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Monday and the queer little man...

It is Monday. I woke up at 4:04 am. I went to bed around 1:45 am. I have done better about getting sleep than Miss Teffers has. Sleep does not come easily at SageMoon Cottage.

I have decided to tell part of the tale about a queer (as in odd) little man who came uninvited into my life. I will call him Frank. First let me say that I used to do life coaching on eBay. I am very good at life and professional coaching but most people really only want validation for doing the same things they have been doing all along, without any positive change in their lives and truly see no need to do things differently, thus I did not have much long term patience with people who wanted their lives fixed for one $50 dollar session and did not want to follow through with changes. Frank was one of these people. His life was going to hell in a handbasket. He was losing his job at age 54...he could have kept it if he would have been willing to move from one state to the next but he wouldn't make the move. The only reason was inertia. Now he did have adult children living in the state where he was residing but they did not visit and did not talk. Frank's life involved going to work, eating, watching movies, trolling the internet buying worthless baubles and sleeping. He did not engage in social activities except to go to the chili dog stand near where he worked. He lived a hollow and vacant life.

Frank stated that he wanted to change his life's condition but he did not take a second offer for the job transfer, nor did he accept another job he was offered. He refused employment training from his state that would have helped him to get another job. Training that specialized in working with older adults who had been laid of and he obstinately refused to participate. I drew up several plans of action for Frank based on his stated goals but the bottom line was that he had decided at 54 that he was not going to work any longer. When his job ended he got a very nice severance package and despite his eligibility for unemployment benefits he did not apply. He instead lived on his disability check from the VA and his severance package until he spent all of the money in the severance package on knick knacks, DVDs, CDs and books he never read.

When the money ran out he imposed himself on his daughter with whom he had a severely impaired relationship. He moved in with her, became a baby sitter to her disabled son when he wasn't in school and spent the rest of his time watching movies and listening to New Age type CDs. His car was taken over by his daughter and son so he was seldom able to go anywhere and he supposedly had such a poor sense of direction that he couldn't have gone anywhere in their city anyway. he was basically a prisoner of his own device and felt sorry for himself and misused because he was expected to help with the disabled child while his daughter worked.

His room was so filled with computer equipment, audio visual equipment, books, CDs and DVDs that there was only room for a crib sized mattress for him to sleep on. He felt very put upon because he felt that his daughter and son in law should convert their garage, at their expense, into an apartment for him to live in. Also because he had an eating disorder that involved him eating large amounts of food at one time the refrigerator was chained shut with a lock so he could not eat all of the food in the fridge.

It was a miserable existence for Frank and his daughter's family but he had planted himself there and he intended to stay and did not have any plan to find alternative housing or employment. He refused to make any positive changes. I tried to dissolve my relationship with Frank but he would pay for "coaching" which he used as opportunities to talk about what he couldn't do rather than what he could do. I made many efforts to help Frank help himself with no success. Frank wanted life handed to him on a silver platter.

Finally I was working on cutting all ties with Frank when he absolutely refused to look for low income housing so he could live on his own again. I explained to Frank how the housing authority worked and wished him well. Less than a week later I received an email from Frank indicating that he planned to come to my hometown to relocate so I could help him to find housing. I informed him that there was no where for him to stay while he was looking for housing but that didn't stop Frank. He ended up on my doorstep without any invitation. He was just HERE. I should have taken him to the bus station and sent him back to his daughter but I tried to help him since he was here. First he spent a week in a hotel. Then as we looked for housing Frank had to live in a homeless shelter. This was a whole new ballgame for Frank as he had lived quite well in the past but now he was in a strange state with nothing but ONE outfit, his important papers, some computer disks and a toiletry kit. That was all he had.

We applied for housing and food stamps for Frank. We finally found housing at a low income housing facility. They just happened to have some furniture for him to have and then he settled in. He contacted his daughter to get the rest of his stuff. She had originally offered to pay to have it shipped to him but when she learned the cost she changed her tune. She and his son avoided his calls and emails (sent from the public library). Finally he came up with the money to get his belongings by borrowing against his life insurance and at last settled in with his videos, DVDs, CDs, Books and Computer. His computer did not work any longer and his daughter did not send his monitors. I found him a computer and monitor on Freecycle so he was able to toodle around on it whlle still accessing the internet from the public library.

Every week I took Frank to the grocery store. I encouraged him to use the bus to do his shopping. The bus came right to his building AND he was only four blocks from the bus terminal so he could easily catch the bus. Frank wanted to be dependent on me but I pushed to make him dependent on himself. This made him angry and he often lashed out at me. I did not take kindly to this.

For over two years I assisted Frank with most of his grocery shopping. He did start going out some on his own via the bus. This was his only social activity and he spent his time either going to the library to use the internet or in his apartment watching two televisions at the same time. One would have a DVD in it and the other would have daytime talk shows. He again built an empty life for himself and did little to promote his own personal growth.

Finally, when I was ill and could not take him to the store for several weeks he became very hateful toward me and I ended our relationship permanently. He lashed out at me several times in anger but I had not asked for him to come to Arkansas and make himself my problem. I can't tell you how many times I wished I had just taken him to the bus station, as mentioned previously, the day he first arrived and sent him back to his daughter who did not want him.

In the end, Frank developed cancer and I believe he has died. I hope he has found some kind of peace in the afterlife and is finally in a positive place.

Ciao!


My goodness this was a rambling post. This is what happens when you get very little sleep and you have lived out a very dysfunctional relationship with a very psychologically impaired person. It doesn't have to be a romantic relationship. Even just being a chauffeur can lead to dysfunction and negative interactions.

Ciao again!


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
tanith_astlik
May. 16th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
That is a book waiting to be written. Fiction, natch. But still.

I remember you saying something about Frank, without mentioning his name, quite a few years ago. I think it was something about him being parked on your doorstep. I had no idea it was that bad. Poor Ardee! :(
ardeeeichelmann
May. 16th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
It was bad...
Frank could be funny and interesting and then he'd be snarky and nasty. He was really subtle and passive aggressive about his. I think he also had schizoid personality disorder. Actually he was so psychopathalogical a diagnosis was difficult.

BTW, Frank is a pseudonym. I wouldn't use his real name.

Thanks for your note.

Ardee-ann
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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