Author Topic: Please take the bus  (Read 2194 times)

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RubyCat

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Please take the bus
« on: January 04, 2013, 09:47:55 AM »
Dh and I live an hour away from my family, including my daughter, who is living in a group home due to mental illness.  The group home allows her to occasionally spend overnights with family or friends.  They pack up her medications for her and expect her back at a specific time.  Despite her problems, she has been able to get around pretty well using public transportation, even going on vacation with friends last summer.  She will often call family members to drive her around to shop or drop her at the train station (rather than wait for the bus), though I wish she would work on becoming more self sufficient as I think she is capable and it would be best for her in the long run.

The last time she came to stay with me, I was supposed drive an hour to pick her up early in the day and bring her back to my house so she could stay the night and then drive her back late the next day.  Because of her changing her schedule, I ended up picking her up after 4 pm and she needed to be back by 6 pm the next day.  While it was nice to see her and have her overnight, that was 4+ hours in the car for me for a very short visit. 

There is a bus that runs from her city to mine, so for our next visit I asked her to take the bus and I would pick her up at the station, about 10 minutes from my home.  And I gave her the money to cover the ticket.  She sounded a little bit disappointed but took the cash and agreed.  She was/is supposed to come visit today.  When I spoke with her last night to iron out details, she said the group home might not let her stay the weekend.  We agreed that she would call me today, after she irons things out with the group home staff.

I suspect that she really doesn't want to make the extra effort to take the bus, which kind of hurts my feelings because she can do it to go meet friends (take buses, switch to trains, then take connecting bus).  Or maybe she spent the cash that I gave her to pay for the bus ticket. 

I've been very busy with work, running my elderly relatives to appointments, trying to help out other daughter & son in law with new baby, and frankly I'm feeling burnt out. They all live an hour away and while I usually don't mind driving, there are only so many hours in the day and I don't want to spend them all in the car.

Am I being unreasonable asking youngest daughter to take the bus?  I don't want to make her feel like she is unwelcome and I'm afraid that if I tell her that I'd rather not make the drive, it will make her feel that way just because I don't want to spend the time and energy giving her door to door service.  Is there a way to phrase that so that I don't hurt her feelings?


Blondie

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Re: Please take the bus
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 10:13:54 AM »
If I am reading this correctly, you had both decided on her taking the bus- her complicit agreement coming when she took your money. I don't think you need to give her the background about being burnt out. This was already planned and she is backing out. If she is capable of taking the bus, her mental and physical status have very little bearing. I would enforce that you expect her to take the bus and will see her at the station at the expected time. If she backs out, it is no different than anyone else saying they will visit and not coming. I would, however, expect her to pay for the bus from the money you gave her next time if she does not come this time. If you are teaching independence, it comes with the territory.
"He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which." Douglas Adams

TootsNYC

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Re: Please take the bus
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 10:15:56 AM »
I wonder if calling family to help her is one of the ways she reassures herself that you all still love her. Or a way to create a longer time to spend together.

I don't think you're being unreasonable. But you might consider the *underlying* reasons she imposes as much as she does, and make sure you're nourishing any of those sorts of needs.

Eden

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Re: Please take the bus
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 10:36:11 AM »
You're not unreasonable to ask her to take the bus sometimes. But you're making some assumptions about how she feels and why she may not take the bus this time. You may be wrong. I'd suggest instead taking her at her word and saying, "Oh that's too bad. Just hold on to the money and use it for the bus the next time you visit." It places the responsibility on her and makes clear that you expect her to use that money only for her bus ticket.

TootsNYC

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Re: Please take the bus
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 10:48:53 AM »
can you split the bus/drive time?

Maybe you pick her up, which makes her feel like you WANT to see her, but you put her on the bus to go home?

Sharnita

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Re: Please take the bus
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 11:13:26 AM »
It kind of sounds like you are driving for the rest of the family members.  She might want to feel like she rates.  She might also want some time when she is just with you   -  would the car be the only time that would happen?

RubyCat

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Re: Please take the bus
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 12:57:51 PM »
All that angst for nothing. (well, except for some "mom guilt"). Daughter called & told me she was getting her things together & would be catching the bus.  And she'd be able to stay a couple of days. :)

We had a last minute change of plans - my uncle, who we alll adore, hurt himself & I wanted to drive him to the doctor to get checked out. Dd wanted to come with us but I was running late (as usual). So after uncle is cleared (fingers crossed), I'll swing by to get her & we'll head back to my house.

I don't think she feels that I'm driving for the others & not her. The elderly relatives drive (which is a whole different topic) but won't drive long distances and i prefer to babysit the grandbaby in her own home.

Splitting the bus & drive time is pretty much what I had in mind anyway. One of the reasons I want dd to start taking the bus is so she can come down on days that I work because I don't want to drive an hour to pick her up after working all day. It would allow me to have her down to visit more often. We talk on the phone almost every day & I see her at least as often as her sisters.

I feel a little bit bad for making assumptions but there is history, as with most situations. Because of "history," all to often I stress over approaching issues the right way with her. I'm really looking forwad to the visit & feeling a mixture of all sorts of positive emotions that she was willing to follow through - relief that this won't be a problem between us, happiness at the thought of spending time together, pride in my daughter for how far she has worked to get this far, and a cautious hope that she will continue to make progress & have a good quality of life. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Please take the bus
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 01:03:02 PM »
add to your motivation the idea that you want her to grow, to stretch herself, to become able to just zip off where she wants, and to see you.

I'm glad she's coming.