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Old 09-12-2011, 10:53 PM
 
479 posts, read 760,820 times
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Sometimes, a person isn't willing to save themselves, until no other alternatives are left. If it were me I wouldn't help beyond the suggestion below.

Mental Health services for many counties have had budget cuts. But hopefully there might be a program available for your friend...such as a daytime group or individual counseling.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Wu Dang Mountain
12,941 posts, read 19,953,503 times
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I do have one question, though - you mention that this would be a hardship on your DH, an invasion of privacy, etc.

I don't quite understand how she could make that much of an impact with a MIL unit in the basement, especially if you're able to swing some sound insulation into the clean-up. There are sound-deadening ceiling tiles available, as well as thick rugs, etc. that you could add to the space to further isolate her invasive noise, yet still make it homey. Coupled with that separate entrance, it would be like having two separate apartments.

As long as she isn't subject to prolonged crying jags or loud parties, I would think the invasion of privacy would be minimal after the usual moving-in adjustment period.

I DO understand your dilemma - do you turn her away and possibly hear bad news down the line, or accept her and run the risks I've already mentioned?

Heart vs. mind - which do YOU follow?
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:58 PM
 
19,059 posts, read 22,825,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
Ok, so DH and I were in the same position. We have a MIL unit.

My Mom moved in. Unmotivated, entitled, lazy. Yes, she was supposed to help with our huge property.

No she didn't. I was stuck with her for about 15 years as she mooched off of me.

Why? Because I didn't have the heart to put her on the street.

Will you be able to do that to your friend?
Your story is my worst fear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SifuPhil View Post
The eternal struggle between the rational mind and the emotional heart.

I think in the end the instinct of self-preservation takes over. It almost seems like you're trying to do an intervention here, and that's scary ground - you can lose a lot of yourself when you attempt to rescue others from themselves. It's like rescuing a drowning person - unless you're trained and experienced in the techniques, you can end up at the bottom of the ocean too.

But obviously the friendship is strong, and in a perverse way that complicates matters. If you didn't care so much you could just say "go to hell" and be done with it. By caring, you're dropping your defenses and opening yourself up to emotional injury. Unless you know how to psychically protect yourself in a situation like that, to dissociate yourself from the situation, there will be THREE of you going down instead of just one.

"The needs of the many ... "
Damn, that's so insightful. Excellent, Phil. I will take heart and consider. Thank you.

Quote:
Just a small hint that might prove useful if you decide to go ahead and accept her into your home - charge rent. It doesn't have to be fair-market value, but it needs to be enough that she'll be shamed into finding a way to pay it. Her downward slide might even be reversed by such a tactic, and you might want to consider including it in your emailed conditions to her.

I wish you luck - I've been in similar situations with both successful and disastrous results.
I will reconsider the rent option after your comments. I'll throw it out there that I've taken in people in the past and I have been screwed by it. I used to call it "taking in strays". Although, back then, I didn't have a husband to consider or my current responsibilities. I'm just walking off a financial tight rope since my dh has been in school F/T for the past years. It's a delicate situation on that end.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,835 posts, read 81,524,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
It's pretty gross, but folk were living down there when we bought the place. She could camp it in the den for a week or so, and then be able to inhabit it. Fortunately, it's a walk out. The room by the walkout door is ok. A good scrubbing and it's ok to go.
Well, that sounds OK, but I doubt she'll stay there most of the time... Does it have any sort of a kitchenette? You said your home was quiet and she's loud. Your life will turn into hell!

Quote:
I thought it might be better here because she's a certified surgical tech and just got her first assistant cert. These are OR certs and MA probably has more medical centers and hospitals than any where in the US. Still, she's too big. She needs to lose weight first.
Then she's not totally unemployable and you mentioned she had some experience (I assume in the same field), but if she is as huge as being almost immobile, probably nobody will hire her...

Still, I just don't like this situation one bit, Braunwyn... It sounds like this is an early-life friendship, then you've both grown up in different directions, and now you feel compelled to "save" her for old times' sake, but it's way too big of a burden...
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:01 PM
 
2,650 posts, read 2,716,667 times
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I have done this and it didn't work out at all. In my case it ended much as sierra describes, the friendship was not the same after and we have since grown apart. I had very specific rules in place before hand but they were not onerous or at least I did not think so. I had no need of rent money and the like but I did not want my wife to have to pick up after him and told him he would have to clean up after himself. At the time I had young children and there would be no carrying on with women or drugs or anything whatsoever that would not be rated G. He had to actively pursue seeking a job. No excuses. That was it and it was the last one that he failed on. He started out ok but fizzled after a few weeks. If I had to do it over I would still make the same choice. I don't give up easily and it is my way to do something rather than nothing. Who knows, it may be that one day I teach a horse to sing.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:03 PM
 
11,832 posts, read 15,186,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Clearly, my dh would have to be fully on board with the compassion. It's not necessarily his nature, but he has leanings. I wouldn't do it if he flat out said no. I would hope our marriage is strong enough to survive this kind of thing. Frankly, after my twin's death, all the crap that came with that, I saw that my dh is such an amazing rock.
Being on board doesn't mean there won't be problems. And of course your husband was there for you when your brother passed, that's what a good husband does. He was worried about you. However, this is a completely different scenario.

