Author Topic: The story of "Tiffany"  (Read 44375 times)

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2008, 03:04:36 PM »
The Atlanta Trip

I received a call several days ago from my mother and thought to myself how much easier it is sometimes to just answer the call, have the brief conversation and just be over it than to obsess and ignore and what have you.  I’m just getting so tired of feeling physically ill whenever I sense she’s about to call or when I know she just called and is waiting on my return call.  I decided to call her back right away this time.  She had gone to Atlanta and by her account, she had a decent time while she was there.  She was accompanied by my father, of course, my niece, and surprisingly, my brother.  Immediately, I wondered how she managed this given the fact that my brother’s girlfriend hardly lets him out of her sight.  The girlfriend has apparently become quite a foe to my parents.  She gives them a piece of her mind, regularly.  Most recently, my father told the girlfriend to let my brother be, that it looked “bad” for him to be “shacking” with her and that she was an embarrassment to the family.  Well, my brother, who was in fact frustrated with this young lady due to her heavy smoking, consistent cursing, and permanent attachment to a beer filled cup, was just about ready to call it quits.  In the heat of a very public argument involving my father, brother and the young lady, my brother broke up with her.  He went home to one of my mother’s rentals that night.  Dad also stays there from time to time to both keep tabs on my brother and to cool down when my mother and father get into their classic heated arguments and need to separate for a few days to get over it.

In a drunken rage, my brother’s girlfriend comes banging on his back door and window, after midnight, screaming, (per my father) for my brother to wake up and open the door.  To the door comes my father who, (per my mother), after asking the girlfriend to leave the porch, places his hand on her arm “in encouragement” of her to leave.  This young lady, no stranger to physical contact, smacks my father, leaving, (per my mother), a bruise to his face.  The police were called and escorted the girlfriend home.  I’m guessing this is how my mother was able to get my brother to go with her to Atlanta. They stayed in the same hotel room, the biggest complaint of my mother’s being how loud my brother snores even while on his CPAP machine for the sleep apnea.  To this complaint, my brother opined, “Well, I don’t snore as bad when I sleep with my girlfriend, she has a calming effect on me.”  To this my mother responded with a  date for my brother, a girl at the convention from another state, who may have met my brother several years earlier when he was still young,childless, and spry.  Surprise, surprise, the date never showed up at the agreed upon place.  Could some of the church folks have warned her to steer clear of the crazy family? Maybe she heard he already had three biological children for which he was not doing very much.   Whatever the case, Mom’s deduction was that he needs a more aggressive suitor (can females be suitors—suitette, I suppose)?  He’s much too passive.  Maybe the girl she picked for his date wanted him to play hard to get, Mom contemplated out loud. 

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2008, 03:05:50 PM »
Post Atlanta Fallout

Now here’s a big surprise, when my brother came back home from Atlanta, he not only re-connected with his girlfriend, he moved into her apartment (also one of my mother’s rentals, for which she has not paid rent in four or five months). This is a two bedroom with out hot water or heat. (Yes. Mom’s a slumlord, to boot)!  There are at least seven people sleeping there on any given night.

This is not the only surprise to greet my mother upon her return home.  A representative from the IRS paid a visit to one of her two rural offices. He was greeted by a receptionist who could provide him with no help in getting in touch with whomever was in charge.  My sister, my mother’s proxy for the business, was no where to be found when he walked over to the small local bank that housed her payroll accounts and placed a  $14,000 levy on her accounts which caused several payroll checks to bounce. Mom had to use some money she just got from the under-the-table sale of one of her rentals. Because of the tax liens on her own social security number, she’s not been able to sell her property without getting hung up at the title search. She had one of the ministers she ordained and promised future ruler-ship over the church, on the hook for one of the houses and when the minister was advised by a friend to pull out of the deal, my mother became perturbed with her and threatened to shut down the church forever.  The reason the church isn’t shut down right now, according to my mother, is because the church voted and decided that since my oldest brother, the recovering addict, is doing so well in his recovery, coming to church every Sunday and accrediting God and the promise of His Word to his current success, he’s been clean for about five or six months. He’s also going to a daily outpatient treatment program and AA meetings.  He still lives upstairs with my mother, on the weekdays, but he’s seeing a long time positive influence in his life again and he looks to be doing his best to stay clean.  I’m glad to hear that ray of hope with my oldest brother.  To every thing there is a season.  Maybe this is his time to have some positivity.  I think of him daily and am quietly proud of his progress. 

Back to the IRS levy.  My mother was told to call the IRS rep to discuss the levy and future payment plans.  Well, naturally, my mother had her proxy call to take the stressful “hit” of representative’s diatribe.  Apparently, he was quite rough.  My mother ducked in a hole like a coward while my sister was left to deal with the questions and reprimands of the IRS officer.  Poor sister.  I’ve been where she is and she has no clue just how bad this can get.  But she will soon.  My mother was glad to announce to me that, with her prompting, my sister has agreed to get a contract in her name, and to take all the other necessary steps to have my mother’s clients transferred over to my sister. It is déjà vu for me.  Here’s what happens next: sister gets contract, transfers clients, believes business to be her own, finds out the hard way that mother never meant to relinquish control, sister desires to prove herself as a capable leader, mother finds every way to discourage, undermine, and control her, sister rebels, mother withholds, the business suffers, mother doesn’t care. 

I can’t warn my sister, either.  She’s still not talking to me.  And, honestly, every time I want to call her something strong tells me to just hold back a while longer.  This time without my intervention/interference will prove to be important later.  For so long, she has been benchmarked against me and reacting to a lifetime of mean comparisons made by our parents. I didn’t make it any easier for her being the overachiever in church, high school and college, either.  She’s taken the opposing viewpoint in most things in our life.  If I’m red she’s blue.  If I want classic, she wants eclectic. I understand. Sometimes it’s easier to blaze a new path instead of trying to follow one already laid out to a T. The less we talk, though, the more I worry she’ll blindly walk into a very bad situation.  But sometimes I can’t help but think that she may resent me terribly if I were to try to warn her or to try to reveal our mother’s true selfish nature.  Mom only wants my sister to start the business anew because it’s getting ready to completely sink for her and she’s run out of her own options.


jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2008, 03:07:18 PM »
Dad is more than odd

I need to finish this entry with an odd trigger that came from my conversation with my mother.  She said that after coming back from Atlanta and moving in with his girlfriend, my brother was on my father’s bad side.  My brother was in need of anti-seizure medication and is normally dependent on my father for rides to the pharmacy and what have you.  Well, father felt the need to withhold this favor, as he was not in the habit of supporting a son that didn’t want his kind of support.  He told my brother, who cannot legally drive for six months after a seizure, to drive himself to the pharmacy.  That he was tired of having to haul his sons everywhere without any appreciation, blah, blah, blah.   (I only criticize here because, he’s the one who feels the need to “make up for lost time” with his sons and to be more of the father he couldn’t be when my brother’s were younger).  Anyway, my father “prepares” a car for my brother to drive himself to the pharmacy.  My father is the king of junkyard cars.  He goes through at least three new junk cars a year.  He buys them, fixes them up, sells them or junks them or does God-only-knows-what with them.  Year-round there is a car, not always the same one, on cinderblocks in his driveway. Before I asked him to stop coming to my home unannounced, a bad habit he used to have wherein he would stalk around my backyard for 20 minutes before knocking on the door and drive through my neighborhood to see if I was home before just popping up at midnight, I would never know what kind of car he was driving when I would peer through the blinds.  He always has a stash vehicle on the ready.  On this day with my brother, he did a little work on a compact car before having my brother use the car to go to the pharmacy.  My brother agrees to drive the car, naturally, as the tags on his former car were allowed to expire and he had no real “wheels” to get around in.

To get to the point, on the way to the pharmacy a wheel came off of my brother’s car, hit another car and caused my brother to be forced off the road.  He, nor the people in the other car were hurt.  I say this is a trigger because I cannot help but think about a time when I was 16 and had just gotten my first car, a very old clunker that my Dad found, My father was trying to get me to stay in the house and go out less often.  He made me stay in the house while he gave my car a look over.  He did some work to the brakes and allowed me to go on a road trip 40 miles away to a high school pageant.  Upon return home through the toll booths, I found I could not stop my car.  When I pumped the brakes, there was less and less of a brake response.  I was quite young and dumb.  I should have stopped on the roadside and called for someone to get us, but I tried to make it home with the ever- decreasing braking ability, having to resort to the emergency brake to stop the vehicle at the bottom of a steep hill.  I had three of my best friends with me. We could have died that night.  Just like my brother could have died last week.  These are the thoughts that try to plague and worry me. 

