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I know this is really long, and I appreciate anyone who reads it to completion. I wish I had the time and money to talk to a professional. I am a 40 year old married father of two. My life is so broken I don’t know if it can be fixed. Let me tell you why:

My wife, whom I love, refuses to work. She has been diagnosed by a Rheumatologist with Fibromyalgia. She has also had bouts with chronic Pancreatitis. She says that she is in pain, primarily with her neck and joints, most days. It has a minor impact, if any, when she wants to do something, though. One of the biggest stress-causing things in my life is that a doctor, several years ago, told her she has something called Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder. In a nutshell, this doctor gave my wife an excuse to sleep days, even though the doctor said it is something that can be overcome with some effort. She does not attempt to go to bed, most days, before 5am, she then gets up and gets the children off to school, then sleeps from the time they leave until 2:30-3pm. In truth, I suspect that the real reason she does not want to work is that she is uncomfortable with her physical appearance. She is very self-conscious and is unhappy with aging and her weight, and I believe she does not want to adjust her sleep patterns.

We make just enough money to scrape by, and it is daunting to me to have the full financial burden of our household on my shoulders. We can’t afford health insurance, so we are challenged in even establishing a medical history solid enough for her to apply for disability, which would certainly relieve some of the financial burden.

She refuses to put enough work into our home to keep it from being an absolute pigsty. At any given time, one could walk into our home and find paper trash all over the floor and counters, the appliances are never clean, and there are piles of clothing and garbage that threaten to eat us in our sleep. She is a bit of a hoarder. My daughter’s bedroom is unusable, and she sleeps on the couch. My wife cleaned it once, and then did not make her keep up with it. The house smells of pet urine. There is never a clean dish, glass, utensil, washcloth, or towel to be found. There are a multitude of items in our apartment that need to be urgently attended to by maintenance. She cannot manage to get the house clean enough, for a long enough period of time, for me to arrange to have these basic items attended to. Sometimes she will get motivated enough to attack and thoroughly clean an area, but it does not get maintained and while one area may be temporarily clean, other areas suffer. She lays the blame on our children, who have developed very bad habits of not picking up after themselves and not doing their daily chores to a satisfactory level, or not at all. Her idea of follow up with this is to wait until it is overwhelming and blow up at us, saying she cannot do it alone. I am very unhappy about this situation, but I work 50-60 hours a week, and I feel, as the sole breadwinner, that I should be excused from coming home and doing housework. When she worked, I was glad to do this kind of work. I am too stubborn to give in on this. I would rather see it like it is than to just do it myself. I should not have to, if she is not going to work. I then come home and get angry because she and the children have done very minimal, if any, work in the house.

Over the past couple of years, she has developed ‘friendships’ with some people online. I have caught and confronted her twice about some exchanges that I have found that are inappropriate for a married woman. I fear that she is still fostering these relationships and has just become better at hiding it from me. It eats at me. I know she is having inappropriate emotional relationships with other men. I do not believe it has become physical, and it doesn’t matter. The fact that she is turning to other men to fill whatever void she has pains me greatly. I want to give her what she’s missing. I do love her and I am truly in love with her, but the burdens she has placed on me, and I have foolishly accepted, of our entire household finances, these relationships, an unequal amount of discipline that I am charged with for our children, and the squalor I am forced to live in eat away at my compassion, my tenderness, my generosity, and, what I miss most, my excitement about being in love and married to her. It has damaged our emotional, spiritual, and sexual relationship.

My son is 17 years old. He is a very good-natured and well-meaning person. I don’t know where I went wrong with teaching him respect for his parents and sister, and teaching him a work ethic. He will procrastinate until the very last second to do anything that is required of him. He then rushes through things and doesn’t do a thorough and complete job. He will not do what is asked of him in regard to chores without constant hounding, and then he will not do it immediately or without a spirit of contempt.

We are challenged with his sister, and he feels that he bears an uneven amount of responsibility, and sometimes he does, more about her later. He is absolutely uninterested in moving his life forward. He has not expressed interest in getting his driver’s license, and is absolutely not interested in getting a job. I fear that if we don’t turn this attitude around and get him to stop putting things off until the last minute, he is going to have a very hard time with life.

