Oct 30, 2010

Dear Sister

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 10 friends have commented
My dad won't let me call her, he thinks it won't do any good. So instead I'll write her a letter here and vent to my dad and Dirty about how I feel, despite them knowing and feeling pretty much the same way.

Dear Sister,
As much as I don't look at you as a sister anymore and don't think that word fits you, calling you a "meth whore" right from the beginning will not only stop you from reading this letter. And I NEED you to read this letter.

When I was little, I thought you and the rest of my older siblings, were SO cool. Y'all got to go to the park by yourselves and went to a big school. Y'all didn't have to have mom and dad take you everywhere. Soon, however I realized how not cool you all were. Tim was old enough to have a job, but never worked. Lori was old enough to work and of course didn't, either. You were suppose to go to school, but you were always skipping. You three were always downstairs doing your thing, while Lil Sis and I were upstairs playing Barbies or listening to music. When MY dad would go on his business trips, he would always bring you guys something back too. But that was never good enough for you. You were bound and determined to make him feel bad when he got home for whatever reason. While you never harmed Lil Sis or myself, it was very clear you didn't like us. The good thing is we were too young to realize it and still looked up to you three.

As I got older, I could see what type of person you were. Not just you, the others as well. I know Tim stole MY dad's camera, I know he also stole my necklace that Dirty gave me when he was in the Navy. I've also heard that you and Lori treated MY dad like shit. Which, btw, I will NEVER understand because he is the most gentle man in the world. He came into your life when you were 5, basically rescued you and our mom from an abusive man, yet you treated him like shit almost every day. It was and is not his fault your dad was a douche bag. It is also not my fault that we have different fathers and mine is a better man then yours could ever be.

Anyway when you had your son, we really had a connection. We spent that whole summer before together, it was so fun! We planned, shopped, and laughed so much. Then the newness of having a baby wore off and the reality set in. You got a job, so you said, and were gone more then you were home. Mom, dad, Lil sis, and I raised him while you were working. Granted I don't know what it's like to be a single mother and I could be wrong here, but I doubt it. I don't think you were working, I think you were out with your friends while all of us tended to your baby. Then you changed because you met Scott. You two got married and had a great life, on the outside. On the inside there was a lot of drinking, drugs, and infidelity. It wasn't ALL your fault, I'll give you that but it wasn't all his fault either. Once you left him, everything went to hell. You went off your God damn rocker! You left your son with Dirty and I for 2 days, we had NO idea where the fuck you were, nor did we have his asthma medication. Thank God you have an amazing family, if not, I don't even WANT to think what would have happened to that sweet innocent blue eyed little boy. You did have great timing and picked great people to leave him with. Dirty and I didn't have children yet and mom and dad were able to watch YOUR son, so between the 4 of us, we did a damn good job.

When I got pregnant with Nae you were very judgmental and condescending, you couldn't BELIEVE I was pregnant so young. When I told you the first words out of your mouth were "is this a joke?!" Really? I wasn't really THAT young and I had been with Dirty for about 3 years at the time. Anyway, that's not really a big deal, compared to everything else you've done. The conversations Dirty and I had about parenting because of you are what made us the parents we are today. I guess I should thank you for that, but I won't because I shouldn't have to learn how NOT to be a parent from my own sister.

What has pissed me off the most is when I had to tell Nae that she wasn't allowed to spend time with you anymore because of your drug use. You had borrowed mom and dad's car and didn't bring it back when you were suppose too. Mom and dad got pissed off, rightly so, and you all got into it at Nae's 3rd birthday party. Mom and dad took it downstairs so as not to upset Nae but the damage had already been done. From that point on, Dirty and I decided you weren't going to be spending ANY time with Nae. The conversation we had to have with YOUR niece was horrible. 10 years later, I can't still remember her words and the look on her face. She was devastated that she couldn't spend time with her "Tante Tricia" anymore. After that conversation Dirty and I had with her, we vowed to keep you and your shit far, far away from her and any future children we might have.

