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Old 07-30-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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Default Trying to help my girl friend

My friend is one of the most amazing, passionate, intelligent, thoughtful and caring people I know. We met in 6th grade, became close in high school and just last year we started hanging out a lot more, when she came home after college.

She is truly beautiful, inside and out. She's always around to listen to me and offer advice. We have fun no matter what we are doing. She's an exceptionally talented artist. She's just got that creative gene, where she can take a blank canvas and completely transform it into something wonderful. Art is her passion and her life's calling.

The only problem is her parents (mostly her mom).

My friend comes from a very athletic, outdoorsy family. All the children (she has an older sister and younger brother) played sports throughout school, and the whole family is into running, hiking, kayaking etc. Very much into fitness and health.

Well she gained a noticeable amount of weight during college (shes in the mid-200s now), and her mother wont let her hear the end of it. I feel so bad.

Her mother tells her that the reason she's having trouble finding a job is because she's fat, and companies won't hire people who obviously () can't take care of themselves. She even suggested WLS! That REALLY blew my mind, because its like her parents aren't even aware of the seriousness of WLS. Her mom tells her that she looks trashy when she wears certain clothes (I think she looks amazing all the time!)

Her mother also said that her art should just be a hobby, and she'll never make something of herself with her artwork.

My poor friend has enough self-esteem issues brought on by herself... she certainly doesn't need her mother saying these things as well. They get into big fights and then she comes to me and tells me everything. I get so angry! Why can't her mother just realize what an amazing daughter she has, and how BEAUTIFUL she is! I cant stand the fact that her mom is so turned on by outward appearances.

I dont know how to help her, other than listening to her when she needs me. It really makes me feel helpless.

I just needed to get that all out before I asploded.
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
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Hugs being a good friend and venting space is a great thing and what she needs as for the mother issue that is their dynamic to work out hard I know when you see someone hurting you want to fix it, at some point she will have to stand up to her mother

mayby show her this site (well selected threads) as its a great way to work one ones self esteem and empowerment after all once we feel strong and confident we tend to act that way the more we act that way the more we stand up for ourselves ect the whole tumbledown effect
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:25 PM   #3
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What your friend needs now is a good friend, and it sounds like that's what you're being to her. What she needs most is a listening ear, and you're providing that.

Secondly, what she needs is to get some distance from her family, but I'm guessing she can't move out of her family's house until she finds a job and can afford rent. I'd recommend doing what you can to help your friend with her job search. Tell her about any leads you find, maybe help her do some internet searches on Monster.com, etc, to help her find the kind of job she's looking for. If she can find a place to live without needing a job right away, helping with her apartment search is another great thing to do.

Having grown up with an incredibly judgmental and critical parent, I know the benefits of putting some distance between yourself and your parent when they choose to act that way. It will help your friend's confidence grow by leaps and bounds when she's living on her own, making her own money, etc. Until she's able to put some distance between herself and her family, though, what she really needs is a good friend.
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:07 PM   #4
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You're a true friend to stay by her side, this is such a whole-hearted act you are doing for her. You're already helping her in a way, your listening to her and staying by her side when she needs you most, who knows it may mean a lot to her that you're open to listening. She's very stressed as of now so it's inevitable that she's going to be pouring out her emotion when you talk to her. But it's so amazing for you as her friend to stand by her side with this issue.

I understand that you want to do what ever you can to help her with this issue and want to make her feel better, but I don't know what to say but let your friend and her mother. It's a tough family issue she's in so it might be best to let things work out for themselves for now until there's some progress between them.

The bigger issue though is that she's losing a lot of self confidence in herself and her image. Her mother insulting her own daughter for being overweight is absolutely ridiculous! Since she's being put down a lot for her image, she must be questioning whether she is actually beautiful in her eyes or not. I mean what does her mother know, she's never been fat! The best thing to help your friend with now is to make her gain her self confidence back. It's tough to do that for a woman as big as she is, but some how she has to know that there are men who like her for who she truly is, fat or not.

