I feel really bad for a friend of mine who is dealing with some personal family issues with his child. I am not really sure how to be a supportive friend in this situation other than just being a friend and listening to his battle with himself and the guilt as a parent that he feels is oh so familiar to me. (The guilt part that is)!
The child is not really a child at all, she is an adult who is struggling to be an adult and who lives like an adult, meaning she does what she wants, yet she is still dependent on both of her parents and doesn't want to accept responsibility for her actions which got her into said situation in the first place and who use the big "M" word as in manipulation to increase his guilt.
Family dynamics are a funny thing. Guilt and manipulation are things I try to avoid. I hate when people try to make me feel both guilty and try to manipulate a situation instead of dealing with the problem, to control and be abusive. I am thankful that I read a great book years ago which helped me to recognize these behaviors as I used to be a victim of these actions by my own children and loved ones.
When you are in said situation though, it is difficult if you do not recognize the symptoms and the flags. Even though I recognize - I do not feel comfortable sharing my awareness. Words, family and friends and interpretations by an outsider, no matter how much of a friend can backfire and ruin friendships. I have learned the hard way too many times, despite being asked for my opinion, feelings, or view.
The fresh eyes of someone on the outside may be said to be appreciated, but in the long run they do come back and bite you in the ass! I for one do not have enough friends to sabotage one of the few that I do have. Blood is thicker than friendship after all. And then again, blood does not mean jack to some people, as it means to me, which makes life a double edged sword.
Just last week, I interfered in one of my own children's lives, by doing what I thought was a favour, and instead, my child was mad at me for two days for the interference. It really bothered me, until he told me to forget about it.
My own father stopped talking to me as well recently because I was pointing out the reality of a situation, which he sees and knows, but which I guess he wanted not to accept or hear about from me, so he chose to stop being my father and my friend yet again, which caused a ripple effect through out my "family" or rather his family and put me in bad light. What else is new?? If I am not in bad light I am in no light with those people anyway!!!
Life is way to short for my tears, my words of advice even when solicited are mainly used against me in the end, so there is nothing more that I can really do or say. It may appear in that case that I am cold and unfeeling, but I am not. I feel too much and I believe in speaking the truth, but sometimes you have to know when to bite your tongue and let nature take its course!