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nakeisha
nakeisha
What is stressing me out
In two words: My Parents.

Only read on if you're feeling strong and have time on your hands.



As one or two of you know, my parents decided when they came to visit us last year that they want to move up here. I'm an only child and they feel they'd like to be nearer to us. However, this isn't quite as straightforward as just moving and buying a new home. My parents live in rented accommodation due to being messed around my the Development Corporation some years ago, and also because of my father's sense of pride. He's 20 years older than Mother (83 and 63 - possibly explains why hubby is 15 years older than me), and his old-fashioned beliefs and feelings wouldn't let him have a new mortgage put in Mother's name; it couldn't go in his as he would have retired before it finished. I'm going back quite a few years (or I should say decades), and things were different then re: mortgages, etc. and the sad thing is he deeply regrets it, and has done for many years. However, Father is also of the generation and upbringing when men didn't talk about their feelings. He was in the navy in the WW2, and it wasn't until hubby got him to open up one New Year's Eve that Mother found out about his experiences. As a result of this they are at the mercy of the Authorities when it comes to moving.

Last week we had news that a property was available and they were being offered it and could we go and view it. We did. We took lots of pictures and I drew up floor plans (architect I am not), so that they could really get a feel for it. They clearly can't fly up here just to look at something that might not be okay, so really it is in our hands - which is stressful enough by itself. The stress increased when they admitted, after we'd sent the pictures and floor plans, that actually they hadn't talked about the move, not really, and suddenly now it was a reality, apprehension set in. Which I could quite understand, after all until this point it had really been 'a game', and until reality happens we can't really know how we're going to feel. I guess I should have realised that they wouldn't have really spoken about it, but Mother had assured me before that they had done so and were both happy, both knew what they'd be giving up, etc. etc.

On Saturday they decided to take the property. So then it comes down to us to sort out carpets and decorating. There are no carpets or any floor covering at all - except for in the bathroom. The place, whilst being structurally sound and with rooms of good size, is a decorating nightmare, wallpaper coming off in all the rooms, one room painted in squares of all the primary colours, another room utterly garish. A brand new kitchen had been put in, but no repair work carried out on the walls where the old one had been, etc. Had they arrived and walked into the place, Mother would have been in tears and they would both want to do nothing more than turn around and go straight back to where they had come from.

Most decor is liveable with, if you can do it bit by bit, but this really isn't, not given everything else. And it's not as though they could do the decorating, had it merely been emulsion then Mother could have done it bit by bit, but there is also paper on the ceilings that is coming off; two rooms are going to have to be totally stripped, as the wallpaper isn't merely coming off, it's been torn off in places, so it's uneven. The multi-coloured room has to be lined with paper before it can be painted, in order to actually be able to cover the squares up. Mother suffers from arthritis, she couldn't do that kind of decorating. Hubby has ME and I'm, as you know, disabled and on two crutches or in a wheelchair, we can't do it either. However, we do know someone (he's actually in charge of the carpet department from where we'll get the carpets), who does decorating in his spare time, he did bits for us, and he is more than reasonable in price and does a good job. So we arrange that and the carpets, and gave him the green light yesterday.

Now when they first spoke about moving I told them roughly what it would cost to move - we had after all done it ourselves, so we did have some idea - I repeated this six times on Monday (I jest not). And yes, I knew I was being slightly pessimistic, but better to do that than under-estimate, but I was also being realistic. The cost of decorating and carpeting actually turned out to be several hundred less than I'd expected, carpet sales are sometimes very well timed. So when Mother's reaction to what I thought would be greeted with 'oh, that's good', was utter shock, I was hard pushed not to be angry, after all they knew that they'd be spending on actually moving where did they think I was getting the rest of my estimate from?

We'd also gone out looking for a vehicle to take the wheelchair yesterday, so it was a long day, a longish drive, a cold and damp one, and my hip and back had chose that day to be more painful than usual. But still despite their apparent shock (because it turns out that Mother hadn't told Father my estimation of costs), they were still determined to do it, and looking at various ways of financing it. Unfortunately we can't help them (and to be honest they wouldn't expect us to); we're looking at finding ways to finance this car, if we go for it.

