I’ve been hibernating, which is restful but not much else. I need to get serious about my goals already.
I’ve got a few things going on. On Wednesday, I have to go talk with a state-appointed psychiatrist to convince him I’m still disabled. I’ve been making examples in my head of recent scenarios that make it obvious that I can’t work. It should be a fun engagement, and I’m sure it will make for exciting blog fodder if nothing else.
I just hope it’s not a repeat of last time. A few years ago, I met with the state-appointed psychiatrist, and our discourse somehow descended into pathos. He asked me if my parents were abusive, and I said they were, and then we all cried. Well, I cried. And then he assured me that my disability would be continuing, but not in so many words. He said, “Go on, get out of here,” and he sort of winked at me to reassure me.
I’d really like to mix things up and not get all maudlin this time, so I’m planning to describe the recent incidents that make it clear that I can’t handle work. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the guy; he did mark me as still disabled, after all, and it’s not his fault my parents abused me. I’d just like to avoid such dire topics this time.
Anyway, that’s the day after tomorrow. In the meantime, I need to read my library book because it’s due back on the 11th. It’s called How to Write a Book Proposal, and I’m… super-eager to dive right into it, like right now. Not.
I got my new eyeglasses frames in the mail today. I love them! They’re vintage Nintendo brand. Hold on and let me share a photo…
They fit great but need to be adjusted, and they need smaller nosepieces. Nothing major. I love them and hope they’ll be great eyeglasses for me. They’ll increase my range of vision because they’re bigger than my current frames. I’m getting an updated prescription from Dr. Dreamy in February. It’s a long time coming because my current lenses are scratched up and smucked up times a million.
I’ve got some writing competitions coming up at long last, and I’m still glad to be gone from the forums. I can’t think of the forums without feeling threatened. Hmm… I should add that to my list of reasons why I can’t function in the workplace. I can’t even get along on forums. There ya go.
I’ve been trying to lose weight, but guess what came in the mail today? Two words: Harry & David. Okay, that’s two words and an ampersand. But oh my gosh. There was summer sausage! There were crackers! There were chocolate-covered cherries! There was caramel corn! Ohh. Today was not a good day for weight loss. Not at all.
But in general, I’ve been focusing on eating brown rice, Lara bars, fruit (we have a whole box of pears now!), homemade popcorn, and… what am I forgetting?… oh! Turkey sausage. Filling, high in protein, and low in calories. I successfully lost a bit of weight once by eating turkey sausage more often.
And I’ve been going to the gym every evening. It’s been giving me a high, the endorphins and the emotional music. I’ve ramped up my calorie burning from 100 calories to 110 calories within the same ten-minute exercise window by going faster.
Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for almost nine years. We have been married for three years. His family was nice to me before the wedding, but after, they became aloof. His daughter is horrible. She has NO respect, not even for my husband.
My husband has a lot of money — a few million dollars. He has never told me this, but his friends did. I also found paperwork showing that he has about $2.5 million. We live in a rat hole, to say the least, and with the COVID-19, I lost my job of 46 years. Before we married, I had my own house, car and life. Now I rent my house; my car is in the garage; and my husband is a recluse. I have no money, and the unemployment agency keeps saying I owe them money for the past 10 months. I thought they were supposed to pay me money!
My husband is a Scrooge. He’s 68 years old and acts like he’s 98. He does not want to do anything or go anywhere and complains about money all the time. Asking him for grocery money is like pulling teeth. He knows he has me in a rut, as I’m not working.
My daughter-in-law has never given us a card, a gift or a kind word in the nine years that we have been together. My husband thinks she’s a goddess and treats her like a queen. My husband’s ex-wife went with his brother and divorced him and took him for a pretty penny.
I now know that his family is upset because they think I will get some of his money and they won’t get a dime. I’m pretty sad, as I can’t even get grocery money. He always said he was leaving his daughter everything. I made a huge mistake, and with COVID-19 and no money, I will lose everything.
My daughter-in-law comes over. She has two horrible little kids who won’t sit still in a restaurant or at home. When the kids were diaper age, she would leave dirty diapers around, leave dirty towels on the floor and never bring us anything, not even at Christmas or on birthdays. My daughter-in-law only thinks about herself and only buys clothes, haircuts, cars and houses for herself. Her mother lives near us, and she came for her mom’s birthday, yet she has never given a card for my husband’s birthday. She tells us what she buys her mom. It’s heartbreaking. He never sees his friends and my friends. I have many friends who think he’s weird and that I should go.
