Just a brief background: I was hit by a speeding truck, head-on, driven by a "hit and run" drunk driver late at night who hadn't even turned his headlights on. I was at the bottom of a hill in my quiet, safe home neighborhood, waiting for the light to turn, and didn't have a chance. I saw him before he sailed into me through my windshield, without even time to hit the horn. I was still conscious as he locked his eyes with mine and thew his truck in reverse, leaving me for dead as if my value was no more than dust, rather than being a human being.
For now, I'll spare the grisly details of the extreme, repeated malpractice, mess ups, and almost fatal mistakes by doctor after doctor. My "family" lives scattered around the country, divided by deaths, greedy money-squabbles, in-fighting, addictions and alcoholism, and other physical and mental "infirmities" Still, not ONE family member has come to see me even though they could. Not once. For all the usual reasons, friends lost too. Complete financial ruination. I was already divorcing and couldn't survive the accident with enough strength to do any fighting except to save my own life.
Almost 8 years out, even as my cognitive recovery and inner strengths seem to be coming together along with an amazing force of inspiration and hope, because it turns out that my family members need me even more than I needed them, so I want to do what I can for them, I still feel too isolated, and am entirely out of money living far far below the subsistence poverty level with a ridiculously low level of Social Security Disability Income, and I have no resources to pull from to do anything at all yet to help my family. The loneliness is closing in on me, the stress of NO MONEY to even escape my high-crime ghetto neighborhood for even a 2 week break (It's so dangerous I cannot leave my home to open the door or get groceries, except when my caregiver comes twice a week. My 85 year old Father is caught in a terrible Abuse of "Professional Guardianship for Profit" Scam to Financially Abuse hapless Seniors by having them declared incompetent and stripped of their rights, while their crooked "Guardian" and others (attorneys/banks) take all their money, keep them in "locked down" "Memory Care" facilities with sham diagnosis such as "dementia" where my Father isn't even allowed to open his own mail! He has zero rights and that's such a cruel, sick thing.
At best, all I'll probably be able to do is to go try to visit him a few times before he dies. My family members apparently have all fared far worse than even I have (although they do have plenty of money, they won't share it), and two are deteriorating so quickly from their addictions that their lives are falling apart at the seams. I KNOW the trauma from the Catastrophic Accident that shattered my health and life forever has felt worse to them than if I'd died, because they cannot get past it. They're too lost in their own alcoholism and addiction.
I just want a place to escape my inner city ghetto environment for a couple of weeks, and get out to Florida to start addressing the problems, but am in a pickle because of the one "family member," my former Stepmother, who has all sorts of money, and has invited me back there so is willing and able at least to help me visit her and my little Brother, but I feel stumped. She and I have been estranged for the last 4 years because the last time I tried to "help her" and "help my little brother" by finding out through 6 months of intensive research what was causing his very rare, untreatable type of brain issue: Irreversible Sleep Apnea caused by Chemical Dependency. The very meds his Florida Doctor gave him to "treat" his drug addiction had gotten him off drugs, and were allowing to function and work, but had already destroyed the part of my brother's brain that regulates sleep. The problem was that after she "trounced on" my very sensitive little Brother to insist that he go off the "bad" medicine, he refused to agree to it and didn't want to face me. So she called me up out of the blue and, selfishly thinking only of her money and herself very rudely and crassly announced: "I'm not going to pay $800.00 for a ticket for you to come out here when your brother doesn't even want to see you" and at some point around that time also called me an insulting word, and since I DO NOT DO INSULTS or ABUSE at all anymore, I simply told her to stay away from me.
So it's messy. In response to her emailed invitation, I sent her an email where I told her about the situation with my frail Father (who she has every right and reason to hate because he's treated her terribly and caused her and her family far too much pain) and I also just told her that I'm forever done with members of my family ignoring one another, being estranged, not having any place to gather for the Holidays, never having had a chance to just have peace, quiet, joy, hope, and harmony, and I announced to her that this younger generation needed a Family Leader, and since no-one else is doing anything at all but locking away their love with their pain, I'm going to find a way to buy or build a Family Home for ALL family members to know that they are welcome and wanted, cared about and needed, and that there's a Place at the Table for everyone, at least those who want to visit on Holidays for a Family meal, or just to visit once a year. I know this is not what she'd have expected to hear from me. Given her first choice, she'd use me up just to be there for my little Brother and her, because she means well but is too short sighted about money and the value of family sharing resources.
