Yeah, it’s all starting to get to me. Rob sleeping, the waiting … even caring for Rob 24/7 can get to me. I went to pottery last night, I don’t go for the clay, I go to get out of the house for 3 hours. I have my pottery, and then I have Wednesdays when I go to the therapist and then spend a few hours with Caroline. Aside from the grocery store, these are the only times I leave the house. I started taking Rob for rides a while back and I still do that, we go down river road and end up, after about 5 miles, at the cigarette store. It’s something …
Intellectually, I know that Rob is ill and requires care. But emotionally? I sometimes think he just needs to get moving. But I squelch that feeling.
Then there’s Carolyn who is facing Danny’s death spiral and I think — who am I to complain?
Danny’s going to need dialysis 3X a week. He went in to get his “shunt” (?) placed today so he can do the dialysis. I’ve told Carolyn that I will drive him so that she can continue taking care of her mom, Alice, who’s 93 and failing mentally. Carolyn makes her money off selling her pottery, so if she can’t be in the studio making art, she can’t make any money. She also makes money off her classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. Her future is so much grimmer than mine, it’s set me into a tail spin.
When they die, it will leave her with only her social security for income alongside her art/classes. I remember when Mom went into RiverWalk and her social security went to paying for that. We lost $1700 a month, that’s when Rob got fired/quit from BCDC so we got behind in everything very quickly. The situation was dire, believe me. I somehow managed to keep us from losing the house, don’t know how I did it… paid our bills and used up what we had in savings.
This was before Rob was diagnosed, so I was just angry for a few years. Why didn’t he get a job? Why wouldn’t he save us? It was the VA that stepped in and helped. It may be taking years for a resolution but the most important thing the VA did was provide psychiatrists and diagnoses. Odd… it’s a love/hate relationship.
So I think of all these things today. I fear for Carolyn, I know what her future holds and so does she. I always leave last from pottery “class” so that we clean up the studio and talk alone for a few minutes. Last night was brutal.
I keep remembering and then I think of the right now and the only thing I can do is to love my family unconditionally. To reach out to friends, like you, who help make this bearable. Real flesh and blood family and friends. Not online unknowns and for that I am also grateful… I realize, because I have a friend in this condition, that some people only have online friends and they’re virtual shut-ins.
Today I’m concentrating on the positive. Staying away from the dark pit. I’m grateful for the A/C units in my windows. I’m grateful for this wonderful falling down house, it continues to function despite its age. Maybe it knows we’re going to spruce it up as soon as we can. I’m grateful, oh so grateful, for the Volvo, long may she run. I may not solve any of my problems today but I’m also not going to sit here and meditate upon them.
Sounds like one of those positive affirmation exercises people do, but I’ve been sitting on the front porch, channeling my inner-Ruth and knowing she’s here, somewhere, in my psyche and if I can just pull her and Dad out of brain, I can do this. I didn’t sign on to care for a mentally ill spouse. He could just as easily be Danny and the end result would be death in a few months. I need to look at caring for him in a bright light, not a negative hole.
Oliver’s doing well in sailing school. I told you he’s been volunteering down there all summer. It’s right near their house, they owe so much to Caroline for that house, not that they’ll EVER in a MILLION YEARS admit it. Those boys personalities, their where-with-all is deeply tied to living next to downtown. Ollie came by yesterday, Jane dragged him down here, because I did his laundry for him. Such is the Nana mode I exist in. He had over a dozen pairs of shorts, a dozen t-shirt and no underwear in his laundry basket! What a boy… he’s such a teenager, it hurts! ha.
Emmett is a little firecracker. Every time we see him, he makes us laugh. He came over every day that Jeannette was here, kept talking to her, it was like he was taking care of Rob, I suspect he was, actually.
Jeannette sent us $250 for the website and has promised $250 more. This is 2 months of house payments. I don’t see an “end” to our financial problems, I just figure they could go on forever and that keeps my spending in check. We need stuff like clippers for yard, etc but we keep using the old dull ones because there’s no need to spend money we might need. I’ve managed to save almost $1000 since selling the car and paying off Visas, slowly. I know I can make 4 hour payments out of that, so we’re good through December. I even splurged and ordered a  $7.99 t-shirt that was a lightning deal on Amazon. Made me feel almost normal! And I ordered $17 windshield sunshield things — saved me from going to walmart.
Now if I can just get the website to load. I keep telling her to concentrate on the alternate site I built, it gets more traffic, but hey, as long as she’s happy and sends more money, I don’t care what website she looks at.
Will find out about SNAP (food stamps) this week. I always get nervous when I have to re-up for benefits, every 6 months, but it’s the same form with the same numbers every time — we couldn’t have survived this past year without the $350 month we get from our EBT card. I remember buying the bruised/old veggies/fruit from Pig before we got the card. One morning, I looked at the kitchen and realized there was NO food in the house and I had no money. It was unbelievable, you can imagine it — total panic. That night, Monday, I went to pottery and told them how I had no food. I wasn’t complaining or asking for anything, I just was telling them about it and we all kept on talking.
The next day, Carolyn and then another friend, brought bags of groceries. All of Carolyn’s classes took up money to buy us food. They all know me. Talk about a humbling moment. They continued to bring groceries for the rest of the money until the food stamps were approved. They even brought me homemade preserves/jams/tomato sauces.
When I have time, I’ll get more political, when this is over … get more into making my voice heard about the VA, food stamps and more. Right now I’ve got to take care of Rob. I’ll try to volunteer, like at the nearby Blind Center or something.
wow, long email. Thanks again for being there to talk to — it really helps. When I type this all out, it stops spinning around in my head and fucking me up.

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