19thJuly

Some old lady

Yeah, that’s what I am.  Just some old lady.  It’s been a year since Donnie passed away.  The past couple of weeks have been full of memories.  Thinking about his last days here at home.  The things we were doing.  His death.  Isn’t it supposed to be a year?  All that fierce grief?  I can’t tell that it’s lifting.

I am NOT the person I was.  I can’t help thinking that woman is dead.  She died with him.

I try.  I really do but I just can’t pull myself out of that big, dark hole.  I’ve lost myself and I don’t think there’s anyway back.

My life is too much for me right now.  Darryl went almost completely blind more than two years ago and moved back home.  He’s progressed to the point that he doesn’t do much of anything anymore.  Stacy dropped Scout and Jake off here on January 4th because she was homeless.  It was supposed to be for a couple of weeks and it’s been close to 7 months.  And she’s still collecting child support.  And she still has joint custody of the boys.  I’ve paid $3,000.00 to an attorney over the last three months and we’re still nowhere. I can’t believe it’s such a slow process.  The only thing we’ve accomplished so far is that since she didn’t have any contact with the boys (not even as much as a phone call) for six months, the court has ordered that her visitation must be supervised by a therapist when she sees them again.  That hasn’t happened yet but she’s calling them a couple of times a week.

Steven is off at school but Andrew is finished with school and back home.  David is still working like a dog and it’s like he’s paying triple child support.  Stacy is still getting support from his paycheck, she’s not paying it when she hasn’t even seen the kids for seven months, and David is giving me as much as he can to help out.  They go back to court August 4th and I hope they do something about this.  I love all my grandchildren but I’m so tired of taking care of all of them.

As for me, I not only lost Donnie, I also lost his income. And I’m not eligible for Social Security on my own and was denied his survivor’s benefits for the same reason.  I’m on a teacher’s pension and they consider Social Security benefits to be “double dipping”.  Never mind that I paid into it for 25 years before I went into teaching.

So I’ve struggled.  I’ve spent the last year trying to figure out the financial mess and I finally gave up.  I can not pay all the bills that were based on our double income on my own.  I filed for Chapter 13.  I’ll pay a big chunk of money to the court for the next five years.  They averaged my living expenses over the last six months and are allowing me to keep $200 over and above that amount.  Sounds good.  Like I can pay everything and still have a couple hundred left but that’s really not right.  This month, I had to renew my AAA membership and had to put $75 into a car repair.  So that left me with about $50 extra for the month.

I’m just so tired and discouraged.  I feel like some old lady running around trying to clean the house and take care of everyone and I don’t see an end in sight.  I don’t have anything to look forward to and I’m still drowning in grief.