How to deal with toxic people…


We made it to present day here….well pretty much, and I am going to finish up the story and give you all the current bullshit that’s going on with my toxic family, but I wanted to take a break from all that and give you all some tips for dealing with Toxic people, whether they are psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists or whatever. I should probably preface this with telling you guys that I am (very obviously) not a doctor or qualified mental health practitioner. I am just sharing with you guys what has and hasn’t worked for me, and how I respond to the negativity, the baiting, the antagonizing, the word twisting, the gaslighting, the projection and just straight up, bullshit lies and psychoticness. (That is so not a word, but you get it). So I am going to explain to you guys, how I’ve responded in the past and I’m going to give you all some tips that I have learned along the way. 

Tip #1: KNOW WHO YOU ARE



You guys may think I sound crazy here, and are saying to yourselves, “but it’s not me, it’s them”, and you’re right, most of the time it is them.  Bear with me for a moment. You need to step out of yourself, be honest and try to look how you contribute to the toxicity, because you do contribute to it.  I know this sounds crazy, but NONE of us are perfect. We all have one or two traits that when we read about Narcs, psycho’s and Socio’s we start bugging out, and for a split second we think, “shit, am I the narcissist, here?”. Most likely, the answer is NO. Reason being is that no narcissist, sociopath or psychopath is going to even be reading that kind of shit! They do not care enough about other human beings to truly understand them. I followed the Jodi Arias trial EXTENSIVELY and I remember watching a psychologist’s commentary on the Dr. Drew show on HLN, about the case. He basically said that there is no such thing as “all good” and “all bad”. (That is called “splitting” and that’s how narcs, socio’s and psychopath’s view things). As hard as it to believe even the most evil of beings have one or two good qualities…..even Jodi Arias….ok not her, she’s pure fucking evil. Anyway, I agree with him, and so while we, “the victims” are probably mostly all good, we do possess a few bad qualities ourselves. 
The other thing to keep in mind here is that we cannot change other people. We cannot simply tell a narcissist to stop being a narcissist. God, if only it were that easy! We are only responsible for our own actions, and so with that said, we need to realize how we add to the bullshit, and we need to adjust our behaviors accordingly. I consider myself someone who is exceptionally self aware, good and bad. I have an innate ability to push people’s buttons. I am sarcastic. I am impulsive. I don’t always think before I speak, and at times I don’t know when to stop or how to filter my language. While I always knew these things about myself, I was not able to see how those things contributed to my relationships with the toxic people in my life, and how I was making things even more toxic, until recently when I took a step back and analyzed my relationships with these people. Unfortunately when tragedy strikes, you see people’s true colors. 

A perfect example of how I contribute to the toxicity; I cannot take when people think they are getting one over on me. It fucking kills me. I don’t like when people think that I’m stupid and cannot read between the lines. I am a venter. I need to express my feelings. If something is wrong, I feel like it HAS to be known, I cannot hold back.  Back before my mom passed, I was taking my anger out in an unhealthy, passive aggressive way. I would see quotes and stuff on Facebook, and feel like I could relate them to what I was going through with my family, and so I’d post them. My aunts (and their guilty consciences) being the same way, they would see my posts and then they’d go seek out their own posts or make passive aggressive comments. It got to a point where I stopped, but they kept going. It’s very hard for me not to jump down their throats and call out their contradictions and/or hypocrisy. I didn’t need the added stress at that time of fighting with them, and so I made the decision to unfriend all of them on Facebook so their posts would no longer show up on my newsfeed. I know I have issues with impulse control (thanks ADHD) and so me not seeing them would help me control MY behavior. If I don’t have the temptation there then I can better control how I react to them. 
Tip #2: YOU AREN’T OBLIGATED TO RESPOND



This sounds so simple and if you’re anything like me, it’s not that easy to do. You have to remember that toxic people like to fight, argue, disrupt, inflame, incite riots, and cause chaos, that’s what makes them toxic. 9 out 10 times they are trying to draw you out of your fox hole so they can fulfill that need, or so they can further exploit you. If you don’t respond, you are not adding more gasoline to their fire….. you are putting out their flame. In the past four months I have held back and bit my tongue, and I have noticed that the more I ignore the toxic people in my life, the more angry and starved for attention they become, just like a flame needs oxygen to keep burning. 

If you want to piss them off, ignore them! The worst thing for a narcissist or psychopath is losing their “supply”. Don’t be their supply.

 I am normally very reactive, but I completely switched up my game. I was in a lose/lose situation with my family. I started to realize that it doesn’t really matter how gently  I approached them, I am always in the wrong. I am the family scapegoat. They’ve been antagonizing me because they want to prove to everyone that they are right, and I am the asshole. The more I ignore it and press on with what I have to do, the more angry and desperate they become, and now instead of exposing me, they are exposing themselves, and the people around them are starting to see the sickness without me saying or doing anything. 

Now, keep in mind, I am not saying that you should never respond, or stick up for yourself, or that you should walk on eggshells, and tip toe around them, not at all. I’m trying to tell you that you need to control if and how you’re going to respond to them because your responses are what’s going to dictate how the conversation goes and how much abuse you receive in return. When you are dealing with people who are just going to twist whatever you say around, it’s not worth your time to try to convince them of your side. I had to learn this the hard way. 

Deaf people do not listen! 
Tip #3: RESPOND, BUT DON’T RESPOND 
This blog is one big response to the toxic people in my life. Writing is what kept me sane during my horribly hormonal, high school years. I kept a journal and I wrote in it every night. I stopped writing somewhere around my last year of college and I realized recently that it was a great and safe way to for me to cope with what I am going through.

I have received a few letters from my brother and my aunts in the last few months and I now realize that responding to them and giving them a dose of reality does absolutely nothing, because all they will do is deflect, deny or disregard the truth.  They have no interest in the truth. I now realize that my best option is write them back, but never send it to them! It helps me get out the things I want to say, but I don’t have to deal with the backlash or bullshit that comes with it. I don’t have to deal with the frustration of their lack of acknowledgement or accountability. Trust me. I would love nothing more than tearing these toxic assholes to SHREDS, but I’ve realized now that it does me absolutely no good. I will never get back the honest reply that I am hoping for. I will never get validated by them, and so with that I take care of my urge to respond, but I don’t feed the beast. 

Tip #4:KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES EVEN CLOSER

Ok not really close. By close I mean, know who they are. Really take a look at the people you are dealing with and ask yourself, is it me or them? My aunt Debbie is a great example here. I was very close with my Aunt Debbie’s daughter Tina. I would spend hours on the phone with Tina as she complained about aunt Debbie and how Aunt Debbie treated her. I sat back one day and really analyzed Aunt Debbie  as aperson and I saw who she really was. Aunt Debbie has been married twice, and has had a long string of failed relationships in the last decade. She is 60 years old, lonely and bitter. She is constantly surrounded by conflict, because I think she actually enjoys the conflict. It gives her something to do and something to talk about since her life is so pathetic.  My mom and Aunt Debbie talked every day and my mom would always tell me how Aunt Debbie always seems to be fighting with someone. She has MANY friends with whom she has had fights with, and hasn’t spoken to in years. She stops talking to them for years at a time and some she cuts off completely, and it doesn’t matter how long they’ve known one another.  Usually it’s over something really stupid and trivial. Aunt Debbie is spiteful and vindictive, even with her own daughter.  Knowing this about her helps me know that it’s not me. She has a high conflict personality. She always needs to be right even if it means cutting off her nose to spite her own face.  I have never met someone who has fights with their friends the way she does. So you need to look at the toxic person and ask if they are surrounded by conflict. Once you determine that, you know that most likely this is a person who isn’t going to take anything that you have to say to heart. Even if you are right, they will never admit it because they are too stubborn. Trying to point out the truth or trying to resolve issues with a person like that is going to be very difficult unless you just completely give in, kiss their asses and grovel for forgiveness, even if all you did was defend yourself against one of their cruel and senseless attacks. 

Tip #5 DON’T RESPOND EVEN BY PROXY

 
Most people you’d deem toxic in your life are also highly manipulative. They also like to “triangulate” and/or recruit others into their battles and crusades. If you truly don’t want to deal with their drama, don’t talk about them with mutual friends or other family members.  If you do, don’t talk shit about them. Don’t give them anything to hold against you. A lot of people will pretend and play both sides of the fence because let’s face it, sometimes it’s straight up entertainment to hear other people’s drama and bullshit. Your words may get skewed and taken out of context like a big ol game of telephone. Just remember those who gossip with you, probably gossip about you. You never know if they will slip up and tell them something you said about the toxic person. 

My aunts and my brother have been trying to reach me but I haven’t responded because at this point in the game, my lawyer has told me not to respond and not to put anything in writing. First my brother wrote me and email and then Aunt Bea. When that didn’t work Aunt Debbie tried to speak through my Aunt Dana who is in no way involved in our conflict. Her attempt to contact me was meant to be manipulative to both me and Aunt Dana. She was trying to get Aunt Dana to “talk some sense into me” and so she asked her to deliver a message. My response to Aunt Dana was, my name and phone number and the name and phone number of my lawyer. I told aunt Dana that I will NOT be communicating through her. When aunt Dana gave Aunt Debbie my response,she said, “that’s all she had to say?”. That right there showed me that she was looking for more from me. She wanted me to respond to the drama but I refused. 

Tip #6 – KEEP RECORDS

 
This tip is probably the single, most important tip I can give you. Of course it’s just not possible to record every single conversation you have, but if you are involved in conflict with a toxic personality or you are sensing a conflict with them, you are going to want to start keeping record of conversations. This was probably the absolute smartest thing I could do when it came to my family. I tried to keep all of our conversations in texts. If I was speaking with my brother there were times he’d try to call and I’d make some excuse up and tell him I was unable to answer my phone. Sure my storage on my phone is full all of the time, but I have a record of every word that was said. If someone tries to twist and obscure my words or even their own words, I have solid proof. When my brother went and lied to a lawyer about my mom having no will, he had sent my husband a text telling him that I can either hand over the will that names my aunt’s as executors or he will be filing for letters of administration. When he filed for letters of administration, he signed a sworn affidavit that said he did a diligent search for the will and determined that no will had ever existed. Clearly he was lying since he had acknowledged it in his text. Keeping records will help keep your sanity! 
Tip #7 KEEP IT BUSINESS
I realize that most of these tips are basically saying not to respond and not to feed into it, but there are times and situations in life where you have no choice but to converse with them. If and when you must communicate with them, keep it short and sweet, and to the point. Do not give them any more than what you have to give them. This leaves them with very little room to distract, deflect or twist words. Do not write to them or speak to them with any emotion or feeling about whatever topic you are discussing. Remember that toxic people do not care about your feelings, they only care about their feelings.  You almost have to be robotic when dealing with them. Do not give them too much detail or make it too lengthy. I’ve noticed that NONE of the toxic people in my life seem to know how to read or listen. I can tell by their responses that they aren’t fully paying attention. If they try to change the subject, stay the course, but do so without emotions or criticizing them. It took me a VERY long time to learn this, but I promise you, it is worth while. If you don’t come out of your face with them, they don’t know how to respond. They get really tripped up when you are calm, cool and collected. There were a few times I felt I had to share information with my aunts, in the last few months, and so I just wrote very short emails to them, got to the point, stayed real cordial and didn’t take any of their bait to try to reel me into an argument.  For instance, one of my mom’s neighbors saw a red SUV parked in my mom’s driveway, one day. I know aunt Debbie is the ONLY person who would be in her driveway, who has a red SUV. I was at the house around that time and noticed that someone had taken some boxes of my brother’s stuff from the house, that he left behind the night I caught him and his wife removing items off the property. I assumed my aunt Debbie, thinking she was the named executor of my mom’s will, thought she could remove the items from the property, and I couldn’t say shit to her about it. The reality was though, while she was the named executor, she hadn’t been appointed by the courts yet, and so legally she had no authority to do so. I wrote her an email letting her know that she was seen at the house removing items, and I reminded her that she hadn’t been appointed yet and shouldn’t be removing items from the property. I had tried to peacefully and amicably reach out to her in the weeks following my mom’s death,  and she refused to respond to me. Of course once she was being accused of something, she answered right away. She denied being there, and so when I responded, I kept it very short. I told her that if it wasn’t her, I apologize, and that I should probably contact the police and have them look into it since, I don’t know anyone else with a red SUV who’d be at my mom’s home. She responded back, “Good idea.(that I call the police)”, and that was it…..or so I thought. A day or so later I got this lengthy, “how dare you”, ” I would never do that”, “I am insulted”, bullshit, argumentative email. She didn’t get the rise out of me that she was hoping for, the first time, and so she got angry and wrote me an inflammatory, email. I never responded to that last one. There was no need. It was just bait to try to suck me in so she could further antagonize me and argue with me. I refused to give her what she wanted. Don’t take the bait, my friends! 

