Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #44
–Sessions: 33 of 53
Monday, September 28, 2009 11:00am
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 303
I talked to Elsie about my son leaving for college. We had moved him into the dorm since my last session. It was difficult to leave him in his dorm room. The drive home seemed strangely quiet.
We also talked about Snap, my mother and the various financial issues I was trying to deal with. I told her about the credit cards that were in collections, the payday loans, the unpaid bills to the nursing home and how hard it was for me to get accurate information from Snap.
I told her that I was having trouble handling all the issues with my mother and Snap and all the volunteering I was committed to with my son’s marching band. Elsie suggested that I set aside one day a week for myself and only myself.
We also discussed how other parents we know were handling the transition to college of their children. Some were hovering, trying to control everything. Some weren’t really accepting the situation. They were bringing their child home every weekend. We discussed that one of the benefits of moving away to college was getting some experience living away from the parents.
After this session, Snap calls with the amount owed on his and my mother’s WalMart credit cards that were in collections. The combined amount was about $1500. However, the amount owed was not the same as the payoff amount because interest is added each month. I had to call myself to get the payoff amounts. The bill that arrived from the nursing home didn’t show all the charges I was told it would. I had to call about this as well.
He called later to tell me that the amount owed on the bank cash advance account was $22. I was told a few weeks ago the payoff amount was $320. This didn’t make any sense but I had no way to get any more details than he provided to me. He told me that he could handle the remaining payday loans he still had.
–Sessions: 34 of 53
Monday, October 12, 2009 11:00am
I told Elsie I had been really tired since I last saw her. I was responsible for the printed programs for the marching band competitions. This required gathering lots of information and photos from all the competing bands, creating the program on the computer and getting it all printed. It required a lot of care to get all the names correct for the over two hundred band members. The year before I handled this, one student’s name was left out of the program and the parents were upset. I decided to take to computer files from the previous year, correct them and had a few copies printed. The parents were happy. But it was tiring.
Elsie asked if I was good at setting boundaries. My answer was ‘clearly not good enough.’ She asked if I was sleeping. I was sleeping very well, but I would wake up tired. I described all the effort I had to put in to get my mother’s and Snap’s credit cards paid off. This was another project on top of all the others.
I talked to her about my oldest son being away at college. We had visited him again and it seemed easy, not a big deal. We had been talking with him regularly using Skype since he left. I told her that one day I didn’t get online to talk to him because I didn’t have anything to say.
I told her about some of my younger son’s friends whose fathers won’t come to any of the band performances, have anger management issues and new wives. I was seeing the impact of all this while I was volunteering to help the marching band.
I had gone to Laguna Seca to see the auto racing. Elsie was happy to hear that I had taken the time off to make this trip. Since my son had moved to college I had been using his bedroom for my work from home office. I told Elsie that when he comes home for Christmas I would have to move my stuff out of his room and that would be a pain. Elsie laughed and said that was normal and healthy. She said we were wonderful parents, she specifically pointed out that we were letting our sons follow their passions.
After this session, Snap called. Now it seemed that our mother can’t go home any time soon. The cost of the apartment where she had been living was subsidized by a state or local agency. As with so many aspects of all my relatives situations, I had no way of knowing what was really going on. I’m not sure that my mother or Snap really understood what was happening to them and they were living it.
Because the cost of her apartment had been subsidized, if she wasn’t living there for a period of time, she would lose the apartment. This meant that everything she had in the apartment would have to be stored while she was not living there. It also turns out that there was some new issue with her Social Security checks. He told me that Social Security wasn’t going to send checks to my mother because she wasn’t living in her apartment. I couldn’t get enough answers from Snap to make any sense of this, but it all meant that I would be asked (required?) to provide even more money.
I wanted to pay off their WalMart credit card accounts. These accounts had gone to collections. Snap had provided me with the total that was owed on both accounts, but I knew that the actual payoff amount would be higher because the interest charges were always accumulating. I couldn’t pay these accounts off on my own, the money had to come from Snap’s checking account. I decided to transfer $1600 to his checking account. Even this was going to be difficult because my bank wouldn’t allow me to take out more than $1000 as a cash advance on my credit card. I had to go to a second bank and use a second credit card to get the other $600. It was turning out that my earning the money, saving the money and being willing to pay off these accounts was not enough. I had to deal with all the logistical issues of getting the money into the correct places.