So we were all set for a busy few weeks, because anything that needs doing at this end will mean us doing it. Plus, my parents haven't moved for over thirty years, and to be honest and understandably so really don't know what to expect - and it's not as though they're moving only a few miles, or even in the same town (or county). So this will mean five or six phone calls a day (on average of 30 minutes per call) for one reason or another, hence the reason my time is going to be severely eaten into. Moving, as we well remember, is stressful; this move, despite it not being ours will actually be more stressful than our own move was.

However, just to add to the 'fun' hubby spoke to Mother this morning, and came off the phone to say that actually it is clear that despite what Mother has been saying to me, once again my parents haven't really talked this through, and suddenly the whole thing could be off again. The decorator has started, because we are talking about a quick move, within a month at the most, so if they do pull out they do know they'll owe him some money. Hubby has basically told them that they really must decide by tomorrow morning and stick to it.

And we haven't even got to how they are going to do the move. Friends of theirs have said that they'll do it, but clearly this also hasn't been thought through.

Me: You do realise that it's a good nine hour drive at a steady 70 (which the van won't do), don't you?

Mother: ::Silence::

Me: How is the van going to be unloaded when it gets up here?

Mother: ::Silence::

Me: You know that you and Father couldn't sit in your car for over nine hours (their car couldn't do a steady 70), even if your friend drives you up (they'd never do the drive themselves). Therefore you, Father and C are going have to stay overnight somewhere. A too probably.

Mother: ::Silence::

Me: So have you taken these other costs into account?

Mother: :: Silence::

(A really good telephone conversation, as you can see).

Mother: A has driven to Scotland and back in a day before now.

Me: To where?

Mother: Edinburgh.

Me: We're a good three and a half hours on from Edinburgh.

Mother: Oh.

Me: Did A have a van load of furniture that needed unloading?

Mother: No.

Me: Do you now see why the cheapest removal firm have quoted a three day move? One to load, the other two to drive up and unload?

Mother: Er, yes, I suppose so.

Now one of our neighbours popped round today and asked about the proposed moved and has said that as long as it was a weekend getting people to unload wouldn't be a problem. Fine, but I know my parents; they couldn't settle for just a 'thank you so much' and lots of cups of tea, they'd insist on giving these people something, not necessarily money, but even bottles of something cost.

Now if I had to place money on it, I believe they will still go ahead with the move. I think that J finally did what I failed to do in approximately twenty phone conversations over about four days to do: he has finally jolted them into reality. My parents are dear people, kind, generous, giving, loving, would do anything for anybody and expect nothing in return, are not unintelligent people, and I love them dearly, they may irritate me at times, but I do care about them. However, for some reason they seem at times (the most inconvenient times) not to live in reality. Normally whatever J and I say is taken as gospel and 'fact' (which in itself can get irritating at times), so why Mother choose now of all times to refuse to accept my estimation of the costs, I know not. She did listen, something she doesn't always do, she must have done I did tell her half a dozen times to make sure it got through, so I can only assume it's as J said, she didn't like what I'd said, so just choose to ignore it.

So therein the reason for my being beyond stressed. I know how badly its getting to me for several reasons, one, I can't get warm (and it isn't that cold); two, my lips are dreadfully sore and chapped; three, I overwrote one of my stories the other day - something I never do (fortunately I actually had a hard copy, an extremely rare occurrence, about 1:1,000 ratio); four, I'm ultra irritated (poor Tansy); five, I have a perpetual headache; six, my pain is worse than usual; seven, my nausea is back with a vengeance; eight, my eyes are really sore and my vision odd at times.

So just as I'd got back on track, was back to being in email contact, felt on top of everything, this hits. At the moment I am honestly not certain which will be the less stressful, them telling us tomorrow that they are coming, or them telling us tomorrow that they've changed their mind. The reason for this is that putting aside an amount of embarrassment associated with having to cancel the decorating and carpeting and telling people they've changed their minds, Mother will spend the next weeks and months going on and on about it and how upset they are that they haven't moved. I know that if they don't move they'll regret it. Sadly, I also have a horrible sinking feeling that if they do move they'll also, if not regret it, then suddenly discover what they've given up. Again, the latter is probably normal, you don't have 50+ year friendships, or live in the same town for 83 years and not miss the people and not have an amount of regret.

