Thursday, April 10, 2014

Twelve Years


Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Tomorrow is going to be a big day.

I have some friends coming to help me throw a bunch of stuff in tubs, and haul it to storage. My basement is full, I have a guest room full, I'm a hoarding packrat that would make a good TV show. It's all headed to the storage, so I can go through the dozens of tubs of crap in peace. I've been through a couple dozen already, mostly sent off to the dump or the donation bin. I'll get my basement back, and can set it up for the boys. My house will have a semblance of being picked up.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

I've actually been working on it, box/tub by box/tub, one or two a day. But now I need it to happen RIGHT NOW. Why? Because we need help. The kind that requires a social worker to come to your house. That's how you apply for Medicaid waivers here. They send a social worker and a Medicaid person to your house, and determine if you qualify for the waiver, so you can get some help. Having social services in my house is not something I look forward to. I look to the left an the right, and all I can hear is my dad. The words aren't pretty. Everything I've heard about letting a social worker into your house is also not pretty.

And I am the worst housekeeper on the PLANET. It may have to do with trying to work three jobs and raise two special needs boys, but to be honest, I sucked at housekeeping before I ever had to work a day in my life. Just ask my dad.

In the face of ten weeks in Baltimore, the continued high anxiety, the increased spring bolting, and the emotional wreck that is my son spiraling downward every moment, we have come to the end of our rope. This is going to be a financial disaster for us, just to find a place to stay, far more if we can't get the insurance to cover services. This is already an emotional catastrophe for Joey, even with the increased medicine. There is a waiver that will help with respite care, which would let us bring in someone to work with Joey in our home, and possibly allow me to shower more often. It also is a back door into Medicaid, which will cover a broader range of service than the state BC/BS will- we might be able to get some speech services covered again, maybe even some OT. They might cover some of the behavioral therapies that BC/BS considers "educational" (and the school considers "medical" or "not directly related to academics").

A social worker in my house means I spent a good deal of the afternoon with several large tubs, stuffing them full of clutter, so that I can go through it all later when there is more time. As if it was in any way related to Joey needing anything, or anybody's business, if I have stacks of books, papers, and toys in my house. As if it made any difference that the boys tend to kick trash under the couch, toss notebooks around, and leave their stuffed animals in little nests beside the furniture. Why should it matter that my back hall is basically a big closet, with hooks on every (real closet and basement) door, covered in jackets, hats, and tote bags?

I put every thing in a bin, each item tugging at bitterness. It shouldn't be anyone's business. I should be able to apply for this in an office. I also think about those messages we get bout government assistance. I have seen the posts on Facebook and Twitter, I know we are about to lose more people, we know how they feel about us, are about to feel about us: mooches, lazy, social dregs. We have heard the message, loud and clear. I don't want to hear the "well, I didn't mean you" excuses. Because you know what? You do mean us. You mean me. You make it harder to do this.

And every book, every toy, every paint bottle, every pencil, each and every thing I place in the tubs was accompanied by the tears. This shouldn't be. We were doing so well, Joey was doing so well, how did we get to this? How did it come to this? Where did we go wrong? We should have fought sooner. We should have done more. We should have pulled him out of school years ago, since we couldn't afford a lawyer. We should have done something the moment we saw the downturn. We should have acted after the first bolt. We should never have listened to the school people with their chants of "this will work" and "it will be OK" and "we will take care of him." All lies. Every single one of them.

I'm a smart woman. I should have known better. I did know better. Joey is paying for my being lazy, and complacent, and trusting the wrong people, and wanting it to work.

I place each thing in the tub, another mark of my own lazy, complacent, idiotic ways. It will go off to storage, where it will sit for months while we try to get this sorted out, then go to Baltimore, then the new semester will start, and fall rush will hit us at ETS, and there will be no time. Christmas will come, and go, and what will I have done? We don't even know if this will come to anything- we may go through all this, and apply, and have it all be for naught.

They will help Joey this summer in Baltimore. I have to believe it. It's going to work. It's going to be OK. They are going to help us. They are going to help Joey. We are going to get the depression and anxiety under control so he can go back to being happy, and healthy, and independent, and growing.

Eyes on the prize. As I close another lid.