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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Southern Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    73

    Vent re: overly helpful person

    Right off the bat, I want to say that this is more of a rant than anything. I don't feel I can do this on a facebook group in case the privacy setting screw up again and this person may see it. But I do want the perspectives of a relatively anonymous group like you guys. So here it goes (might be long):

    There is this person that I know, that has somehow decided that we are "needy" and goes to such length to "help" us that it has almost become offensive. When I first met her I was pregnant with my first baby, and hubby and I were not yet married or living together. Yes, things were tight, but I wouldn't say I was downright poor. Things have since improved considerably but this person doesn't seem to get it. I mean, when things were tough I would shop at thrift stores or garage sales but I was still picky and would never buy something that was filthy and in bad shape. This person (who is old enough to be my mom) regularly takes it upon herself to buy loads of dirty used toys for my kids. She's not well off financially either but feels she has to help. Especially now around Christmas time, she feels she has to buy lots of gifts for us, all from the thrift store. Like, last night we came home to find a bag hanging from our door knob that contained several of such toys, a sleeper (although that one was actually nice) and a breast pump that doesn't work, is dirty and won't come apart for sterilizing. She never asked if I needed or already had a breast pump. She's also in the past gifted me with a huge bag of used clothing that didn't fit me and were not at all my style.

    I mostly feel bad that she's spending her money on this because it all goes back to the thrift store since I can't use it and hate useless clutter in my house. I mean, she's even given us weird objects that even she could not figure out what they were for! If she really felt the need to give us something I wish she would spend her money on one nice new thing.

    There's more. She's also crossed the line in several other areas of my life. She showed up uninvited to the birth of my first baby, and stayed for the whole thing. That's in spite of the fact that I had a doula and my partner with me. I'm a bit of a pushover and didn't have the heart to tell her to leave, but in retrospect it bothers me soooo much! She appointed herself Godmother for our son, even though this isn't done in my culture. Whenever we are together with other people she makes a point of calling herself his godmother, and on facebook pictures of my son she'll comment "that's my godson etc."

    She tried hard very to convince us to let her be our wedding photographer (she thinks she's a professional) but thank goodness we found a way to nicely tell her we'd already booked someone else. She even offered to marry us (got her licence online) and posted on facebook that she would like to design my wedding dress. She designed a wedding invitation on our behalf and actually expected us to use it. She would have taken over our whole wedding had we let her.

    She has the habit of posting things on people's facebook timelines that should actually belong in a private message. Just now she asked for everyone to see, whether we had received the bag of stuff hanging from the door last night. The last straw came when, after my 2nd baby was born and I came home from the hospital, I found out that she had already taken it upon herself to announce the baby's birth to everyone on facebook, first and middle name misspelled. I had really been looking forward to announcing her name, and this made me really upset. I did confront her about it and she apologized.

    There are also many things she has done to truly help me out, but I always had the feeling she did it so she could later tell others about it, and make me look like a charity case. In fact, she's written and in fact published a book about her life (I doubt it'll ever become even remotely well known though) and we are mentioned in detail. She changed our names but sooner or later someone is bound to put two and two together. I know I should have told her to leave us out of it, but she made such a point of how we are very important figures in her life, and I really didn't have the heart to tell her how I really feel. I guess that's the problem.

    I hate to hurt anyone's feelings, I'll go out of my way to be nice and accommodating to everyone, sometimes at the expense of my own wishes. I really have no idea how to deal with this person anymore, my gut reaction is just to be nice and say thank you to everything, even when I feel extremely annoyed.

    So yeah, that's my story. I know I might sound ungrateful, but come on, wouldn't you feel offended if somebody expected you to feed your baby milk pumped with a dirty pump, or your kids to play with dirty stuffed animals? Am I being unreasonable in feeling very annoyed by all this?
    Mommy to Quinton Vladimir and Maeve Elisabeth

    Current favourites: Pearl, Ruby, Cecilia/Cecily, Demetria, Emmeline, Elizabeth/Eliza, Beatrix, Evangeline, May/Maeve, Mia, Bella, Annabelle, Maria, Phoebe, Jemima, Jamila, Maisie, Sanna, Mercy, Aviva, Avalon
    Quinton, Kingston, Elijah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Sebastian, Cooper, Zebedee, Malachi, Linus, Titus, Fergus, Finnian

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    645
    I feel like I know someone just like this woman! The "charitable giving," showing up uninvited, posting inappropriate things on Facebook, etc. She sounds like quite the lady.....

    mimimommy, if I may be honest, it sounds like you are letting her walk all over you for fear of hurting her feelings. I can relate to not wanting to disrespect or put someone down, especially a person who has been genuinely helpful in the past, but there comes a point when you need to speak your mind when your own feelings and wishes are being hurt or ignored. You need to tell this person how she make you feel, or just cut out communication entirely if she is not cooperative. You can confront her in a way that is not rude or cruel.

