Weighday and Family Troubles

Doing terrible with eating. Nervous about my dad’s health. My daughter called and can’t pay her July rent. I wonder constantly if I’ll get any of this settlement money.

I weigh 199 today, so no weight loss this week. This daily weighing is really annoying. I’m very discouraged but it is that evening and nighttime eating that is my downfall.

My dad has COPD and he’s seeming very frail the last two days. Last night he went to bed early which is uncharacteristic for him. He had a bad stomach ache before that. I pray he’s feeling better today. He over does it. My mom still has him doing too much around the house, plus it’s his nature to keep busy. And it is important for him to walk and be physically active, but he should not over do.

I’m frightened. On Tuesday he’ll be 80 years old. It’s sort of a miracle he’s lived this long since he’s smoked since he was twelve or so. I’m so grateful he has lived this long. I need him for much longer.

That’s my dad and I below at my wedding to the good husband back in 1989 or so. Neither of us look like that anymore! But I love him so much.

kathi dad

When one of my parents pass away the other parent won’t be able to afford to stay in this house, that is why I am desperate to either get a job or start a business so that I can help the surviving parent stay here. Their home still hasn’t recovered the equity it lost in the crash of 2006 and so they can’t even sell right now.

On Friday my daughter called me crying. She said, “Mom I can’t pay my rent. I don’t know what to do.”

She has made some sort of dumb decisions in the last year that might have put her in a bad position financially, but I can hardly blame her. First, she had the money to buy her car outright, but the guy at the dealership asked her if she wanted to finance some of it to increase her credit strength. She recalled that my ex-ex husband, her good stepfather, had told her that it would be a wise way to increase your credit score.

But I was sitting next to her thinking, “Oh no. Don’t finance it. Don’t.” And yet I fucking said nothing. I could kick myself. Of course the money is all gone now so no way to pay it off now.

Then her boyfriend (who won’t commit to her) who comes from a family of academics convinces her that at all costs she should complete her bachelor’s degree. So she took two classes last month and had to get financial aid to make it happen. By the end of term she was buying her food from the dollar store.

She is 38 and I can’t help but feel a degree in astronomy or physics will not help her get a job. If the point is to simply get a degree, any degree, well, I would have chosen something more practical.

I did TRY to inspire her to take something reasonable, something that will teach her a skill and allow her to get out of the food/alcohol serving business and into a “real” job, but she didn’t like any of my ideas.

So now she is in debt and struggling to meet her basic needs. I could hear utter panic in her voice and I told her to keep calm and we’d figure it out, but I really had no idea how.

She called me the next day and said she’s up to about $400 towards her $700 rent and I said her grandfather had slipped me $100 for her so that makes $500, and the rest will be raised by her tips in the next few days and whatever I can scrape up through selling some jewelry.

I have three gold rings left. They are all the proper jewelry I have left. In fact last year I sold all my silver jewelry and that brought in next to nothing. Silver is almost worthless! And many of those rings were sentimental. Fuck, I get so sad when I think that I do not have one piece of jewelry from my last marriage. He bought me jewelry!

I didn’t want to have to sell these rings. I was saving them, especially the really nice one, for MY own emergency. But I have my 18k wedding band which is thin, so probably not worth too much. And a 22k victorian ring with tiny diamonds and diamond shaped piece of turquoise, very unique and lays close to the finger so it’s comfortable. It’s way too big for me to wear these days, though, since I lost weight.

The last ring is “fancy” and I don’t know if I love it or not. I doubt I’ll ever have such a nice ring again and when I dress up I put it on to make myself feel like a grown up. It’s 18k and rather heavy. Two tiny diamonds on the sides and a large square cut tourmaline on top. Then there is some modern filigree work in gold. It’s a one of a kind ring made locally. I paid $4,300 for it four years ago. I shudder to think of what I’d get for it if I sold it. Probably not more than $1,000. So sad.

