I don’t know what I expected, but Julie’s mom is up to her old tricks. Julie is no longer allowed to come to my house. Apparently, the visit on Saturday was “too much” for Julie and her mom thinks she should only see me in a “community environment” or at her house. In a nutshell, Julie was freaked out (no one should have expected any less) and her mom doesn’t want to deal with it. So she tells us only to see Julie on neutral ground (I don’t think her house is neutral at all, considering I loathe her).
While on some level I agree that this might have been the best way to approach things at the start, it isn’t what happened. And it’s also not going to stop the questions. Whether or not Julie had seen me in my home or in a restaurant for an hour, she still would have issues understanding our new relationship. One would think that all of these people who’ve been around Julie would understand some of her challenges, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
As far as I’m concerned, this is just one more attempt by a lonely, bored woman to control her daughter and me. Maybe I sound paranoid, but it seems like she wants to call the shots. I have to come to her house if I want to see Julie. She gets to determine where, when, and how I socialize with her. Perhaps as the legal guardian of someone determined incapable by the state of making her own decisions, Julie’s mom is allowed to tell me what, when, where and how. But it doesn’t change the fact that she probably gets some amount of evil glee out of doing so.
It dawned on me today that she’s been controlling me – or at least my employment status – all these years I’ve been absent from Julie’s life. After I went off on her during our last phone call in 2001, she still gave me a glowing letter of recommendation. At the time, I had to apologize a lot to get it and try and soothe her bruised ego, which she made abundantly clear. I considered her letter to be her own kind of apology until I found out from a friend that she’d been badmouthing me to the bureaucrats since the day I left. My friend Liz still works in that field and had a conversation with a man from another agency. Long story short, they found out they both knew Julie and her mom. The man referred to me and my former housemate/co-worker as “those girls who stole from Julie” or something to that effect. Her mom had apparently gone around town telling lots of people in the social services that Kate and I had taken clothes, money, and furniture from Julie. She also referred to our living situation as “somewhat abusive.”
Whether or not you know or like me or Kate, and for all of the things I could say about Kate and her selfish, poor decision making, I do not for one moment believe that she abused or stole from Julie. She didn’t return an item to Julie’s mom that she should have, because she’s passive aggressive and so non-confrontational that she couldn’t bear facing Julie’s mom, even to give her something that was rightfully hers (a hope chest). I think it was shitty of Kate not to return it, and I don’t know if she or her parents ever have, but that’s no reason to accuse us to the entire industry of theft or abuse.
It gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach to think about how much I put up with and makes me question my own self-respect. If I ever wanted to go back in that field in this state, I don’t know if I could get a job, and I certainly wouldn’t use a letter of recommendation from that woman. It’d basically be the kiss of death, no matter from how high-up the stationery it’s printed on comes. She knew when she was writing the letter that I’d be a fool to use it.
Julie’s happiness and comfort is more important than my desire to visit with her. If I truly make her uncomfortable being around, I won’t see her. But if her mom/guardian just doesn’t want to deal with the hassle and responsibility of the challenges of someone she took on years ago, that’s really her problem.