Divide and Conquer

He won’t spend time with the boys together. He has to divide them out, separate them, and then spend time with them one by one privately. My father-in-law does the same thing. Not just with my boys, but with his own son and daughter as well. I don’t understand this at all. How do you foster family unity in this way?

I have to remind myself that I grew up in the military. It’s a completely different upbringing. While we were growing up, we moved around a lot so the only people we had were each other. We became a pack, a unit. My siblings and I are solid and often do things together when we meet. Family get togethers often involve everyone hanging out in the kitchen or living room as one mass horde. There is never this secret one-on-one meetings, or those whisperings in corners. Oh we fight. We just do it in your face (often literally). And it gets ugly.

So to me this behavior of my husband’s and his family is alien. It comes across to me as a divide and conquer that isn’t necessary at all. And what I’m seeing in the boys is a sense of favoritism that makes me sad. My oldest seems grateful for the time he gets and will accept it when it comes. My middle son has seemed to have lost interest ever since the blow out over the “Gay Luigi” bullshit on his 3DS. He doesn’t ask for his time anymore. All he seems interested in now is whether or not it’s his turn on Grandpa’s computer. My husband doesn’t appear to notice at all. Little Bear has become agitated since Daddy’s arrival. He wants to be doing things with Daddy the whole time he is here, but because of the way my husband has things set up Little Bear can’t. So his coping mechanism has become trying to be in the spotlight the entire time. Which isn’t going well. Grandpa has tried to compensate by playing with him, but hasn’t been received well. Little Bear’s irritation levels are climbing and have spiked ever since the river. Yesterday he attacked Daddy about it. It seems this child has inherited my tendency for grudges and I have no way to help him with that because I have no way to help myself with it.

So now I’m worried about Little Bear spiraling into another destabilized state because these are the symptoms of how it started last time. And for the same reasons. He has a med clinic appointment August 2nd and because my husband will still be here at that time I had to tell him about it. So of course he wants to go. He claims that the paperwork that the hospital sent him was skimpy. The day program sent him everything there was to send. His strengths, his list of diagnoses, and what he was prescribed at the time. He was expecting a packet like what my middle son gets from the school. I’ve told him a billion times now that’s the IEP. That comes from the school, never from the hospital, and Little Bear doesn’t have an IEP. So no, you won’t get a big packet like that from the hospital. I still think that my husband believes that I am lying to him or something even though he has their number and can call them whenever he wants. He just chooses not to or something. Personally I think he is in serious denial about all of this. I’m worried that he will use this appointment as an opportunity to pull Little Bear out or to discredit these people somehow. That’s all I need is for him to make Little Bear not trust these people.

At least the homeschool portfolio got in the mail yesterday. I was told that by the absolute latest it will be there by Monday so the worst that will happen is I will get a phone call saying I need to pay the August late fee. Which is fine. Either way it’s one less thing to worry about.

Now to take care of:

  • starting the divorce process
  • scheduling Little Bear’s neuropsych eval
  • planning my oldest son’s freshman year of homeschooling
  • finding a different apartment
  • straightening stuff out with DHHS

The only thing I’m worried about is that as of today our state has put a ban on certain things you can spend your money on if you receive welfare. The news last night said this ban includes: alcohol, tobacco, entertainment, and vacations. So my question is does that mean all state aid like SSI, SSDI, and Medicare, or is that just TNAF and Food Stamps? Don’t know. Technically SSI, SSDI, Medicare, and Food Stamps are federal programs that are managed within the state.

So my dad was all like “Yea this way people on Food Stamps can no longer buy a $60 video game.”

My question to my father was, “So if you get Food Stamps and have one kid and come Christmas you now can’t save up the $60 to buy your kid that one gift?”

He said, “Well if you can save that money you don’t need the Food Stamps.”

“It’s going to get to the point where they are going to take inventory of your home and tell you that you have to sell all that before you can get Food Stamps.”

“No they won’t.”

And yes they will. As it is, in our state you are not allowed to own recreational vehicles and receive Food Stamps. You are expected to sell those first. It’s not “you are not allowed to buy them if you are receiving this aid.” It’s “you are not allowed to own them and be eligible.” Or at least far as I know it was up for debate. Far as I know it was passed. I assume it did seeing how this passed.

So what my father is saying if your child’s grandparents send your child money for their birthday – like $60 – legally you can’t spend it on a video game. You will get nailed and be banned from the program for like 5 years I think the news cast said.

First off I’m not sure how they plan to enforce this, because they include cash expenditures in the bill. How can you prove someone bought something versus a gift from family? Especially when you have children involved in a technical age like this one.

“Well they got to do something. Look at your brother, he’s below the poverty line but he is doing just fine without welfare.”

