I guess our house is too small for 4 adults (+1 when my little sister is here), 3 small children and a dog (+1 cat when my little sister is here). It's as though there's not quite room to breathe. This is all regardless of the fact that we technically have 6 bedrooms, 2 family rooms, and a laundry room. There's just so much CRAP here that it's just not feasible to fit 8 people and 2 animals here. It's beyond impossible to keep the house clean, especially with the GINORMOUS real Christmas tree in the living room (which I swear is bigger than any other tree we've ever had). I have a really hard time interacting with the rest of the family when the kids are here, because it seems like every room is full beyond capacity, even though they're not.
I love those kids so much. They are hilarious - Z today picked up a little stuffed frog that belongs to Phoenix and told me that the frog's name is Hermick. Their naked time after their bath is wonderful. My little niece is growing and learning so flipping quickly I can hardly keep up. However, they're all sick with the nastiness that I had last week, and the baby has it the worst, and today was her 1st birthday!! She couldn't even enjoy it! Hopefully she'll be better by Christmas, and then maybe we can coax her into eating her birthday cake then.
Most of my frustration comes from my older sister's behavior when the kids are here. I'd say she spends about 50% of her time doing things for them - making their food or bathing them or putting them to bed - and the other half she spends smoking out in the garage. She'll change the kids clothes and just leave them in the middle of the living room floor. She doesn't clean up after the kids eat, she just leaves all the cups and plates and trash where the kids left it. And I'm really frustrated about how much stuff she uses with the kids. Instead of rinsing bottles, cups or plates, she just gets out more clean ones to use. Instead of wiping the food off the kids clothes, she puts them in new ones. It seems awfully wasteful, especially because she knows that she's financially drained my parents, but she leaves lights on in every room, and she uses so many dishes and she will literally open up a diet coke, take two drinks out of it, and walk away. To her credit, she's been made aware of most of this stuff, and I've seen her put effort into making some changes, but it seems downright lazy to continue to make a mess of things and just leave things all over the place when she knows how anal my mom and I are about keeping the house clean.
Today was my niece's 1st birthday. Her mother did not buy her any presents. It's not as though she had money to do that, but I know my mom would have been happy to give her money to buy presents had she asked for it. That breaks my heart, and my mom was obviously upset by it, too. My sister has not spent any time shopping for Christmas gifts for her kids (or any of us as far as I know), but the money my parents give her continues to go towards cigarettes, coffees and gas. I'm not sure what can be done about that.
On top of that, I saw my sister go into my parents room today, spend a minute in there, and come back out. As she walked by my bedroom, I asked her if she has a compulsion, because of how obvious it was to me that she was in there taking something. What shocked me was that she said that yes, she does have a compulsion, and that she was in there taking quarters. She thanked me for stopping her, she (maybe because I didn't actually see it) put the quarters back, and I told her that if she just asked for money instead of taking it, she'd have a better chance of getting it. She told me that she doesn't like doing it, because it makes her feel nervous, but it's obvious that she's not about to stop doing it on her own. I don't want to have to police her! No one should have to police her, but that's the reason I lock my door whenever I go anywhere, even if it's just to take Phoenix on a walk! I'm tired of going in her room and finding my things in there, and I'm tired of wondering why the damn change I put in my change jar isn't there when I go looking for it.
I know that my parents are at the end of their ropes. I just don't know what else can be done to remedy any of this. It's frustrating to be a control freak the way I am, and not be able to control any of the issues that are plaguing this house. I barely have enough money myself to be able to pay for the things I need to pay for, so I can't exactly give money to my parents the way I want to.
So that's that. I got a phone call from this new guy last night and we talked for an hour, and then texted on and off throughout the day today. It's exciting to have someone new pay attention to me and want to learn about me, but I had to use a lot of self-control to not go overboard with it. It's not really for fear of scaring him away, but I just don't want to get into all my family stuff with him because I'm a little worried about how it might make me look to get in any kind of depth with him about what my life is like here. I'm not about to explain to him about living with Depression, either. Interestingly, I haven't even really told my family much about him, either. I just don't want to do what I normally do, get really excited to begin with, and then get disappointed when it doesn't work out the way I want it to. I'm tired of getting emotionally involved with someone only to have it not work out.
I'd been thinking a lot recently about using eHarmony or Plenty of Fish again to try and meet someone, but I've put it off and put it off because I want to be good and ready before I even attempt to get involved with anyone new. It was kind of surprising that I even met a guy, out in public, face to face, before getting to know him. I wasn't planning on that happening at all, and I don't want to ruin it for myself too early. I figure something may happen where I do or say something that drives him away (or I will discover something about him that I simply can't live with), and it will end anyway. I'm just not getting my hopes up too far with this one.
I think, at least for the most part right now, I've got my shit together enough to consider any kind of emotional involvement, but I'm still going to be really cautious. Better safe than sorry, I guess.