I somewhat chickened out about asking Lora about her mom. I did ask, but in text. It was too tense of a conversation for me to do to her face. She’s not going to tell her mom today. She is going to tell her mom at some point, but for now, she doesn’t *have* to, and she really doesn’t want to.
I both get this and am nervous about it (of course, how wouldn’t I be?). The main thing that I’m nervous about is that ever present nightmare that her mom would show up unbidden to our apartment and that there’d be an epic freakout, where I’m the bad guy (or Jonathan. I guess he’d be the bad guy & I’d be the bad gal). Before we all lived together, it didn’t matter nearly as much, both because of the obvious much-reduced chance of her mother finding out by accident and the reality that the three of us moving in together bring with it a much higher level of commitment and if the three of us are going to be together for years, I really don’t want all those years to involve her family hating me. Because I already know that, while I’ll be compassionate towards her mother if she has a hard time with this, my ability to bend over backwards to cater to her mother if she has a hard time with this is distinctly lacking. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time feeling guilty whenever someone else was hurt by my choices*, and would go to ridiculous lengths to make them feel better. Not only did I get sick of that eventually, I’ve snapped pretty hard in the opposite direction. I’m more likely to (semi) politely tell someone to go fuck themselves elsewhere if they don’t like what I’m doing.
It would be really awkward to tell Lora’s mom to go fuck herself elsewhere if she doesn’t like what we’re doing. And also not my place. So that is something that I plan on doing my best to avoid at all costs.
Which isn’t to say that I’m afraid that Lora or Jonathan would ask me to be in that situation, or not press for me to be treated with as much respect and consideration as I would press for them to be treated with. I know that this is a big red button for me and it’s something that I’ll be tense about as long as Lora’s family doesn’t know.
*I really mean that I would be guilty over everything. In my first office job, my boss was mentally ill** (No really, she went on mental leave a few months after I left the company, and never came back from it. No phone call, no letter, just never went back to work.) and grossly mismanaged her work, due to her illness. Because of her gross mismanagement, we worked until nine or ten most days of the week, except for Fridays, when we worked until midnight or later. Other departments typically left between six-thirty and seven-thirty. Due to my work stress, I started having mental problems myself, and the latest appointment I could get was for eight. Because I was abandoning my boss at seven-thirty to go to the doctor twice a week (that’s how she phrased it, not me. I was abandoning her.), I started coming in a seven in the morning those days. Because I felt guilty, instead of feeling angry that my boss had her shit so poorly sorted that we worked an average of ten hours more per week than any other department.
**I don’t think there’s a stigma associated with being mentally ill. I spent close to a month in a mental hospital towards the end of my college career and another few weeks not long after I graduated, due to severe depression. However, we’re you’re so mentally ill that you’re fucking up both your work-life balance and the work-life balance of your assistant grossly, and yet you’re in denial about it and more interested in guilt-tripping the assistant than getting help, I think you’re pretty undeserving of sympathy – especially sympathy from the assistant, who is now also having mental health problems from being overworked.