Train wreck in slow motion

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by katya02, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    difficult child 1's girlfriend is now in her third trimester. They still haven't found a place to rent - neither of them actively looks, and one or two prospects have fallen through. They still live with girlfriend's crazy, drug-addicted, animal-abusing mother and twelve unneutered, spraying, breeding, yowling cats, and three dogs. difficult child complains continually but isn't taking action; he says he's so tired after work that he falls asleep immediately (i.e. at 6 pm). He says girlfriend does nothing but sleep and go to her shifts (convenience store). He's worried and hopes she'll 'come around' when the baby arrives. Not likely!

    girlfriend has been emotionally all over the place, cries constantly, seems depressed, but won't see a doctor. She never comes with difficult child 1 to see us anymore; once in awhile she responds to a text I send (if I bought something for the baby, for example). She says she wants to move but is adamant that she's bringing at least one unneutered male cat with her. Really? Really .....? Apparently yes. difficult child 1 says he won't tolerate any cats, period. girlfriend's mother may decamp to Florida this month, leaving them sitting in a filthy, hoarder-filled damaged apartment (the mother is a hoarder on top of everything else) to settle up with the landlord, even though neither one is on the lease and difficult child 1, at least, isn't responsible for either the animals or the hoarding and damage. While her departure, if it happens, may be a blessing, she may leave them in a world of legal trouble.

    I just don't see either of these two young people managing to care for a baby. Neither one does anything but sleep or surf the Internet when they're not at work. They have no money. difficult child 1 has kept his job, which is a record for him and a great thing, but it's such a low salary that basic living takes it all. I have no idea how they'll buy formula (girlfriend doesn't plan to breastfeed; her mother didn't, so why should she?), diapers, or anything else. girlfriend chain-smokes and her diet consists of colas and McDonalds. This poor baby has so many strikes against her already ....

    I think girlfriend is going to boot or leave difficult child 1 and just take the child support. At that point I think difficult child 1 will fall off the wagon in a big way and go on a long slide or a major crash. I know this is all his responsibility and he picked a doozy of a family to bind himself to, but I'm cringeing just watching this unfold. And I'm trying to be positive about the baby but I feel like crying when I think about what her life will be. I guess I'm not doing very well at detaching. :(
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, you have my sympathy...this is certainly hard to watch. Although I have no experience with this myself, my closest friend has a daughter who lives with an ex-convict (he is her "fiance") and they have three kids (although one is not biologically related to him and one is not biologically related to her). They dump the kids (all three) on her doorstep every day and she wants to file to custody of one of her bio. grandchildren, however she's afraid to go up against her daughter's wrath. I think she should as the daughter is never with the child and lives with a drug user (and may be one herself). You may want to consider filing for custody of your grandchild, if you are up for it. Obviously, nobody can care for it properly. If you're not able to raise another child though, don't feel bad...this is their responsibility and, if they don't live up to it, you can always get social services involved.

    I love animals. The very least I would do, if I was in your shoes, Is call Animal Control to help those poor cats. That is one thing that is in your control. I don't think they can tell who called them. It's anonymous.

    Sending you hugs. Take care of yourself and don't focus on them so much. There isn't a whole lot you can do right now. It's not worth it to give up the rest of your life to agony because of your irresponsible kid. You're important too.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I don't know how much you want to "detach" or "butt-in".....BUT

    CPS does not look kindly on hoarders. It creates very dangerous and very unsanitary living conditions. If CPS stops by that home, they WILL lose that infant...and then likely be reported to animal control.

    If you are genuinely concerned for the health and welfare of that baby, you may want to place that call yourself.

    (Not trying to tell you what to do....just giving you some information)

    So sorry this is happening.
  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    If I thought I could cope, I would file for custody when the baby is born. But husband is adamant that he's not raising her, and it wouldn't work for us to be so divided on the issue.
    I honestly don't think I'm up to it myself. I'm willing to help - a lot - but starting parenting all over again, I don't know.

    I would have called the Humane Society by now except that our county shelters are overwhelmed and not removing cats from homes unless they're dead, basically. These are running
    around spraying everything and fighting with each other; they roam outside and contribute to the terrible feral cat/kitten overpopulation problem the county has, but the only cases around
    here that get action are the ones where some woman has eighty dead cats in the freezer and 160 more in various states of dying and decay (true story, our county, yay). Even then people
    spring to the abuser's defense and any surviving animals end up getting sent back!!! Because the shelters are overwhelmed. Arrrghhh. :(

    As for CPS, if they have not moved out of that place by the time girlfriend goes into labor I will definitely call CPS. I hope very much that they wouldn't let a baby go home to that place; again, I
    feel pretty cynical. My professional experience with CPS didn't fill me with confidence and the area services have a bad record (again, horrifying newspaper stories). But I will make the call
    and call again, and again. Even if difficult child 1 and girlfriend get it together and find their own place in time, I would ask CPS to make at least one home visit and have some ongoing contact. I don't
    know if they'll do that but it's a high-risk situation. I wish so much that they'd decide to place the baby for adoption. It would be hard never to see her, but I can't help thinking she'd be
    better off.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I called animal control on husband's mother. She had 18 cats and 7 dogs buried in the back yard. She had 4 dogs and 12 cats living in the house and none of them were healthy. I pled ignorance as to who had called.