And that’s why I don’t understand why the poverty line is raised so damn high. They keep bitching that the system is abused and overwhelmed. So ummmm…. lower the poverty line? Make it so less people qualify for it? Who decides this anyway? Do not misunderstand me, I am fully impacted by this. I have always been. Technically my husband does not make enough money to pull us out over the poverty line either in this state.

So why don’t we have Medicare coverage? Because he’s military and we already have coverage. There is also an issue of who is living where and thus residency. Basically it’s the red tape bullshit that is the bane of my existence. Oh and supposedly the Department of Labor flagged something on me according to the lady at DHHS. This is completely weird given how the Social Security office just sent me my lifetime report as of up to this date and they have nothing from me since 2009. So now I have to go in and make sure my identity hasn’t been attached to someone else, sort out some stupid computer error, or clear up a misunderstanding all because someone else was too lazy to do their job. The only part that wouldn’t be their job is if my name has been attached to someone else. I do have some child support checks that need to be claimed that I haven’t taken care of and my dad said that might be it, but that’s the Department of Treasury. No idea what the Department of Labor has. Only other thing is if there was an issue with one of the nursing homes I worked for and there is a check to claim I don’t know about.

Anyway, my primary concern in all this is what would be counted as a vacation expense? Would this mean that if I have physical custody of Little Bear and I am receiving state aid of any kind that I wouldn’t be able to legally spend money to get him out of state to visit his father? Like how does that fucking work? If I can’t afford to do that will that mean I can’t have physical custody? I know for a fact if he has physical custody he will find a way to fuck up visitation and if he lives in another state it becomes harder to enforce. Furthermore, if he does win physical custody and I do have state aid, will I be allowed to spend money to go visit my son or spend money to have my son visit me? Or will that count as a vacation expense?

Yes I smoke tobacco but seriously in the grand scheme of things that is a minor annoyance. It’s just another “fuck you” to all the people that smoke. Jack up the taxes on the tobacco to make it expensive as hell, but turn around and subsidize the companies that make these fucking products so they can keep selling them, and then keep collecting the taxes. As more people quit smoking, you jack the taxes up more so your budget that is now dependent on those taxes don’t crumble… and the cycle keeps rolling. This system is so fucking broken.

Now they do this. They think that people will just say “Oh, I need my cigarettes so I won’t go on welfare.” That’s not what’s going to happen. In Canada at one point they had raised their taxes to about $10 per pack. I think this was several years ago. This created a black market. They were flooding across the border into the states to buy their cigarettes here to bring them back over there. You can also order them on the internet. And here in the states you can also grow your own tobacco below a certain amount without issue. I looked into it since my parents have the land. It’s a lengthy process to make it useable for smoking. Fuck that. I did not realize that during the curing process it creates formaldahide. After that you need to age and air it out properly – without molding it.

Honestly I don’t know what I’ll do if this applies to SSI. I know I don’t like the person I become when I’m not smoking. I’ve been smoking since I was 19 (I’m almost 40 now) and the longest I’ve gone without a cigarette since then was 3 months. Complete personality change. Back to the much younger, angrier and quicker to rage me. I tried Chantix and I became even worse than that. I think I made it to 3 months on that too. The weird thing is that nicotine only stays in the system for a max of two weeks. So my guess is I’m using the nicotine to self-medicate this rage symptom away. I don’t know if you know how catalysts work, but it involves activation energy – how much is required for something to get started. For me without smoking it doesn’t take much at all for the rage to start, but with smoking it takes a long while. And it’s highly effective for me. Don’t get me wrong, when the rage does start it’s bad. I don’t like that part about me and I’ve learned quite a few different ways to turn it into something productive rather than destructive, but that’s not the point.

Don’t tell me smoking is bad for my health because I know this already and because we all know all these psych meds out there come with the risk of fucking up our organs, especially our liver and kidneys. At the moment I’m fucking up my lungs and heart instead. And don’t give me the line how at least the psych meds don’t effect my kids, because they do. Just like alcohol use does too. Brain fog most certainly does effect the well being of your children. Altered behavior due to any chemical in your system will. Period. So I’m wondering if there is a med out there that will do for me what nicotine does – preferably with minimum fuss. It’s worth asking about it – especially if I’m smoking due to self-medicating. I mean I can go 3 months without a cigarette before saying “fuck this bullshit” and go back to smoking. It’s not even necessarily that I’m craving the cigarette so much as I feel like my head is full of that much evil bullshit. The closest I have come to being able to explain it was when I read up on Intermittent Explosive Disorder when I was trying to understand Little Bear and suddenly it was lightbulb moment for me. Can you have this and Bipolar at the same time? I don’t know. I just know that several people in my family exhibit these symptoms, not just me and Little Bear. I need to look into it again and see what the treatment options are for it. Even if I don’t qualify for the diagnosis because of Bipolar, I’m sure the management options will be valid just the same.

But one thing at a time. Focus on the baby steps and just get this stuff done!

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