This might take a bit, so bear with me. To say I'm a bit distressed and more than a bit irritated would be an understatement...
Bugster met her husband almost 5 years ago. Bug's hubster (I'll call him 'Bubster') had to step up and be the man of the family when his dad took off with another woman to another part of the country leaving him and his younger brother in the care (and I use that term loosely!) of their mother. It's been an absolute nightmare for the kids.
Bubster was signing his paycheck over to his mom (I'll call her 'Calamity') to buy groceries when he was only 16 or 17. She would buy minimal groceries and drink the rest away. She hasn't had a job that lasted for more than 2 weeks in the entire time we've known Bubster. She has been evicted from every place she's paid rent in that period of time for nonpayment and has been kicked out of friends' homes each of the other places she's lived.
Calamity stole a credit card application out of the mail that was in Bubster's name and stole his identity. He had no idea until the creditors came calling for a card she'd maxed out. She routinely left Bubster and his little brother alone to hang out with her boyfriend who was in jail. That's how the boys spent their last Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year together before Bubster moved out on his own-alone for the holidays and forbidden to come to our house for dinner.
She supposedly threw their brand new video games in the trash, because she was mad at the kids, although we suspect she pawned them for booze. She promised bicycles and gifts to the kids and drank the Christmas/birthday money away instead. It was just a hopeless situation.
After one of the evictions, she moved with Bubster's little brother (I'll call him Frank) to the next school district. Calamity did absolutely nothing to enroll him in school at all. Instead, she let him play video games all day long and called it 'homeschooling' (this kind of thing is what gives homeschooling a bad name, and it drives me nuts!) while she'd drown herself in the bottle. We got involved, since we knew the principal of the school he was supposed to be attending, and the principal got the ball rolling. If the principal hadn't gotten involved Bubster's little brother wouldn't be turned over to CPS, because that was the next step we would have taken.
At the end of that school year 3 years ago, Calamity sent Frank to live with his dad, because she 'just couldn't handle it anymore'. It was probably the best thing that could have happened to Frank, as she spiraled even further out of control. The fact that Bubster somehow not only survived this woman but has actually become a decent, upstanding young man is beyond us. We are very, very proud of him and proud to call him our son-in-law.
Fast forward 3 years. Frank came to spend the summer with Bugster, Bubster and Calamity. And although she'd known for months that he would be coming, Calamity did nothing to prepare for his arrival. She had no food. She hadn't done the laundry. Nothing. Can you imagine how welcome he felt?
So Frank, now 14, has spent a lot of the time he's been here with Bugster and Bubster. At this point, he doesn't even like spending time with Calamity. Not only is there nothing to do at her apartment, but she has him babysit for her boyfriend's kids or grandkids for free! He's never met these people before, but she makes him feel obligated. It's just so wrong on so many levels!
Anyway, I've been on the phone most of the day with Bugster. She's at her wit's end. The boys' dad has decided that Frank will not be coming home, because he 'just can't handle it' now. As of right now, it looks like Bugster and Bubster will have Frank living with them. They are looking into guardianship, and there is hope that she will willingly sign Frank over to them, so they don't have a problem with her fighting them.
However, it appears as though they're ready to fight.
Frank is not a disposable child.
They will not let him be thrown away yet again.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.