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Jenny in Florida

Update/Spin-off of my "advice" thread:

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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.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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wow.  I hope things can start to be better for her.

has she read up on narcissistic parents?  it might help her understand and understand it really isn't her.  and how to implement boundaries. lots and lots of boundaries.

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4 hours ago, Forget-Me-Not said:

That’s rough. I’m glad she got her things. Did she ever get ahold of her birth certificate?

This would be top priority if she doesn't have it.  Birth certificate, social security card, etc.

Also be aware that when you do a change of address form quite often the post office will send a letter to the old address asking if this was for real or not. If her parents opened that they might respond that no, they don't want her mail forwarded (pretending to be her).   I would have her directly contact as many people as she can about her change of address ...esp doctors, schools, jobs, for any tax papers, etc.

Also, on the bank account, if her parents names are on it she might not be able to close it out without them signing too.  Instead (if they haven't already taken the money) have her withdrawal as much as she can and start an account at a completely different bank/credit union where he parents don't bank.

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7 hours ago, Forget-Me-Not said:

That’s rough. I’m glad she got her things. Did she ever get ahold of her birth certificate?

 

Yes, her parents gave it to her before we did the cruise, and she just never gave it back to them. 

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7 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

wow.  I hope things can start to be better for her.

has she read up on narcissistic parents?  it might help her understand and understand it really isn't her.  and how to implement boundaries. lots and lots of boundaries.

 

I don't know if she's followed that thread in particular, but she has been reading up on relationships with difficult parents. 

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3 hours ago, Ottakee said:

This would be top priority if she doesn't have it.  Birth certificate, social security card, etc.

Also be aware that when you do a change of address form quite often the post office will send a letter to the old address asking if this was for real or not. If her parents opened that they might respond that no, they don't want her mail forwarded (pretending to be her).   I would have her directly contact as many people as she can about her change of address ...esp doctors, schools, jobs, for any tax papers, etc.

Also, on the bank account, if her parents names are on it she might not be able to close it out without them signing too.  Instead (if they haven't already taken the money) have her withdrawal as much as she can and start an account at a completely different bank/credit union where he parents don't bank.

 

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!

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Well, I hope your son and his friends did the right thing, but from where I’m sitting, I think your son has lost any possibility of ever having any kind of relationship with B’s parents, and by springing this ambush on her parents, B may have also hurt and alienated them to the point where they may no longer want anything to do with her, and I think that is very sad.

Yes, I understand that everyone seems to believe that B’s parents are horrible, narcissistic people, but let’s also remember that B seems to have quite a few issues of her own, and things like her inability to do even simple things without someone coaching her through them and her seemingly severe anxiety issues might help explain why her parents have been so overly protective of her. Perhaps they know things about her that we on this forum don’t know. Maybe they don’t believe she is mature enough or emotionally or psychologically strong enough to make intelligent, informed adult decisions or live on her own. Perhaps they have some understandable reasons for feeling that Jenny’s son is trying to control her and take her away from them; she sounds very impressionable and certainly this sudden ambush with the truck won’t do anything to change those feelings, either. 

I sympathize with B. I admire Jenny’s son for trying to do what he believes to be the right thing. I certainly admire Jenny for taking this girl under her wing and doing so much to help her. I’m just not entirely sure that B’s parents are complete and total villlains Jenny’s son believes they are. I wish we could hear their side of the story. Let’s face it, I’m sure if B’s heartbroken mom was the one posting here about how her dd’s controlling boyfriend showed up with his friends and a truck to clear her things out of their home, and she explained that her dd is immature and suffers from anxiety and that she doesn’t believe she is mentally or emotionally ready for independence, we might very well be rallying behind her and hoping the dd would dump the boyfriend and return home.

I may very well be entirely off base here, but because past threads about B have led me to believe that she is very immature, I can’t help but wonder how her mom is feeling right now. Maybe she actually is a narcissistic jerk who only cares about herself, but maybe she is just a mom who did some stupid things to try to prevent her dd from disengaging with her family before she was mature enough to make independent decisions for herself. Because I haven’t seen much evidence that B is making her own decisions. It seems more like she leans on Jenny and Jenny’s son and possibly her other friends to tell her what she should do.