After we had Zilla, we allowed you to come over to see him because you had gotten your shit together, for the moment. Then mom got sick and we all rallied together as a family to help dad and make sure dad could get to the hospital or the nursing home to see her. When that became just TOO much for you to do, you thought stealing their car would be a good idea. Classy move. But my favorite? Was when you basically stole from my dad while our mother was in the hospital dying of cancer. Yep, that was pretty low of you. It was then and there I realized, or rather, it became more obvious that you will never change. So when we had to make the decision to take mom off life support, you were bawling and freaking out, I, your LITTLE sister by 7 years stood up and took charge. I did everything from telling the nurse our decision to buying the urn. I didn't do it for you, I did it for MY dad. I did it because it's what needed to be done and I am OK with it. I don't want you to say thank you, nor do I want a pat on the back for doing what family does for one another. I just want you to know how every one of your fucked up decisions have effected every one's life as well.

Going through mom's jewelry was hard enough, but you telling me most of it was "costume jewelry"? That was IT! We kind of got into it that night, but I still held my tongue because we were in my dad's house holding and looking at his DEAD wife's jewelry. Going off on you would have only made things worse for him, even though you totally fucking deserved.

I could go on and on for pages upon pages but rehashing all of your fuck ups won't make them any better. It won't serve any other purpose other then making you feel bad, which is a bonus, but it won't last for long. I know you too well. So let me say it simply so you don't get confused.

I don't want you in my life. I don't even CARE if you get clean and want to make amends, I will not accept it. Yes I know family is suppose to be there for each other all the time, well I'm breaking that rule. I don't want your poison anywhere near me or my children. Yes, MY children, not your "babies". You don't even KNOW Zilla and haven't seen either of them in YEARS. Even if I were to leave out my children and my husband, there would still be my dad. I don't want you anywhere near him, either. But mostly this is for me. If I never speak or see you again, I will be just fine with that. Harsh? Probably so. Mean? Oh I am sure of it. But ask me if I care? The answer is no. You have hurt me, Lil Sis, mom, my dad, and everyone else too many times for me to take the chance on you again. There is TOO much to lose. I will protect this family till I die and if that means writing you off, I'll do it with a fucking smile on my face. Trust me on this Tricia. Stay away!

~Your little sister that once thought you did no wrong, but now knows the truth.

Oct 27, 2010

So Pissed!

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 11 friends have commented
I don't even have the words for how pissed off I am. All I know is that I am shaking with rage and I would love to direct this anger at the person that deserves it, but I don't think it will do any good at all.

Before my mother met and married my father, she was married to a complete asshole. An asshole that beat her, wouldn't allow her to nurse her babies, one that cheated on her, plus many other horrible things. In that marriage they had 3 children together and one he brought from a previous relationship. Every single one of those children are fucked up. They've all been in jail, were or are doing drugs, stole and manipulated both my parents. They blamed my mother for leaving their father. They blamed my dad for everything and anything they could think of. There is a 7 year gap between the youngest child of that marriage and myself. That's a very large gap, but there was a time when we were close. Not anymore. In fact, I am not close with ANY of them at all. If I never speak to any of them, it will be too soon.

I could go on and on about all the horrible things my older sister did to my parents but I don't have that kind of time and frankly there is just TOO much to say. I will say that when my mom was in the hospital, DYING of cancer, my older sister took their car to do something and sold their handicapped sticker. She stole jewelry, money, their checkbook, my money, she lied about being raped, just to name a few. I'm sure you get the picture. She is NOT a nice person. It may be the drugs that are helping her do this shit, but that's only an excuse. She's been a user (of people) since I can remember.

Since we moved and my dad came into his money, shes popped back up on our radar, weird right? She's asked him for money because she needs food and OF course she isn't doing drugs anymore, so the money isn't for drugs. What the fuck ever! Nobody believes your bull shit. The worst part? Is she is making MY dad feel bad.

