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I’ve remembered all morning, about my sister, Kim handing me a stack of one-sided razor blades a couple days ago, that she had been using one of, back in Mom’s bedroom.
That happened this last weekend (a couple days ago now), when she was here to work with the things for Dad’s estate as one of the two executors. My wrists clearly have scars from using those type of razor blades to try and slit my wrists years ago right after being raped and then again some years later after my first marriage fell apart. She has first-hand knowledge of those experiences with me trying to commit suicide and here she was, handing a stack of them to me to “keep up with” as I sat at the table on the back porch.
On Saturday morning of this weekend while my sister was here, we received a letter dated June 6, 2018 from the co-executors’ lawyer demanding we leave this house by seven days from the letter’s date and that any arrangement Dad had made with us to be here was no longer appropriate for the executors.
So, after my sister and son as co-executors of my Dad’s estate where I was brought at my Dad’s insistence and demand that I help him and my daughter, Kasha who was here in his last year to manage his household, care for him and helping with his estate, that I too, be here, live here until the house is sold and help with his last days and his estate, – not only were neither of us paid for any of the work we were doing and continue to do for the estate and for the benefits being derived by the estate by us being here at his request, Kim and Alliene as executors sent us a letter to get out in seven days, which we received and read Saturday morning of this last weekend while my sister, Kim was here. Then, she hands me those razors the next morning knowing my history and life story. What?
That means, after receiving a full-on “no” that the estate will not pay us to have helped with the estate and knowing we have no other resources with which to leave, to move, to re-establish ourselves elsewhere – and a demand to relinquish this property in seven days from its date of June 6, my sister came to me sitting at a table on the back porch obviously upset and stressed about being given a few days to leave, having no money to do so, not knowing what will happen to us, and having all our work and efforts devalued to nothing by them, my sister handed me a stack of brand new one-sided razor blades like I used to slit my wrists and die when i was fifteen years old and had been raped.
It isn’t possible to say that my sister didn’t know such a letter could cause immediate hardship, stress, anxiety, fear, overwhelming and difficult emotions such as despair, – nor that she wouldn’t have known the significance of handing me razor blades knowing my life’s history personally as she does when I was much younger and the despair and futility of being considered worthless by my family made it not worth living. She had insisted earlier, that I come back to Mom’s bedroom with her and had mentioned that she was using those razors and couldn’t find where she had put the one she was using – before coming out to the porch with the rest of the pack for me to “keep up with”.
In fact, I have tools today that I didn’t have those other times in my life and started using them and have been actively using those psychological tools from years of therapy – throughout this very difficult emotionally charged situation at my Dad’s house.
I’m living in a house where someone I loved and hold very dear – has died, trying my best to make good on what he asked me to do and demanded with great enough insistence that I left NYC / Staten Island to come here and do it. And, I’ve been making good to that agreement with him to do it but it hasn’t been easy. It has been difficult and then aggravated on top of that by actions from Kim and Alliene’s choices such as this current one in this letter.
So when Kim handed me the stack of razor blades to “keep up with” and sit out here on the table so I can “keep up with them”, – my actions were to take the stack from her, (5-6 razors with their cardboard sheath protecting the blades), and say, “Come with me – Come on” as I insisted she come into the house with me to put them away in a place where I had made to put all of those types of razor blades and exacto knife blades in a drawer cubby on the art shelves.
I showed her and said that starting when I got here, I gathered these and put them here as I found them so I would know where they were if they were needed but I wouldn’t see them all the time since years ago that seemed like a solution at times when I felt despair, futility and being worthless. Even though it has been many years since cutting on myself or cutting my wrists or attempting suicide, I will never take for granted that it had at one time been a prominent option on my list of choices to fix what seemed to be impossible situations and dismal feelings caused by those situations.
