Daily Archives: May 6, 2008

Visiting Teaching–helping or enabling?

I recently got home from my yearly radical feminist Mormon retreat feeling energized and happy and got a call from one of the women I visit teach. Here’s the transcript–She is “M” and I am “B”:
M: What are you doing during lunch hour tomorrow?
B: I’m not sure—probably eating lunch. What do you need?
M: Well, you’re going to be mad at me.
B: Where are you?
M: Ohio.
B: Thinking—isn’t Ohio where that ne’er do well crack addict lives? The one that spent your $35,000 in back disability payments and then left you? Well, M, what’s going on?
M: I need some money for bus fare to get home.
B: You’ve spent all your money for the entire month?
M: Yes.
B: Did you pay your rent before you left?
M: No.
B: I can’t give you any money.
M: Why not?
B: I’ve loaned you about $700 so far and you’ve never paid me back and you have just made some really bad decisions. I just don’t think it’s good for me to help you this time.
M: Well, don’t call me back then, because I don’t want to hear about it.
B: OK—goodbye.

She later called and asked for $40 for gas money and I told her no again. I guess I finally reached the point where helping turned into enabling—and probably went way past the point. I look at the past 4 years and figure I haven’t helped her one bit, except possibly it’s better that she never went to jail—but I’m now not really sure.

So, on a scale from 1 to 10, one being the least likely and 10 being the most likely, how likely do you think it is that this relationship can or should be saved? Anyway, it was glorious to have a couple of days to leave my real life behind.

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