He went to California with my Lil Sis and they were going to meet here, my dad even paid for a bus ticket for her, but she made excuses to not show up. One of her excuses was that it was raining and she couldn't get to the bus station. Oh? Really? The rain prevents you from getting to the bus station? I get that you live in California and probably aren't use to the rain like we are here in Oregon, but I promise you, it wasn't enough to keep you from your father and little sister. But whatever, clearly it wasn't important enough.

The latest news is that she texted my dad tonight and said "daddy I'm desperate, I need to get out of here". She wants to come here! Uhhh no. Apparently she has some court date but is willing to miss that "just to come home". Well her "home" isn't here anymore. Not because she left us and didn't contact us for years after my mom died, but because she is a person I don't want in my life, sister or not. This isn't only just about me, its about my kids, Dirty, AND my dad. I am SO sick of her using my dad for her benefit. She treated him like shit when he never did anything wrong. He never treated her differently. He didn't treat her like she wasn't his blood, he accepted her. Even when she stole from his dying wife. He still treated her like he would me or my Lil Sis.

I'm SO tempted to call her and tell her to get the hell out of our lives. She has never done any of us any good by being in it. I know that's harsh, but it's true. I've been hurt by her before, but that pain has been replaced with anger. And I will protect my dad and my family in any way I feel the need too. And if that means giving her a call, I'll do just that.

Oct 11, 2010

Let The Healing FINALLY Begin

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 11 friends have commented
Its been almost 5 years since my life changed forever. Its been almost 2 years since I finally stopped running away from the pain. Its been a long time since I've felt anything but pain. It feels like I am on the road to healing, or maybe closer to actually BEING healed.

After spending some time with my thoughts and feelings about my mom being here, in my house, I am OK. It's good that she's here, I accept it. I accept her death, now. My heart knows that she won't come back and I won't be able to physically see her again. This doesn't mean that I won't have moments of sadness, but after this weekend, I feel OK. I think my soul has healed a little. Nothing can ever heal the part of my soul that was damaged the day she died, but I know I can soften the sting a bit.

Saturday I went to the coast with Peaches and her roommate. We had a great time shopping, laughing, and getting poured on. We got a little bummed when neither of us could find a purse at Coach and decided on a whim to get tattoos! At first I didn't want a tattoo, I wanted to get my nose pierced. The more I thought about it, the more I did want a tattoo. I wanted to get a tattoo for my mom. Not a memorial tattoo per se, but something that means something to me. Nothing huge but something simple. I had thought about getting a lung cancer ribbon, but then Peaches asked me "wouldn't you rather get something that reminds you of your mom rather then of her death?" She made a really good point. I need to remember her and not her death. Her death does not define her life, no matter what caused her death. She and her life are more then lung cancer and the strokes.

So....I got a tattoo on the inside of my left wrist. It's on the small side and I absolutely LOVE it! It's perfect. I got an outline of a forget-me-not, one of her favorite flowers and one that's always reminded me of her. I might get it colored in later, but as of right now, I am 100% happy with it. I feel very at peace with my decision, I feel settled. It was the right thing to do.

Last week was a very emotional week but I think I made HUGE progress. I'm very proud of myself for facing these blocks and going past them instead of allowing them to hold me back. I did do some crying Saturday night, but it felt good to let those tears out. I never feel good crying, but I did after I got home. Best part? My dad approved! I thought for sure he was going to hate it, but he really likes it!

I did good!

