I have been neglecting this blog again – I have been feeling sicker than hell for weeks. I don’t know if it’s from GMO frankenfood, or if it’s from the fresh new blacktop parking lot that just got rolled out 2 blocks away, or if it’s from how goddamned pesticide-happy this town is, or if I need to arrange cancer screening… or if it was just a cold or flu sort of thing. The last two weeks have been miserable.
I haven’t been writing but I often think about certain events in my past that piss me off right up to this day, and how I might present them here. Often I find events so entangled in each other I am unsure how to proceed. In one instance I have been wondering how to present another shitty friendship which was entwined with homelessness part 1. Ultimately in that instance I have decided that I will post two laments, one lamenting the friendship, and the other lamenting the homelessness; even though the issues are somewhat entangled.
I have also been contemplating a blog entry simply titled “Grandmother”, but as I sat here preparing to write, I realized that it is not the way that I want to go about this. I have to write this while I can. After she dies – which may be very soon, it pains me to say – I won’t have the heart to write this. Like I said, everybody in my life has fucked me over. Everybody. Grandmother, however, is so much of a helpless pushover that it’s just – wow. Wow, wow, and wow. A really bad thing happened (I will detail it in this entry) and at the end of the day the blame lies on her shoulders. SHE made the ultimate decision to fuck me over. However, from having known her – and my mother – for all of my life, I understand very well that my Grandmother is weak, pliable, and an absolute pushover. What happened, happened, because my mother is a selfish bitch who never gave a fuck about me, and because my Grandmother is – was – a horny, love-struck old bat… very fickle, and very much a pushover.
Grandmother could have made reasonable decisions far less pathetic and love-squishy, and less straight-up ridiculously STUPID than the decisions that she ended up making, but she had never had to make a serious adult decision for herself before in her entire life. Grandfather did all of that. He married her when she was 16 years old, so, she literally never had to make any important decisions for herself. Ever. She had ALWAYS had either her father or her husband to do it for her. As soon as her husband died and the decision-making was up to her – for the very first time ever in her life – in over 80 years – she IMMEDIATELY started fucking things up. Badly. One would think that my mother having Power of Attorney over her affairs should have prevented some of this from happening, right? But again, my mother was selfish, crazy, despondent, and suicidal, and never gave a fuck about anybody other than herself to begin with, so, why would she bother to put any effort into protecting my interests?
My Grandmother fucked me over, and badly, but underlying this incident was my monstrous mother. She could have prevented it from happening, but why would that be the case when she was, in fact, the catalyst?
Where to begin? This mess is unreal. Literally. Unreal. These kinds of things don’t happen to normal people, but in my life? – par for the course.
For 25 years my grandparents had debated at length about who to will their country farmhouse to when they died. Eventually, it was settled, they were going to will it to me. They didn’t want to leave it to their son, my Uncle Pervy, because he had hassled them for it for years, and it pissed my Grandfather off. They were going to leave it to my mother but she was afraid that the ownership of it would fuck up the amount or eligibility of her disability checks or something, so, they decided that since I had so many more hardships than my older sister, they would will the house to me.
In 2007, My Grandfather died peacefully in his bed at home. It was, in fact, my ex-boyfriend/ex-stepfather, aka the pedo-fucko, who carried the body out of the house and to the cadaver’s van (he had donated his body to the University). Grandmother did not fool around. The very next day after he died, Grandmother had all of his stuff packed up in boxes and sent off to the Goodwill. Two weeks later she had the house listed and less than three months later it was sold and she had moved into another house in a neighboring town approximately 15 miles away. I wasn’t super-happy about the loss of the home I had half grew up in and had been told for years that I would inherit, but she claimed she couldn’t live there one more goddamned minute and that she would will me the new (well, new to her) house.
Well, still, better than nothing. Oh wait… that’s exactly what I am getting after all. Nothing.
It gets better. Er… worse.
Oh… did I mention that I was told about the sale of the old home and the acquisition of the new house after the fact? No? I lived on the opposite side of the country at that point, so I had no way of monitoring what was going on. My own life was falling apart at that point, unbeknownst to me at that point I had a tumor sprouting in my neck, and I was sickly all the time, extremely chemically sensitive to the point that I was unemployable, and battling a terrifying and corrupt mafioso landlord (and respected Seattle business owner) while living in constant terror of impending homelessness. I was a little distracted, see? Even though I was an adult and had been moved away for many years at that point, I still talked to Grandma on the phone once a month or so at least, but I was left out of that particular loop until it was a done deal. My mother had Power of Attorney over my Grandmother at that point, but she told me she didn’t prevent the sale of the home from happening because if the tables were turned, she wouldn’t want to be forced into living somewhere that she hated to be.
