Continuing with the series, this is not a question but a ‘script’ to use to confront in defense of myself at the point that my father’s car was being offered to me so that I could get back and forth to his apartment. I had no car of my own and very little income. Putting gas in a car was a hardship.
I had felt that B was doing enough for me, although it’s clear now that there were issues there too. He never offered to help with easing up on the stress at the time with gas money. And as far as my family was concerned, I was really uncomfortable and afraid to ask outright for gas money. I would make a comment to my brother about being broke hoping he’d get the hint and he’d just tell me how difficult things were for him too.
They wanted me to be there, but not a thought to gas money for me was given. In fact, one day I texted my sister and told her I didn’t have enough money to get gas and didn’t have enough gas to get to an from my father’s. So I wasn’t going that day.
She of course called my mother and my mother in turn called me. My mother gave me some money to get through for about a week or two in gas, but of course gas is a consumable and I was back to struggling when that money ran out. They never made it easy and I was terrified of them. (This blue color is the added commentary, the black is the original wording.
-I do not have the money to pay insurance for sure nor do I have the money at this point to keep the amt of gas needed in the car to get to and from, even 5 nites a week. Takes 1/8 of a tank round trip. So I would need help with gas and can only keep it right now if he keeps paying the insurance.
This topic must’ve been brought up by my brother. I can’t think of anyone else who would actually throw this idea out there, knowing full well I had such little income. What a dick. Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t let anyone else off the hook for their bullshit. It’s just something they would know better about. That’s all.
Most of the money I get right now is usually already spoken for before I even get it. Just to give an idea, I ran out of shampoo 2 days before I had cash in hand to buy more.
Financial situation here is bad, I do need to get a job. I have sporadically applied and have tried SSI but it really is taking too long. B is having an even tougher time since our electric bill went way up.
We have a ceiling that may just come crumbling down in the next couple months, if that. Probably mold and dry rot up there. B won’t say anything to his sister because he’s worried she’ll raise the rent if he brings anything up about the house and my hands are tied since it’s his family and I’m not prepared to even pay half of what the rent is now.
I help him where I can. So bottom line there is, I need to be more serious about finding employment. And since we don’t have a prognosis on Dad, I can’t “just wait until all this is over.”
Since the car is the asset that would provide the money for his care, I am looking at places I could get to either by bike or trolley. Thing is, most of those places are retail outlets and restaurants. Places that are open at night. So if I am offered a job with night hours, I will need to take it.
-Dad wants to give me access to the car while it’s for sale – but I don’t want it.
-Just putting gas in it is a strain. Going back and forth to dad’s everyday, the thing takes at least 60 bucks a week. He’s given me some (money) but I’ve also put my money it too – money I can’t really spare.
Last time I had too little gas to get over there, it was by the Grace of God that I had a cat to take care of every other day this month. $100 of it went to B for my phone but I was also able to get gas for the car.
I have a dog twice a week, and most of that goes in my checking acct – which I have about $40 in right now.
-I have a student loan that has to be pd at end of every month ‘coz it’s gov’t. My credit card debt is in collections and one of them has a lawyer calling me.
-I’m gonna do this sign delivery but in the meantime continue to look or a day job. And I can’t cancel anymore interviews.
With this car, I’ve made choices between gas and socks, choosing gas to get to dad’s even though I have holes in most of my socks.
I gotta hustle and make finding a job a full time thing.*
This is just sad as fuck. Here I am writing out a script to explain my financial situation to a family who gives no fucks about me. Who was not talking about their own financial situations in such depth. This shows me how much pressure I was feeling and that I felt the need to defend myself, EXPLAIN myself, when all I needed to say, NO, I am not able to do this and I owe you no explanations for anything. Period.
I also want to add though that I was not really into finding a job. I’d been doing a bit of pet sitting, as I mention above. And I was in an on-call situation with a friend who needed a driver to deliver to deliver signs once in a while in the evenings.
At first I would leave my father’s in time to make the delivery but then one day my brother called me in a panic and a rage “needing to know if I could be there every single night until dad went to bed.” When I hesitated to think about what he was essentially demanding of me, he screamed, “I NEED TO KNOW!”
My freeze response kicked in and then the fawning.
I quit the job. I told the man that I could not be sure about being able to make deliveries on a last minute basis because “I needed to be there for my father.”
This sounds reasonable when it’s stands alone, because of the unknowns of the job, not knowing when I’d be needed, waiting around to get a call to work. And on top of that the circumstances with my sick father and his needs.
But I needed that income. In addition, my brother had raged and bullied me into compliance. I stood next to him at the sink later that day, as I did the dishes he’d made earlier at my father’s and told him I quit the delivery job so I could be there for dad.
“Oh good,” he said calmly.
I was expected to sacrifice myself, my time and my income, but my siblings had the freedom to utilize their jobs and family lives to not be available to be there at certain times. This was just one example of the double standard.
This also shows the fog I was in, to me. Probably not to anyone else reading, in the detail I see it in. But the dynamic with B and me. Why would I not ask him for money for gas? I know at the time, I had a phone I was struggling to make payments to him for, so there was that. But he knew what I was dealing with. Why would he not offer to soften the blow? And refusing to say anything to our landlady…his sister about the rotting ceiling?!? There’s just no way I’d accept that now. I was avoiding the financial issues we were having as well, and I didn’t want to strain him more than he already was. I was also being stubborn about asking B for gas money feeling that my family should’ve been ‘stepping up’ with gas money for me since they expected so much and were beating me down to nothing.
*The last statement, I admit, was a bit of my own attempt at some manipulation. I didn’t really plan to make job hunting a full time thing. In my defense though, I was going through a kind of shock regarding what was going on with my family. My father, who was abusive as well as someone I had a conflicting relationship with, was dying, in addition to me being tossed around like a door mat by the rest of my family resulted in this shock and other effects of trauma.