I’ve been up all night dealing with a very stressful, emotional and frustrating situation here in my home. Let me start by telling you all that I am not good at confrontation. There’s history with me and confrontation…history that goes all the way back to early childhood if I am truthful, which I always aim to be!
I don’t believe that anyone likes confrontation, when you must directly deal with a person verbally, in person, about a subject or issue that you most likely disagree on or one of you has a problem with. For instance, when I was a kid and I did something out of line I knew that I would have to face my father, a former US Marine and police officer. Those were my first dealings with confrontation. I generally lost and the lectures could be brutal.
When I moved out of my parents’ house at 18, a week after graduation, to move in with my then “boyfriend” you KNOW that caused some serious ill feelings. I was raised old-school. No sex before marriage. No living together before marriage. Etc. I was starting to grow angry with people by this point and I was speaking my mind; fighting back.
Then I started to drink at 19…I would get into arguments, fist-fights and verbal boxing matches; all just various forms of human confrontation.
I out grew the rowdiness of my early 20’s after a few years. I quit drinking (I was one who did not NEED alcohol, it just made me mean and into a total asshole at times). When I quit drinking at 32 I got into counselling, talk therapy on a weekly basis. My temper got much better as I learned the reasons behind some of my anger with the world and with certain people in my sphere. I learned to use tools of conversation, discussion, cooperation and compromise. I became a MUCH better person and learned how to deal with people in a much more mature and civil way. Still, I did not like confrontation and would avoid it if possible.
I spent the last 2-3 days in my room at my home with the door closed. I came out to eat, us the bathroom and tend the dogs. They stayed with me, of course. They wouldn’t have it any other way. I needed to think. I needed to be alone. I had to deal with my best friend about her plan going forward now that she has had her knee replaced and has gotten on disability so she has an income. She’s been staying with me for months, and prior to her staying here I was doing many things to help her survive without an income. I was happy to do it as she is my best friend. I let her stay here, with her cat, believing at first that it was to help her through a bad spot. It started as a temporary thing. Her plan was to go to rehab and then move in with her son. That never materialized.
She had her knee replaced a month ago. She had been dealing with not being able to use it for years, and then in November 2018 she ended up in the hospital for about 6 weeks with a major infection in the knee area that ate 2 inches of her shin bone, the knee (what was left of it by then) and did lots of damage. The infection was so serious that she had to be hospitalized and IVed with heavy-duty antibiotics. When she got out of the hospital I brought her here because she could not navigate stairs at her own house, had no heat, no running water and was on borrowed time before the electric got cut off. The house was also in default, so it wasn’t going to be hers much longer. Thus, I didn’t mind having her here; taking care of her and helping her through the recovery.
I helped her apply for disability and insurance. Finally a month ago she had the bad knee replaced with a titanium one, and rods inserted in both the shin bone and the thigh bone to pull it all together. It was a pretty successful surgery and she’s healing well. She’s not doing her physical therapy though, which aggravates the hell out of me. Her knee won’t last long or work very well without the therapy. She’s not making a good choice by forgoing it.
So, I’ve been at this for about a year now. And lately it’s been on my mind that she really needs to find a permanent place to live. Rent a room from someone in town or something. She really only needs a room as that’s where she spends 90% of her time. A room in a house with access to the bathroom and kitchen. That would be perfect for her and easy enough to find. But I doubt she will even look for one.
Tonight she got on me asking why I was in my room and so quiet. I had wanted to wait to sit down with her and have a nice conversation; explain to her what I was feeling and what I needed and what I expected from her. Finally , I told her. I need to get my space back and she needs to find a permanent place to live. Sleeping on the couch in my back sunroom just is not a permanent thing and was never intended to be from the beginning.
We get along great. I’ve loved having her here and loved helping her out. I love her cat. It’s been very nice. It’s just that I don’t want it to be permanent. She needs to get out on her own and get back to taking care of herself. She needs to find a room, get a used car, take care of her outstanding business and get back to living her own life. She lived alone for years in her big old house, right up until the infection in her knee where she had to be hospitalized. She couldn’t go back to that house then because of the lacking facilities. And I didn’t mind helping her out; best friends DO that kind of stuff.
I am very frustrated with how it went. She didn’t take it well. Didn’t even let me finish talking to her. All she heard was “move” and she shut down completely. Wouldn’t have a rational conversation with me about it. Wouldn’t let me fully explain or tell her my ideas of a plan to help her get this done. She raged and cried. Then she flipped me off and told me I wasn’t her mother. I didn’t understand and I got ANGRY at that point; all civil conversation, negotiation and discussion went up in smoke at that moment. Our voices were both raised and we were both frustrated and angry with one another. It was obvious that we had very different visions of the future.
Because she IS my bestie and I love her like a very close sister, I do not relish the idea of her cutting me out of her life over this. I do not see this as so drastic that we have to remain angry and not speak to each other ever again, resulting in the death of our close bond and wonderful friendship. I understand that she wants to continue to live here. I gave her an option of renting my spare room from me, but she insists that she can’t possibly handle paying that much rent. I won’t even go into the amount, just let me say it’s everything except food, personal toiletries, and cell phone costs…and it’s very reasonable. I know what she will start receiving in SSDI benefits and I know it’s completely do-able, leaving her plenty of cash for incidentals over the month. Hell, I do it on LESS than what she gets! You just have to be creative, smart and active in making it happen for yourself. Hell, I was making it happen for BOTH of us for a LONG ASS TIME! Give me a break, she could easily make it work if she just put her mind into it and TRIED or even made the CHOICE to TRY and COMMIT herself to DOING IT for HERSELF! I have all the confidence in her that she CAN do this, she just has to WANT to do it. Plain and simple.
I wanted to sit down -back hiding in my room – and write about this immediately. I had to get it out of my head and make sure I am not being unreasonable. I suggested she take the next SIX weeks to pull everything together – plent of time for anyone! And I also offered my assistance with anything I could help with during her search for the right arrangement.
She didn’t want to hear any of it. Stubborn. Irrational. Stupid. That’s how she’s acting currently. I do hope she will think about this and adopt a better, more winning attitude. This isn’t the end of the world, it’s just a change that has to happen in her life. I should have thought the whole thing through and made sure she understood that I didn’t want this to be an on-going thing. I want my zen room back. I want my privacy back and I want my bestie to visit and hangout like we used to – each living in our own places. Hind-sight is 20/20 they say. I’m sorry it ended up in a battle. I hope we can discuss it civilly at some point. Of course, she says she’s moving out immediately; going to Crossroads, the homeless shelter…maybe she said that just to evoke some pity, maybe she’s serious. Its a damned shame if she is serious. She’s better than this, she’s smart and resourceful and can easily deal with this if she’ll just put herself out there and DO IT. No one can do this for her. Time to get back on her own, like we all strive to be; self-sufficient and proud.
Anyway, that was my night. I hated it. I wish I had waited like I planned, but she badgered me about it and I had to tell her my request tonight. I guess we will see what happens now. I want the best for her. I hope she makes good, solid decisions for herself As she said, I’m NOT her mother, son, or wife. And she’s not any of those things to me. While I felt bad that her family wouldn’t help her out with a place to live, so I stepped in, but I did my part. I did all I could do for her and now it’s time for her to get back out there and reclaim her life. I know she can do it. I wish her the very best and I will be here if she wants to talk, wants my help with moving or wants any advice about anything I can assist with now.
Some days (and nights) just don’t pan out like you expect them to. This was one of them.
I need some SLEEP and to collect my thoughts. I might even call my therapist and make an appointment. I need a mental tune up after last night. Really bad.
Hope you are all doing well! Peace!!! ~MB