Monday, September 9, 2013
Disclaimer: You should really turn back now, before it's too late. What follows is a sad and depressing tale of two people trying to do nice things and getting screwed for it. Cue drama:
So remember my son's girlfriend that moved in with us? Yeah, here's the thing. My son Morgan said he and his girlfriend Fiona, and her baby Rue were going to move into her mother's place here, about 20 minutes away from where I live. They just needed help getting here from Grand Junction. But Fiona didn't tell anyone that her mom has an open child services case, and her two little brothers are in foster care. So we were like yeah, I don't think so, if you move in there you're gonna get the baby taken away. Move in here, we'll help you out with the baby, get you into school, all that good stuff. Because we're like good people, you know? Don't want to see a kid end up in foster care for no good reason. Only four conditions: you have to go to school or get your GED, you have to help us keep up the house, Rue can't stay overnight at Fiona's moms, and there will be no drugs in this house. (Stop posting on Facebook about getting high, jackasses.) Seems reasonable right? Hang on to that thought.
So we do that. We buy a futon mattress to stick on the old frame in the garage, and we buy three 6' bookcases to create a wall and privacy in what used to be our office for them, and we move the 2 year old to a big kid bed and give the crib to the baby. We drive all the way down to Ikea (seriously, it was almost a road trip) to buy a bunch of boxes for those bookcases for them to store their stuff in. I engage county bureaucracy and get everyone onto Medicaid and foodstamps (well, not Morgan, his mom is on stamps too and she's not going to be forthcoming that he doesn't live there anymore... that's a fight for another day. For more on Tonni the Evil Ex-Wife, refer to this post.). And then, seeing as how we've spent so much money and we're going to run short in a couple of months instead of at the end of the year, I get myself another job.
For those of you keeping score this makes 2 jobs, one grad school career, 4 teenagers, a toddler, and a baby. So then that anxiety thing happened. Like of course, right?
Fast forward to Wednesday, my day off, celebrating my daughter Laurie's thirteenth birthday a day early because I was going to have to work. We decide Morgan and Fiona are not keeping up their part of the housework and we're tired of it, so we talk to them about it when they get home from school at 3, before going to get Laurie from school at 4. It was less than 30 minutes, but you should be asking why so long to reiterate what they had already agreed to. See, Fiona lost her temper. Not a little bit, either. She was yelling at us, about how rude and mean we are, about how she's not comfortable here, about how she can't talk to us because of her temper and she's been to jail before because of it.
Let me pause here for a moment to reflect that my high school had bullet holes in it, there were gangs, drugs, organized crime and an actual body count. Add to that 10 plus years working in psych wards where I did on occasion have to restrain individuals much larger than myself in a manner that would not harm them. Captain small town thug life does not impress me with her juvenile detention record. And I don't take kindly to being threatened.
Back to the story: we make it clear these things are not negotiable, and we go to get Laurie from school, do some birthday shopping, and come back about an hour and a half later.
Things seemed to be going alright until out of the blue Fiona takes Rue, packs a diaper bag, and hauls ass out of the house. Which mean Morgan must follow because he's got to try to stop her from being stupid. And which upsets Laurie on her birthday, just to put a little extra twist on the knife.
Thursday Morgan misses her last class to go ditch with Fiona (missed the bus to bowling, uh huh, sure) and supposedly talk things out.
Friday, Fiona texts Morgan to say she doesn't have enough of Rue's things and can Morgan bring some and by the way can she be abusive, petty, and bitchy while she's asking for the things she didn't have the foresight to bring with her... Chris dropped the things outside her door and texted her to let her know it was there. So then she hops a bus to come over here (what, you say you couldn't do that to come get your things? Oh, wait) to try to cause more drama. She won't cross the property line, though, and baits Morgan into an hour sitting in the sun one the sidewalk with a baby. But she needs us to meet with her so she can apologize. Watch now as I ignore directives hurled at me by spoiled seventeen year olds. We make it clear Morgan isn't to be intermediary, if she wants to apologize she has Chris' number. If she wants to meet it's going to have to be on our terms.
Saturday, a change of pace. You ready for this? Our sewer backed up instead. It does this about once a year because of the huge cottonwood tree in the yard and our landlord's lack of willpower to put in a new main line out of the duplex. Oh yes, double the fun, both units back up into my house. So that takes up the whole day.
