Getting Back to It
My life has been a mess these past two months, and I’ve been away from my writing.
Here’s what’s been going on for me in my life:
My wife and I split, and I moved out.
I’ve had to travel across the country to sort out my dad’s many problems while he struggles with severe mental health issues and home foreclosure.
I’m juggling the responsibilities of both of these pieces while trying to get my life together.
As for my marriage, nothing that’s happened this year wasn’t foreshadowed by years of built-up resentments that we never really resolved. So, death by 1000 minor transgressions was probably foreseeable for a while. But, there’s a small degree of open-mindedness to everything. We’re still on amicable terms — mostly. We still both want to be deeply involved in our daughter’s life and upbringing. So, there’s that. Maybe we’ll even process through our shit one day. Who knows? But it’s solidly over, and the rest is just a matter of managing it’s wake.
As for my father’s situation, this has been a slog. My dad is a paranoid schizophrenic. For years, he’d had it managed with psych meds, and my mother took care of managing the household until she died in March of 2020. Since then, my dad hadn’t shown any apparent decline until this summer. In July, I learned from my half-sister that he had been found wandering along the railroad tracks in Philadelphia. Dehydrated, malnourished, and disoriented, he was taken to the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania for treatment. It turned out that he had been off his medication since April. After nearly a week in the hospital, he was released to the custody of his brother and sister in Philadelphia. But, on his first night out, he disappeared into the night. Almost another week later, he resurfaced, found by detectives who returned him to my aunts and uncle, who supervised him until I arrived in Pennsylvania. While preparing to head to Pennsylvania, I realized I needed to check if there were any liens against the house. It turned out that Wells Fargo had started foreclosure action against my father in late May. He had not made any payment on the mortgage since December of 2021.
So, the bulk of my time over the past few months has been spent juggling my dad’s basic daily care, negotiating with the bank over how to proceed with the mortgage, figuring out my dad’s medical care situation, and trying to pull together a plan for his long-term care. On top of his schizophrenia, he seems to eb suffering from the onset of a variety of dimensia known as Diogenese Syndrome. I’ve been managing all of this while trying to manage semi-regular facetime contact with my almost 2-year-old daughter and figuring out how to meet my basic needs while having little to no time to sink into paid work. The long and short of it is that this is damn near impossible. I will return to Portland for three weeks in October. During this time, I will attempt to make more of the pieces fit in Pennsylvania and for my eventual return to Portland after sewing up the loose ends out East. This has all been an incredibly draining experience, though. I expect to return to Portland the second time with no job, home, or money. Just a car (if I can squeeze enough blood from enough stones to keep up the payments). It’s a shit sandwich, but it’s mine to eat.
It’s in that context that I’m returning to keeping up a regular writing routine. I don’t have any excuses not to put something down on the page daily. None of this is going to suck any less if I don’t.
Now, let’s get back to it.