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Helping a church friend
Old 01-11-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
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Helping a church friend

Hello all.

I have a friend who belongs to my church whom I've known for roughly 2 years now. (our respective churches merged)

I knew something was not right when I met her.

She is a VERY nervous/neurotic woman who ALWAYS apologizes for virtually everything she does. She usually starts off each sentence with "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" in a very uptight, nervous tone. She constantly acts as if she's "not worthy."

She is 52 yrs. old, never married, lives alone with family no closer than 1 hour away. She claims they are constantly disagreeing all the time and really don't care for her. (I just listen when she complains and try to put a positive spin on things just to pacify the moment)

I have assisted this woman in terms of rides to church, to the supermarket, (when she fractured her foot) and most recently, (today) taking her to a cancer institute for gynecology after being diagnosed with uterine cancer. Her doctor tells me she will be operated on this January 23rd. (hysterectomy)

The reason I'm mentioning all this is because this woman is VERY difficult to be around and my patience are CLEARLY being tested. I have NEVER encountered a person like this before?? Have any of you?

My sense is she has some psychiatric issues. Who knows what could have caused this? Perhaps, a traumatic event as a youth? Obviously, I can't ask her.

She doesn't own or watch tv VERY RELIGIOUS.

Just HOW did I become virtually her ONLY person to look to?

I will not simply write her off. She means well and I think something from above put me in her life.

Space Mountain
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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Where are the other members of the church in all this? Sounds like you need to lean on them for some help in sharing the load.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
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Where are the other members of the church in all this? Sounds like you need to lean on them for some help in sharing the load.

The reason she looks to me is because she assists me with the weekly collection. I am an usher and she wanted to help out when her parish joined mine. I couldn't say no There is a group within the church ministry that I referred her to but she doesn't feel comfortable calling them when a need arises. You'd be surprised how many folks look the other way...

FYI- After "assisting" her, she literally apologizes 7-8 times for inconveniencing me "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry" and thanks me another 10-12 times. "Thank you, thank you, thank, you x10!!!! No joke, man! It's exhausting!!!
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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Sorry I can't offer any advice as to why she might have turned to you in particular. All I can do is recommend reading Matthew 25:34-40.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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Sounds like the lady definitely has some psychological issues.

Quote:
You'd be surprised how many folks look the other way...
No, unfortunately I wouldn't.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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What if something happened to you and you couldn't be there for her?

Maybe call the pastor and talk to him/her about the situation to get some backup/relief for her.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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DW and I have both been tested by very "needy" people. It is perhaps the most draining experience that we have faced. We haven't always met the test - finding ways to distance ourselves. Other times, we have met needs until the needy person attached themselves to another "host". FWIW, many people are so damaged that they are legitimately needy (and trying). Others are just plain TAKERS. You will find out quickly which is which. It's then up to you to decide whether and how to extricate yourself.

I'm with Bestwifeever, since this is happening in a church, I can only suggest you approach whatever leadership exists within the church - a pastor or elder, etc. Good leadership can step in and ease your load.

As Gumby suggests, your efforts are recognized and will be rewarded at some point.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:13 PM   #8
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Space - God works in mysterious ways. Read / study the scriptures, and Thank God he is using you to minister to someone.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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It sounds as though her mental issues are the least of her problems now. Try and stay with her, right now she needs your help more than ever.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:44 AM   #10
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She "chose" you because you make yourself available to her. Others don't. If you feel that this is important work for you ("I think something from above put me in her life") yet feel overwhelmed, it will be on you to set limits. Try starting to say no on some occasions and then limit your interactions to a specified schedule or some other limit. Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:29 AM   #11
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I have met many, many "needy" similiar people to this in my life. I have tried to help whenever possible. Anyday I would rather do someone a favor than sit around with a bunch of people bragging about what they have and how wonderful their family is; family they haven't seen in years or decades.

The responses above have given you good advice. The only advice that I can add is that if no one at the church can help to lift the burden off you, how about starting a group at church that provides help to others, particularly parish members. Meals On Wheels is composed of volunteers delivering meals, so maybe people at your church could volunteer to drive, perform simple household chores, pick them up for church services, or help people in other ways just as they would be volunteering for Meals On Wheels. Just a thought.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
What if something happened to you and you couldn't be there for her?

Maybe call the pastor and talk to him/her about the situation to get some backup/relief for her.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:01 AM   #13
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Space - I had a similiar situation where a special needs lady from church attached herself to me. At first I was glad to help, then the calls grew and grew. I finally had to tell her no sometimes and it didn't go real well. After that, the pastor got a group of 5 or 6 together that would help her, but couldn't do it full time. They took turns like a week at a time so it was not such a burden and wasn't constant all the time.
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:40 PM   #14
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Negative people bring me down and I try to avoid them at all costs, life is too short. If someone needs help, that is one thing but people who are mentally ill or negative, no matter what and want to blame their problems on something or someone else, don't get a pass from me. I know this may sound crass and insensitive but I have come to the conclusion, they need help that I can't give.
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