He also, like most teenagers, feels he can do no wrong and the world is out to get him. He will argue until he is blue in the face why his position is right, regardless of if it actually is. He refuses to take responsibility for any mistake that is pointed out to him, opting rather to justify why he does what he does, no matter how wrong it is. It would be music to my ears to just once to hear him say: “I messed up, I’m sorry, I’ll fix it.” Instead, I get a myriad of excuses and justifications why he did not meet expectations. It’s like he’s expecting a pass or that expectations will be lowered for him if he presents the right combination of words. I don’t know where this comes from. I work hard, I work long, and I always take responsibility when I make mistakes. I have tried, above all else, to be a good example of this to him. I am truly puzzled where this behavior has come from.

My daughter is also a huge cause of stress in our family. She is 10 years old, and she has epilepsy that is moderately well controlled with medication. She has, maybe, one seizure every 2-3 months when the medication is working as it should. She has been identified by the head of neurology at our children’s hospital as a candidate for a surgical solution, but our neurologist believes we should control with medication for a while longer before we consider something as radical as surgery.
A large problem is that the medications bring are side effects. These make her very difficult to deal with. She can be very aggressive and hateful in the way she treats everyone in our family.

She absolutely will not help in any way in the house without a screaming fight. No amount of punishment, taking things away or corporal discipline seem to have any effect on getting her to change. She makes huge, terrible messes and refuses to clean them up. This places stress on all of us to have to clean up after her when she is doing things she shouldn’t be doing to begin with. She will not respect any boundaries she is given and is constantly playing in my wife’s makeup and wasting things like shampoo, dish soap, kitchen items, etc. It is infuriating because we don’t have money to throw away like this. She breaks into locked bedroom and bathroom doors if it suits her and when she is corrected for it, she loses control and starts spewing hateful things at whomever is attempting to correct her.

She is constantly on some clandestine mission to do activities, experiments, and arts & crafts with household supplies that we need. It is a regular occasion in our house to be out of soap, shampoo, dish soap, cleaners, and my wife’s personal items because she has taken and wasted or destroyed them. We have given her art sets and craft sets that she promptly loses interest in, loses parts of, and will not pick up. I am at a loss with this.
Lastly, her disrespect and venom are absolutely legendary. If she is asked to pick up a mess she made or do a chore, the screaming begins. She would rather tell us that she hates us and we are ruining her life that to pick up clothing that she left on the bathroom floor or wipe up a mess of Kool-Aid she left on the counter. It accelerates and escalates until my wife and I have to disengage from her for fear of losing control. She is absolutely insidious in that, I believe, she uses this to manipulate our household. I have truly wondered if she could be possessed with some of the things she does and says. No matter what we say or do to her, she does not care, and sometimes laughs at us for trying. It is hard to love her sometimes and I wonder, truly, if she may be better off to be committed for a time.

Finally, we will get to me. I try. I try so hard. I work my tail off for an unhealthy amount of hours each week to hold on to my job. My direct supervisor knows my position and he uses that to manipulate me into working these long hours by implying that my job is at stake if I don’t. He is not stupid, he knows what he can and cannot come right out and say, and he knows how to push my buttons. I work in a field that requires a clean credit history, and over the last few years, I have been in a position where I have had to make decisions that have ruined my credit. I have sought to go elsewhere, and to change careers altogether. I would leave this job in a heartbeat, but with my education level, and my current credit situation, I cannot find a position where I can make a lateral move in terms of salary. We are stripped to the basics with our budget as it is. I could not move to a lower pay situation, even temporarily. I am stuck. I keep looking, but it’s not bearing fruit. We have no buffer or savings or credit available for emergencies and I am scared to death that something is going to happen that could finally financially ruin us.

My parents, my wife’s parents and the majority of our family in the generation before us is gone. We have no one to turn to for help in this way. I make just enough money to make us ineligible for public assistance, outside of health insurance for our children only. My credit is truly ruined and I cannot seek help from anywhere that I can find.

I am and was raised a devout Christian. I have, over the past few months, drifted away from God. Where once I was excited and enthused about attending worship, now I feel that He has forsaken me. I was really close to making a change in career and it fell through, I have prayed for years and years that the afflictions faced by my wife and daughter will be abated, I have prayed that our financial situation will improve, I have prayed that my marriage will grow stronger, I have prayed that my family will see things the right way and make better decisions, I have prayed that God will stir the feelings inside me and send me the Holy Spirit to strengthen my faith, I have prayed that God will remove the whisperings of the Devil in my ear, inspiring doubt and feelings of discontent, and it all seems to have fallen on deaf ears. I know in my heart that I am being an impetuous and ungrateful child, but my mind just tells me “what’s the point?” It almost feels like I’m buying a lottery ticket. In my heart I know that someone wins, but my mind tells me it won’t be me. It has corroded my desire to serve, and I have adopted old habits that I am unhappy with, like swearing and not working as hard as I could for His glory. I am ashamed at feeling this way, but I don’t know how to correct it.

