Author Topic: Supporting Sandy victims vs. taking care of myself - need advice and phrasing.  (Read 12011 times)

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ladiedeathe

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I have to agree with Girly.

My church sent 2 buses of volunteers to the area LAdyL is talking about, this week. Because it's, you know, an emergency.

I'm not sure I understand why folks are downplaying one of the largest storm events to hit the area in decades. Yes, guys, the current situation there is an emergency. It falls under "massive act of God" and is pretty much a text book example of the definition of emergency.

We all have moments where we volunteer to help, and realize later we didn't really mean it and regret offering for whatever reason. But that doesn't mean the other person doesn't have an emergency- it means we offered something we weren't willing or able to do. A friend of mine once offered another, pregnant, friend a vague offer of "I'd be happy to help when the baby comes! Call me for anything!", expecting to get asked to go over and make dinner or something. The baby had problems at birth, and ended up severly damaged- and my friend got a call a few weeks later to please come over and help with a complex medical treatment once a week. She had to sheepishly admit she had no ability to give that kind of help, and had not meant that level of involvement.

No one is saying LadyL is wrong- she can certainly, politely, let her friend know it isn't happening for any reason or no reason, good or bad.

She has the right to say no, absolutely and totally, but her friend has the right to hear "I was just offering to sound good, and didn't really think you would ever need to do it".

This is a real emergency, the kind most people would specifically think of when a friend says "If an emergency happens you can stay here." The friend was in no way wrong to ask because he was told it was ok. It's a shame it just got awkward.
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WillyNilly

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OK I don't anyone thinks the overall Sandy situation isn't an emergency, of course it is!  I think people (myself included) think this guy's request to have an easier commute isn't an emergency.

It took me 4 hours to get to work on Wednesday, and 3 hours on Thursday. I waited almost an hour for a subway going home Thursday before giving up and taking a bus because the trains were so crowded.  It never once occurred to me to ask friends who liver closer to mid-town where I work if I could crash with them.  My commute is not an emergency. 

LadyL went days without power.  Resources in her neighborhood are very limited at the moment no doubt - she might have her power back but I'm sure things aren't back to totally normal in her life now regardless of her medical situation.  The overall situation is an emergency for sure.  An easier commute is not.

Bijou

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I have to agree with Girly.

My church sent 2 buses of volunteers to the area LAdyL is talking about, this week. Because it's, you know, an emergency.

I'm not sure I understand why folks are downplaying one of the largest storm events to hit the area in decades. Yes, guys, the current situation there is an emergency. It falls under "massive act of God" and is pretty much a text book example of the definition of emergency.

We all have moments where we volunteer to help, and realize later we didn't really mean it and regret offering for whatever reason. But that doesn't mean the other person doesn't have an emergency- it means we offered something we weren't willing or able to do. A friend of mine once offered another, pregnant, friend a vague offer of "I'd be happy to help when the baby comes! Call me for anything!", expecting to get asked to go over and make dinner or something. The baby had problems at birth, and ended up severly damaged- and my friend got a call a few weeks later to please come over and help with a complex medical treatment once a week. She had to sheepishly admit she had no ability to give that kind of help, and had not meant that level of involvement.

No one is saying LadyL is wrong- she can certainly, politely, let her friend know it isn't happening for any reason or no reason, good or bad.

She has the right to say no, absolutely and totally, but her friend has the right to hear "I was just offering to sound good, and didn't really think you would ever need to do it".

This is a real emergency, the kind most people would specifically think of when a friend says "If an emergency happens you can stay here." The friend was in no way wrong to ask because he was told it was ok. It's a shame it just got awkward.
Please tell me that I am misreading the bold and underlined statement above.  LadyL is suffering from a debilitating condition right now.  She has made quite clear that this is the cause for her feelings of hesitation.  It has nothing to do with her thinking no one would ever take her up on her offer of help.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 05:23:14 PM by Bijou »
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Shoo

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I have to agree with Girly.

