Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I failed

The last 5 days have been a grueling hell for our family. I hate writing about financial stuff but truly right now this is the burden that has overruled our family and caused so many things to come to a screeching halt for us. If ever there was a time to feel that the world was out to get us and the deck was most certainly stacked against us its right now. We haven't shared too much simply because we don't want pity and those to feel sorry for us. I figured I would share the story after we had gotten our news so that way it wouldn't seem like everything was centered around this event.

I guess for it all to make sense giving the backstory of what is going on might be in order. Its stupid and complicated so I am going to give it up in a short summary so that we can move on. Two years ago Chris medically separated from the military. We were left with a nice chunk of change but we got stupid, well sort of. We bought a much needed second car, took a few too many trips I guess back and forth to Dallas, I stayed home, I bought myself some clothes, you get the point. Fast forward a year and its weeks before Christmas. Chris' ex wife suddenly decides to reveal her whereabouts over the last year and now wants Chris to pay up. Mind you we tried but the previous state she had lived in sent it back saying return to sender, she does not live here, her case is closed. Leaving no forwarding info or contact information we assumed she took off and wanted to sever ties. WRONG. Chris suddenly owed over a years worth of child support. To sum it up no tax returns and about 70% of his wages are now garnished until well the state allows him to dispute it which is 3 years. Hop forward to this spring and the VA decides to throw some big roadblocks in our path and now suddenly our housing money is being cut off. They want US to pay THEM back 1082.00!

Throw in all of H's expenses and it really is enough to make one's head spin. I mean the stack of medical bills are 99% his. We joke about him being the million dollar baby but man if you total up his expenses from birth in the NICU until right now I wouldn't doubt it. I have not had the pleasure of a special needs child until just recently so I now see how all these families go into debt etc from this life.

So you see everyone wants to test the theory of squeezing blood from a turnip. Of course that means robbing Peter to pay Paul but after robbing Peter so many times it burned us. Twisting our budget a million ways still had left us short, too short for comfort. However up until this point we were ok. We might have paid rent a bit late but we managed to get our bills paid before services got disconnected. However the whole robbing Peter to pay Paul has come back to haunt us now. We put off some debt we thought we could ignore and now it's hit us again and took a toll on Chris' paycheck. Simply put teenagers working fast food joints and those who wait tables literally make more than Chris does each paycheck.

In a sheer state of panic last Wednesday I realized that our housing money might not be coming back for a while and started to fill out their form to explain the reasons why we could not pay them back the money they say we owe them. That night it hit us we are really about to lose it all. Chris grabbed a box and proceeded to pack a few draws of our china hutch. My heart sank. I submitted my resume to local preschools back in Dallas. I have to find a way to prepare myself if this is how it must go.

The following morning I began my quest of trying to get us out of this hole. I stuck a deal with our electric stating I could pay 50.00 on Friday and the rest the next week. Praying that we would have some sort of help by the 20th. I went to the leasing office and explained the story taking documentation to prove I wasn't a low life slacker who wanted something for nothing. I also divulged that we have gone without eating to conserve food so that the kids could have it when they are here and that H has something to eat each night. I wasn't lying. Chris and I had not eaten dinner in nights. I ate at work because the meals are free since I eat with the kids in my room. Otherwise I just drank a lot of water or lemonade to keep my feeling "full"

Thursday evening I got a burst of hope that maybe just maybe things would work out. The leasing office pooled their money together and bought us some groceries even dog food. It wasn't much be still enough to make a huge difference. A friend dropped off toiletries and cleaning supplies things that we needed. Two friends made a donation on H's fundraiser page. I suddenly had hope for humanity. I had hope for us.

Monday I managed with a sick kid and all to round up every financial detail needed to head over to the Salvation Army. I was told the lady was out and to come back today. I was down but not out. I took the last 450.00 out of our account and gave it to the apt in good faith that we would find a way to get them the rest. I was losing time and resources fast. Every church I called was out of money or could not help us in the way we needed it. It was suddenly like a nail biting baseball game. Bottom of the 9th bases loaded 2 outs and you have one more chance to make or break this situation. Game was called however on the account of rain only to resume the following morning. It was enough time for me to just try and come up with one last plan.

Here it is Tuesday and for some reason I thought this was our day. I had worked so hard to get everything we needed, collect info and make the calls necessary for us to keep doing what we needed to do. I prayed like I have never prayed before, I prayed that this game was not going to be over. It couldn't I had worked so hard to get us this far how on earth could we lose it all. We always have come out on top so why should this time be any different. They just want to see us sweat thats all. Right?

With a giant folder in hand I grabbed my cranky child's hand and walked through the doors of the Salvation Army. 7 people were ahead of us and I prayed again this would go quick. This was not an outing I wanted to take my Autistic child on but with him having a fever I had no choice. After an hour of waiting our names were called. I had no idea in 30 seconds this game was going to come to an end. For those of you cheering for the underdog, thank you. However bottom of the 9th bases loaded 2 outs and a tied score we lost. It was like the grand slam of losing. Salvation Army was unable to help us because we pay more than the fair market share for our place.

My heart was heavy, my stomach in knots as I drove to the office to tell them of our news. Our landlords like I have said have been amazing through this. I hated to have to tell them that this was it. I walked in and apologized over and over. I failed. I let them down. I let myself down and worst of all I let my family down.

I don't fail. I hate to fail. I was a failure as a child never doing well in school, never doing well as a daughter and sister. I thought I was making up for it now in adulthood but I sadly was not. I had to utter the words I hated the most "I failed, I am sorry".

You might be asking "What now?" I don't know and I will be honest. It is in the hands of my landlord. It is in the hands of God. What is to become of this family is no longer mine to figure out. The only glimmer of hope I hold at the moment as that we MIGHT have qualified for food stamps and MIGHT qualify for medical insurance. I won't get my hopes up but that lady on the phone was an angel! She gave me information to help Chris and to help us maybe at least keep our electric going. She has become our saviour for now.

 I just pray that her next phone call before this day is over is something of good news however I am living by the motto "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best." Sounds sort of negative and corny but honestly I feel if I am more prepared for failure and let downs it makes the best outcomes even more enjoyable. So please say a quick prayer for us as we hope that we hear some sort of good news before this day is over.