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where'd she gooooo?
tuesday, october 11, 2011

it has been a long two months. long story short: the two older girls lost their freakin' minds.

since the girls moved in, i've been focused on keeping the entire family afloat. it's been stressful and exhausting. well, towards the end it was stressful and exhausting. when they first moved in, not so much. everyone was working, people paid up without argument, and we were managing. we could even get a few extras, go to the movies as a family every now and then, or go out to dinner. the girls planned to move out eventually, but otherwise seemed okay with being in the house. there were the usual family squabbles, but nothing too serious, for the most part. the hardest thing about it was baby sitting the grand baby 50-70 hours a week. the child has never been able to occupy herself for more than a minute or two, so getting things done was punctuated with lots of interruptions, plus there was the whole changing my schedule to match her mama's. i did that for nearly 3 years for free. it was necessary, but it's own bit of tiring, especially since i never really got a break and couldn't hand the baby over to mama to take home.

but you know, the strength of family isn't really revealed until there's a serious crises. our crises revealed that my family is weak and that my older girls are selfish, entitled brats who think i need to take care of them even if i can't take care of myself and their siblings. that even though we were all under the same roof, all affected by the lack of utilities or whatever, they had no responsibility whatsoever to help beyond their regular payments. i mean, seriously explain to me how "i've paid my part of the rent" is taking care of your daughter when not paying the full rent gets everyone evicted? did she seriously think the landlord wouldn't evict her despite a chunk of rent being due just because she paid her portion? had to, because we ended up having to use the money we collected for saxy's school (given to us by friends specifically for that purpose) to pay off the rent despite the fact that over that weekend she had to have had at least $1200, some of which she got from friends by telling them her step-dad was out of a job and we were in trouble. she used the money to pay her fiancée's bills. guess he was more important than keeping a roof over our heads.

and, yes, i'm very pissed about what happened. at this point, because of their behavior and callousness and blaming ME for everything, i don't want to see either of my older girls for thanksgiving at all, and don't want to see my oldest for christmas. assuming we can do anything for either one of those holidays. i highly suspect if we could, they'd do their own thing because oldest seems to think she should be the one to take over the holiday celebrations. i'm annoyed by it, but it's small compared to everything else that's gone on. and right now, i just want a break anyway. the disrespect, the hypocrisy has me totally floored. and i'm tired and beaten down. all this time i was trying to take care of the whole family, and the only thing they wanted to take care of was themselves, and they thought i should help take care of them no matter what. and their friends all agreed, so they say. friends, i suspect, who have never been in a situation like this.

i got news for all you all, my kids, their friends, and anyone who thinks i owe my kids: all i'm required to give my ADULT children is unconditional love. and they have that.

i am NOT required to risk the rest of my family for them. i am not required to support their selfish, entitled attitudes. and i am not required to put their wants before my family's needs. PERIOD.

do i want my oldest to get her divorce? of course i do. but that divorce is NOT more important than making sure there's food on the table. do i want my girls to enjoy being 20 something and go out and have a good time every now and then? yes, but that doesn't trump making sure the rent gets paid. when you have an entire family under one roof, one person's desires can't trump the entire family's needs. the priority has always been rent, utilities, food. and when things get tight, everyone needs to pitch in and help take care of those needs. and now, in a recession, with your family in crises, is NOT the time to put your wants over the family.

in the end, we gave oldest three options: she could pay the rent, she could start paying for the child care i was doing, or she could get out. she said she wouldn't do any of those things, so i made it clear, she pays up or i put her stuff out on the lawn. this is MY house. MY name is on the lease. i was appalled by her behavior and attitude. and my middle girl? came in shrieking at me...how DARE i give her sister an ultimatum! how dare i put the grand baby at risk. even telling her that kitten had gotten money from friends based on the fact that saxy had lost his job and had refused to use it to pay rent, and doing that put her at risk as well as us, didn't change her shrieking rant. i'm a bitch. i'm responsible for her panic attacks. and by hell, she wasn't going to pay any more money just because kitten had moved out.

