Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CrazyinVA, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sometimes there is such a fine line between enabling and helping.

    My Youngest has backed herself into a corner. She's pregnant with her 2nd child, having a rough pregnancy (kidney stones and increased seizure activity). She just lost her job because of missing too much time from work, all because of the health issues. She consequently lost her child care assistance. Yet, she needs to be able to take her 2 year old somewhere from time to time, if not for his own socialization then for her own health reasons.. if she is in a post-seizure muddled haze, she can't take care of him. She is hesitant to find another job because she is likely to continue to miss work, unless they can get the health issues under control (they're trying … kidney issues are much better, but seizures and myoclonic jerks are still a concern.. she had another seizure 2 nights ago). She does receive child support from the 2 year old's father, and she gets housing assistance and food stamps. Her rent was reduced again because of losing her job. She had a car, but her fiancé totaled it a couple of weeks ago. He bought 'her' a new car … a brand spanking new Maxima with payments and insurance to match. Yeah he says he bought it for her, and he lets her drive it while he drives a clunker, but it is his. Actually it isn't even his, his credit is so bad a friend of his got the loan in his name (nice friend). He refused to even consider buying a cheaper car.

    As for this fiancé, father of the new baby: he lives with her, even though he shouldn't because she's risking losing her housing assistance. He makes a LOT of money as an independent contractor, more than I make. He does not pay his taxes, however. He also has no health insurance or other benefits. He likes to spend money on expensive things, like the car. He does not, however, pay for any rent or food, since he lives with Youngest. He will not ask the agency who he works for to hire him on as an employee vs. a contractor, because he'd 'lose too much money' in paying taxes and benefits. Never mind that his own child will not have insurance. In fact, they can't get married because of that issue. Oh, and he has a suspended drivers license, and two tickets for that (I suppose he's a difficult child too, huh?)

    Things are getting worse with his spending habits and lack of responsibility. He's going to push himself into bankruptcy, or jail, and drag her down with him. He refuses to take any responsibility for this, says he knows what he's doing. She's become 100% dependent on him, especially now that she has no car of her own. She is too sick to work, and the possibility exists that she will need serious help after the baby is born, because of the seizure risks. It's a ways off (July), but he is saying he won't take off any time when teh baby is born.. if she's going to be a 'stay at home mom' she needs to get used to it right away. He also won't help pay for the 2 year old to go to any type of day care right now, even though Youngest isn't always healthy enough to watch him. He recently told her she 'has to' stay on food stamps and rent subsidies, because he can't afford to take both on right now. He doesn't care that it's fraud. He doesn't care that he's committing tax fraud either, remember. He sure cares that he can make that huge car payment though.

    The truth is, she got herself into this mess. She ignored every piece of advice along the way and is suffering natural consequences. I've no problem telling her that.

    But now, her health is iffy. There is not one but two children affected by this mess. It's the health piece that is bothering me, and her child's safety… she can't be left alone sometimes. Fiance works 2 hours away, mostly nights. He refuses to look for a job closer to home (money again, won't give it up). In fact, he is now talking about taking long-term assignments out of state, and may be gone for weeks at a time. So, there are short-term issues, and there are longer-term when the baby is actually here, if he continues to refuse to help her despite her health issues. Last night she admitted she'd like to ask him to move out, but now she has no income, AND no car. (not that she can drive much anyway, because of the seizures. Note that her type of seizures occur ONLY at night or early morning, she's never had one during the day. She always knows they're coming.. one saving grace, I suppose). Honestly, though, I think this will just continue to fall apart until there's a crisis.

    I'm at a loss. I could try to hire someone to help, I guess. But that's his job. If he refuses to help her, though, and her health continues to be an issue, where is the line between, none of my business, detaching, and, stepping in to ensure her physical safety and the safety of her children?

    I don't need to do anything immediately, but it's something I'm beginning to think about. For now, I told her that the #1 priority was getting her health on track.

    The GOOD news is.. her dramatic behavior of a few months ago, is gone. I really think being on Lamictal for the seizures nipped that in the bud. She admits that her moods are more even now, too.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CinVA....oh I feel for you. I would have to do what I could do to ensure the health of those kids...and her really. She is your baby too. Yeah she got herself into this mess but she is sick. Are there any mothers morning out programs around her? Check into early head start. It is for kids from birth up if they have anything wrong with them even speech problems. Most kids can have something to qualify them.
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    PA has some good programs for single moms- I'm hoping VA does, too. I guess I'd help ferret out what info you can and then let her take it from there.

  4. MrsMcNear50

    MrsMcNear50 New Member

    (((HUGS))). I was in kinda the same situation with Sweet Betsy. She was so sick at the beginning of her pregnancy, she needed someone to help take care of her. I didn't see it as enableing at all, it was my childs health on the line. She made all the appts. but I spent many hours in the hospital with her. boyfriend wasn't about to do it. Back then, she put herself and Lincoln first & took responsibility. Yes, she put herself in that situation, but as far as her health, it had nothing to do with poor choices.

    You'll figure this out. It's hard to not be there for our kids when their sick, difficult child or not. Hoping Dr.s can keep the seizures at bay and she is stronger everyday.

    Prayers and Blessings,