When we walked back outside, I did talk to Kim about it – that since I work to buy time to use other tools and solutions first, it is better for me to put things like those razors in a known place that I don’t see as I move around the house. And, I pointed to the scars from those old attempts to take my own life using razor blades that she had seen, knew all about and I told her that now I know some part of cutting myself was to just make the awful feelings of despair, worthlessness and rejection feel different – or simply to feel anything that was just not that anymore. Now, I use other tools to handle it instead but I don’t take it for granted that I will always use the healthier tools, especially in this family situation with the executors telling me that the efforts we’ve made are worthless and of no value.
Maybe she had not expected to hear anything like that said aloud nor for my response to her actions to be that. She acted a bit uncomfortable hearing it said but that is one of the tools I can use now, that years ago – I did not have.
And, I did tell her that I and Kasha had been taking a lot of hits to our self-esteem from her and Alliene in all this because it seems they are saying we are worthless and taking advantage and our efforts here have no value and don’t count for anything when we came here to help and in all good fairness and in good faith, have been doing that as Dad asked us to do. I said to Kim, that it seems they believe the exact opposite of those things we thought we were doing here for the family, for Daddy, for them and for the estate and its assets.
And now – get out – no monetary help nor any money toward the things we did do for Daddy and for his estate – no way to get back to New York where I am a resident and no money to re-establish somewhere else and no, we can’t borrow against any money we could expect to inherit when Daddy had told me in the last month of his life that I should be getting $40,000 from my inheritance just like each of twelve people listed in the will, from his estate including all the antiques and collectibles in it, other things here, the house, the insurance, savings and checking and other valuables.
My sister claims he told her there should be $300,000 to divide between the twelve listed in the will, not including the land he owned in South Carolina, which the estate hasn’t even probated yet in that state as they must. Regardless, we aren’t going to be allowed to take a loan from the estate against any of that possible amount now, so that we can leave. They (Kim and Alliene) say that any agreement to work on behalf of the estate’s best interests made by Dad, disappeared once he died even though they didn’t probate the will for months later and somebody had to continue taking care of it in the interim. And, they still haven’t made arrangements to secure it in any other way or manage the basic care of the property and its assets in any other way, even as of today, June 12, 2018.
As executors, they also haven’t made an appropriate inventory and turned it in to the probate court for the belongings of Dad’s estate such that it can be known what is not ours, NOR made any written permission to us so we can move our things, or sell any of our things or do anything about them yet either.
And, it looks like, from this letter – that on the 13th or 15th (seven days or seven business days from the date on the letter), the executors may come with the Marshal and make us get out of this house, forced to leave all our belongings behind and no way to do anything about it – but I’m not supposed to let that upset me, stress me out, cause me anxiety or worry, not be angry or feel hurt by it or feel afraid despite not knowing what we can do about any of it.
Two of my sons told me about a week and a half ago when they were here talking to us, not to sell my art, not to sell my paintings that are here to try to get money for us to move somewhere else saying it is a bad idea and one of those sons was Alliene who is a co-executor of the estate and yet my sister says we can sell our things if we make a list of them for her, but there is no list of what things belong to Dad’s estate so we know what is considered part of it. Very confusing. And, if we do sell our things, are we even allowed to have people come here to buy them? Are we legally allowed to do that – because the little bit of probate law we could read about it says we can’t until the court decides it is okay, and we aren’t allowed to approach that court about anything. Kim and Alliene won’t make a written statement or a notarized anything that says it is okay for us to sell our things, and we’ve asked a number of times.
And, now – magically abandon everything we own, every original work of art, tool and personal belonging we have to leave with no money, no car, no way to get anywhere and no way to get a place to live somewhere else – after Kasha working for Dad and his estate over a year and a half – and me working for months here for the benefit of the estate. It isn’t a place anyone could rent, the list of things that are not okay about this house make that obvious along with having about 90% of the space cluttered with belongings we have to take care about every moment we are here, among other things that would prevent anyone from renting this house that are significant.
So, we have called Legal Aid in Atlanta but don’t know yet if they can help us nor what can be done about any of this. This section of the law that the executors’ lawyer cited for having us removed from Dad’s house calls us, sharecroppers. And, we haven’t heard back from Legal Aid yet, but Kasha talked with them a couple times yesterday on the phone and sent them all the information she could about it and texts between us and the executors, and I don’t know what all. I’m not sure there are any attorneys to help us with this if we are sharecroppers. We are certainly unpaid staff and have been the entire time we’ve been here.
