Big Brother is watching.. (part A) 

It was the first Saturday in the month of Novemeber. Time was flying by and the holidays were right around the corner. I was really hoping my mom could come home for Christmas but I knew she had a very long road until she’d be out of any type of hospital environment. Mentally she seemed a lot better without all of the pain meds and I was actually able to have more normal conversations with her. My mom was very much into the presidential elections. The whole time she was in the hospital Fox News was playing in the background. She was really rooting for Donald Trump and getting her vote in was extremely important to her but it didn’t look like she was going to be home in time to cast her ballot. I knew how much it meant to my mom to participate in the vote and so I started looking into how you would go about casting an absentee ballot. I realized by the time I started looking into it, it was past the deadline for the mail-in ballots. In the previous two weeks when she was in really bad pain and had the pain pump, I didn’t think I would have time to go down to our county’s election board, in person and get an absentee ballot for her. I knew she was really going to be crushed if she was unable to vote and so I came up with a better plan. I have always voted in every presidential election since I was 18 but this year since I wasn’t really following and didn’t care too much for either candidate, I wasn’t planning on voting. While I’m registered as independent, I mostly vote democrat but I wasn’t too thrilled with Hilary Clinton as the democratic candidate. With that said, I decided to sacrifice my vote for hers. I promised her that I would vote Donald Trump , even though personally, from what I did heard and saw, I really didn’t think he was fit for the job, for her and it would be like she was voting. She was cool with that. The next day after I told her that I came up to the hospital and saw some paperwork on her table about absentee ballots. I asked her where they came from and she told me that she told my brother that I was going to forfeit my vote for her and he then said he was going to go down to the election board and get her ballot. I was kind of upset and disappointed. That was something special I wanted to do for her to make her feel better and once again, my brother was trying to run me off the tracks. I told my mom no way and so I went the very next morning and got her a ballot. God knew if my brother would actually pull through anyway. Sometimes he would say he could or would do things and then at the last minute Satan would come up with some errand to run or project to do and he’d change plans. I wasn’t about to let that happen this time. 
On Saturday’s my husband would let me sleep in a little bit and it was really needed this time around. I woke up around 10:30 and hung around being lazy with my son and my husband, on the couch. I called my on and told her I’d be up a little later that afternoon and she told me not to rush and that my brother and Satan were suppose to be there sometime soon. Im scrolling down my Facebook feed and see a text from my Mom’s neighbor pop up on the screen. Attached to the text is a photo of my mom’s house. My brothers Mercedes is parked in the driveway and Satan’s car is on the street blocking his car in. Her text read they are back AGAIN and this time they brought friends with them! 
I jumped up out of my seat and ran to show my husband. My heart was racing. I knew that my mom was already uncomfortable about them being there but more specifically Satan being in her house while she wasn’t there and now they are bringing her friends along with them? At this point I don’t know what the fuck they are up to. How many times can they go through her safe? How many bills could my mom possibly have to pay? She did all her bills paperlessly, online. What the fuck was their sudden interest and obsession with her house for? Bear in mind that these are two people who had probably been to her house less than five times in the past three years and NEVER went to her house when she wasn’t there, prior to the one time during her last hospital stay, and now they are there multiple times a week? I started to wonder what else they were doing. When you are constantly kept in the dark about things all you can do is speculate and so my husband and I started to think, Satan works in the insurance industry, and knew a lot of real estate people; attorneys, etc. Maybe the “friend” that was with her was a real estate appraiser. They had already gathered up all the other financial information they needed, so why not find out exactly how much the house cost? While that seems a little far fetched (my husband has a good imagination) at this point I wouldn’t put anything past them. It ended up not being a friend with them, anyway. It was Satan’s older daughter.  I was thinking more along the lines of maybe they were starting to remove valuables from the house like my mom’s jewelry and stuff. Either way I didn’t want to waste any time. I wanted to catch them there and see what they were doing, with my own eyes. 
I had caught them at my moms house and in her safe at least three times already, prior to this day. The last time I caught my brother, he lied when he was confronted by my mom. I know my brother has just as much of a right as I do to be at her house but when he was being sneaky and lying about it, I had to question his motives. He was well aware of how my mom felt about his wife and so to bring her into my mom’s home and allow her to see my mom’s most private stuff, showed his lack of consideration and respect for my mom. I have heard horror story’s from friends of mine how siblings started doing shady shit like stealing things, or manipulating people into signing over power of attorney so they can take all their money, from a sick or elderly parent. At this point I wouldn’t put anything past them.   Money makes people do crazy things. I didn’t know much about Satan but what I knew without any doubt was that money was one of her main interests in life, if not the sole focus of her entire being. My brother, I hate to say it but he took has also been a money hungry, greedy bastard. He’s the type of person who will buy you a really cheap Christmas gift and say he was broke but then he’ll be showing you the newest expensive gadget that he bought for himself. 
Whatever it was they were doing, I wanted to put a stop to it! This sneaky bullshit was going to stop. I wanted to get a handle on this situation before it got out of control and we really went to war. I had caught them all those times but never confronted them about it because I didn’t want to upset my mom anymore. I wanted them to know that they were not going to pull the wool over my eyes anymore. 
