dealing with adult siblings


Monday Monday

Image by soonerpa via Flickr

And it’s totally wrong. A Sunday should never feel like the beginning of the week even if technically it is.

The phone rang at eight this morning. I’ll give CB props from not calling an hour earlier when his pothead downstairs neighbor woke him with that phlegm soaked hack that makes smokers of any ilk so endearing. Off-hand I can’t recall too many other sounds as unsettling and gag-reflex triggering as someone whose lungs have been used to filter all manner of toxic substance, so while I sympathize with little brother, he could have waited until lunch.

Sunday is the only day of the week I really sleep in. Saturday is soccer practice, and I have to be up by 8:30 at the latest – which still feels like sleeping in after a week of getting up at quarter to seven. I look forward to banking zzzz’s on Sunday. Rob and I even treat ourselves to a longer dvd on Saturday night because Dee has long since been trained to fend for herself on a weekend morning and Sunday just shouldn’t be a “should” or “have to” day.

So I am up, barely, and listening to CB’s recitation of a list of things that are currently causing him stress. I will grant him the right to feel stressed. Losing his apartment and job when he has kids to take care of and in one of the worst job markets of our lives is no joke.

It could have waited another hour … or two. Just saying.

Calming people down and on my feet damage control/spin seems to be my prime directive for the moment. I am good at it. No doubt about that. Twenty years as a public school teacher trained me well. It gets old though. Reminds me of the scene in Jesus Christ Superstar where Christ is being swarmed by the lepers, who are symbolic of the needy and the not able to think for themselves, and he finally breaks down and screams at them, “Heal yourselves!”

Probably I am just feeling that sleep deprivation but working miracles is difficult enough when I am within hug distance but across the phone lines, the degree of difficulty ratchets up.

He did apologize. Admitted that he was overwhelmed and slipped up. I appreciated his honesty and owning it. Not everyone will.

Things are slightly more under control. I have N1 fact-finding this week and with luck by mid-week, there will be solid information on which to formulate Plan … uh … might be D or E by now.

DNOS continues to chuckle and offer warnings so dire I have to hold the phone a full arm’s length from my ear to avoid hearing loss, but I am not willing to write this venture off. N1 is stepping up every time he is asked and CB and xSIL appear to be on the same page – more or less. We’ll call that good.

Tomorrow is actual Monday. The neighbor will rev up the yellow bus in her backyard at some point after 6 AM. Rob’s alarm will go off at 6:30 and by the time mine goes off at 6:45, we might be able to open our eyes to face another week.


Totally Saturday

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It was just a day today. A Saturday. Which means I semi-slept in, took Dee to soccer practice and hit the track while she was on the field with her friends and then came home to hibernate.

Hibernation is necessary on days when it is -21C, but more so today because my ears are enduring slight flu-related complications and sore ears and cold weather are a bad combo. I also needed to spend a bit of time organizing the new smart phone. It’s so small, and yet it’s practically like staffing a small business office with all the different things that need to be set up, activated, loaded, transferred and learned. I am pleased to report, however,  that texting is not the heinous chore I feared it would be.

I practiced my one finger communication skills on N1 today, and I pleased to report that CB seems to have recovered his balance a bit. xSIL helped him get a new apartment, so I am not worried about either of them having to head to the nearest Occupy campsite although CB half-joked that he might. Knock wood for the moment.

And the kitchen tile is officially grouted and awaiting sealer. With good luck, the cabinet guy should be out for adjustments and toe-kicks before the week is over.

Bad news is that Texas has reared her ugly face again and after listening to the Families First GOP debate this afternoon, I am less fond of my native state – and the other 49  – than ever. I won’t recount the whole awful thing but to say that anyone who advocates allowing babies to be born to live short, painful lives destined for early death is too much of a sadist to be allowed in public office.

Oh, and Ron Paul is the most insufferable man I think I have ever had to listen to.

But it was just a day here. A Saturday to be precise.


Anonymous Woman

Anonymous via Wikipedia

Now that many, many members of my family – immediate, extended and rarely interacted with – are reading my blog, writing about what is going on in my life boils down to a choice between discretion and kiss my ass, go write your own blog if you are feeling misunderstood.

Things in Cali are a mixed bag. After literally weeks of N1 not buying into the idea that he was there to explore new horizons and possibilities (key words that really mean “go to college and get a job”), he finally fell in love with The Bay Area and began making concrete plans. Naturally this was a good time for CB and xSIL to have one of their cyclical love/hate, emphasis on “hate”, fests.

