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Archive for October 8th, 2015

On Horses and Water

My all-time favorite provider lives in a slum with several family members who treat her like crap; she works for a heroin addict who runs ads for her and my ATF splits her income with this woman.  I’ve told her she doesn’t need to give this woman anything since she’s doing all the work, and I even offered to help her get a place of her own wherever she wants to live, but she avoids my suggestions.  She is absolutely the best provider I have ever been with and is stunningly beautiful; unfortunately she also suffers from bipolar disorder.  How can I help her?

horse to waterIt is a sad fact of human existence that one absolutely cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.  It doesn’t matter how miserable her life is, how badly she’s being treated by her partner or family, how much she says she wants to change her life or how attractive you think the help you’re offering is; until and unless she actually makes the decision to accept your assistance, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  She may not find your offer as attractive as you think it is, or she may feel the price is too high; she may be wary of accepting help from a client, which very often comes with strings in which she may not wish to risk becoming entangled.  She may resent or even feel insulted by your attempts to “fix” her, and you really have no idea what her relationship with the other woman actually is; how do you know they aren’t lovers, or that your ATF doesn’t owe her either a lot of money or a deep bond of gratitude?  Even if you don’t think the relationship between them (or the one with her family) is healthy, that’s not your place to decide; every romantic relationship I’ve ever had has been called “bad” or “unhealthy” or “codependent” or even “abusive” by somebody, often (though not always) someone who wanted me for himself.  And it didn’t matter whether that opinion was objectively true or not (which it certainly was in two of the cases); until I decided those partners were bad for me, no amount of convincing, cajoling or outright bribery could convince me to leave.  And don’t forget, I’m not bipolar; mental health issues can amplify these problems by several orders of magnitude.

The short answer to your question, then, is “you can’t”.  You’re already made it clear to her that you’re willing to offer her help; when and if she decides to take either your advice or your economic aid, then you can give it to her (and you had better give it without strings unless you want her to change her mind once she sees the price tag.)  But you have to consider the possibility that the horse may never decide to drink, and if she doesn’t you have to decide how long you’re willing to wait on her before you wash your hands and walk away from the trough.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

 

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