March 10, 2012 – Saturday. The day has arrived to move.
My sister and I have been taking car loads over to her house on a regular, almost daily, basis. Most of the house is packed up, but we haven’t yet made much progress in the garage. And actually there are still parts of the house (my office and bedroom, e.g.) in which I still have substantial packing to do. But I am not worried, I still have time, and my sister and I can work during weekdays whereas “the guys” can only do weekends. So today, my brother-in-law and my brother are going to move the furniture and the big stuff, as much as they are able. And I am aware that some things will be going in the dumpster outside, including my rather old and battered sofas. I will not need them in any event.
Morning comes, and I know that Ken will be anxious to get started, so I quickly try to get myself in gear. Dalton is still sleeping. My understanding of the job today is that they are going to primarily transport the beds and other furniture that will be going to my sister’s house, starting with what is in my mother’s room. I start pulling bedding off my bed, but before I finish, Ken is already here. And Ken generally arrives like a freight train: When he has a job to do he comes in like a whirlwind and all you can do is try to stay out of his way.
I quickly get Dalton up and try to prepare him for what is happening – not that he doesn’t already know – but the situation can still be somewhat unnerving for first thing in the morning on the weekend.
Ken immediately starts pulling mattresses off beds – my mother’s bed is the first to go and it is a big pillow-top bed, heavy and unwieldy. He starts dragging big pieces of furniture out, and is very annoyed that my brother, Tim, is not yet here to help him. He cannot stand waiting so he starts trying to bulldoze himself through the house with this heavy furniture and I am freaking out. I said something to him about not having a heart attack and he says something snarky to me about being quite capable of looking after his own health, thank you very much – I replied by saying that it wasn’t his health I was referring to! Sheesh. And here the man was on his deathbed not so long ago.
So Ken is stomping around, crashing around, the energy level is palpable. But I have experienced this with Ken enough times before that I think I’m somewhat prepared. He is just very intense. I entreat him to slow down and wait for Tim and not kill himself – to no avail. He has some furniture loaded and doesn’t want to wait, so he leaves (like a STORM).
Meanwhile, Tim arrives. And he doesn’t want to do anything without Ken here. I tell him that he should just call Ken on his cell. I have no idea where Ken is or what his plan is. I keep working on packing things up, getting things ready, trying to have things in a good condition to ease what “the guys” will be doing (or at least what I THINK they will be doing).
Tim talks to Ken. Tim tells me that Ken has “instructed” him to try to “get Linda to cooperate.” WHAT??? My brother is now lecturing me about – what? Is this “make Linda feel guilty” day? What am I doing wrong? I am doing nothing BUT cooperating! I am sorry that these guys have to use their weekend to move my crap, but what on earth???
The things my brother lectured me about were too bizarre for me to even now remember. None of it made a whole lot of sense. As if this day weren’t stressful enough! But I do realize that Tim is being caught in the middle and it isn’t his fault. I try to ignore it and I continue to work – but I feel quite offended.
Ken comes back and finally my sister arrives. (And I am having trouble remembering much of this day because it was all so upsetting.) Ken is wildly throwing my stuff into the dumpster. My brother and sister are working with him. (I learn later that my sister was trying to save things from the dumpster!) And I also had to deal with my son, helping him pack up his room and instructing him to assist them in the garage to identify his things and claim what he wanted to keep. This was not easy on him either. And Ken was, indisputably, like a speeding freight train. He made everyone crazy. But this was my house and these were my things and I felt completely VIOLATED.
First of all, I was already feeling humiliated and insecure about my financial condition and failure to handle the rent. I was also distressed and embarrassed about the state of chaos my garage was in; at how much “stuff” I had and what shape it all was in. Emotionally, I was battling feelings of failure and humiliation over having to be “rescued.” But I also knew that it wasn’t all my fault. It was not my fault that Ken got sick which caused my sister’s inability to help me deal with my mother’s belongings. I was stuck living in this house where my mother lived so many years. I felt abandoned and it interfered with my ability to manage my life very well. (And the only way I had ever been able to pay the full rent was with my mother’s social security income; it was too much on my own.) My sister understood this. But she had to deal with her husband and the fact that I owed him a substantial amount of back-rent. And he was not taking too kindly to that. He was taking it out on her. I felt guilty for this, too. So I had all of these emotions already in my head, a lot of angst based on patterns in the past, about old “baggage.” (And Ken had already said some pretty ugly things to me.)
I fell rather completely apart. I ended up huddled on the ground in a corner at the back of the house shaking and sobbing (and unfortunately, smoking).
I have never experienced anything remotely like this. It was like somebody just came in, shoved me aside in irritation, and took over. Just pulled my life out from under my feet and shoved me aside like I meant nothing. Like I didn’t even exist – except, no, I did – as an IRRITATION and an ANNOYANCE; someone completely incompetent and useless; a failure, a child who must be bailed out and who had no choice, no power, no importance – but who just had to be dealt with. I felt violated. I felt humiliated. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.
And the worst part about it was that after reacting the way I did, it was too humiliating to then face anyone or anything. How could I live with this? How could I cope? I was a complete, dysfunctional basket-case!
I did eventually pull myself together – I HAD TO! But it was absolutely dreadful. Finally, everyone left. Well, first the guys, then my sister helped me go through and find some things that had gone in the dumpster that I did not want to lose, including some things that were not even mine, but that I had borrowed, and other things that were in perfectly fine condition and completely useful. Some things I never did find and had to conclude must have been claimed by THE EVIL DUMPSTER: like my suitcases, my patio furniture, my Christmas tree stand, and Dalton’s Nerf guns (he was quite upset about this for a while).
Then I told my sister that rather than come over to the house right away, I needed to be alone – to regroup, take a shower, pull myself together.
So my son and I were finally alone in the house that had been our home for as long as my son can remember. What a mess. I calmed down, came to grips, and got myself feeling better. And after getting cleaned up, and grabbing the things we were taking with us in the car to my sister’s, I took my son and myself out to dinner.
By the time we got to my sister’s house (our new home), my son and I were both feeling much better, although exhausted, and once we got our bedrooms set up with our beds made and everything, it was late enough to go to bed and sleep. And say Good Riddance to a horrible, horrible day.
And my Moving Story is not over, but this is the story of what was one of the worst days of my life. Hopefully, I will never have to experience anything like that again.