Dalton, Georgia was a nice small town community with lots of memories for most folks, but it turned into one of the most exhausting, tormenting times for a couple named Carl and Brenda. Carl was a man of five foot nine, athletic build, shaved head and goatee. He had just gotten out of prison back in two thousand and ten for a crime he was innocent of which made him a sex offender for life. He suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia for which he was receiving disability payments every month. He met his bride soon after getting out of prison at a mutual friends house one day and they became friends. It wasn’t until two thousand and thirteen when they finally decided to start dating.
Brenda lived alone with her two dogs Kayla and Kymarra in a one bedroom house she was renting from a slumlord who refused to fix anything. Carl would go over to her house to visit and their romance began. He would visit almost every day and both of them hated to see him leave. Brenda was a tall woman of six feet and her weight was proportionate to her height and build. When Carl first met her she was a phone actress for an entertainment company that serviced male callers. She was an independent woman taking care of herself and her dogs. She was a workaholic most days and did the best she could to look after her little family. Every night after Carl would leave to go home they would be on messenger together talking for hours.
One night, Brenda asked him through messenger if he would marry her, but was only joking about it, when Carl made the statement that he wanted to ask her that question the next day when he came over. So they chatted for a bit longer before Brenda was supposed to report for work. The next day when Carl came to visit he did in fact ask Brenda to marry him to which she agreed. From that moment on their relationship blossomed into a loving one which made them spontaneously decide to go to the courthouse to get married, and they did.
Once married, they went to his sister’s house who was happy for them and they became a family, which Brenda had not had in many years. They were going to his sisters for dinner or to visit almost every day. One day, Carl decided to find another house to live in because he felt his new bride deserved a better place. He found that house and quickly moved her in. She loved this new house because for one it was bigger than her old one. They tried to make it a home but stress played a part in Brenda becoming unhappy because she want to find a house to buy. Well, Carl’s other sister lived across the street from them and talked it over with his brother-in-law about the house next door to them for which he owned.
The agreement was made that they would commit to a rent to own deal so they could buy a house and make Brenda happy. It wasn’t long before the brother-in-law became a jerk to them and wanted more money and control over who came to visit. That made Carl and Brenda very disappointed. Not only did he want more money and control, but the breaker box in the house burned out and they were without power. The brother in law was notified the very same day but refused to fix the problem and only wanted his money every month. Carl and Brenda soon got bored and tired of his threats and decided to move out.
They ended up pitching a tent in Carl’s fathers’ backyard. Now Carl had a decent relationship with his father but the step mother wanted her say in everything. Carl and Brenda pretty much lost everything to live in a tent until they could find a place of their own. It was only supposed to be temporary but lasted longer than they wanted because Brenda herself became disabled and was waiting on her checks to come through which would help them move into their own house again.
Now Brenda had done everything she could to make things good between her and the step mother, but the step mother started to show her true side which was being money hungry. Carl and Brenda were living in a tent with nothing but a bed, television, and three dogs because Carl got a dog of his own, and Brenda was not working anymore. They had to live off of the little check that Carl drew each month which just barely covered their other bills. They had no extra money and then their car became inoperable which made things worse. Carl had to put off doctor’s appointments due to no transportation.
Bradford, Carl’s father, was a very supportive father and tried to do his best at helping his son and daughter in law out. He did this despite how the step mother felt about it. Brenda volunteered to clean their house for them, bought between three to five hundred dollars worth of food every month, and did whatever her and Carl could do around the house to help out. The step mother, Diana, was a very short woman who was overweight and a couch potato. All she really cared about was controlling the television and eating. Diana and Bradford had a mutual friend who was gay that they used to work with at one of the manufacturing plants here in town. She was always on the phone with him even during meal times.
Diana was a gossip who thought she knew everything and sometimes twisted the truth to suit her satisfaction. She never kept house but did most of the cooking. All she did all day when she was not cooking was complaining. Bradford did everything he could to ignore her because he has lived with her complaining for fourteen years now and was used to it. Well, even though Brenda helped out around the house by cleaning, some of the cooking, and putting food in the house, the step mother was always on to her about one thing or another.
She always complained to Brenda whenever the guys weren’t around and caused more stress on Brenda’s mind and body than she needed. Brenda was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and depression. She didn’t have a good past and it still haunted her everyday. Brenda didn’t know how she would be from one day to the next and the step mother was slowly pushing her buttons. Brenda noticed that her step mother was unappreciative, greedy, money hungry, and soon disrespectful. It had gotten so bad that Brenda stopped cleaning her house and stayed most days in the tent just to not be around the step mother.
Now Brenda had always put plenty of food in the house and one month she only bought what was needed. It wasn’t good enough for the step mother so she complained. She verbally attacked the step daughter every time they were alone. Brenda couldn’t even walk into the house first thing in the morning without the step mother jumping on her about something. One day the step mother raised her voice and treated Brenda like she was a child and Brenda did everything she could to keep from going off on the woman, but went to the guys to tell them what happened. It made Brenda very upset that this woman could be so bad.
Carl and Brenda were doing everything they could to survive and didn’t need the step mother to cause more stress. Brenda wanted out of there more than the step mother did. Without having any money and the step mother knowing this, she constantly harped about some gas money to even go to the store two blocks away. She wanted money for everything even when Carl’s dad said we didn’t have to pay them gas money to take us anywhere. But the step mother persisted to beat down Brenda knowing that it could send her over the edge at any given time. To keep from having anymore confrontation with the step mother Brenda decided to start staying in the tent and not going into the house for anything but to shower.
When Brenda bought groceries this month and only bought what the house needed, she took half of the food down to the tent so her and Carl would have something to snack on at night. The step mother wasn’t well with things because Brenda didn’t even buy any meat this month and was complained at about that. Diana was just so annoying to Brenda and there wasn’t anything Brenda could do about it without causing more strife in the house. Brenda was at the point of pulling all the food from the house for which they were not even obligated to do but Carl and Bradford asked her to let it go.
Diana caught Brenda one morning when she went into the house to use the bathroom and complained some more to her about the food she bought and it stressed Brenda out to the point of which Brenda sat in the tent and cried. She was tired of being treated so badly. Diana stated to Brenda that because they weren’t paying any rent, nothing on the electric bill, and using their water, that it wasn’t fair or right when Brenda felt it was justified because she always put so much food in the house and even cleaned her house for her. Granted, Carl and Brenda did manage to give Bradford forty dollars one month towards the electric bill but Bradford hardly accepts any money from them because he understands how hard they are having it right now.
Carl and Brenda have discussed sitting down with Bradford and Diana and discussing what is going on, but Brenda is very cautious about that right now because she knows that what she says will make Diana angry and thus give way to a chance of them being evicted from the backyard. Bradford stated that he would not throw his son out because of a conflict with his wife, Diana.
Carl and Brenda have found a house that needs some renovations before moving in and are trying to come up with money to get it fixed. They can hardly wait to be rid of the step mother, Diana, and live on their own again. Bradford fears that once Carl and Brenda move that they will stay away and not visit. Carl and Brenda have already assured him that they will still visit him but keep a distance from Diana. Would you allow your step mother to treat you so badly and ungrateful? Any suggestions for Carl and Brenda to overcome the difficulties of living with the step mother?