My mom’s house was a good 10 to 15 minute ride from me and I wanted to get there ASAP. Still in my sweats that I slept in, I was flying down the main road that leads to the highway. I look over to the other side of traffic and see a truck that is identical to Satan’s coming towards me. I turn my head as it passes and saw the truck had a butterfly decal on the back window and knew for sure it was her. I kept my eyes opened for my brother’s car but didn’t see it. I was a bit disappointed that she wasn’t going to be there, but I figured it was probably better and safer that she wasn’t there. Maybe my brother and I could actually have a civilized conversation. 
I rounded the corner of my moms block and saw that only my moms car was in the driveway, my brother had also left. I walked into my moms house and briefly scanned around her living room and then I made my way to the kitchen. I called my husband as I was looking around for any sign of something missing or moved out of place. I know my mom’s house just as good as I know my own house. I lived there all my life, and while my mom made a lot of renovations since I moved out, almost a decade ago, I came to visit often enough that her house still felt like “home” to me. Hell, it should! My husband and I were the ones helping her maintain her home, for the past three years, as my brother callously hung my mom and I both out to dry. 
I made way to my old bedroom which was straight across, at the end of the hallway. If you stood at looking my hall there were three doors on one side, 2 doors on the other side and my old room was straight ahead. If the door was open you can see a tall bureau that my mom had and the safe was sitting right beside it. The safe appeared to be undisturbed this time, unless they got wise to the fact that I left the dial on a certain number each time. I poked my head into her room and nothing looked out of place. I grazed the rest of the house until I was satisfied that nothing seemed out of the ordinary, all the while narrating my movements to my husband. I went down the hallway one last time to turn off all the lights. My brother has a tendency to be careless especially when it’s not his own shit, and so I just wanted to double check that the back door was locked before I headed out. 
As I turned out of the hallway to go into the kitchen, out of the corner of my eye I caught an odd reflection near my piano  which was up against the wall. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around to see what it was. Right away something didn’t look right. The items on the piano were slightly rearranged and I could tell something was different. As I scanned across it,  I notice this round, black shiny, object with a small green light on it that I have never seen before. It was sitting between a picture frame and a fake planted pot. I have a very good photographic memory and I knew whatever it was, it didn’t belong there. Finally as I got close, I thought it looked like a baby monitor of some sort and that’s when I saw that bubbled, round lens in the center.  It was the fucking Nest Camera that Satan said she was giving to my mom. 
On the phone with my husband I started screaming, “it’s the fucking camera!!!! Their mother fucking camera!!!”. In that moment the past few months all started replaying in my head, which lead to the past three years and all the bullshit I’ve had to deal with. Everything came rushing back. The dress I got for their wedding, them fighting and screaming at mom, all the arguments, the disrespect, my mom’s tears, the heart ache, my ruined relationship with my brother, my son not knowing his uncle, the begging, the pleading, the lack of help; the lack of care, the lack of empathy, the twisting of words, the lies, the sneaky bullshit, my mom’s cancer, healthcare proxies, wills, secret conversations, EVERYTHING, and then I lost my fucking shit. I grabbed the camera and yanked the cord towards me as hard as I could. I ran right to the front door, screaming and cursing, using every profanity I could conger up. I walked out and as hard as I could I threw the camera down on my mother’s brick walkway. It bounced so hard it ricochet’d off the walkway and  landed in the middle of her lawn, and then almost rolled off her property, into the street. 
My mom’s neighbor’s husband was standing outside and must’ve thought I was losing my mind. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I walked across the lawn and retrieved the camera and I have to say, I almost started to laugh because I was pretty impressed with the quality of the camera. I threw it pretty god damn hard, into solid pavers and it was still completely in tact except for a few scratches on the back. The front part where the camera lens was, was virtually unscathed except some dirt and finger prints which I wiped away. Out of breath and angry, I laid the camera and its stand which came detached (but was easily fixed) out on the walkway and snapped a picture of it. I impulsively sent it to my mom with a caption that said, here’s what your son was doing at your house today. 
I walked back in the house to retrieve the plug that was still in the outlet. The power cord was set up similar to how the iPhones is where the plug wall adapter and wire were separate entities. Upon further inspection I looked at the plug and it was obvious that it had been used. It was all dirty and had scuff marks. I guess she won a thrift store contest.  I walked down the hallway to see if the accompanied thermostat was there but it wasn’t. Satan didn’t just “win” this camera. It was their personal camera. Their old, dirty and scuffed up, used camera. It was a total bullshit story. 
I also have to laugh at the camera’s placement. It was sitting on the edge of my piano, pointed directly down the dark hallway, right at my old bedroom door, where the safe was kept. Why on gods green earth would my mom want to look at a bunch of closed fucking doors? That camera wasn’t put there for any other means than to control and intimidate me, my husband and now the innocent neighbor who was there to help care for my mom’s dogs. They wanted to let me know I was being watched. Meanwhile, they were the ones who should’ve had a camera pointed on them. 