I write this today because I feel I am approaching a breaking point. I feel that there is going to be a point where this all becomes a crisis event. I want to avoid this, but I don’t know where to start fixing it. I love my family and I love God. I need help. I am often tempted with thoughts that I should just pack up and leave and start over, or worse, that I could just throw in the towel altogether. Help me.
 

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Wow, you are in a mess.

This is my, and only, my advice.

Grow a set and make some rules. Pick a day and clean that house. Top to bottom. Everyone helps. Whatever is left on the floor by a certain time goes in the dumpster.

Set a budget. If the budget is tight, axe the internet. Stop buying craft stuff.

Maybe axe the internet anyway.

Set the rules with the kids as far as attitude and behavior and stick to it.

Set the rules with the lazy wife and stick to it. Or out she goes.

I am a Christain too, but the Bible speaks clearly on respect of parents and being a wife of Godly character.

Neither is happening in your house.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Lonely. Something has to give. My only problem with leaving is that I don't think I could leave my children with her in good conscience. I also don't know how I could manage if I took them with me, and sadly, I fear I would be taking 2/3rd of my problems with me. I know, I'm a horrible person for putting it like that, but I am truly at a breaking point. I don't feel it would be right to abandon her with it either. I really want to solve this, but I fear that saying I am leaving would be viewed as an empty threat. Outside of living in my truck, I have nowhere to go. I have $0.43 to my name until I am paid again next Thursday.
 

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First, it appears you are a doormat to your W. That needs to stop. Where do you live? Is it in the US? If so, healthcare would probably be FREE under the new healthcare system. Go get it. Get your wife on what she needs and see a mental health doctor. She will have very little reason then not to work. Drop the internet. Save money and she is cut off from the inappropriate talk with OM. The 17 year old....will 18 soon? He will be an adult and needs to find a job. Possibly a place on his own. Join the military.

These are good places to start.
 

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Thanks Lonely. Something has to give. My only problem with leaving is that I don't think I could leave my children with her in good conscience. I also don't know how I could manage if I took them with me, and sadly, I fear I would be taking 2/3rd of my problems with me. I know, I'm a horrible person for putting it like that, but I am truly at a breaking point. I don't feel it would be right to abandon her with it either. I really want to solve this, but I fear that saying I am leaving would be viewed as an empty threat. Outside of living in my truck, I have nowhere to go. I have $0.43 to my name until I am paid again next Thursday.
Cut unnecessary expenses. Internet. Cellphone. These are a luxury. You have a place to go...any local churches that can assist and have a food pantry?
 

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Holy cow.

My grandfather use to say that people only change with the crap gets too high. Are you there yet? Time to make some life changes and she either gets with the program or you need to consider self preservation.
 

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When I read about you praying for a solution I thought of the following story:

God Will Save Me

A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”

Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
 

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Have you talked to your religious leader and tried to get counsing through your church ?

C
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Ask your company for some out of town work.

Start giving your wife some money and maybe you can send her off to one of the OM's.

Sorry man...the verbal abuse from your old lady is so wrong....you gotta get out from under this toxic marriage. I'm sure the Lord wouldn't mind if you started taking care of your own emotional health and took control of the things you actually have control of over.

Its pretty clear to me that communicating with you old lady is pointless...so start taking action and look into some kind of public help for abused spouses.
 

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And why do things smell like pet urine? You surely don't have animals when nobody in the house can even care for themsves, plus the financial aspect...

C
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And why do things smell like pet urine? You surely don't have animals when nobody in the house can even care for themsves, plus the financial aspect...

C
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Good point. The pets need to find suitable accommodations. This will relieve you of additional financial strain.

In short, time for a major house cleaning.
 
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Issue #1 - wife

My wife has been "diagnosed" with Figromyalgia and has about 5 other areas of her body, and pain that she has to deal with on DAILY basis.

She has ALWAYS worked part time and has done an AMAZING job as a mother.

Currently going to college to become a teacher now that kids are older.

Your wife sounds lazy and deadbeat. She needs to get up of her ass, face the pain and deal with it. Life goes on. Tough it out!!!

She HAS to contribute to the household SOMEHOW. Financially especially.