One might think that Grandmother was reacting to the loss of Grandfather, and maybe she was; but not in the cute, loving, squishy romantic way that one might hope.
My Grandmother often goes on what I call her “Lynn-Trips”. A few years after my grandparents had settled into the old home in 1980 – 81), some monkey-lipped little broad named Lynn and her extremely rotund husband moved in next door. For years and years Grandmother was convinced of two things. One, that Lynn sucked Grandpa’s nasty old dick regularly. (Maybe that’s why she was so monkey-lipped?) Two, that Lynn often entered the home covertly – not only while Grandma was gone but apparently even while Grandma was home – in order to steal stuff! This was only for a thrill, on Lynn’s part, of course, as Grandmother is also convinced that Grandfather also regularly let Lynn go on trinket and knick-knack stealing sprees in exchange for the blowjobs.
All of this is possible, I suppose, I know very well that people are wanton and monstrous and this kind of behavior would not be all that unsurprising if it were true. However, as my mother pointed out, every neighbor my Grandmother has ever had has stolen from her (allegedly). So are they ALL thieves, or… is she maybe imagining some of it? Before Lynn moved in, another woman had resided in the home next door, and I remember Grandmother ranting about that woman stealing doilies and tiny teddy bears. Also, I was very young, but I remember that years prior to that, in another home, in another state, she and my mother had argued because she was convinced that my mother’s hippie friend Leah (she taught tiny toddler me about bellybuttons) had stolen stuff during a visit to the house. As my mother pointed out, somebody is always stealing from Grandmother.
What makes this even worse?
Not only is Lynn the apparent reason for the sale of the old home, but, did Lynn’s snooping & stealing cease when Grandmother moved to the new home 15 miles away?
What do you think?!
How about when my mother and Grandmother managed to fuck things up on the grandest scale and lose even that house, (wait for it…) and my Grandmother & I were forced to move into the upper unit of a shitty little duplex townhouse in yet an even different (yet local) town?
Even now, 8 years after she sold the original home that was next door to this woman, and after 2 moves to two different towns, I have to listen to paranoid rants about this Lynn woman every single goddamned time something goes missing around here. Lynn has these fucking amazing, unheard-of super-boogedy-powers and can get in our locked door (with a string of bells on it) and down the creaky, humped, and failing wooden hallway to steal shit from all around this (very small) apartment with neither one of us ever seeing, hearing, or noticing, her. Regularly.
I am getting a little sidetracked from the somewhat tongue-in-cheek title subject of this blog, but like I said, all this shit is intertwined so it’s hard sometimes to figure out how to present it, or in which particular lament. I didn’t really want to write a lament about my grandmother as she loves me (she says, but she does not demonstrate it well, as you shall observe) and she has been the best person to me in my miserable life. (Oh that is so sad!) She ended up fucking me over, too, (and on a grand scale), just like everyone does, but it was more due to mental weakness on her part; the fact that she is a pushover and that she had a pathetic crush on a gross man… There may even be a bit of senility at play here. It was a perfect storm… and I got fucked. But not in a good way.
“I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school!”
So, allegedly, due to her endless, festering contempt of her next door neighbor Lynn, as soon as my grandfather died, my grandmother packed up fled her home of a quarter of a century. It was a futile effort, after all, since to this very day she seems to believe that Lynn follows her everywhere. 😦
Across the street from her new home, in a dumpy little run-down trailer, lived a short, squot, hairy little man named Pete. This poor, illiterate sod reeked of (and was quite literally stained by) tobacco, he was in constant low-grade agony from a mouthful of rotting, yellow-grey stumps of teeth. He had sole custody of his two six year old, snot-nosed, screaming, special-needs brats but this does not prevent him from supplementing his welfare check by growing and selling weed. He was a rough, volatile sort, broad-shouldered and barrel-chested; the type that worships .38 Special and Thorogood and Springsteen and Steppenwolf, the kind of guy that rides a shitty off-brand motorcycle and drinks shitty off-brand beer and smacks of his own peculiar shitty off-brand machismo.
Grandma had cats (14 or so) and he had brats, and the brats chased the cats and interferences and introductions were made, and a half-assed friendship was born. She would watch the brats for him sometimes, or they would all walk together to the local ice cream stand. He would help her with the kinds of things that are difficult for elderly widows, like carrying heavy groceries and shoveling the sidewalk and lighting the pilot light on the furnace when it went out. He was the same age as her son – my Uncle Pervy – dear God – but she went and developed this sickening and squishy crush on him anyway. It was awful. When I would call her from across the country, (before I was forced to move back to the town in which I currently reside with her) – she would squish and ooze about the curly hair on his tan neck, and his crinkly eye corners, and his broad shoulders and his booming laugh – puke! – it was so sickening that by the time she got around to ranting about Lynn, (who was allegedly constantly coming to her new place to steal shit), that usually revolting topic would be somewhat of a relief, comparatively speaking. Ew!