 
  
Tip #8 STOP FEELING GUILTY! 

Ok so this one isn’t so much a tip for dealing with them, but it’s something to consider….I grew up in an Italian- American family that preached “family first”, “family always sticks together” and “unconditional love”, but I’ve realized in the past year that they don’t practice what they preach. I’ve also learned in the last few years that, that way of thinking is completely unhealthy. If someone is disrespecting you, crossing your boundaries and/or treating you badly, it doesn’t matter who they are, or how you know them, if they’re treating you like shit, they gotta go! You don’t have to take ANYONE’S abuse. You also don’t have to feel guilty for making decisions that are best for your life. 
Going no contact is not easy and especially so when you are doing it with your family. Trust me, I know this. I held onto my family for the past ten years. I felt resentful towards them. I couldn’t understand how they could stand behind someone who perpetrated a crime against another member of the family. I stuck it out and tried to forgive people because I wanted to respect my mother. My aunt Bea saved my mom’s life by donating her kidney to her, and so I felt obligated to be there for her when her son molested my younger cousin. I will always admire what she did for my mom, but I realize now that it didn’t give her a pass to treat me or my mom like shit. I didn’t ask her to do that for my mom. That was her choice in life, not mine. She did that for my mom, not for me. I don’t owe her anything. I am not obligated to do anything for her, and quite frankly, she has some nerve being angry with me about “outing” her son. I didn’t ask him to molest my cousin. She will deny, deny, deny, that she has any resentment towards me but her actions speak louder than her words.

As much as I know it would upset my mom, cutting half of my extend family and my brother, out of my life, I know my mom would want me to do what’s best for me. If she could see all that they’ve been doing for the past four months since she died, I think she’d understand. You cannot feel guilty for cutting toxic people from your life……Period. 
I hope this has helped 

The wake, day 2, part 2

We hadn’t even made it to the funeral home yet and I knew it was going to be a long awkward day. My husband was irate. He told me to bring my mom’s truck back to the house immediately and so before the wake that’s what I did. I knew them being so nice was all a big bullshit act. I honestly don’t even think my brother had any clue as to what his wife was doing or saying. 
I still hadn’t had a good nights rest and by time I had reached the funeral home that day I was seriously in a state of complete shock. I tried to put all my ill feelings for my brother and his wife aside and just get through the day. I walked into the room to see my mom again. I walked up to the casket and knelt down and in my head I talked to her. I told her I was sorry. That I didn’t think I could fix things at this point. That I was so disappointed with my brother and I hoped she could see now and understand. 
As I walked around the room and looked at the old photos of days past I noticed there was another board filled with pictures and it wasn’t from me. When I got a better look I realized there was several photos from my brothers wedding. All the ones I didn’t include. There was also photos of my mom’s cousin and then various other people. I asked my cousin Nikki where that board came from and she told me Aunt Bea had brought it. Again that day my uncle Bob, Aunt Bea and even her kids sat off to the side right next to my brother and Satan. It was perfectly clear to me that day that they were trying to get under my skin. 
At some point halfway through I noticed that my Aunt’s and Uncle’s were all missing from the room. I asked someone where they went and I was told the funeral director brought them all downstairs to pick out their urns for my mom’s ashes. Then I noticed my grandmother was still in the room. No one had even thought to bring her down there to pick hers out and so I grabbed her and escorted her down to the showroom. My aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie were down there and as soon as Aunt Bea realized my grandmother hadn’t picked hers out, she grabbed her arm and started to drag her around the room. I left and let them take care of it from there. 
The first viewing had come and gone and my family came back to my mom’s house. After a while I realized that my brother and his wife weren’t there. They never showed up either. Didn’t matter anyway, they didn’t do a god damn thing to help out the day before. I forgot to add this in my post about the previous day so I’ll add it now. I had done all the shopping for the previous day but my brother told me he and Satan would bring the drinks. Of course they would, drinking is Satan’s favorite hobby. They came with a few bottles of Soda and one bottle of Sangria. Sangria for a wake? It just seems inappropriate, something you’d bring for a Cinco di mayo celebration. Anyway; my brother told me they were stopping and picking up drinks on the way there and asked if I needed anything. I realized that I forgot to buy sweetener for the coffee and so I asked him to pick some up. He shows up at the house and reaches into his pocket and pulls out a bunch of loose packets of various artificial sweeteners! He stole them from a local convenience store! I know they sell them there but Satan was probably too cheap to buy it herself. I just thought it was funny. 
At my mom’s house that day everyone had noticed that the lights were flickering in her kitchen. It happened the previous day too, but this day it was a lot more intense and everyone in the house was commenting on it. I had been in my mom’s house countless times in the past year and there was only one other time her lights were flickering like that. It was the day after her birthday. My husband and I were there because we didn’t attend the party at my brother’s house, the day prior. My brother and Satan conveniently forgot to give my mom her birthday gift at the party and so they showed up the next day with it. When they got there, the lights in the kitchen started to flicker like crazy. Satan didn’t like it. She was bugging out saying that it had to be because there was too much electric being used and so she ran around the house turning lights and air conditioners off trying to make it stop, but they just kept flickering. Every took it as a sign from my mom that she was with us. 
That day I really wanted to tell Uncle Bob he was not welcome in my mom’s home. It was very obvious he was visibly uncomfortable. He and Aunt Bea, both planted their asses in the living room that day and stayed there until it was time to go back to the funeral home. I couldn’t get it out of my head that my brother said he knew I was trying to get my mom to write him out of the will. There was only one place he could’ve gotten that from and I was looking right at the two guilty parties. 
By the time the second viewing came, I was completely wiped. I couldn’t talk anymore both literally and physically. I felt like a zombie, like someone had sucked the life out of me. As people were approaching me expressing their sympathy I hardly knew what to say anymore. I had told the story so many times at that point. I almost just wanted to hide in a corner and not be seen.
 At one point, my brother’s childhood best friend showed up. He had tried getting in touch with my brother but my brother never responded. I explained to him that my brother was with this succubus who wouldn’t allow him to have his own life. Knowing the story, he still came to pay his respects. A few days after the wake he messaged me to tell me that when he came to the wake he walked up to me and he could visually see that this had taken a huge toll on me. I looked wrecked over it. He said then he and his wife walked over to my brother and Satan and the vibe was completely different. They were laughing and talking like they were at a bar or something. He said they didn’t even look the least bit upset. He introduced his wife to my brother and he told me that Satan just turned her head away. Wouldn’t even give his wife the time of day. Yup, that sounded about right. 
The funeral director had asked us the previous day if we wanted a priest to do a eulogy. Although both me and my brother do not practice any religion we elected to have one because we knew it would bring comfort to my family. My mom was not religious either, but I believe she would’ve wanted a priest for the same reason. I also told the funeral director that I would’ve liked to say something too. The priest came in a few minutes before he was going to do his reading. Since we hadn’t attended church in over two decades, we didn’t really have a priest we were familiar with. He asked my brother and I a lot of questions about our mother. 
We went back in the room and lined up in the front row. I took my grandmother and sat her down in one of the big chairs. My husband sat on the opposite side. There was one chair left and obviously it was for my brother. My Aunt Bea went and grabbed another chair for Satan to sit next to us. It was symbolic of how we all thought of her. She was just an extra chair who never really felt part of the family. 
The priest did his reading in which I felt like I couldn’t even follow. I was really disappointed because it was totally impersonal. He didn’t make any mention of any of the things we had discussed about my mom prior. When he was done, he just said goodnight and walked away. He didn’t even ask if anyone else had anything to say about my mom. He just walked away. I had written a eulogy but I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I felt really strange standing up because by that time everyone started to get out of their seats and walk away. I never got to read my eulogy and I’m still upset about it to this day. 

The night was coming to an end and oddly enough, the lights in the room at the funeral home started to flicker just like the lights at the house, and everyone was commenting about it. This was it. Time to say goodbye to my mother forever. I looked around the room and realized there were so many cards. Before my brother could take them, I stated to go around the room and collect them. I also took the guest book. As the daughter, I felt it was my job to write out the thank you cards, to those who had attended the wake. I wanted to hold on to them for dear life. I knew if my brother got them there was no way he was writing out the cards. There was no way I was going to allow Satan to write out these cards. It was MY mother. They got to do everything else, this was my job. I purposely ordered blank cards so I could write a special message to everyone individually. 
I handed the cards off to my husband and told him not to let go of them. A few minutes later I see the funeral director taking them from him. I was so mad. They came in and pulled me and my brother out to the lobby. They had all the cards and photos put in bags. They handed us the death certificates and gave me four and my brother got five. As she stared to pack the Mass cards into the bag my brother asked if he could take half and I said, “no, I want to write out the cards.”. He sat there and argued with me and I firmly told him, “NO! Your wife is not writing out cards for my mother.”. He still took half of the thank you cards. I didn’t care. It was time I put my foot down and took control of my life. 
He and Satan left in a huff. I didn’t care. My aunts and uncles hung around to the end. We all stood there in silence around my mom’s casket. Everyone crying and holding one another. I felt like I couldn’t move. My grandmother went up to the casket and kissed my mom’s head and kept saying, “my baby, I love you.”. It was the most heartbreaking thing to watch. I couldn’t handle it. I broke down. I reflected on the last year and all me and my mom had gone through, all the ups and downs. All the struggles, the shock and disappointment. I felt like together we had gone to war, like we were soldiers of our own army. We both in our own ways fought so hard, right down to the end. I thought about how she suffered and endured so much pain both mental and physical and it was all for nothing. Saying that I felt defeated and deflated in that moment is an understatement. I felt like the biggest failure in the world. I couldn’t save her. I had been trying to save her for the last ten years of her life. Death changes you. My mom changed drastically after my dad died and I felt like I spent that last decade trying to find the old her and bring her back. I failed and especially in the last three years. I am a fixer by nature I just wanted to fix her but she was broken.
When she first got sick I promised her that I would be there with her to the very end, holding her hand and the one thing I could feel good about was at least that. I stick by her side to the last breath. I have never loved someone so much in my life. My mom was one of a kind. A truly unique person. The bond we shared was like no other. I will never be the same. My life is forever changed and I feel this huge void, this emptiness that I can’t even explain. I feel like half of me is missing. My mom was ALWAYS there for me. She loved me unconditionally, and it was truly unconditional. She always had my back and was the only person in this world who really, and purely understood who I was…..because she made me who I am today and I am so proud and lucky that I got to call her mom, for 35 years. 
The night was over. I was the last person to leave the room that night. I rubbed her arm one last time and told her I love and will miss her forever. I told her to go be with my dad. She is free now. Free from all the misery this world brought to her. Free from the pain. Free from the stress. She is finally at peace. I never truly understood what that meant when people said it after someone died, but now I get it. She is in heaven. 
From that day on I knew I was heading into a whole new battle. One like I had never known before and everything I thought was going to happen… well it happened. 

