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Jody in Bow

by Jonathan

Mold was found in the home my spouse and I own in July of 2015 with HERTSMI 2 testing, IAQ, and tape tests. The home smells horribly musty in a rotten way. My spouse stated he couldn’t smell anything and didn’t wish to follow recommendations to remediate shortly after testing was completed and estimates were obtained. He and I both were diagnosed with mold related illness via HLA-DR testing. I was extremely ill with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and now multiple chemical sensitivity. I have burning every where….skin, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat, and lungs. He moved out in December of 2015 and the remediated to this date, 3/30/17, has not been done. I am on SSDI and have hired a reduced fee attorney and filed for divorce in February of 2016. He has an approximately $300/hr attorney. Family court can’t order him to pay for the remediation and I have consulted with various environmental and disability attorneys to no avail. Alternative housing so far has been out of reach for me and I remain in the home in my room by an air purifier with limited food access due to the kitchen being contaminated with mold and unsafe to use. His family is helping him, but despite efforts to educate them about the dangers of mold, they appear to be apathetic regarding health issues. Our children appear to be sensitive and the oldest in particular has exhibited respiratory symptoms of itchy red eyes, sore throat, and runny nose within an hour of entering the house. Neither of our children feel safe to stay at the house. I feel like I am fighting for my life. Delaying the Remediation doesn’t make sense. He obtained a HELOC to remediate last July, and still it hasn’t been done.

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The longer remediation gets put off, the more pervasive the problem can become, right?

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1 comment

Samantha June 27, 2017 - 7:31 am

Your husbands choice to first delay and now refuse to seek and hire a mold remediation company sounds like an decision that he’s making solely based on his current emotional state. It comes across as having more to do with the divorce and less to do with the overall mold issue. Are you planning on ending up with the house or will you all seek to sell it?

Since state laws vary greatly regarding what happens to property and financial accounts in divorce I’m just curious as to what the long term plan is for you and your living situation. I beleive the following options are likely the ones that will be most useful to consider, unless your soon to be ex husband suddenly decides to be a decent person and stops Treating his unwillingness to access the money he has for remediation as a punishment for divorce.
(It will ultimately depend on what you believe your divorce preceding will result in regarding your home and finances though but let me say that ending up with little to nothing is far better a fate than having someone willingly allow his partner in life and kids live in a toxic environment. It’s hard to be on your own af first but just separating yourself from him will eventually pay off in dividends, when you once again build up your self esteem and realize your overall worth without it being skewed by a man behaving like a toddler. It’s disgusting of him esp since it’ll have to occur if y’all plan to sell your home anyways and I have no doubt that one day he’ll realize how gross or a choice this was to make. No matter what your relationship is with him, even if you all can’t stand each other anymore, theres no excuse and esp no justification to let his daughter be subjected to it as well. This is the type of treatment that destroys the self esteem of a woman… if your own dad can’t be bothered to care, why would anyone else want to either? His choice will leave lingering effects and it’s disappointing.)

A. It seems to be the right choice in divorcing him! Good job

B. Legally may have the option to throw in the towel on the house if he’s getting it entirely in the divorce and instead move somewhere safe for your overall wellbeing. Then report him once he is granted complete ownership for the mold which is often a county violation that you could technically report even with you as an owner TBH. Rare to hear of but sometimes life forces us to make choices that aren’t ideal. You can call your appropriate local agency to request info on the penalties they give out. Just relaying that in itselfto your husband may scare him enough to do something but please determine what potential consequences you may face if any first.

C. Still have the option to reach out to the local Remediation company’s to get job appraisals that are often free and then take your request for a payment plan to the store owner. Ask them about possible fundraising to help or organizations that may sponsor if they know of any. Make a gofundme account, your church, contact local assistance for the disabled for possible useful info. If you’ve lived in the same community for years, you likely will find people willing to assist you. But know what’s going to occur with the house after the divorce since fixing it only for your hubby end up the sole owner who then sells it isn’t the point of this intensive effort on your part.

It’s going to take work on your part, which as someone with many of the same health issues you mentioned in your post, I know it’s overwhelming and it’s tough to do when you feel so awful. But maybe knowing there’s some new options will help rejuvenate your spirit for a while. Get your daughters to help. Never give up as this is possible to achieve, it’s just a matter of when. This issue is far too important to give up on and once it’s over with you’ll likely start to see improved health and restored energy… major motivation for those of us who already struggle with lack of energy and health issues!!

There’s still options for you and if you need mold remediation to occur then exhaust every one of them. It’ll be worth it when your home is safe and healthy and it’ll be life altering for you and your girls. Do it for them on days you don’t feel like doing it for you! Im guessing your husband just doesn’t want to spend money of something for his soon to be ex-wife and while it’s not right of him in this situation, it’s his prerogative. You may not have a ton of money but you have your words and your voice so put them to work. Nothing will beat the feeling of accomplishing this without using his money so that you and your children have a healthy home that he can’t hold the cost of fixing over your head.

Regarding Fibro:

I promise you that it’ll be hard at first and you’ll probably want to give in but every day try to get up and fight your health issues head on It’s easy to fall in a routine of staying home in bed because we feel like crap, but at 24 I learned that the best way to help my pain was to keep going every day and the days got better and better until life was enjoyable again. You’ll get there at your own pace, just beleive me that with fibromyalgia the more you move the less your pain is once you adjust to it and your quality of life will skyrocket. You’ll learn your daily limits for activity but you should be able to get to a point of being in bed only for 8-9 hours of sleep within a year. Getting that mold gone is important but you don’t have to wait for it to be gone to start adding small amounts of activity to build strength. It’s worth doing I promise, I can’t stress it enough how those of us with fibro are actually making life harder for ourselves when we fall into our tendency to limit movement due to pain. It won’t happen overnight and it doesn’t need to. It just makes my heart ache to hear fibro patients who say they’re in bed most of the day….because I was that person for 7 years… I just started my symptoms very young and my quality of life got so low I didn’t want to live decades more in bed… so I forced myself to get up… and ended taking pain killers a year later… every day has its struggles but my only regret is not facing the pain years earlier and becoming complacent enough that my life became only about the pain. No judgement at all, your choice, please just know you CAN take control of this life and your pain just by moving more and more each day.


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