Ask Amy: I wish I had never met her (2024)

Dear Amy: I am a 45-year-old married woman with three children.

I volunteer for a nonprofit organization and through this work I met a nice older woman (58) in this group. “Carol” was very nice, but over the past two years, she’s become very attached to me. This makes me uncomfortable.

She messages me over Facebook every morning and every night, and texts me multiple times a day.

Carol stops by unannounced and is very much in my space. She is very touchy.

She says I’m her best friend and that she loves me, but I don’t even think of her that way at all.

She sends extravagant gifts to me and my family frequently.

I’m trying to be nice; I don’t want to hurt her.But other than the nonprofit, we have nothing in common.

I kind of feel uncomfortable around her. She gets angry when I don’t respond to her and messages my children, telling them I’m “shutting her out.”

That’s crossing the line. I just don’t know what to do.

I just wish I had never met her.


– Concerned

Dear Concerned: This is concerning. You don’t say how old your children are or how well they know “Carol,” but she should not be sending messages to them at all – and certainly not as a way to get to you.

You need to convey to her that it is necessary for you to have stronger boundaries with her and that she needs to respect them. Tell her, “I’ve enjoyed working with you, but I am not going to move forward in friendship outside of our work together. I’m feeling crowded. I don’t feel comfortable with you stopping by the house or sending gifts to us. My spouse and I don’t want adults to contact our children without our permission. I’m asking you to respect these boundaries.”

I suggest seeing if she can respect your wishes before blocking her contact across platforms.

You should speak with your supervisor to let them know that you’re trying to handle this situation. You might ask not to have your hours overlap with Carol’s.

Save and print out any unwanted contact from Carol, and if she escalates, you may also have to escalate your response by considering a no-contact order.

Dear Amy: I am wondering if I should intervene for a friend and neighbor who appears to be being taken advantage of by her daughter and granddaughter.

“Edna” and “Max” retired eight years ago. (Edna is the neighborhood piano teacher. Many children and adults have benefited from her lessons.)

Shortly after Max passed away seven years ago, Edna’s divorced, unemployed daughter, “Lara,” moved in with her. Now, Lara’s unemployed daughter (Edna’s granddaughter) has moved in bringing her four young children with her.

The last time I saw Edna, she was crying and said that her daughter and granddaughter are sponging off of her, spending her Social Security, and because the unruly children areallowed to scream, fight, and wail incessantly, she’s had to give up her piano clients.

She said her daughter has talked her into a reverse mortgage so she and her granddaughter can have access to more of her money.

She says she is a prisonerin her room. I provided my advice – kick them all out!

Last week, I knocked on her door and her daughter turned me away, saying Edna has dementia symptoms and cannot talk to neighbors or go outside the house.

I don’t buy it. I am worried about Edna but do not want to be a busybody.

Your advice?

– Worried

Dear Worried: You should intervene, and do so quickly. “Just kick them out” is not practical advice when the abuse has progressed to this extent. “Edna” is trapped.

You should do a search for “Adult Protective Services” in your county and report this abuse immediately.

I would also call the police and request a “wellness check” on this very vulnerable elder.

This is not being a busybody. This is being a good friend.

Dear Amy: I’m responding to “Dissed Sib,” who felt it was unfair that certain family members received more financial help from their mother than others had. This happened in my family, and my mom’s response was: “Fair does not always mean equal.”

– Always Miss My Mom

Dear Always: I’ve heard from many readers who report similar pearls of wisdom delivered by parents during their childhoods.

Teaching this to children while they’re growing up will prevent resentment later.

(You can email Amy Dickinson ataskamy@amydickinson.comor send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter@askingamyorFacebook.)

Ask Amy: I wish I had never met her (2024)
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