Friday, October 17, 2014

Surgeon, Wills, Home Improvement and Mortgage Update

The spouse is waiting for his referral to The Surgeon.  In the meantime, we are going to be busy turning our downstairs 'bedroom' back into ..... an actual bedroom.  Out will go the office desks, exercise bikes and random clutter.  In will come a new king sized bed.  The spouse is going to be on bed rest anywhere from 3 to 6 months and I have already had family members ask if they can spend the night with us and I really don't have anywhere to put them because all the other bedrooms are occupied .... so, it's time for an accessible bedroom/guest room.  Plus we have the holidays coming up and I already know that we will have guests.  So, that's that.

The room will have to be painted, stripped and upgraded.  That means new windows because the ones that are in there are old and leaky, letting in cold air in winter and hot in summer.  The carpet is coming out too, being replaced with tile.

Mortgage update: we have paid almost $10,000 off in principal on this loan.  That's a first.  We have never paid $10,000 down on a home loan before.  Mortgages are a good thing .... when one can afford them.  Having been on both sides of that particular fence, I can say that our mortgage is very manageable, even if the spouse can no longer work.  I have no plans to return to the work force.  I will rent out rooms before I do that.  Not being lazy.  It's just that I have been down this road many times in the past, earning high incomes that were blown on bullshyte.  My goal in life is to manage what I own and live strictly within my means, whatever those means turn out to be.  I'm fine with it.  The spouse is fine with it.  We have a finite number of days left on this planet and that has never been more apparent than right NOW.

We are working on a basic will to be notarized ..... I see now why so many people die intestate.  It's difficult, doing this stuff.  But I'm sure we will be relieved when we are done with it.  At the very least, there are instructions that we both know the other would want.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Uncertainty

So now we are beginning a whole new battery of tests this week.  One would think that an expensive CT scan would be the ultimate medical test, the one that tells what is going on inside the human body like no other test available.  Apparently, however, this is not the case and the spouse needs one more definitive test before being referred to The Surgeon .... just to make sure that the route ahead is the only one to take ... and our insurance company is already balking at the foreseeable future medical costs involved in this surgery and rehabilitation.

This next test has been marked 'pending' in the insurance company's files, while 'they' decide whether or not to pay for it.  No matter, the spouse will be going ahead with the test anyway because it is absolutely necessary to do so and I guess we will end up paying the entire bill ourselves should it come to that.  We are not going to wait around while the insurance company plays with lives.

We are lucky to be in the position of not having to worry too much at this time about medical bills although, let me tell you, the costs incurred with this medical issue are going to be in the six figures.  THAT is worrysome.

I can see all the headway we've made in setting ourselves up for an early retirement disappearing down the Suwannee.  Every single darn cent we've saved could very possibly be spent on medical bills and then what?  We won't have anything to live on.

Our plan is for the spouse to take a medical LOA while dealing with this medical issue so that, should it come to it and he is deemed healthy enough to return to work, he can go back for a year or two longer than planned.  It sucks but there is no other recourse.  It would be foolish to quit a high paying job when the future now looks so uncertain financially.  We are going to have to be very careful here.

Either that, or we can take in roomies.  Our house is certainly big enough for a few roomies, paying rent and living under our roof.  We might have to do this for a couple of years .......

And this is what happens when you live life without a thought for the future, as we did for decades.  It's all coming home to roost now.  We sure could use some of that 7-figure income we pissed away.

Monday, October 13, 2014

SHIT

We received the results of the spouse's CT scan today and the news is not good.  Not good at all.

I am used to sneaking my 'crying' jags ..... I have had to do it for years.  Crying in the shower, crying on the sofa with a bottle of wine when everyone else is in bed, crying during the day when I have the house to myself.  I release my internal pressure this way.  The Lord knows.