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2008, 08:18:14 PM »
The Prince Situation

I’m relaxing at home on my day off and I get a call from an old friend turned nemesis, I’ll call him Prince Akwaaba. (yes, the first name is Prince as is customary in Ghana, West Africa)  He was born to the queen-mother of a traditional West African tribal clan and was the heir-apparent to leadership in this clan’s family.  He, however, converted to Christianity and turned from his traditional heritage and was excommunicated from his family, accordingly.  He was ordained Bishop by a British female evangelist and was embarking upon a grand church expansion when he met my mother back in ’94. It was customary for him to travel to the U.S. once a year to raise money in various churches on an East Coast preaching circuit that grew larger year by year.  He met my mother, at that time well known as a highly successful woman of means.  My mother had just graduated with her Master’s in Divinity and was ready to test her ability as a minister.  In her, Prince must have seen much, because within hours of meeting her he invited her to Africa for a visit and a special surprise.  When she arrived, she was made honorary Queen-mother, a hallowed honor reserved for women of dignity and spiritual gifts.  It was just the narcissistic supply she needed to feel comfortable pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into this village for years to come.

When I graduated from college in ‘96, I traveled with her for her third and my first visit to Ghana.  Having just completed a degree in Anthropology, it was a complete fantasy trip for me.  I took a video camera and tons of film and batteries and made an attempt to take in every ounce of culture I possibly could.  It was truly a life-changing and life-affirming trip for me.  While there, Prince, still practically a young prodigy at that time about 29 or 30, Prince was our host in charge of all our daily activities.  I was about 22.  Although he was Christian, and a believer in the philosophy of one-husband, one-wife, he would often flirt with the idea of plural wives in my and his wife’s presence.  He would joke with my mother that he would offer many cows for me, an esteemed dowry for a young woman to become the wife of a prince. My mother would elbow me to laugh when he would make these awkward jokes, which I would and could not do in the presence of his beautiful, docile wife.  When his wife was not present, he would jokingly call me, ”Second wife” and he would say it in a way that made me feel like I was taking myself too seriously when I disagreed or shied away from the expression or implication.  I honestly thought it to be a complete and utter insult to his wife and to me.  He didn’t seem to mind so much that both she and I were uncomfortable. 

Well this is the extent of my involvement with this man until last year this time when my mother called me in distress about the “Prince” situation. During this time last year, I had just entered my second-degree Nursing program and was doing my best to remain as scarce as possible in her affairs.  When she called, she sounded pretty desperate when she said, “I really need you to help me to get the value out of the things I own.  I would like to retire and give you and your siblings your inheritances while I am still living.  Your brother is getting these rental properties, you sister will get the business/clients, and you can get the African property if you fight for it and don’t allow Prince to just take it right from under your nose.  I should have followed my original instinct to just drop the issue and say, “No thanks.”

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2008, 08:21:50 PM »
The African Property

Earlier in the 90s when my mother’s money, (shucks, most people’s money) was prolific and property was cheap, she purchased some 100 or so acres of beachfront Ghanaian property.  By some “freak accident” the scale on the blueprint of the house she was having built on the property was misappropriated and the house, a round, mud-bricked structure with a circle shaped, direct sunlight atrium in the center of the home, was being built at about 10 times the original intended size.  It was Prince’s idea to partition off one part of the home to be my mother’s quarters whenever she’s in Africa for visits.  The other 90% could be a hotel or a resort for visitors to the village where they could have updated amenities and Prince could oversee the management of the facilities.  Perfect plan and potential money-maker it seemed.  However, building halted on my mother’s vacation home while funds sent over to Africa to Prince were being poured into the growing church and Prince’s new home and of course, the chief contractor, who also ran a successful construction company in the U.S. had to build his second home on my mother’s dime.    In essence, my mother’s vacation house stood a shell of a huge building, untouched for years as she continued to stay in hotels during her visits to which become fewer and fewer over the years, partly because she became bored and disinterested in her African “children.”

Last year, my mother insisted, after years of having my stay out of her African affairs, that I speak to Prince about this property.  Strangely, I received a call from a former associate of Prince’s; one of his former trustees and a guarantor on the original agreement that facilitated the purchase of the African property by an American citizen.  This had to be done in a way in which Prince’s name was on the property along with my mother’s.  This associate, (Roger, we’ll say), called me with a head’s up.  He said that a short while earlier, Prince made an attempt to sell the property, which he could not legally do without my mother’s permission in writing.  Roger, being the guarantor on the agreement, could have signed a document that would have allowed Prince to finagle the deal somehow.  He did not, however, and this caused a great rift between Prince and his longtime “friend.”  The telephone call from this meek-sounding man was cryptic and there was a definite feeling of underlying fear in the demeanor of Prince’s former lackey.  He implied that Prince wasn’t the type of person you angered and that by Roger’s insistence upon Prince to consult  “Mumma”  about the intended sale of the property, he became an outcast to Prince and had been shunned (bullied). 

When I spoke to Prince, I was charged with a lot of different energies.  I was somewhat excited about the prospect of owning a piece of African beachfront property. (although in my gut, I knew better)  I was also on a crusade for justice to find out if Prince really intended to sell the property from under my mother without her knowledge to pay his own debts.  I also had that feeling I get sometimes when I know someone is a rat and I know that we’re about to go toe to toe in a battle of principles. Prince, the narcissist I now know him to be, was absolutely and utterly offended by my approach.  How dare I inquire upon the condition and sale-ability of that property?  You see, I did not merely inquire, I all but demanded to have a current assessment of the property’s value and I made it known that I would like to have an agent hired to facilitate with the complete transfer of the property into my mother’s own name.  Prince laughed with condescension as he insisted that the property was about to become an addition to his church and that this decision had been made a long time ago. He stated also that he was in town to get Mumma to sign over her name to him so that he could complete the process of owning the property. 

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2008, 08:25:17 PM »
The reason for un-enemeshment

It was then that I did what I was set up by my mother to do.  I cut him a new one.  I attacked every intention this man could possibly have for this building.  I took it all the way back to 1994 and reminded him of the original plans for that property and of the mistake his men made when executing the blueprints and I reminded him of the hundreds of thousands dumped into various unintended projects over the years, none of which resulted in her vacation home.  I informed him that he used my mother and that he didn’t appreciated all of what she had done and that the least he could do is leave her someplace she could retire if she wished to do so or at least to continue to hold her own assets which may be liquidated at a time she deemed necessary.  He was shocked at “Second wife.”  He believed me to still be the shy 22 year old he disrespected a decade earlier but with five years of business and real estate dealings under my belt, I felt my opinion had some validity and that with the level headed logic I was talking, I should have been taken much more seriously.  He could only defer to my mother and insist that whatever Mumma says is what will happen.  With confidence, I said well, I agree and the conversation ended.

The next day, I called my mother to follow up on her conversation with Prince.  You can guess what happened.  She allowed him to have the property.  He promised in writing to her that he would pay her $500/month or $6000.00 a year for the property for some undisclosed number of years until Prince’s portion was paid in full.  For me, this was a final straw with my mother.  This was another example of how she baited me into being interested in her affairs, loaded me like a bullet in a gun, and set me off on the people she wished to reprimand or scold.  Like clockwork, without getting any of the “stuff” on her, she’s allowed to continue to look innocent while I end up looking harsh and venomous.  According to mother, Prince reported to her that I “spoke to him really rough, hurt his feelings, and disrespected him.”  I can assure you, I spoke with control and tact and used the expected and proper tone for business related affairs.  His feelings were hurt because he is a narcissist and I was proposing a block to his grimy, dishonest plan.  I learned about the both of them at that time.  I decided they deserve each other.  He won’t pay her one dime of that money (feeling entitled to the land, I’m sure), and she will hold it over his head and use it to continue to receive N supply from him.  When someone owes you money, you have power over them, has always been my mother’s M.O.
 
Well, fast forward a year, this guy called yesterday, I listened to the message he left about trying to get my mother’s new cell phone number.  I called my mother, long conversation, who took his number with haste.  He could, she mentioned, help her with her career goals by providing a letter of recommendation to add to her curriculum vitae as she is convinced her next job will be professor of divinity at a community college or at one of the local church bible colleges.  She also believes he must be calling to pay something on the property although he hadn’t called her since they spoke last year to make the agreement.  I couldn’t hide the chuckle in my voice when I said, “Oh, I just assumed he was called to ask you for something or another.  I guess I never really expected him to produce any money to you for anything.”  She doesn’t care really, she’ll take the reference letter and the phony attention.  I don’t think she ever expected he would pay anything to her.