I think I can tighten my belt if all she ends up needing is $200 and then I won’t sell my rings yet. But we’ll see. She’s coming here tomorrow to see her grandfather for his birthday. Poor thing. She’s been on her own for a long time and it’s so fucking expensive to live on your own as a woman. I’m resentful that her boyfriend who has had other women live with him, doesn’t suggest moving in together. It would make all the difference in the world. Asshole.

She was talking about selling her car and I said no, don’t make any rash decisions like that. You’d be miserable without a car. I told her to do all she can to keep up with bills until I get this settlement in the fall. If it’s big enough, I’ll pay off her car loan at the very least.

She sounded ready for a meltdown, which happens to her now and then. Overall she is strong and independent, something I’ve never been, so I don’t fault her for becoming overwhelmed by life at times. My mom, dad, and I all feel really helpless that this is where we’ve ended up in life, unable to help our loved ones.

As an example of the difference between my mom and dad, who love my daughter as much as you can love a grandchild (she was their first). When I told them about her financial woes my dad said, “We’ll have to give her some money.” My mom said, “Oh no. We can’t. We have no cushion right now. We can’t. I’m sorry.” And I told them both not to worry, that she and I would figure it out and I don’t want them giving her money.

Then my dad slipped me $100 cash and put his finger to his lips.

It took my mom a full 24 hours before she was talking about helping her out.

So you see that my mom’s thought process is different, but in the end, on her own terms, she does want to help. It just needs to sink in, I guess. I don’t know.

My parents are from working class families, and they have always been hard workers. All of us kids started working very young and have followed in their footsteps. My mom was in a career where smart women (even without a degree) could end up making a lot of money and she did. They moved into nicer and nicer homes and took trips and my mom had a Cadillac and a couple of furs.

Then my dad cheated and they divorced and they divided their assets and then they both went through them like water. Part of the issue is my sister and her five kids were draining my dad. He was giving them every spare cent he had to keep them from being evicted. They had already lost the house they owned.

So my dad ended up moving in with my mother to be able to help her by paying rent to her, and to free up more money so that he could continue to help my sister. In the end my sister and her family couldn’t be helped. Her inlaws came and rented a u-haul and took all seven members of the family to Louisiana. Ugh. And she’s been stuck there ever since.

My good husband and I had already moved to Oregon, so my parents found themselves in Southern California with only my brother who was so engrossed in his career they hardly saw him or his kids. So they visited us in Oregon and then asked if I’d mind if they moved here. I said, “Of course not!” And now Oregon is very much their home.

My dad had a second career both in Southern California and Oregon as a school custodian and wherever he goes the students and staff adore him. He only retired last year at 79 because with his COPD it was simply too hard for him. And my mom, now at age 77 still works as a notary signing agent. They should both be able to fucking retire.

Our family has had setbacks and the occasional bad decision, but overall we are honest and hard working and deserve better. I am just praying that I can start a business and help the family out.

And I feel a clock is ticking.

I am probably only dreaming that I could save my family, but I’m going to try anyway. If given the opportunity, I will start my own business and then convince my daughter to move back down here and help me run it. She can’t get out of her industry, and I can’t get hired, so let’s pool our talent and make this business work. I don’t know if she’ll take me up on it, but if I were her, I’d give her boyfriend a “shit or get off the pot” speech and if he won’t make some sort of commitment to her, she should leave Portland. A shame. She really loves it there.

As usual this is far too long and I’m sorry. I don’t expect anyone to actually be reading this. I am highly discouraged about my weight but will keep trying my best.

Sunday Stats
Starting weight: 267 (mid October 2013)
Today’s weight: 199 (same as last week, so no weight loss)
Total weight loss to date: 68 pounds
Height: 5’8″
Goal weight: about 150 (about 30-50 pounds to go)




6 responses to “Weighday and Family Troubles

  1. That’s such a nice picture of you and your dad. It’s so nice that you are all there for each other, to help each other. You didn’t lose weight, but hurray for staying under 200!

  2. Thanks, Cynthia! One of the things that keeps me sane (ish) is knowing that in spite of my bad decisions my family does love me. This helps me realize I must not be as bad as I sometimes think I am.

  3. What a beautiful photo! It looks like it is from a movie!

  4. I love your wedding dress!!

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