The spouse is facing a life or death situation.  Literally.  It does not get any more life or death than this.  And fuck it, right before he plans to retire too.  He does not deserve this.  Absolutely does not.  He has been a rock for all of us in this family, a stable and smart individual who steadies the boat when it's about to go over because I've rocked it too hard..... a staunch supporter, stalwart to the end of this marriage he entered into with me.

Now, we are facing our 'for better or worse, in sickness and in health' part of the vows we took and I'll be DAMNED if I am going to flake on him.  I will be fucking damned.  This is not about me ..... but my eyes are red and sore from crying, I have drunk too much wine, and I am scared to death of losing him.  I have no idea what will happen to any of us if that happens.  I can't fucking imagine it.

He is receiving a battery of further tests this week to make absolutely sure that there is no other way than surgery.  Because the surgery is risky and as dangerous as it can be.  And he is handling it like the champ he has always been, this jewel that I never could really believe was mine even though he has been by my side since we met as little more than kids.

I need to not drink anymore if I am going to be half the rock he has been to me, because he is going to need me .... us all .... to be the rocks for him that he has been for us.

He told me that we have to make our wills this week, that he wants to make sure that I have a Plan B for myself should anything go disastrously wrong with this surgery.  It all seems a little unreal ... that we, Mr and Mrs Somewhatnormal, are having to deal with such a situation.  But here it is.  What goes around comes around.

If it comes to it right now, I must have faith in the medical team in charge of this surgical procedure.  Have faith in their years of training and intelligence.  When the spouse is in ICU afterwards, I must have faith that the nurses are well trained and taking the best of care of him.  He deserves it.  They won't know him at first but, god willing, they are going to find out that he is the nicest most mellow patient they'll have in the unit that week.

I love you honey and where you go I will go .... as always.  I do not want to be here without you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

1:30am .... wide eyed ... sleepless

I had a very productive day today.  Once again, I ventured into my closet from hell, the one with all the old crap in it, the stuff I always tell myself I'd like to wear but never do.  The reason I never wear the clothing is because I am too fat to fit into it but, unfortunately, I bought most of this stuff years ago and it is now out of style anyway.  I have just grown tired of looking at it and therefore decided this morning that I was going to have another stab at getting rid of some more of it.  Success!  The dehoarding bug hit at precisely 9am and I went right to it ... spent literally ALL day sorting out the master bedroom, closet and master bath.  I got rid of two big garbage bags of clothes for Goodwill and one garbage bag of ..... garbage. It is amazing to me, even now, that I even have stuff to get rid of given all the decluttering I have done over the years ... but I do.  I still have pockets of stuff here and there to dispose of.

***
Working on scanning all the family pics to disc.  What a job.  Boring and slow.  I want to give everyone their own copy of all the pics so that there is no stupid family in-fighting a ways down the road.  Every single family I know who had to distribute items after the parents' deaths had to contend with fighting over who was to receive the family photo albums.  There will be none of that here.

***
Family members keep calling to ask about the spouse and while it's nice that people care, I am attributing my inability to sleep tonight to the anxiety that has gradually crept up on me this evening.  A combination of being worried about the spouse and having to hear the same thing from different people over and over again .... do you think you'll be having surgery?

***
I'm getting hungry .... it's 1:30am and way too late/early for food ... gonna go up to bed and lie and look at the ceiling.  Away from the temptation of the kitchen.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Food, Babe

Things are moving along here.  The spouse had a series of medical tests last week, some of them very invasive.  We already know what the problem is.  The question is:  how stable is the medical issue and how long before surgery is required?  We will know more next week.

As a result of these 'new' medical issues, the spouse and I are now forced to confront both of our unhealthy lifestyles of yesteryear/month/day.  We are making progress but it's difficult especially for me.  The spouse?  Not so much.  He accepts that he must make changes and is readily doing so.  The bitch has already lost weight :P j/k

I went through the fridge and pantry and donated all of our unusable food.  Nothing got thrown away, nothing was wasted.  Friends and family took everything.  It's not that I was giving away shitty food either .... no processed meats, or soda, or sugary junk ..... just that the spouse is now on a ZERO SALT diet.  Or as much as that is possible given that salt is everywhere.