The wake, day 2 part one 

It was the day before thanksgiving and the final day of my mom’s wake. I woke up that morning still reeling about the email alert I saw on her phone that someone had changed the primary email address on one of her accounts. I had enough of the sneaky bullshit from my brother and his wife and it was time they both knew that I was on to them and wasn’t fucking around anymore. I text my brother first thing in the morning and sent him a screen shot of the email and asked him, “who is making changes in mommy’s accounts?” I also informed him that he shouldn’t be making any changes or doing anything without discussing it with me first. He answered me back, “I’m not doing any of that.”. I asked him, “then who is?”. I also noticed another email that changes were made on her Verizon account and so I told him about that one too. He responded that he had no idea and asked if there were any others. Obviously someone was doing something. These places don’t know someone is dead until they are notified by the family. I then asked him, “How’d someone change the primary email on mommy’s [money market] account?”. I then said, ” It wasn’t mommy because she died on the 20th. I called the inheritance dept and they’re going to investigate it.”. I wanted to give him a chance to be honest but he replied with this, “And side note, if I shouldn’t be in any of those accounts without speaking to you first, should you then not be in any of those accounts without speaking with me first?”. The funny part was, I wasn’t in the accounts. I had no interest in them until I saw the email. I wasn’t finished, I also let told him, “And also, [Satan] shouldn’t be making ANY phone calls to ANY companies, [newspapers], [oil company] or otherwise.”. 
He text me back to call him but I wasn’t about to get into a huge blowout. Plus, I wanted his words in writing and mine as well. At this point in time I knew I had to protect myself. Then he texts me this. “1. I can call about any account that I am a beneficiary on, just like you can. “. I was still explaining to him how I came across the email. “I just got an email alert. I’m not in the accounts. I’m trying to deal with getting through the funeral.”. Since he didn’t yet respond to my text about his wife I wanted to make sure he saw it so I wrote, “[Satan] needs to stop calling. She told my husband. She really needs to step back it’s MY mother.”. That’s when he sent me a text that put me into a complete state of shock and showed me just how stupid he really was. “2. I gave [Satan] power of attorney for me, so she can call on my behalf anywhere…..” and then another message that said, “it’s my mother too.”. 

What in the actual fuck, I thought to myself. I seriously thought he was joking. No one could be that stupid!! I sarcastically replied, “Oh really. Ok. Where is the paperwork?”. I really thought he was fucking with me. I didn’t think he was that dumb and brainwashed by her. 
Throughout my mom’s entire hospital stay, I had tried to get him to sit down and talk. He ignored me every time and so once again, I brought up the fact that we should all be discussing this stuff together as a team. I wrote, “Ok well regardless we should all be sitting down and discussing this shit first. Where were you guys when mommy was alive? That’s what I’d like to know. There was no interest in helping then.”. I have to note here that I have said things of this nature to my brother several times since my mom’s passing. He NEVER responds to it. EVER! He doesn’t respond because he knows he doesn’t have an answer. He wasn’t there to help and he knows it. 
I then wrote, “send me a copy of the form. Please.”. My brother was still defending himself and wrote, “You also can’t be going in the house and taking what you want, or “telling me” that you’re taking mom’s truck. That’s not how it works. All of mom’s stuff belongs to the Estate until the will is settled.”. Such bullshit. I couldn’t believe he even said that after his wife called my husband and was offering up things that weren’t even hers. As far as me offering up stuff, did he really have a problem with giving our 89 year old grandmother my mom’s bed? I wrote back to him, “ha ha ok. [Satan] called [my husband] this morning and said I can take the truck.”
Again he was trying to get me on the phone to call him and I replied, “Im not fighting with you. Let’s get through today. I just want you to know that I know what’s going on.”, and then,”You can ask ANYONE, mommy didn’t want [Satan] touching any of her stuff. I have her saying it on tape if you’d like to hear it. So you’re going against her wishes, NOT MINE.” His reply to that, “Her will says what her wishes are. That we get everything 50/50. That’s it. That’s not you taking what you want, giving away what you want.”. What he said next though, was the real kicker, “Don’t try to guilt me. And I know you were trying to have her write me out of the will.”. 
I sincerely have NO FUCKING CLUE where he got that from and it sincerely pisses me off that he even thinks that. It’s insulting. I don’t know when I’ve EVER been known to screw over my family. This is news to me. There was NEVER any type of discussion between me and my mom like that. In fact, years ago, long before we knew of my mom’s cancer, she said to me one day that she wanted to cut my brother from her will because she didn’t want “that bitch” (Satan) having her money. My exact words to my mom, “well that’s fucking stupid! You’re not going to be here, who cares. I told her that if she did that she would be guaranteeing my brother and I would never talk again. I then told her if she did that, I’d just give him half anyway so it wouldn’t matter. That was the first and last time we ever discussed it and that was three years prior to her death. I would never do such a thing. Do I feel after the last three years the way my brother treated my mom that he deserved anything? At times, no but the reality was that my mom still loved my brother. That for the better part of his life, he was a good son to her. I would never, ever, try to fuck my family over like that, EVER! I was so insulted that whoever told my brother that, he actually believed it. 
After that he sent me 7 photos, page by page of the power of attorney forms. I had to make this clear to many people because I’d tell them the story and they though my mom had signed power of attorney over to my brother. No, my brother signed power of attorney, FOR HIMSELF, over to his wife so that she can handle my mom’s affairs, for him! My brother isn’t an idiot. It’s not like he’s a dumb, helpless fool. His wife makes him seem like one but he’s not. 
I sent the photos of the documents over to my husband and as he looked them over he realized that they were signed and dated on the 18th and with that we realized that, that was probably what she pulled out of her bag when him and I walked into the hospital room. It made me sick that her and my brother were sitting right at my mom’s bedside while she was laying there dying, talking about this shit, right in front of her, like she wasn’t even there. Since my mom’s death I’ve found out that those weren’t the only things being discussed by my mom’s bedside. I recently found out that on the day that the woman came from the funeral home, and I had said something to Satan, she went back in my mom’s room where Uncle Bob was sitting, along with my cousin Nikki’s mom and the two of them were talking shit about me, saying how I was “fucking dead to them.”. My aunt walked out of the room because she couldn’t believe how fucking wrong it was. That will haunt me for the rest of my life. How could they do that? They knew how upset my mom was over all of this. How could they stand there and talk about this shit in front of her? 
I replied back to my brother’s last stupid comment to me, “And I’m not taking MOMMY’S Car right now. I told you my breaks are shot on my car.”, and I added, “I wasn’t trying ANYTHING. I NEVER spoke to mommy about her will! EVER. Who told you that? Aunt bea? Wow you are delusional! Mommy actually told me about three years ago that she wanted to do that and I told her I’d be really pissed if she did and I’d give you half of everything anyway. You are fucking sick of you think that. Mommy told ME that she wanted to make me the executor. She told just about everyone she knows that. I NEVER spoke to her obviously because I’m not the executor. “. I had to let him know, “She didn’t like your wife and that’s the only reason why. It was nothing against you.”. He text me back, “you are being blocked, I’m done.”. 
Of course that was his answer. He never wanted to discuss any of the real issues. Whenever he was confronted with reality, he ran away. Whenever he didn’t have an answer, he ran away. Whenever I tried to resolve things, he ran away. His wife controlled his every move in life and now it was more than abundantly clear that she kept his balls locked inside her purse for safe keepings. He had completely lost his mind and control over his own life and his own relationships. I let him know, “It’s obvious that your wife needs to control everything and mommy just wanted me to have a fighting chance since I am the one who took care of her. Regardless she never changed it and you guys and us should talk before you go changing account email addresses and canceling shit……All you fucking care about is money anyway.”. By that time, I was blocked. 
I know my words were harsh and I take full responsibility over them. Everyone has a breaking point in life and he had way more than crossed the threshold. I kept my mouth shut for three years while his wife disrespected my mother, talked to her like she was some piece of trash off the streets, had no empathy for her. They went through her safe, into her most personal stuff, opened her mail, snooped around her home and I kept my mouth shut. I let them bully me into having a representative from the funeral home come to the hospital while she was still breathing, I let them decide when her wake was and how long it would be, I fucking had enough. Was the timing wrong of all of this? Yes, maybe it was. Maybe I should’ve waited but they had no consideration for mine or my mother’s feelings for three fucking years. I was done. 
(To be continued in my next post)

The wake, day one 

I woke up early the next morning. The wake wasn’t until about 1:00 in the afternoon. I took some coffee and I ran straight to walmart in my pajamas. I was so thankful my my cousin and my mom’s cousin had gathered some photos for me. The rest I randomly selected off my mom’s Facebook page. I printed 109 photos in total that morning. 
I rushed home and like a machine I glued them all down to the boards. By the time I had finished I had enough time to get in the shower and get dressed. My husband and I opted to not bring my son to the wake. Although I wanted him to say goodbye to my mom, I didn’t want to put him and myself through the trauma. At three years old, only one month shy of turning four and he was at a weird stage where he was aware something wasn’t right but he couldn’t really understand what. I didn’t think he’d understand why my mom was laying there and not moving or why she couldn’t wake up. I thought it was too much for him to handle and so we had my sister-in-law watch him. 
My husband met me at the funeral home. Miraculously that morning my brother informed my husband that my mom’s life insurance plan didn’t lapse and so the funeral expenses would be paid by that after all. Personally I don’t think there ever was a lapse in the insurance. I think that was Satan just being vindictive because I was down with her Irish pub idea. 
My cousin Tina came out and helped me carry the photo boards into the funeral home. We waited in the lobby as the funeral director set up the boards. It was time to enter the room. I took a deep breath and walked through the doors. I was overwhelmed by the amount of flowers that were sent. They spanned the entire wall. My whole family had arrived by that point and we all walked in together. My husband and walked up to the casket. For the first time ever I didn’t feel scared at a funeral. It was also the first time I ever touched a dead person. I rubbed my mom’s arm. It felt hard and cold like a piece of wood. In a strange way, this part was the easy part to me. She was finally at peace. What I watched her endure for the last few months of her life, that was the hard part. I had non-stop anxiety for the last year of my life. I worried about her constantly. I never felt so helpless and powerless in my life. I lived in a constant state of fear, worry and stress. The stress had gotten to me so bad that it was starting to take a physical toll on my body. For the last few years I had started to break out in these two small patches of psoriasis on my scalp. When my mom was in the hospital that last month, the psoriasis covered my entire scalp. I had to wear a hat to the hospital everyday to cover up the medication that made my hair look oily and greasy. Still my itchy, greasy scalp was absolutely nothing compared to what I watched her go through. Seeing her finally at peace was actually a relief, in a weird sense. 
I had asked my brother to print some more photos because I had forgotten to print the ones he sent to me. I told him to take whatever photos he wanted down and to replace them with his photos. It was an honest mistake. To be honest though, I had not used all of the photos he had ha fed me the previous day at the funeral home. I used the one photo of my mom and his daughter and two of the five wedding photos that were in the envelope and that was already two too many. One of them I ripped in half in anger, knowing my mom was so upset that day and what that day caused her to go through. Yes it was an immature and stupid move. I have no excuse. I didn’t want to be accused of not including him so I made sure I chose a lot of old photos with him in them. I personally had no photos of him from the last three years because we didn’t speak. 