So I haven't heard from her since. She's so used to seeing me as "easy," loving, and kind, unwilling to make demands on others or impose myself, being quick to put others first and please. Now I've HAD to change. If I don't put myself first, no-one will. If I don't start to Demand to be treated with at least equal value and worth to my other family members, that won't cut it for me anymore. I can't work "for free" any more. I just don't have as much to give as I once did. I need to get back to work, earning a reasonably livable wage, and start living life again, even if only with half my former cognitive functioning, I can still TYPE well enough to pull in a living wage IF I find the right niche, like Legal Transcription. And my heart and soul are SCREAMING for FREEDOM from living in a neighborhood where the fear of being injured or killed is inescapable 24/7. Most folks can't comprehend how bad Meth and gangs have leveled inner-city neighborhoods. So whether I start here and it takes me months to find a way back to work to earn enough ,to go to see my Father, just continuing to muddle through everything the hard way, or whether I take the risk of trying to trust her enough to even give her the power to pay for me to go visit her, I just don't know what the best approach is.
All I can think, to head off more Loss of Relationships with her and my little Brother is to tell her BEFORE I GO BACK THERE that I am DIFFERENT now. That it's not going to be ALL ABOUT HER OR MY LITTLE BROTHER ANY MORE. As much as we love each other, I was the INJURED, needy one 4 years ago, but FOR THEM, the questions was "I need help." NOT "How can I help you?" They may not even like or be able to accept that my Injury makes itself the First Priority, along with the rest of my Medical Needs and Health Care Issues. I can still make myself available to 'be there' for my loved ones, but it's going to be on MY terms, and that's about as opposite as she likes things to be.
Even IF she wants to adapt to the different me, she may not be able to. Since she already damaged the trust badly, not to mention my relationship with both of them just over $800.00 stupid dollars, I feel like telling her: "I'll believe it after you send me the tickets" and asking her for say $100.00 so I can get back to an airport or stay at a hotel should something go sideways. Not to mention, I now have 3 cats, and I NEED THEM SO MUCH I don't know if I CAN or should leave them behind for 2-3 weeks. The oldest would not take to flying anyway. And my 2 kittens need constant supervision still. They're too young to be left alone. But when family has already harmed me, if she goofs around with money again, it would rupture our badly shaken relationship forever. She just cannot understand why to me, it's an unbearable abuse of power. Money is something I don't accept from anyone b/c it always has strings attached to it. I'd rather be poor, or at least endure indefinite "temporary" poverty, than get a boyfriend or allow anyone to subsidize my life-style. And, that's why I must return to work as soon as I can manage to. To me, living without enough food money just isn't worth going through. So where can I go, what can I do, who can I turn to in this hostile, scary, dangerous, lonely world where not even my only family can be trusted for anything, and I'm already trapped in the worst possible high-crime ghetto neighborhood? I know it can get better IF I CHANGE, but the LAST thing I feel I need is to "jump from the frying pan to the fire" and wind up in the clutches of someone who seems UNABLE to put my best interests first, in front of their own, unless I DEMAND it?
Isn't the only way I can DEMAND decent treatment is being willing and able to walk away from anyone, anytime they start to mistreat me? By being completely self-reliant financially so no one can use money to control me?
It's just so hard to deal with able-bodied people who may care or love me a bit, but certainly are so selfish and such "takers" that they'd take everything while offering me nothing. Why didn't one of them ask me: How can I help you? Injuries like this are so confounding. Thanks for your patience and listening. I don't expect any magic bullet solutions or easy answers, but have learned that asking folks for their thoughts on even some small part of a problem can give me ideas and help a great deal. Peace.