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Jenny in Florida

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Jenny in Florida last won the day on August 29 2018

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About Jenny in Florida

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  1. I was not aware of that issue with the change of address. Thank you for mentioning it. As far as I know, hers is the only name on the bank account, but, again, good advice. Thanks!
  2. I don't know if she's followed that thread in particular, but she has been reading up on relationships with difficult parents.
  3. Yes, her parents gave it to her before we did the cruise, and she just never gave it back to them.
  4. I figured I'd provide a little update in case anyone is following our little soap opera: (In the name of avoiding needing to type either "the young woman" or "my son's girlfriend" over and over, I'm just going to start using her initial, B.) B was hanging out here yesterday taking care of my friend's dog as agreed. A friend of hers came by after, as a result of some confusion, stopping by B's parents' house looking for her. B's parents apparently broke right into complaining about B to her friend, including saying that they assumed B had just "moved out without telling them." They then proceeded to tell B's friend all of the reasons they hate my son and why they think B is making a terrible mistake being with him and "choosing him over them." I don't know all of the details, but whatever it was that her friend shared with B about that conversation sent B into a complete emotional tailspin and left her huddled in the bathroom crying. I do know that, among other things, they threatened to sell the electronic piano she got last year rather than letting her take it with her. (In the past, her mother has threatened to re-home their dogs if B is not available to take care of them when they go out of town.) Finally, my son went to her and told her that, if she wanted him to do so, he would put together a posse and go to B's parents' house today and just collect all of her stuff. When I was informed of this plan, I expressed concern about how B's parents would react to this and specifically told them not to be surprised if her parents called the police. They acknowledged the risk, but decided to forge ahead, because B needs some kind of closure to at least this phase of the drama. Because none of the friends involved has a vehicle large enough to take all of the stuff and my husband felt it would be safer and cleaner if they could go in, make one trip and be done, my husband paid for the group to rent a small U-Haul. They took with them a signed note from B giving them permission to collect her belongings. Her parents did, in fact, meet them in the driveway and threaten to call the police and/or block the truck from leaving if the group tried to remove anything from the house in which B has been living until and unless B, herself, showed up and explained why she was leaving. Eventually, one of B's friends, whom the parents seem to like better than the rest of them, brokered a deal in which B would talk to her parents on the phone and they would allow her friends to remove her stuff from the house. B took a couple of tranquilizers and talked to her parents on speaker phone with her friend mediating on site at the parents' house and my husband in the room here. Again, I don't have all the details, because I was not home, but B was still talking and processing and crying about that phone call when I arrived home almost four hours later. I also know that B's father was texting one of B's friends who was not a member of the move-out posse calling my son profane names and accusing B of doing "the most f***'d up thing" by moving out. (They may have contacted other people, but this one friend reached out to B to ask what was going on.) The posse did manage to pack the truck with everything B asked them to bring, and they are now here unpacking it all into my garage. Once they are done, they are all going to Denny's for a middle-of-the-night breakfast. Tomorrow, we will sit down and make a list of action items for B to work on this week. Top of the list are closing out the checking account that is in her name but only her parents have online access to and forwarding her mail. Next is switching her cell phone away from her parents' plan. Then she can prep for the written exam so she she can get her learner's license and start learning to drive. She has already scheduled a couple of days this week to go to our friends' business and get trained for her upcoming temp job. I know it's going to be rough ahead. I so wish things had not come to this, but I hope that at least she will be able to start making some forward progress.
  5. I appreciate all of the thoughts and concerns expressed here. Let me just say, though, that the moving in with us is pretty much a done deal. She has already started ferrying stuff from her current place to our house. Her parents have created a situation that requires her to either go or stay more or less now. So, while I agree that this isn't the ideal solution, the reality is that she needs to get out of where she is and doesn't have any money with which to fund anything like renting an apartment, even with roommates. Also, without transportation of her own and without having had time to build up any of those life skills we've been talking about, she could not manage living on her own. She needs a safe place to land, and we are here to provide it. As far as her relationship with my son, well, that will be what it is. With only one blip, they have been very much a unit for over three years. In that time, she and I have developed a friendship of our own. Our willingness to help her is not dependent on her romantic involvement with our son. In these situations, I try to channel my mother-in-law, to think about what she would have done. She would have invited this young woman into her home. Period. With all of that said, this is intended to be a temporary situation. We are not her parents and have no interest in replacing them. We consider her a member of our family and are trying to be thoughtful and intentional about how to help her through a difficult transition.