So all in all I'm not entirely certain which way is up. I have commitments too, they might not be anything life threatening or life changing or life affecting, but I do have them. I know that in many ways I'm more uptight and stressed about this than some people would be, but that too is one of the affects of being in pain for every waking moment, not to mention the frustration I (and J, I know) feel because we really can do so little to help them, physically or financially that is. I feel like a very bad daughter. I know that might be illogical, I know that I can only do what I can do, but emotions and feelings are not always logical. Knowing something is not always the same as being able to do anything about it.

I also know that in the grand scheme of things this is nothing really. There are people on my f-list who have far more problems and reasons to be worried and stressed and depressed than I do, far more. And if I sound as though I've over-reacting and whining over this relatively minor thing, I do apologise most sincerely to you, and hope that you don't think any less of me.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: stressed stressed

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eldritchhobbit From: eldritchhobbit Date: 15th February 2006 17:16 (UTC) (Link)
Ugh - how incredibly frustrating. I'm keeping you in my thoughts. Best wishes with all of this.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 15th February 2006 17:18 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much. I really appreciate that.
nina_ds From: nina_ds Date: 15th February 2006 17:28 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry. {{Hugs}} I understand the frustration, very much so. It reminds me of my mother dealing with my grandmother, and that was with far less phyiscal impediment. I wish I could help, but I'm sending positive thoughts.

nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 15th February 2006 17:30 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much for your understanding, hugs and positive thoughts. I really do appreciate them.
bekijane From: bekijane Date: 15th February 2006 17:32 (UTC) (Link)
((((((hugs)))))))

This is stress, not an irritation but real major stress. Take care of yourselves.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 15th February 2006 17:40 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for that. I do appreciate your sentiments and the hug - and my thoughts are with you too over your own moving troubles and worries. {{Hugs}}
toomuchfandom From: toomuchfandom Date: 15th February 2006 17:32 (UTC) (Link)
I would freak out really.

(and personally, if I lived somewhere else, like you, miles away from my mom, I wouldn't even allow her to leave Den Helder because of what she has here)

You have every reason to be stressed out! Just remember, keep on breathing, take time for yourself and relax. Everything will turn out right!

*hugs!*
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 15th February 2006 17:42 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

I have painted as black a picture as I can with Mother. I have been brutally honest about what she'll give up, but at the end of the day, it has to be their decision. I know they want us to make it for them, ditto the one about how to finance it, I draw the line at some things.

Keep breathing. I knew there was something I needed to do :-) Thank you. And thank you for the hugs too.
londonronnie From: londonronnie Date: 15th February 2006 17:33 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, dear, dear, dear...I just don't know what to say! You really are stuck between a rock and a hard place, aren't you? I can understand how incredibly frustrated you must feel about all of this, because whatever you do it's not going to be you and J who have to make the final decision, is it? The final outcome is going to be completely out of your hands.

One thing that you certainly must NOT do is feel like a "bad daughter" - goodness me, I bet there aren't many people who would do as much for their parents as you've been doing! As someone who has had their fair share of frustration where the antics of elderly parents are concerned I can only say that I'm full of admiration for you. I'm sure I would have lost my rag a long time ago!

I wish that there was something I could say or do to make things better for you, but of course there isn't. Just remember that you have a lot of friends who are rooting for you, and sending you and J loads of good wishes.

{{{BIG HUGS}}}
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 09:12 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, my friend. I do appreciate your support and understanding.
crimson_37 From: crimson_37 Date: 15th February 2006 17:37 (UTC) (Link)
I most definitely do not think any less of you. This is a big thing. This is your family and they are important to you.

I had to do something simular for my sister when she decided to move from London to Norfolk. I took all the stress out of her move by doing the lot for her. I had to rip out her house and redecorate, put in a new kitchen and bathroom and rebuild parts of the attic. And no I didn't hire anyone. I did it. I gave up a summer to do it too. I would have loved a thank you, but like some people she finds certain situations hard to deal with.

I can't and don't blame you for feeling the way you do. I wish I could help in some way. It is hard to deal with. I don't think they are trying to mess you about. Like you I just think it being such a big step and CHANGE for them is what has left them with mixed feelings.
Don't push yourself to far, honey! I know you would do anything to help them out, but sometimes by helping that much they can't really see the reality of all that goes into it. I know my sister didn't and still really has no idea.
Everything seems to running along with them trailing along behind, maybe because they are being told about everything. And when you are not in the centre of something it is hard to feel the reality of it. I hope they don't change their minds. You obviously would be happy to have them close. But hand your mum a job and say here you need to sort this. Being part of it, may make her change her mind. :) It's only an idea. :)

Wishing you a painfree evening and a less stressful week.