Oh and I came across a very interesting and thought provoking website:
www.foodbabe.com
The very beautiful and smart Vani has given both the spouse and I aLOT to think about ..... Subway and its poisonous bread/'fresh' ingredients (EAT FRESH, my arse) and the entire commercial pizza industry and its poisonous dough/ingredients .... Dominoes et al, I always knew we were slowly killing ourselves when we ate your crap but now we know for sure.  I am so pissed about Subway though .... I ate there many, many times thinking that I was doing myself AOK .... only to find out that I was actually poisoning myself!!!  And my kids too!!  Screw ALL of these restaurants .... it's official .... we are DONE.

We are now only buying organic vegetables and fruits.  Same with chicken (we don't eat fish anymore (radiation) or beef (haven't for years)...) ... hormone/antibiotic/preservative free.  Here's a good brand: https://www.justbarechicken.com/  I feel bad that we are eating our animal friends more often than not these days but the spouse cannot subsist on veggies alone .... he becomes ill and he already has enough problems.  I also buy organic brown rice, raw honey, organic eggs, salt free bread and now we are looking at a list of 'clean' beers.  The spouse has been given advice by his doctor to have a drink a day .... beer is fine .... but, thanks to Foodbabe, I discovered that our favorite beers have foam destabilizers in them, amongst other crap.  NO THANKS.  Coors is my fave beer so that's a bummer because Coors uses FDs and that is a flippin' poison.  So, out went the beer at the weekend.

We also drink a lot of coconut water but, in our ignorance, did not realize that every leading brand of coconut water on the shelves is owned by either Pepsico or CocaCola (boos) .... somehow, though, I knew that the ZICO we were drinking by the carton full was crap.  Heat pasteurized, sugary, dead liquid.  *sighs*  Here's what we are buying now and it's fabulous: http://harmlessharvest.com/  Really, if you drink coconut water try it.  It's expensive but, as with all food, you get what you pay for.

The spouse and I have already done 75% of the work towards eating a completely clean and organic food diet.  It has taken us years I'm afraid, but it's good to know that we have many, many food habits that have stuck for life.  We just need to go the extra 25% and that is what we are doing.

Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) is receiving a good portion of our weekly income.  I still go to Winco .... I buy my Bare chicken and organic rice, greek yogurt and other items there.  I go to Trader Joes too when I can't make it to Whole Foods .... it's a distance to drive but worth it when I am doing the grocery shop for the whole week.  I'm just careful now what I buy.  Just because it's Trader Joes or Whole Foods does NOT mean that every single food item sold in those stores is something that the spouse and I can eat.  There is a lot of junk food littered around these stores.  Case in point, the spouse and I were waylaid by a cider display ..... hypnotized eyes ..... we put two big bottles in our cart until, half an hour later, I realized that the cider is loaded with SUGAR.  Back into the display they went!!  Dang, you nearly got us again, Whole Foods.

We are sticking to organic vegetables, fruits, chicken, nuts and so on and I'll keep ya posted how it all goes.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Day One: Two Months of Change

"You break my heart but then again you break everyone's heart." ~ Jules, St. Elmos Fire

***
1. Lose at least 25 pounds.
2. Get Cat out of our day to day lives.
3. Streamline our remaining possessions.
4. Continue to upgrade the house.

***
First off, I just want to say that I write down what's in my heart and head without any real regard for grammar, spelling or flow.  Sometimes, I will read an old post and think that I could've written it better .... that perhaps I didn't make my points clearly ....so on.  But then I remember that this blog exists for my benefit and that anything I write down here is purely stream of consciousness ... the only real way I have of getting this family and life stuff off my chest.  So, apologies if I seem to 'mumble' here and there.  I hope ya'll get the gist of what I'm trying to put across.

