Six years clean

It’s been a messed up year.

It started last year, December 7th when my mother died suddenly, and hasn’t really stopped. Before I could get over her death, I heard that my ex was in trouble and so I helped out, having her back here with her daughter Aishah, Josh’s half sister, since around the end of March. I love her as much as my son, and it’s been great having her back, but things are far from perfect. A case against Megan kept her going back and forth to Cape Town for court dates four or five times, all at my expense, and at one stage dragged on leaving her there for four weeks with me looking after both children; she talked me into taking out a loan (now spent) with the repayments so high I can barely afford to pay my bills, and in these months she still hasn’t found a job and helped out. But she is bored enough sitting around at home doing nothing… to go out and leave both children with me, and in fact she’s out as I write this. I don’t know where the money is supposed to come from for Aishah when she starts grade one in school next year, but it won’t be me. All this while I am under the most pressure I’ve ever been under at work. You don’t know how difficult it is to get a six year old girl up and dressed for school in the morning until you have to get her ready yourself… But I’m not complaining… I would love her to stay here for her whole childhood. If only I could get some help.

So, it’s fucked up. I still feels like I haven’t really mourned my mother. Actually Aishah makes that easier in a way… earlier tonight she was telling me how much “I miss granny and wish she was still alive”. Yet I am struggling financially more than ever before.

The one small consolation is this: In years gone by, in those weird times when all I cared about was being high on meth, all these difficulties would have been the perfect excuses to use meth. But the thought doesn’t even occur to me now. I’ve only realized it while trying to think what to write here on my sixth year clean “birthday”.

So… sorry about the doom and gloom of this post. I am really happy to have both children here with me, but just wish it wasn’t only me paying all the bills.

And it is nice to celebrate another year clean. No big deal though. It’s not something that takes effort.

15 thoughts on “Six years clean

  1. Congratulations! Don’t minimize this milestone. You have come so far and have helped so many deal with their life and other issues as well. Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I say, like Apetivist in the comment above, keep up the great work, Jerome.

    BTW, you wrote: [I] just wish it wasn’t only me paying all the bills.

    That makes me wonder, How tight is the labor market i South Africa? Is Megan totally lacking an education? If I were younger, I would consider becoming an influencer and/or Youtuber. Hasn’t Megan at least got any interesting hobbies if she’s got no exams?

    In Sweden, where I live, there is a saying that if you really want to get a job, you’ll find one, sooner or later. But if you just sit at home waiting for someone to call you and offer you a job, then you’ll wait in vain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve downplayed how bad it really is. 😦

      It’s Sunday night now; I wrote the post on Saturday night, and she’s still not back. She has made no effort that I’ve seen, to actually find a job. Last month it was so bad, I nearly ran out of petrol. She’s making my life really difficult.


      1. I’m sorry to hear this. That sounds rough, brother. Last month I had no recourse but go on Twitter and ask others for assistance and was greatly surprised by how much people I knew and didn’t really know just reached out and helped me and wife with groceries. It took some sucking in the ego but I’m glad I did and we made it through to the end of the month. I am suggesting you try something similarly. It helped having PayPal set up. Best wishes. I wish I could do more than offer advice but Susan and I live over $3000 below the National Poverty Index. 😭

        Liked by 2 people

  3. More questions:

    Is Megan back by now? Or she is still away?

    Who takes care of Aishah and Josh while you are at work?

    You must be really tired, Jerome. So many things to worry about. How do you handle all your ills and misfortunes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Last night I had to wash clothes, hang them up, cook some chicken and chips, which first involved separating a huge pack that she dumped into the freezer as is on Saturday,into freezer bags, eat, do the dishes, iron clothes for Josh, get clothes ready for both of them this morning, and get them bathed and to bed. By the time I was done I was exhausted and just went to sleep. Then this morning I took the clothes off the line after getting up early and having a bath and shave. And while I was making their school sandwiches she called me and asked me to Uber her back home.

      Can’t be good for my health – I am angry all the time.


    2. I take them both to school and leave work slightly early to fetch them. Josh’s school aftercare closes 5:30 Monday to Thursday and 4:30 on Fridays. But I can’t afford to pay Aishah’s creche. megan’s aunt was paying it but stopped last month. Now nobody is and I have no way of getting that R2600 a month.

      But the children are taken care of by being at school/aftercare while I’m at work.


  4. Jerome, you deserve much better than this. You are burning your candle in both ends. Not good!

    You are the only adult person in this drama. You can’t be both a dad and a mum at the same time in your family. Especially not when one of the actors in the play is a grown up woman but behaves like a child (the third child for you to take care of).

    You must turn this dystopia into a utopia. How about making demands on your grown up co-actor and female teammate in the drama? Why accept being the only one in the family to pull the whole load? Beware of parasitic behavior manifested by others in your environment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have tried. When I confronted her over the phone on Sunday, she responded with “Why is this suddenly a problem now?”. Of course it has always been a problem… and that’s when she accused me of being unfair.

      When I’ve confronted her before, she has manipulated and played the victim. Once, and this was late at night, she even started shouting and didn’t give me a chance to speak, but was acting as if she was somehow being abused… even calling her mother and claiming that I was being unreasonable. It’s caused me to question the narrative where she is always the victim of somebody. I bet she tells whoever she is with when away that I am the one abusing her. The only common denominator to all of her relationships is her and the only abuser I know of for certain is her.

      I’ve had just about enough but I love Aishah and that’s why I’m putting up with it.


    2. There is no reasoning with her. The best I ever get is that she agrees with me, but then does nothing anyway.

      Even when she’s home, she hardly speaks to me. Either she has her earphones on all the time so she can’t hear me anyway, or she claims to be sick, or she sleeps all the time.


  5. Maybe I should try making more demands on her, but it never gets anywhere.

    And she does not understand… either my brother or his ex, who used to foster Josh, might well use her behaviour against me if they know the situation. They could well try to take Josh away again. She is making my life hell.

    But there is nobody to take Aishah the way Josh used to be with my family… if Aishah gets taken from Megan, she’ll end up in foster care. I’m doing all this to prevent that from happening, but it feels like I’m fighting a losing battle.


  6. What’s also driving me crazy is that my employer offered me a side project to do in my own time, at overtime rates. I have started on it, but I need her to be there to help out so that I can have more time to spend on working at home. I had no time for it last night because I was exhausted after seeing to the children.

    It’s for a good cause… extra money, which is not perfect but is at least something I can do in this time when struggling financially. She can at least be there so that I can do the work and earn extra money. Is that so much to ask?

    I mean… I have committed to the work, and they are being very good to me by allowing me the leverage to work on it while I can, without a fixed deadline. But they will not give me infinite leverage… I need to get it done so that they have confidence in me and will think of me for other side projects.


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