Thursday, November 10, 2011

From Bad to Worse...Next Steps

Quite a few people have asked me why am I not staying at the house and are wanting me to really "fight for my rights" and saying since I'm sick I should be the one to stay at the house. My response to that is I don't have the energy for a fight nor do I want to go into a fighting stance. All my energy is taken up trying to get through the day with the amount of stress I'm experiencing. It has started to affect my health and I can't afford to lose anymore functioning than I already have.

All I want is to resolve things as peacefully and friendly as possible and move on. It's complicated being co-owners of the house and a bit over my cognitively challenged brain so I'm seeking consultation to find out what the options are. That's it.

I do not have the energy to spare in trying to engage in making her be the bad guy. While I think it sucks that I had absolutely no warning and therefore no time to prepare financially in anyway I think its something that can be solved amicably. At least I hope so.

I have no desire for revenge or to get back at her or anything like that.

I hadn't wanted to try to do a budget until today. After I added up monthly expenses including food, utilities, loan, see how much I would have left over for rent, I discovered I have $75 left over to pay for rent and that was a conservative estimate. I didn't even include things like copays for doctor visits.

So I tried to see if I was eligible for any other type of financial assistance. But because I co-own a house I'm not eligible for any other type of assistance as the house is considered an asset. Even if I were eligible for more money it might be $50 or so. Not much but every bit counts.

I am angry about all of this but I'm trying to stay out of the anger because it isn't good for my body.

So I'm stuck. Once again I'll state I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do or how I'm going to get through this.

I'm trying to keep my stress level down but that is difficult when I cannot afford to pay rent ANYWHERE. Everywhere I turn I come up against a brick wall. It feels like I'm in a nightmare.

I'm trying to nurture my heart and soul by reading Pema Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart", Toni Berhard's book "How to be Sick, listening to the audio version of Clarissa Pinkola Estes "Seeing In the Dark", and Sharon Salzsberg's audio version of "Faith". When I can't sleep at night I plug my earphones into my Ipad and listen to one of the two books above. It does help but only for a few minutes at a time.

It's a frightening place to be and all I want is for all this to be over with. I feel like my fight isn't with my ex but rather a fight for my very survival.

I've exhausted all my resources at this point. I didn't get my SSDI check this month because it was stolen back in June. They sent me a replacement check which I deposited but whoever stole my check also deposited a check which triggered a red flag in the system that they had overpaid me so they withheld my November check. The SSDI worker told me its clearly not my signature and has a different bank account on it so it got forwarded to the Department of Commerce/FBI. Because the Dept of Commerce is so overwhelmed it could take months before I get reimbursed. I was told it isn't considered a priority. So, I did not get a check this month.

I have a student loan. Last month I went online to pay it and ended up paying for both October and November by accident. Thank goodness I did because I wouldn't have been able to pay it this month.

It feels like an impossible situation. I see no way out and I don't know what I'm going to do.

People might wonder why am I talking about this on a public blog. I do that for two reasons. One is that its all too common for people with chronic illnesses to be dumped by their spouse/partner and maybe my experience can benefit others although right now my experience my frighten others. The other reason why I'm blogging about this is because I'm trying to gather all the support I can get. I have no pride left and I've got nothing to lose anymore.

I simply don't understand why I can't get a break. It's been a long and difficult four years. I had to fight to get approved for SSDI. I've had to fight to get from bedbound to housebound. I have no fight left in me anymore. I'm too tired, I'm way too tired.

So if you are so inclined I could sure use prayers. It seems it will only be through a Divine intervention that I can find a way through this.


Elaine said...

Please know that there are those of us who "get it". I wouldnt be able to "fight" either. It takes way too much energy to do that.

I am glad you are sharing this part of your life with us. Not a single one of us knows what tomorrow might bring for us and I see this as a valuable learning tool.

I am sorry that you are hurting so badly. I think getting assistance to decide how to proceed is a wise choice.

I am also very glad you have family that will help you through this.

I will be praying for you.


Toni said...

Terri - It's so good that you're not adding to your painful situation by being angry. As you said, it only adds to your symptoms. And it won't solve anything. The way you talked about not being angry is inspirational.

I'm wondering about your rights as the co-owner of the house. You may be able to get some free legal advice through a law clinic that's affiliated with a nearby law school. It's worth a call. In this housing market, I don't know if there's any equity in the house but maybe you can get your ex to buy out your portion of the ownership. I think you need some legal advice about the house.