***
Lose weight:
The spouse is facing a potentially devastating surgery.  I won't go into details here just yet but suffice it to say, it's just about as serious as it can get.  He has more tests this week and then we will know more ..... whether his condition needs to be acted on now or whether it needs to continue to be monitored.  He has been told to lose 40 pounds.  More on that later.  Weight loss IS going to happen.

***
Get Cat out of our day to day lives:
Cat just left for work, covered in facial sores, but not before she created a scene out in the street.  I am so embarrassed.  I don't want the neighbors to know what a problem she is, although I'm sure they've already heard enough to draw their own conclusions.  Cat just had the nerve to tell me that she knows 'I won't be there for her' when all I've done is to be here for her. 

I have already had a close relationship some years ago with a friend who I didn't realize was a sociopath at the time.  This friend was the most manipulative, scheming, cunning, intelligent person I have ever met .... and yes, this very same friend currently resides in a mental institution having been fully diagnosed as a 'true sociopath'.  Locked up by the State.  So, I know what I'm talking about.  Boy, I sure can pick 'em.  Or get saddled with 'em.  Whatever.

My point is, Cat exhibits the exact same behavior .... manipulative, scheming, button pushing.  This woman knows how to get right under my skin, under everyone's skin, to make me feel like shit, the worst mother in the world (which I know is not true), to absolutely ruin my day.  What Cat doesn't know is that I have seen this movie already. I have already been reduced to the fetal position by someone else in my past so I know what this behavior does to people and I know how it makes them feel.  Sociopaths take emotional hostages and I REFUSE to be a hostage any longer, even if the taker is my own child. Therefore, I am able to see right through this act.  I know that her crocodile tears are just an act, that everything that comes out of her mouth is empty, hollow and merely for dramatic effect.  It is just so hard to accept that there is NOTHING I can do for Cat, not unless she receives intensive help and meds from a psychiatrist but therein lies the rub ..... sociopaths believe that everyone around them is wrong and that they are right.  Even if a mountain of evidence proves otherwise.

When Cat is off on her manic bent, there is no talking to her, no rationalizing. She runs her mouth a mile a minute and will not let anyone get a word in.  The more we try to talk her down from the ledge, the louder she gets and this is what happened this morning.  She knew that yelling at me from the sidewalk would get attention and that the attention would be focused on me.   As in, what did I do to cause the situation?  Like I said, sociopaths are manipulative.  They suck the life out of everyone around them.  Well, it is going to stop.  Cat is going to move out.  She cannot stay here any longer.  It's just too hard.

***
So anyway, I slept really well last night.  I did not lie awake wondering and worrying about Cat and what I should've/could've said in any given situation.  I already know that Cat cannot tolerate any level of criticism and that she will get nasty if I tell her one too many home truths.  Like, for example, her 'party' behavior costing her jobs and income.......or that she will never keep a healthy relationship with a man unless she lets him have some space ..... that moving in with men as soon as she has met them is a recipe for the eventual and inevitable cold shoulder ..... that suffocating people with attention and neediness is a sure fire way to make them run for the hills.  None of that gets through to Cat.  She continues to suffocate the men she knows and/or meets, even the bums.  This is something I will need to accept because I have tried to teach her differently but this is an extremely negative behavior that she has employed since Day One of dating: she literally moves into these guys' lives and won't leave them alone for a second.  It is painful to endure.

It is way past the time that I shunt Cat out of my day to day life, to leave her to bear the full brunt of her own decisions.  We have already tried it ..... we cut her off for a couple of years due to her drug abuse and her abuse of the people around her .... but the 'experiment' failed as miserably as it possibly could have.  She ended up back under our roof, a couple of years older but none the wiser.  And here we are, a couple of years later again, after her moving back in, and NOTHING has changed.  The whole situation is a gut wrenching, ever escalating series of events that plays on loop.

