Oh hell and Merry Christmas

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by snoozan, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. snoozan

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    This thread is a vent/rant type of thing, so feel free to skip if you don't want to hear my bitching.

    I just read the Christmas budget thread, and it underlined for me the utter shit that this holiday season has devolved to for various reasons.

    This has been a shit year(s) in general. Our financial situation has been bad this year, compounded by an increase in our biggest costs-- transportation, energy for the house, and our mortgage payment. I also didn't work as much this year as I'm used to, and that hasn't made anything better. We decided to sell out house to make our lives saner in many departments including financial, but we did so right as the real estate market collapsed. Where homes in our neighborhood used to sell in days, they now sit on the market for easily 6 months. The house has needed a bit of work to get ready for sale, and that's really stretched us both timewise and financially, as well as made daily life more stressful because we need to keep it as clean and clutter free as possible at all times, which I don't do well.

    So here we are at the holidays. My husband's office has a Christmas party every year, and wanting to get dressed up to celebrate my 80 pound weight loss, I bought a nice dress. Which needed shoes, a bra, etc. so on. My husband needed a new suit since he put the last one in the wash by accident. The party is held 3 hours away, so we needed to stay in a hotel, which the company didn't cover this year. The party is usually fun and the networking useful, but this year just sucked. It was dismal and we wasted both our time and money. Apparently the company isn't doing well and my husband is working relatively isolated on this project, and company turnover has been very high. We knew very few people and the ones we did know seemed near suicidal from stress. The people we sat with sucked. To top it all off, when dessert came, it was a fruit cup. I know that's not a big deal, but come on, a catered dinner at a nice country club and they serve what my kid gets for lunch.

    They also asked me to photograph the party, but to do it as a favor, which I refused. I don't work for free unless it's for portfolio building, and I've got enough event coverage to last me into the next century. Also I think it's really bad form to ask a guest to work at a social function-- they said they only wanted a few shots, but I'm a pro, I don't do "a few shots." They refused to pay me, which was fine, so they had some douchebag with a point and shoot taking really bad photos calling himself "the annoying wedding photographer." I about speared his eyeball with a fork.

    My mother got a new doctor and has been going through various tests and she's finding out what we've suspected for a long time-- her old doctor was being negligent by ignoring and allowing her to ignore some very obvious health problems that have been building for 20 years. She's been put on a lot of medications and had a ton of tests, and nothing has been good, but nothing has been that awful. Yesterday she had a heart catheterization to explore some possible blockages a stress test found, which is done on an outpatient basis. Her cardiologist told her at the outset that the worst case was having to get 2 stents put in and she'd have an overnight stay.
    Well, that's not what happened. The surgeon came out after operating and told us she needed a six-way heart bypass. Open heart surgery. And she needed it ASAP, as in, today. She's lucky that she hasn't had massive cardiac arrest and dropped dead. While waiting to be scheduled, they did some further scans and found blockages in her carotid artery. That needs to be operated on before her heart or she'd risk having a stroke during the open heart procedure. They had to consult a vascular surgeon and get her on the schedule, which didn't happen until this morning. They don't have her surgery scheduled, but they think so far that it will be tomorrow afternoon.

    I'm so angry and frustrated at my mother because she's been smoking and eating her way to a slow death for 20 years. I lost my father 2 weeks before my son was born from lung cancer. We need my mom, especially my 85 year old grandmother who depends on my mom for everything. They are best friends. My son needs my mother. I need her. I don't know how many times and for how long I've lectured her on her health. I hate it that my son comes home stuffed up and stinking of smoke. I hate it that I've known all along what was confirmed yesterday-- that she's a walking time bomb. I hate it that I know that even after all this, if she lives and recovers, she may not change her lifestyle. That scares me and infuriates me. It's selfish and I realized I'm being selfish for getting so angry at her.

    I'm also terrified. She's had radiation in her chest from two bouts with breast cancer, and healing tissue that's been irradiated is much more difficult than normal tissue. She's most likely going to be recovering for about a year. I don't know what we'll do for that year and how independent she'll be able to be. I've offered to let her move in for awhile-- we have an empty in law suite anyway. My brother has also offered to stay with her for as long as she needs at her house, but he smokes, and I get the feeling if she's around him she'll start up again. At least if she's at my house I can restrict her access, though if she doesn't really want to stop, I know she won't. I know I can't make choices for her.

