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The other day I was down in the basement examining the lower cement blocks. A bunch of them were dirty brown so I asked the guy who was going to be doing the bathroom what he thought about it. Was it ordinary basement dirt, or a more insidious mold problem. His answer surprised me. He said that it was probably mildew, he's had it in his basement before and after soaking the area with a bleach solution they scrubbed it down and rinsed it off. We have a heavy duty plastic scrub brush in the basement so I experimented with one block. It didn't seem like anything was happening while I was scrubbing, but afterwards the brown was gone and the block was much better looking than its neighbors. Sunday afternoon I sprayed whatever I could see with the bleach solution. We left the house after that since I didn't want any of us breathing that and didn't come home until much later and to my relief, the smell had dissipated greatly. After that I put some essential oils in a different spray bottle and used that on the walls. I don't know if it actually did anything other than make my basement smell nicer, typically it's very musty smelling, but I felt better about it. Last night I thought I could try scrubbing the ribbon of affected blocks. My reasoning was that even if it was plain old basement dirt, removing it would add to the cleanliness of our basement.

To say that scrubbing was a bad idea is sort of like saying that it's a bad idea to get involved in a land war in Asia if I can be permitted to stretch that metaphor quite a bit. My cleaning book said the trick to easy dirt removal was to apply the cleansing agent, a multi-purpose soap in this case, wait for it to work, and sweep in and remove the dirt and dust that the surfactants had loosened. I didn't feel too bad when I was scrubbing although it was a lot of arm action on my part, but by the time I climbed upstairs I could barely breathe. I used my inhaler, I took an OTC allergy pill and then I topped that off with a Benadryl to see if that would help. My chest has a core of tightness, I have a band across the middle of my back that won't loosen, every breath was difficult to get in and harder to get out. I seriously felt like it would be wonderful if I died last night. I ran essential oils in a diffuser in my room and still woke up at three gasping for breath. I don't think I have ever felt more defeated or helpless although I'm sure if I went back in time I could find situations where I was just as forlorn. I sent a text to my ex asking if he could transfer money to cover the health insurance premiums that came out of my account. Yesterday I went to the bank to open up a new checking account for myself. When I went to use a debit card that was affiliated with an account I had money in, it didn't work. I wanted to lay down and just give up after my hair cut where the shampoo did something to irritate my already tender scalp.

My ex is ignoring me and there's nothing I can do about it. He's not going to pay me back for the money that went toward health insurance and he's not going to do anything about the mildew situation here at home. There's several blooms on the bathroom ceiling and he's just going to leave it there. I don't know where to go or what to do. I can move out, but even that isn't a great solution since he'll just move back in here, not deal with it, and then my children will still be breathing air that isn't fresh and clean and sweet. I'm at the end of my rope. I've tried eating better, I've had carpet pulled up, the house is very clean, I vacuum, dust, and sweep much more regularly, I really think that this house is the problem and at the root of some of our health problems. Every morning I wake up with eyes that feel glued together and a chest and back that are tight. When I walk past the laundry chute - the door has been off for years - I can smell the air from down in the basement. This has been a concern of mine ever since we moved in, I'm allergic to a lot of molds, and apparently they don't bother him so he doesn't see this as anything that is a great concern. He thinks I'm hysterical and lazy and sucking money out of him. I can't even hate him anymore. I don't have energy for hate. I have to forget about him for now and focus on cleaning up the air around here. 

I'm going to go to the doctor to get some refills for my inhaler. I'm going to call a mold remediation company and see what they say. I'm going to keep praying. I can't believe that God would let us suffer through this, but sometimes he allows things to come into people's lives for reasons that we as humans know nothing about. Needless to say I did not get a very good night's sleep. I'm just sitting here crying, trying to not be too upset about missing the wedding since there's no way I can safely drive a vehicle. I took a break from writing to call some of the companies the state of Wisconsin recommends. I was going to get two quotes, but after speaking with the woman at the second company, I think I'm just going to go with that. I may need an environmental hygienist to come out and inspect the property. I got a name and number from the woman I spoke with in case I need to go that route, otherwise Tony is coming over tomorrow at one to give me his opinion. He should be able tell me what the problem is unless he thinks it's too complicated and I need to go to the next level. All of this is going to cost money and I'm not sure where that's going to come from, but I have to know whether this is a problem in our house and I think that it could be part of the solution if there is a problem we can do something about.

I need to schedule a doctor's appointment which means I need to find a doctor. I'm talking to my sister about the basement problems. She said testing for these problems can be hundreds of dollars which I kind of already knew. I really just need a friend to call or come over and tell me that this really sucks on many levels, but we'll get by and get through it and come out happier and healthier on the other side which I actually believe is true. My codependency book talked about people who are emotionally and financially dependent on other people. Right now, that's me. I depended on an unreliable person and now I have to find new ways to get my needs met. It feels very dark and gloomy around here despite the cleaner home. Thankfully I've done a lot of clearing and pitching down in the basement so if we do need major whatever done, we don't have a lot of crap to get rid of so even if I can't move it or deal with it myself, it won't be as big of a burden for others as it could have been. My sister's husband has a lot of stuff down in their basement. He collects things, he has a lot of furniture down there, and this has been an unseasonably rainy and damp summer so everything is out in full force. I really just don't even know how a person can be so messed up that they repeatedly make the same mistakes over and over, but I have made progress so even if I'm missing my cousin's wedding, which makes me sad on many levels, I guess this too shall pass and there will be other opportunities for me and the girls in the future.