Oct 7, 2010

Today Was THE Day

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 13 friends have commented
Since my dad moved in, I've been wondering when my mom's ashes were coming. I had mentioned it to him before and he never really gave me a definite answer, nor did I press him for one. Apparently the day was Tuesday when he came back from Lil Sis' house. Although......I wasn't aware of this until this morning when I was downstairs talking to him. I was sitting on the floor petting the dog and ca, talking to dad, I look over at the coffee table and there it is. My mom's urn. The one Dirty and I bought and I held in my lap from the crematorium to the church the day of her funeral. I couldn't breathe, let alone finish my sentence. I stammered a few "ummms" and "uuuhhhhs" and finally finished whatever I was saying, which now I can't really remember. I didn't get up and run upstairs, but I excused myself before I started to cry. I still can't cry in front of my dad, the look on his face will break my heart, I just know it.

I was texting Danielle and told her what I just saw. Let me just tell you how amazing she is! She said all the right things and handled my grief and shock great! Seriously, I can't thank her enough. I know it's really difficult to handle another person's grief. You never know what to say and always question if what you said was right or not, but Danielle? She has always been great, especially today. She told me to breath and encouraged me to talk to Dirty. And I did just that.

My voice was shaky as were my hands and I really was having a hard time catching my breath but I told him what was going on. Having my mom here now, as physically as she can be, is rough. I can't really pretend that all of this didn't happen when there is hard core evidence that she is dead. All I have to do is go downstairs and see her urn. She's here.

I'm a little shell shocked but I know that I am OK. This is the last step for me. The last step in true acceptance of my mom's death. Right now, in this moment? I am sad. I miss my mom so much right now that it hurts. But I can also look at it that we are all together again, as a family; just like Dirty said. I haven't lived with my parents in years, and I never thought I would again. If I had thought about it, I sure wouldn't have thought this is how it was going to be, but it is what it is.

So far I've told four people (thank you Heather for your love) and while it isn't any easier each time, I feel my heart open a little each time. Every word I've typed I get a little more light into my soul. I've lived in the darkest place for so long that the light can be blinding and scary for me. It's a slow process but I know that moving to the warmth of the many that love me is what I need to do. I NEED that warmth, I NEED those kind words, warm hugs and the encouragement that this is right. The hiding and being scared isn't. Yes, the books tell you that talking to your family and friends is a very good thing. Hell even my therapist said that too, but I just couldn't let go and give my fragile soul to others. I felt the NEED to protect myself from more pain, despite KNOWING the people that I am talking about (YOU) will not hurt me.

I'm falling into the arms of love and basking in the warmth. There will be times when I will run back to my dark place, but I know, now, that I am much happier in the light of my family and friends. I'm taking deep breaths and embracing the helping hand.

Oct 4, 2010

Frustrated by the Lack of Information

Musings of A Beautiful Mess 9 friends have commented
When Dirty lost his job, almost 2 years ago, I immediately applied for health care for Nae and Zilla. That was the one AND only thing I cared about. There was NO way I was NOT going to have health care for them. Since Dirty was getting fairly good unemployment benefits, I assumed we would be paying something. Turns out, we didn't have to. Oregon has a program that every child gets health care benefits no matter what. BONUS! I wasn't concerned about health care for us, just the children. When I broke my hand, health insurance would have been nice, but because I am a college student, I qualified for grants to pay for surgery, doctor's appointments and physical therapy. That was HUGE, because my surgery ALONE was almost $10,000...EEK! Anyway, because Dirty was unemployed and I wasn't working or going to school at the time, we were able to get some food stamp benefits. That helped out a lot, even though it kind of sucked, the reality of it.

I started school last year and was told that loans aren't considered income so I didn't have to report that to them. When I went in for my yearly intake appointment last week, I told them anyway. I should've told them before, but it would have effected our benefits in OUR favor, so I didn't get in trouble for it. When I DID tell them I was going to school full time, I was told that I won't be included in the benefits unless I had a part time job or was in the federal work study program. Didn't make ANY sense to me, but OK? My case worker told me to bring in information on the work study program and he could include me in the benefits and we would be able to get insurance and maybe more food stamps. I wasn't in a hurry to give him the paperwork because the jobs don't get handed out until October 15, so I had no idea if I had a  job through the school or not. I thought I was doing the right thing. Plus? We don't actually need more benefits, we're doing well with what we have. I didn't want to take anything that could be used for someone else. I'm aware the state doesn't work like this, but it didn't feel right to ME, and Dirty agreed. I was wrong :-| I got a phone call Friday from my case worker telling me I needed to give him that information and until I did so, our application was suspended. What...WHAT?!