My church sent 2 buses of volunteers to the area LAdyL is talking about, this week. Because it's, you know, an emergency.

I'm not sure I understand why folks are downplaying one of the largest storm events to hit the area in decades. Yes, guys, the current situation there is an emergency. It falls under "massive act of God" and is pretty much a text book example of the definition of emergency.

We all have moments where we volunteer to help, and realize later we didn't really mean it and regret offering for whatever reason. But that doesn't mean the other person doesn't have an emergency- it means we offered something we weren't willing or able to do. A friend of mine once offered another, pregnant, friend a vague offer of "I'd be happy to help when the baby comes! Call me for anything!", expecting to get asked to go over and make dinner or something. The baby had problems at birth, and ended up severly damaged- and my friend got a call a few weeks later to please come over and help with a complex medical treatment once a week. She had to sheepishly admit she had no ability to give that kind of help, and had not meant that level of involvement.

No one is saying LadyL is wrong- she can certainly, politely, let her friend know it isn't happening for any reason or no reason, good or bad.

She has the right to say no, absolutely and totally, but her friend has the right to hear "I was just offering to sound good, and didn't really think you would ever need to do it".

This is a real emergency, the kind most people would specifically think of when a friend says "If an emergency happens you can stay here." The friend was in no way wrong to ask because he was told it was ok. It's a shame it just got awkward.
Please tell me that I am misreading the bold and underlined statement above.  LadyL is suffering from a debilitating condition right now.  She has made quite clear that this is the cause for her feelings of hesitation.  It has nothing to do with her thinking no one would ever take her up on her offer of help.

I agree.  That's putting the worst possible spin on her situation.  She would obviously prefer to be healthy and have her friend stay as long as he needs to.  She doesn't choose to be ill.

Mikayla

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She has the right to say no, absolutely and totally, but her friend has the right to hear "I was just offering to sound good, and didn't really think you would ever need to do it".


I think this is unfair to LadyL.  There's no evidence at all she said it just to "sound good". 


And I also think it's unfair to assume those of us not agreeing with you are undervaluing the emergency.  I can only speak for myself, but I fully get an emergency.  I've been in several, including 9/11.  My difference with you is in how each of us interprets LadyL's original offer.

ETA:  Yikes.  I agree with the last 4 posts.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 05:29:46 PM by Mikayla »

bonyk

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My church sent 2 buses of volunteers to the area LAdyL is talking about, this week. Because it's, you know, an emergency.

This is coming off pretty snarky to me, too. 

Moray

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She has the right to say no, absolutely and totally, but her friend has the right to hear "I was just offering to sound good, and didn't really think you would ever need to do it".


I think this is unfair to LadyL.  There's no evidence at all she said it just to "sound good". 


And I also think it's unfair to assume those of us not agreeing with you are undervaluing the emergency.  I can only speak for myself, but I fully get an emergency.  I've been in several, including 9/11.  My difference with you is in how each of us interprets LadyL's original offer.

ETA:  Yikes.  I agree with the last 4 posts.

I suppose we read things differently; I read ladiedeathe's post as a caution that the friend might interpret it that way.

And well; they might. That doesn't mean that's how LadyL meant it, but the friend might very well get that idea.
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Honestly, I doubt the friend is looking at this like "Cool!  Free vacation!  Yippee!!"  I'd be willing to bet he'd much rather be at home, himself, and it was probably very difficult for him to ask for this favor.  I'd say he'll probably be pretty stressed and would be making every effort to be as minimally disruptive as possible.

Sure, LadyL has the right to say no.  But if I were in his place, I don't think I would consider her a friend any longer. 

I might feel differently if she hadn't offered.  But she did.
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WillyNilly

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...To be fair, we had said in the past that in the case of an emergency he could crash for a night at our place (we were thinking if there was a blizzard and it wasn't safe for him to drive home but this also counts obviously)...

