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Author Topic: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread  (Read 10916 times)

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BarensMom

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2016, 12:22:36 AM »
I'm wondering why Lulu would think that, after ditching your daughter's wedding and sticking you guys with $$$ for 2 uneaten catered meals, Mimi's RSVP was valid.  Hey, it's been said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them, and Mimi had already demonstrated that she can't be trusted with any important event.

It was nice of her to pay for the shower catering, though.

Depression or no, it's still incredibly rude for someone either to cancel on an event minutes before it's supposed to occur or to blow it off completely.  No matter how sick, depressed or miserable, as long as the phone and fingers of someone in the house still work, a phone call can still be put through.

Anyway, my advice from the previous thread still stands - don't trust her with any invitations that would cost you time, money, or energy.

sammycat

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2016, 03:49:53 AM »
I'm wondering why Lulu would think that, after ditching your daughter's wedding and sticking you guys with $$$ for 2 uneaten catered meals, Mimi's RSVP was valid.  Hey, it's been said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them, and Mimi had already demonstrated that she can't be trusted with any important event.

It was nice of her to pay for the shower catering, though.

Depression or no, it's still incredibly rude for someone either to cancel on an event minutes before it's supposed to occur or to blow it off completely.  No matter how sick, depressed or miserable, as long as the phone and fingers of someone in the house still work, a phone call can still be put through.

Anyway, my advice from the previous thread still stands - don't trust her with any invitations that would cost you time, money, or energy.

Pod.

rose red

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2016, 06:20:15 AM »
I agree you should stop issuing them both invitations unless it doesn't matter, like a barbecue. Either that or just assume they won't show up. There's nothing to gain by keep hoping they'll take responsibility or wonder about Mr. Mimi's lack of excuse. You know this is how they are. As for Lulu and her mom, that's between them and Mimi, and only they can decide how on what to do now.

Stopping the invitations will either make them relieved or make them live with the consequences of her actions.

knitwicca

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2016, 09:13:21 AM »
What if Mimi were enmeshed in an abusive, controlling relationship?  Mimi is invited to an event.  Her abuser smiles, and says, "Sure, honey, you can go."  So she accepts.  Then in the weeks leading up to the event, he starts tightening the screws, "After all, I am letting you go to X.  At least, so far, I am."  Mimi goes into radio silence, fearful to do or say anything which will set her abuser off.  Then at the deadline, the abuser cracks down.  "No, you aren't going!  I don't care what kind of excuse you give, the answer is just no!"

Except, the abuser is not her husband.  It is her illness.  It shuts her down.  And every time, it gets worse.  She has flaked out on you so many times, that this time she has to attend, she has to hold it together.  The stakes are higher each time.  And why doesn't Mr. Mimi do or say anything?  Probably because he is an average person in over his head, and he doesn't know that to say or do.

So I guess my advice would be to treat this as if she were in that abusive relationship, and do what many people say to do.  "Look, I know you are not in the best place right now.  But I am just a phone call away, and I will be there for you.  I'll continue to invite you to events, because I am not going to cut you off.  And my door will always be open for you."

Your description of what I see in my daughter is no much more eloquently put than mine.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2016, 09:53:34 AM »
I like pierrotlunaire0's description with one caveat.  Mimi (or Mr. Mimi, in her stead) should be calling to let people know she isn't up for the event.

I have a chronic illness that occasionally prevents me from doing something I'd planned to do.  But I make that call early enough in the day that my friends can adjust their plans and I let them know that I will pay for my portion of the event, even though I won't be able to make it.  Sometimes, they are able to sell my ticket to someone else, sometimes at a discount and I just pay the organizer the difference, if that's the case.  But I don't count on that.
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artk2002

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2016, 10:27:57 AM »
Anyway, I do not believe she suffers from anxiety, and even if she did, she could still handle it better.  Do you feel that people who do suffer from anxiety should not only be forgiven for flaking, but never even be invited to things, out of kindness?

Are you a doctor or other mental health professional? If not, then your belief that she doesn't suffer from anxiety is very unkind and dismissive, as is your "she could still handle it better." Unless you've been there, you have no idea how difficult it can be to deal with stuff.

Should she not make commitments when she has these issues? Yes. But that doesn't alter the reality which is that your expectations of her are unreasonable.
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gellchom

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2016, 04:48:49 PM »
I know a lot of posters haven't read the other thread or even my post #5 on this one, so let me thank you for your good advice and assure you that everyone has long ago stopped depending on or expecting Mimi to show up for anything -- it's the rare exception -- and certainly no one takes it personally.  She does like our monthly dinners, and that's really the only time I see her now.  She does not answer her phone; occasionally she will respond to a text.  Both Lulu and I also long ago, and more than once, mentioned these behaviors out of a place of concern for her, as they were worrying, and asked how we could help; she denied that there was any issue and finally basically told us thanks for the concern but please stop asking.

ArtK: Well, I'm not a practicing therapist, although I do have a master's degree in social work.  It is certainly possible that Mimi suffers from anxiety, but she has consistently denied both anxiety and depression, although she is very open with us about her various conditions.  I do think it's nearly impossible that her functioning would not be affected by the enormous level of painkillers she is obliged to take ever since a botched surgery years ago.  She is one of those unfortunate people who innocently got addicted when she had no choice but to take high levels of pain killers, and now daily takes enough to do surgery on a rhinoceros -- and I mean literally.  It is very sad.  So I'm sure that plays a role even if there is no organic or other chemical brain disorder.

