I have always tried to be available to my friends, whatever they’ve needed, I’ve tried to be ‘there.’ I’ve taken friends into my home when they were in need, I’ve included them in family activities, family dinners, holidays, etc. I’ve shared furniture, appliances, clothing, whatever I could.
My Dad was someone who helped anyone he could. He always had an open door to friends and family. That is one thing I learned about him, after my parents divorced that I’d never known before, that I very much admired.
My friend of 39 years, whom I’ve written about many times before, whom I’m terribly concerned about, has finally reached a point in her life where I don’t think anyone can help her.
She recently revealed that her father will not be able to help her by paying her rent any long. January 1, 2017 she will again be responsible for paying her own rent. Her son is planning to move out on his own again as soon as he can find a place to rent.
She’s working 25 hours a week at $9 an hour, therefore doesn’t have enough income to pay rent, utilities, her phone contract, her health insurance, medical bills, transportation and groceries.
She’s had a full year to look for a better paying job, but hasn’t put in more than 2 applications, most of which are now completed online. She’s not saved a penny toward a possible security deposit and first month’s rent. She’s not even so much as looked at a paper to see what apartments are available or what rents are in this area.
She has there months to get her life together and stand on her own feet. She’s told me she will look into public housing and what help she can get. I used to help people put in applications for public housing, refer them for financial help, so I know there is a one to two year waiting list for public housing in this area and the only people who get priority consideration are persons with disabilities and the elderly. Financial help from charities is often consumed during the first half of each month and by the end of the year many of them have exhausted their funds until the new year.
I asked her what she intended to do when she couldn’t pay rent in January, when she has to find another apartment. How could she not be freaking out? There’s no way she can get a different job, save enough money for security and rent, before the end of December.
I asked if she was not feeling a sense of urgency because she was going to move back home with her parents again. She said most likely not, they wouldn’t let her. I decided, before she had a chance to ask me, I would let her know that we could not help her again.
I told her I knew she hadn’t asked, didn’t even know if she was thinking about asking, but that I could not offer to take her in, to let her stay in our spare bedroom, again. I’d done so twice before, taking her and her son in, until she could get on her feet. I told her I didn’t want to allow her to possibly think it was an option, so it was better to just tell her right up front, than to wait until the very last moment and have to turn her away. This way she knows what she’s facing, what she needs to do for herself.
That was a very hard thing to do. I recognize that my husband and I, her parents and some of her co-workers have enabled her for decades, helping her, supporting her, preventing her from failing. Now, we all find ourselves in situations where we’re not able to help her.
I fear she’s going to end up homeless, lose everything she has. Her father just bought her a new refrigerator and stove. She bought a new sofa and chair. If she can’t find a place to live, she’s either going to have to put it all in storage or ask someone to keep it for her. I fear she’ll just give it all away, which is something she has a habit of doing.
She’s having health problems, as she’s developed edema in her legs and feet. Her doctor gave her fluid pills to take, but she’s not taking them like she should. Her feet are supposedly so swollen she can’t get her regular shoes on. She seems to not make the connection between filling up with fluid and the implications of having only one kidney to flush fluid from her body.
Making the decision to not let her stay with us was such a hard thing to do, but it’s the best thing for all of us. She needs to stand up on her own feet and start to take responsibility for her life and we need to think about our family, what’s best for us, without compromising us and what we have.
Such a hard thing to do.