This is such a difficult situation. I just wish it could have been handled more gracefully. Maybe that wasn’t possible, but I wish it had been.

Edited by Catwoman
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If B's parents truly "don't want anything to do with her" because she dared to move out of their house at the age of 21, then that's pretty clear proof that their actions were more about control than love or genuine concern for her.

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4 hours ago, Catwoman said:

Let’s face it, I’m sure if B’s heartbroken mom was the one posting here about how her dd’s controlling boyfriend showed up with his friends and a truck to clear her things out of their home, and she explained that her dd is immature and suffers from anxiety and that she doesn’t believe she is mentally or emotionally ready for independence, we might very well be rallying behind her and hoping the dd would dump the boyfriend and return home..

I'm pretty sure if someone posted here that she was trying to prevent her 21 yr old daughter from moving out, and had been withholding all documents that would allow the girl to get an ID, learn to drive, or become independent in any way, and was threatening to sell her belongings and get rid of her pets if she dared to leave home, most people here would actually NOT be sympathetic. Most people would actually be telling her that her daughter is an adult and can make her own choices and the best thing to do is to keep the lines of communication open and not cut ties or try to punish her.

Edited by Corraleno
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Not to mention took a spur of the minute trip in lieu of attending her graduation.

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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

I'm pretty sure if someone posted here that she was trying to prevent her 21 yr old daughter from moving out, and had been withholding all documents that would allow the girl to get an ID, learn to drive, or become independent in any way, and was threatening to sell her belongings and get rid of her pets if she dared to leave home, most people here would actually NOT be sympathetic. Most people would actually be telling her that her daughter is an adult and can make her own choices and the best thing to do is to keep the lines of communication open and not cut ties or try to punish her.

 

I remember that, in the past when Jenny mentioned that her ds was chauffeuring B everywhere, the reason was because B was too anxious to learn to drive. It was her issue, not her parents’. 

We haven’t heard the mother’s side of the story at all. We only have B’s word on any of this. Her perception of her parents’ motivations may or may not be accurate.  She certainly doesn’t sound mature at all, and she also doesn’t seem to have made much of an attempt at any kind of independence until now — and even now, she is simply moving from one family home to another, so she still isn’t really growing up, and she still has no responsibilities to speak of. For a very long time now, she has been perfectly content to have her parents, Jenny, and Jenny’s son drive her everywhere she needed to go. And you may believe her mother is a terrible person, but B was apparently so coddled that, according to Jenny’s recent thread, B has never even learned how to boil water to make pasta, so somebody was cooking for her.  I mean, seriously, B isn’t a little child, yet she can’t even figure out how to boil water and make some pasta without someone showing her how to do it? 

Obviously, we disagree on this situation, but it seems like B is simply moving to a new place where people will take care of her. Sure, Jenny is going to work with her to try to help her become more independent, but B doesn’t seem to have much personal initiative. I’m not saying her parents are good people. Maybe they are as bad as Jenny describes them. But if the girl can’t even boil water and never had to learn to drive, her parents were obviously feeding her and driving her around, so maybe they aren’t as bad as they are being portrayed. Or maybe they’re not great parents, but they are still worried about B because she is very immature for her age, she suffers from anxiety, and she isn't particularly ambitious, so they are concerned that B isn't emotionally or psychologically ready to be in a long term, serious romantic relationship. They may also have information about B that Jenny and her son don’t have.

We really have no idea why B’s parents don’t like Jenny’s son, and we can’t even speculate on that. Jenny’s son has always sounded like a nice guy to me, but maybe B’s parents have valid reasons to be concerned about her being in a serious relationship — and I would suspect it’s more about B’s immaturity than it is about Jenny’s son. 

Again, the parents could be awful. But we are only hearing B’s side of the story, so I’m not ready to completely condemn them. 

Edited by Catwoman
Typo. I blame iPad!
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We only know what we have been told. I’m sure Jenny knows this young woman much better than we know her. Making assumptions and speculating about the specifics of this very complicated situation is probably not helpful to Jenny.  It doesn’t matter why B. needs help. What matters is supporting Jenny as she attempts to help her. 