In a previous blog entry, Mother, I mentioned that my grandmother had this sickening, unreal, disproportionate devotion to my mother. Even after my mother had accused my grandmother – in a court! – of pedophilic acts against me, in order to prevent me from being able to live with my grandparents and therefore create problems for her and her new husband (aka my pedo ex-boyfriend), even after THAT (!!!!) my fucking grandmother continued to support my mother, morally and financially. Why?! I don’t know. That’s also what she says when I ask her why. “I don’t know”. They had been “best friends” for all of my mother’s helplessly dependent adult life, so, I guess my grandmother didn’t know what else to do. They had both been long-shunned by the community’s social clique of women, branded as unusual and freakish, so neither one of them had any other friends. At all.
I suppose that may be part of the largely unanswered “why?”
Nobody would ever tell me exactly what happened but stories circulated for years that my mother got drunk and, uh, “misbehaved” at a Chippendale’s show when she went out with a group of the local ninnies – something about a blowjob. I do, in fact remember the night she went out with those women… I was very young, probably 5 or 6 years old. We had just moved there very recently. (This was early on, when we still lived with my grandparents, years before my mother, sister & I eventually moved into the house up the road from my grandparent’s home… the house where my mother would eventually enact her second failed suicide attempt – a failed hanging that landed her ass in a convalescent home for several months, as detailed in the blog entry Mother.) On the night the group of ladies went to ogle the Chippendale’s, my sister and I stayed at home with both of our grandparents – only my mother went out with the group. We were the new neighbors in town. It was not long after that that my mother became a pariah. Since my grandmother would not socially forsake her slutty, wanton daughter, the ninnies froze her out of the social club as well. People must have talked about it at home, too, because kids at school made wisecracks about it that I was yet too young and naive to understand.
I got it later.
As this story goes on, you’ll see that my mom and my grandmother are… and were… so profoundly fucked in the head, it’s amazing that I get on as well as I do. It really is. I don’t get on that well, honestly, I am a mess, but given that these are the people that I came from – genetically speaking, I should be very badly fucked.
In addition to the blowjob/Chippendale’s jokes, classmates used to call my mother “The Axe Murderess of (town redacted)” since she was often spied carrying an axe around the woods (looking for grape vines for her damned wreaths and baskets).
My mother attempted suicide on three occasions that I am aware of. At the same time my Grandmother was adjusting to her new life without Grandfather, and her new home, and was squishing all over her handsome (to her eyes – not mine!) burly neighbor, Pete, my mother was planning what was supposedly her first of three (known) suicide attempts.
Could she possibly have plotted her own demise in the way that a normal person would? You know, make the plan, and then execute the plan, without telling anybody about it? Oh no, No no. Of course not. My mother – the crazy bitch – she TOLD my grandmother what she was going to do!! – and my grandmother – the crazier bitch ?!!! – she actually said, “let me come with you”.
I wish this were bad fiction. It is real.
My mother decided that the thing to do was to take a flight to the state and town of my birth – which lies at the foothills of some incredibly massive mountains, and to have a taxi driver take her out to the base of the mountain and then just walk up, up, up, up, and wait to die from dehydration or starvation or exhaustion or exposure. Whichever came first.
My mother devised that ridiculous plan. My mother TOLD her mother about the ridiculous plan… her mother who then proceeded to say “let me come, too!” Who DOES that?! Who the fuck DOES that?!!!! Who would even believe that this is a real happenstance and not a fictional account?!!
This is why that I would, ever after, (well, until I got around to permanently estranging my mother) needle them by calling them “Thelma and Louise” when one of them (usually my mother) would piss me off (which was frequently). They actually thought that they were going to go on some idiot adventure that would culminate in their miserable co-suicide up in the mountains. Awesome.
So, my mother spent $750 on two one-way flight tickets. She rented her home and she had no pets so she had nothing to lose. Her landlord would figure it out eventually when she never came over with the rent – for the first time in some 20+ years. My grandmother, however, owned her home… and it was willed to me.
If grandmother absolutely insisted upon going on some idiot adventure to kill her damned self alongside my idiot mother, could she not have at least left the will as it was?
Have you not been paying attention? This is MY life!!! So….. of course not!
