I am in pain, down there. It will be OK though. After spending the afternoon at Urgent Care I was prescribed some antibiotics for a UTI. I’m pretty sure this one came about due to the enormous amount of stress I have been under lately.
For those of you who don’t know, my grandfather passed away last week due to heart failure and it was sudden. He leaves behind my grandmother who has been slowly losing her mind over the last year. I know this because since May of 2011 I have been living with them along with my two children. Almost daily my grandma flashes back into her past and mistakes me for my mother. I was adopted (though not legally) by my grandparents when I was 6 years old because my mother was unable to care for me. She was busy with my brother who was terminally ill as well as battling her alcohol and drug addictions. Sometimes my grandmother thinks I am my mother and my daughter is me. This creates much chaos. I do my best to keep my children in the other part of the house, my main concern is and always has been them.
My grandfather was in the hospital for a week before the recent death. Devotedly by his side was my grandmother the entire time. She has also been under an enormous amount of stress. As a matter of fact she has been under so much stress and been so confused she has been babbling stories to her children and to the nurses that are extremely exaggerated and untrue. She has said so many of these things recently that a case has been opened up, through the state, investigating me for child and elderly abuse.
Some of the accusations:
1.) Leaving children unattended in the bath tub
2.) Pushing grandmother down the stairs
3.) Leaving my children with grandparents while I go out drinking at night and do not answer my phone.
Let me address each accusation:
1.) My bedroom is next to the bathroom therefore I can hear everything. With both the bedroom and bathroom doors open I will work on my writing or fold laundry etc. while the children bath. I am a woman and an amazing multi-tasker. My children are not in any danger.
2.) My grandmother had hip surgery several months ago. She returned home from the surgery high on pain killers. The pain killers severely altered her demeanor and heightened her mental confusion. I woke up to my daughter hitting my son. I do not allow this behavior so my daughter was put into time out. She did not like this, as a matter of fact she started crying and throwing toys. I stood by her door with my arms crossed waiting for her to calm down as so her punishment could begin. My grandmother heard the crying and it upset her. It pushed her to the point that she came hurdling up the stairs just days after returning from the hospital. She still couldn’t put on a sock on her foot without help nor barely walk so I have no idea how she eve made it up the stairs. Once she arrived to the top she screamed, “That poor baby! Why are you doing this to her? You are locking her up like Cinderella in the castle!” before she attempted to pick up my daughter. I told her she needed to calm down. this infuriated her more. I did not want my daughter to witness this so I picked her up and placed her on my bed. My grandmother followed me and grabbed me by the arms drawing blood. I pulled my arms away and shut my bedroom door. Then, I heard a thump. I opened the door and she was on the ground. I was terrified. Immediately I asked her if she was OK the attempted to help her up. “No! Don’t touch me!” She screamed. Again, I asked if she was OK. She said, “I don’t know!” In a panic I ran down the stars and alerted my grandfather. He followed me upstairs. Once my grandmother saw him she looked at him and said, “Wendi pushed me.”
3.) In early February, I put my kids to bed then left for a business dinner with a possible investor at 8pm. It was the first time I had been out of the house (socially) without my children in over a month. Because it was a meeting I shut my phone off. When the meeting was over, knowing my kids were asleep for the night, I met some friends. I arrived home around 1 am. Both my grandparents were up waiting for me (I’m 32). My grandmother screamed, “You were out drinking. You are a drunk! You are an alcoholic!” To which I replied, “I’m an adult. My children are asleep for the evening and you said you didn’t mind if I went out.” We had never discussed a time for me to return. This was the last time I left my children alone with them.
Now, I know this living situation is less than ideal for all of us, especially the children but I don’t have another option. I left my ex husband two years ago because he was physically abusive towards me. Also, I had to seek a restraining order and flee the state. In retaliation my ex husband called CPS on me and told them I was a drunk and abusing the children. After a thorough investigation I was cleared of all allegations.
I ended up settling in court (due to my lack of income for attorney fees as well as in fear of losing my daughter after my ex tried to press kidnapping charges on me) at 50/50 custody with my daughter. This has been a heartache in itself. Both my children suffer emotionally because of it (having different fathers). Me, well, I have learned how to block it out, mostly.
My grandparents invited us to live with them until I was on my feet. After two months here I found a job at a major resort. The first summer I made great money and was saving up get an apartment. I was almost ready to make the move when the economy caught up with us. I was put on-call (losing my full-time status) and lost my children’s medical benefits.
Never one to sit still, I started job hunting. I applied at every salon, spa and resort I could find some what locally. Because of my good resume I was given several interviews. I had over 15 years experience in my profession and have continued my education with on going classes consistently. However, it still wasn’t enough because I was tuned down by every job I interviewed for. My hours were getting too hard to work because my kids were out of school an hour before my shift ended (3 nights a week). My grandpa had been picking the children up from daycare for me. It was getting too hard on him. The emotional strain of being alone with the children was too much on my grandmother. This combined with the loss of benefits and lack of any real income left me without many options. I decided to put in notice at the spa after being given my old job back at my former hair salon. This was in December. I put in a 30 day notice and touched bases with the owner of the salon I was to be starting at three times before my final day at the spa. Just as I was prepared to start my job at the salon I got a call from the salon owner telling me business was just too slow for him to hire anyone on. This left me unemployed. A few weeks after I found out that the spa I had been working for was closing its doors due to lack of business.
