change · cleaning · denial · goals · home · Michele · resolve · stress · unemployment

Fear of the Unknown

If I were a Harry Potter character, I’m fairly sure the Sorting Hat would not have placed me in Gryffindor, simply because I’m not really a brave person. Yes, at times in my life, I’ve been able to stand up in front of the crowd, singing or acting, and I was, for a long time, very good at making new friends. Not so much any more. The last few years of my life have left me a very different person, and so many things scare me these days. It’s difficult to be in crowds, and the idea of having to talk to too many people I don’t know is terrifying.  I’ve had panic attacks in public places, including the local Fred Myer, where I wound up crying in the manager’s office. These events had been getting farther between, until recently, when certain things began making me very nervous.

If you’ve been reading this for long, you know I share a home with my extended family: my parents, who are 78 and 83; my younger sister and her two children, who are 10 and 20; plus two cats and a dog. During the last year my father lost his job, and hasn’t been able to find another one; he has also begun showing signs of dementia, which is difficult for all of us. Mom hasn’t worked outside the home in years; they have some Social Security coming in, but no savings. My sister hasn’t had a steady job in over a year, just temp things, and my while my niece has a full-time job, she doesn’t help out much. Hence, the only real income in the household now are my SSI/SSD checks every month, and Mom & Dad’s Social Security. Not a lot for all these people to live on. Jolene & I both get food stamps, which helps, and for now, all of our medical expanses are taken care of. The big issue is the house payment; we cannot afford this house.

When I moved back in here two years ago, my goal was to stay a few months and then get a place of my own. But things went downhill very fast; I sank into depression after the breakup and Michele’s death, and still haven’t fully recovered. It was easier to hide in this room than get on with my life. But now, I don’t have a choice, and this scares me. My parents are talking about selling the house, and this means we’ll all have to move. Sure, they’ve been talking about selling for years, but this time they’re actually doing things to put it in motion. Getting the basement presentable. Talking to realtors. Getting rid of things. And scaring the hell out of me.

My tiny room is full of stuff, and I have dozens of boxes in the garage. Every few days I’m encouraged to begin sorting, getting rid of things, both so the place will look better for prospective buyers, and so it will be easier to move. Jolene has done a bit of this in, but I’ve yet to begin, even though I’ve nothing but time on my hands.

At first I thought I was just procrastinating, as usual, being my normal lazy self.  I’ve had several conversations about where I’d go when the house sold with different people. Jolene proposed we get an RV, put Max in online school, and tour the country. I’ve discussed getting an apartment with my ex-husband and friend, Charlie (we get along well, and he’s easy to live with), but it’s never gone farther than discussion.  But recently I realized that I honestly have no idea what is going to happen to any of us, and this is nerve-wracking.  Some part of me believes if I don’t do anything, the unknown will stay far, far in the future, and I won’t have to think about it. Denial is my favorite river, and I swim deep in it.

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Talking about things helps, so they say. I’ve discussed this fear with Jolene, and Mom, and now you. Let’s hope it helps, because I cannot continue doing nothing, as much as I might like to. Getting past the fear is going to be hard. I may have to channel my inner Steel Magnolia and remember “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

idiocy · money · moving · Steven · unemployment

Darkest Before the Dawn


Well this sucks.

Steven, my amazing boyfriend, has been out of work since about this time last year, when he injured his knee on the job. After months of medical leave & workman’s comp, and battling with the insurance companies, his time ran out, the hospital gave his job away, and he had to file for unemployment. They, of course, denied him. His appeal was denied today. For some reason, the morons over there seem to believe he quit his job voluntarily, even though he has given them proof of his injury, the paperwork from the hospital, everything, they turned him down.
For months he has been looking for work every day, and these stupid people tell him to go back to the old job for 7 weeks (or months, I was so annoyed I stopped listening), and then he’ll be eligible!
What the FUCK?!?!
Aside from just being incredibly stupid, amazingly annoying and downright idiotic, this throws our finances even farther into a black hole than they already are. The rent is covered, but paying the power & cable bill, not to mention putting gas in the car?! Forget it!
We’ll be moving soon from our palatial two-bedroom apartment to a luxurious one-bedroom. We’re lucky that the one-bedroom is just down the hall, so we won’t have to pack everything up. Of course, a big chunk of our things will need to be boxed and trundled over to my parents house, so my dad can complain about how there’s too much stuff in his garage already! Thank God for my folks.
The worst part of all of this is not that we have no money, or that we are being forced to move from the only home we’ve known as a couple. It’s the toll all of this is taking on Steven. Every day I see him sinking lower, and it breaks my heart. He is such a good man, a wonderful person, and he does not deserve this! Yet he feels that all of this is his fault, that he’s failed me. All I can tell him is that he has in no way let me down. In fact, he’s my hero. His desire to work & support our little family makes me so proud it brings tears to my eyes! I see his many talents, and I am amazed, and I wonder why he chose me. Money isn’t everything; love is.
This is why I know that though things are dark right now, the sun come out. Because we have each other, and love.