thought avoidance mechanism habit to stay pretty busy. Lately, with a stream of business trips, home improvement projects, summer holiday planning – oh, and a lot of drinkin’ and whorin’ entertainment – it’s been even worse than usual. i’ve been delinquent in a couple of updates regarding my trailer park people…
Hurricane T: My sister, T, and her partner, TK, have come through the meltdown. T has found stability, accepted the “new normal”, and is looking forward to finishing the renovation of their new home – despite the necessary move into a small condo until it’s completed.
Moving day was particularly stressful, and i was pricing tickets in case TK needed on-scene support – TK hadn’t asked directly, and i hadn’t offered. Just being prepared. i finally realized it’s not my game. If they are to have a long and happy life together, they need to learn how to do this. In the end? Their relationship is about as strong as any i’ve ever known. Made stronger by this experience, no doubt.
The turning point for my sister? T continued to rage about TK screwing her over, about TK caring more about the boat and the new house than anything else. Ranting that she’d been forced to sell her beloved home against her will, claiming “homeless” status. While laying all this on her therapist, the therapist simply asked “If your home was on fire, and TK was on fire, which would you put out first?”
Apparently this was answered with silence – the first silence T had managed for weeks. And it was pretty much over. Just like that.
The Trailer Park: While inhaling fine California wines during a business trip out west a couple of weeks ago, i got a text from my niece, DQ. “Next month marks the 2 year anniversary of Granny being in my living room. I wanted to let you know that today I moved DQ, III out of her bedroom, and I’m moving Granny into her own room. BJ is still making progress next door, but I just needed to make some changes until we’re ready to move”.
i about fell off my stool.
Since Mom moved in, i’ve been aggravated that the 3-year-old and 15-year-old each had their own bedrooms, while Mom stayed on display like a crotchety zoo animal in the middle of the living room.
Every time i’d ask Mom if she wanted me to bring it up? She’d say “I don’t want any trouble. Besides, the only motivation they have to finish the work on my house is that I’m in their living room. If they pack me off to a back bedroom, they can just forget about me and let me rot…”
My mother. Pure genius. She has been orchestrating a Trailer Park Mexican Standoff. Who am i to intervene?
The first time i talked to Mom after the move, i asked how she liked it. “It’s cold.” i suggested that perhaps blankets would help, and asked if she enjoyed having a little privacy. “Well, I can at least hear the TV…”
So it goes…
Trailer Park: Catching up
I’ve been wondering how your sister is doing but asking feels like prying. What if she was doing really horribly? I didn’t want to bring it up.
At her age your mum deserves a room to herself. So that’s good news, as well.
you can always ask… this round lasted for about 3 weeks then went “poof”… and yes, mom needed some privacy. in which to rot…
2 years? OY!
She has waaaaaaaay more patience than I.
I would have beat someone senseless by now.
(I’m so glad my kids don’t read this! 🙂 )
for that entire time, i’ve offered to intervene. i’ve offered options. offered to make the suggestion. she didn’t want ‘trouble’. classic case of “i’ll just sit here quietly in the dark…”
Jeez… yeah, 2 years… freak out.
Glad to hear that things all around are on an upswing for everyone – for your sake too. xoxo
things are better indeed. but just as is the case with bad times, it’s only ‘for now’ as well…
Happiness is accepting that everything is “for now”.
too true Archie
Gingernuts help … just sayin’
my quality of life has improved greatly since i gave up expectations for it…
absolutely! now, if those house renovations for both of ’em could just get done quickly, my trailer park would be at peace. probably.
2 years? I would not have lasted two hours!
mom chose this. i made sure she knew there were alternatives. she chose this… oy…
Ha! I love the accompanying photo of the dysfunctional Thanksgiving. That’s me (sans ciggy) servin’ up the KFC with Pappy looking on with pride.
