Dear Annie: I moved to Florida from Oklahoma to be near my son and sister after my husband passed away from cancer. It did not work out with my son, so I moved to a place near my sister — a small, one-bedroom mobile home in an RV retirement park for seniors over 65.
Hurricane Ian destroyed my home, and I have been unable to find a new place to live, either buying or renting here in Florida. I have been at this since September, and I am worn out and tired of searching. I am currently staying with my sister and her husband. So I am going to relocate back to Oklahoma, where hopefully I can find a place to live.
My sister is terribly upset because I’m leaving. She does not seem to understand that I cannot rent an apartment or buy another trailer or another house either. My sister doesn’t think I’ve tried hard enough, but she has not been with me when I’ve made all these attempts and phone calls and searches and trying and trying and trying. I feel depressed and sad. I’ve lost everything — my home, my husband, my son, my belongings and my ability to stay in Florida. My question is, am I doing the right thing moving back to Oklahoma? I feel like I have no other options. Thank you. — Searching
Dear Searching: I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you. Staying in Florida, near your family, would surely boost your spirits, and there might be a way to make it happen.
It sounds like you are eligible for federal disaster assistance. You should call FEMA to apply at 800-621-3362. The line is open every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. You can also visit a Disaster Recovery Center, or DRC, to learn more about disaster assistance programs. If you visit https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator, you can locate a DRC near you.
Dear Annie: I am writing in response to “Confused in Kansas,” the woman whose sister shunned her for 15 years and whose family has designated her as the scapegoat for all of their problems.
Very troubled, dysfunctional families often choose one person to pin all the blame on for their own dysfunctions, thereby removing any spotlights on their own hurtful behavior. Please tell “Confused” to read up on “scapegoating” and see if the description fits her situation. She and her husband are very smart to be wary of trusting anyone in her family. I applaud them. — Been There
Dear Been There: Thank you for this perspective and these words of encouragement. I agree that scapegoating sounds like a possibility to explain her family’s behavior.
“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]