The most recent photos I personally had of him was from my son’s christening when he was 6 months old. 
After everyone kneeled down at my mom’s coffin and said their prayers, it was time to open the doors and let the public in. I turned around and saw my grandmother sitting in the second row of seats behind the big chairs that are usually reserved for the closest family members to the deceased. I told her to come sit in one of the big chairs. That was her baby. I placed my coat and purse on the other chair. I looked over to see my brother and Satan sitting off to the side in the rows where the non family usually sit. Satan was sitting down and I observed my uncle Bob entering the room. He walked over to her and sat down right next to her and put his arm around her as if she were the grieving daughter. For the entire length of the wake, my uncle Bob never came up to me and expressed his sorrow for my loss. He never even looked at to me. 

 

To me, my Uncle bob had made it distinctively clear that he was on my brother’s side. I still cannot believe that he used my mom’s death as a way to get back at me for “outing” his child molester son. I never had any type of argument or fight with him or my Aunt Bea for that matter. All I did was speak the truth that my family took the side of his son, the perpetrator, and not the victim, in a letter that I wrote to my aunt Debbie. I know she showed him that letter. As angry as I was with their son I always treated my Aunt and Uncle with the utmost respect. The fact that my uncle could stand in that room and not even so much as say sorry to me, shows what type of person he really is. I will never talk to that piece of shit again. He’s lucky I didn’t ask the funeral director to escort his ass out of there. 
A serious situation like a death will show you the true colors of the people around you. My Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob put on a very convincing act for the rest of the world. Where I come from, when someone dies you put all the bullshit aside. In the days leading up to and after my mom’s death they showed me who they really were and what they were all about. While my Uncle clearly showed me that he had no use for me, my aunt Bea was still going with the charade. I didn’t see it until two days later but she sent me a text the morning my mom died that read, “[my name], I am so sorry 💜 at the same time I was glad to know that you were with your Mom during her final hours. I KNOW she felt true comfort in you being there and I prayed for her to leave us peacefully with you by her side. She told us all how good you made her feel. God bless you 💜”

When I finally did see it, I never responded to her because I know she was totally full of shit. She was just one of 100’s of text messages I received that day. If she supported her husband and his decision not to so much as express his sorrows to me, she could go fuck herself too. I almost have more respect for him than I do for her. At least he treated me how he truly felt. They made me feel completely uncomfortable in an already extremely uncomfortable situation and that is something I will never forget. They made it very clear to me, as they sat right next to my brother and his wife at the wake, that they were 100% behind them and not me. I came to find out at that time, words from my brothers own mouth that my Uncle Bob was the one advising him while my mom was in the hospital that whole month. I had a feeling that was the case. My gut told me that ever since the day I saw them having that private conversation near the elevators. That only made me hate them more. They were the reason my brother and his wife were harassing my mom in her final days, to get her affairs, that were already in order, in an order that THEY would be happy with. I fucking hate those assholes. 
I was so overwhelmed at the wake. I felt like a zombie. I hadn’t really slept in days. I didn’t even know what to say to people when they came up to me with their sad faces. It was too much to handle. We got back to my mom’s house after the first viewing and everyone stuffed their faces. My brother, his wife, my Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob sat in the living room and none of them lifted a finger to help. I so badly wanted to kick their asses out of the house but I composed myself. As I knew, my aunts would be in my mom’s bedroom. I brought my grandmother in there and asked her if she wanted my mom’s bed. I knew she probably was sleeping on the same mattress she had since my grandfather was alive in the 90’s. My aunt’s seemed thrilled at the idea. I didn’t think it would be a problem with my

Brother. I didn’t think he and his wife would want to sleep in my mom’s bed themselves. 
At some point during the time at my mom’s house Satan pulled my husband to the side and told him that she had been making phone calls. She called the oil company and told them to continue oil deliveries at my mom’s house and she cancelled the newspaper service. When my husband told me I of course was pissed. That was not her place to do so and especially without consulting with me first. I was even more pissed at my brother for allowing it. I also noticed her and my brother were in my old bedroom. The same room where the safe was that I had caught them sneaking into. I walked in there with my cousin Nikki afterwards and as we were in there reminiscing about my teen years I noticed this white folder sitting on top of a basket that my mom had some old bills in. The folder was not there the day prior. I grabbed the folder and slipped it under my jacket. My cousin, my husband and I went outside to go ask the neighbors if they wanted food. We stopped at my husband’s car to look at the folder. Sure enough it was the contract for my mom’s annuity that named me and my brother as beneficiaries. Obviously my brother and Satan left it in that room, near all their belongings probably with the plan to take it with them when they left. They were all over the money. My mom’s body hadn’t even gone cold. 
We returned to the funeral home and the night viewing was ten times more overwhelming than the day one. I saw faces I hadn’t seen in years. My mom worked at Kmart for 20 years prior to getting a job with my Aunt, the year after my dad passed. A lot of her co-workers from there and her current job came. I was meeting some people for the first time and seeing people that I had known my whole life. 
Donna, my brother’s ex-fiancé also came that night. She was very upset to lose her friend. Donna had also never met Satan before. She had only seen her in pictures. I think it’s expected at anyone’s wake that people from your past are going to show up. Friends of mine that I haven’t seen or talked to in years came to pay their respects because at one point in life, we shared a bond and they wanted to do the right thing. I know if my ex-boyfriend was still alive he would’ve came as well. Him and I broke up a year prior to my dad’s passing and he showed up at my dad’s wake to pay his respects. We didn’t leave off on the best of terms but he still showed up. 
I was in the back corner of the room talking to a group of my mom’s friends from Kmart when Donna came walking up in a huff. She was talking a little loudly and was obviously very upset about something. She told us what had happened just moments before, only a few feet away from my mom’s coffin. Obviously her and her husband wanted to pay their respects to my brother and so Donna saw an opportune time where my brother was standing alone and Satan was distracted talking to her girlfriend. She walked up to my brother and as soon as she did so, Satan came flying over like a dart and hooked her arm around my brothers arm. Donna asked if she could speak with my brother privately for a moment so she could express her daughter, his ex-fiancé’s sorrow and let him know that she was sorry she couldn’t come. Satan snapped at her and told her she was being very rude and so Donna snapped back and told Satan she was the rude one and a minor argument ensued. My brother told Donna he had to respect his wife and they walked away. Donna was really fired up and talking really loudly and I tried to calm her down. She was cursing Satan and saying how much she hurt my mom and how she didn’t deserve to be there. While I emphatically agreed with everything she was saying, I didn’t feel it was the time or place. I kept trying to calm her and eventually I politely excused myself from the situation. 
It was about a half hour or so before the night ended and my cousin Nikki came up to me and informed me that my brother and Satan had left to go pick up their kid. Her along with a few others thought it was incredibly wrong of them both to leave before the viewing was over. My husband and I took separate cars for that very reason. I was not going to leave my moms wake until everyone else did. 
I went outside to get some fresh air and saw Donna’s husband out there smoking a cigar. I could tell he was very upset. I wanted to thank him for making all the food for us. He included a lot of extras that I didn’t order. He told me that when my brother was leaving he tried to go up and express his sorrow and my brother completely sniffed him. He asked what he personally did to be treated like that? He was always kind to my brother and treated him with respect. They had a very good relationship when my brother was with his ex. They went to baseball games together and hung out. I could tell it really affected him that my brother was so rude to him and donna. I felt terrible. That wasn’t the way we were raised. 
I went home that night completely exhausted. I saw my mom’s phone sitting on the counter and I picked it up and started to look through it. As I was looking, I noticed an email notification pop up on the top of the screen. I went to the email. It was an alert from one of the companies that she had mutual funds with. It said that someone had changed the primary email on the account. I took a screen shot of it and sent it to my phone. I knew I wasn’t the person who had made any changes to any of her accounts. The only people it could’ve been was my brother and Satan. I knew they had her phone that second last day in the hospital. Satan called me from it that morning. Later that day my mom’s friend text me to ask me what was going on with with my mom. She told me that she had called my mom’s phone that evening and Satan answered the phone but she didn’t understand what she was saying. I went into my mom’s call logs and on that very day I see a missed call from my brother at 5:48pm. Three minutes later, theres a missed call from my uncle Bob at 5:51pm. A half hour later was when my mom’s friend called and Satan answered. Obviously this told me what was going on. My brother and my Uncle Bob were looking for my mom’s phone and for what reason, I don’t know. They weren’t calling my mom to chat. She was obviously incapacitated and couldn’t answer. Besides that, they were both up at the hospital. There was no need to be calling her phone except to look for it and obviously it was handed off to Satan at some point. They were obviously fishing and snooping around for something. Perhaps they were looking for user names and passwords to her bank accounts and such. 
I will never know what they were up to but I knew they weren’t going to get away with them. I woke my husband up and showed him what I found. The next morning, I was going to confront them.
(To be continued in my next post). 

The day after….