I had errantly dared to express a certain amount of dismay over the loss of the old home that I had been promised for so long, and also, I had moved across the country. I had expressed disgust for this entire region (as had my sister) because we were both treated so bizarrely; socially outcast, tortured and ostracized here. Maybe we were treated bizarrely because this entire region is afflicted by a mass mental illness – it certainly seems that way much of the time! But maybe… it was because our mother and our grandmother were freakish and unusual and unpopular and bizarre – and everybody knew it. It was and still is, after all, a pretty small town.
Here’s an example of why people thought they were so goddamn weird: Once, my grandmother cut her finger on a staple that was sticking out of a box at the grocery store. My mother’s solution to this problem was to start discordantly – and loudly – warbling the entirety of Tex Ritter’s “Blood on the Saddle” – very nearly matching his peculiar inflections in the process. By the time she was done, my grandmother purports, the entire store was “gawping” at my mother and my grandmother wanted to “sink into the floor and die of embarrassment”. In some more hippie, bohemian West Coast or central US cities, that kind of behavior might barely fly as “cute” or “quirky”. But in a small town on the rigid Eastern Seaboard? Not so much.
Because she apparently believed that she would be going to the mountain to kill herself alongside my idiot mother, and because I had dared to express dismay about the region, and because I lived on the opposite coast at the time, and because Pete’s rugged, stinking, half-retarded ass (who she had known for roughly a year) was just so damn sexy, and because it was just so manly and noble and kind and good for him to take care of those – his own! – retarded kids, (if taking care of them meant them running around with shit-covered legs while the dog ate the diaper) – and because the pitiful trailer that Pete and his slobbering bratlings lived in was such a decrepit piece of shit, my grandmother GAVE Pete the house that she had willed to me. She did not sell or will it to him. She free and clear GAVE it to him.
Did she tell me about this monumental decision first?
What do you think?!!!
(of course not!)
My mother – my very own mother, who had Power of Attorney over my grandmother’s financial and business affairs, and Pete, and my grandmother, they all rolled their asses down to the lawyer’s office and they fucked up everything. The lawyer knew that the house had been willed to me – he himself had drawn up the damn will! – but it was not his business to question what the hell those idiots were doing. It was his business to take their money and to file the paperwork that they requested be filed. It was not his business to question what was going on – not even when Pete insisted that some sort of clause making the gifting of the house “irreversible” be added to the contract. Pete knew about my sister & I. Our portraits were front and center on my grandmother’s hearth, for fuck’s sake, plus, she had told him all about us. Surely he wondered why one of us were not inheriting the house, and that is likely why he had the “irreversible gift clause” added. The legal agreement was that the house was his – free and clear – and he would allow her to live out the rest of her days there with him. She did not actually want this, of course. Unbeknownst to him, her plan was that she was going to “visit” my mother one day very soon after he and his brats had settled in – and by visit, I mean, go with her to catch the plane that would take them to the mountain where they would execute their idiot plan to slowly and miserably perish together.
Not long after Grandfather died, dear old Uncle Pervy had flown up to visit my grandmother and to see her new house. Apparently, even though he knows about my existence and about my hardships AND the fact that the house had ALREADY been PROMISED and WILLED to ME, he, too, encouraged her to instead, will the house to Pete (who had become his fast friend). Gee, thanks, Uncle P. Sour apples – if he couldn’t inherit the fucking house, then, fuck me, too, right?! He did not know that Pete had been given the house until it was a done deal – Grandmother never told him what she was doing until it was too late, because she was afraid it would raise questions – as it would and should have!
So, it was a done deal and Pete owned the house, lot and barn, free and clear. All he has to do is be able to pay utilities and annual taxes, which his welfare check (and weed dealing money) allows him to do.
It was at this convenient point that my mother realized that her ridiculous plan blew way past utter retardation. “Mom”, she said to my grandmother, “What was I thinking? No respectable cabbie is going to drive two elderly women way out into the foothills of the mountains in the middle of nowhere, with no home or bar or business in sight, and just drop them off without a clear destination or at least an explanation of what they are doing. And even if one did, he would have cops and rangers on us in a flash after dropping us off”. So, she cancelled the trip. My grandmother, naturally, had forked over the vast majority of the $750 for the tickets. My mother, who was “handling the transaction” told my grandmother that even though they cancelled their trip in a timely manner, the money was non-refundable. I have no way of knowing for sure what happened, of course, but, you know what? I highly doubt that. I think that money went right into my mother’s pocket… maybe after it was refunded to her. Or maybe she never bought the tickets in the first place… !
