Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's going to hit the fan tonite.

Well, we had just tentatively made the decision to plan for DD to come back home after her stay at the RTC.  The staff there had made such a point of telling us "how she's turned it around" and "she's really working hard to make this work", so we felt like she should have a chance.

That was less than a week ago.

Over the weekend, she was assaultive towards another kid and a staff, then ran away from the RTC and the police brought her back.  She continued to be verbally abusive to staff and peers after this, and bordering on becoming physical again, so the staff there has changed their recommendation to a group home or foster care setting.

They're going to tell her tonite.  And I'm certain that it won't be pretty.

We will be meeting with DD, therapist and staff tomorrow night.  Not looking forward to the blame that she will heap on us for the choices she made.  But they were her choices.

I'd like to say I'm surprised, but I thought all along that this was what the outcome would be.  I was hoping I was wrong.

Since she's on the brink of 18, there will be a lot to learn....for sure.

In my "bad mom" moments I just want to wash my hands of the whole situation, but I (most of the time) love her too much to give up completely.

The RCT told us to prepare for phone calls tonite.  Yikes.

P.S.  We still have not heard anything about DH's disability--it's been 6 weeks now, and they said 2-4.....probably not a good sign :-(

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I don't like my daughter.

We've had several "home visits" now, where she comes to our house and spends a couple of days.  Of course, with me still working both jobs, I don't have a lot of time to spend with her, but that's ok, because most of the time I don't want to spend time with her at all.  Isn't that sad?

It's as if she is constantly looking for an "excuse" to get angry with me.  Here's an example:  About a week ago, DH and I picked DD up at the place where she's at.  DD had been talking about applying for a scholarship so that she could attend a rather prestigious cooking school.  While I do think that cooking school is a much better and much more realistic choice than her previous choice (paleontologist), when she showed me the scholarship rules, I got worried.  The scholarship can only be won by achieving a certain score on the ACT college entrance exam.  I know that unless things change drastically, she can't do that.  She has yet to pass the skills test for graduation, and she's taken it several times.  I hate to see her disappointed, so, thinking ahead, I said "that's great!  And I know if the scholarship doesn't work out, there are a lot of programs for former foster children that can pay your way, too!" And she got right up in my face and told me that "I have my heart set on this and you never want to let me do anything I want!"  And she kept right on yelling at me, even when I asked her "Did you even hear a word I said?"  Sadly, this is kind of a typical exchange for her and me.

The treatment center where she is at has said that they have now talked with the county and the county will only pay for her to stay there until June.  And at that point, we have to decide where she is going.  They are pushing for her to come back to our house.  I don't want to live with her, but I feel like a bad mom when I even think like that.  So I keep going along with things....

Then.....this week they started bringing up the possibility of allowing DD to go on unsupervised visits to her bio mom's.  "Because her bio mom has been going to therapy and appears to have cleaned up her act..."  Everything about this made me want to scream "No, no, no, ABSOLUTELY NOT!"  But once again, since they (the therapists) seem to think it's a good idea, especially since DD will be turning 18 soon (and despite the fact that supposedly the legal guardianship is moving along) as they don't want DD to resent us for keeping her from her bio mom.  So once again....I feel like a bad mom, because these visits are the last thing I want and the last thing I think will be good for DD.  Her bio mom has very good intentions but cannot say no to DD, not ever.  Kind of like DH, but there's nobody there (at bio mom's ) to step in when that happens.  And....I admit it....I know DD will always choose bio mom over me, so I'm already a little hurt and jealous in advance.

It's all very hard for me.  DH doesn't seem to see anything wrong with these things at all.  Mostly right now I just want to throw up my hands and say "all right already, she can do whatever the hell she wants and I'm not going to waste any more energy on maintaining a relationship with this hateful little person!" But I know that's not the answer either....it's just that I'm overwhelmed without worrying about these things, and I don't think there's a way I can make a good decision here, at least one that I'm comfortable with.....

P.S.  Please say a heartfelt prayer for everyone in Japan right now....my cousin (who is Japanese-American) was in Tokyo when the earthquake happened, and she and her husband are ok, but we aren't sure if they're coming back to the U.S. now or not (they weren't planning on it).....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

DH: on the brink of losing his job

Well, I've mentioned it a little before, but DH went in to work last night and found out that because he's missed so many days, they're cutting his hours.  He was a little upset, but I honestly don't see how he can be too upset, because on his very first day of work, he explained to me how it works, and every single time he's called in since then, I've reminded him of what could happen....and now it's happening.  They go by a "points" system where he works.  If you are tardy, it's one point.  If you call in sick on a weekday, it's 1 point.  If you call in sick on a Friday or Saturday, it's 2 points, and there are some days when they are super busy, where if you call in, it can be 3 points.  When you get to eight points, they take one of your shifts away.  At 9 points, they take another (total of two shifts) away.  And when you get to ten points, you're fired.

I'm nervous.  Even losing one shift is a lot of money.  But I've known since he started that this job of his probably wouldn't last....

But.....I'm still hoping that maybe the disability will come through....that way, we'll still have some sort of income from him if he loses his job.

On a more optimistic side....I have had my 6 month review at work (it was a good one) and I passed probation, so I'm now a permanent county employee there.  I also got a .60/hr raise (yay!).  I'm still quite a bit below what I was making before, but doing quite a bit better than if I was working at WalMart.....

I'm so much hoping that the disability comes through.  DH has told me a lot about the hearing, and he hasn't told me anything that would make me think that the judge realistically thought he could do anything....but, like I told DH, "based on how things have been for us these last few years, good financial stuff (with the exception of my job and possibly his) just does not seem to happen to us."  So it'll be nice if it happens, but "par for the course" if it doesn't.

Along those lines, this past week, one morning I got into work, logged on to my computer, and went to check my bank account to make sure my balance was what I thought it was.  It wasn't. (!)  Someone somewhere had charged internet service and textbooks to my check card somehow.  So I lost about $150 before the bank shut the card off.  It appears that the purchases were made only minutes before I signed on to check my account, so that was lucky--who knows how much damage they would've done if I hadn't been so anal about keeping track of that stuff?  But.....that money was earmarked to pay DH's year-old dentist bill (which totals $400) and now I won't be able to pay that until the bank fixes things (they said they'd put the money back into my account in about 2 weeks)....sigh....just one more stressor...

I just seem to get so panicked when the money stuff doesn't leave me/us any "wiggle room" at all.  If the car broke down again, there would be no way to fix it.  I'm lucky that the vet, if there was an emergency, would hold a check or let me make payments, but I don't want to take advantage of that if I don't have to.....DH's disability back pay would help so much.....right now I can pay most of the bills on time.  But there's nothing left over, especially with gas going up....I desperately don't want to use my 401k to make things more manageable.  Right now, I'm hoping against hope that I don't have to.  I know what a bad idea it is, and every financial planner in the world says not to do it.  But sometimes, when I'm trying to figure out how to pay everything so that nothing gets shut off, it seems like a way to make things a little less stressful.  My plan before the disability potentially came into play was that I would use a relatively small sum from the 401k to pay off the bills from town here that are kind of "handshake" loans, where people/places gave us credit because they're nice and so are we.  I so much don't want to ruin any "good name" that's left.....but....beyond that, the credit cards.....well, I'm a lot less averse to filing bankruptcy on them.....I don't want to, but I would not use my 401k to pay those.  So if it came down to it, the plan would not be to use up all of my 401k to pay debt, just use a small amount to give a little "wiggle room" and take care of debt that I owe to people who I will have to look in the eye someday.  If the disability comes through, I won't have to worry about any of this.....and I'm sure hoping that it does....