Confessions of an #Autism Dad: I’m ready to explode

I’m so stressed out and pissed off right now I’m shaking.  I’m literally shaking.  I’m going to share this with you all because I just need to purge and and release a bit of pressure before I explode.  Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not asking for help.  All I’m doing is venting.  I’ll never make it of I can’t purge.

The Great Purge

You may recall a few weeks ago, I had a problem with my bank (PNC).  I don’t have the link to the post on me, but you can do a search for something about overdraft fees. 

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Right before our van was stolen last January, we had about $2,000 worth of work done on it.  2 weeks later, it was stolen.  I made payment arrangements with the shop and spread the payments put over most of the year.

The last check was for the remaining balance and was about $1,200.  That check was dated for August of 2012 and was never meant to be cashed. When we reached that point, the check was supposed to be ripped up and we were going to spread the payments out once again.

However, we had a summer filled with hospital trips and health emergencies and I lost track of where we were with the payments.

At some point along the way, our numbers changed and even though I’d swear that I changed my number with the shop, they had my old number and couldn’t get a hold of me.  They have honestly been great so I can’t really be upset with them.  However, after not being able to contact me, they cashed the check. 

PNC, in their infinite wisdom, allowed a check for $1,200 to clear from an account with a $2.43 balance.  I had even opted out of overdraft protection so something like this could never happen. 

Two weeks ago, I about stroked out when I saw my bank balance was (-$1,200).  This was right before Christmas as well.  Perfect timing right.

I called the bank and we tried to dispute the check because, in my opinion, it should never have been allowed to clear. What’s the point of opting out of overdraft protection??  I have sense learned that opting out of overdraft protection only applies to debit transactions.

The check even states,  void after 90 days and it was cashed well outside of the 90 days. 

I called the shop and they said that if the bank would just bounce the check back they would rip it up and we could work out something else.  They really are great.

A few days later, the money was back in my account and I thought all had been fixed.  I received nothing from the bank to tell me otherwise.  However, 2 days ago the check cleared my account for a second time,  sending my account down the toilet to the tune of well over (-$1,000). 

I called the bank and they explained that I had received a provisional credit and when the dispute team decided that the check would stand, they took the money away.  I was never notified about this, or warned that the money was being removed and to be prepared, like they are supposed to do.

The only recourse I have left is if the shop agrees to refund me the money and make new arrangements.  They are going to do everything they can and I’ll know next week.  Honestly, I doubt it will happen.  It would be bad business for them. 

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time. We are 3 months behind on our mortgage and I have to make a payment Monday because we are in default and proceeding into foreclosure, from what I understand.  There is no help available either, we’ve looked. 

I also have to pay my brother, who works for me next week.  However, the moment our paycheck is direct deposited, it will be ingested by our negative balance and disappear forever. 

Now my problems are affecting my aunt and uncle (who we rent the house from through a land contract) and my brother and his fiancé and her son.

To make matters worse, Sprint has raised its ugly head once again and screwed me over, for old times sake.  When we switched to Tmobile, I removed our old Galaxy Note 2’s from our account before selling them on ebay for enough to make a mortgage payment last month. 
I even went so far as to activate old phone on our lines prior to porting our numbers out to Tmobile to ensure the ESN’s were clean. 

I even made another call to Sprint to make sure that ESN’S were all released prior to listing them on ebay.  A clean ESN is needed for the phone to be activated.  Guess what. I was contacted by the buyer this evening because Sprint has flagged that phone as being stolen and the buyer is unable to activate it. 

Thankfully, he’s very understanding and realizes that this is a Sprint thing and nothing that I did wrong. 

I spoke with Sprint a total of 3 times this evening trying to straighten this out. 

The first two times the friggin systems were being updated so they could access my account.  The third time was not the charm but they did access my account but couldn’t fix the problem because the department that handles these issues was closed.  They told me I should have called earlier.  I explained that I had, twice in fact, but they choose to perform system maintenance during business hours, making it impossible for me to fix this. 

They said I have to call back on Sunday afternoon and they can remove the flag. 
I can’t begin to explain how disappointed I am with Sprint. I never reported the phone stolen and they have no record of me reporting the phone stolen, however, somehow it got flagged anyway. 

This is probably the same computer glitch that canceled my phone insurance without my permission, causing me to have to pay for the replacement phones they had to send out in order to trouble shoot their network. Maybe it’s same bug that lost records of my phone calls to customer service when I was told that I was to receive a credit to my account for over $500, including reimbursement for the out of pocket expenses caused by the glitch that canceled our insurance.

I’m on the edge of a cliff right now, not knowing how I will be able to get us through this. 

We have a ton of trips to Akron Children’s Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic beginning next week and while some can be rescheduled, others are far too important. 

