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So, as a follow on to the You’ve Got Fucking Problems, Anonymous. post—yesterday afternoon my sister calls me. A bit of chit chat, then,
“Sooo, when do you want me to take Mom for a weekend?”
I’m a little taken aback but not entirely surprised. Last week, I had vented to my brother, the asshat, about this very subject.
Flashback and Back Story
In March, I finally crawled to my brother and asked him for money every month because all Mom’s and my savings are gone. Kaput. Accounts closed. I can’t work outside the home (hence the blogs with ads—sorry, I know ads can suck, but a broke girl’s got to what a broke girl’s go to do.) Mom can sometimes freak out for not knowing where I am when I take the dog for a walk around the block. She mixes up my anti-depressant for Tylenol. And I’m very reluctant and dreading that I’m going to have to have the, “Make sure you wash your crotch,” conversation every day. So yeah, 9 – 5 ain’t for me.
My brother said he could pay for some bills each month. But the formerly Mr. Moneybags is having money trouble himself these days. So he suggested I start driving Uber and Lyft, and had it all arranged that my sister would take Mom on Saturdays and Sundays so I could drive.
Which is all fine and good, and I did it for a while. But you can’t make real money that way as a driver, and I started to wonder if the cost of keeping my Jeep detailed was worth the few dollars I was earning. And it is exhausting for me. I’m a pure introvert, and interacting with people, especially strangers, is draining. I of course, had to go to great lengths to explain all this to him, even so far as an Excel spreadsheet showing my meager return on investment.
So, last Saturday, I had no plans to drive. Nonetheless, my sister calls and says she can’t take Mom today. She needs to spend time with her boyfriend. It’s been a long time—like 6 weeks.
I lose my shit. Not with her, it was a voice message. But I lose my shit. I don’t get a fucking day off from caregiving, and any time I can get Mom with someone else, I have to fucking work! Even if I could meet someone, I don’t have time for a fucking boyfriend. And we even tried having Mom spend a weekend with her a few months ago, but Mom woke up very confused and scared, wondering where I was. So my sister brought her home early and we scrapped that plan. My life is nothing but chores from the moment I get up and make her tea, to the moment I make sure she takes her evening meds and set up her diffuser with lavender oil so she sleeps well.
So I call my brother to vent, and cry. And he’s wonderful. Yes, he agrees taking care of Mom must be hard. He promises to try to find me some respite. And I’m grateful.
Then, only a few days later, he hangs up on me absolutely screeching, “WHAT EVERRRRRRR!” and tells me I’ve got fucking problems.
Did I mention he’s bipolar?
The root of the “fucking problems” and “Whatever” is because he got it into his thick, extroverted, manic head that we need to have the entire house tiled. The house’s floors are crap, but we are not falling through floor boards or anything. They just look like shit. He also wants to have my niece’s husband do the work because they need the money.
Ok. I’m all for helping out the kids. I’d love to have floors that don’t look like shit. But tiling an entire house while living in it with a woman who can’t comprehend the change of a dog walk by someone who can only do the work on weekends is fucking asshat crazy!
So, I counter with, “I’d rather do laminate. It’s less disruptive and you can move furniture on it as soon as you put it down.”
He lost his shit, yelled at me that all I ever do if fight him on everything, and he hangs up on me. Later he told me I have fucking problems.
Back to The Present
So, when my sister suggests we plan a weekend for her and Mom, I figure my brother has talked to her. But I don’t ask. I committed to myself that I was not going to triangulate again. It didn’t work out so well when I vented to him the other Saturday. I say ok. Then she drops the, “Would you like to take a week and go away by yourself in June?”
Ok. Here we go. My brother will come in for a week and take care of Mom. I can go and get away. I tell my sister I don’t have the money to do it, knowing full well that she’s going to say my brother will pay for it all.
Here’s the rub. I don’t want him to pay for anything ever again, and if I could pay him back for every cent he’s given me and buy him out of the house I would. He’s never given me money until recently, and he’s never treated me the way he’s been treating me until he gave me money.
I’m no geometry wiz but I can draw those lines between two points.
I started this blog to get things off my chest anonymously, but also to monetize it as a means to try to get solvent. (Shares, Likes, and Follows are SOOO appreciated! Christ, I feel like a hooker.) And I really, really, really need the week off. Plus, it’ll give my brother a chance to walk in my shoes for a week. I’m even contemplating the routines document I’ll make for him so he can do everything I do every day. But it’s another chunk of money I’ll be beholden to him for.
Should I stay or should I go?