Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I think my favorite phrase is "WTF?". I seem to be either saying it or thinking it SEVERAL times a day.

I've mentioned in some of my past posts that I have my 15 year old niece living with us. It is due to some odd circumstances . . . .

My sister-in-law (yeah - my husband's sister) called me back in March. Turns out she was in some trouble with the courts - they were finding her in contempt of court for not selling her house in accordance to the divorce decree (which had been official in March a year ago). I got her a cracker-jack attorney, and took a vacation day to go with her to court. Because of my good deed, she got off on the contempt charge, and I hit the jackpot - I will be found in contempt if I don't sell her home by July 26th. I'm a realtor; it is what I do - sell houses. How hard could it be (famous last words)? I've been doing this for a while now ..... piece of cake. NOT.

I get the house key from my sister-in-law and head over to the property so that I can get started. I don't even know where to begin here . . . have you ever seen one of those really, really bad houses on "Cops"?? This was worse. I could smell the cat piss from over 10 ft away from the door.

I hadn't been in this house for over 20 years - and that was only one time. And she only lives about 5 minutes from me. She never hosted any family gatherings; never had a birthday or a holiday at her house; never had a niece of nephew sleep over. We all knew there were problems with her husband, but didn't really know the full extent. He has been out of the house since this past December - the middle child (age 19) had to go to court and file a restraining order against him after he *punched* her square in the face. He is now living in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in the city. It turns out - and I'm not a psychologist - that he is a combination of hoarder and schizo or bipolar. Messy business.

Anyways, I go into the house. The aroma was enough to make me gag. Minimum of ten cats (that is all that I saw to actually count). Turns out they have been cross-fucking each other. Nize. All of the furniture is trashed. Nothing is salvageable. My 23 year old nephew never leaves his basement bedroom. My 20 year old niece sleeps on the basement floor on top of blankets. My 15 year old niece shares a bed with her mother. It is a 2-family house, and the trash and crap in the staircases (front & back) make it impossible to navigate. I do finally make it up to the 2nd floor. The crap is literally floor to ceiling, with only a skinny aisle way throughout the entire apartment. Propane tanks lining the staircases (and no working smoke detectors). And these are his "treasures". He calls my sister-in-law every week to threaten her - "You better not be getting rid of my stuff!".

I meet my sister-in-law after she gets out of work that day. I tell her that I am a mandated reporter to DCF (Dept. of Children & Families) and that the minor child can not be living in those conditions. That she can either place the child with me, or take her chances with DCF. She lets me take my niece to my house; she doesn't fight me at all. I cried when I got home that night. The worst part was that she didn't fight me.

That was in March. It is now almost June, and she has made little progress in getting out of that firetrap.

I've brought her to apartment after apartment. I found her a *great* one. In her price range, neighborhood she's happy with, 3 large bedrooms, HUGE bathroom, nice kitchen (fully applianced) and a parlour/living room combo. Hardwoods throughout, and clean, clean, clean. And washer/dryer in the basement - no more lugging dirty laundry to the laundromat.

She is supposed to move in for June 1st. Less than a week away. Has she talked to the other realtor yet? Has she signed the contract yet? Do I still have her kid?? Oh yeah. No progress. She just came over, and I just about *sat* on her to get her to talk to the other realtor. Contract will be emailed to me tomorrow, and I will sit on her again to have her sign it. And if she doesn't take back custody of HER KID by mid-June, I will contact DCF myself. Hard to say that, but I will. If I were in her shoes, I would have had an apartment within a week. WTF. (you see why I keep saying that???)

And, as I think most of you know, the situation between my husband and I is strained (God, that is an understatement). His latest "threat" to me is to tell my sister-in-law to just take her kid home. Boy, I chewed him up one-side and down the other for that. I asked him if he wanted to take the blame when she ends up in some crappy foster home because he is an asshole. Turns out, he doesn't. Doesn't surprise me; not much that he wants to take responsibility for! LOL.

Wish me luck (and diplomacy). I do love my niece, but she does *not* love being here. She wants to be with her family, and she only sees me as the person who took her away from that. I get it; she is just 15.

Trust me on this - I *will* be the asshole in this entire mess! I took her kid away from her; I forced them out of their home; I sold the house for pennies and gypped everyone out of a profit (oh yeah - did I mention that my father-in-law is the lien-holder on the property???). My life is NOT dull. Thank you all for listening. It helps to vent.


Folks - don't be shy. Please comment. Am I doing the right thing?? Should I back off??


Christy said...

You are doing the right thing. So, the house has been sold. Good. Now the family can move back into that new apartment together, right? That's good too. Living in that fire-trap was just unhealthy. And all these moves will happen in the next week? That's great. I wish I had more words of wisdom for you, but I don't. Just continue doing what you're doing. And your husband's reaction is just rage-inducing!

(and since you asked us not to be shy...I may be the only one, but your white text on the black background is hard to read...I'm seeing dots afterward every time I read your posts. But read your posts I will continue to do, because I've been sucked in already. Just sayin' it's a bit hard on the eyes.)

Vodka Mom said...

Hmmmm it's a sticky situation. I think you are a SAINT for taking her- and you are doing what is best for her in the long run. It appears you are her only champion. even if she doesn't know it.

Your husband needs to drop to the floor and thank you for doing what HE should have done in the first place.

Vodka Mom said...

i agree. Lose the black.

me in the pink said...

ok, ok, ok!!! I'll change it to a white screen with black letters.

Thank you both for your support. Helps. Especially since I'm not getting it on the homefront!

Sandi said...

You are doing the right thing, but remember, you are a lot like me and we want to "fix" everybody. Some people plain and simple CANNOT be fixed. Some people like to live in a fucked up situation. I would be doing the same stuff you are. The thing I like best, is your timeframe. STICK TO IT!

Christy said...

I agree with VM and Sandi. And thank you for losing the black! :)

courtney said...

Just stumbled across you via BHJ...For what it's worth I think you are doing the right thing. Actually, I think you are going above and beyond, you went out of your way, and put yourself out on a limb to help your sister- in-law. I truly hope she takes advantage of the opportunity you have given her and improves her life, but like sandi said some people can't be fixed. At least you know you did what you could to improve her situation.

me in the pink said...

Thank you everyone for your support. Helped me get through these couple of days. Update tomorrow!!

Jenina said...

hey there,

I just came upon your blog while browsing many others...Read through some of your posts...just want to tell you I have gone through a divorce myself, know what its like to 'have the other woman' feeling and can identify many of your frustrations. We are from different worlds and situations maybe different but doesnt matter where we hail from isnt it? We are all human and have same feelings.....Be strong and always stick to what you believe is right....No matter how much advice, support or backbites you may get...only YOU will know whats is right for your life!! Good luck!

Twisted Family Values said...

You know, sometimes doing the right thing sucks.

Yes, I think you're doing the right thing.

As to the 15 year old? Well, sometimes the best decisions cause the worst heartache. You couldn't have done anything else, though.

mdx3mom said...

OMG! I thought I had "Family" issues. You are a strong lady I will give you that. Ande brave for posting about it (I have gotten some nasty comments to what I have posted before).

Your neice will eventually (hopefully) realize that you are doing the best by her. But I am sure it will not be realized till she is older.

It is a hard road we choose to lead sometimes but a road we must travel none the less.

Good luck!