My mother then proceeded to carry on with her wretched life per normal, alone at her rented home, while my grandmother was enveloped in the hell of having two screaming, retarded, drooling brats and a large, hairy, filthy man (with whom she was helplessly smitten – ew) invade her home. She claims that he “drove her like a slave,” “making” her cook for them, clean for them, and cater to him. The retarded brats would piss their beds every night so she was washing their sheets and making their beds daily, and making their meals and doing their dishes and picking up their messes all over the house, constantly, endlessly. Pete also moved his dog into her house, which, in addition to the brats, utterly terrorized and alienated her (14 or so) cats, all of whom quickly dispersed (read: vanished permanently). Add to this the endless cacophony that two six year old retarded brats, a dog, and a man would make, and she was trapped in hell. She begged my mother to allow her move in with her, since in her opinion it had been my mother’s stupid, aborted plan that had gotten her into that mess. (Her own decision to GIVE Pete the home that she owned and had already promised and willed to me somehow rendered her faultless… right?) My mother refused to allow Grandmother to move in with her, of course – imagine that? Grandmother was stuck with Pete, and his maniac dog, and his drooling, screaming, idiot spawn.
At right around this exact same time, my life on the West Coast finally collapsed; fell to tatters. It was over. I was sick with a still yet undiagnosed tumor in my neck, and with a mouthful of rotting teeth that weren’t entirely my fault (cleft complications) and a myriad of other health problems. I had lost my job, my friends, my lousy and despised lover, my city and my home. My fight with the frightening mafioso landlord was over. It had been a terrifying ordeal but the relocation check that was mine by law, the one that the entitled asshole dared to have tried to deny me, the one that I had to drag him through City Hall in order to acquire, (in spite of his terrifying mafioso reputation) was finally in my filthy clutches. As much as I resented my mother, and as much as she resented me, it was decided that I would return to this area to live with my mother on an extremely temporary basis, while trying to regroup and to heal and to fix my broken, pathetic life.
I really wanted to keep my 10+ years accumulation of stuff and my two cats, so as a favor to my grandmother, or more like as a “thank you for the free house”, Pete flew to Seattle and I rented a U-Haul and he drove me “home”. (I was sick and I don’t have a license). I hated him, I hated that he owned MY long-promised house. But I never tipped my hand, I never said so much as a word to him about any of it. I still don’t know if the creep ever knew that the place (and the place before it) had been promised to, and willed to, me, for years.
At one point during the (3 day!) long ride “home” with him, John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” came on the radio. We were driving across Montana at the time – big sky country. I was thinking about the lyrics “ain’t that America something to see, baby” and how it seemed apt, at that moment, when he started laughing. He was like “Yeah! Little pink houses, baby! For you and me!” Had I mentioned that my eccentric old granny had immediately painted her new home a shocking raspberry hot pink, effectively alienating the residents of her new town?
Well it was a little pink house for fucking Pete.
Still none in sight for me. So… fuck that song.
At one point, early on in our terrible road trip, this asshole, who was free and clear given my long-promised inheritance, actually threatened to strand me, and my cats, and my loaded U-Haul, on the side of the interstate and to just hitch a ride to the nearest airport and fly home. I didn’t do anything to deserve that! I was not being volatile or argumentative or anything. I was too wrecked. He didn’t follow through with his awful threats, but… well, see this. Not only was he completely illiterate, for real, which made me wonder how he was going to be able to navigate me anywhere, but, he was such a remarkably STUPID fucking fuck that honestly – I swear to God – he did not even know until I met him at the airport that the Washington he came to was Washington State – you know, the one on the WEST Coast! When he agreed to fly to me and drive me home, the numb son of a bitch thought that I was in Washington DC and that he would be driving me from there to our town in a nearby East Coast state! When he found out he was the entire length of the country, and not just a couple of states away from our town, he very nearly blew a gasket. He didn’t figure this out until he was already in Seattle!!! He was apoplectic. How in the fuck was I supposed to respond in the face of his unjustified anger and such asinine, incompetent stupidity?! I was already sickly and traumatized, reeling with loss, and with exhaustion from frantic packing, as well as residual terror due to the wrath my actions had created in the bad mafioso landlord man. I was ill-equipped to deal with any more bullshit, and I was in low-grade terror of him the whole way “home”. Especially through the two nights that I had to share a hotel room with him. (He didn’t do anything to me – probably because I am hideous. Which is ok!)
On one of those two nights, the room we had rented was filled with the thick stench of a horrible air freshener, which makes me very sick. He would not allow me to hang the door and air out the room for even 10 minutes – I tried and he slammed the door shut – screaming that it was “too damn cold” and he was “not about to get sick for my damned ass” – so I suffered miserably that night and even with two layered facemasks on and my head under the blankets as I slept, I’m of course the one who got sick, and my mouth tasted like air freshener, and he was angry and disgusted that I had “snored so thickly all night”. A lot of that could have been avoided if he could have let me air out the fucking room (which I paid for, of course, I paid for everything as the need was mine) for 20 goddamned minutes. The room had a functioning heater and we could have blasted the room hot rather quickly after it had aired out… IF I had been allowed to do that.