If it wasn’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all. 

I don’t mean to sound like a whiner, I really don’t.  How exactly am I supposed to make this work?? My family is literally falling apart at the seems. 

I have 3 boys with #Autism and various other special needs. 1 child removed from the home due to behavioral issues and is hopefully awaiting residential treatment in order to get the help he needs. That same child is extremely medically fragile but no one can tell us how to friggin help him or how bad things are going to get.  Hell, they aren’t even sure what’s wrong in the first place. He continues to decompensate and we are powerless to do anything about it.

I have 2 other boys that have been so traumatized by their oldest brothers behavior that they are in complete chaos don’t feel safe in their own home. 

My wife’s health is all but gone.  Her list of medical issues is a mile long and continuing to grow.  The latest being Macular Holes in her right eye that may require surgery so that her retina doesn’t detach. This is actually one of the appointments we have this week. 

Our oldest has traumatized her to the point that it triggers her PTSD, simply hearing his name.  She can’t eat without getting sick anymore and she can go days without sleep, even though she has a sleep disorder. 

The list goes on and on. 

I feel sick to my stomach right now and I seriously, seriously question whoever thought I was capable of dealing with this.  I really believe that they severely overestimated my abilities. 

I’m only one person and I’m human to boot.  I can only deal with so much. How in the hell do you prioritize these things?
My wife and oldest both have very serious medical conditions a day both are deteriorating rapidly.  My two youngest are emotional train wrecks and need my undivided attention but I am only one person. 

I hate where we live because it’s not safe, however, I can’t lose our house to foreclosure, we have nowhere else to go.  Plus, this affects my aunt and uncle in a really bad way.

I’m very rapidly approaching the point where I just have nothing left to fight with.  Every last ounce of anything I have will be given to my wife and kids. In the end, it’s the right thing to do.  Having said that, everything else directly affects them as well. 

I’m being pulled in so many different direction and I truly feel like I’m going to crack. 

Sweet tap dancing Christ, as I’m writing this, my goddamm blog is down once again.  I just can’t win.  I just want to scream and beat my head into the wall. I swear to God, if one more thing physically shocks me today, I’m gonna lose it..

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Shannon Lance

Do you have an Easter Seals clinic near you?  We have one here and they therapeutic preschool programs for children with disabilities and autism based on income.  It’s a great service for your kids, and it would get you back out into the workforce?

dotdash

That is too many things going wrong at once.  No wonder you are stressed.  You say you are not asking for help, but what would you say to an offer of help?  I’m probably one of those armchair quarterbacks that just adds stress to your life, so maybe you’d rather not.  Unless you think of this as a way for me to assuage a bit of guilt for that.  Well, however it is, if you like, I’d be willing to help, no strings attached, no weirdness.  One family helping another over a rough patch.

dotdash

Yeah, you’re probably right; crazy idea.  I hated to think of you drowning with no one trying to offer you a helping hand.  Still, “thanks but no thanks” would have been nicer than silence.  Message received, though.  I do wish you — all of you — the best.

lostandtired

wow. Sorry, I haven’t been busy today and didn’t see your comment. Personally, I’ve never felt like you were adding to my stress. I just don’t always get to every comment right away. That’s all. There was no message. 🙂
You’re offer is very kind and I truly appreciate it. Again, I just have had my hands full today.

Jimnumber2

I have to work 2 jobs to keep what I have.  I’d love to stay home with my family, but 80 hours a week takes a toll. 
 
My only consolations are that I have some stability in housing, and my kids are hopefully learning from my work ethic and seeing that hard work can pay off.

lostandtired

@Jimnumber2 trust me, I understand. I used to work 80 weeks outside the house until my wife got sick. Hang in there.

Grace

So sorry to hear about your problems.  We are all here to support you.  Don’t try to fix everything at once.  Take care of yourself first.

lostandtired

@Grace very good advice. Thank you 🙂

Jon G

Holy cow, brother.  My wife and I run a very similar life (we have a kid who is “housed elsewhere”, my wife has more health issues than we would wish on anyone, we have two kids on the spectrum, recently both of our cars died back to back, all while I was unemployed, our bank account was hacked and drained, and the list goes on).  We talk constantly about how we seem to always get kicked while we are down.  Then we consider and our hearts go out to others out there who are getting kicked worse.  I told my wife about this post and she sends her wishes…not that it will help you much.  You are those others.
 
You aren’t asking for it, though I wish I had advice of help to offer you.  I’m sure you have considered SSI benefits…other than that, all I hope is that you take care of yourself, so you can take care of your family.  I’m a guy very much like you and I wish you and your family all the best.

lostandtired

@Jon G thank you for sharing a hit of your life. Our journeys are very similar indeed. My heart goes out to you and your family. 🙂

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