How?

“We’re unable to approve your loan right now but we appreciate the opportunity.”

I mumble a thank you and hang up. I sit on my bed and stare out the window at the gray sky.

The guaranteed approval promise is bullshit and I should’ve figured that they’d say no. I have no FICO and no active credit accounts. My debt is under $1,200, mostly medical bills. And my disability income is pitiful.

When you spend almost a decade being treated like and then believing that you’re a waste of a human being, you lose not only your sense of identity but also your creditworthiness.

I go downstairs and tell my daughter, who is busy cleaning out the closet under the stairs, the bad news.

“I’m sorry, mom.”

I shrug and fake my famous I don’t give a fuck smile. I hate her to see me when I get upset, especially when it’s about money.

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“Once we get moved into the new house, I’m going to have to find a part-time job. I’m really getting sick of being so broke.”

She stops what she’s doing and stares at me with a worried look on her face.

“How?”

So simple, just one word.

How can I work when some days I can’t wake up or think straight?

How can I work when I can’t be on my feet for long without needing to sit down to rest?

How can I work when I have a debilitating disease such as fibromyalgia?

“I don’t know. But I have to try.”

She sighs and goes back to what she was doing. I sit on my chair and silently watch her.

Her doctor thinks that she might also have fibromyalgia but B doesn’t want to find out for sure.

Not yet.

Never take your good health for granted.

Both My Privilege and Heartache

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As excited as I am about moving, I find myself missing my mom now more than I ever dreamed was possible.

Since my mom’s death, my relationship with my daughter has strengthened. Also, my brother and I are closer than we’ve been in many years.

Since we were mere kids, really.

(Sometimes shared grief pulls people together; sometimes, it pulls them apart.)

I am thankful but they both work long hours and are busy with their own lives. My brother has a family of his own, so I can’t be constantly messaging him with every little fart that happens in my world.

I scramble to find somebody to tell the highs and lows to, besides my boyfriend. Nobody is able to fill in the empty hole in my heart. Like everyone else, he’s often distracted by his own issues (and smartphone.)

I sit for long periods of time and contemplate who I should try to reach out to.

Who will give me their uninterrupted attention?

Those last few months of her life, when she became so ill that she couldn’t even leave the couch, she was often grumpy (shit, if I had suffered as she had, I’d have been grumpy as fuck too) but she was thereĀ with her unconditional love.

I have yearned for a father figure ever since my sweet, hilarious Uncle Jerry moved farther from me and then sadly passed away back in the early 2000’s. He stepped up to the plate after my dad died in 1986.

It’s occurred to me recently that I’ll never be able to replace her, although nobody could ever come close anyway.

But despite that knowledge, am I now yearning for a mother figure?

For fuck’s sake, I AM a mother. I’m an old lady now, not some young woman, like my daughter.

It’s both my privilege and heartache to want both of my parents back with their beams of love to light up my life again.

That She Is Now Me

I have a few goals for the year 2020 (which I am saddened isn’t anything like The Jetson’s as I had imagined it would be as a kid. )

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No robot maids or tiny spaceships replacing cars. I have a dog named Maya, not Astro. But that’s okay, perhaps 2040 will see all of that come to fruition and if God is willing, then I’ll be 65 and taking my used space-mobile to the doctors instead of my used Toyota.

I like things simple anyway.

Oh yes, my goals.

  1. I’m going to try to write (honestly again) more often simply because I miss it and it’s good for my mental health.
  2. I’m going to be a bit more selfish but in the nicest way possible because that’s just the way I roll.
  3. I am going to finally live my own life and do what I want to do. (Nude beach here I come!) Kidding!
  4. I am putting my condo on the market and moving, no matter what others think or say. I need to wipe the slate clean and start over somewhere new. A place that doesn’t hold any memories of asshat and where the condo association can’t bully me anymore.
  5. I’m going to take therapy as seriously as a gout attack. I have some major healing to do, yo.

As an aside with the condo and putting it up for sale:

Once the lien was removed back in March (after a long ass 5-year payment plan to get caught up from when I first got sick and couldn’t work) I was all pumped because that meant that nothing could stop me anymore from getting the hell outta here.

Well, unless you count an extremely ill mother who wasn’t so nice to me when I told her about my plans.

It’s taken me months of anguish and questioning myself to make my final decision, although the condo association sort of made the process easier for me by threatening to take away my beloved Maya back in November.

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Look at the love in her eyes.

Um, no. She isn’t vicious, you fucking assholes. She barks. Also, she is not a Pit Bull as the letter said, she’s an American Bulldog. She is my baby girl and it’ll be over my dead body that they’ll remove her from me.

So now I have her on a choke chain and a thick, expensive leash. Since I’m both of my pup’s main caretakers (the kid is rarely home) you can imagine how difficult this is for my chronic pain.

In and out. Stand there, watch them sniff the ground. It’s cold outside, hurry up. This happens every 2-3 hours and IT BLOWS.

I dream of having a fenced-in yard where they can run free and take a poo far away from my nostrils. I will happily cry when that day comes if God is willing.

My mom’s last say on the idea was that I’d be stupid to sell the condo and move. I had it made in the shade here.

Ouch. That really hurt but I was totally used to it, especially the last couple of years of her life.

Well, I suppose now I’m willing and not as scared to risk being a total dumbass. I don’t see why I should stay stuck in a place that feels constricting and where I’m not comfortable.

This isn’t my home. It was my prison for years and I loathe being here. I’m not being dramatic. It doesn’t even matter if I had the money to spruce the place up and bring it into the 21st century, fix my furnace and having a new central air unit installed.

Nor will any amount of sage or paint do the trick.

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I’m sorry mom. I love and miss you terribly but I need to do this for my own well-being. If the whole enchilada blows up in my face, then so be it.

I own the condo, the deed is solely in my name. The ex-hubby signed off on it years ago after he got into a car accident, in which he ended up being sued for $20,000.00. Even so, he had no interest in fighting me for his cut at the divorce hearing. All he wanted was Maya and boy did that piss off the female judge.

Well, that and bringing his fiance with him, but that just shows his lack of class and morals.

She’s my dog, you pansy-ass bitch of a sad excuse for a man.

Anyway, I’m tired of listening to the voice in my head that whispers, no Mer, you can’t do that.

Everybody else can, but you’re the exception to the rule.

I’ve been practicing so hard, telling that low murmur to stifle itself.

I can start over, I can have a redo. I will never get better in the house where I got sick. Why should I have to continue to feel imprisoned and left with the residue of an abusive marriage when I have the opportunity for something brand new?

Because it’s the safest thing to do, that was my ma’s angle. She was always trying to protect me and often went overboard with it. I feel as though she viewed me as quite delicate and not able to make logical, adult decisions.

But I don’t want to play it safe anymore, at least not when it comes to this. Like the Dixie Chicks sang:

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

That she is now me.