I my husband let me sleep in a little the next morning. I needed it but I had so much shit to do. I had to be up at the funeral home by 12:00pm to give them the outfit for my mom. On the way home the night before I stopped at Walmart to try to print some pictures but by time I got there the machines were closed, so I had to add that to my list of things to do that Monday. I had to stop somewhere on the way to the funeral home to get root touch up spray. I dyed my mom’s hair between her August hospital stay and this last one but her roots started to come back and I knew she’d be mortified if she had to be in front of everyone with her grey roots. 
That morning my brother called up my husband while I was still sleeping. I found it odd that they were doing all the communicating through my husband. I believe they thought my husband was easy to manipulate. They were trying to kiss ass telling my husband I could take my mom’s car, as if they had some type of authority. They also told my husband that my mom’s life insurance policy had lapsed and that it looked like they were going to have to move money out of some money market accounts to pay the funeral home. My husband said it sounded like they were talking about their own money market accounts but he wasn’t sure. My brother also informed him that there would be no money to pay for food or the restaurant to go to between viewings. 
I did not have the money to lay out for the restaurant or the food. At the time my husband and I were barely making it by. I was a stay at home mom and we lived exclusively off his paycheck. I called my brother and ultimately decided to use my mom’s house only because my house was a freaking mess. I hadn’t been home in over a month. I didn’t have time to get it together. My mom’s house was actually clean. She was in the hospital for about four days and my brother and Satan told me I had to let the cleaning lady in. She had just been there the week prior and my mom wasn’t home for half that week and the house really didn’t need the cleaning. I think it was an attempt at them keeping me away from the hospital. The cleaning lady was conveniently coming during the same time my brother had his lunch break at work. I let the cleaning lady in and left. I wasn’t going to sit there while she cleaned. Although I felt weird using my mom’s house, I felt like I had no choice. I told my brother I would call a friend to see if he could cater. That friend just happened to be his ex-fiancé’s step dad who was part owner of a local pizzeria/ restaurant, that I still went to. I knew he’d be more than happy to help. My brother was ok with the idea.  
I made it to the funeral home and oddly enough my brother and Satan were sitting in the lobby when I got there. They had an envelope of pictures. I told my brother I was the one doing the photos and he handed them to me and told me they were photos of my mom and his daughter. When I got out to my car I opened the envelope. There was exactly one photo of my mom with his daughter. The rest were pictures from his wedding. I looked at my mom’s face in the photos and you could see her misery through the fake smile she managed to crack. It just got me angry all over again. That was the day that started it all. The day my mom crossed the line from mildly depressed to severely depressed. That day caused her so much misery. I also found it sad that they only had pictures of her at their wedding back in 2014 and no other photos until their daughter was born and christened over a year and a half later. 
My brother also informed me that they were going to the florist to order the flowers. I had to go get my mom’s truck because the brakes on my car were literally grinding, and it was unsafe to drive my car. They started grinding the third to last day that my mom was in the hospital, but obviously I had no time to get them to a mechanic. I also needed her truck to transport the picture boards to the funeral home the next day. I called my brother and told him that I was borrowing the truck and he was fine with it. 
He and his wife went to my mom’s house after the funeral home. I had to run back home because I forgot to give them something at the funeral home. He called me from my mom’s house and asked if I needed them to do anything. I told him to pull out the dining room table and put the leaf extension in it so I could set up the food on it. I wondered why they were even there. Aside from that what else did they need to go there for? At that point in time I had realized that my brother and his wife had been to my mom’s more in those few weeks than they had been in the last three years, in total. How can I not find that strange? They never went there to visit her or help her when she was home but starting the week she went into the hospital, they were there on a near daily basis. 
I got to my mom’s house a little after they left. Because her car was sitting there for an entire month, not being driven, her battery had gone completely dead. I had to jump start her car so I could use it. It took me over an hour to get it up and running. When I was finished I had to go inside and set up the table with all the sterno trays for the food. That’s when I realized, we had nothing to serve the food on. That meant I had to add another stop in my already busy day. Thankfully my mom’s neighbor, who was caring for her dogs, pressed the table cloth for me. She was a huge help. I didn’t know that neighbor all that well prior to my mom being sick. They had moved in only a year or so before I moved out and they kept to themselves. I got to know her as my mom got sick and realized what an amazing person she was and how much stuff we actually had in common. She was a HUGE help to me in the months leading up to my mom’s death. I can’t even thank her enough. She has become a very good friend and we are still in touch to this day. 
I noticed while I was at my mom’s that my brother and his wife had cleared off all the mail and stuff from the kitchen table. I went into her room and saw that they carelessly dumped it on the dresser. I knew my aunts and my grandma would want to see my mom’s room and that everyone would be putting their coats on her bed. That was what we always did at family parties. I moved all the mail and threw it in a spare bedroom that I knew no one would look in. 
I left my mom’s house around 5:30-6:00. My next stop was the mall to get my husband a sports coat, a shirt and pants to wear to the wake. He had gained a little weight and didn’t have any other dress clothes to wear. I didn’t either, and so I also tried to see if they had something for me too. I did have a black dress on backup just in case. At my dad’s wake I wore this long black pencil skirt that had a small split up the back. When we came back to my mom’s house between the viewings one of my aunts informed me that my skirt had split all the way up to my butt! I had to take it off so she could sew it. I wasn’t going to have another incident like that! 
I didn’t leave the mall until about 9:00. I didn’t find anything for myself. My next stop was Walmart to shop for cups, plastic utensils, napkins and other supplies that we needed for the “party”. I also had to print some photos. Thankfully my cousin Nikki took out the time and sent a bunch to me and so did my mom’s cousin who lived in Florida. By the time I got there and did all my shopping it was nearing 10:00. I sat down at the photo kiosk only to realize it was shut down for the night. I was so pissed. 
I didn’t get home that night until 11:30pm. I also didn’t eat dinner until then either. I was exhausted. I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly my brother and his wife did aside from go to the florist. It seemed like I was doing everything else to prepare for the wake. I still had to put the photos on the boards. At that point all I had was the old photos I had taken from my mom’s house the night that she died. I laid them all out on the boards. I just looked down at the pictures from our family vacations, trips we took, the park, and our own backyard and I broke down and cried. I couldn’t believe I was looking at photos of the family that once existed and no longer did. My family was just a memory. I no longer had parents. I was now an adult orphan. I had no one. My brother and my relationship was so tarnished I knew there was no turning back. Even if Satan and him got divorced at this point, I don’t even know if I could forgive him for what he put my mom through, not only in the last month but in the years before she died. 
I stayed up late doing the pictures until I could no longer keep my eyes opened. I filled up two boards with all the pictures I had. I only got a few hours of sleep and the next day was her wake….
(To be continued in my next post).  

The spiteful Indian giver……

The next day I went to the hospital and sat down with my mom to propose the idea of her coming to live with us. I would be her full time care taker. I told her that my husband and I discussed it and we would set her up in our family room. She would have her own private space. It would be like a small studio apartment. We would figure out how get her back and forth to dialysis. My mom was very excited about the idea. I knew I could not stop her cancer from taking her but if she was going to do hospice, she was going to do so surrounded by the people she loved. I assured her that everyone was welcome to visit her, including my brother and his wife and that she would be able to have her own private life away from us. She was really excited about it. If the cancer was going to take her, fine but I was not about to promote her slowly poisoning herself to death by stopping dialysis. 
It was hard though because my mom seemed to be a little more in denial than I had originally believed. She still seemed to think she was heading to a rehab facility, and there was a chance of her coming home, and that coming to my house was going to be a stepping stone to her going home and resuming a normal life. She was determined to live. The doctor who told me about hospice told me that my mom would have to be able to sit in a chair for at least 4 hours if continuing dialysis was even going to be an option for her,and so I pushed her to try. 
It was Friday the 11th when I went up to the hospital and that day she sat in the chair for an hour. It was a huge accomplishment. I was at least relieved that she was willing to give it a shot. My brother came that afternoon, after four days of not coming to visit her and he finally took his camera. My mom told me he called her later that afternoon and he was pissed and told her to tell me that I owed him $200 for the camera that I smashed. I was pissed too. Pissed that there even was a camera for me to l smash, but more so, I was pissed that he was even bothering her with this stupid bullshit. I said to her, “I knew this was going happen.”, and then I told her not to even worry about it. She asked me what I did to it, that he said it was “destroyed”. Again I laughed and said, “I knew that too was going to happen and that’s why I took photos of it before I brought it back up…. because I knew they were going to exaggerate the damage.”. There was a few surface  scratches on the back. My mom kept going, “well he said he cannot sell it.”.  I responded, “ok.” Then she said, “I will give him the $200 for the camera, I will pay for it.”. I turned around and said, “No! no! You will NOT pay for it. I will. It was my mistake. I will pay for it and that’s it. I don’t want to even discuss this stupid shit anymore.”.
My blood was boiling at that point in time. I really wanted to fucking kill my brother. My mom was dealing with enough bullshit. All that kept playing in my head was the word ,’terminal’and the word, ‘hospice’. Everything else was so fucking insignificant to me at that point . I had to wonder, what was wrong with him that he would even think it was appropriate to bring this fucking bullshit up to her? Why wouldn’t he just come to me and ask me to pay for it? Now, not only was he making her feel badly about it, but he was stressing her out. I seriously didn’t even care at that point in time about playing his stupid games and so I didn’t even pay it anymore attention. He had put me through enough bullshit in those last few weeks. 
That same night my mom was trying to go on her iPad, but it kept freezing up. My mom was very into her iPad, and not seeing her on it, or looking at Facebook, for the last three weeks, was very strange, and a good indicator of how bad of shape she was in. I took a look at her iPad and sure enough it was just frozen. It wouldn’t move. I asked her if she had done anything to it, and she told me that my brother put the Nest app (for their camera ) on it so she could have access to the camera. I asked if he had done anything else and she said she didn’t know. All of her apps were updating at the same time and you couldn’t open any of them. I told her I’d take it home and try to fix it for her. She told me she couldn’t even use her phone because she was having trouble seeing, even with her glasses on. 
I finally got my mom to agree to try the antidepressant the doctors offered to her and they agreed to start her in a few days.  She needed it. The doctors told her it would take a few weeks to feel the full effects of it. That Saturday she told me to go to her house and get her reading glasses. I wondered if the antidepressant was effecting her eye sight. I knew my mom had to be severely depressed to agree to start taking medication for it but I was hoping maybe it would take the edge off and make her act more like herself. I felt like even though I was spending so much time with her, it was like I haven’t seen her, the real her, for months. Pretty much ever since she got her surgery in February she was not the same. It was like she never recovered fully from it. I missed shopping with her and talking on the phone with her. I missed our conversations about everyday things like gardening and makeup products. I even missed gossiping with her. What can I say? I’m a woman. I felt like all we did was talk about how she felt, what the doctors said, blood tests, MRI’s and hospitals. I wanted my mom back and I thought maybe the antidepressant would help me get at least some of that back. Maybe it was selfish of me. 
That night though it was quiet and we got a chance to kind of bond in that way. Since she couldn’t get out of bed, she couldn’t bathe or shower. Her hair hadn’t been washed in weeks and she hadn’t been able to do any other type of grooming. I know this is maybe too much information, but she asked me to bring some wax strips up to the hospital. They had pretty much doubled or tripled her dose of prednisone which is a steroid that helps calm inflammation. It does so by suppressing part of the immune system. It also comes with a whole host of,sort of unpleasant side effects. I remember back when she first got her transplant and she had just started taking it. Prednisone makes you more hungry, and therefore, more likely to gain weight. The weird thing though,  is that it redistributes fat, which means you may puff up in weird places like your face. In women it could cause facial hair to grow, and so it’s a good idea to invest in some hair removal products if you are on it because you will constantly need them. 
We had a mini, spa night. I cleaned up all the unwanted hair. I helped her brush her hair and rub lotion on her feet and part of her legs. My mom struggled with her weight for as long as I could remember and it was alarming to see how much muscle mass and weight she lost off of her legs. After one week of bed rest you lose up to 12% of your muscles. By week three, 50%. When she was still in a lot of pain she was constantly asking me to pick her her leg and put a pillow under it or remove a pillow from under it. I would pick up her leg and what used to be a solid leg now felt like a bone with some skin hanging off of it. It was hard to see that. It was hard to see all the physical effects that her illness was having on her. Her skin looked dull and had a pale, greyish undertone. I was just glad I could make her feel better even if by doing such small favors for her. 
I went back up to the hospital Sunday morning and hung out for a little while it was sometime in the late afternoon that I got a phone call from my husband that my brother had text him once again about his stupid fucking camera. He wrote, “for some reason [me] decided to smash the camera before giving it back. I already talked to my mom about this. Since she doesn’t work, are you going to give me the money for a new one?”. My husband was so done with my brother’s bullshit and so he answered, “She gets a weekly allowance. You can deal with her.“. My brother came back,“fine we will file a claim in small claims (court). You will both be served shortly.” 

This is one of the two actual photographs I took of the camera before returning it. As you can see there is absolutely no damage whatsoever to the front of the camera. There’s some smudges and debris that can easily be wiped away.
Back view of the camera, the scratches you see are the only damage it sustained. As you can see the camera is not “smashed”, like my brother was claiming it was!