    If her mom leaves, I don't see how the two can be held legally accountable for the condition of the home. It seems likely that they will be evicted in any case. If it keeps them from taking a cat with them as his girlfriend wants, I would totally call animal control on her. Especially if she abandons the cats.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry that you have to watch this happen. It is very sad, and sick.

    The newspaper stories of the horrors of animal control do not always tell the entire story. It might be worth a call to animal control anyway - if you mention that girlfriend is pregnant the case may be pushed to a higher priority. A phone call wouldn't take much time.

    Make sure the hospital social worker knows the situation when the child is born (all hosps have social workers they can call on) so the child cannot go to that place.

    Otherwise there is little you can do.

    You might be able to find rescue associations that could help you if you check online and in the yellow pages.

    If they have that many unneutered cats running around spraying and fighting in a hoarder's home they will almost certainly have dead cats in there. If not they will soon.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That really is a horrible situation. Jamie sees those things all the time. Hoarder cases. Its really true that when it gets to that point that many of the pets are in such bad health that they have to be put down. Not all but a lot of them.

    I hope that girlfriend and difficult child can get it together fast. I know here that in some situations a social worker does make a home visit not long after the baby is born. I know its not in all situations when the mom's on medicaid but it is in some because I had a friend of a friend who had the social worker visit her a week after she came home.
  8. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Just when things look bad enough .... girlfriend came over this afternoon and we had a chance for some talk. She told me that difficult child 1 is drinking again. Arrrggghhhh! I checked his bank account online (I don't 'creep' on it, but I'm still technically on his account so can see it if I want to) and there are debit purchases at Wine and Spirits, plus other cash withdrawals on a suspiciously regular basis. He pays for absolutely everything normally by debit, so the cash isn't just for daily expenses. She said he was very drunk two weekends ago and last weekend bought a prepared mix and wasn't as drunk but still drank. And he gets either very depressed and weepy, or yells a lot when drunk. I asked if he was hitting her or being violent in any way and she said no; that he yells and then goes and passes out on the bed. Her mother is also giving him some of her vicodin for the back pain he gets from his job. Another aaaghhh! The guy can't use that stuff, not even a little bit. girlfriend just doesn't get it that he's an alcoholic/addict - I don't know what her definition is, or maybe she's in denial.

    However, she's afraid of them getting a place together and then him really going to town on the drink, afraid that if she leaves the baby with him on weekends when she works that he'll drink, etc. Completely valid concerns. Her account of some of the issues difficult child 1 complains about is quite different, too. She says her mother will probably go to Florida but is worried about her. She wants to stay right where she is, or to get an apartment in her name - obviously so that if things go downhill she won't be the one on the street. I don't blame her a bit, at least about the name on the lease. We talked about the current apartment and she isn't realistic - thinks it needs to be cleaned up 'a bit' and says she would take the animals to the shelter but is adamant about keeping the one cat. She says she will get him neutered. I don't know if she's serious or just saying what she figures I want to hear. I expressed my concerns about the current place and my support for getting moved in somewhere fresh, and told her that if her mother leaves (please!), we will be here to offer emotional and moral support and help when needed, and we will not be taking the attitude that our son can do no wrong. He has to do the right thing; if he's choosing to drink or use or be abusive, he won't be getting any support from us. We will encourage him to do the right thing and fulfill his responsibilities. I also told her that it's ok to draw a line about his drinking, and tell him what she will and won't accept. She shouldn't put the baby at risk with him any more than with her mother.

    I hate it, hate it, hate it when difficult child 1 lies to us. I guess I should just expect that, when he's hard to reach, unusually grouchy, or very negative about other people, something is up.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Katya I thought I'd responded before.........but evidently not. I'm so sorry. (((hugs)))

    Maybe the chat with girlfriend will give her the support and courage needed to make some hard changes......whether with difficult child or just the living conditions. At least she knows she has you in her corner.....and believe me that can make all the difference, even if it takes a while for her to get there.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    many many hugs, Katya. The animal hoarding situation is so hard for everyone involved. The talk with girlfriend sounds like it went really well. She at least seems very aware of the problems with the current situation. I am sorry difficult child is choosing to drink again. Neither he nor his girlfriend nor her mom seems to have a real grasp on what addiction really is.
    Maybe you could offer to go to an Al Anon meeting with her? I went to them with my mom at first and it was really helpful to have someone who would expect me to go, I couldn't back out with a lame excuse with my mom waiting for me, Know what I mean?? I even took infant Wiz to quite a lot of them - if he got really fussy we left (or if there weren't guys there I would go ahead and nurse him during the meeting - discreetly, of course) or if I was with mom, I would take him outside and she could finish the meeting while we played outside.

    It is just a thought. Whatever happens, I hope and pray that the baby is healthy in every way, shape and form, and that the mom has no problems during the birth or afterwards. I also pray that she has enough sense not to even step foot in that apartment with the baby.