Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a year in so many ways . . .

When I moved here last year, it was equal measures of frustration, desperation and forward thinking. In ways my move here was something more natural and organic than anything I've ever done before. Usually I was either fleeing away from something, or to something else, and it was always a case of following things "unseen" in many respects.

While there was an certain element of flight involved in this move, I was very torn about repeating my past mistakes. I needed to get out of where I was as soon as possible as I'd already been there far longer than I needed to be in the first place. Why? Because the place was as it existed, caustic, toxic and bloody unhealthy for me on so many levels. It was also a place of constant, deliberate turmoil that was something I was constantly forced to clean up after. Why was I forced to clean up? Because if I didn't I'd have been in even more trouble personally.

In the legal and factual definition of things, I'd been chronically homeless since 2004 when my late husband violated one of the restraining orders and I was forced to cram everything into storage and flee our townhouse in New England. While yes, I was staying with family, I had no legal presence there, and no protection from things they did. Well not so much they, as much as my sister-in-law. She was, and largely remains chronically under employed in a market space where she has the training and education to be thriving. Doing something she enjoys no less in stead of something she is suffering through. She refuses to pay her bills on time, and is a child from a background of abuse. She is incapable of maintaining any long term healthy relationships with people, and worse, she's such a slob that she makes Oscar Madison (Odd Couple) look like Felix Unger (Aslo from the Odd Couple) in terms of house keeping. It's honestly a wonder her place hasn't been condemed yet. Yes, that bad. She's also a violent control freak, expects people to do things her way or they suffer, and drives away people that get close to her. Worse? She's bipolar and often refuses to take her meds. I so couldn't keep staying there. She'd refuse to pay her bills, they'd mount up until whomever was going to take action that would have resulted in both of us being homesless, and I'd be forced to step in and save her butt. Poof, there went my savings AGAIN.

That's the short version.

I'd wanted to go home. Ah, but which home to goto? You see New England has always been home for me, and having been forced by my late husband to flee there was a big part of me that wanted to go there. Many, many years before that, before Earl, I'd been living in Colorado and I wanted, needed to go home to my mountains, I still do. The problem I kept running into was that on very limited resources I had to go somewhere, and quickly. Ellie's house was in foreclosure AGAIN and I was so not getting involved in that mess. I had family and friends in Colorado and Alaska that wanted me home in my mountains, family and friends in New England that wanted me there, my stuff was still in storage in Maine (where is has been since 2004) and there was no way I was going to be able to afford in the time alloted, to move me, and all my stuff back to CO. I was having NO luck finding a place to live in New England that I could afford, and was faced with the prospect of moving cross country with only what the Jumper could carry, and then having to go back at some point in the future to get the stuff out of storage. A costly option. Plus all the pressure. Folks wanting me to move for all their own reasons, folks wanting me to stay in Jersey, money problems and so much more.

Mind you I also have family in Ohio. A place I never imagined I'd find myself living. I mean really, and New England farm girl who caught a serious case of Rocky Mountain High, lving in Ohio? Kidding right? Well not so much it seems. I've been here a year now.

What did it for me? My family in Ohio wasn't pressuring me at all. Not in the least. "If there's anything we can do to help, let us know, and if you decide maybe that Ohio isn't so bad, we're not going to complain." That as they say was that. They helped more than they knew. They were supportive and never once pushed me to move here. The won the who's going to get Sam game by not playing.

In retrospect, especially given everything going on with my family and friends over the last year, they did me such a huge favor. My sister-in-law despite a last minute save that gave her an extra year in the house, is scrambling now to figure out what she's going to do. Seems the house was in fact foreclosed upon in MAY, and she has to be out next month. As in a few days from now. She's not even trying to do anything to save herself or her stuff. Which for her is exactly the way she has alwasy done everything. Living one crisis to the next expecting someone else to save her from herself. Regrettably this is probably going to come down to the Sheriff showing up and saying we don't care where you go, but you cannot stay here. Then they are going to see the place and put her in the hospital. It's way past a mess, it's a health hazard. I only wish I was joking.

Colorado. Oh my. The plan was I was going to move in with a friend and her boyfriend. Then save my money, find an affordable place, and work towards getting my stuff out of storage eventually. Well, drama and madness a year ago not withstanding, the friend has a different boyfriend, and is well still chronically homeless herself. Worse still? I was forced to coordinate an action from here, that landed her in a hospital as a danger to herself and others. 1200 miles away and I'm working with the local police to have her picked up and placed in protection custody. Mind you it's not her fault persay. In stark contrast with my Sister-in-law who isn't trying to get any help at all, and just lets things happen. My friend has been trying for years to get help and keeps getting blown off. I wish I was joking. The hospital she was in bascially pushed her away three time without trying to seriously help, and refused to even listen to her. She wouldn't on the otherhand listen to me when I said she sould NOT GO THERE ever again.

Thankfully, the local police took her to a totally different hospital and they HAVE BEEN listening to her, and I sense hope for a change. I hated having to have hger picked up, but she was in fact going to end her life if I'd not stepped in. So my choice was lose her completely to suicide, or have her hate me for getting her picked up by the police. I chose a hopefully long, healthy hate than having her die. Plus next time I head out to Colorado, be it a visit, or to move back there for a while, I don't want it to be to pay my last repects to someone so dear to me.

It struck me this morning, after having spent the day yesterday with family and friends, that I got really lucky in this move. I cannot afford to go running off to get directly involved in either the mess in Jersey or Colorado, which means I do what I can from here. There's a certain peace in NOT being the one to drop everything and run off to do for others. I don't say that to be mean, but given my own long history of helping others to the point where I'd hurt myself, and I wouldn't even consider the cost, it's nice to find myself doing something different.

I'm NOT the MOMMA!

Which for me is a huge step forward as odd as it sounds. So I'm kinda struck by this new place in my life. I have sepnt most of my life being the momma, bailing everyone out of everything no matter what, and never even thinking how much it was going to cost, or if I could manage it. I'd litterally have moved heaven and earth to produce miracles on demand. Now, well I cannot afford to drop everything, drive three days and sleep in my car to get things done in Colorado. Not unless someone is dying. Oh wait, not even then so much? But hey, I did still manage to keep her talking while I got the police to gently go pick her up.

1 comment:

alan said...

The longer I know you the more you amaze me on every level...