File this under: 2017 is trolling me
April 17, 2017
There really is a good reason I haven’t had my dad move to a cheaper place yet. There aren’t any cheaper places to be had within a 50 mile radius of his current space (and also family support) so it didn’t make sense to force a move that would further isolate the two of them and save maybe about $50, if that, while also racking up moving costs.
He’s earning minor income on his own which is erratic, to supplement his SSI check which is small, but I pay for all his major living expenses – rent and utilities.
This month, a 60-day notice landed stating that they’re raising the rent by 50%.
As a renter, I’m horrified. As a landlord with some experience, I’m not surprised. We’ve been there a really long time and he hasn’t been good at upkeep these last few years. If he had been, I’m pretty sure they would have just kept on with the same rate. But even if we didn’t have huge house-hunting expenses coming up, we aren’t able to just absorb that 50% increase.
I had to have a conversation about what he’s going to do with him. That conversation didn’t go all that well. But this is a process. I’m weaning myself away from financially supporting him since he’s shown me that I’m not a daughter, I’m the Bank of Daughter from which you just keep taking.
That may not have been his intention, that may not even be how he feels. But it’s how I’ve felt since he royally betrayed my trust.
Facing down this history, and our upcoming expenses, I had to suppress the reaction that it was another problem that I’d have to handle.
I made myself leave it all in his hands to determine the next steps and what to do, with the understanding that I simply cannot shoulder this increase. That was uncomfortable and unfamiliar but it had to be done. We can’t keep going like this since I haven’t miraculously doubled or tripled my income in the last year.
At the moment, his plan is shaky at best.
The apartment hunt has come up dry, nothing within a 30-50 mile radius is reasonable, but he’s finally gotten the ball rolling on applying for housing aid which he should have done years ago. He’s also finally wrangled Trainwreck Sibling into getting evaluated for disability and housing aid as well. It’s about dang time. But this is the state of California we’re talking about – it’s going to take weeks or months for them to approve, if they approve, the applications.
In the meantime, he’s getting a job. It doesn’t pay much but he can probably come up with about half of the current rent for a few months. If it works out, he can come up with about 60% of the new rent after then.
While he’s doing that, he also has to keep looking for a new place.
All of this hurts my heart. I hate every bit of it.
For all the mistakes he’s made, he’s also nearly 70 years old. The idea that he’s going back to work kills me, turning on the guilt like a firehose. It also infuriates me to feel that way because I have been doing my level best for ages. These are steps he should have taken years ago, and in fact, it’s highly likely that his poor behavior of late has come out of his inability to gracefully accept my help. Instead of being glad he had a back-up and working toward independence, he’s spent this time trying to justify his acceptance (such as it is) of the help and acting rashly trying to free himself of his dependence.
This conflict sucks. But after sitting quietly with the discomfort, and talking it over with trusted friends, I am coming to an uncertain peace with it. These steps feel painful but they’re necessary. I’ll feel horrible about it, because I’ll always feel my duty to support my family, but there are times the support needs to be direct, and there are times that it has to be from afar. I’ve been doing direct support so many years, waiting for him to fulfill his end of the bargain and as a result, waited a decade longer than I thought it’d take.
I have pushed him to make changes for years, to no avail. That was all I felt that I could do at the time.
Now, though I hate how it’s happening, he’s finally stepping up to at least try to do his part. That he let it go until this late date was his choice.
So now that it’s finally happening, I can’t, I will not allow my guilt, to push me into putting him back on my soon to be seriously strained household budget. I can’t do everything for everyone and it’s a disservice to them that I try. Everyone needs to feel like they can do for themselves, that they are capable for as long as they want and need to be. Taking over for them when they finally show willing would be the opposite of support.
If this does work, if he does start to earn enough to pay his own way, then maybe, just maybe, we’ll able to leave the money resentments in the past and try to rebuild our relationship. I don’t know if it’ll happen, but this way, there’s a shot.
The other way, we weren’t ever going to have a relationship again.
It’s too soon to hope but I am open to the idea that it might be possible.
:: Have you ever had your housing costs skyrocket? How do you handle sudden unexpected increases in expenses?
*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich.*