Friday, February 22, 2008

My Life has Changed

Yesterday, my 24-year-old daughter moved back home.

We have a troubled past together. We haven't always gotten along, particularly in recent years, but she is ill. She has lupus (as did my mom, as do my sisters) and anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome (or Hughes syndrome). The APS means she can start forming multiple blood clots for no apparent reason. She has been in the hospital so many times in the last couple of years that she can't hold a job. We couldn't keep funneling money to her; my student loans are about to come due. So we did the only other thing we could do.

We moved our son's desk out of the office and into his room. Now his room has very little floor space left. We cleared enough floor space in the office to put the air bed in there. We are about as jammed into this place as one can get.

We already had a tad too much furniture. You see, we started downsizing back in 2003, when it became apparent that our then 19-year-old would soon be moving out. We sold a big house in Mount Airy, partly because we had been laid off from our tech jobs and our salaries were downsized at our subsequent jobs. Since then, we've been in a townhouse. We donated a lot of stuff to Goodwill. And again. And again. We threw a lot of stuff out. We sold stuff online.

We rented for a bit, then the townhouse next door went up for sale. We waited for the price to become quite negotiable. Then we bought it. It's slightly smaller than the one we were renting, but hey, our son was going to college and was living in the dorms.

Then he came back home to finish off many of his GE courses locally at the community college. He's moving back down to UMD in August. We didn't expect our daughter would be coming back home, but stuff happens. And stuff did indeed happen.

How do I feel about this? Well, right now I'm just trying to take each moment as it comes. I gave her the ground rules. I have provided her with a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, food, shelter, and love. Yes, my grocery bill will go up, but it's still cheaper than paying for her bills.

She hasn't yet dealt with what is left of her things at the apartment. She has two roommates there who were not-so-secretly plotting to get her off the lease - WHILE SHE WAS IN THE FRIGGIN' HOSPITAL! Bastards. So she's going to end up leaving a lot of her stuff. We have no place to put it, no money to store it, no time to move it. It's a shame, but it was some of our old furniture anyway. As long as she has her cat, her clothing, and her life, she'll be okay.

And we'll be okay, too.

The one thing I've noticed is that I have a headache. A real migraine starting. I think it's from the stress of all this setting in. I am trying to view it as temporary. My hope is that she will find a good doctor, get some decent treatment, and get on her feet at some point. She and her boyfriend will soon celebrate 5 years together, but he's not at a point at which he can support her. He is trying to finish college. My son will be moving out in August. Then maybe we can begin to finish some of these home projects and put things right around here.

Some big issues left to tackle:

- I have more animals than I ever bargained for. 4 cats and 2 dogs. One cat belongs to our son and one to our daughter. She still has a male Siamese at her apartment that she has to find a home for. I have had bad experiences with male cats and don't want one in the house. Plus GEEZ - there's no more room!

- I am beginning to feel claustrophobic. I am going to have to get rid of a few more things or get a temporary storage shed. Otherwise...I just might lose it.

- Need to nudge her towards finding a doctor. She has state-provided health insurance and is very limited in what care she can get. This is a girl who needs the very best care, but no doctor so far has classified her as disabled, so I can't get her back on my policy. It's a bad situation all around. I've considered nudging her toward Canada where EVERYONE can get the care they need, even if they have to wait a little bit. This is a big sticking point for me in our current political system. I hate that my daughter is so sick and can't get care.

- And I need to just let bygones be bygones. She's really trying to help. She's been very, very helpful the last 2 days, despite having just gotten out of the hospital with kidney issues. She's helping care for the animals, cleaning up the kitchen, and minding the rules. I will give her that.

For now, I'm adjusting. It's not a perfect situation. It's not a perfect world, is it? Some things may have to go by the wayside, like having a spotless house. If you think I actually have a spotless house with animals, then you've never had animals in the house. But I aspire to have a clean house.

My friends, I'm hoping for a peaceful Friday evening. I've been working hard since getting back from vacation and really need to crash for a while. Lots happening. Lots to think about. But life goes on.

Peace - D


Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

OK? Hon? Come down to my house of two toddlers, one baby, and two neutered cats if you need a break. I never thought of my house as a quiet have, but there you go!

Love and hugs,
Me :-)

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Ooops! Should have typed "quiet haven" - forgot the n.