Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Debt journey: Years in review (Pt.2)

I thought of naming this part "because giving up wasnt a choice", but it was too long. It all started when I was responding to someone's post about how things begin... when the turning point comes out of nowhere, and you can either take it or leave it. Leave it because it looks dirty, full of work, and more trouble than what it's worth at the time, or take a leap of faith into a very uncertain unknown.

That conversation took me back to the time where I could, and probably should have just given up. It started in October 2008. I had less than a month in my current full time job in the auto industry. Right before the recession, which slaughtered a lot of those involved especially with automobile manufacturing and distribution. That night was one of the weird times my parents were openly arguing about money, how they couldn't pay the rent, and how we could be evicted within the next 10 days if they couldnt come up with the money. I didn't sleep for days. I was very fearful, very stressed out, and with no outlet to work through my feelings. The topic was there, but nobody would talk about it. My siblings and I were just supposed to ignore it... something that worked well for them, but not so much for me. It was also about the time my brother left the house because of... irreconcilable differences with my mother. So long, one-peg leg support of all my life. I think I cried all night the first time he was gone and I was alone for the first time in all of my life.

But let's not get wrapped on that. Moving along, it was March 2009, and I was told by my manager that they would probably lay me off by May, so that I should start looking for other jobs and sending resumes. I was the new one, so that choice seemed pretty logical to me. Instead of anger, I was very thankful for the 2-or-so months of notice. I truly was, and to this day I am thankful for it. It wasn't the end of the world for me, I just figured I'd work somewhere else for a while (probably had gone FT at my PT job), until I found something else. The economy was so bad, things were still scary as heck, and I was still pretty much alone, trying to carry on a household in shambles with a lot of nonchalant tenants and quite a lot of sharp, broken pieces of relationships here and there. But April came by. Then May... then June, July, August, a year, two, five. Guess we weathered through and I stayed.

Along all that chaos, I started looking at the mess I was in, as a person, individually, looking at my situation away from my family. I've always had the "group" mentality when it came to them, but this first look was not a pretty sight. A lot of debt, or at least a lot for me, no family support except my father, a broken relationship with the rest of the 6 members, and a job that at the time was undecided whether to keep me or let me go. I was depressed enough my doctor insisted I was medically depressed and needed to be seen by a specialist (I never did, though). She was right, however; I needed help, as I was also slightly suicidal from stress and loneliness. Good thing that I felt like one of those fools that wont commit suicide out of fear of what the neighbors will say. Ha!

Giving up would've been the easy thing to do. Just stop fighting upstream and just pretend things are not happening. Ignore the debts, like my parents had done before me. It worked fairly well for them thus far; we didnt get evicted, we had utilities turned on most of the time, and the welfare part, besides humiliating on my part, did help narrow the void that was inevitably there because of my little income and my mothers' spending. It was... manageable to stay in that chaos. A lot easier than the alternative. And since I've always been a glutton for punishment, I went with the alternative; I decided at that point that something MUST be done.

Something. Anything. I couldn't live like that all my life, I was going to lose it. As much as I'd love to say that I sprang to action valiantly and plowed forward... it wouldn't be until full year later that I pulled myself together and actually DID something about it. But that'll be left for Pt. 3!


  1. This reminds me that abuse isn't always physical or verbal.
    I am sorry for what you've been through, but you seem to have come through stronger and a very forgiving person.
    I admire you and love you!

  2. Sharing the love :) I too admire your courage while living in such a dysfunctional family. You're a wonderful, kind and strong woman - you could've easily turned out to be just like them but you've persevered and we love your for it! Hugs!

  3. You are trying to break the cycle....and it is working! It is ok to love yourself enough to want more for yourself.

  4. Tanner, my husband broke the cycle of dysfunction that was his family too. Somewhere, that chain has to be broken! In the future, you may have to try to save YOURSELF because no amount of enabling will ever change people who refuse to change. It may seem harsh at first, but if you want a life for yourself, you will have to do it. Believe me, I have seen firsthand what must be done.