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Language Log

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011 - 9:59 a.m.

Ach, my mother.

Her roof is falling in and she doesn't have the money to fix it. Hurricane season. Thousands of dollars that neither she nor we have. Her mobile home is not insured.

My brother is still living there. It's the worst situation. He gets a little disability check each month, and it's usually gone within a week (he disappears with it as soon as he gets his hands on it). He always says he'll pay something, but never hands over much. Last month she says he gave it all to his girlfriend because mom "always yells at him". She can't get rid of him. Can't/won't. She says she packed his bags once, locked the doors, but he just broke back in. And of course, she won't call the cops. Not that the cops take these things seriously anyway when you've already shown lack of resolve (i.e., won't actually press charges) and there's really no danger. Just constant irritation.

I'm beginning to think it's time to start trying to move her out here, but I'm not sure about how that would work. I don't want to move again; I like this house, but it's too small for us and her. I suppose we could rent me a cheap studio space and let her have the room that's now my studio, and that would be cheaper than renting her a place, but.

I don't want something that's basically about my own inconvenience to stop me from doing the right thing by her. Her situation is so poisonous. It's gotten to that point where both of them just communicate on this level of being as hurtful as they can to the other-- I suppose she thinks she can shame him into good behavior (like that's ever worked for her before), and he thinks he can abuse her into, I dunno, stopping telling him to clean up after himself.

It's no way to spend your 80s, I'll tell you that.

It would be nice to whisk her away to a nice small apartment in town, let him stay at her house until it falls down around him or whatever. She could sign the mobile home over to him and let him see how well he does on his own with no one there to "nag" him.

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