The New Mallrat

This morning I talked to n.’s worker who confirmed n. had not been back to the hotel or had any contact with the agency since Tuesday morning at 5:00 AM. He’s definitely gone. The worker said n. had been clear about his priorities. He wants to live his life with no rules. He would like someone to financially support his freedom.

In the afternoon Jan called me. She was at the house, sorting and packing. She said n. had called her. He said he had arrived in Edmonton. He said someone had bought a ticket for him and had promised him some assistance until he could get a job and get paid. He said this person had ditched him. He said he was at the West Edmonton Mall and trying to find work. He said he had found a shelter but he thought he could only stay a few nights. He wanted money for food. He wanted one of us to wire it. He did not give Jan a number or address or the name of the shelter. When Jan and I were still a couple, she agreed that we should not be giving n. any more money to pay for his version of freedom. I think that in the last few days she has also been telling him that she has no money herself since she is not working yet, and is dependent on me for support.
I notified Child and Family Services that n. appears to have landed in Edmonton. I’m not sure if Winnipeg CFS can ask the authorities in Edmonton to look for him, or detain him, or send him back. I don’t know what he would do if they sent him back here.
I think this is one of those situations where I am powerless to influence or intervene. If I send any money, it will be paying for his lifestyle choices, which I am not willing to support. Sending money will not make him any safer or contribute to his recovery. I might feel, for a moment, that I am doing something helpful but after a while I will just feel angry and used.