Friday, March 17, 2017

Small Miracles

Yesterday was one of the more stress-filled days of my life, no joke. But at the end, some semblance of sanity and justice prevailed. We remain a household of three, and the original plan more or less is back into place, albeit with a bit more urgency than before.
This is one instance--a very small one--where the Preston-era change of attitude at the Department of Social Services worked to someone's advantage. It's unfortunate that the eventual result was built on the unhappy experience of many others, but to recap a long day, DSS' insistence that Lauren would have to go to the first available apartment on the DSS list that came open, should she be admitted to the shelter, even if said apartment was someplace like Crandall Street or in another crime-infested, drug-filled neighborhood, tilted the scales in her favor, as first her PO and then her treatment counselor refused to take her out of here to take that risk.
It's not a blank check; it was made clear to her that she is expected to find a place within a few months, at most. The leisure to work and build up a significant nest egg is gone, although my personal belief is that her PO, at least, has come to believe that staying here is an unqualified benefit to her. But she can keep her job, and more importantly to her, she can keep the support system she has in place. It's not as varied as I would like ideally, but the bond that has developed between the female residents of this house was somewhat unexpected and completely welcome, and for both of them, it fills long-neglected voids. It can get uncomfortable for me, at times; they tend to agree with each other when I get into a contretemps with one or the other, and both of them have wants that far exceed our income, and that has led to some issues here. But on the whole, this is a much nicer and happier atmosphere than it was even three weeks ago.
And how do I feel? Since the last big problem we had, I let go in my mind of the relationship, and the fantasy aspect of it has certainly vanished. But the fact is that we do have a basic level of compatibility that I don't think either one of us really suspected. I haven't forgotten all of the things that caused me to want to throw in the towel completely some time ago, but it has also been tempered by some growth and (something that I had needed) a realization that whatever my expectations might have been, she does have genuinely strong and deep feelings for me. Very little has gone right for her in her life, and she still has a wariness that is going to take a long time to overcome. And for my part, I am not totally sure that I can live with some of her values and conceptions of life.
But something has happened that didn't seem remotely possible a few weeks ago; we have settled into what is more or less a "normal" state. People aren't throwing in the towel when disagreements occur; no one sleeps on the couch; issues don't fester for days. It's fairly comfortable and fulfilling around here. Yesterday was not a good day because it looked as though that life was going to be altered for no good reason. But sanity prevailed in a system that is largely broken, for once.
And by whatever miracle that took place, we'll take it.

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