    I also have her dogs now while she's in the hospital. There's no way in hell I can let the house be shown because it's zoo in here. It's good that my husband has this week off for the holidays because they won't let my son in the hospital and I don't have a lot of places to put him when I go see her. I almost shot the nurses when they chased us out of the waiting room because he was crying. I understand that there's got to be some procedure in hospitals and that children are difficult, but we all just found out that my mom is doing so badly and my son keeps us all going when things get bad. My son is good for my mom, and for all of us. Getting screamed at and chased out after learning all this information made me break down and start crying in rage.

    Add to this that my brother, an Iraq war vet, has turned into a cross between my father and a drill sergeant. I know at times of crisis he excels at giving orders, but for fuck's sake, I'm 30 years old, not 10. I don't think he realizes that a.) I'm an adult b.) I'm going to do what I think is right for me and my family, and c.) I don't need him to tell me things that I already know.

    My mom's one dog stinks because she has yeast in her ears which I'm going to have to take care of while she's here because my mom's neglected it and hasn't known how to fix it. It's good for the dog because she's not coughing from the smoke anymore, and I know how to take care of her ears since I had a goldie with the same problem. I'm angry at my mom for letting the dog get this sick-- but knowing how bad off she is, it's no wonder that she could barely walk through her house let alone take care of everything else. I've been and am so frustrated with her for not taking care of everything, but I also know that she really couldn't since she's getting very little oxygen to her blood.

    It's just not easy having 2 dogs in the house and I have no idea where my mostly outdoor cats who love to mark territory on my carpets have gone. I saw one inside last night. Meanwhile, the other dog (male) is marking territory on our brand new carpet that we got to sell that house because the cats had marked the previous carpet all to hell. He's a nice dog, but he's always marked things and now is not a good time for him to marking the hell out of my house.

    We are supposed to be going to my in-laws tonight and then to see a show in New York tomorrow. We've been planning this for months. I want to go just to get away for a day, but my husband thinks it's wrong to leave my mom, which I agree with I guess. I just hate not being able to do anything for her, and I want some sort of normalcy for us, and I don't know what good I'm doing anyway. I just want a break, and I want to spend some normal holiday time with my family. I don't know how much good I'm doing in the hospital especially since our whole family is in and out to keep her company all day, but I understand that I should probably be there for her.
     
  2. snoozan

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    Christmas dinner was supposed to be at my house, but it looks like my mom isn't going to be home until after Christmas sometime even if things go well. This is kind of good because we've got no money for Christmas really, and we owe our shutoff happy utility company money. It used to cost us about $300 to heat our house but now it's closer to $800. We know we can't afford it anymore, but without selling the house there's not much we can do. So we're on the hook for a lot more money than we're able to afford, and I have no idea where we'll get Christmas money, though fortunately it's been postponed a bit and I do have some work coming at the end of the month. I feel extremely irresponsible and like a failure.

    Add to that all this testing my son is going through, and the constant worry that something is wrong with him. I'm commuting 60 miles once a week now to therapy with him and will be on the hook for doing it at least once more a week coming soon. Our cars get shit for gas mileage which was fine when gas was $1.25 a gallon, but now that it's $3.00+ a gallon, just getting gas is a financial hardship. If we moved, it would solve a lot of things for us, but who knows when that will happen. My husband commutes and is gone until about 8pm every night, and we rarely see him, plus we're paying through the nose for him to commute that far. Moving would put him an hour closer to work, me 5 minutes from my son's hospital, and we'd be closer to my mother and grandmother. We'll also be able to pay off a lot of debt and get me new equipment for my business. A smaller home means I could devote less time to upkeep and more time to work. But the housing market is shit.

    Things are so fucked up and have been for so long that I don't even react anymore. It's just one more thing every few weeks or so. The holidays are fucked up, the time I was hoping to spend having a sane time with my husband home and with our families has turned into a nightmare, and my son keeps asking to go see his grandma.