    For example, in the case of her calling herself your son's godmother (kudos to you for remaining calm over that one, especially under the stresses of being a new mother! I probably would have flipped out on her), you can say to her, "I appreciate that you want to be a part of my son's life. That is very kind of you. However, when you call yourself his godmother, it contradicts the practices of my culture and makes me uncomfortable. Can you please not call yourself that anymore, or call my son your godson?"

    If she cannot abide by your wishes, especially about something as serious as your cultural beliefs, then she is obviously not respectful and thus probably not someone you want around your children. That would be grounds for you to terminate any communication with her. You can similarly say something about the unwanted secondhand toys and clothes: "It is very generous of you to want to lend a hand to your neighbor. However, we are doing just fine as a family and do not need anymore donations. I am sure there is someone else in our community who needs these items more than we do. Please, in the future, give charitably to other families."

    I hope this was helpful to you. Please take care of yourself and hopefully you can eliminate this stress from your life!
    Currently crushing on:

    Russell. Calloway. Brighton.

    Evadne. Cecelia. Thomasina.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,636
    I have a few questions about your situation before I can give you any thoughts on it. First, who is this woman in relation to you? Is she a co-worker, a friend, a neighbor? Second, you say that she crossed the line by showing up uninvited to your first birth and by posting about your second child's birth. My question is, how did she know about those two things in the first place? Did you call and tell her about them or did she just happen to stop by at the right time? Third, why does she feel that you two are so close in the first place? I'm guessing at some point the two of you must have been close, otherwise I don't know why she would want to be so involved in your life or why you would have a hard time telling her to butt out.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Southern Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    73
    I met her while she was a counselor at a pregnancy crisis center (my first pregnancy was unplanned and a bit of a crisis). She quit working there before my baby was born but we stayed in touch. At this point her helpfulness was mostly appreciated and didn't raise any red flags for me. She asked me to phone her when I went in to labour so she could pray for me (there is a religious aspect to all of this as well) and so I did. She never indicated that she planned to show up at the hospital.
    She doesn't have a daughter but she's told me that if her youngest had been a girl she was going to give her the same name I have. She feels sort of prophetic about it. Like I'm her spiritual daughter. She's big into that sort of thing.
    With my daughter I guess it's my fault because I did phone her along with our other family and friends to announce the birth. I know I should have thought twice before phoning her but it didn't occur to me that she might not at all be familiar with facebook etiquette regarding these things. Because she was so involved in my first pregnancy, she tried to do the same with this one but I obviously didn't let her get nearly as involved. However, I know it would have hurt her deeply if she had only found out about the birth several days after it happened. That's the thing, she gets her feelings hurt easily and I'm a huge sucker for that.
    Mommy to Quinton Vladimir and Maeve Elisabeth

    Current favourites: Pearl, Ruby, Cecilia/Cecily, Demetria, Emmeline, Elizabeth/Eliza, Beatrix, Evangeline, May/Maeve, Mia, Bella, Annabelle, Maria, Phoebe, Jemima, Jamila, Maisie, Sanna, Mercy, Aviva, Avalon
    Quinton, Kingston, Elijah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Sebastian, Cooper, Zebedee, Malachi, Linus, Titus, Fergus, Finnian

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    414
    To be completely honest this situation sounds pretty creepy and inappropriate. I know it's hard, but you have to stand up for yourself and instate some boundaries with this woman. I don't anticipate it will go well, but you can't live your whole life like this, and honestly the longer it goes on the harder it will be to rectify.

    I would try to just tell her frankly, but friendly that you are no longer in the same situation that you were when you first met, and that while you appreciate everything she has done for you, that you no long need the help. Hopefully she will get the message.

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