Saturday, 6 February 2010

"A tale of two persons" (2)

G. is 25 years old. He is a volunteer at R-s H-use. He asked me the other day “do you think that I will ever mature?”

We talked a bit about thinking through the consequences of proposed actions; about planning ahead; about learning how to budget and save; about choosing friends with care.

G’s background is rugged. Neither parent was willing or able to offer adequate nurture or guidance. He was sexually abused at about age 14 by a man who threatened to kill him if he ever told. His then un-diagnosed illness of manic depression kicked in soon after. He enlisted in the Navy and had a major breakdown at boot camp. Let go by the Navy, he drifted into drug use.

Today he is clean and sober. He receives social security disability payments and gets food stamps. He lives alone in a subsidised apartment complex. He wants to get a job, but given the job market that’s highly unlikely. Most days he is bored out of his mind.

G. is a charmer. He knows how to present himself well and so is instantly likeable. He does not understand boundaries in human relationships, so he frequently makes unreasonable demands on those who befriend him. (I’ve had to instruct him NEVER to call me after 9:00 p.m. when he needs attention. or a ride home because he has missed the last ‘bus.)

His finances are in chaos because money burns a hole in his pocket, and he’s not savvy enough to know that it’s more important to pay the rent than, for instance to get a new mobile phone. He is in hock to several of his friends to the tune of about $1,000. I have declined to lend him money, but I have helped him to draw up a budget which would get him out of his financial hole in about three months. Sadly he is not intellectually or emotionally equipped to stick to a budget.

Back to his question - “do you think that I will ever mature?” He listened carefully as I went over a road map to maturity. Then I added “you know G., some people never mature”.

Of course I was expressing my own fear for him. He would need a ton of outside support over a long time, simply to get half-way there. I can offer but a wee bit of that support, but it will not be enough for his enormous needs.

Some people never mature. I suspect that G. will be one of them.

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