Our last conversation was a week after my grandfathers death. Grim hadn’t called or messaged me until late that evening which was unlike him.
Grim: Hey how are you holding up.
Me: Not good. My mom is trying to get my kids and I thrown out of the house. She reported a fraudulent claim to Child Protective Services. They are now investigating me for child abuse and elderly abuse. She told them that I threw my grandmother down the stairs and that I am constantly drunk and leaving my kids unattended in the tub.
Grim: Wow! Crisis!
Me: Ya, no shit I’m freaking out. My grandma is so delicate right now, she can go either way.
Grim: Look, I can’t find my glasses, and the screen is all blurry. I’ll call you tomorrow.
Me: Ya, Ok.
Grim: Hang in there.
Just as I logged off the computer my mom came into my room.
“You need to move out of here. Grandma doesn’t want you or your kids living here. She wants her house back,” she said to me.
“That’s not true. Please leave.”
“You will move out and I am going to make sure of it. She doesn’t want you here,” she continued, her body shaking, skin paling and her eyes bulging with rage.
“When grandma tells me that herself I will leave. She would never say that in a million years.”
You see, I had lived with my grandparents on and off my entire life. They had unofficially adopted me when I was five years old because my mother was unfit to care for me. My mother always harbored jealousy and resentment towards the family because of this. Or perhaps it was as simple as her being a sociopath. She showed up to our house the day my grandfather died and unpacked her bags in my son’s room. We hadn’t seen her in two years.
A few minutes later my grandmother followed my mother up the stairs and into my bedroom. Grandma sat down on my bed.
“Asterisk, I need you to move out. I need my house back. I can’t have you and the kids here anymore, I’m old. I’m just too old,” she mumbled, her eyes to the floor.
“Grandma, I love you but you need to understand that you are being manipulated. Two weeks ago you were angry at me for telling my son you were old. This isn’t you speaking, you are going through hell right now and you need someone here to help you. You can not live alone,” I said.
“I can live alone,” she argued.
“No you can’t, think about the fires you started. You shouldn’t be driving either.”
“Asterisk, you told me when you came here that Beans never hit you. He never beat you! You put that restraining order against him just to hurt him and take his daughter away.”
“Grandma, Beans never hit me with a closed fist. No. He shoved me onto the ground, he pushed me down the stairs, he slapped me in the face, but no, he never punched me,” I responded.
“You are a liar and a manipulator!” my mother shouted, “Beans did nothing but love you, and you enjoy nothing more than torturing him. He never hit you. Your grandparents took you in and you did nothing but use them too! I can see right through you!”
I was dumb founded. My grandfather had only been in the ground one day and already the chaos had ensued. I had heard enough and there was absolutely no point in defending myself further. So, I did the only thing I knew to do, and started writing. They continued on for a good five minutes but I wasn’t paying attention. I needed to get everything out as soon as I could. It was the first time that I had ever posted something on my blog that was not fiction.
Eventually they grew bored of their banter and together descended the stairs. Roughly two steps down my mother stopped and turned around, “We want you out and we will get you out.”
“Well, then you will have to evict me then. I know my rights,” I spat back. The night my mother had arrived I called the police station for information. I was told that because I was not on the deed to the house and not legally a tenant, I could not have her removed from the house without my grandmother’s consent. Where ever my mother goes she brings trouble and I had already been preparing myself mentally for the worst since her arrival.
“You may know your rights but I know something that you don’t!” she shouted, then she said something I’ll never forget, “I’m a good person!” It was absolutely ridiculous, I didn’t know who she was really trying to convince, me or her.
I avoided the two of them for the rest of the day and kept my son upstairs and away as best I could as well. It was hard, my mom kept calling him down, “Come here Pj. You want to play a game?” she taunted.
The next morning I woke up with a stiff neck. I drove my son to school then came back to ready myself for a morning run as was routine. Only, once back, I noticed that they were both gone. My grandmother was never up this early, how odd. I went into the bathroom to put on my gym clothes. Once dressed, I entered my bedroom and grabbed my cell to attach my head phones when I saw it, a new voice mail.
“Asterisk, this is grandma. I’m at the court house. This is to inform you..that…that… I am placing a protective order against you.” There was a pause, “For….for…” I could hear my mother speaking in the background. “For emotional distress…..”
I didn’t finish the message, I dropped my phone standing there like a dear in headlights.
I thought to myself, “Well, this is not the first time your mother has left you homeless. You can do this. Get your shit and get out.”
Quickly, I grabbed suitcases and stuffed as much as I could of my and my children’s belongings into them. As fast as I could I filled up my car until I could fit nothing more and hightailed it out of there. I couldn’t risk being served with such an order, why a restraining order would be on my permanent record. I hadn’t worked in two months and was already having difficulty enough finding work. I remembered the routine from when I had to place the order on Beans two years prior. If I fled before being served by police I would be okay. Plus, I knew that my mom didn’t care about actually take me to court, she just wanted My children and I out so she could have control.
Once in the car I started driving in a straight line, there was no planned destination. Finally, I pulled over into a parking lot and started to cry. That’s when my phone rang, it was Iggie.
“Hey Askerisk, you okay? I saw that you posted something about being kicked out of your house on Facebook. What are you going to do?”
“Oh Iggie, I have no idea. I’m in a parking lot in my car. I guess I’m going to try to find a motel to check into. I haven’t worked in months, I only have $1000 left in the bank and I know it wont last me long.”
“Try to relax. Remember this is just temporary. Check into the motel and calm yourself down. I can help you out a little financially if you need it. You will be alright.”
“Wow, Iggie. Thank you so much! It means more to me than you know.”
I cried a few more tears, took several deep breaths and grounded myself. I could check into a motel for a few days, I had the support of a friend at least. Hell, I’d been through worse growing up, I could do this. I was looking on the bright side, my book was almost finished, I would publish it in a few days and could make a few royalties that way. All hope was not lost.
After starting the engine I continued down the same street and stopped at the first motel I came across. After I checked in, I unloaded my stuff and started the final edit of my book.
I checked my phone constantly, waiting for Grim, but the call never came. Not that day at least, but that’s another story.
This is only the second piece I selected to read but I’m glad I did. I understand about mothers with mental illness and it’s why I created my own WordPress blog. My mother is hundreds of miles away from me right now (though threatening to move to my town). Reading this brought up the old fear, the powerlessness, like a bitter and overwhelming taste at the back of my throat.
I won’t say I’m sorry that you’ve recently had to go through this terrible abandonment again, because sorry doesn’t do shit. I hope you and your children find your way. It looks like you’ve got a start.
Sorry to ruin your day Wildtobe! I appreciate your support and taking the time write a little about your own experiences.
I hope that bitch stays far, far away from you!
Best of luck in your healing as well!