Sunday... Yeah. So yesterday, about 2ish, Morgan comes busting out of the house onto the porch to tell us, in a rather panicked tone, that we need to go get Rue because the cops are over there and they're gonna take her away. (Wait, didn't I tell you so? Indeed, I did.) So Chris takes Morgan and they manage to accomplish this task. I got all of this very second hand, so what I can relate is that yes cops were there, no child services. The cops were fed up and left before they were done picking up Rue. Which actually sucked because then Fiona and her mother both lost their damn minds and kept trying to take Rue out of the car. Fiona apparently tried to cling to the passenger side. My husband though, he's a pro at driving, and very carefully drove off and turned to the drivers side so as not to hurt her, eventually disengaging her from the car. So she then threw herself in the street in front of another car, at which point they lost sight of her.
Clearly, this kid is not just spoiled. This kid has some very serious mental health issues that need to be addressed, and not by dragging Morgan into couples counseling, which was her only suggestion thus far.
So today, she finally is apologizing to Chris and asking to meet because now she wants her kid. No, sorry, not today, we're catching up on all that work we missed by trying to help you out. Tomorrow we can do, after school, at a fast food place near the school. This is what I tell her over text. She proceeds to ask to come maybe Wednesday and to our house or maybe to that same fastfood chain but the one near us not near her school. Wednesday is my anniversary. She can have not one minute of it. I very clearly state that we are not comfortable with her in our house, and restate when would work, and where, and she finally agreed.
Now, this afternoon, we talked to Morgan about what he wants, for himself and Rue. He wants Fiona to get some counseling, and then move back in by next week. Because Fiona is a good mom, really, when she's there, even if she did leave once before for three months...
Please hold while I integrate this new data.
No. Oh, no, no, no. This is all kinds of sideways to begin with, and then you drop that news flash on us? She can not be here. She can not stay here until she's in therapy for a while, months probably, to get herself straight and get her priorities in line. If she doesn't (and I'm not holding my breath) are you, my dear Morgan, prepared to go it alone as a parent? We will help, but we will not raise her for you. We've had four kids, and we're pretty done now. Oh, sure, you're gonna make it work. Okay. Make sure you take care of yourself, get enough sleep when you can, don't stay up past midnight on the internet chatting at Fiona (like you did last night). Morgan has to get up at 5:30 for school. Which is pretty early for any human, but asking a teenager to do this every day might be one of the more creative forms of torture I've ever seen. I know, I had to do that in high school, too. It sucked, and I didn't have a six month old to deal with on top of it.
So they go to bed. Chris tells him to get to sleep, and he yeah-yeahs while staring at his laptop.
Gee, the password for the wifi doesn't work anymore? Did someone change the wifi passord? Yes, my dear overworked husband did, and we're not sorry, either. Welcome to fatherhood.
The moral of this story, kids, is to go turn into bastards now before you get taken advantage of, too. Okay, I only mean that a teeny-tiny bit, but it is a nice cautionary tale, isn't it? At least drugs haven't been an issue.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Disclaimer: I am not the type to normally put my personal drama out in the world for everyone to see. But I know reading about what others have gone through helps me feel better. I also feel better just writing things down so I can see that they aren't as huge and unmanageable as they seem inside my head. If you don't want to know, feel free not to read the rest of this.
So, in the past two months we've had my step-son, his girlfriend, and their baby move in with us. I drove from Denver to Grand Junction and back again, twice, borrowing my mom's car both times. We also rented a moving van for the second trip. Then we spent a bunch more money we don't really have on furniture (they brought none). And then there's the bureaucratic messes of integrating them into my household for Medicaid and SNAP. Grandbaby was somehow never enrolled. Oh, and let's not forget dealing with child support.
I've applied for a job that I really want, and should hear if I will move forward in the selection process this week. We bought an old car from my neice so we'd have enough transportation. On a whim applied for another job delivering for a pizza place where I used to work. I got hired immediately, which is cool but I wasn't expecting that.
Basically, a lot of big changes happening all at once. I've been super stressed, and the first week of school germ circus combined with the stress to do a real number on my physical and mental health. So on Friday, I went to the ER because I hadn't eaten solid food for two days, my digestion was on full evacuate mode, and I was getting to be very dehydrated. I had lost 5 pounds in a week. Plus, I made myself go to work on Thursday because I didn't want to be that guy who calls in for their first real work shift. I really shouldn't have, don't follow my example.
The wonderful ER people pulled all kinds of bloodwork and gave me two bags of normal saline plus another bag of something labeled 'lactated rings,' which I guess is saline plus a bunch of electrolytes. That's right, they pumped 3 liters into me and I didn't even blow up like a puffer fish. I also got my first ever CT scan. Everything inside seemed normal, I was dehydrated and a little low on potassium. Mostly, my anxiety did a number on me.
So they sent me home with 4 prescriptions, three of them to deal with my digestion issues: one for nausea, some prescription Zantac, and something to calm down my lower gi tract. They also gave me a prescription for .5 Ativan and referrals to a general practitioner and a gastroenterologist. I can't call on those until tomorrow, yay Labor Day. They also told me no work for two days, which I obeyed and my new boss seems like he's ok with it. I'm bringing him the paperwork today when I go in.