My husband was fucking livid, and as angry as he was, you could take my anger and multiply it by 100 and that’s how angry I was. First off, I was still pissed that he was harassing my mom about this stupid camera. Second, I was pissed that he contacted my husband after I asked him not to. Third, why was he even contacting my husband, at all? Why wouldn’t he text me? Just because he needs to do everything through his wife, doesn’t mean that’s the way the rest of the world does things. Fourth, I mean really you’re going to bring your own sister and your brother-in-law to fucking small claims court over a fucking camera that you voluntarily GAVE up ownership to? That would be dumb considering I have a text where he says he gave it to my mom. Fifth, and probably the worst, was that he was wasting so much fucking time worrying about this stupid fucking camera. Seriously, this camera was his top priority. I couldn’t believe that anyone would even think any of that shit was even remotely important, considering that their mother was in a hospital, fighting for her life. All that time and effort he wasted going to her house and setting it up, and then going back to check on it, was time he could’ve been spending with her. 

I didn’t even want my mom to know what was going on but my blood was boiling. He was such a liar, acting as if the camera was now useless and unsellable. If it was such a piece of garbage why did he go back to my mom’s house and retrieve the box after he got it back? Why would he need the box to a smashed camera that he couldn’t sell? This was nothing more than spite. I admit I was completely.  wrong for throwing it, but this could’ve wanted to be dealt with at a later date in time. It’s not like him and Satan were broke or hard up for cash. He’s driving around Mercedes and living in a $500,000 house in an upper middle class neighborhood. I’m sure he could spare the money for another few weeks until we figured out what was going on with my mom. We all had enough stress at the time. All this petty bullshit could’ve been settled at another time. 
I did not want to explain what was going on to my mom, and so I told her I was going to go back to my house to try and fix her iPad because the glasses I brought up weren’t helping her see any better, on her phone. I got into my car and called my husband.  He read the rest of th text exchange with my brother to me. After the small claims court threat my husband responded, “good if that’s what you want to do. [sic] Why don’t you try taking to your sister? You haven’t tried once.” My brother replied with, “she told me to never call her again.” Actually, I told him never to contact EITHER of us again and so we now know that excuse is a big fat lie. 
I was really shocked at my brother and the way he was acting about this camera. All of this was just so out of character for him. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. None, and I repeat NONE of his behavior over the last three weeks was typical behavior for him. I couldn’t see him ever taking charge and going to my moms house and rifling through her personal information. I couldn’t see him concocting a plan to plant a camera in her house or giving a shit that she chose me to be her healthcare proxy. Hell, I couldn’t imagine my brother being mad at me for three years over a dress that I chose to wear to his wedding. I have known him my whole life and there is not one person out there who will ever convince me that he was the brainchild of ANY of this shit. It’s just not who he was. Period. 
After my husband told him to deal with me, he decided to text me this “since you smashed the camera before giving it back, are you going to be giving me $200 for it, out of your weekly allowance?”. I replied to him, “didn’t I tell you NOT to contact me and my husband anymore? This is bordering on harassment now (I can play the veiled threats game too!). Why don’t you worry about your mother who is dying?   (He hadn’t been to the hospital in days). If the camera is so worthless and unsellable now, why’d you need the box for it? You are so fucking full of shit and I am done. You can bring me to small claims court.” He replied, “Will do.” 

After that I felt it was time to really give him a piece of my mind I wrote back, “man [brothers name] you and your wife are the most vindictive people on the planet. Really [brother’s name]; this is really what’s important to you right now? A fucking camera? Why was it there to begin with? So mommy can get a nice view down her hallway? You sneaky fucks are the ones who need cameras pointed at you.”

I couldn’t stop, I sent that and then another, “and like a little pussy you’re up at the hospital bothering mommy about this fucking bullshit. Do you see what this is doing to her? I’ll be sure to notify the social worker that you are adding non-necessary stress to her life right now and making her worse. Maybe you should spend your time with her instead of at the bar getting drunk like your 21 years old. Really man, get your shit together”.  

I then explained, “the doctors said the word terminal to me. Do you need the fucking definition of what that means. She’s fighting for her LIFE! And you are bothering her with this TRIVIAL bullshit? That is probably what you wanted you piece of shit!”.

My phone started ringing. It was him calling me. I didn’t want to talk to him. I text him back and said, “I’m up at the hospital, I’m not talking to you. You wasted enough of my time.”. I wasn’t about to sit there while he tried to manipulate me. I just wanted this shit to stop.  
He wrote back to me, ” I understand the word terminal. She has stage four cancer. And I spoke to the doctor today. He said she’s on the upward trend and responding to treatment.” 
I was stunned. First off, I don’t what doctor he spoke to that day but when I spoke to the doctor he told me the exact opposite. I saw with my own eyes that, that wasn’t the case. Even if it was, she still was in very bad shape and had some extremely difficult hurdles to get over, just to get herself into a rehab facility. So now, an upward trend justifies him crying to her, like a little baby, about his broken camera? What little respect I had left for him completely disappeared, right then and there. I wrote back to him, “fuck off. Just stop talking to me.”



He replied again,“regardless her being terminal doesn’t mean I have to shut up and take your psychotic bullshit! Smashing the camera was completely unnecessary. Get a hold of your fucking feelings.”. 



I found it amazing that he thought I was the psychopath, when the real psychopath was the person he laid his head down next to every night. I know I probably should’ve just ignored him at this point but I had enough, I just couldn’t. 
I wrote back, “take my psychotic bullshit? Be a fucking MAN already and grab your balls back from your wife and address me! Don’t drag mommy into this. You just showed me how fucking heartless you are. Holy shit! You little baby. DO NOT CONTACT ME ANYMORE.”.



I pulled up to my house and came in to try and fix my mom’s iPad. My husband was out with my son getting dinner. He pulls back up to the house and he is furious. He tells me he’s going to the store to buy my brother a new camera. I told him not to bother. First off, my brother would have to prove that the camera was his, by way of receipt. Since it was supposedly a prize his wife won in a contest, I doubt she had a receipt. If they could provide a receipt then that would prove she is a liar and didn’t actually win the camera. Second, as I mentioned earlier, I have a text from him where he says he gave the camera to my mom. That means he has no recourse because the camera wasn’t his, anymore. He’d be wasting his time, plus taking off a day of work all for a $200 camera. It’s so stupid. 
My husband just didn’t want the problems. He just wanted to do the right thing, which I admire. He is the ying to my yang.  I was so angry with my brother at this point. He and his wife had put me and my mom through so much unnecessary bullshit in the past few weeks, and if you want to go there, the last three years. I was trying really hard to not get into it with him but I had reached my wits end. I was so done with him, his wife and their bullshit. He had really crossed a line this time. Not just one line, multiple lines. As I’ve said before, I know my brother. I know what kind of person he is. I know he learned morals and values from the same two people as I did and so I have to ask, how did he veer so far off the beaten path? 
I had to fix my mom’s iPad. My husband went to Lowe’s and dropped the camera off to my brother at his house. I wished he hadn’t given in to those two idiots but I’m also happy that he just wanted to take the high road. He made my brother give him the smashed one. At least we can make our money back, and we did. 

(To be continued in my next post….)

 

So….how long does she have? 

My mom ended up spending almost an entire month in the hospital. I brought her in on Aug 1st and she was discharged Aug. 28th. It was one of the longest months of my life. I picked her up from the hospital sometime in the afternoon. I knew from this point on I was going to have to be vigilant about helping her with her day to day tasks.
This hospital stay brought with it a lot of bad news. One being that her cancer had spread to her stomach. The other being that her kidney function, of her transplanted kidney was not doing so good and that she would inevitably end up on dialysis in the near future. In fact before she left the hospital the doctors decided it would be best to do a fistula in her arm. A fistula is when they connect a large vein to an artery so a patient can receive dialysis through it. If you’re not familiar with dialysis, it’s a life saving “treatment” for people with chronic kidney failure. Basically you are connected to a machine by two (very large) needles. Your blood exits your body through one needle and gets cycled through a machine (dialysis machine) where it’s filtered, sometimes nutrients are added and then it’s cycled back into your body by the other needle. While it’s a life saving treatment, it’s not a permanent solution. Your quality of life suffers as you must be tethered to this machine for four hours at a time, usually 3 times a week. When my mom did it back in the early 90’s when her kidneys originally failed, she also worked a full time job. It takes a lot out of you. You also must follow a very strict diet. It’s not fun and my mom was dreading it. 
I picked my mom up in the late afternoon that day. Before we went home, she asked if I could stop at the pharmacy to pick up the laundry list of medications she was prescribed. We drove to Kmart where also used to work. I asked if she wanted to wait in the car with my son but she told me no. She wanted to come in and see some of her old co-workers. Oddly enough she kept complaining about this pain in her butt that also went into her leg. I asked her if she had mentioned it to the nurses or doctors before she was discharged and she told me that they said it could be from being in the hospital bed for so long and that it should subside shortly. 
She was leaning on the shopping cart all the way through the store and she kept asking me to stop every so often so she could sit down and rest. Something wasn’t right. It took us over an hour and a half to do a complete circle around the store and it was worrying me. Everyday when I came up to the hospital, I encouraged her to do a few laps around the hallways with me and I didn’t recall her complaining about the pain although thinking back, I do recall her complaining a little about numbness in her butt cheek. We got her prescriptions and headed back to her house where I cleaned out her fridge which still had food in it from before she went into the hospital. She made me a list and I ran to the grocery store to grab some stuff so she’d have things to eat. I also grabbed her a slice of pizza and helped her get settled in for the night. I was really worried now about her being alone. 
Over the next two weeks the pain started to get worse. She did a search and diagnosed herself through doctor google with a bad case of sciatica. It was time to see the oncologist to talk about a treatment for her cancer. She had already seen one oncologist and went for her followup scans and this time we were seeing a different one who was affiliated with the hospital she had just stayed at which was much closer to where we lived. In fact it’s only 4 miles from my house. 
I was the one taking her to all her follow up visits but my brother asked to tag along to see the oncologist. It was the first doctor visit he had attended since he brought her for the second opinion back in the late winter. Since his job was right across the street from the hospital, I drove her there and he met up with us later on. We got into the office and the doctor started explaining how he wanted to try a medication that was fairly new to the market that was made to target her specific type of cancer. My brother started asking a lot of questions. Most of them were good but most them were questions that had he been an active participant in her healthcare, he would’ve already knew the answers to. My mom mentioned the pain in her butt and leg and the doctor prescribed her a fentanyl patch to take along with pain killers she already was on. 
We were wrapping up the appointment and waiting on the nurse to bring in a kit that gave us information about the chemotherapy drugs my mom was going to be taking when the doctor asked if we had anymore questions. My brother who was on his phone for most of the visit blurts out, “so, like how long does she have to live?”. Immediately my mom and I swung our heads around and looked at one another with these shocked looks. I couldn’t believe my brother would ask such a blunt question. I watched my mom’s eyes rapidly fill up with water and before the doctor could answer I screamed out, “Why would you even ask such a thing!?”. There was an awkward silence as in the room as I watched tears roll down my mom’s face. I turned to the doctor and told him, “She clearly doesn’t want to know that…” and I asked him to please not answer the question. My brother tried to back peddle by saying, “well, what’s the prognosis?”. I looked back over at my mom who was still shaking her head in disbelief and trying to choke back her tears. The doctor cut in with a very professional answer. He explained to my brother that he doesn’t like to give his patients expirations dates. That each person’s body is different and that it was all dependent on various factors. I was relieved to hear the doctors explanation but I was so angry with my brother. How could he ask that kind of question right in front of her? 
There was an obvious tension throughout the rest of the doctors visit. My brother kept his mouth shut and his eyes glued to his phone until the nurse came back in with some literature on the medication. My brother asked my mom if he could see it and he scanned it into this document scanner app that he had on his phone. When my mom asked what he was doing he explained to her that he was keeping track of all of her medical documents in his phone. My mom again shot me a puzzled look probably wondering like I was, how he had access to any of her medical documents prior to this visit. I didn’t want to say, but he probably found them while he and his wife were snooping through my mom’s mail and personal paperwork at her house. 
A week or so later we learned that my mom’s insurance had rejected coverage of the medication that she was supposed to get and so the doctor decided to try a different medication. Now it would be another few weeks before my mom received the next medication. In the meanwhile her pain was getting worse. She had started the 12mg fentanyl patch and it didn’t seem to be giving her any relief. I asked a friend of mine who was a nurse and she told me that she needed to give it a few days to work through her system. A few days passed and the patch still wasn’t helping and so I put in a call to the oncologists office and was told by the nurse that my mom had to take the pain pills in conjunction with the patch, which she wasn’t doing. Once she started doing that she got some relief. 
It was now mid September. My mom and all her sisters and brothers had planned a big party for my grandmother who was turning 90. Aunt Bea of course was the one in charge. Earlier in the summer she had sent out “save the date” invites on Facebook. I received that one but I wasn’t on the list for the actual invite, for some reason. She sent it to my husband, but not me. I really didn’t want to go. By this point in time I had not spoken to Aunt Bea, Aunt Debbie, their daughters or anyone else really in my family. I felt really uncomfortable about going but seeing that it was such a monumental birthday, I had to suck it up. 
At this point in time, my mom was getting fed up with her family. My son had started nursery school and I had posted pics of his first day of school, ever, on my Facebook page and not one person from my family (except my mom’s youngest sister) commented or hit the like button. My mom was really hurt by it and so she left a comment saying “I guess no one in my family cares that my grandson started school today.”. 

