QUESTION FROM A GREEK TRAGEDY READER: I am wondering if I can rely upon you and your readers for some advice. I wrote to you and received excellent advice regarding a spoiled friendship and a baby shower (When Friendship Becomes Endship.) Now the saga continues…
You and the fine readers/responders of StephanieKlein.com suggested that I ignore the situation and avoid attempting to address a very *mean* girl about several friendships that I had lost. As painful as it was to ignore the situation, your advice paid off tenfold. After nearly 2 years, many of my friendships (except for the instigator *Tory*) have been restored. One by one, each friend called and said that they had been manipulated by Tory and their friendship had ended too. (I did end up getting invited to a shower, Tory was invited to the 2nd.)
In a weird twist of fate Tory’s mom had reached out to one friend and asked for some help with her daughter. The short story is that her daughter isn’t just mean and jealous -she has serious mental health problems and dependency issues. She has hidden it well – none of us knew, not even that she had past problems. Tory’s mom addressed many things with my closest-lost friend sharing with her, her daughter’s ability to manipulate and destroy people. Like a blessing from God, Tory’s mom suggested that my friend explain everything to me, and attempt to rebuild our lost friendship. We’ve been working through it all since August. I am really forever grateful to Tory’s mom.
Tory’s mom also reached out to me over the summer. She asked for my help with her daughter suggesting some kind of intervention. I explained to her that I didn’t think it would be possible given the amount of anxiety she caused me and I did suggest that she loop in Tory’s husband. The conversation was polite but it didn’t go any further. I wished her all the best and told her that she and her daughter would remain in my thoughts.
Fast forward until now, Tory’s mom is still desperate to get her daughter help, but seems oddly opposed to involving Tory’s husband. Tory has since reached out to me (though I’m not sure of her motives).
As I mentioned in my last post, she now has a baby. There are a few of us who are worried about the baby’s safety and in some fashion Tory’s, too. Her husband works long hours and travels internationally with great frequency and he, from all accounts, seems clueless to Tory’s issues. (We were too so I’m not surprised.) Her mother mentioned to me that she’s completely isolated both physically and figuratively.
There is a part of me that feels like I should help her because I have back everything I wanted. My reputation at work has been restored, my friendships too and most importantly my confidence. Knowing that her issues, while serious, can be overcome and she has a shot of being a good mother and good wife, I feel obligated to do something.
The questions are: While I know that I’m not obligated to do so, should I get involved to save her and her baby? If you were in Tory’s shoes would you want your old friends involved? Does anyone have any experience with interventions?
As always, your help is REALLY appreciated.
ANSWER: I’ll keep this simple. Stand behind the yellow line; there’s a train(wreck) approaching. Don’t ride that kind of crazy, no matter how kind you want to be. Want to feel good about helping? Donate your time to a needy child, volunteer, offer to walk a neighbor’s dog. Pick up some dog shit. Trying to help that kind of crazy makes you just that.
If I weren’t to keep this short, I’d add this random tangent. I sometimes start reading a book only to realize that I don’t like it. I’m bored. But I feel obligated to finish. Maybe it will get better. Maybe there will be this twist, a surprise. I complained aloud once, and a friend tsk’d me. That’s right. Tsk, tsk, tsk. “Stephanie!!! There are way too many good books out there, tremendous books, and you can’t possibly read them all in this lifetime. Why would you waste even a second continuing to read something that doesn’t move you?” And she’s right. Put the book down. Put the receiver down. Put your foot down. Then the other one. Again. And again. Now, you’re doing it. You’re walking away. Nicely handled.