How do I help a very pregnant friend whose support network is falling apart before my eyes?
My friend, J, is currently seven months along in a very unplanned pregnancy. Her support network has never been robust, but lately things have declined sharply on that front. For example:
- Our mutual friend M, who has been a huge support to J in the past, has withdrawn completely. M is having her own life crisis at the moment--depression and alcoholism mainly--and feels that her support of J has caused her own depression. As a result, M has withdrawn and isn’t talking to J (or me, but that’s another story).
- J’s mother and sister are of little to no help. Mom makes promises of help and money but never delivers, and Sis has rarely if ever gotten along with J.
- Just last night J’s boyfriend/baby’s father admitted to her that he was no longer in love with her. She apparently convinced him to give things another try, but that sounded…tenuous at best.
Anyway, I’ve been doing what I can to help J—mainly listening to her, and spending time driving her to the occasional vital errand as she has no car, etc.—but my own capacity to help is limited as I live an hour’s drive away and work full-time. J has contacted a social worker with DSHS, but their ability to provide services was minimal, as her income falls into that weird area where it’s too much to get help but not enough to really make it on her own.
Long story short, J is near-broke, depressed, freaking out, and feeling very helpless right now, and I’m not sure what else I can/should do to help her. I can't be her sole support...so I’m hoping my fellow Mefites might have some ideas on how to deal with this.
(For the record, J lives in Seattle.)