~By Wendy Zangari
So these past months Greg and I have been going through some tough times. Late last year we went to a mechanic that was actually breaking things in our car so he could get money from us. Needless to say I didn’t get those things fixed, but looked up if I needed them to be fixed in my owners manual. They bamboozled us, broke my air conditioner system and then told me to drive around with the A/C on (Freon had all leaked out and they knew this). If I did this and drove around without Freon in my system and my A/C on, I would have destroyed the whole A/C system, while metal flecks would have lodged itself into my system and would have rendered it useless.
He also told me that I need my transmission serviced, I am a schedule A driver, which means I don’t drive a lot (3 to 4,000 miles a year) and I don’t drive in rough conditions or stop and go traffic. This means I never have to have my transmission serviced unless they check it and something is wrong.
He told me that I needed a PCV valve, I don’t need one for another 13,000 miles and that would take me at least 4 to 5 years to get to 60,000 miles as I am only at 47,000 now. Unless it is broken I don’t want it serviced, I told him this as we are on a tight budget.
Another company we are trying to work with has installed my stereo in my car incorrectly as it has depleted 7 batteries so far in the 8 years I have had my car. They keep installing it back the way they had originally set it up and we have to unhook it as it depleted my new battery already after purchasing it a week prior. I now need to have Greg go in there and talk to them because they want to charge me $120/hr for a diagnostic fee. We can’t afford that.
We also experienced our car breaking down completely and we had to have it towed to the service station (the new mechanic we are going to now) and they fixed that portion of the car, but lots of things are wrong with it and we just have to get it done piecemeal.
So my car is riding rough, I need spark plugs too, since 15,000 miles ago and I need a new Power Steering Switch as well as my A/C fixed and my stereo system.
I got a letter as well in the mail that said that my car insurance was going to be cancelled. We had an accident in September (a small fender bender, scratch and ding) and we changed our policy without getting my car fixed as we can’t afford it. So instead of saying that we couldn’t have that particular policy, they sent a letter making me think that my accident was why my insurance is being cancelled. Also, they should not have said cancelled as it should have said that I have to change my policy because their computer didn’t account for the accident as it wasn’t in their system, because I didn’t get it fixed. However, I still have a policy, just at a different rate. However, this is not what the letter led me to believe, so I was in a state of panic with everything else going on.
Another thing that happened was that Greg’s cousin, who has Schizophrenia, lent us some money last month so we could buy food. A few days later he asks if we need more money. A week goes by and we told him when he gave us the money, that we wouldn’t be able to pay him right away because we owed money to other debts first. He said that was fine. So the day before we got paid he said that he needed the money back because there was this Black Lab that he wanted to buy, but he wasn’t sure if the owner wanted to sell the dog and he wasn’t sure if the landlord would approve him having the dog. The next day he called us at noon and asked if we had the money, we told him no and he got mad, said that he would have to figure out something and hung up on us. We went to run an errand later in the evening and when we got home there was a voicemail from him saying: “FU Greg and you too Wendy, I can’t believe you didn’t have the decency to call me to tell me you didn’t have the money, I have no food or cigarettes”. Wondering how one day he had money for a dog and the next day he had no food or cigarettes. I guess he got a dog and the both of them are starving? Or did he think we would be more compassionate for giving him back the money for the dog instead of food? Also, having Schizophrenia makes you forget as well as all of the narcotics he is on for his physical disability doesn’t help. We ran over to his house the next day after sending a lower payment to one of our debtors, so he would have some money for food and/or cigarettes. He called us two weeks later for the rest of the money and we drove over to give him the rest. No thank you, nothing, no phone calls from him ever again as we used to speak to him twice a week.
Two years ago I sold him my other car, tax free (as a gift), at 50% off as I could have sold it for twice the amount. He was paying us up until he had totaled the car, but didn’t want to tell us, so he stopped paying and stopped calling us. I kept calling him for 3 months, nothing. Finally I called his daughter to get him to pay us, which worked after 2 weeks of hassling them. He stopped paying us again after 2 more months of payments and then said it was all paid off and refused to give us any money again until I got his daughter involved with his affairs once again and showed him the receipts. So how is his treatment to us fair based on how we gave him such slack on the amount of the vehicle and especially when he didn’t pay us? I did not call him names, I was actually understanding about it all, but I never expected to get paid for the rest of my car even though I did and it was a struggle to get it. It’s not fair and when you have Schizophrenia, you don’t recognize your own behaviors, only others.
Then our washing machine broke earlier this year and we were lucky to know someone that buys auctioned storage units, furniture, and sold us the one they bought for much less than a new washing machine and it was barely used, if ever. We were so grateful and didn’t know what we were going to do because we were severely behind on the wash.
We have to get our stuff out of storage because we thought we would have moved out of this house already into a new home, but it has not happened (because disability wasn’t part of the plan), so we have to get my stuff from my home in Massachusetts, which is in storage, to this house, because we just can’t afford it anymore. We have cleared out the garage to do this and will hopefully have our friends help us get our stuff out of storage next week.
Today we are throwing out 2 couches that are damaged and giving away another so that we can bring my couches from storage to use in our home to replace the ones we are throwing out. A couple of neighbors are helping us with that. We are very lucky to have neighbors that are helping us out like this.
So if we didn’t ask for help, we wouldn’t have gotten it at all, because no one would know what we needed.
Through all of this, we started our garden. Our seed started plants all got eaten by our kitten, Majik, so we had to buy Bonnie plants (non-GMO) for most of them. Now we had an animal eat all 3 of our watermelon plants last night, so we have to plant 3 more and put a rabbit fence around that garden area (we have 4 garden areas because we have a small yard).
And then we were having our website service run out because we didn’t have the funds, but luckily we called and they extended our service until this weekend without payment until then.
So as you can see we have been very busy taking care of our affairs here and some are resolved, while others still remain an issue, but we are taking everything in stride as best we can.
Zooey did say in her last article that there would be a tumultuous few years here and well, I guess this is testing my anger and my patience. Things that I am constantly working on and one of the last couple of things that I really have to iron out within myself. Greg on the other hand, he is patient and doesn’t get angry as much as me, so he is guiding me too in the ways I deal with things in life.
Greg’s lesson in all of this, is to be patient with me (or people like me) as he can be impatient with me at times because I can be so very intense and it can be hard to handle for some people. Greg is one to be a diplomat. Me? I am the one to go in with all guns blazing, but I am learning.
Life can throw you some real curve balls, but we just keep getting up and doing what we need to do and beat these obstacles down with a Styrofoam brick instead of a stick.
© 2013 – 2015, Ready For The Shift. ™ Wendy & Greg Zangari, All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute these articles on the condition that the content remains complete and in tact, full credit is given to the author(s), and that it is distributed freely.