Clearly she doesn't care enough about herself OR you to lose weight and get her HEALTH back up (forget about looks etc). We are talking HEALTH here, her and YOUR life in the end.

Until she starts doing stuff (work, working on herself).......it will only get worse for both you and her.

People that have NOTHING to do in life are lost souls/zombies......

Get her out of that mode, FAST.

#2 You being the soul provider. I know how that feels. I've done it for almost 15 years.

Just another reason for your wife to get a job FAST!!! You should not be the only provider and need help.

Some here call what your wife is doing "financial negligence".

And now you want to burden our tax system with this as well?

Not good.....not good

If she is not going to work, she should be cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids stuff/homework amongst many other things!!!

Issue #3 - wife is a slob

Jesus, what does this woman offer you? Seriously? Does she add value in ANY area? Sounds like a disgusting woman.

At this point, I would tell you RUN AWAY from her, FAST. But that's kind of jerk reaction on my part.

Seriously though, tell her you mean business by saying "sweet heart, if things don't change I'm getting a divorce".

Issue #4 - online relationships/friendships

Sounds like emotional and possible some physical cheating.

I will say it again, this time it's not a jerk reaction. RUN AWAY FROM THIS WOMAN.

Gather as much evidence as you can and go see a lawyer now!!!

Issue #5 Teenage son. This is pretty normal actually. most kids that age are like that.

He needs a list of responsibilities and consequences behind wrong actions. STAY ON TOP OF HIM ON THAT END!!!

Take **** away, ground him, do whatever it takes until you get respect and he becomes more responsible.

At 18, he has to stop paying rent and have a job. If not, GET THE **** OUT.

Be firm about this!!!! EVERYONE contributes in the family in some way shape or form.

My kids ARE responsible, clean and are GREAT kids....and they are still expected to get a job/pay rent when old enough. As long as they are responsible people and contribute, they can stay FOREVER!

Apply above to daughter as well.

Remember, without consequenses/responsibilities your children are not learning ANYTHING.

Ignore her condition, it's not an excuse to not be responsible SORRY.

Issue #6 - Job, find a job that won't use you as slave labor and threaten you. Also do NOT share your personal life/issues with ANY work. They WILL use that against you and NOTHING good will come of that.

Issue #7 and THE most important issue is YOU

You realize you enabled these people to be the way they are today. CHANGE YOURSELF FIRST.

You see, your wife and kids are using your kindness/niceness against you. To me, these are the worst type of people that I usually run away from and isolate myself from. SOME here will tell you to change yourself and not be so nice, in this case, since it's your family I will have to go with that. You can't really leave/isolate.

Don't let them take advantage of you anymore. Cut off phones completely, shut down internet.....EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that you can go without, do it.

Internet for example, cut off your wife COMPLETELY.

Stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself how YOU allows this **** to happen. Seriously.

With all the issues you have, tell me, what consequences have your kids/wife experienced? NONE

So with your actions you are telling them "it's ok to do what you do".

The only good I see in your post is the fact that you are not religious. There is no god, and NO ONE gives a **** about you in this world.

Rely on YOURSELF and YOURSELF ONLY. It's a lesson for YOU and especially for your wife and children.

Tough love, it's what I believe in, and it's EXACTLY what's needed for your family right now.

One more issue that's pretty major, your work MIGHT have disabled you from being a father and a husband. Calculate exactly how many hours you dedicate to them vs work. Can it be that your family feels that you are not really around enough?

All of this stuff is within your control. I would also suggest that you do not get upset, get angry and handle it like a adult/grown man. Put a smile on you face and show your family that none of this this really effect you at all, BUT there will be consequences if responsibilities are not taken care of.

Be prepared to put EVERYTHING on the line, especially your marriage cause it sounds like you already lost your wife......I would focus on that FIRST. Seems like LOTS of issues come from that end.......

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When I read about you praying for a solution I thought of the following story...QUOTE]

Not looking for a miracle, just looking for a little consideration. You imply that the solutions to all my problems are coming my way, I'm just too blind to see them. Not true.
 

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I knew it was foolish to look for solutions on this site. Almost everyone who posts here has been cheated on or worse and is full of contempt for spouses in general. Sadly, there is a sore lack of FAMILY message boards like this. I want to FIX this. All anyone can say on this site is the only solution is to issue an ultimatum and/or leave. Well, I wasn't raised to believe that is what love is. I also am not sure it's right turn my back on a vow I made to God over a messy house and lazy children..my wife talking to other people, maybe. I firmly don't believe it's physical, though. She doesn't leave the house, and she doesn't want people over because of the house. You can say I'm stupid or stubborn or a doormat if you want. I am just looking for a different approach.
 

