The story of Missy and her bad behavior is finished, at least for the present. When the initial shock wore off, and Missy showed up at the door again, enabling kicked back into action full force. “It will be okay,” said Shirley and Julie.
It will be okay. It will be okay for the time being, until Missy finds herself in need of money again. “I don’t have anything left that she would want to take,” says Shirley. “She won’t want my nutcracker collection, or my collection of decorative plates, or my thimble collection. They aren’t worth much.”
“I don’t have anything left either,” says Julie. Julie only has a collection of Elvis memorabilia, which she proceeded to tell me about. Yes, valuable.
It will be okay, until Shirley’s thimble collection goes missing. It will be okay, until Missy gets dragged to court for her myriad of unpaid bills. It will be okay, until five-year-old Anna grows up and becomes like all the things she grew up witnessing. It’s okay, we are over the theft of our computers and our jewelry and our coin collection.
I keep wanting to shake them. It’s not okay! This has been escalating for years. Drugs and gambling are not okay. David tried to at least get Shirley to move away, but that’s a hard decision to make. Moving isn’t easy. Shirley is staying put, for the time being, and Julie with her.
“It will be okay” serves well enough when there is a bad situation you can do absolutely nothing about, one where you just have to wait and see, holding your breath until it’s over. When your daughter says someone has asked her to the Prom, and you are happy for her, but scared to death when she climbs into the boy’s car and you know you won’t see her again until the next morning…short of you stalking her in your black ninja outfit…it will be okay. And it usually is.
Missy will not be able to recover from her addictive behaviors without outside help. Anna needs the attention of a stable, disciplined home. It will not be okay to just sigh and hope she stops. To hope she ditches the unsavory Tom and other friends who are talking her into this, because Missy, on her own, would not be able to think of so many creative ways to abuse her family.
My husband’s family, not mine. I can voice my opinion, carefully, but that’s all I can do. I am pretty sure that one of these days we will get a call from Shirley, telling us that Missy has been arrested. Maybe I am a pessimist, but I can’t help but think being arrested would provide Missy with a dose of reality. Tough love, when there is no money left to provide bail, even if they wanted to.
It will be…okay… only if you are willing to make the hardest choices, to do whatever you can, whatever it takes, to end this right now.