On My Way To Homelessness
Today is not a day that I feel ok.
I’m sorry I didn’t respond back to you guys yesterday, you all know that I’m usually pretty on top of my responses, but today, and yesterday, I’m just not feeling ok.
In reference to my last post “Yesterday I Flipped The F**k Out,” well at least I’m not angry anymore. I just haven’t been able to shake the funk that it put me in. I have a big-ish meeting on Friday for my not-for-profit, and I don’t even really know what to say when I get there now based on some things that the social worker told me. I really felt like that was the one thing that was going right for me, and now its come to a slamming halt. I’m not really sure how I’m going to salvage it.
On top of it, you know that guy that “cared so much,” and wanted to talk to me when I was upset? I finally did return his call and tell him what was going on. Told him about the rape, the social worker, and how I didn’t know what to do. His response? “You are not alone in this.”
The next day I didn’t really hear from him. I knew something was up, but I’m not one to chase a boy so I let it go. Then last night, I got the call. “This isn’t about you, its about me, I just think that with your issues and my life, it might be a little too much stress for both of us.” Funny, it wasn’t too much stress when he had issues and texted me all upset and angry about his ex wives (yes, two), but my issues? That’s too much. This is why I don’t let myself get attached to people, why I don’t open up. I just keep getting burned. He actually asked if he could call me in a couple months when “things settle down.” Like not in a patronizing, “Oh, I’ll call you,” kind of way where he never intends to call. Like a legitimate “can I please call you in two months” kind of way. Oh sure. When my problems go away and you can just get the good parts of me, then sure, come on back! Hell. Fucking. No. You go from kind of creeping me out bc you are playing my voice mails for your mother and telling your entire family about how awesome I am, to hearing one currently unsettling issue and bailing overnight.
I asked him to please not call me again, which to him apparently meant “Let me just repeatedly call you to explain my position.” I finally told him “Look, I’m not angry at you. Do whatever it is that you need. Do what makes you happy. I respect that you need what is best for you in your life. I do care about how you feel and that’s why I’m telling you to go be happy, but you need to respect that what I need is for you to leave me alone. Let me take care of me right now.”
I hung up, and he called back. THREE TIMES. Unreal. Listen dude, you kinda just dented my heart a little bit and I’ll be fine because we weren’t serious or anything, we hadn’t even labeled us, but if you keep calling me so that I’ll finally tell you that its ok and that you are still a great human being, that isn’t going to happen. You broke it off with me and now you won’t leave me alone. This break up is going backwards. Now I’m confused as to who is breaking up with who. You kinda suck. Go away.
So let’s recap. There was the freak out Monday, break up Wednesday, and wait, oh wait, what happened Tuesday!? Oh yes, guess what, on Tuesday I found out I’m losing my house!
My house people. My house. Ugh. That one hurts. IT HURTS A LOT.
You see, when I was married, the only decision I EVER got to make was what house we bought. I didn’t get to pick anything in my life. I didn’t get to pick what clothes I wore, I didn’t get to choose getting pregnant, I didn’t get to choose when we had “sex,” I didn’t get to choose one damn thing. But the house, for some reason that choice was mine. He basically just told me what the budget was and to go buy a house. This from a man that used to make me thank him every time I ate, because I was eating with “his” money. A man that made me thank him when I got dressed in the morning because I was wearing clothes that he paid for. But with this same man, there was no budget when it came to doing whatever I wanted to do inside the house.
I knew what was happening. He would rape me and then tell me to go buy something for the house. He used the house to make himself feel better. “I did something wrong, but I gave her something to make her happy, so its ok.” Being as stuck as I was and knowing that even if I didn’t play the game the rape would still happen, I took the crumbs that I was tossed.
I look around my home and I don’t see horror anymore. I see proof of what I lived through, I see victories. I see tangible choices that I got to make after surviving a horror.
Even now I don’t get to make a whole lot of choices in my life. The choices that I make are based on the survival of my family and the best interest of my children. I don’t get to make choices that are based on things that I just want, tangible or not. I never get to make a choice just because it makes me happy or comfortable. I am never afforded the luxury to just choose what I want.
But I wanted to live here.
So I fought for it. The only time I think I have ever heard my ex’s voice soften towards me was when he called me after he left my attorney’s office, where he had signed the house over to me. In a blunt and angry tone he told me “I just wanted to let you know that I signed the papers, so get my name off the loan. I don’t want anything to do with you guys so take the house and run. I gave it to you and you had better be happy. (enter softer voice) I’m not making you sell it, because I know how much you love it.” I was sitting in the preschool parking lot and for the first time in 8 years I caught a glimpse of the man that I thought I was marrying.
I spent no less than eight solid hours a week for well over a year trying to get the loan modified so that I could afford it. Hours upon hours of dealing with banks and financial advisers. Crying every time I was almost approved for the loan modification and then they would sell my loan to another bank and I’d have to start over. Representing myself when I couldn’t afford an attorney and my house fell into the courts foreclosure process. Eventually I called EVERY number that I could find online in relation to my loan company until I got a hold of a share holder, who apparently had some weight in the company, and three days later my modification was approved and my house was pulled out of foreclosure. It took me 18 months and I had finally won. I walked in the house, picked my daughter up, spun her around, and cheered my lungs out. For the first time since my ex had left, I saw hope. For the first time in 18 months, I looked around, and I felt like I was finally home.
