by Ken Lund
Question by Beanie: Please help me help my mom.?
I’m not the type who usually turns to strangers on the internet for this kind of thing, but I really need anybody’s help I can get. My mom was fired from her job today. This is so demoralizing to her that I’m worrying about her contemplating suicide. The job (a pension plan coordinator) has been miserable for a few years, and in the last few months as the market has crashed, it has become unrealisitic. I’ve been secretly hoping this would happen, as dysfunctional as the company is (there have been massive firings, layoffs, and even 3 suicides in her office building in the past year). However, as of today the worst has happend and now I’m really worried about my mom.
She has no job. She has no husband to support her. She has no savings or equity in a house to fall back on. She is still recovering from a divorce 5 years ago where she bluntly learned the a**hole had been cheating on her for years. She didn’t take any alimony, and as a shopaholic, she’s accumulated debt. Now these are her problems and I know that they are her fault. She knows that too. However, all the why’s and how’s go flying out the window when I see my mom hurt.
She is not a figher. All she’s been saying lately is how much of a burden she is and how she doesn’t want to worry us. Her job performance has suddenly been graded on an unrealistic curve…her reason for termination is a bogus one. Since she has seniority,they are pushing her out based on her income. They’ve done it before, she just didn’t think it would happen to her. Honestly, I know my mom makes mistakes and isn’t perfect, but the ‘complaint’ stemmed from a client who requested his money be w/drawn on a specific day. My mom had just gotten chewed out for (following company policy) and terming out a request after the specified period, so she did what her immediate supervisor requested and termed this guy’s account that day. The next day was the one day that the market rebounded like 600 points. So the client got pissed that she did what he said and didn’t wait 24 hours to execute his order (when he would have made more $ ), and filed a complaint. That was all her boss needed, and after very loudly and unprofessionally screaming at my mom, she drug her around for a few days, then fired her. I know you could say wrongful termination, but my mom is just not a fighter. I wish she would get mad, but I’m worried she’s just given up. I don’t even think she’s going to fight for a severance pay or even unemployment. They escorted her out of the building and wouldn’t even let her pack up her pictures on her desk. She is so humiliated, and has been feeling so low about herself lately that her will is gone. She’s begun to believe what they said, how she is horrible employee, and now has no willpower or confidence to go after a new job. She will, as she always has put one foot in front of the other, but it’s not working. She sent me a copy of a cover letter for another job and it was full of ridiculous typos (like missing punctuation). She’s not thinking clearly. I don’t think she can accept hope. I’m worried she’s going through the motions merely to appease me and my sister. We have discussed recently how the tone of mom’s comments are sounding more and more hopeless and my sister and I talked yesterday about her possibly contemplating suicide. I wanted to fly the 1200 miles back home right then, but my sister made the point that it would only anger and stress my mom out more (she knows I’m a teacher and don’t have $ to jet across the country). I’d do it in a heartbeat, but she would be so upset that I worried about her that it would make her feel ‘more crazy’.
Please, anybody, what can I do? I know this rambling message probably isn’t coherent, but I’ve been typing with tears streaming down my face. My mom made me who I am, the strong, independent, successful woman I am. Why can’t she see the good in her? What can I do to save her? How can I help her see how far down she is without making her feel worse by making her feel crazy? I know you should never under react if you think someone is suicidal, but I don’t know where she is. She’s just ready to roll over and give up….can I give her specific advice? She has to get a new job as she’s in her late 50s and as of midnight tonight has no health insurance. Can I help her fight back? Are there hotlines to call for either financial or mental health advice? I’ve lost all perspective because I love my mommy so much…and I’m freaking scared.
Answer by Matrix1
an excellent article that you two can share together
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