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Monday, August 26, 2013

I have been under so much stress lately, and it's affecting my eating a lot. It's late afternoon and evenings that I struggle. One of my downfalls is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Why is that such a comfort food? I don't eat just one of them either. Or peanut butter and jelly on tortilla. Anyway, I've got to stop this.
I've had two daughters and their kids living with me for a long time. Younger one has a lot of health issues, including fibromyalgia and seizures. The older one just needs to get her life together and get a job and keep it. She used to be so responsible but the past couple of years she's just fallen apart. Lots of issues in her life and I won't go into them. At first I thought she'd just reached a burn out period, which I could understand. But it's gone on too long. And she had traffic tickets in the town she used to live in, about 2 hours away. About a year and a half ago she was arrested because she had never paid those tickets, and then she worked out a plan with the judge to pay a small amount every month. She never followed though. 3 1/2 weeks ago she was picked up here again for those same tickets. She's been in the local jail, waiting for the city she has the tickets in to come get her. I think she has a few more days and if they don't come get her the local jail sets her free. Frankly, I'm hoping they come and get her and she has to serve the whole time the judge sets that would pay off the tickets. I don't have the money to get her out and pay the tickets, and if I did I wouldn't do it. She doesn't learn anything that way. And I don't want her back here. But in the meantime, I have her 3 kids, ages 8, 10, and 14. I would be willing to keep the kids if she gets out until she gets on her feet. When she's here, she doesn't do much, when she used to be so busy all the time cleaning and cooking and doing other things. But the last number of months she's hasn't been helpful. There's just so much going on. I don't want to be raising kids at my age again. I'm 58 and want to be doing other things with my time and money. But we do what we have to do and my grandkids are so important to me that I will do what I have to do. I've been half raising them anyway. When I put the 2 younger ones in the elementary school the school counselor said there was no problem with me registering them without their parent because they already knew I'd been a primary parent figure in my grandkids lives for a long time because of the times I was there for one reason or another. That really made me think about my responsibilities to them to be a "parent" when their mother isn't. Their dad has not been in the picture for the past year and a half because he got himself into a lot of trouble. Anyway, I'm rambling on here. I applied for benefits like Medicaid and cash assistance for them, because as a non-parent family member raising them I can get some assistance for them. It's not based on my income. I have a pretty decent paying job for our area, but still supporting all these people has been so hard and caused a lot of money issues. Day to day things and then buying school clothes and school supplies for these 3 and the other granddaughter from my younger daughter who has been too sick to work.
This is a very personal pouring out of my stress. I don't talk about some of this to anyone. I smile and keep trying to keep it all together. I pray and try to trust God to provide. But still the stress of knowing that when she does get out I'm going to have to confront her and tell her I can't have her here anymore (landlady doesn't want her here either) and fighting for the kids to stay here until she has a job and a stable place for them. She's going to be mad when she finds out that I've applied for the assistance because then Child Support Division will go after her for the reimbursement. The two younger ones lived with their dad's brother for a while and she owes child support for the assistance he got during that time. Their dad does too. But I have to do what I have to do for us. I love my daughter so much, but I can't take care of her anymore.
Okay, so I've poured out my stress today. I'll keep believing that God will take care of us, as He has, and that He will give me the strength to do what I need to do in everything. I need to get back on track with taking care of myself to do this too. Stress is making me feel sick at times and the way I'm eating isn't helping that. I'm going to work on that part. I do get exercise daily, but I've got to get my nutrition better.
Me and my family will get through this, one day at a time, one step at a time. I've got to focus on the moment and stop worrying so much about tomorrow or the next day or the day after.
This is written more for myself but if you read this I thank you too. Thanks for your support. My spark friends are so awesome!
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  • PGHP31CK
    You're right -- the Lord will see you and your family through this time. Grab a favorite Scripture verse, or favorite hymn & hang onto His promises!

    Praying for you!!

    "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

    2044 days ago
    I know it's hard but your grandkids really need you. Their mom and dad are not there for them at all. You are their lifeline to a better future. I'll keep you in my prayers because raising your grandkids is hard but I'm so glad that they have you in their life. emoticon
    2051 days ago
    Your grand kids are very lucky to have you in their lives. You are strong. You have needed to be. Keep moving forward on step at a time. Prayers go out that God will help guide you as you need it. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you. emoticon emoticon
    2053 days ago
    Praying for you. The light of God surrounds you, the love of God enfolds you. The power of God protects you. The presence of God watches over you and your family.
    2055 days ago
    Oh Linda, I'm SO sorry that you're in this situation, and all the stress you're under. I know you know that if things don't get sorted, you're liable to get sick from stress & then you won't be able to help anyone!

    I totally agree that it's one thing to offer someone a helping hand while they get back on their feet, and an entirely different thing to keep on "helping" after it's obvious that they aren't doing anything to help themselves. You are right on when you say that your daughter won't learn anything if you bail her out -- the only way any of us learn is by suffering the consequences of our choices.

    I know it's hard to consider taking on the grandchildren, but as you say, it must be done -- they're the innocent victims in this situation. And good for you for standing firm with your daughter, & encouraging her to pick up the pieces of her life and get herself back on track!

