Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Happiness at what price?

on January 18, 2010

I am kind of in a quandary, again, about one of my friends. Am I too nosy? Do I insert myself into my friend’s lives too much? I really work my hardest to be non-judgemental. I know that we all have to do what we feel is best for ourselves and our families, but this particular friend of mine has done something that I just really feel to be exceptionally grievous and it affects the lives of several other people, including and especially her children.

A bit of background. She and I became friends in the 6th grade. We were good friends until she changed schools because her mother was a teacher at a nearby school which was in a better school district. Can’t blame her mom there, I’d do the same thing in her shoes. We stayed in touch, we did live in the same town, after all.

After high school, she got herself in some really bad situations, in particular, she wound up pretty heavily in a drug-using crowd. I begged her, pleaded with her to get away from those people, fearing the worst for her. She shrugged off my concerns and distanced herself from me. I’m not really a sanctimonious type, but when I see people I care about putting themselves in real jeopardy, I can’t stand idly by without speaking my mind.

She finally pulled herself out of that pit and went to college where she married her sweetheart, whom we both thought was a good guy. She’s 5ft tall in heels and 100lbs soaking wet in all of her clothes.  He was a big guy who took a liking to beating her. They had three children, two boys and then a girl, who all witnessed his treatment of her and thought it to be normal. The natural progression was for her sons to be disrespectful and rude to her, they thought that was what they were supposed to do. She finally divorced him, but never really received any financial, or other, support from him and was trying to raise her children on her own.

I happened to run into her at a bank one day and she caught me up on all of her news. He had met a woman from China online and moved there. And she was dating a man and very happy. Great. That’s fantastic.

Not long after our chance encounter, she called t tell me she was moving to Southern California to be with this man because that’s where he grew up and he wanted to go back there. Nevermind the fact that he didn’t get along with her two sons, he found them to be rude and disrespectful, surprise. So, what does she do? She dumps her boys off on her mother, who is not well, and a family friend, and takes the daughter with her to be with this guy in LA.

Once again, I begged her not to do it. That it was a bad idea on many levels. And once again, she ignored me and did what she wanted to do, not considering the consequences her actions would have on her two young sons. The youngest is 14 now I think.

Of course, what I expected to happen did. when they got to LA, he decided he really didn’t want to be with her and promptly dumped her and her daughter. Well, that’s not true, he said he wanted to still keep in touch with her daughter, he loved her like his own. What?

I talked to her not long after this had happened and begged her, again, to come home and take care of her boys. They must be feeling completed deserted. First their father moves to China and then their mother leaves them to move to California for some guy. She gave me a song and dance about how she just couldn’t afford to raise them all here, which she definitely can, she just would have to make adjustments to her budget and lower her shopping habits. Then i suggested she just take her boys to LA if that’s where she wants to be. Nope, the youngest doesn’t want to come. HELLO! Who is the parent here? He’s a minor, you are his mother, you TELL him he is moving out there. Both of them.

I can’t imagine the damage done to these boys during a very fragile and weird time in their lives. They’ve been deserted by both parents, and their mother left them in favor of her daughter and a guy, who has subsequently dumped her.

My quandary is what do I do? She has found me on Facebook and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. As a parent, I see what she’s doing and think it’s really tragic. There are loads of children in the DHS system who want parents, need parents.  And here are hers who have been deserted. it makes me really sad and wonder what will become of these boys when they are older, when they haven’t had real parent figures in their lives. Or maybe they do, in the family friend who’s taking care of the older boy. The younger lives with grandma, and I have a feeling she’s a bit of a pushover, if I know her.

And what of her daughter who sees what her mother has done and thinks that children are disposable? When you get in a situation where they are sort of in the way, you just dump them off at the nearest friend’s house. who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to put her own selfish interests above the well-being of her children?

I don’t know. I want my friend to be happy, really I do. But how can I wish her happiness when I really feel what she’s done to her children is just wrong? How can I promote her happiness when there are three children who are profoundly affected by her actions?

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2 responses to “Happiness at what price?

  1. valcitygal says:

    Jeez, you’ve probably got the record on having dysfunctional friends. 🙂 Kidding.

    This situation is another doozy. What to do. On the one hand, if you’re in that supportive and optimistic type of mood, you could possibly have a good influence on her and share your wisdom and positive outlook on life in the hopes she will snap out of it and be a parent already.

    On the other hand, if she hasn’t woken up by now after 3 kids, an abusive marriage and a dud relationship, I don’t know if anything can help her. Some people just live for drama and no matter how much common sense dictates, they’ll just continue to do the opposite. It sounds like she requires professional help or therapy to help her get her on straight.

    So whatever you decide, remember that you’re not her mom. You’re her friend. As much as you want to help her out, it sounds like this one would require a huge investment in time and energy. If you’re ready to do that, go for it, she needs all the help and support she can get. She sounds like a child herself and I’m afraid that what makes her eventually grow up will be so tragic she may not recover. Very sad situation. Keep us posted.

  2. drmomx2 says:

    You’re funny! I do feel like the only sane one among my friends alot of the time. What does that say for me? I either want to fix them or am secretly like them? I don’t know. Yes, she definitely needs some serious therapy and/or counseling. I think I just realized something after reading your comment. You’re right, she is still a child and I think she still has that ‘magical’ thinking frame of mind that children seem to have. It is a sad situation and even if I had the energy and time to invest, I don’t know that I would. She’s made her bed and she’s got to lie in it, maybe not right this second, but when her sons are grown and treating women in a terrible way, maybe she’ll realize that she’s party to their behavior. Oh, and common sense, she doesn’t have much of that either, which is pretty apparent. I think I’m just going to have to keep my distance on this one. I don’t need to get involved in another mental friend’s drama. Sometimes I feel like that aunt who’s always in everyone’s business. I can’t help that I am very protective of my friends and want them to be happy. But I also realize that it’s not my job. My job, like you said, is to be their friend, not their rescuer/therapist/counselor/banker/priest/pet or anything else.

    I’ll def keep you posted. I just hope there’s no tragic event like you predict.

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