Question: Dear Luise: I find myself in a situation and honestly really don’t know what to do. About 7 months ago a young girl (20) I know and work with found herself almost on the street and needed a place to stay she came tome and asked if wanting to sleep on the floor. At the time I was unable but told her to find temp housing & when I moved she could move with me. Which she did a d moved in in December she was paying 1/3 of the rent. I knew she had a BF but thought she was smart … Well long story short she HID her pregnancy from me until she found herself admited to the hospital for early dilation .. She gave birth to a beautiful & healthy baby at 32 weeks. My problem comes that she has decided to keep the baby and goes thru such depression that she will go days without coming out of her room or even answering a simple text . ( how’s baby) Now I am the motherly type and want to help but when she doesn’t respond to me it drives me crazy with worry I had placed rules that the BF could only spend the night twice a week .. But now that baby is home he’s here all the time .. I spoke with them re: this and asked for 2 nights with knowing in advance which night that was going to be ( he shows up after midnight ) he still shows up with no advance warning to me again after midnight. If I ask her to leave I’m the bad guy at work. Her mom left when she was young and her dad can’t seem to keep a roof over his own head. So she has NO WHERE to go. What do I do?? I want to help but I can’t destroy my own health over her … Help! Thanks so much for your input. A.
Answer: Dear A.: It may look like you have no choice but you do. You probably just don’t like the consequences. You can either continue to teach this girl that lying and using others works by being a role model for that concept or you can teach her self-respect by respecting your self. The world is full of people who have no place to go. If you put an ad in the paper, how many do you think would be on your doorstep the next day? Is she any more important than any of the rest of them? Are they your responsibility? For Mother Teresa they were. For most of us, we aren’t quite there yet. The girl’s life, her baby, her boyfriend and her depression are not your problems to solve. Trying to do so is taking you down. If you want to look good to the people at work and sacrifice your life, you have that choice. You also have the choice to say that it is not working for you financially or emotionally. If you have to let the place go, put your things in storage and move into a rented room to turn your life around…do it. . Please know that you matter and it may be the only thing to do at this juncture to undo a serious mistake on your part. We all learn from our mistakes and I believe that compassion is a characteristic that takes some management or you will find you simpy have nothing left to give. Blessings, Luise