June 12, 2008

To quote Ming Ming, 'This is serious!': Bankruptcy, Babies and Burst Bubbles

Okay, so Sam is really not a baby anymore, he's a total toddler, but he'll always be MY baby and I liked the alliteration. I posted a while back about everything that's going on right now, and I thought maybe it was time for a little update on the serious side of things...

Finances: Justin and I have been doing a lot of thinking and researching, and praying, about our financial situation lately. We are not in a good place. After looking into all our options, and considering what we expect in the next 10 years of our lives, and how young we are, we have decided to file for bankruptcy. It's a big, scary word. And it makes me feel like I've failed. It makes me feel irresponsible, and like I am taking advantage of the system or something. I don't believe those things in my heart though. We were young, and apparently too wrapped up and ignorant to think that we could lose our income at any moment and be in this situation. It's hard to talk about, but I also want to put this out there for anyone else who is in the same situation and is feeling alone and scared. It is scary, but you are NOT alone.

Here's how I explained it in an e-mail to my stepmom: Right now, we are considering filing for bankruptcy protection. It's a scary thing to consider, but it would also give us a fresh start... no debts. It would affect our credit for 7 years, but honestly the things we're already doing with trying to turn in our leased car and settling our credit card debt are affecting our credit just as much. I hate this. I don't know how it happened. Well, that's not true. What happened was that Justin had a REALLY great job for two years that paid a lot of money, and then it was suddenly gone. We had paid off our credit card debt completely after selling the condo, and it built up again. I do feel a little bit better about the fact that a lot of it was medical expenses and things like plane tickets to come visit there, and not just frivolous expenditures like we built up the last time. But that doesn't really make a difference now. I do know that I'm SO glad we are not living in Seattle anymore. I feel like the culture there was one thing that encouraged all that spending... everyone needs the newest, the biggest, the most advanced, and shopping is an ACTIVITY. While I am really frightened at the idea that we might have to file for bankruptcy, I am also looking forward to leading a SIMPLER life. It's all I want. I don't want a lot of STUFF around me. I just want to live, spend time with family, work with Sam on whatever he needs help on. I don't want the newest shiniest car or a new wardrobe all the time. I want to wear jeans and t-shirts and go for walks in the woods and let Sam play in the dirt. I hope that this will be a new start for us. We let things get out of control. We spent because money was power and we HAD IT. We were irresponsible in some ways. We didn't save up money. We didn't consider what would happen to us if Justin lost his job. We took it for granted. Never again. Justin and I had a conversation the other day and he's going to start looking for a new job in earnest now, and I'm going to help with searching and cover letters since that's my area of expertise. If he gets a job with health insurance, and we file for bankruptcy, we'll be fine. We're not using ANY credit cards anymore, although we will keep a couple with zero balances since we'll need to build our credit again. We will start putting some money into savings. We're young and we can recover from this, and use the knowledge... even though we gained it the hard way, which sucks. It's just so hard when no one talks about it. It's one of those hush hush subjects, and that just makes it harder. I go from being happy that we can start new to being ashamed that I can't pay the bills and that we let this happen in the first place. I'm glad we can try to get back on track now while Sam is young and doesn't really know what's going on. I want to teach him to be responsible and when he's old enough, I hope he can learn from our mistakes.

Homes: Justin finally taked to his Dad about our situation and moving in with him. He's cleared some trees since last time we were there, and is still working on getting the permits to build the addition, but it looks like things are progressing - just VERY slowly. It takes some stress off me to know that we will have a place to go, and that despite the conversations we've had, Justin's Dad does still seem to be planning for us to come there. In regards to our current home our neighbors CALLED OUR LANDLORD AND TATTLED ON US. Because our yard hadn't been mowed. WTF? I mean, okay, I get that it was too long and we hadn't been keeping it up. But Justin had been out of town and our lawn mower totally sucks but it's not like we could afford to go out and buy a new one. We could have explained that to them if they'd bothered to talk to us first instead of just running to the house owners. Who does that?? In any case, Justin borrowed a lawn mower from his Dad and did the whole yard yesterday. The grass underneath the long grass is sort of yellowish and spotty, so I hope the neighbors enjoy looking at THAT.

Sam: Still not talking. We finally got in touch with the hospital and Sam has his speech evaluation on July 3 and his occupational therapy evaluation on July 15. I have noticed some improvement in some areas. We went to the zoo last week, and although it might not have been apparent to outsiders, he actually was doing a lot better job of listening to me and not running away and making me all out chase him as much. He's also getting better at using a spoon, he has scooping down, but still can't get it to his mouth most of the time without tilting the spoon and dumping his food. For some reason, he fights with me now when I try to make him eat at the table (my own fault for not making him eat at the table much since we moved), so we need to work on that. I noticed yesterday that he was using more purposeful sounds - we were watching a train video and he pointed and said the same word repeatedly. I couldn't understand it, but it obviously meant something. He is whining a lot, but I'm just trying to communicate with him more and let him show me what he wants/needs instead of just whining at me.

Other: I am probably going to see a therapist, even if it's only for a little while. The last 6 months have been the hardest time of my life, and I'm having trouble coping with all my emotions and stress by myself. I also think that at least for the time being I may need to up my dosage on my anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication.

In addition to the things I talked about below, it's only been a few months since Justin started working outside the home, which has been an adjustment for Sam and I, and my Dad and Stepmom are getting a divorce, which is just very difficult.

I am also dealing with a situation right now where I'm learning things that I didn't know before about someone that has been in my life for a long time, and my views are having to adjust, and it's been a real struggle for me. I can't go into it here any more than that, if you know me and want to know more in order to support me, you can e-mail me.

My wonderful mother has been very, very helpful and supportive this week, and I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel here. After Saturday, when we make a regular schedule, work on the garage a little, and finish getting all the stuff together for our 2007 taxes and filling out the paperwork for the bankruptcy lawyer, I think I will feel a lot better. I also need to acknowledge that Justin has been very supportive, especially this week after I've talked to him about how I'm really feeling and what I need for him to support me.


RubiaLala said...

I'm really sorry that you are going through such a difficult time.

Bankruptcy is a big scary word, but it's not the end of the world.

Considering everything you are going through, I think seeing a therapist will help you immensely.

Tight hug.

Tracey said...

I am sorry that you are going through so much...but I've been there and it does get better ...short story...married too young...went through depression (counselling is great)....got a divorce....went bankrupt.....10 years later...have the man of my dreams, excellent credit and adopting a child...IT WILL GET BETTER....KEEP SMILING!

Sandy said...

Finances are so hard! You should not feel guilty for filing for bankruptcy at all. It's for people who need it.

Jill said...

What a scary time! But it sounds like you guys have a plan that will let you turn things around. You and Justin are smart people and I'm sure you'll make it through this.

I hope you find what you need to feel better, be it a change in meds, a therapist, or both. You deserve to be happy!