She asked me if I would be attending my grandmother’s party and I told that I was but I was doing so reluctantly. She told me she didn’t really want to go either but that we had to. I explained to her that I never even got a real invite. As upset with her sisters my mom would become, at times, she never believed that they’d purposely leave me out. I when to show her the invite requests that I had on my phone and I how I only had the one for the original save the date and not the actual party. 
Later that night I got home and suddenly I get this nasty text from my mom saying that she was so ashamed of me and couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to my grandmother’s party! A few minutes I get another nasty text from her youngest sister, my aunt Dana, telling me that she couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to my grandmother’s party and how she told her kids that she would disown them if they didn’t come and all this crazy shit! I had no clue why either of them were saying this and so I finally asked my aunt who informed me that she got a notification on Facebook saying I wasn’t attending the party! Sure enough I figured out that as I was searching my invites, I had accidentally hit the, “not attending” button on the save the date. I told them both to cool their tits and that it was a mistake. I also made a public post to let everyone know it was a mistake, so I could calm down all the gossip that I knew would take place but no one even responded. 
My place as the family “black sheep” had been solidified. I realized in the preceding years that my family was somewhat like a mini-Mafia and Aunt Bea was the boss and Aunt Debbie was the underboss and of you went against them or tried to break up their delusions of a perfect family, you were bound to be come rejected, outcasted and shunned by all. That’s exactly how I felt…..
(To be continued in my next post) 

To tell or not to tell, that is the question. 

I caught my brother and Satan going through my mom’s safe while she was in the hospital and the receipt I found on the floor that had fallen from the pile of papers had confirmed to me 100%! I call that divine intervention right there. What most likely happened was that they were looking at my mom’s will and they brought all the papers into her kitchen and spread them all out onto her counter. When they went to put them away, they probably accidentally grabbed the receipt and stuffed it in there. 
My husband and I left. He got in his car, I got in mine to head up to the hospital. I started to think back to that day when they went to my mom’s house and it hit me. My brother called me earlier on that day. I remember thinking it was extremely weird that he called me. At that point in time it had been months since I had physically spoken on the phone. In fact the last time was my birthday, all the way back in March. We hardly communicated at all but when we did it was always via text. I thought back to the conversation and how strange it was and I remembered that it seemed like there was no real purpose to the call. My brother is not very good at this kind of shit. The whole conversation was basically him trying to find out what I was doing that day, if and when I was going to the hospital, etc. I remembered hanging up with him thinking, “that was fucking weird! “. That’s when the lightbulb went off, “Holy shit.” He called that day to make sure I wasn’t going to be at my mom’s house! I knew something was up that day and there was more to that call.
The more I thought about everything the more angry I became. This was NOT my brother. It was not him going through my mom’s mail. It was not him going through her financial statements. It was not him looking for her will in the safe. I just could not see my brother masterminding any of this shit. While my brother is very intelligent, he is just not that guy who’s going to step up to the plate and take charge. He never was like that. He was always very unsure of himself. He couldn’t even walk into a family function by himself. He would always call me and see if I was coming and sometimes he’d even wait outside for me. When my cousin’s father in law died, I made plans to drive to his wake and my brother had to call me up and ask if I was going before he made a decision. There is just no way in hell I would ever believe he came up with this idea of calling me up to make sure I’m not in the area, going to my mom’s house, opening all of her mail, under the guise of helping her do bills and stuff and especially the laundry part. I mean he has NEVER done anything even close to that before. It’s just not him. My mom practically had to beg for him to help her with things. There’s no way. 
I had to decide whether or not I would tell my mom. I really didn’t want to upset her or hurt her. As much as I knew talks about her wishes would have to happen one day, I was very uncomfortable bringing this stuff up with her. I didn’t want to scare or upset her. She was already terrified. Satan was counting my mom’s money. That’s what she was doing. She wanted to see how hard she had to work on her investment. 
Ultimately I decided my mom needed to know. I got to the hospital that day and made sure she was ok before I settled in and started to talk about it. I believe she brought them up. I asked her what their reasoning was for going to her house that day and she said she really didn’t know but they said it was to do laundry and bring her clean pajamas. I pointed out her that they had only washed three pairs of pajamas and ended up buying her new ones anyway. So why did they bother washing the old ones if they were just going to buy new ones? I asked her if she knew what else they did while they were there and she said she didn’t know and so finally I told her. She was angry and ready to call them up and confront them. I told her to wait. I also told her that they had opened all her mail and went through her papers. She was pissed. She told me to hide the combination to the safe next time I went there. She too knew it wasn’t my brother. It’s just not stuff he would do and knowing that, it made her even more upset. I told her not to say anything and to play it cool until we saw they did something else or if they mentioned to her that they went through her safe 
The next day she told me she talked to them and there was no mention of them going in the safe but my brothers wife told her she went through all the mail and through out the things that she thought was unimportant. I would never. I have known my inlaws for a decade and I would never feel comfortable enough to go into their home while they weren’t there and start opening up mail. I didn’t even feel comfortable opening my own mother’s mail. Satan had a story to explain everything. The baby moved the basket near the safe. The baby ate the food. The baby did it all! She covered all grounds but none of it was making sense. It was still very weird that they hadn’t helped much with ANYTHING and now the one thing they do want to help with is my mom’s finances??? Something was up and from that point on I knew I needed to keep a close eye on them and what they were doing.
Satan’s life revolves around money. It’s all she talks about. Once she realized that she’d be inheriting almost a half a million dollars, my mom became and investment to her. For three years she completely disregarded my mom and her feelings. She had no relationship with her but once she went through her bills and financial statements and had an idea of where my mom stood financially, she befriended my mom. My mom was now an investment to her and the ass kissing started real hard at that point on. 

(To be continued in my next post)

Safe keepings 

My brother and Satan were putting in more effort during this hospital stay. They came to visit more often. Sure one can say they realized my mom had cancer and they saw that they were wrong for treating her like a piece of dog shit for the past three years and they may be right, but I have to question why someone who previously had absolutely no empathy for my mom, suddenly started to treat her like a real human being. Not only did she start acting as if she cared for my mom but at some point she actually took over all communication with my mom, for my brother. If they were coming to the hospital, Satan would be the one to call my mom and make the arrangements. No matter what it was, she would be the one who communicated. 
It was about 3 weeks into my mom’s hospital stay when my girlfriend, well my best friend, Toni came to town. She had moved out of state right after high school and never came back. We still remain friends. Anyway, I hadn’t seen her in a while and so we made plans to meet up in the city. I felt really weird leaving my mom for the day knowing I wouldn’t see her until the next day but she assured me it was ok. I had asked her if I could borrow a small purse from her because I didn’t want to lug around my big purse in the city all day. She told me to go to her house and look in either her closet or my old closet and there would be one. 
I took a ride to her house, about 11:30pm the night before my city trip. I dropped off a bag of dirty pajamas on the counter that I had brought home from the hospital because my mom thought she was being discharged the next day. I went in her room but couldn’t find the bag I was looking for and so I decided to search the closet in my old bedroom. Since I moved out about ten years ago, my room has become a junk room where my mom throughs things she has no room for elsewhere. It was also the toy room. My mom had tons of toys in there for my son to play with. As soon as I walked in the room I know something was off. The toys were all kept in one corner my mom kept them in two wicker barrels and whatever toys didn’t fit in those, she piled in front of them. The one wicker barrel was moved to the complete opposite side of the room. It was weird because I was at her house the day prior, my son was in that room and played with some of the toys but I cleaned it all up before we left and I specifically remembered putting that barrel back in its place but I started to second guess myself because it’s possible I forgot. Regardless I picked it up and put it back in it’s place. 
Two days later my mom calls me and tells me that Satan called her and asked her if she needed anything from her house. My mom told her no and that I was going there at some point in the next 24 hours. My mom told me that she seemed really eager to go to her house and of course it raised an eyebrow for me too. My brother and her never really went to my mom’s house when she wasn’t home, before. My brother may have been there to do something one other time earlier that summer. In fact, for almost a year straight my brother didn’t even have a key to her house. My mom broke her key off in the lock and had to replace the lock the previous summer. She had just given it back him. 
I asked my mom why they wanted to go there and she said she really didn’t know. They said they were going to do some laundry for her but she didn’t really have anything that needed cleaning that bad. As we are talking about it, my brother and Satan come strolling into my mom’s hospital room. Satan is carrying a plastic Target bag. She drops it on the foot of the bed and pulls out a brand new pair of pajamas. She goes on to explain that she and my brother went did her laundry but they only stuck around long enough to to switch the clothes over to the dryer. She then tells my mom that my brother had to get a hair cut and her the baby were stuck waiting in the car for an hour. After that they went to target and got her a new pair of pajamas. 
As I’m sitting there looking down at my phone and trying my hardest not to get caught rolling my eyes, I get a text from the neighbor who was looking after my mom’s dog’s. She tells me that someone had opened all of my mom’s mail and threw some of it away. Immediately my heart starts pumping and I start getting that weird feeling in my gut. I wait a few minutes and then tell my mom I have to leave. I say goodbye and I race right over to my mom’s house to see what they were doing. I just had a very weird feeling.
I get to the house and notice this neat stack of folded up papers sitting on the table where a large pile of mail, flyers and newspapers once sat. My mom was in the hospital for 3 weeks at that point and had accumulated quite a decent amount of mail. The pile was way too neat. The edges of each sheet of paper was perfectly aligned. I know it wasn’t my brother who left it that way, it was Satan. Something just didn’t sit right with me about her going through my mom’s mail. I don’t even touch my mom’s mail. That is her business, not mine. 
My mom sued her doctor for malpractice when her kidneys failed back in the early 90’s. The doctor completely glossed over a simple blood result that could’ve got her diagnosed sooner and possibly saved her kidneys. In stead he had her running around from doctor to doctor, and convincing her that the symptoms she was experiencing were a result of aging. She did that for an entire year. They settled out of court for half a million dollars. My mom and dad obviously spent some of it on things we needed but she put the bulk of it in mutual funds and annuities. She got quarterly statements mailed to her house and she opens them and put them in a pile on her stove along with other documents. That pile also had been gone through and was neatened up. 
The bags I brought home from the hospital were also ransacked. I had put some of the snacks that people got my mom inside and some of the snacks were opened and eaten. I went downstairs to check the laundry. There were exactly THREE pairs of pajamas in there. It made no sense. I then went upstairs and called my husband who happened to be in his way home from work. He comes by my mom’s house and as I’m showing him all the stuff that was moved, we are scratching our heads trying to figure out why they’d be going through her mail and stuff. It was then that I told my husband about the wicker basket being moved across the room that day, and how I thought I was losing my mind because I really thought I put it back. We walk into my old bedroom so I can show him where it was and low and behold it was moved across the room again.
That wicker basket was sitting right in front of my mom’s safe. I turned to my husband and said, “can it be? Were they in her safe?”. I went into the office and got the combination. We all knew where the combo was kept as we all had things in that safe when we lived at home. Things like jewelry and important documents were stored in there. I did the combination and opened the safe and right away I could tell it was a complete mess! My mom kept it relatively neat throughout the years and it looked like someone had taken everything out and carelessly shoved it back in. I started removing items to see if anything was noticeably missing. I didn’t see anything and so I started looking through the documents and there it was, my mom and my dad’s wills. 
I opened them up and looked at them. They stated that should my dad survive my mom he wound be the beneficiary. Should they both be deceased it named my two aunts, Aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie as executors. I was shocked to see their names there. For the past three years my mom kept telling me it was my brother as the executor and she wanted to put me on it as the executor. It wasn’t anything real personal against my brother it’s just that she knew who wore the pants over there and it wasn’t my brother and my mom did NOT want his wife having any say in her affairs. 
I didn’t want to look at it anymore. My husband and I both concluded that that was most likely why they were in her safe to begin with. I folded all the papers back up and put them back in the ziplock bags my mom had stored them in. I put everything back in when suddenly I realized I forgot a piece of paper. I picked up the small piece of paper and started to read it. It was a receipt for a frigidaire a/c unit. For a second I felt a bit out of sorts. I thought maybe this was the receipt for the old A/C that had just crapped out on her. Then I looked at the date and sure enough it was dated from the beginning of August. It was the receipt that I had left on my mom’s kitchen counter in the weeks prior. There’s only one way that receipt could’ve gotten in there… 
(To be continued in my next post) 