God damn him.
We managed to make it “home” without Pete stranding me anywhere. I had been at my mother’s house for mere days – two, at best, when we got a desperate call from Grandmother. Pete was on a screaming, hysterical bender. We could hear him ranting and smashing things in the background. His retarded brats and his dog had a penchant for destroying things, plus, Grandmother , of course, still had herself convinced that Lynn was lurking about, stealing her stuff, even from the new house, miles away. So, while Pete was away collecting me, my grandmother had given my mother multiple bags of her things for my mother to store at her house – things that she didn’t want the dog or the brats destroying, things that she didn’t want Lynn stealing. Nothing mega-valuable, mostly stuff like journals and personal photos and doll house furniture and doilies and antique bed dolls and teddy bears. A nosy neighbor (stuff like this is why I am a recluse and why I hate small towns – and people in general) just had to inform Pete that while he was gone, my grandmother had given “a carload of things” to my mother. The legal papers gave Pete the HOUSE – NOT the house and CONTENTS, which became an issue that I had to go to the lawyer’s office and dig up later, (even though I was so damned tumor-sick at the time), because my mother and grandmother were too goddamned helpless to ever do anything for their miserable selves. They sure could fuck shit up, but they sure as hell could not fix it!
Anyway, that stuff was my grandmother’s stuff – and could Pete just be grateful that – oh my GOD! – an 85 year old woman who had only known him casually for about a year had actually GIVEN him a fucking HOUSE (!!!!) I mean, who does that happen to? (certainly not me). Oh no no, he had to rant and rave about her possesions that had been taken out of the fucking house in his absence, because it was stuff that he wouldn’t get to pick through, sell, gift, or profit off of after her eventual demise. He raged and screamed at her for daring to give my mother bags of her stuff to protect, until she called us whimpering in terror. My mother was a helpless, babbling idiot per usual, so, I called the cops and they removed Grandmother from Pete’s house and brought her to us.
At that point my mother had little recourse other than to let Grandmother move in with us. My grandmother & I lived with my mother for one insufferable, horrible month, during which I was not allowed to take a bath because I was “too fat” and would “break her bathtub pipes”. Seriously! (I was pushing 200 lbs. at the time – not svelte, but certainly not a bathtub-breaker, either.) My mother was a hateful bitch! She advised me to develop an eating disorder that she called “the good ole chew-n-spit”. Kind of like bulimia without the swallowing & barfing. It was December 2010 – the dead of winter – she lived out in the middle of nowhere – I had been gone for 13 years and knew nobody around anymore. If I would dare to even breathe the name of Pete or try to find a solution to the mess that we all found ourselves in, (she wasn’t happy about having us there and we didn’t want to be there), she would threaten to kick me out into the snow in the dead of winter, knowing that we were miles from any town and I had absolutely nowhere to go. It was mere days before Christmas, but it was not a Merry fucking time. As usual, we did not “do” Christmas. At all. My family is such a miserable lot of fucks that holidays – all of them – are non-existent and have been for years. Decades.
While being prohibited to talk about ANYTHING without being threatened, I somehow managed to make the phone calls and get the cab rides needed to get to the lawyers office when we had to provide a state trooper with proof that Pete was only given the HOUSE and not CONTENTS – paperwork we would not have had without my work on the miserable matter… and also had to deal with the police as well since everything (Pete) was so volatile. (There had been a car, too, but my mother sold that to – well, Pete! Super cheap! Imagine that, can ya?! So he really did get damn near EVERYTHING. So, on top of every damned thing else, to get anywhere or do anything I had to fool with the local cab company. Horror!)
This asshole, this Pete… he had refused to allow Grandma to come and get ANY of her stuff from THE HOUSE THAT SHE GAVE HIM when we asked him reasonably, so I had to fuck around and get lawyers and cops involved… once it was all sorted… I have mentioned I knew NOBODY anymore, so I regrettably had to resort to hiring the despised pedo-fucko’s excessively freckled, homely sister to drive her filthy, horse-shit encrusted horse trailer to my grandmother’s – er, Pete’s house in order to rescue one paltry load of her things. I can’t remember the exact amount anymore but she charged us an exorbitant amount of money for the job – hundreds of dollars. Damned bitch! Even though nearly ALL of the contents of the house were lawfully my grandmothers, and we had the goddamn paperwork to prove it, Pete and the rude and volatile police officers accompanying us only “allowed” us ONE shit-encrusted load of grandmother’s things – which was what we furnished our shitty, suffocating duplex apartment with, after we – Grandmother and I – fled the wrath of my endlessly bitching banshee mother and her stinking asbestos cancer-house. Also, we were not given complete access to grandmother’s stuff. Many of the items that she wanted had been moved up to the attic and he would not allow us up there. In spite of the paperwork stating the contents were all hers, the police escorts – who I remember were acting like a real volatile and impatient dicks – allowed Pete to obstruct us from accessing that part of the house – you know, the one that she had GIVEN to him? – and her stuff!!!!
