Friday, March 11, 2011

Under the knife

The drama in my oldest friend's life continues. She is in surgery as I write this, having her broken elbow and still-smarting wrist repaired. Recovery time will be a month, maybe two. She's worried about her job, and I think that's a very valid concern. She started there in November and by the time she reaches her 6-month anniversary, she may have already clocked 90 days off (her daughter had the stomach flu, she had bursitis in her shoulder, and now this).

I contacted a lawyer in her Beverly Hills neighborhood and got advice on how best my friend can hang onto this job. The free phone consult was very helpful, with tips on how to word any correspondence with her employers. The key, it seems, is to frame this as a "disability," not an "injury." For she protected from legal termination in the State of California if she became disabled in the workplace; no such protections exist if it's an injury. My friend thanked me for doing this bit of legwork for her but has done nothing the lawyer recommended yet. Her children have been too hard for her to handle and she's tired and hurt.

Her 21-year-old son moved back in with her and his temper has been getting the best of him. He's verbally abusive and likes to punch things (walls and doors) when he's mad. Her 14-year-old daughter has been truant, drank beer during school and brought a stoned-out friend home with her who proceeded to vomit all over my friend's kitchen.

She really doesn't need all this drama, and yet this drama is what she keeps getting.

My best friend's theory is that she is the victim of self-sabotage -- that since she has not turned out to be great at mothering, she doesn't feel she deserves good things. He may be on to something here. For how else do we explain her refusal to shoot off an email that could help her preserve her job? (The lawyer and) I practically wrote it for her. Yes, she's tired and sad and hurt, but she'll be in more dire straits if she has no income.

I worry about her so. I keep hoping that the stress she's under will abate and she'll have a chance to just be happy.


  1. I am sorry that your friend is going through such a tough time. Some people are addicted to the drama llama.

  2. It's really hard to stand by when someone you love is making a mess out of her life-and it's especially hurtful when you really do try to give her a hand and she ends up pushing you and your attempts away.