    There's also the possibility that my mom won't make it through surgery and recovery, which creates a mess of an even more mammoth scale, but I don't want to think about that now.

    I have no idea what to do about any of this, and I know there's really not much I can do except wait it out. Fortunately my moods have stabilized from where they were in the fall, but I still have untreated obstrutive sleep apnea since my insurance doesn't cover the treatment, and that makes me miserable and absolutely, terribly exhausted all the time and sometimes close to nonfunctional.

    Now my son is asking to go see his grandma-- this is usually his day to go hang out at her house for a few hours, and those cocksuckers at the hospital won't let him see her. I took her cookies last night and got in trouble, but ffs, she just found out that she can't go home and has to have two major surgeries during Christmas and I don't think some Christmas cookies are going to do much more damage and they will at least offer her a little comfort and normalcy.

    I'm planning on making her a little Christmas tree (a 2 foot artificial) for her room and making ornaments out of photos of my son which I probably can't afford and don't know when I'll have the time or energy to finish.

    It all sucks.
     
  3. Principessa

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    Sheesh! Your year was worse than mine! That's not an easy accomplishment nor one I am glad to see anyone reach.

    I hope your moms surgeries go well and that she heals quickly. I wish I could ake your house sell because I know that stress first hand from when my parents moved to Georgia w/o first selling the house in Jersey. They had to pay 2 mortgages and 2 sets of property taxes for 6 months! Grrrr, all of which could have been avoided if they had listened to me. Of course, no one listens to me because apparently I am an idiot. :mad:

    We need a vacation. Let's go someplace sunny and warm we'll hire a nurse for our parents and just take off for a month. I'll watch your son so you can have some alone time with your hubby. :smile:

    If next year isn't better I may shoot up a mall. Don't worry it will be a crappy mall that no one will miss like the Echelon Mall.
     
  4. agnslz

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    Snoozan, you are going through an incredibly hard time, but I know you have what it takes to get through it. I don't know quite what to say, but I just want to let you know that I'm hoping things will get better for you and your family real soon.

    I think you should go see that show. Things like that when times are stressful really can help to clear your mind and give you a needed boost to get through it all. On the surface it may seem like something you shouldn't do but really it may be just what you need to do.

    Giving your mom those cookies and making a Christmas tree for her may just do the same for her and be what she needs to get through her surgery. Do it and let her know that you care about her and want her to take the steps necessary to quit her smoking once she's recovered from this.

    Best of luck to you and your family during this difficult time!
     
  5. earllogjam

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    Snoozan, you have a great husband, wonderful son and your mom is still alive. You have lost a ton of weight and you have a roof over your head. Take three deep breaths and get some perspective. You seem to be so overwhelmed that it has immobilized you. Be kind to yourself - take on one thing at a time and just don't let things beyond your control and worries control your happiness. Prioritize, focus and conquer with a clear head and perspective.
     
  6. HazelGod

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    I think he's a bit of a blowhard, but this is exactly what Lou Dobbs is talking about when he starts in on his War on the Middle Class rants. Regular folks are the ones getting crunched on all sides by every little factor that changes in our society.
     
  7. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    Snoozie, you're just in an objectively impossibly difficult situation.
    I think earl has the best advice.
    You've got to take things one at a time.
    Make sure you take care of yourself as far as you can.
    I'm sure lots of people will be thinking of you over the holidays.
     
  8. jeff black

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    Snoozan, I can only offer support. I know it's a pain in the ass to read the advice of people, having them say things like 'Just take it in stride" but the fact of the matter is, that's the best way to do it.

    You do have a beautiful child and loving husband. I know for a fact that the little guy is going to succeed and become brilliant.

    I suppose that what I want to offer is this:

    It's gonna get better. Life is full of struggles and overcoming them makes us stronger. You have a good bit of support surrounding you, it will help you make it.
     
  9. Bbucko

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    Snoozalah-

    For whatever it's worth, I don't know a soul who's had a brilliant year in 2007. It's been a year of doubt, frustration, retrenchment and compromise.

    Hold tight to your principles and let everything else wash over you. This is not a time to be proactive, even if being reactive feels weak or hopeless.