She could use that $6,000.00 though. The IRS guy said that this was “Strike three” and that she gets no more chances.  He has placed garnishments on her government contract checks.  One happened the first week in August.  I asked her if she knew when the next would be coming.  She was like, “Huh?” as if she had no clue that they would try to come and garnish again.  I told her she should call and get a beat on that or she would be blind-sided right out of business.  She said this IRS guy has it out for her.  He told her, “Don’t call me anymore, until you’ve brought your accounts current.”  She has hired one of those tax specialists, (they cost $5000.00) to make an Offer and Compromise settlement.  She is also selling another rental for cash. I have no clue what will become of the business or her rentals and her holdings but she is losing ground fast.  She actually said to me today, “I want to do what you did and wiggle out of this business and start all over again.”  Exxxcuuuuse me? Wiggle?  It was NEVER my intention to wiggle out of anything but her narcissistic enmeshment.  What she laid up to be my certain Albatross, I was able to be delivered from.  And it was not the business.  I actually wanted the business.  It was she who I wiggle, wrestled, and with controlled fury escaped from.  And all the carnage and disarray left in my life is worth being free from enmeshment with her. 

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2008, 01:15:12 PM »
Unexpected Turn

It disturbs me to write this posting on various levels.  If I had not the opportunity to blog here about the turn of events in my life with my wacked Nfamily, my anxiety would be eating me alive by now.  It’s back to school time and my daughter, Jordan is supposed to begin at a new school this year.  At her old school, I was not aware that there was an outstanding tuition balance on her account that would prohibit her records from being sent to the new school.  I procrastinated on getting her enrolled in the new school so this became somewhat of a stressful issue getting Jordan into her new school.  I did not have the funds right away.   We live from check to check and I would need until at least Friday to get her balance taken care of.  Around the time I called my mother to tell her about Prince’s call, I mentioned that I had something to work out with Jordan’s old school and that I was hopeful that everything would work out okay.  She wanted the details on the matter.  I explained and she said, “Let me pay that for you. I want to take care of that for my grand-daughter.”  She said that she was closing on the sale of another property around this week and that she will gladly take care of the balance for us.  It was not my intention to get her to help me with the fees when I called her, however there was an instant sense of relief when she insisted upon helping.  I don’t ask for financial help from her often because historically I have to pay her back with at least one pound of my flesh, if you will.  She told me last week,  “Just call back on Tuesday and I should know where we are on the sale of the house.  I’m going to use that money primarily to make good on this current tax quarter, so that the IRS officer will talk to me about making an installment agreement or and Offer and Compromise.“  She said something strange after that, “It will be like paying tithes.”  I thought to myself, “tithes…hmmm” Tithes are the 10% of income you pay to your church, (symbolically to God), as an offering of appreciation, or support, or I supposed in her case, penance.” Nonetheless, the word “tithes” was bothersome. Also, the tax representative she hired wanted his next installment so that he could proceed with assisting my mother in dealing with the IRS guy.  This conversation took place last Thursday, she told me to call back on this Tuesday to follow up on the sale of the house and at that time, she would overnight me the funds. Overnight me the funds, really, that’s unusual.

Anyway, so it’s Tuesday, the first day of school and I’ve just put Jordan on the bus, (her new school allowed me, after signing a release form, to register her, for now, in lieu of the lack of school records). After several minutes of deep breathing I call my mother.  She informs me that she indeed called her vendor and that there were no more indications of garnishments to her government contract as of last Friday.  She also mentions that the IRS tax representative wanted copies of last year’s corporation taxes, which she had not completed yet and they wanted it by the end of business that day.  She bounces a few tax form related questions to me, the answers to which I happened to know because I filed those same forms when I was still in business a year ago.  She’s grateful for the opportunity to talk to someone who knows what she’s going through as everyone in her circle runs and hides whenever she calls with business problems.  About my sister, my mother has decided to be frank, she says she doesn’t answer to phone until 11 or 12 in the mornings and that when she needs tax related information from this office some 50 miles away, my sister doesn’t answer or reply to the messages.  My sister is obviously in first-class denial about what’s happening to the business that’s been promised to her, the one she is in charge of managing, the one that sinking fast.  Mother then dilly-dallies a bit about the close of the house deal being completed by Friday and she says, in the meantime, she will check all of her accounts today, and see if she could front me the funds for Jordan’s fees until the deal on the house was done.  She told me to go ahead and start heading towards her direction, (she lives 30 miles away) to get the money.  Aside: A little something inside me, intuition, I suppose, tells me, as I’m boiling some hot water for tea, “Everything is going to be alright.” I smile and give myself kudos for having a much more positive outlook on life these days.

I decide to hold back on leaving the house just yet, I figure it’s better to get a peg on her timing, because she is notorious for stealing a whole day and Jordan would be out of school by 3:30 pm and I wanted to be there when she got off the bus, of course.  I drift off to sleep while watching the Steve Wilkos Show.  Despite my deep interest in today’s topic, (a lie-detector confirmed that this father has molested his daughter for 3 years and Steve has him standing there on the stage ferociously spit-shouting to this guy’s face about how much of a piece of scum he is), I cannot keep my eyes open.  The cell phone buzzing on the ottoman awakens me mid-doze.  I’m kinda amazed that I don’t shudder as hard as I used to when I see the word “Mom” on the caller i.d.  “Hello.” my voice is raspy from the nap.  “Yeah…” her voice is raspier, weakened, “I called to check my accounts… and I’ve been garnished again. There is a negative $3,000 balance and when I checked the vendor’s hotline that tells you how much and when your billings will pay out to your bank account, they only paid out $3,500 of the $15,000 I billed.  Payroll is this Friday, and I will have nothing in that account.” Silence.  I allowed the silence to continue to get a feel for where her mind was.  More silence.  I said, “What are you thinking about your next move?”  She says, calm-like, shaky, “ I’m numb, right now, I think that’s best because I don’t want my blood pressure to go through the roof, I can’t think right now.” Silence.  It’s only natural for me to begin pontificating on a solution or a way out.  Things like this, even when it’s of my own doing, tend to make me mad, and when I get mad, my brain begins to work a little better, when I’m under pressure, I’ve done some of my more clear thinking.  I’ve forgotten about Jordan’s money and I’ve let the wall down I maintain when normally dealing my mother.  I empathize with her and I get angry.  I say to her, in inconvenience to her present denial party, “Well, what are you going to do?”  She senses my agitation but she has nothing.  She says, I don’t know, what do I do?” In retrospect, I really can’t believe this.  She behaves as though I’m the one who has been in business for 20 years and she’s the rookie with only 5 years of experience.  In actuality, this very scenario is how I got into business in the first place.

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2008, 01:16:58 PM »
This is déjà vu

She was in this very same situation with the same type of business organized under different tax id, corporation, contract, and bank account numbers back in 2000.  I just out of grad school.  I was pregnant.  I was “shaking up” with my then boyfriend, now husband.  Those were fun times. I had no job, nothing to lose.  My mom hated my boyfriend and wanted him out of my life.  She wanted me to let her help me raise the baby and work the business together and help her grow her fledgling church.   Fun times, I tell ya.  The gift/punishment for wanting to marry my boyfriend and start this family was for my mother to give me a “jump start” in life by giving me the failing business.  The unspoken deal was that if I could keep this business from sinking, I could have it.  Trust me when I say this baby was sinking and sinking fast.  The overhead was ridiculous, my mother had accumulated all these office workers she couldn’t afford and they were robbing her of her time and money because they were superfluous and not really necessary to make the office run.  My mother just likes to collect people and have them on her payroll or indebted to her in some way.  They had no respect for her because she locked you in at a peasant’s salary and never gave people raises, no matter what they did or how long they stayed.  She just wanted them to be grateful to have a job and to be loyal to her for taking them out of their former poverty. I had to terminate many of these people in order to lower overhead with this business.  It was not fun, most of them were understanding, some were angry.  Lightening the load, moving out of the $3,000 a month rental space into something affordable, and beginning to pay the payroll taxes on time, along with speaking on my mother’s behalf to the IRS officers, was what saved the business. One of the IRS officers told us even without any real assets, he would allow my husband and I to continue in this business based on our potential and responsibility since acquiring from my mother.  My mother was dumbfounded, I’m sure, when 7 years later, my husband and I were living comfortably as young business owners, having completely re-organized and re-structured the formerly doomed business.  Having to lose the business after 8 years as a result of my mother failing to come through for us as our professional on record, causing us to be hit hard by the government vendor with penalties and fees that drove us to have to sell out.  To whom, you suppose, my mother.  I should really hate her.  At times, I have.  But I am a believer in God’s force in my life and I have no better sense than to believe that these are lessons preparing me for something greater and greater.  I’m now working as a nurse, my hubby is struggling to obtain good, stable work, but we both sigh with relief when we think of how much more frustrating and out of control our lives were when we were still dependant upon my mother for our livelihood.  The purpose of my going to nursing school in the first place was for me to become our company’s professional on record, it was very difficult to find an RN who was willing to work for such a small company run by such young people, and with no real benefits to speak of.  And there is a shortage of nurses. But just before graduation, the business folded.  It was tough, but I’ve yet to go without something I’ve needed, thank God for that.

