Enabler Part 2

So yeah, mom told me she had given her 30 day notice (and quite honestly, it takes 3 months to evict someone so I have no idea why she did that) and I just couldn’t handle it.  I’ve so many other things going on in my life right now that I just couldn’t handle the emotional overload.

So I called one of my sisters.

After a lot of talking, she called my mom and had a stern talk with her.  And that’s a hard thing to do.  This sister never talks to anyone on the phone and so when she called, my mom’s voice lit up and she could tell mom was so happy to hear from her.  And then my sister gave her the lecture.  It’s not as though this lecture is anything new.  My sister told my mother she should move in with my oldest sister because both of them could use the financial help.

And you know, my mom has lived with my oldest sister before so it seemed like a decent idea…. until I found out my oldest sister planned to charge her 300 in rent and my mom wouldn’t even have her own bedroom.  Mind you, my sister pays 500 in rent and so I just couldn’t fathom why my mom should have to pay 300 when she isn’t even going to have her own bedroom.

So my other sister and I started talking again… and in the end… she offered to let mom come live with her.  I can’t take my mom in because I don’t know where I’m going to be in six months.  Living at my sister’s would be a good situation for my mom.  Her quality of life would improve and there would be lots to do in the town… which is incredibly unlike what she’s used to at the moment.

There were a few sticking points to this plan:  For starters, my mom is a big one for agreeing with you to your face but then doing what she wants to do anyway and my mom was pretty set on getting her own place.  And then there’s my mom’s dog… a 16 year old Siberian Husky who is arthritic and probably should have been put down a long time ago… but you know, that costs money too.  Of course, there is also the absolute horror of WHERE my mom was looking to rent (my home town, from some unsuspecting person who would wind up with their place ruined because that’s how my mom is).

It took a lot of phone calls.

I felt like a negotiator.

I worked so hard at selling my mom on living with my sister that I nearly wanted to move in with my sister myself.

In the end, mom has agreed.  We move her on Memorial Day.  She’s leaving most of her things behind as they’re ruined and smelly and fully of Siberian Husky hair (have you ever seen the shedding those things do?).  She’s mentioned she wants to clean a bit before we arrive to help her move.  Apparently the dog has just been going to the bathroom in the apartment.  I can’t even imagine what the vet who comes to put the dog down is going to think.  I can’t even imagine what *I* am going to think.  Mom hasn’t let anyone enter the apartment in over a year.  It has to be worse than I could even imagine.

And braving that place, picking things up, and loading them into the truck is how I’m going to spend my Memorial Day.

On the bright side:  Mom will have a better quality of life.  My sister will see to it that mom signs up for assistance and programs she qualifies for.  She will ensure mom takes her meds and has money for her meds.  Maybe my mom can even save up some money for some dentures.  It all seems pretty nice and tidy from this vantage point, but I’m pretty certain moving day will be emotional for me.  It’s tough to see the way my mom lives.  It’s tough not to blame myself for letting it happen.  It’s tough to know what to do – what the right course of action is.  And memorial day is always tough anyway because it reminds me of my grandparents.

Emotion:  The number one cause of over-eating in my household.

And I think that’s how I’m going to leave this story for now.  I should have written it all out the first time because I’m just not in the same frame of mind as I was the other day.  No doubt I’ll write and let you know how Memorial Day goes.

Oh yeah, The April Exercise Challenge

So the last you heard of the April Exercise challenge I was furious over some person reporting an insane number of hours in a week.

So I asked about it the next time I went in.  And I was told they’d asked this person about it as well and apparently his doctor had told him he needed to start exercising or he was heading for a heart attack.  Lots of walking, I guess.  Lots of walking and retired.  I’m telling you, those retired folks can put in a lot of easy exercise time with the morning and evening walks!

So I calmed down a bit but when the third week came and went and that guy STILL beat me in hours (but not by nearly as much) I realized I wasn’t going to come out the office victor.  However, that insane person WAS on my team and so I consoled myself by realizing I would be on the winning team this year.

After the first week the office had reached 250 hours and it was a 2000 hour challenge.  I really didn’t think we’d make it.  At the end of April the office had accumulated 2381 hours.  I have to admit, I’m impressed.  Everyone really stepped it up.  The break down looked like this:

Final Team Totals

1st place Red Team = 486 hours                   Top Competitor = 51.5 hours

4th place Green Team = 329.5 hours             Top Competitor = 30.5 hours

5th place Blue Team = 280.5 hours                 Top Competitor = 35.5 hours

3rd place Orange Team = 393.5 hours             Top Competitor = 36.25 hours

6th place Black Team = 254.5 hours                 Top Competitor = 22 hours

2nd place Yellow Team = 425 hours                  Top Competitor = 39.25 hours

7th place Silver Team (staff) = 212 hours        Top Competitor = 32 hours

Awesome stuff!  My prizes?  A t-shirt, a reusable bag, and a hot/cold pack.  Not too shabby!