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When I read about you praying for a solution I thought of the following story...QUOTE]

Not looking for a miracle, just looking for a little consideration. You imply that the solutions to all my problems are coming my way, I'm just too blind to see them. Not true.
Sorry...I didn't mean it to sound like that. I meant don't lose faith because it appears at the moment it's not bearing fruit. That is precisely the time when faith is most important. <-- this coming from a guy who doesn't believe in organized religion. :scratchhead:
 

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DoF has a lot of solid points. You really need to take care of yourself first! Not meaning to be harsh but your wife is walking all over you, I have fibromylagia and I keep a clean house with 2 teenagers and a 4 yrs old who is autistic and when he flies into a rage can seriously trash a room. There is no reason for your wife not to clean and it is good for people with fibromylagia to get up and move.
Loose the Internet, anything that her and the kids are taking for granted, like cell phones, cable. They don't deserve them. They are a privilege and should be earned.
Since you are a religious man you should find your way back to church and find your way out of the marriage. Your W and children are not going to change they have been this way for this long. Your son is going to be 18 and reality will soon catch up with him.
You need to work on you and make YOU better because really that is all you can do!
 

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And some of us are trying to give you some things to try. But keep in mind that your family has shown you that they're not going to change until they HAVE to change, if even then. Enabling them to continue their behavior is just going to maintain the status quo.

So... Have you talked to your religious leaders? And why do you still have pets? What other "simplification" can you try to implement?

C
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Thanks Lonely. Something has to give. My only problem with leaving is that I don't think I could leave my children with her in good conscience. I also don't know how I could manage if I took them with me, and sadly, I fear I would be taking 2/3rd of my problems with me. I know, I'm a horrible person for putting it like that, but I am truly at a breaking point. I don't feel it would be right to abandon her with it either. I really want to solve this, but I fear that saying I am leaving would be viewed as an empty threat. Outside of living in my truck, I have nowhere to go. I have $0.43 to my name until I am paid again next Thursday.
Your son is grown. When he turns 18 you need to push him out the door because that is the only way he will unlearn the lessons he learned from your wife.


When my brother graduated from high school, my father woke him up the next morning and asked him which service he was joining. Then my father took him down to the Army recruiter. It was the best thing my dad ever did for my brother. Get your son away from his mother.

Right now your daughter spends much, if not most, of her time with her mother while you are at work. so there will not be much of a change if you leave your wife. You can ask to have your daughter with you 50% of the time. So at least you can have some control over that.

If you leave her, your wife is going to need to get a job. She will not be able to afford an internet connection. So that's one way to force the issue.

If you want to try to get through to your wife do something that you have never done before. Tell her that you are no putting up with her lazy, disrespectful, cheating behind anymore and ACTUALLY MEAN IT. Hand her divorce papers. Tell her that the only way you will not file them is if she changes her ways.. and have a list of what has to change. IF she blows you off. File for divorce.

And for crying out loud, turn off the internet connection in your house. There is some money saved there too.

Does your wife have access to your income? If so have your pay go to an account in your name only.

Start taking control of your own life.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
And some of us are trying to give you some things to try. But keep in mind that your family has shown you that they're not going to change until they HAVE to change, if even then. Enabling them to continue their behavior is just going to maintain the status quo.

So... Have you talked to your religious leaders? And why do you still have pets? What other "simplification" can you try to implement?

C
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I haven't spoken to my pastor because I'm too proud. I want to keep the appearance of having a good family to him and at church. I am being prideful, I guess.

The two cats we have really don't eat much, and we have had them both for over 10 years. I don't see getting rid of them saving me more that a $5 a week.

Our phones are our only way we access the internet, and we have 3 neighbors within range that don't lock their wifi. Even if they did, the phones are in her name, I can't turn them off, outside of letting them get disconnected for nonpayment. It is also kind of hard to job search in today's world without the internet. I am not joking, my credit is screwed. The last time I tried to get a phone myself, I was told I need a deposit. Also, we need to be able to call 911 in case my daughter has a seizure that her emergency medication doesn't control. I have stripped our service down to basics and we have no data on them. We have basic cable provided by the apartment complex. I have simplified and cut all I can. We need water and power.
 
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