You could lead a horse to water….

I know what I wrote to my Aunt Debbie was harsh. I knew I may have gone a little overboard but I was just done. I couldn’t take the bullshit anymore and I wanted her and everyone else to know. I knew she was going to show my Aunt Bea that letter. I have a theory in life. If you don’t want people to know what you said, don’t say it at all! I knew she would most likely share it and I didn’t care. I was taking a stand for myself. They no longer were going to control me or my feelings anymore. 
I made a very conscious decision not to tell my mom about these letters and the fact that I was keeping my distance from my family. I knew she’d be upset that I was telling people she was depressed but she couldn’t deny it at that point. She would say those very words to me. More so than that I didn’t want her to see how shitty her sisters really were. It would all fall on meI knew my mom and what a sensitive person she was and I knew to see how they reacted to my words it would hurt her on a very deep level. She was already upset with Aunt Bea who continued to kiss Satan’s ass on social media. I decided that telling her would be detrimental to her health and so I tried to keep it from her for as long as I could. 

My mom wasn’t stupid though, she started to notice something was up. I would post photos and stuff of my son on social media and no one from my family would like or comment on them. She would ask me why but I would just tell her I didn’t know. 
It was now the summer. My mom’s condition seemed to be getting worse. It was the beginning of July and she started having trouble breathing. She went and saw a lung doctor back in June who put her on and inhaler and a nebulizer treatment. After a a few weeks though her breathing seemed to get worse. She told me she couldn’t even bend down to pick up her dog’s bowls to feed them. I knew something more was going on. 
My brothers kid turned one in early April but they didn’t have a birthday party for her at that time because they had put their house on the market and bought a newer, more expensive home. I couldn’t understand why they even needed to buy a new home. As much as I hate to admit it, The house they lived in was already nice. They had a huge swimming pool in the yard, a nice piece of property on a cul de sac and the house was completely renovated and updated. They were also in one of the best school districts in our county. I guess it wasn’t enough for Satan. 
I remember reading somewhere that psychopaths and their cluster B counterparts get bored easily. They have a constant need for excitement in their lives. That was certainly true for Satan. It seemed like she could never just stop and smell the roses. She constantly had to be planning the next big thing in her life. She did the engagement, the wedding, the baby and now she needed the big thing in life to keep her busy, a new house. Idle hands are the devils playground I suppose. 
They moved into their house sometime in June and so Satan must’ve gotten bored and so she decided to plan a 1st birthday party for her kid who was now nearly one and a half years old. Most people probably would’ve called it a wash by then. I know I would’ve felt a little strange throwing a party for my son four months after his birthday but to each their own I guess. Either way, she had the entire summer at that point and could’ve had the party on any day but she choose my mom’s birthday, at the end of July to have it. 
It was the first time since before their wedding that I was actually invited to a party. I hadn’t seen my brother since we brought our kids to my mom’s house that day back in March and we hadn’t really spoken since he brought my mom for the second opinion at Sloan Kettering. They hadn’t helped with my mom since then either. My husband didn’t want to go to their house. He was pretty pissed off at this point too. Our entire lives were turned upside down since the day after Christmas 2015. We were the ones who were helping my mom with everything. If something broke in her house my husband was the one who’d be over there fixing it. My brother always had an excuse. I really didn’t want to go to their house either as I was also annoyed. Also there was the whole issue with my aunts. My husband didn’t want them to see my son and I felt the same way and so together we both decided that we weren’t going to attend the birthday party. As a parent, I don’t want my son to think it’s ok to treat other people like shit. 
At this point in time I hadn’t spoken to anyone in my family. Not even my supposed “sister” Tina. She just stopped talking to me one day and I had no idea why. I also didn’t want to see Aunt Bea or Aunt Debbie. I was still pretty upset with both of them. I didn’t know how I was going to break this news to my mom. I really didn’t have any other excuse for not going. After everything happened between my cousins I had extreme anxiety about going to family parties for a very long time. I had just started to get over that and now I felt like it was back again. I was having bad anxiety in general with everything that was going on with my mom too. For the last decade I forced myself to go to family functions out of respect for my mom but I was just at a point where I was really fed up. I had written my aunt Sue and apology for snapping at her and she never acknowledged it. I felt awkward around her too. I just had no desire to be around any of my aunts and uncles and to be quite honest, I still felt very awkward with my brother and Satan. Our reconciliation was a complete farce. They only invited us when their was an audience. They went out for my brothers birthday earlier in July and we weren’t invited but now that the whole family was going to be there, they decided to invite us? 
Also, to be honest I thought it was bullshit that they were even having a party for their daughter this many months after her birthday and I also thought it was bullshit that they choose my mom’s Birthday of all days to do it. My mom had hands down the hardest year of her life. She had been through hell and was still going through hell. I thought of that birthday was going to be her last, then she deserves a day that’s all about HER. She shouldn’t be over shadowed by a one year old. 
I had to tell my mom and the more I put it off, the worse it was going to be and so one day on the phone I finally came out with it. She was pissed….like really pissed. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her but I explained to her that I just felt awkward at my brother’s house. I also told her I’d do the right thing. I’d politely say I had other plans that day and send a gift for the baby. She didn’t want to hear it and so finally at that moment, everything just kind of hit me and I started to cry. I told her that I was extremely worried about her and that I reached out to my aunts to get them to help me and they turned it into an argument. She was demanding I show her the letters but I made a conscience decision not to show her. I didn’t care. She didn’t need to see them and she didn’t need yet another reason to be upset. She was so angry that she hung up the phone on me. Later that night I wrote her an email and explained myself, my feelings about my brother and my aunts. Once I laid it all out in a way she could understand, she got it and just told me to make sure I let them know I wasn’t coming. 

Ever since everything went down with my cousins, I somehow got painted as the family big mouth. I was honestly fine with it. They’re right, I do have a big mouth and when someone is being treated wrong or unfairly, you’re damn skippy I’m going to say something to you about it. If sticking up for the truth makes me the bad guy, then fine. 
AIt was the day before the party when my mom called me and told me her breathing was getting really, really bad again. She told me that she could not bend down at all. If she did she would get really winded and she would have a really hard time catching her breath. I was strongly urging her to go to the ER again but she kept saying she was fine, she could wait, it’s not that bad ALL of the time, only when she’d bend down. She was really avoiding the doctors at all costs and I knew exactly why. She knew her kidney was failing but she didn’t want to face it. I also think she was scared to tell my brother and Satan she was going to miss their party. I told her, if they’re normal human beings that they will understand that her health was more important. I could hear how bad her breathing was just by talking to her. She was gasping for air in between every word and it was seriously scaring the shit out of me. I kept saying it over and over that she should go to the ER but she said all she wanted to do was sleep. When we hung up I did a google search for “out of breath while bending down.” And something came up about heart failure and so I sent it to her in a text message with the intention of scaring her into letting me take her to the ER 
It was about 11:30pm that same night when my phone was ringing. I answer the phone and it’s her and she’s screaming, [my name] get over here!!!! I can’t breathe!!!!.” I didn’t even ask her what was going on. I told her I was calling 911 and heading over. I literally ran right out of my house and started heading over there. I called 911 while I was driving. I was crying. I was really scared. I really thought I was going to get there and find her lying dead on the floor and I was all by myself. 
I got up to the house and the ambulance was there already which completely shocked me. My ride there was less than ten minutes. What ended up happening was that she must’ve had a panic attack. She said she felt as if she couldn’t breathe in bed and she was lying there focused on the breathing when suddenly she got an excruciating cramp in her leg, she jumped out of bed and lost her footing, hit her collarbone on the dresser and went down like a ton of bricks, that’s when she called me.
 I walked into her living room and she is seated in her oversized chair talking to the EMT’s. The EMT told her she just had a panic attack. He was almost trying to convince her that she didn’t need to go to the hospital and so I explained that her hemocrit was low, she was swelled up, she couldn’t breathe and he was making excuses. Blaming the hot summer air, the fact she had asthma and COPD. I was kind of annoyed with him to be honest. In fact at one point I said, “well she has a lot of things going on…she has a complex medical history.” He responded to me by saying, “we all have a medical history. That doesn’t mean we have to run to the emergency room, every time something happens.”. 
Eventually my mom let the guy talk her out of going even though she was complaining about the pain in her collarbone. The EMT’s packed it up and left. I was really annoyed with my mom. Clearly she wasn’t in good shape. I again tried to plead with her and told her I could still take her to the ER, that I didn’t care how late it was. She refused and told me she just wanted to go to bed and sleep. You can lead a horse to water…
I left my mom’s house that night with a very, very bad feeling. There was something all too familiar about this all. I felt like I was reliving the last months of my dad’s life. I had no idea how bad things….EVERYTHING…was going to get….

To be continued in my next post.