  6. I have no illusions that I can bring about any particular outcome. Honestly, my own daughter struggles with anxiety and depression and, while she is doing well for the moment, I have had to come to terms with the truth that I was not able to "fix" things for her. And I never take it for granted that a period of relative stability and positivity will last. Perhaps I should have said that I hope to give this young woman the best possible chance to grow into the strongest and most capable adult she can be.
  7. All of this has been brewing for some time, long before the recent loss. And, while I don't want to get into too many personal specifics, let's just say that they haven't exactly made efforts to gather together. (Small example: They made the spur-of-the-moment to leave town and skip their daughter's graduation ceremony.) But, yes, I do get that it could look like that from the outside.
  8. Whether intentionally or not, her parents do seem to contribute to her anxiety, which is one of the reasons we are willing to have her stay with us for a bit. We are hoping getting a little bit of distance will allow her the breathing room she needs to figure out what to do next. The temp job will not be full time. It's part-time and temporary, but still a good opportunity. My own daughter actually used to work for the same business and had a good experience. The young woman has already accepted the offer. And, yes, she does plan to learn to drive while she is with us.
  9. Oh, they can't stand him. Ironically, they view him as controlling.
  10. Oh she has already accepted the desk job. It's a temp situation, covering while someone goes on vacation, but the people who run the business are lovely and tend to fold people into their business family once they connect. So, it could be a great starting point for her. Of course, the business is not within her parents' "not too far away" radius, but is close to where my son works. So, the most efficient way for her to be able to get to and from the job is to stay with us. She has also accepted the offer to dog sit for my friend for the next couple of weekends, which, again, could turn into an recurring occasional gig. She is thinking that, between the desk job and the dog sitting, she will begin to have the ingredients for a starter resume she can use to apply for other things. And staying with us is definitely intended to be a temporary thing. Because of some changes her parents are making in their own living situation, she is being forced to move somewhere more or less right away. So, either she accepts what they have offered with all of the problems I've listed, or she comes to us for the short term while she gets her ducks in a row to move on. She does very much want to work towards genuine independence. She just really doesn't have a lot of framework for understanding what that looks like or requires.
  11. I'm just going to use these two posts as a jumping off point for general responses and clarifications: She is mostly financially dependent on her parents, although when/if she returns to school, she will be entitled to a stipend that covers a good chunk of her basic needs. Public transportation is not really a viable option in our area. I agree that driving is an important life skill. One of the things on the young woman's list for while she stays with us is to learn to drive. My son and I have agreed to help her with that. Unfortunately, family counseling is not going to be a welcome suggestion. Her parents have pretty consistently refused to acknowledge that there are any "real" issues and for years ignored or refused their daughter's requests for help in that area. She had not been seen by any medical professional, even for a check up, for about eight years before we helped her arrange a doctor's appointment. She is now on medication, which is helping with her anxiety. However, because her insurance is connected to the same benefit that provides the educational stipend, she does not currently have health insurance and can't afford to pursue therapy for herself at this point. I am trying very hard to be mindful of the line between support and enabling. My son, my husband and I have had multiple conversations about making sure that we are not just letting her transfer her dependence from her parents to us. We have focused on encouraging her to learn skills, rather than just do things for her. When she first started hanging out with us, she had a checking account because her educational benefits are direct deposited, but she had never used an ATM and didn't know her PIN. She had never paid for anything with a debit card. She would not order for herself in a restaurant. She would skip eating all day if there was nothing microwaveable and no one around to cook for her or at least phone in an order for a pizza. She was too terrified to go in an Uber by herself. She now goes into stores alone and handles debit card and ATM transactions comfortably, because my son helped her learn. She speaks to restaurant servers on her own behalf and will even go out to eat with friends when my son is not around, something she would not do when they were first dating. This week, with me standing by, she learned to boil pasta. I do want to make clear that this has nothing to do with wanting to be "noble." I just love this young woman, and I want her to be able to grow into a strong and capable adult.
  12. I am trying not to assign labels or impute motivation, but, yes, it is the same young woman.
  13. I like the assigned seating, too. I'm a short person, and my experience of going to the movies is entirely different when I can sit somewhere I can guarantee a decent view of the screen without a random tall person's head in my way. I know which seats in our local theatres will do that for me, and I love being able to lock those in when I buy my tickets. Because it does actually matter to me where I sit, I would not be willing to just sit somewhere else if I came in and found someone sitting in the seat I had intentionally chosen, reserved and paid for.
