Help us Rebuild ...

In October of 2013 my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic adenocarcinoma. She was given a year to live. My husband Paul, the baby of his family, was of course always closest to his mother. His mother and I however always had a rocky history (to the point where I’ve had to have a restraining order against her), so of course when my husband asked me to allow his mother (along with her boyfriend, 2 cats and 3 dogs!!) move in I was very hesitant. Paul’s other two siblings had offered her to stay with them, however she was not agreeable to their conditions and/ or locations. After much begging from my husband I very reluctantly agreed to move her and her whole entourage in with some of my own conditions: My 15 year old daughter has severe asthma and is very allergic to cats … so the cats had to go – and they agreed. One of her dogs, George, was very destructive and I asked that he not come – they agreed. And since my mother in law is a heavy chain smoker and I am also asthmatic I asked that all of my belongings be stored at their cost – and they agreed. My husband promised me that once we regained our part of the house he and his mothers boyfriend would completely gut it and rebuild it since it would be ruined by the dogs and all of the cigarette smoke – they agreed.
So off I went to the hospital to discuss all of this with my mother in law. Her boyfriend halted me mid-conversation and said all of it was “on hold until he said so”. I tried to explain to him that clearing out half a house of belongings was not going to be a fast process but if he wanted to hold off then fine. I visited my mother in law in the hospital every day after work. One day while leaving work I received a phone call from a home medical company calling to arrange delivery of a hospital bed for my mother in law. Shocked I went to the hospital and said “I guess you’re moving in? They’re delivering your hospital bed tomorrow.” We discussed the terms of her moving in and after working all day and my visit to the hospital I headed home to at least clear some space for the hospital bed to be delivered the following day. My mother in law was being discharged from the hospital in three days so I had to work quickly to relocate my belongings to accommodate her. She moved in mid-month and I was told her boyfriend would join her at the end of the month, so I thought luckily I can use my bedroom until then. I was wrong – the very first night, while waiting for the VNA nurse to come, he fell asleep on my bed leaving myself and my husband with nowhere to sleep – so we slept on the floor. Having no time to remove my belongings, my husband agreed to leave our furniture in place with the exception of my mattress which they stored in their storage unit. All of my clothes, my sons clothes, etc were stashed in various nooks and crannies throughout the lower level of the house.

Next came clearing out their home. I had asked my sister in law and her friend to go over and go through all of her clothes and belongings to lighten the load. They never did. SO again I headed over with my husband and her boyfriend. I helped load the trailer and make multiple trips to her storage unit. Once they ran out of room in the storage unit her boyfriend began storing items in my shed and in my basement.

Then I became a nurse! Who knew? I got a text one day while at work from my MIL stating I needed to be home by 5 to receive my lesson from the nurse. What lesson? I learned that evening I would be giving TPN nutrition to my MIL daily through her port. Everyday I went to work full time and then ran my children around to various activities, then came home and hooked her up, then disconnected her every morning before I left for work.

My husband tried very hard to please everyone but admitted on several occasions that he did not do right by me as my new “tenants” were not living upto their agreements and it was causing me way too much stress. But my husband wanted to spend the holidays with his mother as he knew they would be her last. On Christmas Eve she was in the emergency room once again. I sent her boyfriend home to get ready for our annual Christmas Eve dinner and I stayed in the ER with her. Once she was discharged I got her home and ready to go and celebrate with her whole family.

After Christmas, my father in law was not feeling well – so off he went to the ER. He was transferred to Yale that evening. And then my MIL followed suit – heading into the hospital that evening by ambulance. While sitting in the hospital with my father in law, my husband said he was not feeling well. We joked about him getting a room too! He refused, thought he just had pancreatitis and he would be fine.

Two weeks later, he died. He was found unconscious in bed (the bed me, my husband and my son all shared after being displaced) by my five year old son. We were in shock. We couldn’t understand how a 36 year old man just passes away. It was weeks before we had an answer – Hypertrophic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Given the fact that my husband died in the small bedroom we shared with our son, I reached out to my husband’s family and asked that his mother move out of my home. I was unable to grieve the loss of my husband, while consoling four children, work full time to pay all the household bills, and care for my mother in law. I was told this wouldn’t be a problem. But it became a living nightmare.

 My son has nightmares likely due to the fact that he has nowhere to sleep other than the room his father died in. We have had to buy new summer clothes for my son and myself as we are locked out of the part of our home where all of our belongings are. She has fraudulently called the cops on my family on numerous occasions, she has fraudulently filed for restraining orders against my family (including the children) – the judge did not grant them as she her claim had no merit- she has run my electric bill upto $500 a month using an electric heater in her portion of the home (that part of the home is heated with oil heat which she was to pay for – once her energy assistance ran out she switched to electric). Her boyfriend promised to pay for the electric but hasn’t despite numerous requests . I just had to pay $400 to keep it on and need to pay another $800 by the end of this month to avoid shut off.

But I kept being told she was moving … soon. Soon came almost 6 months later. My sister in law finally moved her and her dogs and her now husband from my home this past weekend. But the house is trashed and smells so badly of smoke and animals that it is at this point uninhabitable to me and my son. To add insult to injury, I returned to the lower level of my home for the first time in five months to find that someone (only they and their guests had access to the property) had slashed my loveseat and several items of clothing … including my wedding dress. I cannot imagine how anyone can do something so cruel.

But on the positive side they are gone and I am hoping to rebuild some peace for my family. But given the fact that all of my savings has been eaten up paying to replace things she withheld and running up my electric bill, I do not have the funds to make the lower level inhabitable. Everyone who knows me will tell you I never ask for help. I have always prided myself on being able to support myself and my children . But at this time I am now asking for help… for the sake of normalizing my sons life. To everyone who said to me “if you ever need anything” …. This is what I need. I need help demolishing the interior of my lower level and rebuilding it…. And I need donations to do it. So if you can find it in your heart to help in any way please do. Thank you all!!!
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Victoria Corsini 
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