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2008, 01:18:48 PM »
Move the Money

Back to right now. I advise my mother, who’s trying her best to check out mentally, that she may want to consider moving money for the time being if she wants to stop the bleeding in any way.  I told her that this guy sounds like he means to shut the business down and that he’s trying to get what he can from your bank accounts and government billing payouts until he can’t anymore, these are last ditch efforts.  And by saying stuff like, “Don’t call me until you’re current on this past quarter’s payroll taxes, and three strikes and your out…” he sounds a little more than serious.  “What do you mean move the money?” she asks.  I want to punch something.  Is she really about to act like a novice here.  Moving her money is WHAT SHE DOES!!!!  The reason she even has had four to five manifestations of this business over the last 20 years is because she runs and runs from her problems by starting over and MOVING her MONEY. Each new manifestation has it’s own contract number, tax id number, and bank account. The buck never stops when you move your money, right?!  Is she serious right now??!!  Despite my fury, I speak to her in a calm, controlled voice.  “You can transfer your clients to your {remaining satellite office} and pay your employees from that location and bank account.”  She begins to awaken from her stupor.  I can do that, can’t I?  Here’s what I‘m going to do… And she proceeds to repeat exactly what I just suggested to her as if the idea came channeling straight down directly into her third eye from the most high.  I chuckle, out loud, I believe from a cartoon-like vision I have of her snapping her fingers, widening her eyes and pointing her index finger upwards, I’ve got it!  She wonders out loud if she should contact the IRS tax representative she’s hired to deal with this.  I tell her to forget about him, especially if he requires more money out of you in order to talk or deal with your situation.  I tell her it’s better if she speaks directly to the IRS guy from here on and to try her best to appeal to him and get a real idea on what he means to do with her.  The thought of this frightens her, I can tell, but she wants off the phone to trouble shoot with my sister, who has the business transfer records there with her.


It’s my day off, Jordan’s first day of school.  I still have a real feel that everything is going to be alright because now that I’m un-enmeshed from my mother, this problem is not my problem, nor does it change the way I have to live my life.  I decide to finish that nap.  I’m awakened again about 30 minutes later to the buzzing of the cell phone.  It’s my mother.  I reflect for a second on how I had so sincerely intended on having the No Contact lifestyle several weeks ago.  I answer the phone.  She says, with some confidence, “Yeah, what’s the best way to get that money to you?”  I say, “Umm, don’t you think that’s not a good idea right now.  I can work something out with the school.  You have bigger problems to work out right now.”  She insists, “No, I want to help my grand-daughter, and this amount of money is not going to make or break the situation with my taxes right now.”  She was going to get busy with going down to {sister’s town, business location} and pick up the records so that she could make the transfer of clients to the new business and to enter the employees in the payroll at the remaining satellite office in preparation for this Friday’s payroll.  She had a lot of work ahead of her and she was going to leave the money under the mat in her garage for me.  I only had three hours before Jordan’s school let out, so I think, okay, and got going towards my mother’s town.  I wasn’t at all surprised to see that she was still at home when I arrived.  She wrote out the check while revealing that she called the tax representative after talking with me informing him of the second bank levy.  He responded by saying to her that she should move her money, open a new bank account and get a new government contract.  Meanwhile, he could not further advise her until she paid him another installment.  While acknowledging that he told her basically the same thing I told her, she asked me again, what are the tax reps really doing for me?  Do you think I should go to the IRS guy myself?  I respond to her, “yes you should and forget about the tax rep.” I recalled to her the situation with tax reps hired, to the tune of $5000, to “help” when that initial business transfer back in 2000 when things went bad with the IRS after we had acquired the business. They did nothing to improve the situation. It was actually showing up at the Federal building in person to sit down and face the music and attempt to make a deal that made the biggest difference in the behavior of the IRS agent.  My mother, still fearful the thought of speaking directly to the officer, wrote out the check.  I think now, moreso than before, that she was insisting on “paying me” for giving her advice now proven to be consistent with the professional’s. 

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2008, 01:19:53 PM »
Another Turn

This was yesterday, the first day of school.  Jordan came home and jumped into my arms and said it was an awesome first day!! She tied for first place in a contest having to do with memorizing words and had a sticker on her shirt to prove it!  She says there is a boy bully who said mean things to her.  I asked what type of mean things and she said things like, “What are you looking at me like that for? and “That’s why you only tied for the contest and didn’t win outright!”  I chuckled and gave the heads up,   “I think he likes you, sweety.  Just ignore him.”  She smiled widely and said, “Really!!”  And I thought to myself, “Uh, oh.”

This morning after kissing her off to her second day of school, (turns out, with bills all paid, she was placed in just the right class for her learning abilities and needs and all is well with her record transfer), I called my oldest brother, the addict, to wish him a Happy Birthday.  He told me that this was the second birthday of his adult life that he was clean and that last year this time, he was unable to awaken the entire day of his 44th birthday.  I kidded with him about having a happy 80th birthday and I told him how proud I was of him with his recovery this time around.  Before we could get into the chit-chatter about my family and stuff, my mother was cueing on my call-waiting from her cell phone line.  She heard the upstairs phone ring, yes oldest bro lives upstairs to mother.  He keeps the cordless phone to a second line to the house up there while the base remains in my mother’s office.  Good way to keep an eye on all that goes on in the house, I’m sure. When the phone rang, she heard the audible caller id announce my last name on the phone and called me from another line assuming I was looking for her.  Once I mentioned to brother, this is mom on the other line, he quickly said, “Oh, thanks for calling, see ya.”  And, like always, our bonding was cut short.  Before I could tell her I was wishing my brother a happy birthday, she was expressing to me, her frame of mind as she was preparing to call the IRS guy this morning.  I told her I would be praying for her. 

She calls back thirty minutes later close to tears.  She says after talking to the IRS man, he reveals, “I’m trying to close your business.  I’m in the process of filing an injunction to padlock the doors and to try to get whatever I can to cover these debts. I also plan to file a suit against you to cover trust fund taxes, (the taxes on monies already paid to the employees during the year of 2006).  He suggested that she sell out and get what she could to pay on this debt, over $100,000 total, as he was coming for her personal income next.  Again, she was trying to go numb.  This time though, after the initial moment of silence, she hurriedly asked, “What should I do?”  For now, I could only take it back to the initial and much re-iterated point, move the money, get a new bank account, transfer the clients.  She says, “Really?”   I say, “Continue with your efforts from yesterday and get your records and important items from the building before he closes the doors.”  The padlock is not proverbial. It’s large and there’s probably a chain and a sign that goes along with it. I try to get her to behave with a sense of urgency as he sounds pretty urgent. I don’t tell her that this will only be a temporary quick fix.  That she should begin some long range planning right away.  This guy is going to come after her personal social security number such that the house in which she lives is in jeopardy, her three cars, her properties. The business she is transferring the clients to is also in jeopardy as it is a sole proprietorship. I don’t tell her that this is the beginning of the end. Just as she begins to thank me for being there to talk to her and to encourage her “to do” and not shrink in self-pity, the cell phone, not sure who’s hers or mine, reception begins to fade and her words garble and disappear.  Serendipity, I suppose; the signal fades and she doesn’t call back. Neither do I.

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2008, 06:18:51 PM »
Relationship

I fell asleep reading The Shack by William Paul Young, so my brain was in wonderment mode last night, which I thought should make for pretty cool dreams. Not so, I had somewhat of a nightmare with several icons of salient predators in my life, both past and present. My grandmother, my mother, this guy at work who makes me feel uncomfortable and an unknown force, a relative apparently, who is trying to find me to do me some harm.  I spend a good deal of the dream hiding from this entity.

