My daughter, 26, and her boyfriend of four years, moved home with us during this pandemic.
Their studio apartment’s very tiny and both are working from home, so it made sense for them to stay in our big four-bedroom house. We’re all getting along well.
Recently, the boyfriend stayed up all night, drinking, watching movies, and falling asleep on the couch.
In the morning, he moved to his bedroom, and my husband found a tightly rolled-up bill where he was sleeping, with a white powdery substance on it - a sure sign of someone doing cocaine.
This young man is very entrepreneurial, educated and successful. We were shocked to see signs of both excessive drinking and drug use.
Do we confront him? Do we tell our daughter?
A big blow-up during this pandemic could be disastrous, but we’re also concerned that this “great guy” may be hiding some habits from our daughter. Or perhaps she knows and looks the other way. Advice please!
They’re an adult couple who normally live together. Your daughter must be included in any discussion.
She may already know about his alcohol/cocaine use and appreciate the chance to talk about it. If it’s new information, she needs to hear it.
But how do you and your husband feel about it?
Would you accept that the stress of stay-home orders and worry over COVID-19 moved him to get high by himself when everyone else was asleep?
Or, when living in “your home,” must he abide by your discouragement of “excessive” drinking and drug use?
A discussion shouldn’t create a blow-up, unless he or your daughter denies/overreacts.
If there’s openness, you have an important opportunity to show caring concern about him, and offer help for him to find other ways to de-stress without his risking increasing substance dependency.
My wife and I are healthy, middle aged, with no children. She’s working from home; I’ve been laid off due to Covid-19.
We live with my very elderly aunt and help with her caregiving several times per week.
Because that requires being in very close proximity, I’m hesitant to do grocery shopping or similar tasks to help others at this time.
I don’t want to inadvertently bring germs home to someone so old. I realize that everyone’s processing this experience differently based on their lifestyle, but I feel terribly guilty like I’m not doing enough.
I read about people struggling with online schooling for children or with their own mental health.
My wife and I stepped up our charitable donations. But I’m struggling with the guilt that it seems I’ll go through this period relatively unstressed while so many others are suffering.
If you or your readers have any thoughts on ways I can be helpful to others, given the restrictions of my living situation, I’d be very grateful.
Is This Survivor’s Guilt?
You’re already giving immediate and necessary help, by providing your elderly aunt with caregiving and protection from the virus.
Donating to one of the many groups and agencies buying personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line workers, or helping pay for food drop-offs for their families at home, or providing energy snacks for hospital staff, are all needed ways to contribute.
Readers: Send in your ideas (to [email protected]) to help this man and others contribute to what Toronto Mayor John Tory has called a “war” for all of us to join any way we can… because we’re truly all in this together.
During this pandemic, some of my needier friends are continually using me as a sounding board.
They do have serious, sad, traumatic situations but they just want to vent. I cannot help them with their complicated lives/situations except to sympathize and listen.
But multiple calls daily are making me anxious. How can I turn them down without hurting these friends?
You’ve listened enough, now it’s time to gently withdraw over a short period.
When they phone, be busy, say you’ll call back when you can.
Then set yourself a short period (aided by a cup of tea, perhaps), and listen.
If nothing’s changed, tell your friend that online counselling for the situation might be very helpful (you can even have a therapist’s or agency phone number handy).
Give the caller five attentive minutes, then say you’ve got a task to complete.
On another call, introduce another topic completely, for the friendship’s sake.
Tip of the day:
Don’t let alcohol/drug abuse become the elephant in the room. Start a discussion to learn the extent of substance reliance.