that it’s her big day and she shouldn’t give in to the pressure of her family. Some of them suggested giving the sister a different role in the wedding so that she won’t feel left out. Others pointed out that if she wasn’t a bridesmaid in the brothers’ weddings, why should Sarah make her one?

She definitely isn’t alone as other redditors fully supported her decision and reasoning