Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Housing Pain



Can a house detect and reflect the emotions of the person living in it?

Hummmm....

I am now living alone in this very large house.

The fact is, it's only been been two and a half weeks since HOB left, but....

Well, the truth is I have never lived alone this long before.

Never.

A month and a half ago this place was bustling with life. We stopped locking the door since there were so many people in and out at all times of the day.

Now, I am in a crash course on living alone.

I gotta say, I don't like it at all.


The first weekend after HOB moved out and into his shiny new apartment, I walked into one of the bedrooms and found the rug was soaked.

I went into the bathroom that shares a wall with this room and found that there was water seeping out of the crack between the vanity and the wall. It was leaking out of the bottom of the floor and into the next room. There was (just add blood and you'd have a horror movie) water leaking out of the light fixtures.

Oh my gosh.

Now?

Really?

I called friends who helped me move the bookcase off the wet rug.

I called another friend who said, "Get a plumber. Get a plumber right now."

I called another friend who came over and called a plumber while I sat, head thrown down on the dining room table in despair.

The plumber came over, (on a Sunday) said there was a hole in the pipe that ran up the wall. He took 20 minutes to fix it and charged me $400.00. He warned me about mold. He told me the attic had standing water. He said the entire plumbing system needed to be re-strapped soon or this would start to happen all over the house.

He left. I shut the door, fell to the floor and cried. "I can't do this. I can't do this."


The next morning at 3:00am, the sprinkler system in the yard went bananas. I heard the booming sound from the pipes vibrating all over the house.

Loud.

Insistent.

Like a giant heart going into cardiac arrest.

In the past, I reached over in bed and nudged HOB and he fixed it.

HOB was gone. Gone for good, apparently.


I groped for the flashlight HOB kept on his night stand and flipped the switch. It is a complicated flashlight with a red flashing light for emergency situations. I flipped the wrong button and the red strobe came on. I fumbled, but couldn't get it off. Let's face it: it was appropriate. I held it over my head as I struggled out to the garage and turned off one switch. Then, I had to go out in the front yard and turn off the main switch for the sprinklers.

This involved crawling around my hands and knees under a small bush to find the knob.

I made my way to the bed, dropped the still flashing flashlight on the floor, got beneath the covers, curled into a fetal position and cried. Over and over again, I cried, "I can't do this. I can't do this."

The good news is it's been a full week since I said, "I can't do this. I can't do this."

(About household repairs anyway.)

The bad news is the molding around patio doorway is starting to fall off.

The good news is I know how to use Super Glue.

The bad news is, it doesn't work on hearts.


56 comments:

Shelly said...

((((((Betty))))).

Leah J. Utas said...

Oh, Betty. I am so sorry about this. Yes, I do believe our environment reflects our emotional state.
Having said that I will add that even though you say you can't do it, you've been doing it.

Momma Fargo said...

Oh, Betty. I am so sorry. I have been in your shoes for a year now. Same problems. Sounds like a broken record. Hang in there. It does get better, not easier, but better. The broken heart is better with duct tape than super glue. The best thing I have done was learn to lean on some friends and family once in awhile.

Big hugs and prayers. If you need to chat...just email me.

Parsley said...

So sorry Betty. I hate this for you.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Not only Can you do it, you Are doing it, and without realizing it, you are moving into an ever expanding happiness. And yes, I believe our environment reflects our emotions and thoughts, so Know that nothing is broken. Ever. You are whole and complete, right now, in This Moment.

Sending You a Big Hug,
T

Flartus said...

Next time you find yourself saying "I can't do this," think of us invisible Bloglanders standing next you and saying, "Yes, dear, you can. Maybe not alone--call someone!--but you can."

One step at a time, one breath at a time. One g**d*** $400 bill at a time, for cryin' out loud!

Leanne said...

Oh, Betty. . . It's not right. Not one single bit of it. I'm so sorry for all of this Betty. I'm a little bitter at all men right now, because of this. I know it's not right, but I never said I was right. I just think that the male species is just a pile of junk right now. And you . . . You are SO MUCH better than him. I'm sorry. I said it. I just don't understand . . . And you are better. Better than this. And you ARE doing this. And I love you. And I am proud of you. Ok. I'm done.

Old Kitty said...

Oh BB!!! You hang on to your super glue!! Your home will soon realise it's now got you to contend with and by golly it will behave!

Big big big hugs! Take care
x

Sara said...

Good Lord, you poor thing! But look at you - being a strong, capable, coping woman. Believe it or not, you're setting an amazing example for the rest of us in self-reliance and learning to live life on a new course.

