Friday, February 1, 2008

For My Friend, Pipe Tobacco...

I realize this is self indulgent twaddle, but it is probably one of the most life changing and major decisions I will have made in years. 

Astonishingly,  county mental health just called a moment ago and they still have me scheduled to come in this Monday to get my disability turned over to a social worker as my representative payee.  I was astounded.  I thought the appointment had been canceled as it has been months since I've heard anything about it.  This will cause a shit storm in my family, though.  I got so nervous after the call that my hands and arms began to violently shake.  I sat down in this chair and nervously smoked a cigarillo.  I don't know what to do.  What do I want to do?  To go and get my disability changed so my father is no longer over it.  Our relationship has been so much better lately, though, and I fear I will destroy all that.  This is a definite case of catch-22.

Pros and Cons to my father having control of my disability...

  • I always have Internet access.
  • All my bills are paid.
  • My car insurance is paid.
  • I always have food.
  • Dad takes care of any windfalls with my money.

Cons...

  • I never have any cash.
  • I can't take Rosa out on dates.
  • Dad will most likely make me start paying rent when I change to punish me.  I don't know if I can afford it.  I really don't have any earthly idea of how much money I have. 
  • Dad uses the money to control my life and my actions.
  • Once given back to me in April, it could be taken away again on a whim.  One beer and it is another year without. 
  • I can't just run to the store when I need something.  I have to call Dad or Mom and wait on it. They grow tired of me asking -- resentful almost.  
  • I don't have any sense of independence.
  • My own money is not mine in it's purest sense.   

16 comments:

jane said...

i think taking charge of your own finances is a huge step on the road to independence, but whatever you choose to do, i hope it's the right path for you.

never doubt your father's love. but to my mind, your dad worries about you and it manifests itself in the form of him trying to control you. you've been taking an awful lot of responsibility for yourself and have made some really bold decisions lately. i'm hoping for you and your dad that he is able to let go of some of his fears and encourage you.

all good thoughts for you,
jane

PipeTobacco said...

Sir:

My opinion is that you *should* still get the new designated payee. Here is my logic behind the notion:

1. You will not have to feel penniless.

2. You will be taking a step towards the greater independence you seek.

3. By making this change, you can SHOW your father how you can be responsible and prove it to him.

4. I think that in the long run this will likely help you form a better, stronger, more loving relationship with your father. He will no longer be able to adopt a dictatorial role and you will no longer need be subservient. You can evolve back into a rich, loving, wonderful, adult father & son relationship.

So, even though the first few days after the change may be difficult between you and your father, my gut feeling is that making this change will in the long run lead to far greater benefits than the short term costs.

Your friend,

PipeTobacco

Ally0005 said...

Looks like it’s time you take control over your life. At first you father will probably not like it but show him you can stand on your own. You have been doing really well lately. There were many times I made a decision my mother didn’t like, but you know what she got use to it and so will your father.

Blue Gardenia said...

You should get your father's control under control. Work with the social worker and budget your money. If your father has a fit then let him blow off steam. If he wants to charge you an unaffordable rent then rent a room somewhere else where you and maggie can be together. I have control over my money and expenses and it is not that difficult. Getting rid of addictions is necessary to control expenses but it can be done.

impromptublogger said...

It's not as if the money is not being supervised by someone else - you will have the social worker. I agree with everybody above that it will be a good thing for you. I've seen you make so much progress over the past 3 months that this will just be another step.

Tootsie said...

De-lurkig to chime in. Hope I'm not out of line.

You've written a lot about how hard the bad times were on your family. Maybe you can acknowledge that and make a case for regaining your independance.

Could you put off changing the payee for a few more months? If so, what if you presented your dad with a new plan? Let him know that you've had the opportunity to change the payee, but given the amount of turmoil that it will cause and how well things are going, YOU DECIDED NOT TO. But let him know that since things are going well, it's time to start having control over a least a portion of your money. Maybe come to an agreement that you would be given an amount to buy your own cokes and food and take Rosa out. Then re-visit it in a couple of months, and if things are still going well, increase the amount of funds you recieve and manage. That might work best to quell his concerns but let you start to regain control.

nameless to protect the innocent said...

this scares me andrew.