Dream- Takes place at my maternal Ngrandmother’s house, and my Nmom is there and the house is large, and in mirror-image to the one she has in real life, and with rug and window treatments consistent with my mother’s taste. It was bright and the windows were opened. I knew it was my grandmother’s home although it had been made larger or added upon obviously by my mother.  From the front room, however, I could see through to a bedroom where a man was molesting an adolescent girl, rubbing a stick or ruler or grape flavored frozen ice-pop or some other phallic-type object up and down her pre-pubescent chest outside her shirt.  After two swipes one up and then down, he then laughed a grimy pirate’s laugh, thanked her for bringing him the (phallic) object and sent her on her way. Almost as a fly on the wall observer, I witnessed her wipe the ick off herself, a slight brush to the front of her shirt and a wipe to the side of her face, while walking through the front room away from the bedroom where the man remained. The man I’m running from and hiding from within my grandmother’s house, (why else would I be at her house??!!) has me so afraid I’m peeking out of the windows and trying with a nervous fervor to avoid him.  This guy from work, Mr. Williams (there’s a brief history of icky encounters) is in the dream.  Is he the guy I’m hiding from and why in that house?   I wake up perturbed.

I’m thinking this dream sucks. I thought it would be a whole lot more interesting if it were anything like the scenes from the book I’m reading.  I shed tears last night while reading this excerpt about the grandeur and beauty of a waterfall as backdrop to a flower covered mountainside.

Despite my busy plans for the day, I think I should call my mother this morning.  I called her last night but her phone went straight to voicemail and the mailbox was full.  I’m a little worried that she has dropped into “avoidance” mode.  And I call anyhow.  The plan this morning if she does not answer is to leave her a voicemail if possible and just to let the whole thing alone and move on. However, she answers the phone this morning.

She remains in contact with the tax representative middle-man guy.  He has consistently been advising her to give him a copy of all her tax records. She is stumped at a few places on the Turbo Tax return and is becoming frustrated at why the bottom line on her tax return is not matching the bottom line in her books.  Turbo tax has given the ill-fated red-letter error message and she is absolutely stumped.  She admits that she was just about to call me when I called her.  She had just finished talking to my sister earlier this morning, who will not return from her 50 mile away, hideaway, where all the important and relevant business papers live.  She won’t come to mom, therefore, today mom’s plan is to go to the town where sis’ is and to work on these tax papers to turn over to the tax middle-man. This agent, to whom she’s signed over Power of Attorney, has said his team can help her because they know things about dealing with the IRS she can’t possibly know and that he can likely get a Compromise going if she would just give him all her missed tax filings and another payment installment to his company.  This would be hard work, he promised, but they “should” be able to get something worked out for her. 

She matter-of-factly mentions that she had a summons for Sept. 10, tomorrow, to appear before the IRS man himself (Mr. “Three Strikes-don’t call me back until your current-there’s nothing you can do,” IRS man) with all of her financial paperwork and current financial statements. Her plan, I’m appalled to say, was to blow off the summons for her to appear tomorrow. She said, with vehemence, “He already said, ‘There’s nothing you can do,’ and the {tax middle-man} said he would take care of things just as soon as I fax these papers over to him.

She says, while reminding herself out loud not to say anything negative about my sister that sis’ is going to help her finish up the paperwork and that sis is going to help her (mom) “stay focused” so that they can complete the work of transferring the clients and completing the un-filed quarterly and annual tax returns.  Truthfully, all of the quarterly payroll returns were completed by the accountant and only required a signature by my mother or mom’s stamped signature that could be applied by my sister and mailed off. More often, more recently, this had not been done. My mother doesn’t admit this, she just acknowledges that she has proof of something or another and rambles a bit about what the tax representatives promise to do for her once she gets these forms completed.

I mention again that the tax middle-man is a waste of time.  I say, he’s right, he knows the IRS better than you.  He knows that the writing is on the wall and that the next phase is total liquidation of her business by the IRS.  I told her it would be foolish of her to avoid a summons to appear before the IRS officer.  It would give Mr. Three Strikes exactly what he needs to show a judge proof of due diligence and due process and to then be able to proceed, full speed ahead, with the job of quickly shutting down the business.  He was not subtle about this.  Without sounding like a reprimand, I presented the facts that were before this IRS officer: unfilled tax returns, unpaid payroll taxes, etc.  He never actually ever met my mother; for all he knows, she could be walking around flaunting the cash of her unpaid taxes in diamonds or furs or new cars, etc.  (Little irony here, she actually did go around flaunting diamonds and furs and new cars back in the 90s when the money flowed as such; now her currency is odd jobs for “peons” and living expenses for grown children and ex-husband).  I mention to her that without knowing anything about her, never having spoken to her to know what she’s been doing over the last few years and not knowing why she failed to pay her taxes, he can only imagine the worst.  I offer her the option of presenting herself to him as, here’s a thought, a human-being who has made some mistakes and is now willing to be transparent and cooperative and at the mercy of this officer for her livelihood. I mention that she should consider taking in her hospital bills and bringing up  the unexpected business upheaval that took place in 2006 when a long time employee left her and took half her clientele with her, sending the entire business reeling off of its’ axis. When I used the words “human-being” a distinct mood change took place in her.

Silence.

She, like the 50s era cartoons, pulls another “Eureka, I’ve found it!” and declares that what she’s decided to do is to face the IRS officer on tomorrow and to put all if  today’s efforts towards presenting her case tomorrow and attempt to see what could be done to help herself  while working directly with the officer. She mentioned here that the tax representative middle-man hadn’t answered her phone calls in three days.  She then did something completely out of left field.

She then said to me, in a tone almost defiant and furious, “Thank you so much, [Tiffany] You don’t know how much this means to me.  She then went into a story about something that happened yesterday.  She said that she was at her mother’s house, (after a long and painful period of no contact with her); she was talking to her about what she wanted for her and her mother’s relationship.  She wanted that they would look back on the bad history between them and be able to laugh about the “sad times” now that time has past.  She wanted their relationship to be restored and she mentioned to Ngrandma that she also wanted this restoration for hers and my, her own daughter’s relationship.  For us to be able to talk and to become closer as she got older as things would become less and less about money.  She wants to be able to laugh about the sad times.  She used words like reconciliation and mistakes and support. 

She again said she appreciated me calling to check on her this morning and for giving her such wise advisement. She said it made her feel good that I would call and check on her and that every word I’ve said is valuable.  She said it meant so much as there was NO ONE who understood the gravity of what she was going through except me.  Which led directly into an apology for what I had to go through with my business because of her, What follows I’ve tried to present verbatim and in the chronological order in which she spoke her thoughts: 

 “It makes me feel sorry for messing up and not being attentive to the business. I repented to God for this. I’m sorry about how it went with you. I hereby make a promise that I, if allowed to “come back” from this would do something to help you get out of the situation your life is in now.  I would not wish to be rich I would just mange my own life and I would share with you where I could. Last week, in the midst of my troubles, I sowed the seed for my granddaughter, Jordan, and with a promise that as I pay my taxes on time, I will continue to sow more seeds to you and yours. You are the only one who is working hard for your money and you’re ‘out there’ learning the lessons of life. Like your brother, who’s hanging out with this rich, old guy whose showing him things and teaching him lessons, things that your daddy should have shown him growing up, but we won’t get into that right now…  You are learning life’s lessons and it looks like you are going to be all right. From time to time, in the future, when you’re in a pinch, you’ll need me and I’ll be there for you. You may not it’s coming from me, but I’ll be there for you. You can call on me, and you don’t have to be ashamed or fearful to come to me and I’m going to help you, Tiffany, Tiffany, are you there? Can you hear what I’m saying to you?

I respond to her. “Yes, I hear you, I appreciate the apology. I look forward to a day when we can look at the sad times and appreciate the lessons learned from them. There have been times where I needed your financial help and had nowhere else to turn and you gave it to me. This is bigger than the “sad times” of the past. I’m trying to move on into my future. To God be the glory, Mom, and we awkwardly get off the phone.

I’ll process this more later, but for now I feel as though I’m witnessing the N with her back to a wall, attempting to bargain and make promises for the future while acknowledging some mistakes of the past.  I have to say I’ve never seen her like this before. I’ll be careful with my heart and remain humble with what I’ve received today.  An apology, validation that she made my recent life a hell, and an acknowledgment that she withheld her sharing and caring from me, that means something.  Do I need much more than that, really? I think I’ll accept that for right now.  But, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished, and the ramifications of today’s promises, good or bad, have yet to be realized. I will some day have to answer for my council to her during this time of duress, of this I can be sure.  Will I grow to regret or appreciate my role in this scenario, only time will tell.

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2008, 12:42:47 PM »
Update on my sister, Prince, and the IRS meeting

After our intense last conversation, I thought it a good idea to hang back a little until my mother called me in follow-up to the summons meeting.  I assumed after a few days passed that the news was not so great.  This was, in fact, a no-win situation, but attending the meeting was about reducing the loss and showing up to take responsibility for her actions or lack thereof, with the hope of gaining favor with the IRS officer and ameliorating the swift, harsh punishment of sudden business closure.  As days passed, I couldn’t help but wonder about the outcome of the summons meeting.