  14. A young woman with whom I have a close friendship is having a difficult time figuring out how to build a positive relationship with her parents, in particular her mother, while also trying to weather a time of transition. The young woman is 21, not currently enrolled in college (earned her A.A. earlier this month and still considering possibilities for "what's next"). She does not have a regular job, but does occasional short-term gigs like pet sitting and doing a little freelance photography for friends. This week, she got an offer to temp at the front desk of a small business owned by some people we know. She is hoping/planning for a career in the arts and spends much of her time involved in that (auditioning, preparing for auditions, performing in community and amateur theatre, writing and practicing music, teaching herself to play additional instruments, etc.). She is being treated/medicated for anxiety and so has some issues to deal with in trying to figure out school and work, but she is beginning to look for a regular part-time job, auditioning for paid performance opportunities and researching bachelor's degree programs. The details are complicated, and I don't want to put out more private information than necessary, but let's just stipulate that her living situation has provided her with a certain amount of independence and a tiny bit of distance from her parents for the last year and a half or so, However, her family recently experienced a loss, not unexpected, that has set off a whole bunch of upheaval. Most significantly, her parents have decided to make changes that would require the young woman to lose that independence/distance, which she views as going backward. Again, I don't want to go into a lot of details, but her relationship with her parents, her mother in particular, is fraught, and she feels strongly that the new living situation they are offering her would be unhealthy for her. Also, from a practical point of view, the young woman does not drive, and her parents, while they attempted to push her to learn a few years ago, now say they don't want her to try, because she's too nervous and/or immature. Her parents live an inconvenient distance away from most of the rehearsal and performance spaces where the young woman is active; there are very limited options for similar things anywhere close to the parents' house, and employment options for the young woman in the immediate area are not any better. When she is there, she feels very "stuck" and isolated, and that is entirely understandable. At this point, I should probably mention that, when my children's friends have come to me over the years to complain about their parents, I have always, always tried to be a good and sympathetic listener while still trying to stick up for the parental point of view. I have consistently tried to help young folks see things from the other side and appreciate that parents, while flawed people, almost always act from love and a desire to do what they believe is best. Having known this young woman for more than three years, now, and seen interactions with her parents up close, it has become extremely difficult for me to continue that effort. This is a rare case in which I believe the situation really is about as bad as the young person perceives it to be. Currently, her plan is to pack up her stuff and come stay with us for a while, until she can put in place the pieces necessary to move on. She plans to learn to drive and acquire some basic life skills like cooking some simple meals, plus get a part-time job and get herself enrolled, possibly part-time, in college to continue working towards her B.A. Partially because she had rehearsals and performances this past week at a venue that is much closer to our house than to her parents -- significant because my son and sometimes my husband and I are her primary transportation -- and also, honestly, because she just needed a break from being at her parents', she has been staying with us for the last several days. She will be back this weekend, because she has agreed to dog sit for a friend of mine, and it works out best to have the dog here. She went home this afternoon to check in with her parents and take care of some things there and, apparently, encountered a buzz saw of unhappiness and attempted emotional manipulation. Her parents seem to believe that, since she is kind of/sort of still in college and they are willing to continue indefinitely driving her places "that aren't too far away," there is no reason for her to be unhappy with her current situation or to be looking at moving out. She has been texting me asking for advice on how to deal with her mother. I have suggested that she try to redirect the conversation by asking some questions (What does her mother think she should be doing at this stage of her life? When and how does her mother see her moving towards more independence?) and then trying to genuinely listen to the answers. Perhaps if her mother feels her point of view is being heard and respected, she will feel more involved and less powerless? And, in the meantime, the young woman might get some insight into her mother's perspective. That doesn't seem to be going well, though. It seems to come down to her mother wanting the young woman to "choose them" over the young woman's boyfriend and to just stay there being their daughter and being dependent on them. I am, honestly, at a loss as to how to help. There is a history of things getting really heated, and the young woman's father has in the past gotten physical by doing things like grabbing her arm and trying to prevent her from leaving the room. So I have let the young woman know that, while I respect and admire her desire to be there and try to continue working on things and I don't think it would do anything to dispel her mother's perception that the young woman is "ditching them," I am available to collect her if she feels unsafe. Other than that and "I'm so sorry things are so bad," I just don't know what to offer. What would you suggest? For her, mostly, but also for me, if you have thoughts?
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