Glad your family is doing better. Your Mom as crotchety zoo animal–priceless. 🙂 Actually, she seems like one savvy gal.
i’ve seen beer cans and chips on a thanksgiving table. i think that’s why i love that bit of artwork! if mom were in my living room, i’d have put up a ‘do not feed or poke the granny’ sign…
Good for DQ! I’m so glad your sister is okay. Bipolar Disorder sucks the big one. We knew my grandmom was headed for a manic episode when she started reading Tolkein again. She’d start discussing various battles with me and my dad. A practically bald little old lady in a Marge Simpson wig talking about whether Aragorn would make a good king is not a normal sight.
Grandma needs her own reality show. Charlie Sheen gots nuthin’ on that act!
and so it goes, right, sugar? things work out and sometimes we even like the results. i am glad your sister is finding her way and your mom is ok for now.
the MITM went to visit miss daisy and she thought he was his brother and got angry with him when he tried to explain who he was. his sadness when he got home broke my heart. xoxoxox
it goes, and goes, and goes…. and i don’t define myself by any of it! onwards… has to be tough for the MITM. heartbreaking when they slip away.
Ah, the family. Mama seems like a smart cookie, dontcha know.
she has definitely maintained control. there’s something a little impressive about that… and scary.
Her therapist has a knack for putting everything in perspective.
some of it is timing, too. T was ready to hear something. up to that point? not entirely sure she was listening… or could hear. but yeah, great line, well-timed, and properly delivered made a big difference.
Really, really happy to hear that T and TK are doing better. A wonderful sounding therapist too.
Also happy for your mama.
Life sucks often so it is nice to get some good news.
thank you! the good news on both fronts was welcome… and overdue. waiting for the next round…
“my quality of life has improved greatly since i gave up expectations”, words to live by.
every day is a “now what?” kinda thing. i’m remarkably happy. there’s a lot of fucked up in my world, by the way… A LOT of fucked up. but i’m pretty sure i’ve never been more content.
I am also glad for the update, I have been wondering about T and TK. It sounds like TK is a real peach! Glad the therapist hit the nail on the head so perfectly.
I would not have waited two years to get Granny out of the living room. No way no how. I need my space. Of course, we are now looking at the fact that my Dad really needs someone to look after him but the odds of getting him to move to town are about 1,000,000 to 1 against. Stubborn old coot. It is possible that I may wind up with yet another waif at my door. An old, stubborn, difficult waif.
DQ and Granny. It’s an almost Greek-epic thing. The more i stand back, the more obvious it becomes. “The perils of benefectors, the blessings of parasites”. Symbiotic to the core…
i hope you can find a healthy balance with your dad. you may “know” what he needs. he may not agree. offering options. repeatedly. and not holding yourself responsible when it goes south. it all just goes how it goes…
I’m very afraid that he is going to have a catastrophic accident and die before anyone can do a meaningful intervention.
really hope that’s not how it goes… worried about that for a few years with mom, after dad died. if i had a choice, though, i’d rather go quickly in a catastrophic accident, than end up spending two years on a bed as a captive in a granddaughter’s living room. but that’s just me….
“If your home was on fire, and TK was on fire, which would you put out first?”
Awesome question. That therapist is well worth the money.
Hopefully, granny’s reno will move along at a better clip. Two years in the living room? A little over the top. Is there some maturation going on down thar?
i caught myself thinking “damn. wish i’d come up with that!”. this one is good. i’ve had a couple of her therapists on speed dial over the years, but a few text exchanges during the recent crisis – mostly me saying “i’ve been working this for 25 years. i’m in. tell me what you need from me” and her saying “just let her know you’re there, and you love her”.
maturation? i think that’s it. for me – an EXCRUCIATING 2 years. down there? just chugging along until the realization hit – “shit! life for ALL OF US might be better if we moved Granny to DQ, III’s room…”
patience. i never truly appreciated it until right about now…
We all have our own special “back to normal”. Or at the very least, closer to…
exactly. the therapist called it “getting her back to baseline”. that’s pretty much what it is. a life i’ll never understand, but it’s hers…
love hearing about the park. Makes me all sentimental
and you know it always makes me happy to hear from you! i just know you’re ‘livin’ the dream’ with me… i love them. i’m not unhappy that i got out. repeat as necessary.