Well since many are harping the idea that LadyL did offer, its important to remember she previously had offered "a night", this guy is asking for a week.

LeveeWoman

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...To be fair, we had said in the past that in the case of an emergency he could crash for a night at our place (we were thinking if there was a blizzard and it wasn't safe for him to drive home but this also counts obviously)...

Well since many are harping the idea that LadyL did offer, its important to remember she previously had offered "a night", this guy is asking for a week.

Yep. Right in her first post: To be fair, we had said in the past that in the case of an emergency he could crash for a night at our place

Mikayla

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She has the right to say no, absolutely and totally, but her friend has the right to hear "I was just offering to sound good, and didn't really think you would ever need to do it".


I think this is unfair to LadyL.  There's no evidence at all she said it just to "sound good". 


And I also think it's unfair to assume those of us not agreeing with you are undervaluing the emergency.  I can only speak for myself, but I fully get an emergency.  I've been in several, including 9/11.  My difference with you is in how each of us interprets LadyL's original offer.

ETA:  Yikes.  I agree with the last 4 posts.

I suppose we read things differently; I read ladiedeathe's post as a caution that the friend might interpret it that way.

And well; they might. That doesn't mean that's how LadyL meant it, but the friend might very well get that idea.

Aah, I agree that could be it, too.  But if so, that's a pretty uncharitable interpretation of how the friend would see it.  Like I said in my first post, I would never end a friendship over something like this, nor would I assume a friend of mine enjoyed making empty promises just to look good. 

rigs32

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Maybe I'm wrong, but I would classify a commute that increased to 7 hours an emergency.  Having to commute for hours plus wait in line for hours to get gas leaves almost no time to sleep.

O'Dell

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I wouldn't end a friendship over something like this, but I would reevaluate how close we were.

But the thing that sticks out for me, maybe because I have a similar problem, is the anxiety about hosting people. I get that part of this is due to a problem with your medicine. But part of this is always there for you, right? Feeling that you have to host people if they are in your home and that bringing on anxiety. So you should be careful about giving people blanket invitations to stay at your place. I say this because while I've gotten much better about my issues with hosting people, I know what my limits are and I don't make promises beyond them. I think once you stabilize your meds, you should reevaluate things for yourself. Maybe you and your fiance need to stop making that offer and field any requests that you get as they come.

As far as offering a "night", some emergencies, even blizzards, cause problems for more than one night. That should be taken into account as well.
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sourwolf

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OK I don't anyone thinks the overall Sandy situation isn't an emergency, of course it is!  I think people (myself included) think this guy's request to have an easier commute isn't an emergency.

It took me 4 hours to get to work on Wednesday, and 3 hours on Thursday. I waited almost an hour for a subway going home Thursday before giving up and taking a bus because the trains were so crowded.  It never once occurred to me to ask friends who liver closer to mid-town where I work if I could crash with them. My commute is not an emergency. 

LadyL went days without power.  Resources in her neighborhood are very limited at the moment no doubt - she might have her power back but I'm sure things aren't back to totally normal in her life now regardless of her medical situation.  The overall situation is an emergency for sure. An easier commute is not.

Apples and oranges.  As long as the bus and train are running you *can* get to work even if it takes much longer than usual.  Looking at the link the previous poster listed it seems like it is almost impossible to get *any* gas at the moment, let alone enough for the friend's commute.  So while I agree with you that *your* commute isn't an emergency, I disagree that the same can be said for the friend.

WillyNilly

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In some areas yes, gas is hard to get (with relief promised tomorrow & Wednesday - the tankers can be seen off the coast as I type). In post 43 LadyL tells us this guy is in a 'hard to get' area, not an 'impossible to get' gas area. My friend waited for gas in the Bronx this morning for 30 minutes - no fun by any means but certainly do-able. The gas shortage is real, but its not universal; various areas do have gas.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 07:24:37 PM by WillyNilly »