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Old 06-25-2013, 06:57 AM
 
532 posts, read 1,008,580 times
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Hi, good morning. I wanted to check something to see if I was being unreasonable. Brief background is that I have had MS for the last 20 years or so, then I had a bout with cancer and was then diagnosed with degenerative osteoarthritis. Cancer is over, I think, and I'm doing a lot for myself w/r/t the osteo: careful diet, consistent exercise, supplements. I'm doing well, though it's painful: I'm getting stronger (and happier) every day.

Part of my income is giving private lessons in my home (strings & piano). The mother of one of my students, whom I barely know (dad usually brings the student to lessons), sent me a message on Facebook with a link to a wheelchair she saw online. Now, I don't use a wheelchair and don't need one, thank goodness, at this point--I don't even use a cane any more, due to my rigorous health program.

IMO, this woman has boundary issues. For example, she offered to host my online business, a business which I have had for over 18 years and which is a major part of my income, with over 300 sales and informational pages online. Why she thought that was appropriate is beyond me, since (1) she's too paranoid to answer emails from anyone; (2) it usually takes from 4-6 weeks for she or her husband to print out the materials I request for their child's lesson. She and I are not friends, in other words.

I thought her offer of a wheelchair was intrusive and very inappropriate, and upset me, and scared me. The very last thing I want to do--and something which I actually fear--is to be wheeled around in a wheelchair, and lose my self-determination. I am able to walk, and there is no reason for her to think I need or want a wheelchair.

Your thoughts?
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,856 posts, read 62,876,438 times
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She went waaay over the line. Tell her no thanks (forge the part where you start with thanks, but). Do you want to lose the child as student and maybe make an enemy? Just no thanks will do it without insulting her.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
3,044 posts, read 4,316,653 times
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It sounds to me as though she's an insecure person with a deep need to be liked by others, so she tries to be "helpful." I don't know how she learned that you have had some health problems, but it appears to me that she was well-intentioned. She probably had no idea of your (quite reasonable) fear of having to be wheeled around in a wheelchair.

I'd just say, "Thanks for the suggestion," and then let it go.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:23 AM
 
532 posts, read 1,008,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
She went waaay over the line. Tell her no thanks (forge the part where you start with thanks, but). Do you want to lose the child as student and maybe make an enemy? Just no thanks will do it without insulting her.

Yes, that's exactly what I did. Don't know if they will come to their lesson today, or not. When I (*politely*) backed away from this offer on FB, she responded with sentence upon sentence in huge, unbroken paragraphs which were so scattered I didn't try to read it.

Note that this is no blanket condemnation of homeschooling: I have encountered homeschooled children who are absolutely brilliant and well trained by their parents. But, alternatively, have taught homeschooled students who have very bad grammar, and very limited general knowledge. So there is a spectrum. And this is also not a condemnation of the religious right, either, but that is her position, and she posts frequently with this perspective and other, housewifely sorts of posts which are consistent with the four children and a low level of education.

Not my cup of tea. We can't be real friends with someone if we have nothing in common, and our perspectives are so different. This sudden jumping to being close friends is not common-sensical, if that's a word. IMHO, friendship takes time and it can't happen in one week, not usually, anyway. She presumes too much, though she says "that's just the way she is," helping others, though I don't believe I need or want her help, nor did I ask for it.

I have lots of family, friends I've known for 20+ years and a boyfriend; I don't need her "help."
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:25 AM
 
532 posts, read 1,008,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon View Post
It sounds to me as though she's an insecure person with a deep need to be liked by others, so she tries to be "helpful." I don't know how she learned that you have had some health problems, but it appears to me that she was well-intentioned. She probably had no idea of your (quite reasonable) fear of having to be wheeled around in a wheelchair.

I'd just say, "Thanks for the suggestion," and then let it go.
She knows I have health challenges because I teach her child the violin, and she sees me, and that I have some wobbly moments in my ambulation. Yes, I know it's associated with her psychological makeup, and much less to do with me. She's grossly overweight, for one thing. Four children. Nearly died in a car accident last year when she was pregnant with the 4th.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,496 posts, read 25,062,160 times
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It was rude and inconsiderate of her, but it's hard to know her real motivations...maybe she has a relative with MS who is in a wheelchair and she doesn't realize that MS varies so much from person to person. My father has MS and at worst needed a cane, but my parents have a good friend with MS who needed a wheelchair almost immediately after diagnosis,

At the same time, it sounds like you look down on her and her family to the extent that perhaps you shouldn't be teaching her child. I hope you conceal your disdain for this woman, her weight, her family size, her supposed education level, the fact that she homeschools, and her religious beliefs when you're teaching the child.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:07 PM
 
532 posts, read 1,008,580 times
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@Hedgehog_Mom:

I know what you're saying, and no, I don't. They were just here and everything appears to be okay. I did learn some more about her, and the impoverished upbringing and reliance on the church. It makes sense in that context. She didn't mean any harm.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:17 PM
 
Location: The Beautiful Pocono Mountains
5,450 posts, read 8,357,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaustin View Post
@Hedgehog_Mom:

I know what you're saying, and no, I don't. They were just here and everything appears to be okay. I did learn some more about her, and the impoverished upbringing and reliance on the church. It makes sense in that context. She didn't mean any harm.
I always tell my girls to be mindful of their judgements as you don't know what others are going through. She probably saw you struggle from time to time and assumed you were suffering greatly.

She probably thinks a lot of you and was truly trying to help.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:49 PM
 
532 posts, read 1,008,580 times
Reputation: 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseyt719 View Post
I always tell my girls to be mindful of their judgements as you don't know what others are going through. She probably saw you struggle from time to time and assumed you were suffering greatly.

She probably thinks a lot of you and was truly trying to help.

She's in no position to help me, is really the issue. In the course of making conversation with her I mentioned someone I'd hired for my business who's husband is a Mexican National, and who was deported and will not be allowed to enter the country for 10 years. Mom immediately jumped to the conclusion that this woman needed her "help" with clothes, etc. How absurd. My employee is beautifully dressed, speaks English beautifully, has a new, expensive, vehicle, and her three children are well behaved, and also dressed beautifully. She has family here, I guess.

Mom has the habit of jumping to the conclusion that people need her "help," which is arrogant, I think. I do; I think it's a very bad habit. And I told her, the woman would probably be offended if she were offered "help," such as old clothes, food, etc. It's just.not.appropriate.

She told me that they only got a car with air conditioning last year, and that people "helped" them with clothes (her children wear raggedy hand-me-downs), how both she and her husband are each working two jobs to make ends meet. She's always telling me where I can buy cheap purses, and that I "must go" to this or that store where they sell things for $1. How can she "help" me? I'm sorry, it's just offensive.

You know what it's like? It's like when you talk to someone and they immediately set up this student/teacher relationship, with them as the teacher. If they truly are your teacher, that is one thing, but if they're not, it's a delusion.

Last edited by jtaustin; 06-25-2013 at 02:00 PM..
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:30 PM
 
532 posts, read 1,008,580 times
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Anyway, in conclusion, it sounds like I'm upset, but I'm not. I just wanted to see what other people would say, and if I were completely off base about this. I may be wrong; wouldn't be the first time, certainly. It's just strange.

One is reminded of the Robin Williams character in "Good Will Hunting" who says that we only let a few people into our "weird little worlds." I think most of us, if truth were known, are pretty weird.

I think what the other poster said about them liking me, may be true. She's always saying how much they love me and how much I mean to them, how her kids love me. In my little cynical world view, this strikes me as odd, though I am accustomed to children saying this to and about me. It's just that most people are much more reserved.

I'm not upset; apparently she isn't either.
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