And, I sit here today on the porch not knowing what to do. They want our things including all my estate’s belongings and business assets like my paintings and our personal belongings out – many of which have been stored here since I went to New York about six years ago, and many of which have been stored here for years because my mother said they could be here and then she would have me come over to get them and wouldn’t let me take them – but she got me to make her some fried chicken while I was here, of course.
But with all the things we’ve read in the law saying we can’t take anything out of here until Dad’s estate has been inventoried and submitted to the probate court which the executors haven’t done yet, how are we supposed to do that? Are we now to be robbed of everything we own, after having lost everything we took to New York with me and had created or come to own there – in a fire two years ago? And, on top of being taken advantage of working here – now we are to walk away with nothing from those efforts and lose every last piece of our possessions and business assets too?
These family members acting as executors don’t even know which things are which, what was painted by my mother or by me or by someone else, they’ve already decided that since I’m bequeathed all the art supplies and had my own from my studio stored here as well, that frames are not art supplies and they are going to sell those, and that I can’t have anything listed for me to have in the will including the art supplies (even those belonging to me in the first place), until the very end of probate, if it hasn’t already been sold, even though all Dad’s bills are already paid right now. It doesn’t make sense.
And, my sons telling me I shouldn’t sell my art and that it is a bad idea – but how else am I to get the money to move us to somewhere else as the estate is demanding? It is me, my daughter Kasha, her eight-year old daughter, the dog and the cat (both of whom have rid this house of vermin – squirrels, mice and chipmunks included plus keeping a very unsecurable property as the video shows – secured, so they’ve worked here too.)
And, they tell me I’m crazy.
No, this shit is crazy and would make anyone crazy. I’m so glad for years of therapy now with tools to use, like writing this long-hand and then into my blog, talking it out, saying the difficult things honestly and candidly without holding back, buying time before acting or reacting, asking for help, finding others who know more about it to ask for help from, helping others around me rather than thinking only about whatever it is in front of me that is upsetting me, sharing what is happening in my world and how I feel about it – and many other tools. These are making a world of difference to me getting through this situation right now and hopefully, making some new options available to our family we’ve suffered in years before – because we didn’t have. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but living in the moment to take one more small step through this – I’m still just amazed I’m still here standing in my own two feet doing it.
Although, to be honest – most of the last three days since we got that letter, the main tool – the biggest tool I’ve been using came from 12 step programs years ago, that is the throwing each thing as it is on my mind bothering me worrying me in this situation, into God’s hands and visualizing it going into His Hands. It’s called, hanging onto your ass in those programs.
- cricketdiane, 066-12-2018
So what this family had actually done is to take the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in this family – financially, psychologically, emotionally, and resource-wise to put in this situation to care for the household and needs of a dying man and all the complexities of his estate’s physical assets then not pay them any kind of money for doing it and tell them to get out with nothing to use to live anywhere else or to set up a home and get it going until jobs and resources can be set up there to pay for it. Really?
My Note to Readers –
Please forgive me, but you’re going to be walking along with me for a little while in my personal life through my blog. If this information is not valuable to you, I’m sorry about that. It is fraught with the strange perils of the mundane variety living in today’s America and using the ephemeral tools of psychologists on those difficult real life situations as they are happening. It isn’t pretty. And, it doesn’t always feel good doing it, butt it still matters to be able to do it when living situations are their most difficult, impossible and filed with stressful facts to deal with.
This is neither the worst things in life to deal with nor is it the best. It is what my life experiences are right now and about how I’m using these psychological tools I’ve been taught in therapy and 12-step programs and head injury programs in order to get through these experiences right now.
And, for the record – having used this tool of writing it out long-hand and then posting it on my blog which has never really worked to change the feelings about any of it – I can say that, this time having done it today, it has changed the feelings of futility and despair and worthlessness into something else. I don’t know what the something else is, but it is different. Thank God.