yea. the girls motives have always been pretty clear to me: they want to go out and the only person they were thinking of was themselves (even kitten, because if you're really thinking about your daughter, you do NOT refuse to pay the rent). but i was stunned at the rest of it. i should be happy to give up my entire life and watch the grand baby 50-70 hours a week because she's my blood, but they have no responsibility to make sure the rest of us living under the same roof are okay even though we're blood. they have every right to decide to move out and leave the rest of us scrambling to survive, but i have no right to do the same. no one else mattered but them.

i know some of it is the age, and some of it is the current culture, but i'm just stunned at how my girls turned out. someone said to me that all i can do now is hope they get their heads on straight, become responsible citizens, and start making amends with their family. but really, right now, they blame me for it all. they don't see their own culpability in all this. it's all MY fault. honestly, i don't see how they're going to get past that. they're surrounded by friends who believe the same things they do: that parents should support them no matter what, that they matter more than anyone else around them. and i just can't wrap my head around the attitude.

in the end, kitten decided to move out. i made it very clear i was no longer baby sitting, and she still told me she'd need the baby watched one day. when i reminded her i wasn't doing it, she made arrangements to have baby cat spend a month with the other grand parents. jewel decided to bail and gave us only a week's notice. while we waited for the oldest to move out, i kept my head down and tried not to rock the boat. i'm tired, i'm beaten down, and i just didn't want to deal with it any more. i figured i could sort things out better once both girls were out of the house. we did make plans to go into a hotel, if necessary, and discussed how we'd do that if it came down to it. not the best plan in the world, but having a plan at all helped. things were bad, but we weren't going to end up on the streets.

we're not in a hotel. once the girls began making plans to move out, some interesting things started to happen. it was like...them moving out needed to happen before the good stuff could come along.

saxy now has a job with one of the top catering companies in the area. and they really like him! he started firing food a month after being hired, which rarely happens. and they've put him on the schedule, which they don't do with their on call staff (and he was originally considered on call staff, i believe). they're more than willing to work around his school schedule (though he did have to do some swapping to be available when the lion's share of the work is being done) and to give him all the hours he can handle (well, within reason, of course). this week, he'll end up with 35. and the boss told him flat out not to plan on going anywhere when he graduates. they want to keep him. even better, he's HAPPY. i haven't seen him this happy with a job in a long, long time. oh, there are people who are irritating, days that don't go as well, but he's not coming home cranky and miserable. he loves what he's doing. and that just ROCKS!

and his last check was wonderfully large and helped us get a new, much needed laptop. thus i can finally be online whenever, for the most part. i do need to let saxy work on his homework when he can, but other than that, i'll be able to take care of my online responsibilities, write, and work on finding a part time editing job. won't net me much money, but might help with the grocery bill every now and then.

obviously, his schooling got sorted out as well. first there was the financial hold because we've been unable to make payments. the woman in accounting told him she'd make sure he could take his final classes, but that a "payment would be appreciated". no sure when i'll be able to get to it, but it's a relief that having to spend the money that was supposed to go to the school on rent instead didn't lock him out of finishing his program. there was also an issue with one of his classes no longer fulfilling the category he took it for, which left him a class down on his audit. f.a. won't pay for less than half time, and no way we could afford the $1200+ just for taking the one class. the dean of his department got that taken care of for him, so it's not a concern any more. he finishes his classes this term, and he's done. may not get his diploma from them for awhile since we have to pay off a lot of money, but he will be a graduate.

as for where we're living, saxy's dad helped with the rent last month, and someone has stepped up to help this month. with the job going so well, hopefully we'll be able to save over the next 6 weeks for next month's rent. after that, saxy will be out of school and the christmas season will be upon us, so we should be okay for taking care of that as well. the next crises shouldn't happen until january at the earliest. if we can keep this roof over our heads long enough, the plan is to move into a cheaper place when the tax money comes in (hoping we have enough coming in for it; we'll need something like $3500 to move, and another couple of thousand to purchase non-buggy mattresses). and i mean cheaper not only in rent but in utilities. this place costs about $700/month. the gas and electricity combined are over $350/month. it's insane, and the landlords will do nothing to fix it. hell, they still haven't dealt with the broken pipe that's raising our water usage.