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1 hour ago, Catwoman said:

Obviously, we disagree on this situation, but it seems like B is simply moving to a new place where people will take care of her. Sure, Jenny is going to work with her to try to help her become more independent, but B doesn’t seem to have much personal initiative. I’m not saying her parents are good people. Maybe they are as bad as Jenny describes them. But if the girl can’t even boil water and never had to learn to drive, her parents were obviously feeding her and driving her around, so maybe they aren’t as bad as they are being portrayed. Or maybe they’re not great parents, but they are still worried about B because she is very immature for her age, she suffers from anxiety, and she isn't particularly ambitious, so they are concerned that B isn't emotionally or psychologically ready to be in a long term, serious romantic relationship. They may also have information about B that Jenny and her son don’t have.

If they were so concerned about this girl's emotional and psychological well being, why did they refuse her requests to get help? This girl had not seen a medical professional of any kind for 8 years, not even for a check up! It was Jenny's family who helped her get a doctor's appointment and get the meds she needed. B says she wants to learn to drive and she has already made great progress in dealing with her social anxiety.

She recently earned an Associate degree — an important accomplishment for someone with an anxiety disorder, and something most parents would want to celebrate. They didn't even bother attending her graduation. "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 beginning to look for a part time job, auditioning for paid performance opportunities and researching bachelors degree programs." That doesn't sound like someone with no ambition who shows no personal initiative.

Jenny has known this girl for 3 years and has seen interactions with the parents in real life, and feels there is definitely an unhealthy dynamic there. B's father has physically grabbed her and tried to prevent her from leaving – we're talking about an adult woman being physically restrained by her father. Her parents don't want her to move out or get a drivers license and want her to be entirely dependent on them for transportation, but they are only willing to drive her places "if they aren't too far away." There is no public transportation available and she would have no way to get to auditions or jobs that aren't in the immediate vicinity of her parents' house. The parents are moving to a new location and are forcing B to either give up what little independence she has now or move out. They are the ones forcing that decision, and threatening to sell her belongings and get rid of her pets if she doesn't go with them. How can anyone construe that as loving concern and not an attempt to blackmail and control a 21 year old adult?

 

 

Edited by Corraleno
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32 minutes ago, TechWife said:

We only know what we have been told. I’m sure Jenny knows this young woman much better than we know her. Making assumptions and speculating about the specifics of this very complicated situation is probably not helpful to Jenny.  It doesn’t matter why B. needs help. What matters is supporting Jenny as she attempts to help her. 

 

I appreciate it that you want to support Jenny, but we speculate all the time on this forum. I don’t like the current trend of acting as though the only appropriate posts are those that are 100% unquestionably supportive of the OP.  That’s not much of a discussion. 

For what it’s worth, I did say that I admire Jenny and her son for helping B.  But that doesn’t mean I have to agree that showing up unannounced at B’s parents’ house and announcing that they were going to pick up her things was a good idea, and it also doesn’t mean that I can’t feel a little sorry for B’s mom and wonder how she views this situation after a determined “posse” of young adults appeared at her home. Even if Jenny is right and she is not a great mother, it was still an awful way for her to find out that her daughter was moving into her boyfriend’s parents’ home. 

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34 minutes ago, TechWife said:

We only know what we have been told. I’m sure Jenny knows this young woman much better than we know her. Making assumptions and speculating about the specifics of this very complicated situation is probably not helpful to Jenny.  It doesn’t matter why B. needs help. What matters is supporting Jenny as she attempts to help her. 

i think it's perfectly fine for Cat to politely express a different opinion and the idea that some caution may be called for and that all facts aren't known. Supporting someone does not mean never bringing up other points of view. 

 

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I just want to represent the dysfunctional families out there...I know from experience, and from years of history knowing other hot messes of families, that any attempt to stop the dysfunction (from any side) is guaranteed to be a mess. It has to be. There's no normal, mature and supportive leave-taking when everything leading up to the moment has been a mess. I mean, if you've grown up as I have, and as sadly too many families have, be thankful that there was no gunfire or calls to the police. 

I'm not being flippant. I'm saying if a person has never gone through trauma in the family of origin - and it's always lots of people's fault, no sense at all in trying to parse it out from here - you just can't understand that the why's and the reconciliation are necessarily Tomorrow's Business. Today's business is for Jenny and family to help the daughter. I hope there's somebody helping the parents, but that is not the role that fate has allowed Jenny. She is doing what she can.