I’m going crazy. I need help but have no medical coverage at the moment. I’m dying inside. Please tell me what I can do. — Living With Scrooge in Las Vegas
Dear Living With Scrooge: I’m sorry that you are living in what sounds like a very toxic house. Focusing on your daughter-in-law’s and her children’s faults and how horrible they are does very little to dissipate the toxicity. It sounds like there is a lot of blame and anger to go around, including on your end. It is time to consult a professional marriage counselor. That is the best way to figure out whether this marriage is worth saving. You should feel more alive with your partner, not like you are dying inside. (c) Annie Lane
Ohhhh noooo. I think Annie Lane misunderstood the question. This letter writer wants out but can’t imagine how to get out, due to financial issues, no health coverage, and probably the commingling of her belongings with his, which would be daunting to try to separate.
What I don’t understand is how they’ve been together for nine years, married for three. Was their relationship ever good?! I almost wonder if she married him for his money in the misguided belief that she’d get it. If so, she’ll probably get more via alimony or the divorce settlement than in his will, so there’s that. But still, marrying someone for money is so wrong.
Regardless, she needs to get out. This is not a happy home. And what she needs are resources for how to accomplish this.
One thing she ought to do is contact some divorce lawyers and briefly explain the situation. Many lawyers will take on clients on a contingency, meaning they get paid a percentage of what the client gets paid. Since her husband is a millionaire, that should make it substantially easier to get a lawyer on board. Her lawyer should also help her with the unemployment payout issue. My dad’s an employment lawyer, and he helps negotiate with unemployment agencies and that sort of thing.
Then, she needs to find a new place to stay. Friends? Family? A low-dollar rental? We know she has friends, so that’s one option. And they want her to leave him. If she could offer her housekeeping services or childcare, etc., etc., I’d hope one of them would let her stay for a while.
At the very least, she’s old enough to qualify for social security retirement, I’d think. That ought to be a modest enough amount for a cheap rental motel, or something. I’m not sure, but she needs to crunch some numbers and figure out her options. Healthcare can wait a while, and she can pray for the best. She already lives in a rathole, she tells us, so how much worse can it get?
I think the pivotal aspect of this is a lawyer. I’m sure it seems daunting, but she needs to phone some divorce (or general) attorneys. It’s been my experience that attorneys work on a network, and if one’s not a good fit, he or she will give her the number of one who is. Once she has a lawyer in her corner, things will seem much brighter. That needs to be her first step. Step 2, find a way to move out.
I’d only add that it sounds like she wants things to work out without her having to do the hard work of leaving. It’s not going to happen. She’s boxed herself in, and she’ll have to work hard to extricate herself. Let that be a lesson to her in marrying rich! But I do wish her the best. I’m overwhelmed just picturing her plight.
That was Annie Lane’s entire column today: one long letter, and one paragraph of blah-blah-blah in response.
Focusing on your daughter-in-law’s and her children’s faults and how horrible they are does very little to dissipate the toxicity.
I don’t get the sense that she’s focusing on it. I get the sense that it’s part of her very dreary and negative reality that she feels she can’t escape.
It sounds like there is a lot of blame and anger to go around, including on your end.
Well, aside from the possibility that she married him for his money, I disagree that anything is her fault, and the implication is oddly offensive to me. He won’t give her grocery money. That’s a huge, huge problem. I understand that sometimes disagreements are caused by both parties, but in this instance, I think it’s less about not getting along and more about the fact that she’s stuck in a negative hellhole. It would only be helpful to point any blame onto her if, say, they were going to try to fix their marriage, but I really think that ship has sailed; and she just needs to get out. She shouldn’t have to master communications skills in therapy that will persuade him to give her grocery money. Good Lord.
It is time to consult a professional marriage counselor. That is the best way to figure out whether this marriage is worth saving. You should feel more alive with your partner, not like you are dying inside.
I think Annie Lane lacks a bit of life experience here. The problem is that once you’re dying inside, the situation cannot be salvaged. Anytime you reach that point, it’s game over. There’s no coming back from it. There are two options for this letter writer: get the hell out, or remain miserable. There’s no fixing things at this point. Maybe there never was.
I’m sure Annie Lane means well, but anytime you’re dying inside to the point that your reality consists of discarded poopy diapers from your hostile, passive-aggressive daughter-in-law, the marriage is over. It’s just over.