Enabler part 1

(Note:  Per my mood, I am swearing an awful lot in this post so please don’t read if it will offend you.)

For nearly as long as I can remember, my mother has had issues with money.  There was a brief time after the divorce when she seemed to have her shit together.  We moved to a nearby town, rented a townhouse, and really… things went well.

And then she started dating and her priorities got all fucked up.  I remember her staying out all night and leaving my sisters and I at home alone.  I remember waiting up for her.  I remember when the food started to become scarce.  I remember digging in the couch cushions for enough change to buy a box of macaroni and cheese, the generic variety, which would be made without the benefit of milk or butter.  I remember being kicked out of the house we were renting.  And I remember my mother never again being quite the same.

Prior to my fourth grade year (the year all of the above happened), my mom had been a woman who could pull herself together and look good despite being a larger woman.  She would do her hair and makeup and she would look classy.  She had the ability to just pull it all together.  She’s slowly lost that ability.  The next decade or two would be spent with her becoming an alcoholic, living with an alcoholic, her abandoning her job as a realtor and working for a telemarketing company, and then abandoning that job as well and beginning her “work at home” career which is still going on now.

Throughout all of these things, my mom has had very little money.  There is no savings plan.  No savings account.  There is sometimes a checking account which invariably gets overdrawn and closed due to her writing bad checks.  There are times when she’s got money and she spends it generously but quickly.  And before you get solely a negative view of my mother – she is far from being “all bad.”  She is the parent who has always supported me, the one I can tell anything to, the one who has shown me unconditional love, and you can have amazing conversations with her.

However, she’s also always borrowed money from me.  Every so often mom needs something and it’s frequent enough that I have a savings account for it.  Every pay period, some money goes into an account for the next time she calls and tells me she’s 400 behind on her electric or her laptop has died.  The appointment setting doesn’t really pay the bills.  It does at times, but it’s incredibly slow at other times and with my mom’s lack of saving savvy, it spells trouble.

The most recent fiasco:  She called needing me to pay her 400 electric bill and explained that it was because her paypal card hadn’t come.  (She suffers from depression and neglected to get her mail for so long the post office refused to deliver any longer and she apparently had issues getting them to deliver again… Mind you, they hadn’t delivered in a few months so I’m not surprised her bills went unpaid.)  Two weeks later, she is calling again for me to pay her 200 cable bill.  Oh, and…by the way… she’s so far behind in rent that she gave them her 30 day notice because she was inevitably going to be evicted.

I have to admit, I came unglued.  Un-fucking-glued.

I’d ASKED her when I paid the 400 dollars how her other bills were and she had assured me she had everything under control if I could pay the 400.  But, just like always… that wasn’t the case.  And she was talking about renting an apartment in another town and all I could think was “and just where does she think she’s going to get the first, last, and deposit for that place?”  Because, my mom with her depression, also lives in filth.  I’ve tried to help with that.  I’ve tried to go in and clean for her and really it does nothing.  So she definitely isn’t going to get a cent of her deposit back – even if she didn’t owe them money.

And this is where people usually butt into the story and say “don’t give her any more money, let her figure it out on her own.”  And I have to explain that my sisters and I did that once.  And that my mom ended up losing her house and having nowhere to go.  So then it came down to letting my mom live on the street, or letting her move in with one of us.  We sometimes joke that the occasional bill we pay for my mom is our “not having mom live with us tax.”  We can’t let her “figure it out on her own” because she doesn’t.  Been there, done that, and we lost a lot in the process.

And this is where people usually say “make her get a real job.”  And I have to tell them that my mother likely isn’t physically able to get a real job outside of the home anymore.  She’s grossly overweight, is a chain smoker, and has lived an incredibly sedentary life for a looooooooong time.  Even 8 years ago she would avoid coming to visit me because of the two flights of stairs to get to my apartment.  These days?  She’d never make it up the two flights.

This seems as good of a stopping point as any on this story.  I’ll fill you in on the rest in a day or so.


One thing I’m not so good at…

…is talking about craziness as it is happening.

There’s just so much going on in my life right now and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of absolutely all of it, even the good stuff.  As usual, when I don’t have a firm handle on things (my idea of a handle, anyway) I tend to withdraw until I’ve figured it all out.

I’ve sat on my blog countless times trying to will myself to write a post.

You just can’t force it though, ya know?

This short post is a sign that I’m coming out the other side, that things are dying down, and that I’m returning to something close to normal – although I’ll tell ya, not much is going to feel normal in the next few months.

Things I need to update you on and will asap:

  1. The April exercise challenge.
  2. The job hunt.
  3. My mom.

I think that’s all that is insanely crazy at the moment, but trust me, it is enough.  Until next time (which I hope will be this weekend) please know I’m still here and I’m still going to write…. It’s just that I’m facing some serious hurricanes at the moment and I need all of my emotional energy to deal with it… not much left for anything else.  I’m sure you guys get it.