It may take B another 20 years to begin to understand her upbringing. She needs peace for today. Help to move forward. Patience with the pace, however slow. Wise friends who can help her find some professional help. Genuine understanding and family reconciliation may also require professional help, and it may be one step forward, two steps back, when/if it does happen. 

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I can only imagine the responses if the situation were flipped and someone posted about a 21 year old woman they were close to who wanted to move out of a home she shared with a husband or boyfriend. The guy doesn't want her to drive, tries to keep her from getting access to documents that would allow her to get a license or a passport or even enroll in school without his permission, he sometimes physically restrains her from leaving the house when she wants to leave, he insists that the other people in her life who love and care for her are wrong and controlling and only he has her best interests at heart, now he's trying to force her to move farther away from her support network, to where she would be even more dependent on him, and he's threatening to get rid of her possessions and pets if she moved out.

Who's first instinct is going to be worrying about the poor heartbroken hubby? Hey, maybe he's a really nice guy who genuinely has her best interests at heart, and maybe he has good reason for wanting to isolate her from friends and family, and maybe he's hiding her documents because he knows what's best for her. The fact that she hasn't left him yet proves he can't be all bad — after all, he drives her where she wants to go (assuming it's within a distance that's acceptable to him), and he provides her with food, and when she needs to show ID he goes with her to show the documents and then immediately hides them again — for her own good, of course. 

Red flags are still red flags, even when it's the parents who are waving them.

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8 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

I just want to represent the dysfunctional families out there...I know from experience, and from years of history knowing other hot messes of families, that any attempt to stop the dysfunction (from any side) is guaranteed to be a mess. It has to be. There's no normal, mature and supportive leave-taking when everything leading up to the moment has been a mess. I mean, if you've grown up as I have, and as sadly too many families have, be thankful that there was no gunfire or calls to the police. 

I'm not being flippant. I'm saying if a person has never gone through trauma in the family of origin - and it's always lots of people's fault, no sense at all in trying to parse it out from here - you just can't understand that the why's and the reconciliation are necessarily Tomorrow's Business. Today's business is for Jenny and family to help the daughter. I hope there's somebody helping the parents, but that is not the role that fate has allowed Jenny. She is doing what she can.

It may take B another 20 years to begin to understand her upbringing. She needs peace for today. Help to move forward. Patience with the pace, however slow. Wise friends who can help her find some professional help. Genuine understanding and family reconciliation may also require professional help, and it may be one step forward, two steps back, when/if it does happen. 

 

This was lovely and very helpful. Thank you.

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I'll express a somewhat different concern: Jenny, how free is your son going to feel to break up with her if your family is her primary emotional and practical support? I know this is not something you anticipate happening, certainly not anytime soon, but they are both quite young and her plan for getting even marginally independent seems like it will take quite some time. Like years. As much as I might want to support another young person, my main worry in life is my young person, and it would be very easy for the 'rescuer' in the relationship to feel trapped. 

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2 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

I remember that, in the past when Jenny mentioned that her ds was chauffeuring B everywhere, the reason was because B was too anxious to learn to drive. It was her issue, not her parents’. 

We haven’t heard the mother’s side of the story at all. We only have B’s word on any of this. Her perception of her parents’ motivations may or may not be accurate.  She certainly doesn’t sound mature at all, and she also doesn’t seem to have made much of an attempt at any kind of independence until now — and even now, she is simply moving from one family home to another, so she still isn’t really growing up, and she still has no responsibilities to speak of. For a very long time now, she has been perfectly content to have her parents, Jenny, and Jenny’s son drive her everywhere she needed to go. And you may believe her mother is a terrible person, but B was apparently so coddled that, according to Jenny’s recent thread, B has never even learned how to boil water to make pasta, so somebody was cooking for her.  I mean, seriously, B isn’t a little child, yet she can’t even figure out how to boil water and make some pasta without someone showing her how to do it?  

 

I think it's difficult to understand this kind of dynamic unless you have seen it up close. My own relationship with my parents was not the same in either specifics or degree, but there are certainly resonances. The way I used to describe my experience was that it was a corrupt bargain I hadn't been aware I had made: My parents were willing to do "everything" for me, but the price was that I gave up the right to have opinions or feelings or even memories or perceptions that did not align with theirs.