I think you should tell your dad that you CAN do this, but ask instead for his help in taking baby steps. Ask for a certain small amount each week that you can budget and buy cokes/dates/etc. with..

when you prove you can handle that, ask for responsibility for a bill or two....

baby steps are so much easier than a giant leap.

nameless to protect the innocent said...

also....disability money is not usually a huge amount.

most likely your dad pays out a whole lot more than you are bringing in....

glittermom said...

If you dad is turning your money over to you in april why not just wait rather than have your family turn on you and cause a lot of turmoil...aprils not that far off , as long as your father means what he said...

Sharyna said...

I remember, a few months ago, you were adamant about changing representative payees. I don't know the procedure all that well but I do know that your dad has probably been contacted about the meeting. Being your current payee, he has the right to be there.

sharyna

justLacey said...

Ok, my 2 cents. April is not so far off. I have to agree with talking to your dad and asking him what exactly he expects of you before you can regain some control over yor life. Point out to him how well you have been doing and ask for some sort of weekly allowance to start proving you can handle yourself as April approaches. As independent as you would like to be and as well as you really have been doing, it has only been a short while that you have been sober. The first year is the hardest I think, I know it was when I quit smoking. Sit down like 2 adults and talk it over with your dad. It will give yu a chance to feel things out. I would imagine that financially he is contributing more than you think. The security of a place to live and car to drive and food to eat is nothing to shabby. I don't have it myself. Whatever you do, I hope things work out for the best for you and I am proud of the progress you have made.

Lady Elaine said...

Andrew;

I agree with the 2 previous posts. Your dad is probably contributing a significant amount towards your expenses on his own. But...you do need to get control over your finances as it is a step in becoming independant. Perhaps the largest one. That being said, baby steps would be an excellent way to proceed. Sit down, and try and talk with your Dad. ( Maybe it would help to have Rosa there for moral support) Ask for a weekly allowance so that you can do your own grocery shopping--as a start. Then proceed from there. Thats my 2 cents worth. You have done so well in the past few months, I would just like to say that you bring hope and sunshine into my world.

mosiacmind said...

i will email you sometime soon to "talk" about the payee and money and such. i use a payee yet it is a company not a person which for me makes it easier to take care of...i get a very small check each month. it also is no emotional ties going on with that plus if you strugle with using then just give you like small amount...i get frustrated when i have to even though i get small check have to have mom help me when i need it which right now with my not working it means much that she contributes.
when i was working before i kept the money from work BUT for me not a wise decision so am hoping that once i am working again to sent them half of my check to pay for the things mom is paying and to save some money. i tend to emotional shop which made me not save anyway.
i think that it will be small steps....with talking to your dad...perhaps you and he can come up with a budget where you got money and showed that you can out of that money pay a bill...also with the payee that watch for people using so if someone struggles that they will just give very small amounts of money at a time...also the longer you are not using will be a sign too for your dad at how different you are...i will email you this weekend and share with you some of my stuff about payee and such and ideas. i hope that things are good today...try not to get really obsessed with this right now.

mosiacmind said...

p.s. i think the other bloggers who commented had some really good ideas and thoughts.

mosiacmind said...

p.s. i think the other bloggers who commented had some really good ideas and thoughts.

Tee said...

Andrew, those few CONS are really big cons. The assurance of having the things you really enjoy and ned is such a secure place to be. The mental health people have no emotional ties to you, they could care less about you personally! They have a set of rules and regulations they consult to make sure you are abiding by them and as long as you are things are okay. BUT, when you get outside those rules and regulations you put your income at risk. Being Representative Payee is a very big responsibility, but I'm sure your Dad has your best interst at heart, rather than a social worker have the best interest of the State at heart. Having read your later posts, things are looking up with your dad and your finances. Hang in there, I'm sure the wait will be worth it, my friend. I would cancel the appointment for Monday.