I called my mother’s business cell phone. There was a difference in the cell phone ring. There was one of those annoying, and quite unprofessional, I thought, hip-hop tones that play a song in your ear as you wait for person to say “Hello” To my surprise, my sister answered and without any indication of having not spoken to me in the last four months, she made me aware that it was my nephew’s (brother’s son) birthday and that this was the first year my oldest brother called his now 18 year-old son to wish him a Happy Birthday, a decent indication that my brother is making progress in his recovery. (I couldn’t help but wonder if sis’ was ‘granted’ permission by mother to re-institute speaking to me after last week’s grand Declaration of acceptance and inclusion).

During the conversation with sister, I asked how I could get in touch with mom.  Sister informed me that mom got a new cell phone/business phone and that sis’ now carries mom’s old phone and younger brother has sis’s old phone.  “Mom needed a new phone, why?” I asked.  Sis had no answer.  I changed the subject. “Did Prince ever get in touch with mom?” She told me mom spoke to him, and that he wanted to explain why he hasn’t sent any money on the property in the last year.  (Big surprise, there.) To boot, he was in the US for his annual visit and wanted to stay with his “mumma” for several days next week so that he can talk to her about sending his teenaged daughter here from Ghana to begin her college education.  He would like Mom to be the sponsor for her Green Card, and responsible for his daughter while she goes to school. Not a small request.

Sis, who wanted to linger on the phone a bit after I got my mother’s new cell phone number, asked about my daughter.  I shared with her that Jordan was selected be a safety patrol at school.  Sis then went into a 20 minute diatribe about how her own daughter wanted to be safety patrol but she had to be elected because there were so many kids who wanted to do it in her class.  Sis then informed me that she would be in my city this weekend attempting to join a graduate chapter sorority (big bucks and lots of community service hours).  I was a little surprised at the chit-chatter after four months of absolutely no contact.  I was admittedly eager to get off the phone.  Something felt icky and wrong.

I then spoke to mom, I asked her why the new phone.  She, like my sister, mumbled something inaudible and changed the subject. “How’d it go with the tax guy?” I asked. She said, she went to the meeting, but the tax guy was on vacation, so…mumble, mumble, mumble. She was despondent and unclear.  “So what’d you do?”  I had to know.

She then went into how the hired tax rep is going to handle everything. “They said they should be able to get the IRS to stop the levies and garnishments and to get some type of agreement established.  I rolled my eyes, and instinctively held my tongue.  This was not a time to try to convince her that this was not in her best interest.

Something smells fishy, though.  I asked her if she checked-in with someone else at the IRS office or sign something indicating that she indeed followed through with showing up for the summons.  She stammered and changed the subject, (I smelled the lie).  So it sounds like she did not attend the meeting.  She is putting all her faith in the hired agent with Power of Attorney who promises to represent her well with the IRS if she would just send another $1500 installment today.

Why would the IRS officer issue a summons only to be on vacation that very day?
Why would she change the only telephone on which most of her debtors are able to reach her?
Why would sis’ and grandma suddenly re-appear as major influences in mom’s decisions on how to handle her current financial problems?

Why? Well, I suppose it has a lot to do with her high level of anxiety and the fact that she is still in a good bit of denial about what is really happening to her. She is terrified of hearing the blatant criticism by the IRS officer.  She and sis are making plans as if everything’s going to just magically work itself out.  I asked her if she was worried about whether or not the IRS officer would continue with the garnishments and levies to her accounts.  She shakily responded, “See, that still worries me a little, but the representative said…blah, blah, blah.”

Am I supposed to be her conscious? The “good devil” sitting on her shoulder egging her on to do the “right thing,” while she continues to ponder with the “bad angel,” who only encourages her to do the selfish, self-defeating, irresponsible thing.  Is that even fair to me?  Do I get anything out of it?  Why would I want to keep doing this to myself?  Am I an idiot?

Did the conversations with grandma and sister during the Day of Reconciliation have something to do with her not going to the IRS meeting the next day?  I can’t help but wonder how they (grandma and sis’) really feel given the aforementioned “sad times”. I wonder if they don’t secretly wish for her downfall (being the Ns they are) and resent my rescue/intervention in the matter.

I resent my rescue/intervention.

It is a possibility that NGrandma and Nsister are proponents of the third party guy because they see the writing on the wall and sense the imminent doom promised by the IRS officer? Are they just tired of hearing her complain and whine about her problems and encourage the idea of getting someone else to handle them? Is it more sinister than that? Mom is definitely taking counsel from anyone who will listen to her now. Why would she flip- flop from wanting to do the responsible thing and wanted to hide and defer within 24 hrs? After all that talk about my being the only one who knows what she is going through and about how my advice was such good, strong counsel, she is going the way of the doomed.  Mom, Grandma, Sis and Prince: all the Ns can have one another! 

I need to step back, w-w-way back.  And just not intervene anymore.  I’ve not rescued anyone; instead I’m participating in a sick, perverted play where there is no happy ending.  I’m going to create my own happy endings and just be thankful that I am no longer fiscally enmeshed with her anymore.

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2008, 07:49:20 PM »
Distractions

Mom called today: “Yeah, I was calling because I know you needed extra money, what about you doing my nursing visits for me?  You could visit the clients (from satellite office 2 hour drive from my city) in one of my cars and I will send the office worker, Mary, to ride with you and show you where the clients live. I just wanted to give you the opportunity for the job before I try and get another RN to do these visits for me.”

She babbled on like this for another few minutes while I sat quietly thinking of a way to tell her HECK NO! I was thinking fast, but not fast enough as I responded with, “I’m getting ready to start a part-time position with a clinical research nurse,” which was the truth, but a truth I had promised not to share with her because I was so tired of her sapping the energy from every new venture upon which I embarked.  Her response to this statement was a marked, “hmm, that’s interesting…” I folded like a cheap suit and I can pretty much guarantee she’ll be talking of research in some capacity in the near future as if the very idea of it dropped, as if by serendipity, out of the sky. Guaranteed.

She went on, “I am not able to continue going in and out of people’s homes, the getting out of the car repeatedly is hard on my joints. I guess I’m procrastinating on hiring a new nurse because a lot of times they have schedules you can hardly work with.” 

I needed to get the point across that I am not interested without causing too much Ninjury so I reminded her of the government’s rule that all nursing professionals performing visits as well teaching have to have 2 years of experience in a health care setting prior to working for the agency.  With the reminder, she immediately said,” No, I don’t think so.  I think you can get around that rule.” I remained silent.  She relented temporarily.

She transitioned to my sister who came by to visit her on last Thursday, finally.  Sis has been ignoring and avoiding Mom for the last several months and has refused to come from the town 1 hour away to see our mother, even when the other shoe dropped with the IRS garnishments, levies, and summons, sis was no where to be found. And this is the part of the company she was promised.  Well, apparently on this visit to mom, she left a lot to be desired.  Mom said sis refused to be responsible for billing, setting up charts, performing background checks and references and was not making any promises about calling or communicating with mom.  On top of that, Mom reports to me that her personal bankcard is missing. She called sis to see if she had taken it and sis denied it.  When Mom checked online for card activity, the card was quite active, a cell phone bill was paid and ATM withdrawals were being made. Silence. I don’t feel the need to try to interpret what is crystal clear.  It’s not fair to me, either.  So I sit in silence, while Mom abruptly changes the subject, which she will come to do several more times before this entire conversation ends.

The company hired to represent her with the IRS finally “got through” to the IRS officer guy.  “I think they got them to stop the levies and garnishments,” she said with trepidation.  She‘s been in a holding pattern on the billing of the office under scrutiny for the last four weeks, fearful that the IRS would garnish those accounts, (a potential reason for sis’s recent need for Mom’s personal cash cards).  She complained that there were a few clients with large billable hours for whom she hasn’t been able to bill because of paperwork discrepancies on my sister’s part. I asked, “What makes you think the people you hired were able to stop the levies, did they tell you so?” To this, she responded, “Well, they said it would be about 2 weeks before they could stop the IRS from applying levies… they just need me to send them one more tax form…” she trailed off incomprehensibly.  Another abrupt subject change.

