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Feeling Out of Road

Discussion in 'Welcome' started by Greypain, Apr 22, 2015.

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  1. Greypain

    Greypain Member

    I'll be 60 in a few weeks, but it feels more like 80.
    Spent the past 20 yrs surviving cancer, but losing my health and my life as result of treatment.
    I could amaze you with all of the adventures in healing I undertook, but failed to get results from.
    I'm tired.
    I'm ill.
    I'm poor.
    I'm alone.
    My resources both financial and physical are gone.

    I do have an 86 yr old mother still living.
    Living in the poshest senior community in town thanks to a generous inheritance from my dad.
    She spends thousands upon thousands of $s on QVC, and then leaves her "toys" out in the hall when she tires of them, for the lovely staff to take home. (after displaying them to me of course.)
    She was always truly crazy...more so now.
    Her last child, I was born into the role of supporting her emotionally in her madness, and she still demands that of me every day.
    Just as when I was a child, I don't dare cross her, or ignore her, or put myself first because she does contribute a small amount to my survival.
    If she contributed 1/4 as much as she does to QVC, I probably wouldn't be writing this.

    I do have one son.
    Our life was also a horror story.
    I was a teenager in 1969 in a small southern town and his father was black. (I'm not)
    It was a time of hatred and violence both within my family and the community we lived in.
    Hatred and violence toward myself and my unborn son.
    We were separated at his birth, reunited in time for his teens and he had a very rough time of it, eventually prison.

    I abandoned my own life and got him through the troubled years, so he is now I am happy to say well employed, married, homeowner, two beautiful daughters...but his own life is the struggle we have created as a society just to get them through.

    The home and life I have been walking like a tightrope has become unsustainable.
    I have the smallest possible disability that Social Security can pay, because I worked as a bartender for 25 yrs, so my tiny paid salary didn't pay in enough to gain much in the way of benefits.
    Medicare and Medicaid *sigh* where I live I can no longer find doctors who will see me. I have one doctor left and he has been my doctor since 1990, watching all of this happen to me. I am fortunate to have him and he cares about me but there is only so much a GP can do.
    He tries to refer me out for needed tests and treatment, but thanks to the wisdom of the GOP all doors just slam in my face now.
    10 yrs ago, I could get the care I needed...but that was 10 yrs ago.

    Diagnosed with FM after chemo when the horrible pain/fatigue/constant infections set in, I now have a positive ANA test which signals autoimmune disease, but no Rheumatologist in my area will accept my Insurance to diagnose and treat...whatever it is.
    I can't afford to pay around the Insurance.
    I can't afford food and clothing.
    The 30 yr old trailer I live in is falling aprt around me (literally/structurally) and I can't afford repairs.

    My body is a torture chamber, I won't bore you with the details, and after years of pain, isolation and abject poverty...I'm just finished.
    I don't want to wake up in the morning and when I do it is into so much suffering...when we have animals as pets that suffer this way, we do them the kindness of euthanizing them.
    In some states you can be fined for keeping an animal alive in half as much suffering as I must endure every day.

    I have talked with my son and his wonderful wife and they always say that when I lose my home (soon) I will stay with them...but I know that taking me in would destroy their own chance at a decent life, and the stability and happiness I gave up everything to help my son gain would be destroyed by both the expense and the presence of an old, sick, woman.
    They would be stuck with my care/feeding/medical.
    They can't afford that.
    Stuck with me in their life, which face it (I can) no young couple needs.
    I would be stuck in their tiny unfinished basement.
    I can't do that.
    I can't allow that.

    It's just the end of the road, and up until 5 yrs ago, it was a pretty glorious road.
    I fought hard and won many things, but now they are all gone and so is the strength for another battle.
    So is the strength to move from one room to another most days.

