PTSD of the Homeless

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hound dog, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I might as well be back in the year 2000 again as far as the situation with K is concerned. Only difference is that she's married to her husband and has 2 more kids.

    And I swear to you, that is exactly what it feels like. It's like someone just flipped a switch and wham, rewound 9 years.

    I knew this was possible when I made contact with K. I walked right into it anyway with eyes wide open. Determined to reunite the family anyway. No shades over my eyes. No lying to myself.

    I haven't updated on K much because I've been attempting from what she tells me and her sibs and from what I see to "objectively" judge the situation. And the conclusions I was drawing up weren't all peachy keen. Not horrible either. But still.

    K has grown up tons. That I have no doubt and I can tell thru our conversations. She is a good Mom. Also no doubt there. Don't doubt the diagnosis either.

    So? Why the PTSD??

    Over the last several months I've come to doubt some of the picture K originally painted. I don't think they were outright lies, but a bit of exaggeration perhaps. I doubt her husband was a restaurant manager. Now I'll be first to admit I may be dead wrong. But K admitted to me again tonight that he reads only at a basic elementary level. Surely he would have difficulty managing a restaurant. I think this was an attempt to get me to like the guy.

    It came out they were living in that motel longer than she'd said. Could be just trimming the truth to make it look better. Not really a biggy. But I also know this is exactly the hand to mouth existence they had before she came to live with us in 2000. So to me......it indicates that their lifestyle didn't improve any over the years. Not hugely surprising as her husband didn't finish hs, has no skills, can't read well, and I strongly suspect developmentally delayed. (otherwise he really worries me) And K has not been able to work due to the illness in many years.

    The position of dishwasher doesn't pay well. It adds up.

    Do I think K is sincere when she says she doesn't want money? Yeah. I do. Ok. So maybe she's lying to herself.......but I do think she means it. She'd not be human to at least be secretly hoping I could send some cash to help them out of the bind their in. I know cuz I've been there done that and although I'd die before asking my Mom for a dime.....I've had the same thoughts. So while I'm not planning on giving her what I don't have......Yeah. I can understand.

    Now, due to the prognosis of her illness, she's been more open about her husband...and he's been a little more forward in communication. (it's not his strong suit by a long shot) I've been determined to keep an open mind. But I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I'm worried by what I see. I'm seeing behavior totally inapproprate for someone who is 40. I dismissed the sexual overture of his email addy. (hoping he'd had it for ages) I did my best to excuse what was on his MySpace page. But K wanted to send a video of the kids and did a test one with her husband. And I'm sorry.......It's been almost 7 yrs since I saw this guy. But I could barely understand him, but what I did understand I wished I hadn't. What 40 yr old man says to his mother in law " I'm the number one Pimp Daddy across the nation". :faint:

    That one ceased Nichole from defending him. She didn't know what to say. He was wearing a bandana......and I dunno.....came across as the stereotypical poor white trash image to the hilt. And I'm thinking what 40 yr old guy acts like that??

    Yeah. I am soooooooo hoping he was kidding.:ashamed:

    I think somehow K managed to find a difficult child out there who makes her Dad look wonderful. :tongue: And that folks, scares the h*ll out of me.

    I know in the past her husband went thru jobs like tissue. He's lost 2 since we've been back in contact since last summer. Maybe it's the economy. Or maybe it's like my husband and he will never change. My money is on the latter. And with K unable to work.........there situation is not going to improve.

    Yep. I'm in full blown PTSD mode. I. Do. Not. Want. Them. Here. Actually the second I read her email.........I knew with utter certainty I can never do that again. My heart plunged and the world went dark for awhile. And remember when I said I'd take the kids before they went to foster care......Well, now I dunno. My health isn't great. We couldn't afford it right now. There is no where to put them. And quite frankly the thought of rasing 2 more difficult children scares the living h*ll outta me. Kayla is fine. But both boys are difficult child, and while Alex steals my heart regularly.....Evan is adorable but a wild man. I honestly don't think I'm up to it.

    I'm sad for K. Because of bad choices she made all those years ago she is stuck. I can't/won't help except support. I know she deeply regrets walking away from the opportunities she had here. But life doesn't always give 2nd chances.

    I'm worried because my grands will once again be living on the street. And yet I tell myself that somehow they survived for 6 yrs without our help. Maybe it was h*ll for them.....it probably was......but still they did it.

