It was the early part of December, 2011 when Jessica moved in. The actual date was supposed to be at the end of the month but there was a story about being forced to leave the apartment they shared with another couple before the lease actually ended. According to Jessica they were current on their rent but the other couple just arbitrarily kicked them out stating no particular reason.
The bedroom Jessica was supposed to move into here was still stacked high with miscellaneos collectibles and some books amassed for my eBay days. Jessica assembled another group of her men friends to get that room cleared out so she had a place to sleep.
The problem with this was it was more than a one day job and it sure couldn't be accomplished in the few hours they devoted to it. They got instructions on where to put everything but most of it never reached its destination.
Anything that would fit ended up in the hallway, dining room and the eating area in my kitchen even though most everything except the books was supposed to be put into storage in the barn loft. Nothing made it to the loft nor did the items that required extra protection needed for barn storage get that done. Instead most everything that made it outside ended up in my barn aisle blocking safe passage of the horses and use of my cross ties. Boxes were stacked precariously with no regard for protecting their contents. Some things that left the house didn't even reach the barn but got dumped on my back porch. Much of my inventory was exposed and vulnerable to ruination.
The bedroom was now cleared but nothing was done the way we had agreed. This didn't bother Jessica. Even with the hall barely passable and much of our living space disrupted, she showed no concern for the upheaval she perpetuated upon us and no regard for the work she was obligated to do but had left undone. Even though I had spelled out very specifically what I required for her to stay here, Jessica had no intention of lifting another finger to fix this or getting anyone of her so called friends to do it on her behalf. As far as she was concerned she was in so she had accomplished what was important to her. Even my reminders to finish the job got no response.
Her behavior very much reminded me of the blatant disrespect I received from one of my kids when she was a teenager whenever I asked her to do her chores. At least Jessica didn't swear or attack me like Colleen did sometimes but I wish I had realized the similarities at the time. Maybe it would have helped me see the truth about Jessica much sooner.
I realize now that Jessica was able to leave all those things for me to clean up because she lacked both empathy and remorse. My condition wasn't something that evoked caring instead it told her I would be easy prey. For Jessica the world revolved totally around her....and her needs were all she saw and she felt totally justified in doing whatever it took to get her what she wanted.
At the time her behavior appeared to me to be maturity issues so I let her off the hook, despite being too weak to be dealing with cleaning up this mess by myself. In actuality even my husband and daughter were willing to leave the task to me so it was hard for me to see I should fault Jessica when even those close to me didn't seem to care if I was doing more than I should. In the end I was the one who restored order to my house and my barn even though it had only been about 3 weeks since I'd gotten out of the hospital after that third surgery. It was not a job I should have done for any reason. It certainly was not something deserved or appreciated by Jessica.
That first day Jessica caught me off guard by giving me $215 for rent and telling me she intended to pay a total of $350 per month and her utilities. The balance she would pay within the week. The balance never came and her foodstamps, that she was supposed to provide towards her meals, it turned out were already used up even though she had just received her card a couple of days before.
Of course she didn't admit that, Dave had to find that out the hard way when he was at the grocery store replenishing our supplies that were already gone due to Jessica and her boyfriend eating at our house. Dave presented her card for payment only to find the balance was under $20. When he confronted Jessica she claimed ignorance. She loaned it to a friend to buy milk.
I remember that Jessica's affect at this so called discovery was inconsistent for someone who had just had over $200 stolen from her. At the time her expression seemed odd but I hadn't known what to make of it so I had filed it away with a little red flag filed right alongside.
The offer of rent really blurred the lines around what was expected of Jessica to do while she lived with us. I suspect that is exactly as intended. Jessica already knew enough about me to realize I try very hard to be fair. I have always been this way and even my own kids knew how to exploit that to avoid doing anything they didn't want to do. Life with Jessica was a mess from day one.
During my time working horses at Angie Miller and Richard Galarza's, Jessica had plenty of exposure to how I deal with confrontation too. It must have been easy for her to figure out the best way to keep me at bay. She would get herself out of here before I got up and return when she knew I would be in bed.
I do not think well on my feet so being prepared is an important aspect of confrontations for me. Also timing was everything. If Jessica was around when I hurt so badly I could barely talk, it was safe to assume she wouldn't be called out on her inappropriate behavior. Considering the only time I saw her during daylight hours was when my pain levels were shooting through the roof, I am sure Jessica knew exactly how to predict those times to avoid dealing with me.
Despite the fact Jessica was not around often during the daylight hours, food disappeared like we were feeding at least four extra mouths. She had asked on one occasion if she could share a meal with her boyfriend and she regarded that as blanket permission from then on out. The same thing was true in regards to the boyfriend staying over night. Claiming fear over some feigned illness she played on our sympathies and the boyfriend never left. Yet Jessica claimed she didn't want him to move in but, of course, that was to avoid any type of accountability for an extra person sponging off of us.
The whole premise behind Jessica moving in had to do with her inability to get a job because she hadn't graduated from high school. Supposedly she couldn't pass the tests required to get her GED because she didn't know her times tables and she claimed she wasn't allowed to use a calculator to take tests.
I printed out flash cards for her and set up actual appointments to tutor her. We also have a computer program that turns learning math into fun games. Considering how much she claimed she wanted and needed to learn, Jessica spent little, if any, time on her own devoted to learning math or anything else for that matter. What little time we spent working on her math suggested she didn't have the problem she claimed. Confronted with that information, Jessica decided it wasn't her times tables but fractions and decimal points that were her problem.
Information found later suggests Jessica's math skills were just fine. In hindsight I suspect the whole thing with school was just an excuse for not having a job. Working is not something jessica is fond of...she would much rather party. As long as she could find some sucker like us to support her, then she could play all she wanted.......and play she did. We were struggling to get by and Jessica was living at our expense. All the while telling me how much she loved me.
There was one other thing Jessica gave me the day she moved in. It was a 16 x 20 portrait of herself with a dog she used to own. She grinned like the Cheshire Cat as she handed me that photograph. I remember thinking how odd and strangely egotistical it felt. Afterwards I realized that gesture and her demeanor for that instant were one of only two true glimpses into Jessica's black heart.
To be continued.......