I sort of like spiritangel's idea to show her the site to prove that there are men who like fat women, but the only problem I see with that is how comfortable she would be with that. So maybe that would be more of a plan B for now. I like thirtiesgirl's idea, it would be a great idea to assist your friend in the job search. Ask her what kind of field of jobs she would be interested in and use whatever resources you can find to help her.

All and all, you're doing a great thing for her. You're a true friend with a big heart. Right now your doing the right thing listening to her with an open ear and eager to help, but for now be patient and stay by her side. I'm sure you'll be greatly rewarded for such good deeds you are doing, I wish you and her the best of luck!
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:17 PM   #5
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well... gentlewoman I suppose.

but thanks!
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Saoirse View Post
well... gentlewoman I suppose.

but thanks!
SORRY!
typo, i'll edit that really quick...
SORRY!!!!!!
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=UnknownSpirit01;1517579]
Quote:
It's tough to do that for a woman as big as she is, but some how she has to know that there are men who like her for who she truly is, fat or not.
The number on a scale has very little to do with how confident a person is. Saying, " for a woman as big as she is ", is pretty insulting. A person who is 125 pounds can be more down on themselves ( male or female ) than someone who is much heavier.

Quote:
I sort of like spiritangel's idea to show her the site to prove that there are men who like fat women, but the only problem I see with that is how comfortable she would be with that.
I don't see anything mentioned that suggests that the young woman is mostly upset over wondering if men find her attractive or not. I know that is the go to zombie focus out here at times, but it tends to gloss over the hundred other things that are making a woman feel so down. The young woman has gained what seems like more than a couple of pounds. There is a good chance that is, in part, because of the self-esteem issues that are, in part, brought on by the family pressures that are probably not just about the physical changes and issues. A sticky spider web that is not going to be fixed by having men drool over her, and can actually confuse, even more, a person who is going through so much stress. Her mom has the whole body focus covered.
----

I like 30's suggestion about helping create distance between the woman and her family situation - even if that is not right away about geography, but certainly the goal. The more friends she has letting her know that she has people on the planet who find her wonderful and amazing, the better she will be able to build those muscles that have her standing up for her life...standing up to her family, and even to herself, when she is beating herself up.

You are giving her gold right now by being there. That is big.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mossystate View Post
I don't see anything mentioned that suggests that the young woman is mostly upset over wondering if men find her attractive or not. I know that is the go to zombie focus out here at times, but it tends to gloss over the hundred other things that are making a woman feel so down. The young woman has gained what seems like more than a couple of pounds. There is a good chance that is, in part, because of the self-esteem issues that are, in part, brought on by the family pressures that are probably not just about the physical changes and issues. A sticky spider web that is not going to be fixed by having men drool over her, and can actually confuse, even more, a person who is going through so much stress. Her mom has the whole body focus covered.
Agreed. Confidence comes from within, not from having potential sexual partners let you know they find you socially/sexually acceptable. From my own experience, I didn't grow up as the "pretty girl," with lots of guys trying to date me. My confidence came from doing things on my own - paying my own way through college, moving out on my own, finding a job on my own and making my own life in Los Angeles when I moved here, away from my family. Having that distance, away from a family of incredibly judgmental, repressive people, helped my confidence grow by leaps and bounds. It's nice to have a sexual partner who also appreciates me for who I am - brain, body and personality included - but that's not where my self-confidence come from. That comes from me and me alone.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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It wasnt about the men side of dimms at all

I was thinking along the lines of the self acceptance, self esteem and other such threads to show she is not alone in what she is dealing with and also knowing that others have traversed the road she is on is often a huge help within itself.

sorry just wanted to clear that up as I would never ever suggest that compliments ect should be where we build up our self esteem from
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:33 PM   #10
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spiritangel, I absolutely knew that is what you meant
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:54 PM   #11
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Hugs thanks mossy just wanted to make sure my meaning was a little clearer :-)

I mean we all know what a slippery slope it is when we look to others for our self esteem and validation, and that that is a short term soloution so to speak :-)
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