Thinking of you, Honey!!!
Love M.x
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 09:35 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, M. Thank you very much.

You are a loving person and sister, you really are.

I can totally understand their mixed feelings, we had a few ourselves. And with them, if they do it that's it, there's no going back. Any points they got because of me, they won't get, so whereas we could have moved back, albeit to a much small property, etc. they can't.

We have done the 'you need to sort this', in effect everything non-this end is in their hands. We've made it clear that whilst we can do the stuff up here, we can't sort their move and the packing and all the other stuff, we can only be here to answer any queries and check that they'd actually thought it through. Mother loves challenges actually, she likes to have a mission, so if they do make the decision she'll probably ultimately enjoy the process.

Thanks again. Oh for a painfree half an hour, let alone evening :-) But I was slightly less stressed, thanks to all the lovely and loving support of my friends.
periwinkle27 From: periwinkle27 Date: 15th February 2006 17:39 (UTC) (Link)
You have all my sympathy.

I had two thoughts when I read this -- is this house going to be wheel-chair friendly? You mentioned carpets. I'm at a point where I have hardwood floors and area rugs. If either of your parents ever ends up using a walker, carpets could be a nuisance.

Secondly, I have a sneaky suspicion you are right and that your mother is going to miss what she left behind. But I know that my mother fusses over the distance between us and she worries about me, and I'm sure your mother does too. She might feel more comfortable being able to check on you.

You know, when I was a teen I thought my adult life would be so different.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 09:30 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

I don't know whether you have to use any aids to walk at the moment, from the pictures I've seen of you you fortunately don't - or at least not all the time. I really do hope that this is the case.

As someone who has spent the best part of 20 years using crutches, walking sticks or even from time to time a zimmer frame (walker), I can say with 100% conviction that actually carpets are the best and safest things. They are of one level, there are no edges to trip up, they don't slide, they are flat. Rugs are absolutely lethal. I know this a) from personal experience in a friend's house and b) from seeing no less than three elderly ladies brought into hospital when I was there for eight weeks after the car crash, who had broken their hips because their walking stick had got caught under the edge of the rug and they'd fallen. The orthopedic medical staff said if they could they'd outlaw them, and one of the check out questions was 'what do you have on your floor'? And if you said rugs it was 'get them out of the way until you're off the stick/frame/crutches'.

Vinyl is okay, as again it's flat and would probably be slightly better for a wheelchair, but it too is ultra-lethal when wet. Even the disabled friendly non-slip stuff we have in our bathroom is dangerous with one tiny drop of water if your crutch, stick or zimmer frame feet touch it. The person who could come up with a design so that ferrules somehow dug in would make a fortune. A crutch/stick on wet leaves is deadly.

Hardwood floors - eeek worse than vinyl. We had one in our sitting room when we moved here and within one day realised he had to replace it. I know I've joked about Tansy's carpet, but it was for me. I could move the sofa with one hand, and as someone who needs to use my chair to help me stand up, it was dangerous when the chair went skidding across the room. And by the time early evening came I was so tired and in so much more pain, I slipped just when walking on it. We considered just getting a rug or two (to save money), but as a disabled specialist said, all you're doing there is doubling the problem: slippy floor + rug = disaster.

In 20 years I've come across virtually every possible kind of flooring at home, work, in hospital, at friends, outside, in shops, etc. etc. etc. and can attest that the safest and best thing is carpeting. As you can see I've done quite a few 'user studies' on flooring over the 20 years.

Mother certainly would feel better if we were nearer so that she could check up on us, and it would be great having them nearer for a variety of reasons, one being the opposite, we can keep an eye on them, help with the little things - trying to sort out wiring problems with the DVD/TV/Video or computer problems over the phone never works.

I too thought my adult life would be so very different when I was a teenager. The sad thing is that in many ways what I have now seems 'normal'. OTOH, if it didn't, if I didn't just accept my problems and work with/around them, I'd be depressed all of the time.