This seemed to be a blessing in disguise because I really needed to be at the house. My grandparents were both ailing (mentally and physically) and I have been doing a lot of care taking for them as well as cooking many of their meals. Both of them have started accidental fires in the past year. Living with them has been very emotionally demanding. However, I feel if I were to leave they would need to hire someone in my place. I have been trying to find help for my grandmother as well. I think she needs to be tested for dementia. Her mental state seems to be deteriorating rapidly. I have brought this up to family members only to be told, “No, she’s fine!” The notion of an evaluation made my grandfather really angry, he always felt he had to “protect her”.
Within all of this I started writing. As it turned out, I kinda had a knack for it. I was writing (on average) one short story a night on my android cell phone. As a matter of fact, in eight weeks I had completed my first novel. It is currently being published for ebook, kindle and nook. I’m still trying to come up with the money to publish it on paperback.
Last thursday morning I was getting ready to take my daughter to the store with me when it happened. There was a knock on the door. I heard my grandma yell up the stairs, “Wendi you have a friend here!” I walked down the stairs to be greeted by a CPS worker with the above complaint. After being interviewed and after an interviewed alone with my daughter she left. Before leaving she handed me her card and made an appointment to be back to interview my son on the 7th. She also told me she would be interviewing my grandmother. Now, I did not tell her any of this, I only denied the allegations. I am no good at explaining myself when being put on the spot nor am I any good at expressing myself verbally under pressure. However, I did explain to her that my grandfather had open heart surgery the night before and that my grandmother was not in her normal emotional state because of it.
That evening, around 6pm, my grandmother arrived back to the house with my aunt after visiting my grandpa in the hospital. They had just walked through the door when the phone rang. It was the hospital alerting them that my grandpa had “bled out and was currently undergoing emergency surgery”. They rushed back to the hospital. Within an hour my phone rang. It was my grandma telling me that my grandfather didn’t make it. I stayed up with my grandma until two am that night to make sure she was OK and I promised her that would take care of her. Also, I have made sure to be up with her and make her breakfast every morning since the death. I don’t want her to be alone and she has expressed to me that she was grateful the kids and I were here.
The next day my mom and step dad showed up at my grandmother’s house. They hadn’t spoken to us in over two years (with the exception of my grandmother seeing her a few days prior in the hospital). My mother unloaded her bag in my sons room and set up camp. Since she has been here she has kept my grandmother away from me and even told me that she was having me removed from the house. Not wanting to deal with all this and trying to keep peace in the house for my son, I called the police to discuss my options. As it turns out, because I am not paying rent I have no rights over who stays here. Even though I grew up in the house and have lived here the past two years with my two kids.
Recently, I spoke with my son’s teacher and gave her a bit of a run down. I also told her about how Child Services was investigating me for abuse. At first, I was scared and embarrassed to tell people, but then I just decided I better be open and honest with everyone about the situation. Not just because I have nothing to hide but also because I need their help.
Family has been in and out of the house since the death. I have asked my uncle if I could speak to him privately, he declined. I tried to speak to my aunt about my grandmother only to be shot down. My grandpa was a father to me having raised me. This death has been very hard for me to deal with though I have tried to suck up my emotions and take care of everyone else. I have spent most of my time (when no caring for my son or grandmother) alone and in bed. I have been so distraught that I’m making myself physically ill (UTI).
It was not a shock tonight when my aunt, uncle, mom and grandma returned from a day of shopping and dinner and told me they had to speak with me. I was in the middle of giving my son a bath at the time. As I washed him up, I contemplated the situation deciding that I didn’t feel like being put up against 4. Not wanting to be bullied, I declined.
My mother then came up the stars yelling, “Grandma wants you out!”
I asked her to please not discuss this in front of my son to which she replied, “Come down the stairs and we wont have to.”
“No thank you,” I responded, “You have not been in our lives for two years I don’t think you have the right to come here and start calling the shots.”
“Your uncle and I will help you move into a new place.”
“Great! Any place in my son’s school district will do.”
She laughed at me, “Ha ha, ya right!”
For some reason she and my ex husband have been trying to get me to move back to Las Vegas.
Again I said, “Please, this is not something I want to be discussed around my son.”
My aunt yelled up the stairs, “Then come downstairs!”
I finished bathing my son and brought him into my room to watch his favorite movie in peace with the door closed.
My mom said one last thing, “Well you have two choices. You can do it our way and move back to Las Vegas or tomorrow the four of us will go to the police station and file an eviction notice against you, it’s your choice.” Then, she giggled once more.
Now, I know this sucks and I want to freak out because I don’t know where I will be sheltering my son at tomorrow (OK in 30 days). I am aware that I am officially a giant loser. Hey, it’s not for lack of trying or skill or lack of education. I made some not some not so good choices along the way (for example, my marriage) and now my children are paying for them. Will THIS be the situation that finally gains my ex full custody of my daughter?
Also, I am worried for my grandmother. She could go either way at this point and I feel if her emotional state isn’t treated delicately she could enter a downward spiral into her dementia. She is not in the right state of mind to be making any decisions right now. Still, my loyalty is to my children and if it’s better for them that I go into the welfare office tomorrow to seek emergency shelter I will do that.
Please share this post and if you have any advice for me feel free to comment. If you can help me in any way I would appreciate that too. It’s not a total loss though for two reasons.
1.) I believe in miracles
2.) My book is freakin’ amazing!
I’m totally an optimist.