Good morning from my new back yard in San Antonio! Well, my backyard last Sunday, when I planned to write this post, and when it wasn’t hurricane-weather outside, heheh. Only then I got interrupted partway through the post, and…well, you know how it goes. No matter. I’m back now! Break is over!
You might be wondering what the heck happened over the last few months, especially if you don’t know me on Facebook or Instagram. Well, it’s been a crazy time. Back in June, I announced that I was going on break, but didn’t really talk about the real reasons behind my decision. The truth is, starting on Memorial Day, my family entered a summer of nightmares, body blows that just kept coming.
1) On Memorial Day, I was verbally attacked in front of my children by an extended family member, who also said a few traumatizing things to the boys at the same time. This severed all remaining ties I had to this area. We were already planning and prepping to move back to San Antonio next summer, but this upped the timeline. We pushed up our remodeling schedule, started packing the house, contacted our realtor in SA, and contracted to close on a new house in SA in mid-July.
2) We discovered as June began that our a/c didn’t work. When we bought the house – from a friend of Jason’s family – they claimed it worked well. Turns out they’d done a patch to make it look like it would work, and the inspector didn’t inspect it because it was freezing out when he came. The first time we turned it on, water sprayed everywhere. This did NOT help the remodeling efforts. Plus we discovered the only way to fix the problem was scrapping and replacing the entire unit, a $4000 project we couldn’t afford. So we had no a/c this summer, and most days, it’s been swelteringly hot and humid.
3) A drunk and/or distracted driver ran Jason off the road in June. Our van went into the ditch where it needed to be towed out as it was practically on its side (more than you can tell from the picture). Thankfully Jason wasn’t hurt. And thankfully this was only a $400 car fix problem (I was worried it would be totaled). But STILL. Not to mention it was a day when it was raining, and our Progressive auto insurance where we pay for roadside assistance didn’t get anyone out to help us for six hours. FAIL.
4) More flooding! More remodeling work! More problems to fix so we could put this house on the market! More money to pay out in fixes! More credit card debt! Yay! [This happened multiple times over the summer. I’m only putting it here once for expediency.]
5) Just as my left ankle was fully healed from the last two years of sprain-break-nonsense, I developed plantar fasciitis in my other foot. There were days when, by evening, I could no longer put any pressure on that foot. Even sitting in bed would cause the foot to grow numb and painful where my heel rested. I got inserts to try to help, but couldn’t see a specialist because…
6) We weren’t set to close on our new house until July 10th, but I left a bit early so that I could be in SA in time to celebrate my mother’s 60th birthday on July 2nd. I was nearly to Oklahoma City on my second day of driving when I got the message from Jason that his company was letting him go. No warning, no hints, no severance, no nothing. Just gone. Apparently they weren’t going to tell him for a week except that the loan people for our house wanted a statement that he’d still have a job when he moved to Texas, even though he’s a remote employee. So all of a sudden we had no income, no health insurance, no loan, no new house. I never made it to Texas. I turned around and spent another two days driving back to the hellhole.
7) More attacks (same perpetrator), this time via text. Yay. [Same note as on #4.]
8) Stress snowballed, and my oldest son had a mental breakdown in mid-July. While this was hard, I’m really glad he was able to come talk to me and Jason, and ask us to take him to an impatient facility. I’m also glad that we had emergency insurance in place for this sort of thing. What turned into a full-blown nightmare was that the only “close” impatient facility (an hour away) had no beds available, and so the ER called other places, and there was nothing within five hours of driving that had any availability. So after a quick chat with a caseworker, they simply sent my son home and hoped that we were equipped to deal with the situation ourselves. (Can I reiterate that I despise living in the middle of nowhere??)
9) My ever-present chronic insomnia flared to the worst of its heights, nights and nights and nights with only tiny periods of unrestful sleep, utterly unable to function during the day. And when you can’t function, you can’t help do things like fix the basement or cook the dinner or drive the kids to therapy appointments, so things just get more behind, and the anxiety grows ever larger, and you sleep even less, and the cycle worsens. It’s like living in a perpetual nightmare. Aka not much different than the rest of the summer for me.
10) And this is probably a ridiculous complaint after everything else, but under all the stress, I developed severe chronic acid reflux that certainly didn’t help me trying to sleep at night. It was like being pregnant again. Sigh. [Note: I imagine this was partly because we were forced to buy the cheapest possible foods when we had no employment, which meant fattier meats, more processed goods, and less foods like produce that had real nutrition. Anyone who thinks being poor equates to losing weight due to less food can STFU. There’s a reason people below the poverty line tend to be heavier and less healthy, and it has nothing to do with lack of will.]
11) Two days before our realtor came to list our house, a mishap with paint spot-checking caused us to have to repaint a third of the entire house, in one afternoon. Let me just make this brief: I despise painting and hope I never have to see a brush or roller again for the next five years.
12) Do you know how ridiculous unemployment is? We tried to sign up and were told that we needed to do so in Tennessee, since that’s where Jason’s company was situated. So we did. The first week, his application wasn’t approved yet so they wouldn’t let him add information about what he was doing to get a new job. The second week, they wouldn’t let him add because he didn’t do so the first week, and the third week, we were told that while we were approved, we couldn’t get any benefit because he didn’t give any information the first and second weeks. Start over. Got approved. Entered info. They told us that our benefit was $0 because Jason didn’t earn anything at all in 2016. Put in a correction order, told it would take several months. In the meantime, he has to apply to three jobs a week in order to get benefits, even once he has an offer from a company and will be starting in several weeks… (In other words, we never saw a penny from this supposed government benefit. They also denied all claim to health insurance or other benefits. Thanks, government. Grr.)
All summer I felt like I was lying on my back under a pile of rocks, with more rocks added every time I could even twitch toward freedom. Things started to change the last day of July – two months to the day after the nightmares began – but that’s a story for next Sunday.