(Deleted comment)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 09:31 (UTC) (Link)

Re: parents

Thank you so much, J. I do appreciate it.
the_cornettist From: the_cornettist Date: 15th February 2006 17:50 (UTC) (Link)
There are people on my f-list who have far more problems and reasons to be worried and stressed and depressed than I do, far more

Everything is relative. These people don't have the handicaps that you have in front of them. If both you and J didn't have physical health problems to contend with, you could have jetted off down to your parents, and talked this over face to face. Everything would have been so much easier. You could have over seen the decorating of the flat, or done it yourself. You could have sorted the move, helped as necessary, even done it for them. You could have unpacked things... the list is endless. I really can't imagine what it is like to be in your shoes, to have to sort it out, especially given your limitations.

hope that you don't think any less of me.

I certainly don't. You're loving, kind, giving, caring, supportive, brave and courageous. And that's just a few of your attributes. How can anyone think anything bad about a person that is to be admired for all that she does? And if you should come across such a mean spirited person, show them to me and I'll take up the cudgel on your behalf.

If there is anything I can do, anything at all, please just say.

HUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGS
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 09:39 (UTC) (Link)
You know, I'm very good at saying, and meaning, the 'everything is relative' when it applies to other people, I've had the 'oh, I feel so bad moaning about a temporary pain when you're in constant pain', etc. said to me often. And yep, I always say 'everything is relative'. But it's always easy to see it with other people, isn't it? Not so easy when it's yourself.

J has done his share of moving people over the years and yes, if things were different he/I would have flown down.

Thank you, sweetheart, for your loving words and support and reassurance that you don't think any less of me. I do really appreciate that and it touches me. Thank you also for the mega hugs. They do help.
caffyolay From: caffyolay Date: 15th February 2006 17:53 (UTC) (Link)
Hey, you mustn't under circumstances feel like a bad daughter. This is beyond enduring and I should imagine you must have been climbing the wall with frustration at times. The worst of it is that you have more than enough problems of your own without this causing you extra stress. No wonder your health is suffering. I just hope it all works out to everyone's satisfaction and am wondering what they'll decide to do. I feel so sorry for you and J and wish there was something I could do to help. Which is silly I know, but nevertheless... Take care, sweetie and please please try not to overdo it. Easy to say I know. {{{Hugs}}}
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 09:40 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, sweetie, and it's not silly to wish there was something you could do, I'd be the same if the situation was reversed. It's lovely of you to wish that.

Thank you for your support and hugs.
(Deleted comment)
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 12:06 (UTC) (Link)
You can't measure stress and pain and suffering that way, doll.

When it's not for me, i.e. it's being said to me by someone else, I know this, but when it is me, my view gets skewed.

Thank you for your understanding and support. I do appreciate it.
solo From: solo Date: 15th February 2006 17:58 (UTC) (Link)
Ugh - now that *really* sucks. You must have the patience of a saint. Don't let anything about this situation make you feel guilty; you've done all you could, and more than you could be expected to do, really.

I hope it works itself out... maybe just having a real considered decision tomorrow will take some of the stress off. And let us know if there's anything we can do.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 12:07 (UTC) (Link)
I shall indeed let you know if there is anything you can do - thank you very much.
aingeal8c From: aingeal8c Date: 15th February 2006 18:06 (UTC) (Link)
First off *hugs*.

Whilst I haven't had such an experience (or anything even close) but it sounds terribly complicated and stressful.

Very sorry that it is impacting negatively on you.

I keep my fingers crossed for you that it will all work out.

And more *hugs*.
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 12:08 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you - I shall let you know.
kimberlyfdr From: kimberlyfdr Date: 15th February 2006 18:07 (UTC) (Link)

Hugs

Best wishes on everything. It's a very stressful time:(
nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 12:09 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hugs

It is indeed - thank you for understanding.
sally_maria From: sally_maria Date: 15th February 2006 18:55 (UTC) (Link)
You are not over-reacting - you are doing your best in a very difficult and stressful situation. Don't worry if you are not around as much but come and vent from time to time.

*hugs*


nakeisha From: nakeisha Date: 16th February 2006 12:10 (UTC) (Link)
Teddy bear - how lovely. I love teddy bears :-)

I do appreciate your kind words.
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