You sound like you are a great friend and are trying to do what's best for her, but you may be failing to see the true potential for harm to your family. I don't think there's anyone here who can convince you otherwise (and it seems as though everyone here is in consensus).

Good luck. Hopefully it all works out for you.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:04 PM
 
19,059 posts, read 22,825,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SifuPhil View Post
I do have one question, though - you mention that this would be a hardship on your DH, an invasion of privacy, etc.

I don't quite understand how she could make that much of an impact with a MIL unit in the basement, especially if you're able to swing some sound insulation into the clean-up. There are sound-deadening ceiling tiles available, as well as thick rugs, etc. that you could add to the space to further isolate her invasive noise, yet still make it homey. Coupled with that separate entrance, it would be like having two separate apartments.
He's very sensitive to have anyone in his space or around his space. He loves our property because the acreage really separates us. The basement apartment doesn't have a shower. It has a half bath, so she would be up here for that. Second, she's a social person. He fears she's going to want to be up here with us. That's probably his biggest issue. Sound insulation would be key. Right now it's not so good, and I'm not sure how much we can afford in that investment.

Quote:
As long as she isn't subject to prolonged crying jags or loud parties, I would think the invasion of privacy would be minimal after the usual moving-in adjustment period.

I DO understand your dilemma - do you turn her away and possibly hear bad news down the line, or accept her and run the risks I've already mentioned?

Heart vs. mind - which do YOU follow?
We'll see. She might think the list is too much to deal with. She just applied for welfare, so that might come through. I've offered to pay for her next physical (needed for this agency she's working with), so maybe she'll pass and get a job.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,835 posts, read 81,524,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinx View Post
And of course your husband was there for you when your brother passed, that's what a good husband does. He was worried about you. However, this is a completely different scenario.
Exactly. That was her loss. This now is her turning his life upside down.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:07 PM
 
663 posts, read 981,043 times
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The biggest issue would be to separate our space. She's loud and a bit of yapper. My dh and I have a relatively quiet home.

I wouldn't underestimate the impact related to your statement above, especially because your DH is not wild about the idea of your friend moving in. Moving your friend in, it is a lot to ask of your DH, you, your lifestyle in general. I wouldn't do it.

A few years ago one of my my DH's good friends wanted to stay with us for an undetermined amount of time while he tried to work his way into a permanent promotion at the gov't agency he works for. His permanent residence is way the heck on the other side of the state from us; staying with us would have helped out his temporary budget situation (paying mortgage, possibly paying rent in our area for a certain amount of time). I like the guy and all but he talks NON-STOP and wants/needs attention constantly. He stayed with us for a weekend once and by the time he left, we were flat exhausted from all the talking. I felt hungover and hadn't had much to drink at all.

DH's friend, we turned him down on staying with us while he worked on this promotion. DH and I know what we can handle in the longer term and his friend is not it. His buddy was p'od at us for awhile but he got over it soon enough - he also eventually got his promotion when an opening came up in his local area. It all worked out. We've seen him a few times since....still a great guy, still one of the biggest talkers we've ever come across, lol. Neither one of us could EVER live with that 24-7.

Your friend....it DOES sound like you have more of an interest in helping her than she has in helping herself. You have all kinds of plans for her and I think that's great, you sound like a good friend. However, if she doesn't want these things (at all, or badly enough), your efforts will unfortunately be wasted. And then what? She will be in your home (MIL apartment?), still in the same boat she's in now; DH will probably be beyond p'od, you will be disappointed and p'od.

Is there any way you can help her out from a distance? Could you purchase a gym membership for her in her area? That is, of course, if you believe she would actually use it.

Also, if she has mentioned self-harm, she really needs to talk to someone. Of course, this is another thing no one else can make her do either.

Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:10 PM
 
Location: In my skin
9,227 posts, read 14,940,670 times
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That's a tough one. Having her own space would help. But she doesn't sound very motivated and that would be a red flag for me. You don't want to treat her like a child, but there would have to be rules with someone like that.

I've helped people like this throughout my life and they taught me to be a lot less selfless.

I do understand how you feel, though. I hope it works out, whatever you decide.
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