Anyone who’s ever seen them together, even at the best of times, says the same thing about them.

“They just cannot be in the same room together.”

But most meant it in a way that implies that these two don’t have feelings for each other and shouldn’t have hooked up in the first place. What strikes me about them – always has – is how little they know of each other or want to know. They have their ideals and are locked in a struggle to cajole the potential out of each other rather than just except the other one for who he or she is.

They’ll never be happy.

What set off the latest row is a long time in the making and precedes N1’s arrival on the scene, but his moving in probably sped things up because it prompted CB to make a serious attempt and finally giving up drinking for good.

xSIL will have none of it and true to their volatile relationship, she decided the best way to punish him was to get him fired and evicted.

She can do that? It does sound a bit Machiavellian, but her brother-in-law owns the apartment complex CB works at and lives in. Her sister rules the BIL like he was her prison bitch. It’s no wonder they don’t have kids because that guy has no balls. Oh, and did I mention that she is the complex’s manager?

I am never certain that xSIL realizes how her periodically blowing CB out of the water is like cutting off her own nose to spite her face, but as of early this afternoon, CB had abandoned sobriety, refused to discuss his wagon tumble with me when I called, and caused N1 to flee to the public library.

All N1’s plans are upended. CB has no job. The BIL knows perfectly well what’s up but refused to discuss it with CB. He got a 30 day eviction notice, and so he and N1 are out on the streets in 25 days.

“CB says he’s not leaving,” N1 told me. “He says they can throw him out.”

And haul him off to jail too , I thought, because that’s the one thing xSIL hasn’t resorted to – yet. But if I know her at all, she will.  She works for the county at the court-house as an interpreter.  She’s sweet-talked this and that law enforcement officer into doing her dirty work for her before, and I warned N1 to not cross her because she’d gleefully toss him under the correctional facility bus too*.

I try to be nice to xSIL, which DNOS feels is a waste of one’s precious life force, but I don’t dislike her.  xSIL is who she is. Just as CB is who he is. The fact that I accept who they are, however, doesn’t mean that I approve of the stupid and destructive things they sometimes do. They have kids. Acting like extras on Teen Mom or Jersey Shore is a luxury that grown ups with responsibilities, and little lives dependent on them, can’t afford.

I have zero idea how this will play out. My main concern at the moment is N1. He is still seventeen. He has no driver’s license. He can’t sign a lease to rent a place of his own, but even if he could, he hasn’t got more than a $100 in the bank.

Even if I could talk him into leaving – he won’t by the way, he wants to go to school in January and he’s been offered a job at a car dealership when he turns 18 in February – there is the question of purchasing a ticket without computer access and getting him to the airport now that xSIL has banned CB from using her car.

I’m a little annoyed with both CB for deciding to have a breakdown right now instead of manning up a bit, sticking with AA, and with xSIL for putting these events in motion without thinking the consequences through for all parties involved. If I have to fly to San Francisco to straighten things out for N1, I will cross the “annoyed” line and land squarely in “hell hath no fury” territory, but I am hopeful it won’t come to that.

Why?

Because N1 sounded okay today when I spoke to him. We talked about the steps he needs to take and I think there is an outside chance he might be able to do what he needs to in order to get things lined up. Yeah, there is December to deal with and we’ll cross that bridge then, but perhaps CB will rally and xSIL will calm down. Nothing really is out of the realm of possibility.

It’s sad because I spent over an hour talking with CB yesterday morning and he was upset but seemed focused on taking steps to get himself employed and housed again. His daughters and N1 were his motivation. As I have said before, whatever else his faults, he loves his kids and his family.

DNOS will chortle. She thought the whole idea of N1 going out to stay with CB was a disaster movie in the making, and Mom is going to have a small fit when she discovers what has occurred.  She was making plans to go out there, but a bulldozer won’t push her in the direction of California now.

It’s 10:17 P.M. MT and there haven’t been any frantic Facebook messages or phone calls. Of course, if they are in jail, it will be a while before I hear about it. That’s not pessimism. I am a realist. I look and hope for the best but am always aware that just about anything can head to hell equipped with a sturdy hand-basket at any moment.

I’ll keep you posted.

*My family is trailer park in Arkansas effed up sometimes and I can’t even use the “maybe I’m adopted” excuse – because we all are. There is no excuse.