He made it sound like it wasn't a "required" document, but then his phone call stated differently. I got the information and turned it in as soon as I got out of class on Friday. After talking to some people about all of this, I find out that I might qualify for cash benefits because I am a full time student and Dirty isn't working. I found this out through OTHER people, not from someone who works for the state. Shouldn't this have been information offered to me before? When I asked about it, I was told that this particular benefit is only for women who are in a life threatening situation or a family that has had their house burned down, etc. That is NOT the correct information! I am a full time student and ANY full time college student qualifies for this benefit. Apparently it's been around for awhile, because a few people have told me about it after I started asking around.

So, this morning, I filled out MORE paperwork for this cash assistance. As I was in the office talking to yet ANOTHER case worker, I see a lot of information on free health care and dental clinics for adults. There are at least 5 clinics in the area that either have hours where they take patients who don't have insurance or a clinic specifically for people who don't have health insurance. I also saw information on low cost medication for people without health insurance. I KNEW NONE OF THIS! It would have been great information to have when I broke my hand or even before. Just in case Dirty or I got sick and needed to go to the doctor. Right now if one of us gets sick, we have 3 choices; we go to the ER and have to pay a $200 detectable PLUS whatever the ER visit costs  OR we suck it up and hope it isn't anything serious that needs antibiotics, or we can treat with home remedies. Why wasn't I given this information when I signed up the children for state insurance? They asked me if I had insurance, I told them no and they put our names in a lottery for insurance, but we didn't get picked. Maybe they could have given me a packet in information with all these names and numbers so we could go to the doctor if needed instead of going to the ER and paying an extraordinary amount or even not paying it at all (because the ER is EXPENSIVE)?

This all just seems SO back-ass-wards! Not to mention the fact that there are SO many more options for people on food stamps then just going to the grocery store and buying food there. Farmer's markets take food stamps! And so do some crop share programs, as does Costco. Once again, I didn't find out any of this information from the state, I got it from one of my professors last term.

In this state, if you're on WIC, (I have no idea about other states, since I live in Oregon) you have to go to some classes to make sure you're feeding your baby the right foods, help with breast feeding, and general care of your new infant. Granted, taking care of a baby is important and a lot of women need that, but shouldn't that be the same for the food stamp program? Shouldn't there be a class you have to go to and LEARN who takes food stamps and what foods are healthy and aren't? It seems like a no brainer, but there are people out there who don't KNOW! These classes could teach people how to eat and buy healthier foods, maybe even a cooking class? I'm sure I'm probably being a Polly Anna about this, but if there's funding for certain programs, there should be "how to" classes to go along with them?

It feels like if I wasn't going to school and neither Dirty or myself were working, we would be getting a lot more help, through the state, but because that's not the case, I'm having to DRAG information out of other people. So, because I am trying to do the right thing, I am having to jump through hoops while the woman down the street with a truck load of children and no job, gets everything handed to her. I can totally see why people use the system, it's so much fucking easier!

I'm frustrated and fed up. I'm not doing ANY of this for myself, I am doing it for my family. So my kids can go to the doctor when they need too. So when they ask me "can you get some yogurt at the store?" I can say "yes, no problem". And when they want to do a sport, I don't have to figure out where that $60 is going to come from. I wouldn't expect anyone to make this easy on me, I don't want it to be easy, but maybe a little forthcoming with information would be nice.

Is this an Oregon thing, or do other states have screwed up "help", too? Am I asking for too much? Should I just shut my mouth and be thankful for what I even have? Which I am, but frustrated as well.

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