Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A quandary about people

Completely by accident, I found out a woman I was befriending (because her son would be in Caleb's class next year) was caught redhanded stealing from someone's purse. I came to the knowledge because the victim happened to be a friend of mine. Not knowing I knew the other lady, she began to tell of her utter surprise of the situation, and how it happened at our local Early Years Centre, and how the woman's two sons were there with her.

As my friend dropped a few details about the woman, something in me twinged. They were small details, but immediately brought to mind this woman who I had met a handful of times at the centre. I gingerly posed a few questions, not wanting to engage in gossip, but also concerned about the situation I might find myself in. Sure enough, it is the same woman.

Now I find myself in a sticky spot. The woman and her family are new to town, she speaks little English and her children speak none. I thought it would be nice for her and her son to have an ally as they start school in the fall, but now I feel so apprehensive about it. When caught stealing, she broke down crying and admitted to being a kleptomaniac, unsure of why she engaged in such behaviour and feeling unable to stop. I hate to judge, but I also feel I need to be cautious. It is already affecting my own frame of mind; today we went to the school for a morning program for kids Caleb's age, and afraid that she might be there with her children, I left my own purse in the car.

It is amazing how easily we are controlled by our emotions. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it, and I can't even imagine what I will feel the next time we run into each other (inevitable next school year.) Can I trust her? Should I trust her? Can she change? How can I determine if she truly has? Might there be other issues and problems underneath? Should I write her off completely, or just for a short term? Funny how one small conversation, seemingly just a friend sharing a shocking experience, can all of a sudden change an aspect of your life so drastically.


Heather said...

Oh my gosh, I don't even know what to say, that is such a tough spot. You hate to judge, but wow, that's hard. Sorry we missed you guys last night, would've been fun, even though they lost!

Terri-Ann said...

Would have been fun! I hear there might be some sort of NHL final playoff game party happening tomorrow night...if I hear more details I'll let you know. Might be nice not to be the only wife there!