    I am stressed beyond my limit. Every muscle in my body hurts tonight and it's not due to the virus I have. I just turned in the worst term paper I've ever written and it was a few mins late so Mr. Anal most likely won't even accept it. Not sure if I'm glad or sad cuz that would spare me the embarrassment of him actually reading it. I'm going to flunk a mid term tomorrow. And I still haven't even started the math homework.

    Oh......and to top it off, one of Nichole's incisions are infected. Swollen and hard. :ashamed:

    I need someone to swoop in and rescue me for a change.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I can so relate to your fear and the hurt in your mommy heart. I have no advice, but send lots of hugs and empathy.
     
  3. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Oh Lisa,
    hugs and sympathy coming your way. What a bind you are in. I am so sorry for this ugly situation and I do not think you should take in the grandkids, I can't imagine you going through a couple more difficult children.

    Your K sounds somewhat like my difficult child 1. She paints a rosier picture most of the time than her true situation. I never really know what the truth is--she exaggerates or omits vital info, etc.

    You do need some TLC yourself, wish we board members could swoop in and help.

    Hugs,
    Jane
     
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Lisa, I think you need to step back a bit and pay more attention to your needs. I'm not suggesting that you back out of this reunion...but you need to practice those same detachment skills with K and her family/situation that you've been able to do so successfully with Nichole and Travis.

    PTSD ain't fun and creates a depressing and self-defeating atmosphere as is witnessed by your school work. I hope you can escape your thoughts and have some therapeutic fun today.

    Hugs,
    Suz
     
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    This is parenting at its toughest. I know what you are feeling. I don't think the PTSD ever goes away once you have been hurt badly by the choices of others. Hugs. No answers...no advice...just support.
     
  6. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am so sorry hun! First and foremost you must take care of yourself. You sound as if you have come a long way. Keep detaching. I know it's hard to know that your child and grandchildren aren't doing well, hurts like a you know what!!! I imagine that I will be in your situation one day. There is no doubt in my mind that my daughter will be out there with kids one day suffocating by life. I can only hope to be as strong as you when that time comes. I do not blame you one bit for not wanting to rescue them!!! How many times can you do that??? And I wouldn't want to raise more kids, difficult children or not! I can empathize with your inner struggle as they are your grandkids and you love them but you can only do so much.

    Please take care of you first! You have given much of yourself over the years for your children, I'm sure. You deserve to live for you. You are important too!!

    (((HUGS)))
    Shawna :)
     
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So sorry D. I cant say what I would do. I have sworn I wouldnt take on any more kids but I really cant know that I could walk away. I dont know that I am strong enough.
     
  8. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Daisylover: Boundaries...when times are hard dead ends are helpful. No is a direction.
    TAking down time for you is important. And that includes letting others find their way and developing their own inner mother of invention.
    Being in dire straights and needing love and support is part of being connected. That this woman needs money (its only paper...ha, ha) is true and as a person she knows and cares about it is ok, isn't it, that she does have others who know that she is in this situation and can talk? That is all you can do is listen. And then only when you have the time and the energy and the desire to do so.
    If her kids are school age then she has time during the day to keep seeking help for her family. Get into a shelter when space is available and a transsition program for homeless. This moment maybe the one that motivates her to secure what is available and create a stable basis for her family.
    As for the behavior of a fourty year old man....do not get me started. A man who lacks the enthusiasm to house his own children is the plague we are facing everywhere we look on this planet. Usually they blame the mother, the x. Here a man who has the wife with him under these conditions .
    Is her health perhaps in part a direct result of her loyalty to this man? i wonder.
    Daisylover, among my support group such as it is we mothers are overloaded. What we do is lend our time and attention to each other to keep the kids safe and to join forses to save money on gas, or get through the times when only one of us has a car that is running and insured and safe and legal to drive.
    If you want to help her maybe look up her area on the internet and start making contact with the groups and adgencies that are available to learn what is going on there and near by. Perhaps you will help by getting an idea and oppertunity that she has not discovered on her own.
    I know some of what you are describing. One of the first things a person who is in a housing program after homeless learns is not to take on the problems of the others. If you know you have enough on your plate, then that is all there is to know or say. I love you. Thanks for calling. You are in my prayers. hug the children and tell them I love them very much. Stay in touch.
    What I am going to do to rescue me is take a shower and mail a couple things with the money I have saved and scrimpt so that I can send my Mom a gift I made her. Things are so tight these days for so many families. Be gentle with yourself.
     