For three years while they treated my mother complete shit, I was there for her. Not trying to toot my own horn but or be a martyr but if it weren’t for me, my mom probably wouldn’t even have made it to this point.  My husband has done way more for her than her own son. He treated her as if she was his own mother. When she got her surgery, I was in that house everyday helping her out for three months straight. My husband and I  cleaned her pool all summer, we went out an got  her a new A/C andfixed her air conditioner, and we installed it. I helped her clean, do her laundry, go grocery shopping, helped her in and out of the shower, helped her wash her body, picked up dead mice, try to scare raccoons out from under her deck, etc, etc. My husband and I sacrificed and put our own home and even our child at times, to the wayside, to help her out, not because we HAD to or were obligated to, but because we WANTED to, because that’s what you do for the people you love. I would be damned before I walked into MY MOTHER’S house with those two, selfish, uncaring, unhelpful, unempathetic, fake, phony, conniving, calculating, greedy, rotten, evil, sons of bitches, watching me and listening to my private conversations! Over my dead fucking body. What gave them the right to Police my actions? 

My brother and her had finally sunken to an all-time new low. I just didn’t understand, why didn’t they take all this time and effort that they put into worrying about cameras, healthcare proxies, snooping around, plotting and scheming and put it into my mom. My brother kept repeating at the palliative care meeting that he was “looking out for her best interest” and trying to “protect her” but all he was doing was worrying about himself. Also, for fucks sakes did he ever take it into account the neighbor who was taking care of my mom’s dogs? This woman had been trusted with a key to my mother’s house to go in and out, unsupervised, multiple times, for that last year and now all of the sudden she walks into the house one day and there’s a camera pointed on her? Now she has to feel uncomfortable and like she was doing something wrong? ?
I took the camera out of the house, threw it in a plastic bag and put it in my trunk with full intentions of giving it back to them. At this point in time now I was really starting to feel like I was to losing my mind and my imagination once again started to get the best of me. I started to wonder if perhaps they were fabricating stories about me and telling my mom that I was doing all the shit they were doing? I even started to question if my mom had turned on me and was drinking Satan’s kool-aid too. What was the reason they gave her for putting the camera in the house that day or did she even know? I just couldn’t understand what the fuck was going on and why it was happening.  What were they trying to do to me? Was it just there to control and intimidate me ? They really didn’t hide the camera, I felt like they almost wanted me to know it was there, like they were using it to make a statement.
Regardless of why it was there my stress had hit an all time high. I felt like I was being tortured and my patience was being put to the ultimate test. Was this all a huge misunderstanding? Were they actually innocently just trying to help and coincidentally it seemed like they were up to no good? Were they purposely they trying to get me and my mom into a fight and trying to drive a wedge between us? Was this camera out there to triangulate? I just couldn’t understand and I was experiencing so many emotions. I was also feeling deeply conflicted. I felt my mom had a right to know and I had already impulsively sent my mom a text but I had tried so hard to keep the bullshit out of her room and I didn’t want this ridiculous, petty bullshit to add to her stress. She wa very fragile and something like this could send her soaring over the edge. How long could I keep giving them the  benefit of the doubt? 
I went to the hospital that night and I know my mom could tell something was wrong. I do not hide my emotions very well. I wear my heart on my sleeve and if and when I’m feeling something as intense as this, it’s hard for me to keep it in. She finally asked me what was wrong and I calmly just told her that I was so upset and I just didn’t understand what this was all about and what they were trying to do to me. My mom didn’t know all the details of what happened that week and again, I didn’t want to burden her with this nonsense  but it was hard because at the same time, she is normally the main person I would go to with this kind of stuff. 
My mom swore that they didn’t tell her they were going to her house that day to put the camera in and that she was upset with my brother that he didn’t discuss it with her first. His bullshit reason he gave to her for going there was to put covers on her air conditioners. My brother doesn’t do volunteer work. Never has never will. He has  been like that his whole life. He doesn’t go out of his way for anyone unless he is somehow benefitting from it. 
This whole thing was so disturbing to me. Not only didn’t they lie to my mom about winning this new camera but I really don’t think they had any intentions on letting her keep it. In their eyes I believe they thought that they were lending it to her for a short period of time and once it served it’s purpose and she was gone, they would get it back. It also bothered me that here again, my brother was caught doing some shady shit and lying to her again and once again, she just gives him a pass. I knew she was sick and had bigger things to worry about but i am still human and it was hurtful to me that she constantly downplayed his bad behavior and enabled it. She had been enabling her whole life, its all she knew. She could never give me a good reason as to why the camera was there and when I’d asked her, she’d evade the question everytime . 

I didn’t want this to cause tension between my mom and I. I let her know how I felt and how much it hurt and how I believed like my brother and his wife were trying to destroy me and every relationship I had in my life. They were now encroaching on the most important one. I told her I wasn’t mad at her and that like everything else I will eventually just force myself to get over it. I helped her clean herself up and get her teeth ready for the next day and I left the hospital kind of earlier than normal that night. I just needed a break. I needed to process not just this but EVERYTHING I was going through……
(To be continued in my next post)

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