It sounds like you're taking as good care of yourself as you can given this horrible situation. I hope that some options will open up for you. It's a cliché to say that you never know what's right around the corner, but it's a cliché that's true. I hope and pray that some good news is around the corner for you. It's time.

Love to you,

Renee said...

Oh Terri
I am so sorry...I will be praying for you. You are very wise to take care of what energy you have and get help for making decisions regarding the house. Especially in your condition and circumstances..

me/cfs warrior said...

Thank you Elaine. And thank you for your support in sharing this part of my life. It feels vulnerable but necessary so that I can continue to fight for my survival.

Yes-my family has been great and are helping me do research as well as listen to me during the times I'm feeling hopeless.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

me/cfs warrior said...

Hi Toni-

I notice that when I start getting angry about that my heart starts racing so it seems to exacerbate my POTS symptoms.

I know too when I feel angry there's usually grief lurking underneath.

I remember after my mom died I found myself getting angry at ugly cars-it made no sense to me until I realized the pattern of getting angry at an ugly car followed by a bout of grieving.

That's a great idea about looking into getting advice from a legal clinic. I hadn't thought of that. I have no idea how to go about all of this but luckily my sisters' are really smart.

I seem to be blanking on what equity is but I'll google it.

Thank you for reminding me that there might be something positive right around the corner. It reminds me of the saying 'don't give before the miracle happens'.

I'm doing the best I can at taking care of myself. I don't want to go backwards in terms of my health.

I did have a moment while looking at the stars tonight that everything will be okay. It was a nice moment for which I am grateful.

Thank goodness for your book Toni. I read a little each night and find it so comforting.

me/cfs warrior said...

Thank you Renee. I think all the prayers are helping a bit. It was nice to feel that moment tonight that everything might be okay. I felt a moment of peace.

If I wasn't in such a difficult place financially I would probably just let go of the house and focus on health and healing.

All I want is to be able to afford a place to live, continue with my medical treatments, have my dog with me and start focusing on writing again as well as giving back.

I really want the opportunity to give back again.

Cusp said...

I agree with everything you say and the way you are handling the situation. Whatever the rights and wronsg of the whole business you are now in survival mode and being angry, getting revenge will not help you in trying to maintain any reserves or balance you have at the moment.

The best you can do is what you are doing. There's little I can do...especially as I dont know about the system or resources in USA but I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and encourage you to use all the support and suggestions which come your way through this blog and FB.

Take care of yourself. I shall hold you in my thoughts x

Toni said...

Hi again, Terri. "Equity" is, in effect, your profit from a house. So if you paid $200,000 for it and it's now worth $225,000, your equity is $25,000.

If you or your sisters contact some law schools in the area (Boalt, Hastings, Golden Gate, Santa Clara, USF come to mind), if they don't have a legal clinic, ask the receptionist if he or she knows who you can contact. The school may have given the receptionist a list of local free legal clinics since they may get a lot of calls from people seeking help.

Love to you,

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a reasonable option would be to sell the home and split the proceeds equitably.

Short of that, having moved out, your partner should pay you half of whatever the market value for rent is.

Try not to fall into the victim position in your mind. You are co-owner of the house, and have rights, in addition to having special needs as a disabled person.

I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. It is wonderful you have the support of your family. I wish you continued connection with the equanimity you are cultivating, and the spontaneous arising of the perfect solution.

(((Much love)))

Displaced said...

*sigh* Oh I do so feel for you and in so many ways I have (and do) walk (read shuffle/hobble) in your shoes. I don't write about my problems with finding somewhere to live on my own blog but I will say that I too am in an accommodation crisis. I also lost a house to an ex primarily because I just couldn't find the energy and stamina to fight on. The government is another ongoing battle that I understand too well. The idea that someone is expected to go without SSDI for a month while they resolve an issue where it was clearly stolen is appalling.

I'm glad you have a supportive family and I think you are doing the right thing by choosing your battles and trying to release the pain and anger over things you can't change... In the immortal words of Deepak Chopra "Let it go".

My thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

have u checked to see if student loan pmts can be reduced or cancelled due to your complete disability and inability to work?

hers' a crazy idea...why don't you move to an ex=pat town in Baja...lots of americans, low cost of living and close to tijuana for cheap medical care?....also not too far from your family here.

can u and ex rent out house to cover mortgage until market comes up a bit?

can bank and/or govt make accommodations on mortgage due to your disability and inability to work?

that's my brainstroming 4 the day. good luck....big hugs from berkeley