Essentially, there is a fine line between being indulged and being stunted and/or controlled. (When you have been told repeatedly over a period of years that you are "too nervous" or "too clumsy" or "too immature" or too anything else to be capable of learning to do basic life things at the same time that the people telling you that are "generously" willing to "coddle" you by doing things for you, it's pretty tough to see why it's worth trying to make big changes.)

For what it's worth, though, I have never and will never say that B's parents are "terrible people." It's not my place to make that kind of judgment. And we had a long conversation last night about how it's not fair to ascribe motivation or emotions to another person's actions. All we can do is own how the other person's actions make us feel and how we react to those feelings. 

Also for what it's worth, what I mostly feel about this whole situation is sadness for everyone involved. This break has been a long time simmering, but I still wish that things could have gone a different way. In the end, though, B is part of our family, in need of support and deserves the right to decide for herself what kind of support she needs.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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21 minutes ago, katilac said:

I'll express a somewhat different concern: Jenny, how free is your son going to feel to break up with her if your family is her primary emotional and practical support? I know this is not something you anticipate happening, certainly not anytime soon, but they are both quite young and her plan for getting even marginally independent seems like it will take quite some time. Like years. As much as I might want to support another young person, my main worry in life is my young person, and it would be very easy for the 'rescuer' in the relationship to feel trapped. 

 

Actually, we have talked about that with both our son and B. As I've mentioned, B and I have developed a fairly close relationship over the last three years, and we would be offering her help and a safe place to land even if they were not a couple. 

And while it is true that B's journey towards some kind of independence is not going to be quick, we have all agreed that having her here with us is not the long-term plan. This is a temporary response to a crisis situation. The plan is to kind of triage and help her take care of some of the foundational stuff so she's more prepared to take next steps. 

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22 minutes ago, katilac said:

I'll express a somewhat different concern: Jenny, how free is your son going to feel to break up with her if your family is her primary emotional and practical support? I know this is not something you anticipate happening, certainly not anytime soon, but they are both quite young and her plan for getting even marginally independent seems like it will take quite some time. Like years. As much as I might want to support another young person, my main worry in life is my young person, and it would be very easy for the 'rescuer' in the relationship to feel trapped. 

 

I agree.

And worse yet, what if he thinks this kind of relationship is the norm, and he doesn’t realize that most relationships are far more equal and that the average girlfriend doesn’t even require a small fraction of the support that B needs?  Jenny’s son was quite young when he and B got together, and I remember having noticed at the time that she became extremely dependent on him very quickly. I shouldn’t admit this because I’m sure it makes me sound like a terrible person, but at that time, I specifically recall having thought that if my ds started dating a girl as needy as B, I would advise him to RUN. 

You made such a good point about worrying that Jenny’s son may eventually feel trapped, yet unable to break up with her because she has become so dependent on his family. He sounds like such a kindhearted guy, and I truly hope that B deserves him, because he has gone so far above and beyond to help and support her.

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5 minutes ago, Jenny in Florida said:

 

Actually, we have talked about that with both our son and B. As I've mentioned, B and I have developed a fairly close relationship over the last three years, and we would be offering her help and a safe place to land even if they were not a couple. 

And while it is true that B's journey towards some kind of independence is not going to be quick, we have all agreed that having her here with us is not the long-term plan. This is a temporary response to a crisis situation. The plan is to kind of triage and help her take care of some of the foundational stuff so she's more prepared to take next steps. 

 

I think that sounds like a very good plan. I feel sad for B, and I’m glad you are not just helping her by giving her a place to stay, but that you are also working with her so she will be able to function on her own. Without her parents to fall back on, she might surprise you (and herself!) by being a lot stronger and more competent than anyone would have expected. You are smart to help her through the basics so she won’t get overwhelmed and give up. Small successes will hopefully lead to more confidence. 

You are doing such a good thing for her, Jenny.

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6 minutes ago, Jenny in Florida said:

 

Actually, we have talked about that with both our son and B. As I've mentioned, B and I have developed a fairly close relationship over the last three years, and we would be offering her help and a safe place to land even if they were not a couple. 