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, now after the initial wham of the situation has worn off, I'm back in full blown detachment mode.

    Janet, it actually helps that I don't have the room or the money to help them. Maybe if I did I'd be more tempted, though I'd like to think not. I got really burned bad the last time. And while I'm pretty darn good at forgiving, I never forget.

    At 40 and 29 you just somehow have got to be able to get your life together and priorities straight.

    K among other things, is now going to try for disability, for herself as well as Alex. She's working on the suggestions I passed on.

    I'll give her all the moral support she needs and offer advice when I can. But that's pretty much gonna be it. When she made mention of needing to ask to stay with us back when Kayla was a baby (in '99), I countered with several stories of equally desperate mothers here who had posted for help on freecycle, told her the job situation again. Clearly letting her know the situation here is no better than there.

    The thought of the grands being on the street churns my stomach. But bringing them here is not a solution. It would strap husband and I to the point we couldn't help at all becaue we'd probably go bankrupt again. Then we'd all be in the same boat.

    If I lived there.......she'd be in my car and I'd drive her where ever she needed to go for help. I'd help her fill out forms and call people. And in countless other ways. But we're just too far apart to be of any real help.

    I don't like it. It doesn't sit well with the way I was raised. But I can't do anything about it either. So I will just have to continue to detach.
     
  10. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Lisa, I'm sorry. This is all so painful. Try to remember to mandate some self-care into this time. You can only be as strong, or compassionate, or loving to others as you have been, to yourself.

    It's hard to remember that, though, isn't it.

    It helps me to tell myself to love them, and to believe in them. When I can remember to do that, it changes the responses I make, and that changes everything.

    One of the best responses (learned here on the site) is, "Oh, that's awful. What are you going to do?"

    There just aren't any easy answers, sometimes.

    Barbara
     
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Aw heck - I'm just so sad for your entire situation.

    Wish there was some magical place you could take them all to and rescue them.

    Hugs
     
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. This is so tough. You have to take care of YOU and the family at HOME first.

    I think offering support and ideas is really all you can reasonably do.

    but I know it hurts.

    Gentle hugs,

    Susie
     
  13. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    (((hugs))))) I'm so sorry. It's a sad situation. Trust that the welfare system will take care of them. Although you're just coming to the realization just how sad their living conditions, and lives have been, this is their normal. I know it hurts, but at least there are services like welfare, WIC, food stamps, that can help them. For the husband to act like that, he just doesn't know any better. He's low functioning, someone to feel sorry for, more than annoyed at.

    I hope you've had some time to yourself this weekend, and caught up on your rest. -Alyssa
     
  14. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I think that detaching mode is the way to go. It is hard when there are children are in the mix but ...

    I know I could not raise another difficult child. If my difficult child 2 were to be in a parental situation such as your K I know it would be hard to remain detached. I think I would make the same decisions though. I would just offer support and advice when asked. In my opinion and experience giving money doesn't really help anyway.

    I have a sister who the family has bailed out several times and to whom much has been given in free clothing and furniture and cash. She is a very sweet person but honestly she hasn't learned anything other than "Someone will just give me another when this breaks" She employs no preventive measures, no maintience, no forethought. While I readily admit that she has had a very hard life, I also know that alot of it is of her own making.

    She has a decent State Job yet has no retirement funds. She has taken all the equity out of her home to buy things such as timeshares and "investment property" (in the form of a fixer upper in another state that she neither fixed nor sold) because she listens to her idiot best friend and hard sell sales people rather than consult her siblings on investments she knows nothing about. She went to the sales pitch on the timeshare to get the free stuff and ended up being sold the timeshare and not getting the free stuff.

    She is now on the verge of bakrupcy yet again. Only difference is that this time my parents are dead and us sibs are too close to retirement ourselves to bail her out.

    What is interesting is that my sister really doesn't worry about any of it. Like your daughter she tells us of her situation and if we want to give her money, she takes it but if we do not she doesn't judge. She kinda just floats through life firmly believing that all will be well and as long as there are giving people out there to help her it will be. I suspect the same will be true for your daughter and her children. -RM
     
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