    You're my hero emoticon and you're emoticon !!

    2055 days ago
  • JUDITH316
    Linda, my heart goes out to you, I totally understand, I have my grandkids a lot with me as my daughter and her husband both work, I have been looking after them, 4 and 7 now since they were newborns. I realize I'm not the main caregiver like you, but one thing I want you to know, I care and will keep your situation in my prayers and will help you as much as I can. a thought, do you have friend's who have young children the same ages as your grandkids? I ask as my friends like me have our grandkids with us a lot, we arrange play-dates with each other, the kids play together, nice weather we are at the park, or sometimes we meet here at my place, we play games, I've even had a baking day with the kids, while the kids get to play with friend's we get the emotional help and can support each other, it helps us and I wonder if this will help alleviate some of the stress you are under. Bottom line I care and am here for you my friend... emoticon emoticon
    2055 days ago
    Linda, my heart goes out to you. Sending prayers and positive vibes. Your grandkids are so lucky to have you in their lives. God Bless!! emoticon
    2060 days ago
  • -WISPY-
    Linda sweetheart, I am so very sorry that things have gotten so bad. You are such a treasure and full of love for everyone.

    All this is so difficult to deal with at any age let alone in your fifties.
    As you know I have had hard times with one of my kids and also had to take the road of Tough Love. It is not easy but years later it has turned out good for us all and we are the best of friends. He is 50 now and still not very responsible - but his kids are all fine and I now have wonderful great-grandkids. I never went through anything like you are going through but as you say in your blog just one day at a time and praying for the strength to get through each day is what has got me to 74.

    Sending you loving prayers for patience and strength to get through this.

    Love Wispy emoticon
    2061 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/27/2013 6:38:16 PM
    2061 days ago
  • UNICORN212
    Yes, your grandkids are lucky to have you, since their parents are apparently unfit to even support them. I hope you get LOTS of financial help!

    I also hope the one daughter grows up and the other one finds a solution to start feeling better. (My SIL took a vitamin concoction she said did wonders for her fibro and chronic fatigue - let me know if you want info).

    And while you take care of everyone else, take care of yourself. We need you and your wonderful hiking blogs to help us keep on track. Sending prayers for you and the whole situation...
    2061 days ago
    Wow! That is a lot to handle!

    I don't know how people go through life with God. I pray for your situation with your grandkids and their mother.

    God bless! emoticon
    2061 days ago
    2061 days ago
    You are doing the right thing, but it sounds like a very difficult road. Family is the only thing we get to keep forever. Someone at church told me that and it has really stuck with me. Taking care of your grandchildren will have benefits that will pass down generations. Hang in there and I hope you get to do things for yourself sometimes. We all need 'me' time now and then!
    2061 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    This is a safe place to share those kinds of heart-wrenching feelings and events. I feel for you! You ARE doing the right thing for them. Somehow, you need to find some balance in all this so you can get back to doing what's right for you.

    If writing a blog prevents a dive into the PB and J, go for it! (I really know what that's like!)
    2061 days ago
    I have often said that your grandchildren are really lucky to have you as their grandma. After reading your blog today I say it again. You are so right that your daughter needs to solve her own problems and that you can't do it for her. But while that's going on - or if it never happens - your grandchildren need you. I am sure it isn't easy but they look like good kids and you do all seem to have a good time together. I believe that you have the strength and the love to do this. Just be sure to take good care of you in the process.
    2062 days ago
    Best of luck to all of you emoticon
    2062 days ago
  • STRINGI719
    Oh Linda, I really wish I was there to give you a giant hug in person right now! It's really too bad we live 60 miles apart, because I'd really love to see you more and be there to listen to you vent in person!

    You are absolutely right that you have to put yourself and the children first. Your daughter is capable of caring for herself, and she's just choosing not to right now. That's her own business. But she's left you to pick up the pieces and parent her children, so she is just going to have to deal with the repercussions of her decision.

    My prayers are with you - may God's peace pour abundantly into your spirit!
    2062 days ago
    2062 days ago
  • ANIKA34
    emoticon emoticon
    2062 days ago
    Sweetie, it's tough love. Had to do that with my son, too. But you're right that if you step in and bail her out, she's learned nothing, hasn't hit whatever her bottom is and woken up to work on things! I am so sorry you're going thru this. Even more sorry for your grandchildren.

    I'm hopeful that just venting helped release some of the stress. It literally eats away at us if we don't relieve it in some way!

    Prayers and hugs, dear.
    2062 days ago
    emoticon emoticon I hope things get better for you soon.
    2062 days ago
  • SAMI199
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I'm glad you "let it out" helps to know someone else cares & understands. I will be praying for you & your family . One day at a time is all we can do...
    2062 days ago
    You sure have a lot on your plate and I do not mean food. Eating P and J sandwiches is the least of your worries. Thank God there are people like you to care of the little ones that get left behind. You sound like an awesome grandma with a very big heart, someday your grand kids will thank you for it. Hang in there, I will be praying for you and your family.

    2062 days ago
    My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you. You have a big burden but I have faith you can handle it.

    2062 days ago
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