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Aw, dammit. I hate when people make me think about stuff.

The situation with Barb: The romantic relationship is over. She is going back to school in Bemidji to finish her degree, which should take another year-plus.

She doesn't have enough room in her new place to keep everything. She doesn't have enough income to afford storage for everything. I have agreed to let her store her stuff at the house for the time being-- essentially until she's done with school.

Lex brings up that that's taking advantage of me. And it could very well be.

But it's complicated. The house loan is currently in Barb's name. The title is still freakish, but when it is straightened out, we will both be the titled owners and it will remain that way until I can refinance and buy out the loan. And I probably won't be able to refinance until my credit rating is improved for a 24-month period, probably end of 2005 or so.

We also have pets. I am currently retaining custody of all of them, though eventually Barb will be taking two of the cats. But there needs to be visitation, particularly with Sadie (the dog).

And we have common friends. In general, we're trying to keep an amicable split.

Barb is a creature of insecurity. I know this. I also know that one of her big insecurities is "not having a place to be" once she finishes school. And I think that is part of her hesitation to get her stuff out of the house, that if she gets everything out it somehow becomes "real".

And I understand that. I'm also trying to be kind, and make the transition more gradual than just booting her out.

But I am also a creature of insecurity. And I have to wonder if my letting her store her stuff at the house is also my way of holding on. For different reasons. While her stuff is there, I have "baggage". That baggage is something that I can use as an excuse to not risk an emotional relationship with someone else.

Food for thought.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2004 02:16 pm (UTC)
Where's her mom in all this? Can her mom store stuff for her?
Does she have a friend with a garage?

The fact is, it will be healthier for Barb in the long run if she stops think of the house as "home" ASAP. And as long as her stuff is there, it's "home".
Moving her stuff out of the house into the garage space would be small step in the right direction...or the basement. Places that aren't "living space" just storage space. Reduces her passive claim to living there.
Oct. 6th, 2004 02:38 pm (UTC)
I agree with all of what Windy says, and add:

The fact that you're dealing with her stuff instead of her means that she can delay self-sufficiency longer.

The fact that you're ensuring her things are stored well, and for free, means that she can still rely on you to help her when she will not do the work to handle things herself. Again, she can delay self-sufficiency.

It doesn't matter what the legal or financial standing of the house is. That's paperwork. We're talking about the emotional separation. Barb's chosen to live somewhere where she can't have all her things with her. She's also chosen not to pack, store or haul any of her stuff. She needs to start feelign some consequences and facing the reality that it's not her home anymore and get the heck out.

It's one thing to use a house as a base camp when you're 18 and going to college for the first time. But, when you're an adult who's been on your own for awhile, you should be able to do this. Heck, we have mutual friends who've picked up and moved to other states to pursue their goals. They managed: Barb should learn to do the same.
Oct. 6th, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
If I don't deal with her stuff, I have to put up with her stuff being around and in the way. She isn't dealing with her stuff.

Bear in mind that she is actively resisting self-sufficiency. She does not want to be self sufficient. She wants to be dependent on someone else. These are her stated goals.

Yes. It's completely freakish to me too.

Getting her stuff out of the prime living areas and into storage is a big step. Getting the bedroom eviscerated is another huge step, because it psychologically breaks her hold on the secure "den" (pack terms).

But you're right. There needs to be an end point. Something where she needs to deal with her own stuff. And I will be the one to force that issue.

The legal standing of the house is an issue. Until I have clear title, she could effectively force the sale and take half. Heck, at this point she might be able to take the whole thing. That makes me extremely wary.
Oct. 6th, 2004 03:09 pm (UTC)
Her mom lives in a small apartment-- senior housing. No storage space that she hasn't already taken.

It would definitely be healthier for her, but she isn't prone to seeing the healthier decisions. And I don't need to be making those decisions for her, but I do need to make decisions for me, and what would be healthy for me.

At the same time, I don't want to be an asshole about it. Just because I can choose a course of action doesn't mean I should.

I also think I need to talk to her about this. Let her know where I'm coming from.
Oct. 6th, 2004 04:25 pm (UTC)
I've had to put stuff in storage on more than one occasion. Unless times have changed - it does not cost that much.
Oct. 6th, 2004 04:53 pm (UTC)
Down here, around $1/sq. ft.

In Bemidji, less.
Oct. 6th, 2004 02:39 pm (UTC)
Sorry to make you churn on this, but I figure that's why you keep me around, right?
Oct. 6th, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC)
Re: P.S.
Hell, I need to churn.

You do keep me on my toes, and I appreciate it a lot. I'm not exactly objective on things, though I try to be.
Oct. 7th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC)
Sticky Wicket
I don't know what your finances or how tight. I know you are expending a lot of energy and finances into getting the house in structural soundness. To me, it would almost seem worth it to put Barb's stuff in storage and pay the monthly fee just to have it out of the house and safe for when she can collect it after she finishes school. The other option is to have friends come over and help box everything up and label the boxes (just like if it was being moved to a new home) and store it all in the basement - out of sight but safe - and easy to move when she's ready for it. You are walking a narrow path here, but you really need to define the parameters for your own sanity and continued progress. Just keep in mind the choices you make are for you and not for what Barb wants or what friends think you should do.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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