“Your brother had a seizure last night,” she mentioned matter-of-factly.  The emergency room doctor said his anti-seizure medication blood levels were therapeutic.  This means he was having a breakthrough seizure and needs to be re-evaluated by his physician. Mom blames the seizure on high stress from brother’s girlfriend, aforementioned sassy lover-of-beer.  Apparently, she just lost her “brother” (he was raised by her mother from infancy when no other family members would accept him, born drug-addicted and motherless).  He was living in a city an hour away and he was allegedly shot to death.  Brother’s girlfriend wants my brother to step up and be supportive of her by watching her little children while she and the older children travel to town one hour away for funeral this weekend.  She also would like brother to be “supportive” while she indulges in drinking binges, per mother.  All the death and poor parenting talk got brother to thinking that he would like to see his own young children and, per mother, this is upsetting to the girlfriend as well.

The last time brother’s children were in town it was without brother’s prior knowledge.  Dad picked up the three young children from their mother’s home 2 hours away and he dropped them off at my brother’s house and father left.  While children were visiting with their father, they noticed him to be drooling and behaving goofily.  The kids thought he was entertaining them and they made a loud laughing commotion that alerted someone to call my father.  Father came and hoisted up brother who had fallen to the floor on the way to his room to get his anti-seizure medicine; he placed brother in his bed, placed the CPAP machine over his face and took the children back home to their mother immediately.  It upset mom that dad did not call the ambulance and only placed him in the bed without telling anyone what had happened. He simply left him alone in the house with the great aunt who has Alzheimer’s.

Several days later brother would go to Ngrandma’s house, she lives one block away from brother, and sits down on her couch.  He fell into a deep three-hour sleep that no one seemed particularly worried about.  When brother awakened, heavy-headed and groggy, the items he was holding in his hands had fallen, scattered to the floor.  He thought he might have had a small seizure on that day.  This was several days ago.

The mention of grandma led to talk about the current state of grandma’s home.  Grandma’s long time home aide, a woman, originally hired by me and sent to help grandma with her home care five years ago.  Originally, they were two peas in a pod, a perfect pair, completely smitten with one another.  Between my mother’s contempt for anyone who gets close to her mother and the woman’s own manipulative nature, there were repeated problems over the years.  The last fallout between Ngrandma and Nmom was instigated by this woman, who despised my mother.  She never bought any of the polite undermining my mother offered.  She, on a mission to become my grandmother’s sole beneficiary, grabbed hold to grandma’s household tightly and refused to let go for years and years…until last week or so.  Mom said she was at grandma’s house yesterday to help her get ready for a doctor’s appointment and that the house was absolutely filthy, putrid with the smell of urine and stale food.  Mom said she would get one of her aides to come to provide care for grandma, but that she would be too embarrassed for them to see how her own mother lived.  She was rambling on like this when I realized that she was saying, in essence, that the long time aide was no longer seeing grandma. I asked, “Why did she quit?”  Mom, in a hurried blur, spoke of a recent blow-up spurred on by a comment my oldest brother made.  He apparently mumbled something in the background of a telephone conversation with Mom that caused the agency who provides the aide to follow up on the aide.  The company could not get her on the phone when she was supposed to be at my grandmother’s house and normal cover-up efforts by other house inhabitants were thwarted.  The aide, once she found out she had been undermined, threw a fit and told my grandmother that if my mother was back in her life and making decisions then she was gone.  She left in a huff and I guess my mother has assumed some type of responsibility to provide home care for her mother. She doesn’t want to talk about this anymore and she quickly switches the topic of conversation towards another gossip item.  My young cousin, (19 or 20) someone who could potentially have been be a caregiver for my grandmother is now pregnant with her second child, my mother blurts out in an effort to change the subject, while ruling-out my younger cousin as an option to help my mother with caring for her mother.

At this point, I say to my mother, “Your problems are overwhelmingly heavy.”  She responds with “Yeah, I know” almost proud-like.  And she begins to ramble on about how she needs to just worry about herself and stop trying to take care of everybody else.  She went on about how she could take care of herself if she managed her own finances and didn’t take so many other people into consideration.  She was particularly bummed about my sister’s recent resumption of alleged thievery. This is the rhetoric she uses with me because she knows I’ve always supported this line of thinking even though she never just worries about herself.  She’s always finding new ways to enmesh herself with her immediate family members and she can’t help but meddle in everyone’s business all the while denouncing their behaviors. She was consumed with my brother’s burdensome baggage and distracted by my grandmother’s grievous games.  As if she didn’t have enough to worry about with the IRS, she is now consumed with all of the family’s issues.  And now she wants to get me back in the fold. 

I’m not in the least bit interested in becoming entangled in her business affairs in any way.  If I illegally became her nurse, it would be a negative reflection on my own license.  And I am not willing to jeopardize my license for her sake.  Even if it were two years later, I would not be interested because I’m sure she would not show me respect as a colleague, she would overwhelm me with paperwork, she would violate my time, she would distract me and glean from my fresh ideas teasing me with the threat to accomplish my life’s goals before I got the chance to pursue them. She would come to expect me to come through for her repeatedly while everyone else continues to avoid her and ignore her daily requests for attention.  Life, overall, would suck.  I just have to think of another excuse or I will have to, as I have several times in the past, explode the truth onto her.  There’s no need for that, though.  I have no interest in wasting more time trying to get through to her.  I feel the need to put more time and energy into my own future plans, plans that include doing something that helps people and gives them hope and increases self worth and self esteem.  This would be more for me than for them, but I need my crazy life to have some purpose and meaning.  More than just being my self-absorbed mother’s sidekick and confidant.  I have a strong desire to make my suffering with her have a purpose.  I’m sick and tired of feeling stuck like this.  I feel damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I deserve better.

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2008, 03:35:33 PM »
9/25/08 dream:

I, or some voyeur version of me was watching, from a distance, a scene unfold at this huge three-story beach house that sat atop a large rock almost at the ocean;’s edge.  The house was pink and the house’s owner wore pink clothing, a night gown/house coat type of garment.  The subject of her (I presume she is me) discussion was a dog. A small, cute, Pomeranian, white, fluffy number.  The lady in pink was smitten by the cuteness and sweetness of the dog and wanted the puppy, making it her second such puppy purchase in a very short period of time.  Onlookers were in discussion about this as for the most part, folks thought it unwise for her to make such a purchase so close to just getting her first new puppy.  She came floating and ephemeral from the large, palatial pink-toned home to discuss the dogs. While she talked, I noticed her home being battered by the seawater.  There were waves, swirling about the foundation and pools of water gathering in the upper balconies and alcoves of the home.  At some point it looked as if there was a person on a parachute or a hang-glider perhaps, who seemed to have gotten trapped in the pooling water.  The water rose to a level above his head just before he was somehow freed from the water’s trap. There’s a moment of trepidation and then the dream ends.

From the Dream Symbol Dictionary:
Beach

To see the beach in your dream, symbolizes the meeting between your two states of mind. The sand is symbolic of the rational and mental processes while the water signifies the irrational, unsteady, and emotional aspects of yourself. It is a place of transition between the physical/material and the spiritual.

To  dream that you are on the beach and looking out toward the ocean,  indicates unknown and major changes that are occurring in your life. Consider the state of the ocean, whether it is calm, pleasant, forbidding, etc.

Sea

To  see the sea in your dream, represents your unconscious and your transition  between your unconscious and conscious. It also often represents your  emotions. The dream may also be a pun on your understanding and perception  of a situation. "I see" or perhaps there is something you need  to "see" more clearly. Alternatively, the dream may indicate a  need to reassure yourself or offer reassurance to someone.

Dog

To  see a dog in your dream, indicate a skill that you have ignored or  forgotten, but needs to be activated. Alternatively, dogs may   symbolize intuition, loyalty, generosity, protection, and fidelity. Your  own values and intentions will enable you to go forward in the world and  succeed. Alternatively, it represents a deterioration of  your instincts. 

To  see a happily barking dog in your dream, symbolizes pleasures and much  social activity.  If the dog is barking ferociously, then it  represents your habit of making demands on people and controlling  situations around you. It could also mean unfriendly companions.

To  dream that you are buying a dog, indicates your tendency to buy your  friends or buy compliments/favors. Alternatively, it suggest a need for  you to find companionship.

Also  consider the notions associated with the word dog, such as loyalty  ("man's best friend") and to be "treated like a dog". 

Mansion

To see  a mansion in your dream, symbolizes your greatest potential and growth.  You may feel that your current situation or relationship is in a rut.

House

To  see a house in your dream, represents your own soul and self. Specific  rooms in the house indicate a specific aspect of your psyche. In general,  the attic represents your intellect, the basement represents the  unconscious, etc. If the house is empty, then it indicates feelings of  insecurity.  If the house is shifting, then it suggests that you are  going through some personal changes and changing your belief system. If  you live with others in your waking life, but dream that you are living  alone, suggests that you need to take new steps toward independence. You  need to accept responsibilities and be more self-reliant. To  see a new house in your dream, indicates that you are entering into a new  phase or new area in your life. 

