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Dear Jody: Partner inconsiderate over car troubles

Q: I'm going to give you a brief account, if I can, as what has been happening and want to know your thoughts on my partner's reaction. First of all in November, my father, who lives in Utah, was diagnosed with cancer and would be undergoing chemotherapy and surgery. This was, of course, a huge blow and I had a hard time getting on with my life.
My dad and I are very close. I don't think anything has ever affected me like this. I still have trouble functioning and focusing. I planned to spend Christmas with him and all my brothers, but because of the snowstorm in Colorado, my lay over place, my flight was canceled and the airlines couldn't get me there until after Christmas. So I ended up flying home but missing all my sibs.
Well, when I got home I was broke but figured I could quickly recover working a few more shifts. Then three days after I got home, my car broke down; it was the timing chain and was going to cost a bundle to fix. I thought the repairs would all be under warranty, but the dealer said because the mechanic had not done one maintenance item at the 30,000 miles check-up, it wouldn't be covered under the warranty. I talked to my mechanic about this, and he said he would give me a break on the labor since it was his fault.
So I left my car with him to be repair. I had to borrow a car to get to work and back, which has been a pain in the butt. I kept calling and asking when my car was going to be ready and kept being put off. Then he said he needed $750 to go any further with the repairs. I ended up paying him as I desperately needed my car but told him I didn't think this was fair as the repair was his fault. He didn't respond. I left saying I would pick the car up on Friday but, of course, it wasn't ready. He assured me he would have it done by Monday – this is two months after I left it with him.
On Saturday morning I was reading the paper and saw that there had been a fire at the repair shop where I was having my car fixed. I quickly drove to the shop and there I saw my little car, totally melted down. The paper said the owner had some minor burns on his hands and had been released from the hospital. On Monday I started calling to find out about collecting on his insurance for my car. I tried to get a hold of him all week but the line was always busy. I called my insurance company, and they said that if I filed a claim with them, they would go after him for me, but I would owe a $500 deductible and my insurance rate would go up. So I kept trying, going by the shop and calling. Finally after nine days he answered the phone and said he didn't have any insurance. I would just have to take up the matter with my insurance company.
When I got home I was really angry and was venting this to my partner "Mary." She went on and on about how she felt sorry for Tom (the owner) because he had lost his business and that I should be more compassionate. I hit the ceiling. She knows how much I need her support at this time. When she started feeling sorry for Tom, I just felt that she doesn't understand or care about me at all. I feel like she just doesn't get it; her response devastated me. Last night, I came down with the flu! Am I wrong to be so angry with Mary?

Living Under the Dump Truck

A: Yes, I think you have been dumped on these last few months. I understand why you are feeling so angry and like life is out of control. I don't know what Mary's response has been throughout this ordeal, but it's time that you tell her how that response has affected you. Make sure you explain why, so she can understand. Explain that this is more than all the drama over your car. Though that would test anyone's mental health, it's about your fears for your dad. Let her know that you need her support during this time and how scary it is for life to seem to be so out of control.

Have a problem? Send your letters to: "Dear Jody," C/O Between the Lines, 20793 Farmington Road, Suite 25, Farmington, MI 48336. Or, e-mail: [email protected]

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Topics: Opinions
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