    There's no more road now, and I want to leave this ruin of a body and life before I either find myself sitting in the street in this condition, or drain my son and his family's resources because...what reason is there to take what they need to give their own girls a decent chance in life, and throw it into the bottomless pit of pain and expense this old woman's life has become?
    Just to wake up and endure another torturous day?
    Just to prove I am not a "coward?"
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    I am sorry you are not able to get the support you need how awful the medical care system is for the ones that cannot afford it. You leaving will only teach your son and grandchildren that suicide is an option and you do not want to pass that trait on to them. You matter ok your grandaughters love you and need their grandmother to be there for them when others are not
  3. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    My heart goes out to you - you really are in a terrible bind and have been through some very hard times. It is clear you are a much better mother to your son than your mother is to you. I think you should give your son the chance to step up to the plate, as it sounds like he is willing to do by offering you a place to stay. I understand why you are so reluctant to take him up on his offer, but he and his wife deserve the chance to try and make it work. They would obviously much rather do that, then see you homeless or worse. I know you think you will be a burden on them, but the alternative will also cause them great pain so let them help you.

    I am truly sorry you are suffering so much. Your mother really should be more helpful but I have seen this before, where a well-to-do elderly parent uses money to force an ailing adult child to dance to her selfish tune. I don't understand it as mothering should be about support, no matter how old everyone is. That might seem at odds with me urging you to move in with your son and his family, but I bet you provide a lot of support and love to them in ways that can not be measured by money alone. I am really sorry your mother is not a greater resource to you.

    It is a very sad state on our society that we are withdrawing help to those in need. I guess the new philosophy is that private charities will fill in the gaps left by slashed social services - have you investigated any of the private charities serving your area? I personally doubt private charities will be able to fill those gaps but they are at least worth checking out. There should still be a county or state government department of aging and they should be able to provide you some referrals.

    Please keep posting here. People here really do care for each other and are always good for understanding and a kind word.
  4. Greypain

    Greypain Member

    There are no other resources where I live.
    I've checked.
    They are about to pull my SNAP benefits because like an idiot I ran a Go Fund Me to vet one of my cats...and that is considered "income" so I am looking at 3 months without food as punishment for finding a way to save my cat's life.

    I have lost all family, except mother and son...and I went on.
    People die in whatever manner.

    It isn't a good thing to do to him I know...but isn't it worse to ruin his life and dreams (of building an organic food business on his new property) by forcing him to take on the expense of caring for me?
    To be the cause of his working and working and working and never achieving the life he wants for himself and his own family, because he had to pay for my care?

    They tell me the same thing that so many do, it is a terrible thing to do to them...but isn't it a terrible thing to ask me to continue living in such pain and horror just so that they don't feel loss?
    To ask that I continue suffering the pain and hunger and torment so that they can just "know" I'm out here suffering like this?

    "What a terrible thing to do to me!" isn't really a big motivator for continued suffering.
    My mother is old...she won't suffer the loss long and again, is just her being able to "know" that I am "still here" while she ages in her luxury worth all of this?

    This does have emotion in it of course, but it's more a practical decision than anything else.
    Believe it or not, it seems the most compassionate decision all around.
  5. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Have you tried to talk to a social worker in your area and see what other alternatives they have that hasn't been considered?

    Have you had a heart to heart talk with your mother about helping you out?
  6. Greypain

    Greypain Member

    My mother is...difficult...and she does help me a little bit.
    She is 86 and hasn't left her apartment in over 10 yrs, unless in the car with me.
    The problem is (and has always been) that whatever problem I bring to her, she takes in and turns to her own.
    When I went to her humiliated and told her I was going hungry 2 yrs ago, she immediately became obsessed with food and talking to me about food and ordering too much food to fit into her refrigerator, and complaining to me about that problem.
    She gained a lot of weight.

    When I described my true financial situation to her earlier this year (having lost a side income that was keeping me afloat) she immediately went into a panicked state about her own finances, and now I listen (and read email) every day about the desperation of her own situation. True everything has become more expensive but she has a "Life Agreement Contract" with the posh place she lives, so even if she did go broke they cannot evict her...ever.
    They must house and care for her until her death.

