Sunday, November 30, 2008

When it rains, it pours!!!

Hi everyone....I wish I was writing to tell you what a wonderful holiday weekend I've had, but, well, you know the drill...it started out with DH having a wonderful Thanksgiving day at my brother's, with DD and me, too. He was cheerful, helpful, and just all-around, the DH I married. I was very proud!!!! (DD, on the other hand, was not at her best, taking toys away from the 2 year old and getting mad at the three year old when the three year old didn't play her way....she was the lucky recipient of several stern warnings)....

Anyhow, nothing big happened at all....then we got home and our telephone(s) didn't work. And since I paid the bill last week, I was pretty sure that wasn't the problem. DH went outside to see if the problem was inside our house or out in the phone line, of course it was inside our house. But then he "didn't feel like" tracking down the problem and fixing it, of course....

Then he decided he was going to clean up our bedroom. What he discovered when he did that was not a good thing: Under Kirby Puppy's dog bed, the floor was wet. But it wasn't from a dog. There is no plumbing in our bedroom. He examined the wall and the bottom of the wall is wet. While there are no stains on the ceiling, what it means is that there is some kind of roof problem. Not surprising since our roof has needed to be replaced for so very long, but it's hard to convince a bank that "Yes, I know I've got $45,000 in debt not including the mortgage, but I really need another loan...."

The credit union in town does know that DH is mentally ill. I could probably get them to loan me roof money. But there's no way I could pay it back, and with my job situation so precarious, there's even less likelihood that I could fulfill my obligations there. I think I'm going to start this process by learning how to clean the gutters on the house--maybe that's the problem (I know, probably wishful thinking)--anyhow, I had been hoping to use the tax refund to redo the roof, but if things are actually rotten, I'm scared that might not be enough. And I'm scared, because here we are, at the beginning of a Minnesota winter, and the roof is in scary bad shape.

But wait!!! (as they say in those infomercials) There's more!!!! DH got a letter from the lumber yard in town, they are pretty angry about the money he owes them and hasn't even bothered to pay back. I hate thinking that his reputation in town is going down the toilet, so I told him if he a) looked into the roof problem to determine the source, b) fixed DD's bedroom light, c) fixed DD's bathroom light, then I would put the bill on my charge card. He was really excited about that deal (me--I knew I was going to get stuck paying it anyhow, so I might as well get some work out of him)...anyhow, I think if I have to go to the lumber yard on Monday with those jobs not being done, I am going to strongly suggest that they not extend credit to him any more :-( The thought of doing that makes me sad, but I am getting more and more angry about having to cover these bills that are for stupid stuff that he just decided he wanted right this minute.

And of course DD. Her bedtime has been 9pm for years. But lately she's been seriously testing the limits of that. (I understand that most 15 year olds don't have a 9pm bedtime, but her special needs make a routine and plenty of sleep pretty important)...anyhow, one night she was told that it was bedtime. So she got up and took her pills and then sat by the fire and refused to go to bed. She went to bed after losing some privileges for the next day.

Then, last night, I told her it was time to go to bed. She looked at me and said, "I'll go when I feel like it." I said, "That's not funny." "It's time for bed." Then she told me "I was JUST kidding, jeez, Mom!" And I said, "You heard me, it's not funny, and it's time for bed." Then she tried to get Dad to take her side, "Dad, I TOLD her I was just kidding!" And Dad saw the eye roll and sent her to bed in tears. Then today she told me she's been horrible to me, horrible at Thanksgiving, and horrible in general. I told her that the fact that she is aware of that is a good thing, what was she going to do to make sure it didn't happen again?

So....tonite. DH tells her to go to bed. She says, "Why?!" He repeats the instruction and she says, "Why?!" (can you almost hear the sulk in her voice?) After two more tries at being civil, DH yelled at DD to go to bed and she went to bed in tears, screaming and throwing things in her room. Then right when I was leaving for work, she came out and asked me to tuck her in. (This might be wrong on the mom front) I told her that we had talked about this last night, we talked about it this morning, and if she wanted me to tuck her in, she should've gone to bed at 9pm when she was supposed to, and I would've been happy to tuck her in. As it was, her tantrum was making me late for work, so I told her that she needed to tuck herself in, and give some thought as to how this problem could be avoided in the future.

And with all that on my mind, I came to work.

It's 3am. DH just called me and told me his moods are cycling very rapidly. He has been going from sadness to energy to anger in minutes. He is thinking maybe he should go to the hospital. I told him to take his meds and try to sleep. I hope he does. We can't afford another hospital stay.

I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself tonite. I started thinking about how "this wasn't how it was supposed to be." And how much I just want someone I can depend on from day to day, where I didn't have to do everything all the time. I'm the mom, I'm the dad. I'm the nurse. I'm the breadwinner(s). What I would give to be one of those pampered wives who gets to stay home all day and get hairdos and facials and all that....

Then it kind of morphs into "Why me? What did I do?" But I know this crap happens to people all the time, why shouldn't I be "people"? Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Maybe if you could change her bedtime to 9:30 it would help...she would feel that you realize she's growing older and you wouldn't have the stress of arguing with her for 1/2 hour every night.
I feel for you... with your husbands problems, everything has become your problem...it's a heavy load.

perphila said...

I think you're doing a great job on the mom stuff. All kids like to test boundries and the parents who stick by them always wind up being hated for a while. Especially in DD's case where routine is a must patience is so hard to have. Rememeber that overall she is doing better than you could have hoped.

DH could use some routine too..:) It is good he is starting to see how his moods are changing. If he wasn't on the lithium he wouldn't be able to do that. I hope his meds helped him feel a little better.

I hope you can find a way to get the roof fixed. I know all about cold winters!

Nathan Hawks said...

I wish e-hugs from strangers were more helpful... but that's what I got for ya.


kw said...

Sweetie~ being the care-giver is so much harder than being ill! My heart goes out to you. That said, there may be help for you and yours.

First, if your husband is too sick to work, you should look into SSDI. Also, as your daughter has health issues, you should look into gov't grants.

There are many grants that are not used, because people don't know about them. Also, I hate to say it, but Lithium is not the be all end all answer.

At the very least, he needs therapy. I highly recommend Cognitive Therapy, which works to change the patient's view of themselves and their world.

It is helpful as a tool for fighting mental moments, handling real life stress and recognizing negative schemas that feed the illness.

I also have had roofing issues, when I have been too broke to fix them. I went to my local hardware store and bought tin "flashing". It can come in rolls two feet wide.

If you have an idea of where the leak is coming from, just roll out the flashing and cut it with tin snips. You should use a mesh roofing tape, which is about 10" wide, to hold it down. This needs to be put in effect using cold roofing tar.

You could shoot staples to hold down the flashing, but you have to cover the seam with mesh and tar. It's not a real fix. But it does stop water from getting in.

All the best, my pet and I'll stop by again.