Also! Loctite Gel Formula glue works way better than superglue. Go pick yourself up a couple of bottles and you'll pretty much be a superhero in disguise.

Eva Gallant said...

Hugs to you. And you are stronger than you think.

Talli Roland said...

Oh Betty. What a shame super glue can't work on hearts! Maybe try wine? Big hug.

The Time Sculptor said...

Betty, I have never been as moved by any blog as I have by the blinding honesty of the pain you share with us in yours. Even as you grope through this pain with your broken heart still unglued, we can see you growing stronger. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and letting one day after another pass. You will rise from all this sadness like a phoenix from the ashes.
Hugs x Jane Gray

Catherine said...

Every day is a new lesson on how strong you really are dear Betty.

Go to the hardware store, stock up on your super glue and perhaps get some Duct Tape (a wondrous adhesive that every ingenious woman such as yourself needs) and although neither of these will put together a broken heart, both will make you feel empowered that you can fix most anything else!

Keep strong friend,
xoxo Catherine

jenny_o said...

The phrase 'it never rains but it pours' comes to mind ...

But so, too, does the phrase 'this too shall pass'. And it will. And your sense of the ridiculous is still very much in working order, even as you are rained on.

Keep your head up, and keep your friends on speed dial.

Mandy_Fish said...

Heartbreaking.

But I am also reminded of when I first met my now husband (my second husband). I had only recently become single and I was feeling pretty low and pretty scared. I was actually a shell of my normal self.

He kept telling me, "You are going to be amazing. Your life is going to keep getting better and better. You are on your way up. In a few years, that guy is going to be nothing. You won't be afraid of him anymore. You won't think about him anymore. You won't be hurt by him anymore. Because you will be happy and successful and amazing."

He repeated this to me over and over again for years. Then I started thinking it to myself. Now, seven years later, I realize I believe it.

Not that you have to put another person down in the process. In fact, I wish the best for my ex and want him to be happy and successful. But my new husband is right. I've just gotten better and better, stronger and stronger.

And I believe you will too.

Hang in there.

(Sorry this was so long.)

Out on the prairie said...

repairs can be found on the Internet, a step by step fix it solution. My oldest daughter put a wood floor down and never even called me. Soon it will be old hand.

SanDandy said...

I am so sorry this is happening to you. (((Betty)))

Linda said...

Super Glue may not work on hearts, but God does. I hate the position that HOB has put you in, but I know you'll get through it, with the help of God and family and friends.

ellen abbott said...

Oh this is so familiar. My sister was widowed suddenly last December and she had never lived alone either. Within weeks of his death the hot water heater broke, the pump to the well quit working, the toilet started overflowing, the tire on his truck went flat and she had to learn how to mow the yard with the fancy no radius turn mower. And she cried too that she couldn't do this. But she did and you will too.

Hugs.

McGuffy Ann said...

BIG, BIG HUGS! You are one of my favourites! I think you are wonderful!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betsy .. sod's law .. that's life - but it will get better .. as even you said you're coping .. Good luck - all will be well it will all be sorted out .. with thoughts and lots of hugs .. Hilary

rainbow said...

When I went through my first divorce my boys were 9 and 11. We soon found out Mom could fix anything with Duct Tape or Absorbine Jr. I even patched a tent in a rain storm with wonderful Duct Tape. GOD WAS THE ONE THAT FIXED MY HEART. My ex and I even have a reasonable existence for the boys and he is a fantastic Dad to them even 30 years after the divorce. It only took 2 weeks of being away from the guys for him to turn into SUPER DAD which has been great for them. We are still partners in helping two boys and their familys. THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR LOVE AND HELP. Look at how we love our kids, that's how much GOD loves us.

rainbow (Momma Lyn)

Retired English Teacher said...

Oh Betty, isn't that just the way it goes? I hate that the whole house falls apart just when you need your supposed helpmate the most. That seems to be the norm. It happened to me. It happened to my daughter. It just seems to feel like salt is being rubbed in a wound.

The good news is that you will find your true mettle as you deal with each new situation that comes your way. No super glue or duct tape will be needed because your inner strength and beauty will manifest itself. God Bless.

SUGAR MOON said...

You may have to creat a new normal for yourself. My aunt calls it her new life and her old life, but she's moving forward. Have you tried calling your insurance company? It might not be as expensive as you think. Our hot water heater leaked into the walls and onto the wooden floor. The insurance sent out a company with huge fans that blew everything dry. You might want to call and talk to them.

EmptyNester said...

Betty- I feel so darn useless sitting over here on the opposite coast just thinking about you all the time and wondering how you're doing. My heart aches for you. I want to fix it all but I can't. I promise you though, should a magic wand come my way- I'm handing it over to you!

