Warning-the following entry may be long and ramble a bit, but I've been going through some things and just keeping them hidden, bottled up. I do that. But I have to start talking about them now.
There may be some major changes in my life soon. It has me worried, I'm so unsure of myself right now. My emotions have been all over the place lately, and I've got to get a handle on them. I have some huge decisions to make. Actually, I KNOW what my decisions have to be, but I dread the day I have to voice them. These decisions will, without a doubt, sever my relationship with my brother. But I will have to do this for myself.
Some quick background. When I came back to Michigan, after my husband died and the house was foreclosed(long before the housing mess now), the idea was that since my brother was divorced, I was widowed, we should share expenses, rent together. Okay, cool.
Things went well, we stayed with friends till I got on my feet, we found a house(with the option to buy) and stayed there for 2 years. He hurt his elbow, was off work, was behind in the rent, didn't try to get a mortgage set up before the lease expired, so we moved to this trailer. That was Aug. 2007. Okay, the rent is cheaper, my nephew was living with us, supposedly helping out with the bills, I'm paying $350-$400 a month(actually about 1/2 of what the total should be) life goes on. In May, I find out we're $1200 behind in rent. I'm in shock, increase my share by $100 a month, paid directly to the landlady. Bro is handling the utilities, adding $100-$200 to the rent each month. We're getting caught up slow but sure, life goes on.
He gets laid off in mid-October, tells me it's going to be till the end of the month before he gets his unemployment started, can't pay the utilities, will have to catch them up later. Okay, things will be tight, but we'll be alright. He did some cash work for his boss, got his first check last week, says he's got to catch up some on the utilities, so won't have any to contribute to rent. Well, we'll be okay, we've made good progress, it'll just take longer to get up to date. We have a very nice landlady. He was complaining about the cable bill being so high. Our introductory rate had expired, it's jumped $25 a month. Okay, cancel cable, I'll find internet access on my own.
He's not cancelling it, it's getting shut off! I can't believe how naive I've been about things. How gullible and trusting, how stupid. What a fool! He didn't want to show me the cable bill, said it was in his room, he'd get it out later so I could see it. Hoping I'd forget to ask. Now, I'm not the type of person to snoop into other people's things, their mail, or whatever. But I was curious, the bills were right here on the kitchen table, so I looked. Not only has it gone up $25 a month, it's a month behind. So I continued to snoop. The electric bill is 3 months behind, the natural gas bill is 2. I'm angry!!!
More background-his take home pay was at least $1200 a month plus overtime. Mine $900-$1000. No credit cards, car payments, or loans for either one. I'm paying half of my monthly income in rent and storage unit. He isn't even paying a third of his. I'm more angry!!
I've gone without things, my car needs work, I've done everything I can to make this situation better. He's just skating...
This next part is hard for me to explain. Since my mother died when I was 12, I haven't really had anyone in my life I could depend on. My dad got remarried, his new family took priority, I moved out on my own. When I got married, I thought I'd be part of a family again-that didn't happen(a long story), when I came home I thought finally-family I can depend on. Wrong again.
Back to the decisions. I have to decide whether to just ride this out till the utilities get shut off, or we get the eviction notice, or cut my losses now. If I go now, it will be a real struggle financially for me. My options are limited. A motel room here in town that rents by the month, will let me make weekly payments(utilities included). $350 a month. Or a studio apartment that a friend has(about 20 miles away), that would be less expensive, but a little more driving to and from work. I haven't talked to her about it yet, I want to be more coherent in my thoughts and have my financial picture more in focus. That's about it. If I ride this out, it could be a couple months before things fall apart. I need to get my car fixed, and I could put a little money aside to be more prepared. But in the meantime, I could wake up one morning to no heat or lights.
Whenever it is that I tell Bro that I'm going to live by myself and that I can't worry about him anymore, there will be (guaranteed) a huge arguement, very ugly. He has a tendency to hold heavy grudges-for a very long time. He still trashes his ex-wife(6 years later) on a regular basis. Essentially, my family will decrease to one-Son-400 miles away. Aunt and Uncle, cousins, that aren't really all that close(family ties) but live nearby. I'll be alone, but this area is home, so I'll be staying around here.
Right now it hurts to think about this situation. So, I've been distracting myself with umpteen different projects and not using my time the way I should(packing up for the inevitable). I guess, by finally putting this into words here, I'm taking a step in the right direction. I need to sit down with pen and paper, get my thoughts organized, my things packed up and out to my(seperate) storage unit. I need to take the responsibility to do what I need to for myself. In a way, I'm as bad as he is...not facing things, just letting the situation slide.
But right now, it just hurts. I'm nervous about being out on my own, living alone, too.