My Current Dilemma

This prompt word for this week’s Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge is Divorce. For the past few weeks, I have been dealing with something that has something with my mom’s divorce from my step-dad. It’s been weighing on me and I’m hoping to talk to someone about this. Alas, there’s literally no one I can talk to in my real life about this.

Since no one I know reads this blog, it’ll be my safe space to share this story/dilemma/conundrum/headache.

Photo by burak kostak on

In 2009, divorce papers were filed and finalized between my mom and step-dad. We could at last move on with our lives. My step-father wasn’t a bad man. He just had some issues with alcohol, drugs, and dealing with stress. Nevertheless, the paperwork was completed and everyone can move on and pretend the last 8 years was just a bad dream.

He passed away several years later due to liver failure. When his friend contacted me through Facebook, I told him I wasn’t ready to hear the truth of his last days. It took me a while to process this as we had begun reconciliation through Facebook just a year prior.

Months later, I finally wrote back and said I was ready. His friend ultimately told me he was suffering from depression and was drinking and smoking excessively. His friend knew of our reconciliation as my step-father had told him during the moments when he was sober.

A few weeks ago, my mom popped the question: “How do I claim an unclaimed property?”

“What are you talking about?” I said. She explained she suddenly remembered my step-dad wrote her name on a life insurance policy before he died. “Oh. My. God. You want to claim that? It’s 2021, you haven’t been married to him for like 10 years. Can’t you just let it go to the State, as a goodwill on your part? Help out the State of Texas?” According to the laws I had to study for my second undergraduate degree, all unclaimed properties would automatically belong to the state after a certain number of years.

“No.” She said firmly. “Why should I? It’s my money.” No, I wanted to say, it’s your ex-husband’s money, but thought better to just zip it. “Do you know how do I get his death certificate? And how do I verify my identity?”

“Google it.” I said. That was the last thing I wanted to be involve in. It took me months to process the guy’s death and months for me to finally accept it and move on because unlike my mom, I actually liked the guy. He took me to a lot of fun places and showed me the wonderful world of music. I’m not at all comfortable to just step back into that world again. I mean, just seeing his name makes me sad let alone helping to locate his death certificate.

“You have to help me research.” Mom said adamantly.

“Please, just give it to the state.” I pleaded. I really did not want to go down this road.

“Please,” she returned the plea, “help me.”

As of today, I have neither accepted nor refused to help her. She hadn’t talked about it in more than a week. I’ll try to stall for as long as I can.

16 thoughts on “My Current Dilemma

  1. I agree that it’s her money, and it shouldn’t be handed over to the state. It’s not being provided by your step-dad; it’s coming from an insurance company that’s going to have to make a payout regardless… either to your mom, or to the state. However, it’s also your mom’s responsibility if she wants to claim it. It’s not difficult. She just needs to invest the time.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It’s none of my business, but as you shared your dilemma, I suppose you won’t mind me giving you my opinion.
    If your stepfather didn’t change your mother’s name as the beneficiary of his insurance policy, and I suppose he could have, it’s because he wanted her to have it, so I’d help her claim it.
    I hope this helps. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That has crossed my mind too but my mom seems to feel positive he didn’t even though he acquired the insurance years after the divorce. I, personally, am not comfortable in helping her in this as it will mean drudging up the past and for me, it’ll make me feel difficult.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel for you. Having lost my 100 year old mom in 2019, I also had some tough decisions to make and I know it is not easy and very personal. Think long and hard and go with the decision that you can live with without regrets.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now may not be the right time, but at some point, in order to move on, you may need to speak to your mother about your step father. Maybe counselling or a third party (friend or relative), could help you talk it through and help you move on? Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’m going need all the luck I can get. My mom has a problem with moving on. I tried to get her to go to counseling in the past but she’d just laughed in my face. I think once the relationship is broken off, the person should just move on and not drudging up every horrible thing about that person did.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Another suggestion, if she refuses counselling, it’s something you could do on your own, for yourself, or read about the issues. I’ve struggled with a narcissistic close relative all my life and it’s finally improving because I sorted myself out reading about and practicing, understanding, forgiveness and building inner strength. I have reviewed some great books on my blog which may help. Ignoring the issues may seem easier,, but in the long run, it’s not the best option. When thee time is right, and you’ll know when, you’ll find your own peace of mind. I wish you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s free counseling at work, which I’m planning to participate. I’ve been in and out of counseling for years and still frequently struggle with the same issues. Ignoring the issues is definitely not easier than dealing with it, I’ve learned that the hard way over the years. I am optimistic, though, that all things will eventually find its way to resolution.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Please help your mother, it is very likely that she wants to just bury the past and move on too, but can’t do that alone, or deal with this without backup. After all there was a good reason for the divorce all those years ago.


    1. I’ve already tried to help as much as I can but I have the feeling she’d rather I do it for her rather than help her. There was definitely a good reason for the divorce as I’m being reminded so often – because of me. Frankly, I don’t get it as I wasn’t there when she’d made the decision. I don’t think she wants to bury the past. If you’ve ever read “Gone with the Wind”, she’s like Scarlet, always thinking of money.


  7. Being married to a man who behaved so badly, drink and drugs do not make for a happy marriage, he must have made your mother’s life a misery, finally, divorced him and put an end to her unhappy life.

    It sounds as though your stepdad regretted the way he behaved towards your mother. So what would he have wanted? I doubt he would have wanted the money he earned to go to the state. It’s my guess he would have wanted her to have the money in way of an apology. So why not give them both a helping hand and help him to fulfil his wish.

    I don’t know how old your mother is, but when you reach a certain age, future financial security is often a concern and uppermost in our minds. Please do the right thing and help her to claim what is rightfully hers.


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