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Messages By: vecna18

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September 30, 2005, 2:48 pm CDT

Concerned about a friend

I have deep concerns about an extremely kind woman that I worked with when I was working my way through college. They say that fiction is never as bizzare as truth and I feel that this situation typifies that statement. Let me explain. 


As I said I used to work at an office while I was persuing my undergraduate degree and met a woman their who was my coworker. She was in her mid to late 50s, I was 18 at the time and she really took me under her wing there. We would talk alot more than work, she would listen to alot of the concerns that an 18 year old starting college and his first job would have, and was just extremely supportive of me. At the end of my two years of work there she seemed very upset that I was leaving and I will always remember the goofy photoshop letter that she printed off for me that day. While I'm not extremely close with her today, as will become apparent later, I definately care for her. 


I no longer live in that town, but my mother still does and works with her at her primary job. Throughout my time working with her I knew that she had cancer and was constantly in treatment for it. Despite the gravity of every situation she was faced with, she would always make it through and get a brief respite from the cancer. She has reached the limit of radiation treatment that is allowed and is currently in remission, but given her past pattern she will likely be faced with a resurggence of the cancer. Essentially she is faced with an indeterminate amount of time to live, but deep down I know that eventually the cancer will win out. 


During all of this she was dealing with a particularly insane situation regarding her immediate family. Allow me to explain. Prior to my knowing her there was an incident where her mid 20s aged son who is a drug addict battered her. He had a pattern of abuse and, obviously, this seriously angered her husband. Not wanting to see her son get in trouble, and this makes no sense to me, they decided to blame the incident on her husband and he ended up in anger managment therapy. While he does have some anger issues himself he has never, to my knowledge, been violent towards his wife. During the course of this therapy he confided to the counselor the truth of the incident and the counselor urged him to confront the truth and get them away from her son. 


My friend refused, and the situation soon grew worse. Her son got a girl pregnant, also addicted to drugs, and leeched off of her throughout the pregnancy. Throughout the pregnancy my friend seemed in her own world regarding the pregnancy and was very happy about the whole process. She felt these things despite the fact that the mother continued to drink and use drugs during the pregnancy and it seemed almost certain that CPS would take the baby from her when it was born. 


She has gone back and forth on kicking her son out and he always ends up living with them again or leeching resources from them. Her husband has threatened divorce and has lived in and out of the house over all of this, but seems to have finally settled back in with her. Her friends repeatedly see her out at the grocery store, struggling through pain to push the cart while her son and his girlfriend lag behind. Her son takes her own painkillers and she allows this and freely admits it. Her rationale is that it is just too much of an ordeal to go against him, so its better to just break down. 


I know this woman is very caring and is blinded by some sense because this is her son. She is faced with the prospet of death and the hands of chronic cancer and should not have to be put in this situation. I know I can now do very little. My mother and her co workers have tried to get through to her, but have had no progress with this. Everytime I talk with my mother I hear about this and it saddens me greatly. I know I can do very little personally and while spending time with my mother recently I said jokingly, "They should go on Dr. Phil". As I thought about it I figured, why not give it a shot. So here I am hoping that I might be able to get some advice concerning this situation or possibly a trip on the show. I realize they would have to conset to someting like that, not me, but making a post about it can't hurt anything I suppose. 


To those of you that made it through my sprawling, scatterbrained writing, I appreciate it. I'm sure you had serious doubts if I would ever get to the point and I apologize for that. Thank you for soldiering through! :) 


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September 30, 2005, 3:11 pm CDT

My soon to be in laws...

Ok, I have a classic situation that I at least feel like venting out. Comments are welcome. 


I've been living with my girl friend for about 4 months now, but we've dated for almost 2 years. We, with the exception of one or two issues, are very happy together and I recently told her that I'm planning on proposing to her by the end of the year. I'm working on my PhD and she has a decently paying job so things seem to be rolling along. 


Then there's the inlaws! My parents have met my girlfriend and seem to like her, but my girlfriend's mother is another matter. She has more than a passing dislike for me and when we are in the same room together the tension rises as we make certain to have total civility towards one another and not make eye contact.  


Why doesn't she like me? Well it wasn't always this way, when we first started dating she seemed to love me. My girlfriend was shocked because she never liked any of her boyfriends and used to ask, "What did you do to her?". This all changed after we seemed to break up, but patched things up relatively quickly. At this point she was totally opposed to us dating and it was some time before my girlfriend told her we were together again. Her reasons were this, I'm not Catholic, I'm younger than her, and I don't make alot of money. At one point she told my girlfriend she didn't think she could come to the wedding if we got marriend because it would not be a Catholic wedding. My girlfriend doesn't care about any of these issues and has even converted, but not told her mother.  


What is so bad about all of this? You're thinking, "Lots of inlaws don't like their kid's choices". She has  expressed this by pitching absolute hissy fits and starting the worst fights with my girlfriend that have brough her to absolute tears. According to my girlfriend, she has a bad temper and tends to use fear to manipulate her family members and to "rule" the family.  


I have alot of issues with this. I'm not one that will let myself be ruled by a coward using fear to manipulate others. Knowing her dislike for me, I have very real concerns about her spending time with my potential children and it makes me downright upset that she behaves in this way towards my girlfriend. The last time we met she did not say hello or goodbye to me and followed my girlfriend and I around throughout the house as if to chaparone us. The rest of her family has no problem with me. Her brother, sisters, and father like me fine and don't have any real issues so long as my girlfriend is happy and I treat her right.  


During our last visit one of my girlfriend's sisters brough a boy home and he was clearly going out of his way to suck up. I don't work that way I guess. I was nice, cordial and friendly to all of her family, but her mother simply was not receptive to it. I guess I won't jump out of my seat to go and try to please her.  


She's ended up saying that she would come to the wedding, but I am very worried at the prospect of enterning in this relationship with her. Its not enough to make me not want to marry my girlfriend, but I guess I'm just looking for a good way to manage it. I have my problems with her, and dislike her, but I'm willing to put forth a good faith effort to try and have a good relationship with her. She's doesn't seem to be receptive to that, so what to do. Just "manage" it from meeting to meeting or what? Those of you that have gone through this, please throw me a bone! 


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