I try very hard to be the happiest pessimist on the planet. I don’t even like to refer to myself as a pessimist, I am a realist. I try to approach anything and everything with a sense of humor, because almost anything can be funny. My family’s current situation is making it very hard to find the funny. And it is cramping my style.
I can’t say we have ever had an easy time, life has always seemed to be a struggle, but if I look back now at things that went on and what we are going through now, this is so much harder.
My husband and I live on Long Island. I have lived her all my life, my husband is from Upstate, New York. Work has not been as steady as we really need for my husband, which is nothing new. As a union construction worker, he has always been lucky if he got six months on a year, but he has always had side work. That is no longer the case. And now we have three kids, two of which have to stay in daycare two days a week, because you never know when he will be called back to work, so we can’t lose the spot. He’s been out of work for 14 months. In addition, we got word last year that the co-op board in the building where we have lived for the past eight years was not renewing our lease when it expires at the end of May. Due to Hurricane Sandy, apartments in a desirable area are very limited. Then, to add insult to injury, three weeks after Christmas, the sewer main for the building backed up into our apartment. See, nothing funny there. I mean except for my ten-year old standing on the kitchen table screaming, “Are we going to drown” while my three-year old threw everything he could find in the doo doo water that was rushing through our house. We were displaced and lost the majority of our furnishings….and our landlord did nothing to clean up the mess. NOTHING. We have no choice but to live here, so I packed up my three kids and moved out to my parent’s house two hours away for over a week and commuted with my oldest son for four hours everyday so I could go to work and he could go to school while my husband gutted the apartment and cleaned it appropriately and replaced the floors. Only for us to get an eviction notice. O.K., there is absolutely nothing funny about that, sorry, can’t find the humor there. The plumbing problems continue in the apartment and they continue not to fix them because, I am assuming, it will just get us out sooner. Except I can’t get out sooner because no one will rent a two bedroom to a family of five. I could get an apartment if I had three dogs and a miniature horse, but not with my three precious babies. The bedroom is out of the question because they want $2500.00 a month not including utilities. And my oldest son is worried about where he will go to school and will he see his friends and will he make new friends and it is really hard being the new kid. Last night he actually asked me if I could make an appointment for him to see a psychiatrist. He said his anxiety is getting out of control and sometimes in school his stomach hurts and he gets really nervous and he feels like he can’t breathe. I know what that sounds like. How not funny is that? My nine-year old is having anxiety attacks. Even if he is dramatic and worries about everything and it isn’t that serious, that is how he feels. His perception of what is going on is that terrible.
I keep hearing that I have to up my budget and look for a three bedroom. I get an attitude about having three kids. Do I really have to tell every potential landlord and realtor that Liam was planned but it took six years to have another baby after three miscarriages and fertility drugs and genetic counseling and I really didn’t think I would have another one without assistance even though I had a fourth miscarriage after Quinnie, but I smoked a doobie one night, thought it would be a good way to relax and wouldn’t you know it, Sour Diesel is a fertility drug and AvaRose was conceived? Really? Because I am a super private person and I don’t want to have to tell my whole baby journey with every snobby asshole on the south shore that is pushing overpriced real estate in an area that was totally underwater a few months ago.
So here I sit, searching every frigging website on earth, scouring the apartment listings, wondering where the hell we are going to end up, feeling like poor white trash, which is killing me also, and not being poor enough to qualify for any kind of assistance, not that I really want that, but I am starting to get way nervous. I am trying so hard to be a good girl and not lose faith. I understand that God has a plan for all of us. There is a lesson in here for me somewhere. But ok, what’s your point up there? How much more shit (please don’t take that literally, Jesus) am I going to be dealt before things start looking up for us. My husband and I are good people (ok he is, I don’t do anything bad, but I don’t do anything good either). We love our kids. I am feeling terrible that I am putting them through this, not that they know what is going on, but my kids deserve so much better than this. It is so unfair.
For the first time in my life, I am considering looking out-of-state to live. We are not making it here. I would hate to leave. It is all I have ever known. The littles will be out of daycare in two years, but I don’t know if I can hang on that much longer. Heck, I don’t know where I am going to be in a month and a half. I have never been so terrified in my life and I have never been so not funny. I hate being not funny. I hate that these shitty people in this building are going to get away with this. I hate that my husband and I are at each other’s throats and in a place that is totally unfamiliar to us in our relationship. I would like to say things can only get better from here, but honestly, I don’t want to issue that challenge out loud to God. I am afraid of what he will do to prove me wrong. I hope he finally decides to smile on us. Not for me and my ball and chain, but for those three precious angels that I love so much and that I am responsible for. Those three precious babies that I love more than Ben and Jerry’s that think I have all the answers all the time. Please God, I am not coming up with an answer this time. I am trying and I am trying to stay positive and not let on that I am worried or terrified and angry and stressed, but I am cracking. Something has to give here. I don’t know what that something is. I can’t believe there isn’t some slimy slumlord that won’t take my money for two years just so my son can stay in either his current school district or the one right next to us. Unbelievable.
So this is the hand I am currently having to play. Looking for a place, going to Landlord/Tenant court, worrying about Liam and his brother and sister. Worrying about my marriage and if it is going to survive this emotional upheaval. God Help Us All.