I've been splitting the Ativan pills. I want to make it through to that referral, plus a whole pill made me dizzy and kinda stupid. I'm fine on half a pill and not at all nervous about driving. I'm eating again, but my comfort foods are spicy and Mexican, so until things level out I can't have it. I'm allowing myself only half a cup of coffee a day. I also have not had any alcohol. I think no drinking for a while is a good idea. Maybe instead of making beer and mead I'll make some root beer or ginger ale.
I missed a friend's birthday party, which is the only part of being offline I regret from this past weekend. I adore her and her sisters, and their whole family. I need to give myself permission to go have fun with people I care about more often. I need to let it go when my four teenagers snipe and gripe and fight with each other. I carry my worried like Atlas, and I need to stop.
I just need to figure out a very creative plan for getting my thesis done with all this craziness. I may be spending a lot of time on campus to get away from my herd. The department library is nice and quiet most of the time.
I also need to remember that things are okay. We aren't broke, and everyone has Medicaid now (hey, all my ER trip cost me was $4 for the medications). I really think I have a great shot at that job, so I might not be at pizza delivering for very long. Here's to hoping for career advancement.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
I've been taking things easy since the end of the semester, but now things are getting rolling again. I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but I've been working for the school as managing editor for a new journal my department is starting. We now have a name, Praxis: A Journal of Politics. I'm so excited, and I am very impressed with the quality of the submissions. I was busier this semester so I didn't submit, but I think I will for the fall. Looks like publication will be sometime in July. I think I've worked out the print option, and the IT guy finally got the open journal systems software installed. Now I get to create the look for both.
I've finished my coursework, so now I can focus on my thesis. I may be kidding myself, but if I push hard to get done I may graduate in December. We'll see how that goes, but it would be nice to be done.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Credit to Lumen Interactive.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013
This morning the House of Representatives finally, after over a year of partisan jackassery, passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). They dragged their feet over it, they say, because it included added protections for LGBT, indigenous women, and undocumented victims. There's some discussion going on right now that they only passed it because they've done so much damage to their image concerning women. All 138 votes against it were from Republicans. They've taken women's rights back nearly one hundred years, and they think passing this bill is going to help their image.
Let me tell you something, GOP: You are not forgiven. You don't get to put up a fuss over protecting groups that are particularly vulnerable to sexual predators as if it was a good thing, screwing over all women in the process, and then just vote it through without saying you're sorry, much less putting together an agenda to actually make up for it. VAWA actually expired on your watch because of your obstructionism.
I thought yours was the party of Abraham Lincoln. Equality under the law used to be your thing. Fairness balanced with only as much government as we really need. Now you hide thinly veiled prejudices behind attempts to get rid of laws or obstruct any progress. Now you raise debt problems when we're talking about government funded programs, unless someone brings up defense spending or corporate welfare.
Seriously, GOP, how much longer do you think you can keep this up before your party just completely disintegrates?
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Someone stole me
A long time ago
A lifetime ago
I was just a child then
Lonely. Confused. Afraid.
I didn't know who to trust
I was hurting and all I wanted was to be loved.
He told me he would rescue me
He told me he would take care of me
He told me he loved me
He told me such wonderful lies.
And then he used me
He made me his
Whore. Servant. Slave.
He took everything that was me and he tried to destroy it
So I buried it
I buried me
Deep, deep inside myself
And I pretended it was gone
He convinced me I was
Stupid. Useless. Crazy.
I thought I had lost my mind
But what I really lost was me
The very essence, beyond mind or heart
My very soul
I had lost it so thoroughly that for a while there I didn't even know it was missing
But the emptiness remained
My fear and anger echoing off the empty chambers of where my soul should be
So I knew, finally, that it was gone
And I've been looking for it
Crying out in the wilderness inside of me.
I think I might know where it is now
Deep inside, so very deep
Wrapped in chains and struggling to break free
Bound up in all the horrible things he said to me
And all the monstrous things he did
But my soul yearning to break free is so much bigger than those chains
So it swallowed them
Like a tree will grow around a fence that tries to hem it in
And they are part of me
Every link in those chains is a poison
And I don't know how
How do I cut them out
Without tearing myself apart
And the scars are festering away
Somedays it's like a knife right through the heart of me
Oh, my gods, how am I supposed to have the strength to cut myself open
Cut through all the chains and the scars
I am so afraid that without them there just won't be enough of me left to stitch back together
And if there is
Will I even recognize her
And if I don't know who she is
How will I know I've actually finally finished finding me