things are better, but we're still at risk. we can two of the three areas of need we have: 1. rent; 2. utilities; 3. food/transportation/meds. we started having problems with the food budget before the girls moved out. at least now the $50/week goes further than it did. plus we seem to have been adopted by my son's class. have enough ravioli and soup to choke a horse. we also started doing things to cut back on water and the other utilities. i won't turn on the heat until i have no choice. between now and then, people need to sweater up. and if i didn't have students who need the net to research, that would go the way of the cable and be gone as well. saxy's job can't make up the $1000 we lost when the girls moved out plus the $400 social security cut from my son's money (they take all but $20 of his child support from his payment plus another $60 to pay for a $3500 overage they claim they paid us—the overage is bogus but i lost when i tried to fight it), but we're doing what we can to get through the next 4 or 5 months. one step at a time: got to get saxy through school, then we have to move.

i'm still VERY pissed at the girls. their treatment of me and disregard for their family was horrid and in no way reflects how i raised them. that things are getting better is in spite of them, not because of them. the timing is interesting, but if they had hung on and helped out the way they should have a little longer, we'd ALL be doing better. i can't even think about my oldest without the rage starting to build up. i'm thinking of going into counseling, but it'll have to wait until saxy's out of school because it's difficult enough to get appointments for my son right now. i need space and time to heal and get back to myself. i was just so beaten down that the last month my oldest was here i did everything i could to avoid fighting. i'd had enough of it. i did everything i could to keep us all housed and fed, and i had to fight her every step of the way when things got rough. i will never take her or her sister in again. i won't go through this again with them. and, honestly, if things get so bad that they need to ask me for help again, maybe it's time to just let them go through it. we grow and learn through the tough stuff. besides, i won't always be around to rescue them. they need to learn how to deal with this kind of stuff without me.

there's been other things that have made it nice to have the girls out of the house. i've already flipped to my natural cycle and am up late at night and sleep in during the day. i can work on things and not deal with interruptions every 5 minutes. my oldest kept telling me i was forcing her to give up her life, but, really, i was the one giving up my life to watch the baby. and not having to do that anymore is such a relief. just having some peace and quiet during the day and being able to sleep and work on the schedule that best suits me is doing wonders. as much as i expected the financial impact to stress me out even more than i was, it hasn't. yes, there's still a lot to deal with financially, the risk of losing our hosing, the juggling of utilities, and so on. but i'm not fighting other people to get what i need to make ends meet. if things go south, 4 people is easier to put into a hotel than 7. the girls used to bicker and fight, and now that's completely gone. both the younger kids are much happier: froggy has her room to herself again, taz isn't being pestered by baby cat even when he tells her to leave him alone. there's peace and quiet.

and nothing beats being able to take a shower whenever you want without having to consider that 5 other people need that hot water more than you because of work and school.

this summer was the hardest two months of my life. there's just been so much going on, it's amazing i didn't curl up into a tiny ball and drop off the face of the planet. i had reason for not doing that, but some of those reasons did their damnedest to work against me too, and the stress has been enormous. what this past year and summer have taught me is that i can keep moving forward even when things look impossibly bad. i just have to be determined to do it and find a way through.

and while it all isn't completely over, now i have time to heal, to recover, to find myself again after giving up so much to keep two selfish girls taken care of as well as the rest of the family. i can find my strength again after feeling so...sincapable when faced with their refusals to help in any way necessary.

where have i been? to hell and back. the ride ain't over, but it's better, and i should be around a lot more now.

on another quick note, my .net is down, and i'm unlikely to get it back online any time soon. i'm hoping i can, but not holding my breath. this means the .net elist for my whysper updates is currently unoperational. sorry.

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word of the moment: mummer

an actor in a traditional type of play without words; an actor who communicates entirely by gesture and facial expression; a performer in a pantomime; broadly; one who goes merrymaking in disguise during festivals


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