Because she had given some of her own treasured possessions to my mother to remove from the house during his absence, Pete kicked an 85 year old woman out of the house that she had GIVEN him, in spite of a contract that alleged that she could reside with him there for the rest of her days. He kept roughly 80% of her possessions, even though he had only been gifted the house and lot. Not the contents! Many of these items were collectors items (vintage dolls, dollhouse furniture, books, bears) or antiques (furniture). Thousands of dollars worth of absolute crap. Doilies and sewing machines and knick-knacks and china cabinets and bookshelves and Grandpa’s WWII books and his model train collection. Also a record/DVD/8-track/cassette multi-media player and piles of 8-tracks, vinyls and cassettes. Piles of CDs and DVDs. She had dozens of dolls – stupid little porcelain babies and bisque babies and china babies and antique composition babies and oil-cloth babies and several of those stinking, rubbery, powder-scented Baby So Real or Newborn dolls – whatever those hideous, repugnant little things are called. This is just the crap I remember… at any rate he made a real killing.
This stuff all happened months before the diagnosis and removal of my neck tumor. I was very ill. Too ill to fight anything. Tangling with the scary badman landlord in Seattle – and all of the rest of the loss associated to my cancelled life in Seattle – had already taken so much out of me. My mother and grandmother, were, of course, far too pathetic and crazy to even dream of trying to fight anything themselves. My grandmother flat-out refused to see a doctor in order to be declared mentally incompetent, which the DA told us MIGHT be the only thing that would get the house back. She blatantly refused. Refused and fled the whole mess. Left everything behind and to this day I have to hear laments about this lost china doll or that lost rolling pin – stuff that Pete got.
It infuriates me.
With the added oppression of my mothers endless contempt and threats on top of every damned thing else, it’s a miracle I managed to coordinate the rescuing of the single load of grandmother’s stuff, and the acquisition of the shitty apartment that we moved into and have resided miserably in ever since. I wish I had known how to blow the whole mess up into a Google human interest click-bait story or something… got crowd-funded for help to afford and furnish our new dump, or got the gifting of the house to him somehow revoked by the courts or something… but no… I don’t know how to arrange a response like that, so, Pete got damn near everything, and I – we – got very badly fucked.
Picture this. If they had gone through with my mother’s ridiculous plan, not long after my grandfather’s death I would have eventually gotten a phone call that went something like this:
“Your mother? Missing and presumed dead. Not enough yet? Your grandmother – also missing and presumed dead. Is it enough now? No? That house you were told for years you would inherit? Oh that, – that was given to a stranger, somebody you don’t know. Some drug dealer that your horny old grandmother had a sticky crush on for a couple of months.”
This. This when they KNEW that I had been driven out of 3 jobs in 5 years by coworker fragrances, and that I had been rendered unemployable by MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities). This – giving away a $60K long-promised-to-me home to a near stranger – when they KNEW I was hauling a very scary bad man through City Hall in order to get a paltry $3K relocation check that was due to me, by law. This, when they knew I was on the edge of homelessness and had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to go. I was extremely loathe to leave Seattle, my home of 13 years at that point, especially if it were only to return to the place where I had spent my childhood being ostracized, ridiculed and reviled. Had I not figured something out I suppose I would have eventually ended up making my way back East and living with my grandmother in her new house – but that was literally my last resort. I wanted so very desperately to avoid that. 😦
It makes sense that they – my mother and grandmother – must really hate me. My grandmother, who I reside with now, tells me she loves me all the time. But I can’t really buy that. How can I? If she loves me, why did she do that? Why would she give my long-promised inheritance away to some icky man she barely knew, and then not even try to fight it or take it through the courts when he kicked her out of the home that she gave him?!? When I ask her about it she says she gave him the house, was because both her daughter (my mother) and her son (Uncle Pervy) liked Pete and encouraged her to do it, and because she was a bit love-stupid with her crush on him, (ew!) and because she assumed that I would find a way to “make my life work” in Seattle since I hate this state and region so much (plus she thought herself destined to be crow food in a yonder mountain canyon in the not-too-distant future). I tell her – even if I had found a way to “make it work” in Seattle – why wouldn’t I have wanted the house that I had been promised for many years? In this bold new age of the interwebz, I could have sold the home here, from there, and had some money for the VERY first time in my life. Money that I could have bought a home there with… where I wanted to be.