Water

To  see water in your dream, symbolizes your unconscious and your emotional  state of mind. Water is the living essence of the psyche and the flow of  life energy.  It is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing  and refreshment.

To  dream that water is rising up in your house, signifies your struggles and  overwhelming emotions.

Waves

To  see clear, calm  waves in your dream, signifies a calming of  emotions. It may also signal an important decision to be made.

To  dream that you are caught in a tidal wave, signifies the strength of your  emotions, perhaps accompanied by tears that you are holding back in your  waking life.

Pink

Pink  represents love, joy, sweetness, happiness, affection, kindness.   Being in love or healing through love is also implied with this color

I don’t know how best to interpret this dream but I do know that the people in your dream represent you and versions of yourself.   Symbolically, it could make a lot of sense. 

jordanspeeps

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Re: The story of "Tiffany"
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2008, 04:49:31 PM »
What’s my sister up to?

My sister has recently resumed sending me these random chain text messages again.  They say things like, “ Shoot this arrow )))==> to 13 hearts u truly care about  and in 13 min u will get great news.” They are often signed Miss King or Miss Fifty, cryptic code names, affiliated somehow with the social club she’s trying to join.  Personally, the chain mail implications offend my sensibilities so I never respond or pass them on.  They are probably innocuous but I noted that she had not sent me one of these daily messages for at least 4 months since she stopped communicating with me.
 
The next day, she sent another text with random gossip about a high school gym teacher and girls basketball coach who is now the principal of our old high school which is allegedly going to the dogs.  It’s not that I’m above the gossip, I happened to have already been offered this not-so-juicy bit of information months earlier by an old friend.  I was perplexed at her approach considering the fact that her texts were the last thing she stopped doing when she broke off complete communication following her graduation on Mother’s Day when I was a no-show.

This perplexed feeling was replaced by anger when I thought of the way she so hastily and thoroughly broke off communication with me without any explanation on her my part.  She can’t just lazily traipse back onto the scene now without any debrief. It was at that moment one week ago that I said to myself, ‘Screw this’ and re-instituted No –contact with both my mother and sister.  After my mother’s seemingly flippant request that I come to work for her and my sister’s recent “re-kindling” efforts, I’m thinking I’m a dupe if I walk down this road with them especially now given the current desperate circumstances.  I have so much going on in my own life and legitimate opportunities for happiness and success.  I just need to embrace those things and turn loose these attachments that are weighing me down like an albatross.  The cycle is endless.

With that in mind, the day before yesterday, I got a series of telephone calls from the cell phone of my 10 year old niece, my sister’s daughter.  I’m asleep when they call and I try to ignore the buzzing phone, but once I get up check the caller id and see it’s my niece 8 times in a row, I decide not to call right back.  My instinct is to avoid this interaction and check the voicemails in case there’s an emergency.  But if there is an emergency, then they wouldn’t send a 10 year old to contact me would they? Well, in this family, they might.  Anyway, I can’t get back to sleep after this and I begin thinking that they, (either my mother or my sister, or my father or all three) are making an attempt to get to me in some way. It would not at all be out of the realm of thinking that they would use a child to be a pawn in the game, used to advance and protect themselves while they strategize on a larger scale.

In the voicemail my niece says she’s coming into town for the State Fair and wants to know if her cousin Jordan can go with her.  I thought to myself, here we go again, it’s like the Atlanta trip where I would have loved to be able to have Jordan enjoy herself with her extended family while also doing something entertaining and fun. But I was too worried that the predators would use chicanery to confuse my eight year old child’s thinking and that they would use guilt to make her feel as though there’s something she or her parent’s have done wrong.  I decide it’s best to ignore the voicemail and continue with our already-made plans to take Jordan to the State Fair on the next day.  There’s a cheerful knock at the door and my hubby answers to my chipper niece who begged him on the spot to allow Jordan to go to the Fair.  He comes upstairs and it’s too late, Jordan is running full speed ahead into her cousin’s arms.  I can’t say she can’t go at this point.  My father is sitting in the car out front, curbside and after being waved in, he comes inside long enough to say that our new puppy, who can’t stop jumping on visitors and trying to lick them to death, needs obedience training.  Well, he does, bless his puppy heart.  But, after not seeing my father since he came to visit one of my patient’s at work several month’s ago, I would think there’d less perfunctory chit-chat between us and not ramblings about how much our puppy looks like my Ngrandmother’s new dog, same dog mix, different color…blah, blah.  He mentioned that he could keep both girls and take them to church tomorrow and bring Jordan back around 6 pm Sunday night.  He mentioned that my mother would want to see her. also.  With my husband standing there, I couldn’t make an excuse that I needed to check with him first, so we both almost helplessly agreed that she could stay the night.  I went to pack an overnight bag with a sinking feeling.

When I woke up this morning I called my niece’s cell phone.  I reminded her that I forgot to pack a toothbrush for Jordan and that Jordan needed not to forget her denim jacket.  My niece was sure to let me know that Jordan’s visit was all her idea and that grandpa, my father, tried to talk her out of inviting Jordan to the fair, repeatedly asking her if she was sure she didn’t want to ask one of her friends to go with her to the Fair. Niece also said everyone is so excited that Jordan’s in town and that the plans for the day are changing as they would all be going to the old family cult church.  Justgreat.  I feel as though I’ve sent my baby out amongst the wolves.  I worked a twelve-hour shift last night and generally I can’t get a thought in edgewise when I’m working, I am so busy. But, I keep thinking of my Jordan and praying for her that she would be protected from danger.  She’s a smart girl and she has angels watching over her.  My hubby says, they know better than to allow something to happen to her.  They know, and I believe this, that we would stop at nothing to vindicate any type of harm that could come to our Jordan. I’m not worried that she’ll be harmed per se.  I worry that via subtlety and cunning she’ll be coerced into being a pawn for my mother.  I wait for the other shoe to drop on that one.  It’s 6: 12 pm and no one has called to say Jordan is on the way here.  I need to follow up remind them of her school schedule.  They don’t typically give a care about stuff like that. 

Well, although it was 2.5 hours later than earlier promised, Jordan was returned safe and sound.  She appears to have had a good time with them. The big news was that my mom was completely surprised to see Jordan and wanted her to come back next weekend so that she could have more time with her and “tell her good stories about her mother.” I’m kinda glad everything happened so fast and that mom didn’t have the forethought and planning to really set her hooks into my baby. I guess that’s why she wanted so badly for her to return next week.  But, I plan to be very busy with Jordan this weekend with no possibility of being able to make the return trip so soon.  When saying our goodbyes, Dad went on a long harangue about how my brother needed to get away from the drunken harlot. It was interesting that when he gave the rendition of recent events involving my brother’s breakthrough seizures, my Alzheimer’s aunt’s antics, and my sister’s sudden decision to move back into the home of my mother, his overall attitude was somewhat blithe and gay.  When he recanted the story of how he and brother’s girlfriend came into a physical altercation, he admitted to grabbing her arm to “escort” her out of the house prior to calling the police.  When recalling the events surrounding my brother’s recent seizure where father simply laid his seizing body flat on the bed, placed the CPAP mask over his face, and left him alone to return brother’s young children to their mother, he admitted that he’s tired of the 5 to 6 hours wait he has to endure when takes brother to the hospital after a seizure.  He admits to being tired of having to be the one to look after my brother and be his chauffeur when my brother won’t even listen to him and leave the town skankpot alone.   When father jokes that oldest brother who lives in mom’s upstairs guestroom has moved from that bedroom to the other guest bedroom before my sister moves back in, leaving her with the worst of the two, I say, “So Mom’s not still talking about selling the house?”  Dad looks at me and says, ”She wavers back and forth, but it is really that bad?” Clearly, she’s decided to keep him in the dark about just how bad her finances really are.  He mentions that he will be going by Mom’s the next morning to talk with her about these things and he rushes off my porch.  I guess I let more of the cat out of the bag regarding mom’s financial woes but, honestly, I don’t want to be part of the dialogue anymore.  You never know when you’re saying too much, because everyone manipulates and hides and lies so much.  I really do wish to make no-contact a reality.  I feel the tug getting stronger and I feel the need to fight like crazy to keep myself from getting sucked (suckered) back in.  Have you ever been so ambivalent about something while also being absolutely sure what you’re really supposed to do?  I hate this feeling.  My anxiety is at about a 6/10.  My IBS is flaring up.  My dreams are all over the place.  Depression is trying it’s best to creep in.  I’m just going to put up a psychic fight.  I need to muster all of my mental energy and focus on my daughter and husband and my burgeoning career.  I need to see the glass half-full right now.