We are back at that breaking point again.  If she is going to continue her drug abuse and continue to emotionally abuse us, her family, then it is past the time that we say sayonara to each other.  She needs to go and I am going to turn the tables on her: I am going to become the manipulative one and get what I want for a change.  I think it's obvious that Cat is never going to change, that her behavior is the very fabric of who she is so ..... given that I've already stated before that there is nothing more I/we can do, the only thing to do now is to get her out of our daily lives.  I fully do not expect Cat to make it to 40 and even that may be a generous forecast.

Mental illness is a bitch.

***
3. Streamline our remaining possessions:
Cleaning out the bedrooms today, cleaning closets.

4. Continue to upgrade the house:We have a big project slated for November which will involve appliance upgrade.

That's all for now.  Have a good day everyone and may you all be free of mentally ill family members.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cat .... AGAIN

I had a nice few weeks of enjoyment, hanging out with my old school friend.  Despite the fact that Cat had a melt down right before I left for the airport to pick up my friend, even going so far as to throw herself down on the kitchen floor, then storm out into the front yard only to sit on the sidewalk and cry, she behaved herself relatively well all things considered.

For those of you who do not have a mentally ill daughter, let me describe what behaving 'relatively well' means, as it pertains to this particular 27 year old woman:

1. Cat stayed around the house the whole time, as opposed to disappearing for days at a time with any old bum with a bong.

2. Cat did not directly pick any arguments with me but she did continue her manipulations, albeit in a manner disguised as 'sweet negotiation'.

3. Despite my asking Cat not to smoke pot in the house, she did so anyway in the sanctuary of her bedroom.  She also popped pain killers and ate edible pot brownies.  She also drank considerably but, again, not enough to raise eyebrows.  Instead of directly flaunting her addictions, she carried on behind the closed door of her room so that my friend wouldn't see it.  We did, however, still smell it.

4.  Although I attempted to make Cat regulate herself, she still monopolized my friend to a certain degree and most definitely monopolized the conversation.  Many times during my friend's stay, I caught glimpses of the mental exhaustion that my friend experienced while trying to talk to/be entertained by Cat.  Cat never shuts up and talks constantly.  It's as boring as hell and drives people away.  By the end of the visit, I could see that my friend was mentally tuning Cat out and losing patience with her.  Cat sucks the air out of the room and sucks the life out of everyone.  The only people who can stand to be around her for any length of time, before they too get tired of her, are the bums who look forward to Cat bringing the pot around.  Cat's know-it-all attitude is absolutely exhausting and embarrassing.

So, the above constitutes decent behavior for Cat.  Now that my friend has returned to the UK, Cat is angling for an exchange visit.  She wants to go stay with my friend in the UK for a couple of weeks and is making it her business to foist herself and force an invitation.  Cat doesn't know it yet but I am going to tell my friend NOT to invite her over.  I feel that Cat does not deserve to be a guest in my friend's home because my friend has no real idea just how monstrous Cat's behavior can get.

Oh yes, Cat will be as sweet as cherry pie if (a) you have something she wants or (b) you have something she wants.  Which is everything.  Cat wants whatever she wants and will go to great lengths to get it.  She's greedy.  Always has been.  I am afraid that Cat will quickly wear out her welcome with my friend and cost me a long term relationship, doubly so because my friend and I only recently reestablished contact in the past couple of years and I don't want to lose contact again.

Today, I had something important to do and, yesterday, I asked for Cat's help.  Even though Cat was headed out to some bum's shack out in the desert to smoke pot, she promised to return home later that evening.  Of course, she did not return.  She texted me past midnight to tell me she was staying the night and that she would be home by 8am this morning.  Of course, she did not show up.  I sent one text at 7:30am to let Cat know that I would be leaving the house within 30 minutes .... and then left.  At 2pm, this afternoon I finally received a text from Cat telling me that she had just woken up (from her pot laced slumber.)  She continued to smoke pot all afternoon and passed out around 5pm this afternoon and only just now walked through the door.  It is 11pm.