I know you are still finding ways to deal but I want to make sure that you have a journal just for your feelings/emotions/etc about this situation and nothing else. And write in it every single day- and not cautiously. Write furiously. It's for your eyes and healing only. Write what you want to.

Thinking of you!

Katie said...

I have been really busy lately and haven't been reading other blogs much. I had missed about HOB leaving. I'm so sorry honey. Big hugs sent...I've been there...it takes a lot of time...but you will heal and be better. (((HUGS)))

Bouncin' Barb said...

I'll be posting something later today that is similar to this. You can do it. You can do it!!!!!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Oh Betty I do know what you're going through, I am independant and don't want to be a burden to my children, but when my husband died it was 2 months after my mother and I felt totally alone for the first time in my life, Please don't do what I did....let myself go, couldn't be bothered with appearance , that sort of thing, I had counselling but it was Paul McKenna's Books and cds including one called "How To Mend A Broken Heart" that helped me through it gave me the courage to go it alone , that's when I started writing poetry.
Take care, I will be thinking of you.
Yvonne.

Susan in the Boonies said...

That is just pouring salt into the wound, isn't it?

Reminds me of when we first got home from the hospital, and my dear husband was in horrible pain, on oxygen, toting a portable oxygen tank, on heavy duty pain meds, and we all 4 of us plus two BIG dogs had to crowd into the tiny bathroom downstairs due to the tornado moving through our vicinity,

"Really?"

"REALLY???" I thought.

((((Hugs to you, Betty!!!)))))

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Betty, I'm so sorry!

Lin said...

All of this house crud was there before, but you are just noticing it now because it feels like it is betraying you as well.

I like the thought of one of the comments--just imagine us all there with you, cheering you on, encouraging you to keep going. We ARE here for you and are so proud of the way you are handling this--or not--which is perfectly understandable.

Donna said...

OUCH!! You paid Double-time on a Sunday...lordy poor thing! I'd present the bill to hubby!
And unless he wants More bills, tell him to get over to the house and HELP you! You've Earned that right Sweetheart! You're just not mad yet, but don't worry...it'll come.
((((HUG))))

john said...

Yes, the house does "feel" the people inside. Ever notice, an empty house, even a relatively new and "nice" one, starts to fall apart within 6 months, but there are plenty of 100 year old ones that are upright and going strong because they've had families in them constantly. Your house will adjust - its just grieving too.
Sounds like you're doing as well and coping as well as most anyone in your shoes possibly could. "Bless your little heart" as we are wont to say in the South. Wish I could help, but I continue to remember you and your struggles. Virtual hugs there kiddo.
[and oh, Leanne, i can match you person for person with men who have been done over by the fairer sex and are a little sour on y'all right now - glad you realise its incorrect to dislike us all because of one you know. Me? I LIKE girls...always have! :)

Ms. A said...

I DO believe a house can detect and reflect the emotions of the person living in it... and I won't mention what mine says about me. (that would be much to depressing for the comment section) Have you considered having someone move in with you? How about a really good handyman? I'm sending you good thoughts and prayers, but you are a strong woman, stronger than you think. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS! Chin up, precious lady.

Leanne said...

ok . . . I just have to say, I love Donna's comment above. "BITTER" me thinks it is just perfect.

Hugs.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Betty, you are really getting bombarded. That last sentence made my own heart hurt. Praying each day gets a little better and that your home heals along with you...

Daisy said...

Oh dear Betty, I'm sending you the biggest hug I have.

I don't know if this video will help you or not, but I know others who it has helped and maybe there will be something in it that speaks to you too.

john said...

In this situation, yes, he is liable for the bill, or at least part of it. This is an ongoing maintenance problem and had begun before he left. No doubt about it, send him the bill and take no less than 50%. Don't know what y'all's financials are, and its none of my business, but in this situation, he should pay at least a percentage based on relative income/contribution to the family checkbook.
But anyway...
Betty, you're doing ok from what I can read. Shoot, plumbing problems make ME cry, and I have a sizable roll around toolbox with about $15,000 worth of tools in it out in the garage...Can't imagine my reaction to same had I suffered what you have in the past couple of weeks. But like I said, youre really coping pretty well - a couple of weeks after my Dad died, I got a phone call in the middle of the afternoon. It was my Mom and she was crying. She had finally decided to emerge from the house for a spell, and on her way to the grocery store, noticed her car was low on petrol. She was calling me from the gas station because she didnt know what to do. She had NEVER put gasoline in her own car in her whole life. Never. And she was 60 yrs old at the time. Dad just always took care of it. Same thing with light bulbs - Mom is convinced to this day that light bulbs never burnt out til after Dad passed away. So, see? Youre already way ahead of her and she survived. You'll be alright eventually and you can deal with it. Trust me; I know these things. I'm a doctor... ;)

Joan said...