    So...I can no longer bear to tell her more of what is happening to me because it will simply come back into my ears and already overwhelmed mind as "her" new problem as she panics and uses me as security blanket/therapist.
    I can no longer bear to set her off into never ending circles of panic and neurosis because I myself selfishly "need."

    I don't mean to speak ill of her, and I'm not angry with her.
    She is/never has been mentally/emotionally stable, and as I said above I have been since birth cast in the role of her support person.
    It remains my job to keep her as balanced as is possible.

    Again, I am getting every bit of aid that is possible in the County I unfortunately live in.
    There is no Social Worker to talk to.
    I had a very nice worker for 15 yrs who I only got to see once a year for a case review anyway, it's not like they are there to have friendly caring chats, and now there is no longer any face to face at all.
    Everything is done by mail and phone, and they reassigned my case to a new worker last year who has not ever returned one phone call.

    When I called a new County crisis hot line, hahaha, I simply got another old woman volunteer (with good intention) who told me she was sorry, but other than admitting myself to a psychiatric ward, there is no "help" available.
    No therapists or councilors.
    If I feel I am a danger to myself or others I can have myself committed, but that's the only option here.
    No thank you.

    I am not new at this.
    I've been at it so long and having managed the miracle of surviving 20yrs like this should be celebrated, rather than discarded.

    There is one food pantry about 20 miles from here, with frequently barren shelves.
    A body can only do so much on Spaghettios.

    To deal with it all mentally, back in 1998 I began intensive study/practice/retreats with Tibetan monks because who does mental training and overcoming suffering and "self" problems better than the Tibetans?
    I eventually found myself in India, receiving teachings from the best of teachers, even The Dalai Lama himself.
    I am not new at this (and notice the Buddhist quote in your footer) as I said.

    I have lost equanimity, I have lost view, mind too disturbed to even approach the practices which served me well for so many years.

    The only thing new is that I am speaking out loud here, what I now think on a daily basis.
    "Time to go."
    I am not sure what I came here to say or to learn.

    Maybe I just need to feel that I said it all out loud once.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2015
  7. ChestnutMay

    ChestnutMay Antiquities Friend

    You ask some very difficult questions and have obviously thought this through a great deal. It is incredibly sad that you are in such dire straights and have to cope with a mother who could help, but is too unstable and self-absorbed to do so. I don't think you owe her anything, btw. It sounds like she is only making matters worse, and right now you need to take care of yourself. I'd like to think there was some way of getting through to her as your situation is really very serious and she is going to regret it deeply if she doesn't do more now, when you need it.

    I hope you get some comfort from knowing how much your son cares. I do understand why you are reluctant to move in with him and his family and I can appreciate all the things you say about extending your own suffering so he won't hurt. This is just a very difficult situation with no easy answers and no "shoulds" .

    It is beyond wrong that your SNAP benefits were slashed because you did a fund raiser to send your cat to the vet. It makes me very angry on your behalf. Those SNAP benefits are not exactly generous to begin with and to lose them entirely for 3 months is a tremendous injustice. The whole system you are dealing with is full of injustice and they are obviously making it very hard for anyone to actually make use of those few benefits available. My heart goes out to you as you try to work with them.

    The fact that you have so much training in Buddhism is fascinating and kind of encouraging. Although I credit Buddhist teachings with turning my life around at one point, I have never actually practiced it the way you have since I have never had much luck meditating. Although life is so difficult right now for you, I wish you could achieve some peace by opening up to these teachings again. As you know yourself, there is a lot of compassion and wisdom in them. I realize right now that you need practical solutions, however. Does your state have 211? I know you've done a lot of research into available help, but the operators of 211 can give you the phone numbers of county and private resources you might not yet have identified.

    I really wish you the best.
  8. Greypain

    Greypain Member

    I appreciate that. I appreciate the time taken by all who have responded.
  9. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Understandable. Wish I could be more helpful. :hug:
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