In many ways the West Coast is so much less cruel than the East Coast is… but of course I am remembering pre-Fukushima days.
Why would my mother and my grandmother do that to me? Why do I matter so very little to them? You would think that I must have been the kind of monstrous brat who had hysterical screaming fits or threw ravioli at the wall or smeared shit on pillowcases or tortured the pets. I wasn’t! I was a really decent kid! I had some behavioral issues but they stemmed directly from three things: I was a more traumatized than your average child, due to having had over a dozen surgeries before I was 10 years old, on my cleft lip and palate, and on my ears, (multiple sets of ear tubes) and on my groin (an inguinal hernia). (I have chronic groin pain at the site of the repaired hernia, still, every single day. I have for a very long time now. It’s become routine pain). Due to the harelip I was relentlessly trashed by the kids at school, I was routinely tortured. Plus, my mother and grandmother were crazier than hell, (I figured this out at a fairly young age, actually), my older sister was an absolute bitch, and my grandfather had (completely justifiable) anger management issues. So – I experienced some emotional disturbances and I acted out sometimes. Surprise, surprise.
I am deviating from the title of this rant, but, writing the part above about the lost possibility of maybe having had some money for the very first time in my indigent existence reminded me of one other time that my grandmother burned me. She screwed me over real good. Maybe I don’t have the right to feel this way, but, given what I went through at my Aunt Francie’s hand, I do. I feel what I feel and I feel justified in feeling it.
When my Aunt Francie died in 2002, she shockingly and unexpectedly left a life insurance policy of 100K (!!!!) to my grandmother. She did not leave the money to either one of her children, my cousins Jeni and Chet. She left no instructions about how she wished for the money to be used or distributed. My grandmother was the sole beneficiary.My grandmother purports to have had no idea about the policy’s existence until after Aunt Francie was dead. Too bad Grandfather had not been the beneficiary, at least then the money would have been handled responsibly. What my grandmother did was, she gave my miserable mother $5K, off the books of course, my mom was on disability and having that much cash while receiving food stamps and disability is a no-no, but of course she wasn’t saying a word about that shit to anybody when it came in the form of cold, hard, untraceable cash. My grandmother then put $30K into the partial renovation and re-roofing of the original old home (which I had long been promised). She kept $5K in their bank, and then – despite my grandfather’s protests and obvious dismay – (he was still alive at that time, obviously), she split the remaining $60K into two $30K checks and sent them to Jeni and Chet. Seriously! She did not even know them, they resided in another part of the country, and they had not even sent her a short “dear Grandma” letter or even so much as a phone call in well over a decade at that point. She just figured, in that messed up head of hers, “it’s what Francie would have wanted”. There was a pitiful bit of happy-crappy when she asked Jeni for Chet’s address… that’s how estranged they were, she hadn’t talked to the dude in years… she didn’t even have his phone number or address. Well, Jeni (who she had also not spoken to in years) said “just send me Chet’s money and I’ll send it to him”. Right. Grandma did not buy into that and held out for Chet’s address, but she sent the greedy little bitch $30K even after she tried to scam her like that. WTF??! And me? Me, her supposed “favorite granddaughter”, who was at the time, living in Seattle and pulling off 60 hour weeks between my two miserable part-time retail/cashier jobs and a half-assed business course at that shitty, run-down vocational school up on 23rd and Jackson – never mind the endless, miserable metro bus commutes in between all that?! Me, who she knew very well had suffered grievously at Francie’s wicked hand, and yet still managed to hold out for my high school diploma as a HOMELESS runaway, due to Aunt Francie’s abuse?!! So… could Grandma have maybe kicked me so much as a paltry few hundred dollars of that fat $100K?
Oh no. Of course not. Instead, she took it upon herself to send $60K (!!!!) of this windfall to two people she had not talked to in many years… and those checks didn’t open any wonderful new paths of communication, either. Jeni and Chet each cashed their pretty checks and proceeded to never talk to her again. Ever.
I’m not money-grubbin’ here. My laments are legit. I have known welfare, poverty and even homelessness. I never should have been told for years that I was going to inherit the house, if she was just going to go batshit crazy and give it away like that. I also believe that after the way Francie beat me and broke my face, and drove me to become a homeless runaway before I was even out of high school, I should have been due a tidy chunk of that $100K as well, seeing as how my grandmother was oh! so very eager to throw such a large percentile of it away.
All of this has been horrible. Horrible and surreal.