In any case, as I have said, no one is faulting her on her being undependable or even on repeatedly flaking, because we assume it just has to be the result of some condition or fear, notwithstanding what she says.  The only issue is her refusal to acknowledge that her actions, even if they are beyond her control, sometimes affect others.  On the original string, it was posters who themselves suffer from depression and anxiety who emphatically stated that those conditions are not "free passes" for ignoring other people's feelings.  When you just can't come through, then you don't -- but then you apologize and, most important, don't try to make the other person agree that the event and their feelings aren't important at all.  Like the example I gave of a blind friend accidentally breaking an item in a friend's home.  Of course everyone understands and no one is angry.  But a polite person would say, "Oh, I'm so sorry," just as a sighted person would, not tell themselves "I'm sure that wasn't a very valuable or beloved item, and even if it was, I don't have to care." 

Those posters made such a good point about why this is so tricky for friends of the Mimis of the world.  It's not just that we don't want to be chumps or have a 0% - 100% relationship.  We want to be patient, understanding, and helpful -- we love Mimi.  But when it gets to the point of completely absolving the afflicted person of any social responsibility, courtesy, or consideration toward others at all, then we are actually dehumanizing her, excluding her from society, the way a newborn or comatose person is.  We still love and are kind to them, but if that's what they demand, then it isn't really friendship anymore; more a duty out of loyalty to a friendship that once was.

And that's kind of the way it has to be with Mimi now, and I've long ago accepted it.  It's a shame, but there really isn't anything I can do about it.  I will always send her an invitation to anything important, even though I don't expect her to attend, just as you do for a shut-in relative.  We still go out for our monthly dinners, and if she knows she can call if she needs anything.  She was very glad I included her in Shasha's shower, and I was very happy to do it -- it didn't affect me at all, I just did everything the same as if I were the only host, which was fine.  It made us both feel like she was still participating and doing something loving for Shasha (and Lulu).  I can't stop it from hurting Shasha that she didn't show up and never even called her, though.

Knitwicca, my heart goes out to your daughter (and you).  How do her friends handle it?  What do they do to keep treating her like a full and equal person?  I am sure that they want to, just as I want to do with Mimi. 

[It's still hard to understand why Mr. Mimi, who is a very high-functioning professional who seems to have no trouble socializing, would continue RSVP yes or to let her RSVP yes for him and then not show up, call, apologize, or send a gift or card.  But I really don't consider him much more than an acquaintance anyway, so I don't care and am not hurt by it, I just think it's screamingly rude.  How does he tell himself this is okay?  Can any of you who are SOs of a "Mimi" tell us how you navigate this?  I think it must be very hard.]

#borecore

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2016, 05:04:21 PM »
I just don't understand what you're looking for at this point, even more so now.

You know your friend is a complete drug addict with a resulting pattern of serious inattention to commitments. So, now what?

rose red

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2016, 05:06:58 PM »
If you accept (or resigned to) Mimi's flakiness and don't care about Mr. Mimi's rudeness and you still want to include them, I'm sorry but I'm not sure what you are seeking here. It doesn't seem any parties are going to change which is fine, but I'm not sure what advice will fit in this situation.

edited because words were in the incorrect order.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 05:16:53 PM by rose red »

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2016, 06:05:22 PM »
It's the soul-crushing tyranny of low expectations.  You want more for her than she does.

I think that you have to be satisfied with what she wants in order to be satisfied with what you've done, Gellchom.  It's all that you can do, really.

EllenS

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2016, 08:09:32 PM »
The only way I know to maintain a lopsided relationship, is to take everything at face value and exercise some serious mental/emotional discipline on myself. That means making some decisions up front and just constantly reminding myself to act accordingly.

Do I believe the person can help it or not? If not, then I will not set them up with expectations beyond their capacity. That may mean considering all invitations as merely "thinking of you" notes, or it may mean changing my approach to saying, "Event is coming up. Call me back if you want an invitation, I'll be happy to send you one."

Do I consider the behavior a relationship deal-breaker? Would I want the relationship to continue in its current form, even if nothing ever changes? If I choose to stay in this person's life, then I choose to accept this behavior as part of it.

I also give myself permission to get tired, take breaks, pull back, or realize that I can't keep overlooking it. "They can't help it" doesn't automatically mean I can endure it indefinitely.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2016, 08:44:26 PM »
As  far as Mr. Mimi goes, I would assume that, as was mentioned in the OP's original thread(I believe) he probably has no idea about any of these invites.
"After all this time?"
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cross_patch

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2016, 04:10:22 AM »
I just don't understand what you're looking for at this point, even more so now.

You know your friend is a complete drug addict with a resulting pattern of serious inattention to commitments. So, now what?

This. And I've read both threads. I also am not sure how this is really update - it seems more like an opportunity for you to vent about your friend. I seriously am not sure what you want here.

HannahGrace

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2016, 07:11:48 AM »
I just don't understand what you're looking for at this point, even more so now.

You know your friend is a complete drug addict with a resulting pattern of serious inattention to commitments. So, now what?

This. And I've read both threads. I also am not sure how this is really update - it seems more like an opportunity for you to vent about your friend. I seriously am not sure what you want here.

I agree too. The last post particularly seems like a giant vent. As far as her husband, 1.he probably doesn't know about these invitations and 2. Does it matter? The end result is going to be the same considering Mimi's severe limitations.

anonymousmac

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2016, 09:29:02 AM »
I think it's a very interesting discussion about friendship and social obligations, and how to handle things when those are complicated by either medical or character issues.

I'm glad that the OP posted both this and her previous thread, and I'm reading them with interest.  Can those of you who aren't interested just read something else, instead of posting repeated "why did you even post this?" posts?