    Sometimes all you can do is hunker down.
     
  10. JustAsking

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    Snoozan,
    I have to say that all of this totally sucks the big one. Really! I haven't heard such a tale of woe in a long time. I have no idea how you get through stuff like this on top of the stress of Christmas. The only thing I can see is that you seem to be a very resourceful and competent person, so you will probably see your way through it, but not without a ton of stress and pain.

    Why does the world seem to gang up on us some times, seeming to conspire to make us miserable on as many fronts at once as possible?

    I, for one, am very interested in how things work out for you over time. Consider me an avid listener for anything you have to talk about at any time.
     
  11. Ethyl

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    Snooze, i'm sorry I haven't been as available as i'd like, what with working a full week and Roux moving in and all. Catch me on yahoo if you need anything.
     
  12. rob_just_rob

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    I have a friend who has hated Christmas for the last 20 years or so. Her husband of 15 years was never reliably employed and consequently Christmas shopping, parties, and expenses were stressful. She split up with him over a Christmas, and aside from the breakup memories that didn't make her financial situation any better, as he never paid a penny of spousal or child support. Christmases were always done on a shoestring and depressed the hell out of her.

    But despite all that, I was very pleased to receive an email from her a few weeks ago, telling me that she's financially stable, doing well at her job, has big plans for the holidays and is genuinely excited about Christmas this year. And that's the point I'm trying to make, I guess. You're under a lot of stress now, but that stress is temporary. Things will improve, even if you don't see that happening right now. So just take one thing at a time and try not to dwell overmuch on the stuff you can't control.
     
  13. SpeedoGuy

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    Over the years many bad things have happened to me around Christmas as well. Its not my favorite time of year. Sorry to hear about what you're going through, snoozan. Here's hoping things look up for you in 2008.
     
  14. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Wow, I'm sorry to hear about all of this! Major suckage... and I don't think there's really a whole lot I can say to make you feel better. This too shall pass. Everything works out for the better. I can understand why you are angry at your mom, but I hope you have also directed some of that anger at her old doctor! I'd be pissed! Just keep in mind that everything happens for a reason. It's all a learning experience in the end. Hm... what other advice can I pass on? Oh! This was my moms favorite... God won't give you anything that you can't handle. You have the tools. I have faith in you. :smile:
     
  15. DC_DEEP

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    Snoozie, sweetie, I can't say anything that hasn't already been said eloquently, so here goes:

    You know where to find me if you need a big bear-hug and a shoulder.

    XOXO
     
  16. D_Roland_D_Hay

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    Sorry to hear about your mom...its terrible to have to go through this any time during the year but it is even harder during the holidays. I wish her and you all the very best.

    I would suggest trying to make the best of what you are faced with. I have faced many hard times with laughter and trying to turn my negative into something positive. I am sure your mom would greatly appreciate a tree made by your child. He probably would have a great time making it as well. Kids do great work with construction paper, glue and glitter. You don't need to spend money you don't have to make someone happy!!

    I have a brother who suffers from severe mental illness...as hard as it is to deal with him, I realize that he is my brother and I love him as he is. At times I have to remind myself that as opinionated as he is, that is who he is (hah).

    As you are aware, it is going to get worse before it gets better---you seem to be the glue to keep this all together and there are a lot of people depending on you to get through this...you can do it and become a better person as a result!!!!

    I wish you and your family nothing but the very very best for this upcoming year!!!
     
  17. Drifterwood

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    Drink most of one bottle of sparkling wine.

    Strip wantonly.

    Play a good version of this at 11 YouTube - Led Zeppelin Rock and Roll

    Dance naked (air guitars allowed), ensuring that everything really rocks.

    Take the remainder of the sparkling wine and blow the hubster.

    Sit on the edge of the drier, turn to max, get the hubster to give you what for.

    Sleep and wake up ready for tomorrow.

    Works for me.
     
  18. Osiris

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    Snoozan? There is a bottle of Vueve somewhere in Woodinville for you. I think it may be here.

    I love you and that love hopefully can translate into a happier holiday for you and yours.

    And yes, mine has been pants so far as well.
     
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