I'm with Donna, get mad and tell HOB he needs to fix it. He has broken more than is fair, at least he can fix something.

Peggy K said...

(((Sweet BB)))
As far as "I can't do this"...oh, yes you can. You've already proven it. Not WANTING to do it is something else.

And yes, I do believe that our houses KNOW when things aren't right. It's all energy!

HUGS, HUGS, HUGS!!!!

Gigi said...

Oh Betty! Every time you think, "I can't do this!" remember the Little Engine That Could and change it to "I think I can, I think I can."

Maybe not without the help of friends, but you CAN do this; you ARE doing this.

Lots of hugs.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

The good news is you are doing it, taking one problem at a time and solving it before moving onto the next.

Ann said...

Oh Betty, where have I been? I read your post and said WHAT? I had to go back and read the ones I've missed. I am so sorry, I know exactly how you are feeling. I was married for 21 years when out of the blue my husband came walking in and said he was moving out. I can't tell you how many times after he left I was trying to do something and crying my eyes out at the same time because I just didn't think I could do it by myself. After I got the crying out of the way, I gave myself a little pep talk, wiped my eyes and finished the job. I know you'll be able to do the same. Hang in there sweetie, better days are ahead.

Marlene said...

Wish I could give you a big ol' HUG!!!

karen said...

Betty, you little survivor you! We are going to be friends, I can tell. About 2 weeks after I moved into my "post divorce" house I was at work and the kids were at school and then at games, practices, etc. Sometime during the day the pipes under the master bath sink had come loose and the water just ran. All. Day Long. My kids called me and told me the police and fire department were there (called by neighbors who saw water rushing out of the house) and holes were being poked into ceilings. Water was coming from light fixtures and anywhere else. Eerily enough, there was a big dry circle around the baby grand piano. I've been nice to that piano ever since. Long story short, there are many things that will go wrong, and you'll get very good at dealing with repair people, etc. And you will survive and get through it. And you'll have some great stories to tell, Wonder Woman. They'll even make you laugh. Really.

LittleSilkDress said...

Oh, Betty. What awful timing! But you ARE doing it. You CAN do it. And you don't have to do it all alone. That's what friends are for. More hugs for you, dear friend.

faye said...

aaah Betty ... I wish I lived closer
for 'support'... I am useless with
tools and have found it easier but expensive to call a handyman...

It will get better... more tolerable.. time.. always about time.

Pat Tillett said...

I truly believe that what we feel affects everything around us. Hang in there! It's gonna get better.

Miriam in KS said...

I am very thankful for your friends who are nearby. The rest of us keep praying and praying and thinking about you throughout each day.

Much love to you dear friend.

Ally said...

Betty, I read about your heartache hours ago and had to come back and tell you that you've been on my mind all night. I am just so very sad. I know that may sound weird coming from someone you've never met, but I've been following your blog on and off for more than a year now I'd say. I feel like I know the bloggers I follow ... I just wish there was something I could do :(

Kazzy said...

Oh no, I am so sorry. You will prove yourself, just wait and see. Hugs.

Anne Gallagher said...

You CAN do this. You CAN do this. I've had men leave me plenty of times. A woman needs to learn how to be brave and stand up for herself. And You CAN do it. It's just going to take a little time.

I'm behind you all the way. And hey, I fixed the broken rack on the dishwasher last night all by myself. (Course I almost broke my neck slipping on the wet floor while crshing INTO the dishwasher, but I fixed it.) And you can too!

Annie said...

Sending you a hug.
I have been living alone for a long time now and no its no fun, its awful.
My soffits are falling down, gutters falling down, shower needs help, water heater is broken now and sink is falling thru the kitchen counter. The list goes on an on and no money to fix any of it.
Life can be interesting at times and you just have to keep smiling and just try to laugh through it all.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

So sorry, Betty. As if you don't have enough emotional heaviness to deal with, your house is falling apart. But, as alone as you feel, I'm glad you have so many people to step in and help.
As others have said, you ARE doing it, so you can. It's just so miserable and unfair.
Believe in and take care of you, breath by breath.
xoRobyn

Baby Sister said...

:( My heart breaks for you Betty. No one should ever have to go through this. I'm glad you have friends that take care of you. And I agree with Donna. Send the bills to the man!! (who no longer deserves HOB titlement) (yes, titlement) - it's only fair!!

Hilary said...

My house fell apart at a time like this too. I couldn't do it.. but I did. And you have. And you'll continue to do so.