Unable to stop myself, I made snide remarks about Cat's hard 'partying'  lifestyle.  She looks dirty and unwashed.  Her hair is greasy.  She stinks of pot.  I suggested that she shower tonight so that she's ready for work tomorrow ..... of course, she won't.  She started making nasty retorts in response to my observations that she NEVER keeps her promises or commitments anymore with regard to being available when she says she'll be available.  Of course, she turned it all around so that the fact that she wasn't ready to help me today was my fault.  She began calling me names under her breath, basically telling me to 'fucking get lost'.  I asked her if she had made any other enquiries with regards to moving out of my house to room with her only friend and she responded by throwing things around in the kitchen, throwing food into the fridge.

Bear in mind that we have just come off a vacation with my UK visitor that entailed several stays in hotels, lots of activities, lots of dining out, a trip to Las Vegas .... all of it paid for, Cat along for the ride and not having to pay a thing..... and here she is, treating me like crap again.  She ALWAYS forgets about the many, many things that people do for her.  Once she's gotten what she wants, it's as if she forgets that generosity and largesse even existed.  I told Cat that basically I have raised a monster.  Oh boy, that lifted the lid.

I don't want to hear that I am a doormat.  I am not.  I am merely trying to explain just how difficult it is to live with a mentally ill family member when it is essential to keep the peace.  Basically, I want to shove Cat out the door with all her stuff with a big smile plastered to my face with lots of promises to visit each other and keep in touch.  And then I want to close my front door with Cat on the other side of it, and lean up against it and let out the biggest sigh of relief that my body can muster.  I want Cat to piss off into the sunset, unfortunately to continue to do what she's always done: suck the life out of anyone and everyone who associates with her.  And it's hard to admit to this because all I can see is the little 3 year old cutie who always used to say, "I love you mama!"

Cat has had a lot of friends over the years but I can count on ONE FINGER the number of long term relationships that Cat has been able to maintain .....ONE!!..... and that sole relationship is only because the person involved has such poor self esteem due to a medical condition that she has almost completely shut down herself.  Cat has formed a sort of 'pot alliance' with this person .... they smoke together.  However, if Cat has something or someone better to do, then she takes 'the party' elsewhere, often for days and weeks at a time, leaving this person wondering where the hell Cat went. It's pretty awful to watch but pretty standard too: Cat wears out her welcome very quickly with EVERYONE so I'll be damned if she thinks she is going to move in with my friend for any length of time.

Cat has just made me so angry that I have to take to this blog and write about it, get it all out, otherwise I'll go to bed with my stomach in knots, wanting to grab that overgrown baby that is my daughter and throw her ass out into the street.

I have to get her out of here and away from me.  She won't go to a doctor and I can't help her any more than I have tried to do.  Cat can't take any level of judgment or criticism or anyone who calls her on her shyte ... we all end up getting blamed. Cat never takes personal responsibility for pissing people off with her using behavior .... it's never 'her'.

This is how narcissists operate: they suck the life out of everyone and everything.  As soon as Cat opens her mouth to speak these days, my body hits the snooze button on my brain.  Cat is so boring ....she bores the hell out of me and that is a shocking thing for a parent to say.  BUT .... I have had almost 20 years of this nonsense .....my patience long since wore out and I am running on the last fumes of my reserves.

Cat pretends to be this beautiful, caring person but the reality is that Cat is a nasty bitch, a venomous little viper who sinks her fangs in and exacts her own special brand of poison.  I see her for what she is and she hates that.

This is my daughter.  I don't know how this will end ..... as I said before, I can only hope that she meets a life partner who will help her to straighten her life up.  That is the ONLY OPTION LEFT, as desperate and unfortunate as it is.  I just don't honestly think that there is anyone other than a parent who would put up with the soul sucking.  I think Cat is going to end up alone and crazy with an animal hoard. ** long sigh**