Monday, July 25, 2011

Shopping carts and life on the edge - Acceptance

I am in charge of my cousins trust because she is somewhat disabled emotionally. She gets a check twice a month and by the time the day ends she has nothing left.

I have her rent an utilities paid directly so all that is left is food and cable. She receives enough money to live comfortably for the rest of her life but she lives like she was homeless yesterday.

This time last year I helped her to find a new apartment. She was living in a house in a rough part of town. Her husband was in jail and she couldn't keep the place up. I with my good intentions found her an apartment with all the amenities for less than what she was paying. The first visit she had put blankets over all the windows and didn't want to sleep in her new bed.

It all went down hill from there. The day after her check arrived she would be broke and proceeded to beg the neighbors for money. Bottom line it has been a year and they ask her to move.

Today was the last day she had to get out. When I went by her old place today she was cleaning and in her apartment she had three shopping carts. She hadn't plan to even clean it until I called her this morning. The apartment is destroyed and they will bill her for damages.

I found her a new home that caters to the odd and down trodden. It is a small complex and I didn't have to co-sign the lease. She has been there a couple of weeks and has made new friends and fed most of the complex. She fits in better.

I tried to get her to move there the first time but she was excited about the other place. With this place the grocery store is across the street, it is on a bus line and there is a church near by.

You have to work with what you got. Her parents were millionaires but her mother, my aunt, was a control freak and demanded perfection. She was adopted and already had emotional issues and then placed in a home with more problems. Her brother had more potential but couldn't take the pressure either and became an alcoholic.

She was on the streets a lot in her life and prefered that to living at home. She is 55 now and seems pretty happy with the way things are.

I don't blame my aunt her life was no picnic either and she never got past her own pain. She did what she thought was best but it wasn't that great for anyone else in her life.

Her kids at least will never have to live on the streets even if that is where they are the most comfortable.


  1. Thanks for your post. I have a friend who is falling off the grid and into
    a desperate situation. She is an Alanon case that doesn't want to work a program. I watch from a distance as her life unravels. She is not a drinker, or a drug user but has the Alanon disease bad. Expecting others to take care of her and having a resentment when they don't is toxic to life. I am a caretaker at my own expense....Today I try and listen with compassion and care without sacrificing my own well being.
    I am grateful I have a program to nurture me when times are tough.

  2. When I worked for the public fiduciary I learned about guardian and conservator-ship (taking care of other people and their money). These people have mental or physical disabilities, some were disabled because of alcoholism or their drug addiction. One thing this office taught me: EVERYBODY is treated with dignity and respect, which I'm sure you understand and do well. I applaud you and the great job you are endeavoring to do. It's physically hard, emotionally difficult, time consuming, and the most loving thing that can be done for someone else who is incapable of taking care of themselves. Love you, my friend. Huge hug.

  3. I am glad that she has a solution that seems to work for her. Getting just basic needs met is sometimes enough.