And while it is true that B's journey towards some kind of independence is not going to be quick, we have all agreed that having her here with us is not the long-term plan. This is a temporary response to a crisis situation. The plan is to kind of triage and help her take care of some of the foundational stuff so she's more prepared to take next steps. 

That's great that you're having these discussions, but it's hella hard to get rid of someone once they're in your house, kwim? Where else is she going to go? Maybe it's just a difference in terms, seeing 'long-term' differently. To me, helping someone get on their feet when they have no money and no job is a long-term effort. 

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1 minute ago, katilac said:

That's great that you're having these discussions, but it's hella hard to get rid of someone once they're in your house, kwim? Where else is she going to go? Maybe it's just a difference in terms, seeing 'long-term' differently. To me, helping someone get on their feet when they have no money and no job is a long-term effort. 

 

We recognize the risk, but decided it was the most feasible plan.

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1 minute ago, katilac said:

That's great that you're having these discussions, but it's hella hard to get rid of someone once they're in your house, kwim? Where else is she going to go? Maybe it's just a difference in terms, seeing 'long-term' differently. To me, helping someone get on their feet when they have no money and no job is a long-term effort. 

 

That’s so true. It will be hard to tell B that it’s time to leave if B has already settled into the household, and if she still isn’t making enough money to support herself. And it’s even more complicated because of the romantic relationship between B and Jenny’s son. It could certainly get very tricky. 

Jenny, will you be setting any kind of deadline for how long B can live with you, or will you be playing it by ear and seeing how things go for a while before you decide? How does your son feel about it? If B moves out, will your son be moving along with her? Or is all or this still so new that no one has really made any concrete plans? 

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26 minutes ago, Jenny in Florida said:

 

I think it's difficult to understand this kind of dynamic unless you have seen it up close. My own relationship with my parents was not the same in either specifics or degree, but there are certainly resonances. The way I used to describe my experience was that it was a corrupt bargain I hadn't been aware I had made: My parents were willing to do "everything" for me, but the price was that I gave up the right to have opinions or feelings or even memories or perceptions that did not align with theirs.

Essentially, there is a fine line between being indulged and being stunted and/or controlled. (When you have been told repeatedly over a period of years that you are "too nervous" or "too clumsy" or "too immature" or too anything else to be capable of learning to do basic life things at the same time that the people telling you that are "generously" willing to "coddle" you by doing things for you, it's pretty tough to see why it's worth trying to make big changes.)

For what it's worth, though, I have never and will never say that B's parents are "terrible people." It's not my place to make that kind of judgment. And we had a long conversation last night about how it's not fair to ascribe motivation or emotions to another person's actions. All we can do is own how the other person's actions make us feel and how we react to those feelings. 

Also for what it's worth, what I mostly feel about this whole situation is sadness for everyone involved. This break has been a long time simmering, but I still wish that things could have gone a different way. In the end, though, B is part of our family, in need of support and deserves the right to decide for herself what kind of support she needs.

It can be hard to see it unless you have been submerged in it for a period of time - and know what is healthy!

my mil is nuts - not nearly as bad as my grandmother - but nuts. when dh and sil were in college, they lived in the college town and their friends knew their mother.  they thought she was the life of the party.  she went to central America for a year, and sil invited several of her friends to live in the house with her.  mil's visa was delayed.  sil apologized profusely, and assured them it was "only for a month".   her friends who had moved in assured her it was "no problem", and "they were happy to have her"...…  28 days later "WHEN IS SHE LEAVING?????"  dh and sil still have contact with friends from college who know their mother.  they hear the stories and are sure they're just exaggerations. (and will ask for reassurance they're just 'exaggerating'.)  except for the four girls who actually lived with her for a month.  they understand there was zero exaggeration.

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1 hour ago, fairfarmhand said:

@Catwoman  I tried to send you a pm but it says you’re not receiving messages....

(sorry op)

 

Sorry! Fixed it! Hopefully, it will work now. 🙂

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9 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

Sorry! Fixed it! Hopefully, it will work now. 🙂

Rats! Still no luck.

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1 hour ago, fairfarmhand said:

Rats! Still no luck.

 

That’s so weird! I just sent you a PM — I hope you get it!

 

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