I love where I live, I call it “the edge of nowhere.” If you walk out of my house and go to the right you are less than five minutes from restraunts, shopping, bars, the gym, all kinds of entertainment, and my kids daycare. But if you walk out of my house and go to the left, there are fields for miles and miles. I love to sit outside at night and watch the fireflies twinkle over the fields while the deer graze and the hawks fly overhead. Some poor guy died over the summer when he hit a bull standing in the road next to my house, and from my balconey I can see a yak farm (seriously, who knew this was a native yak area!?) Its a great neighborhood with three playgrounds, the school is a two minute walk, there are biking and running trails, several ponds, and two picnic areas. Being as poor as I am, we take full advantage of the free movie’s in the park, family game nights, local indoor water park, free music and art classes for the kids at the library down the street, and the local festivals that are held in the downtown area just minutes from my house. Over the summer we even had adult game night in the neighborhood park. Yep, all of us grown ups got together and played the childhood playground games Red Rover, Flashlight Tag, Capture The Flag, and more. It was so much fun!! I’m five minutes from everything that I need and besides the two nutcase neighbors, the rest of the neighbors are my family. They look out for me, they take care of me, and they make me feel loved.
Growing up in such an unsettled life, this is the first place that has ever truly felt like home. It is the only place that I have ever felt like I could express who I was. I feel like there are so many things that I can’t give to my kids, but living here, it provides a sense of normalcy that I desperately crave for them.
|In my kitchen|
I know I’ve mentioned on here before that both of my kids have special needs, but I’ve never gone into details.
My girl child has some physical set backs. She is doing great now and I have no reason to believe that she will have any major issues in the future, but the physical issues that we are currently dealing with, they cost money. If her dad would just put her on his health insurance like he is legally obligated to do, I would be good as gold, but he doesn’t, and so I end up paying for everything myself. Her IQ has tested off the charts, she is funny as hell, and I am so blessed that she is mine. I always say that I am going to need a law degree just to debate with her in high school, because even at five years old, she holds her own in any “debate” that we have. (Household rule, debate, they are all the same to her…)
My two year old boy child, at some point he just stopped progressing in his skills and in a lot of ways, the skills he had, they just disappeared. His geneticist advised me to immediately change his diet because of a genetic condition we have, and told “it’s like he is recovering from a traumatic brain injury.”
My other gut feeling? Daddy shook him.
But my gosh has that kid changed in the last year. One year ago at the age of 18 months he was evaluated by a team of doctors and therapists. He scored out at a 3 month age range for his skill set, which put him at an obvious significant delay. My heart broke. IT BROKE. They told me to not expect too much. I was told “a delay this severe will have catastrophic effects on his life.” My husband had left, my world had crumbled, and now you are telling me that I have lost my son.
When I was pregnant my ex and I went together to find out the baby’s gender via ultrasound. When the ultrasound tech told us he was a boy, my ex literally jumped out of his chair, screamed “I told you I didn’t want a son,” and stormed out of the room. I remember looking at the ultrasound screen at my beautiful precious son and knowing that before he was even born, he was faced with being unwanted. He was living my life, a baby not wanted because they were the wrong gender, and he wasn’t even born yet. I would whisper every night to my belly, “I want you. I want everything about you and I will want you enough for the whole world.”
When he was born, the very first thing that I said to him was “I want you. I love you, you are amazing, you are precious, you are smart, you are handsome. Don’t let anyone tell you differently and don’t ever forget it because you are loved. I am so glad you are here, you have no idea how much I wanted you.”
When he was 18 months old and the doctors told me they didn’t even know if he was in there, I broke. Then I picked up the pieces and I decided screw that. I wanted him. I still want him and I was going to find the little boy that I knew is in there. After grieving the news all day, I walked into his room at 11:30 at night, picked him up out of his crib, held him on my lap, and told him “I want you. I know that you are in there and I’m going to find you. I wanted you before you were born and I want you now. I want you too much to never get a chance to know you. Mommy is going to find you.”
We embarked on an intensive therapy program. Developmental therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioral therapy, sensory therapy, and aquatic therapy. All of those, twice a week each. I researched the hell out of everything I could find. His diet changed drastically. He was already gluten free but now I took out no dairy, artificial dyes, and limited him to eating only organic. He got holistic healing, brushing therapy, chiropractic treatment, you name it, I tried it. I was determined. I wanted my son back. I was going to find him, come hell or high water I was going to pull him out of where ever he was and I was going to bring him back.
Today my little boy, he is amazing. He will turn three over the summer and he will be starting preschool in the fall, with his peers, in a regular classroom. At his last developmental evaluation, the doctor looked at me and said “I don’t even know what to say. I can’t say for sure what was wrong, or what happened, but off the record, you saved him.” I got him back you guys. I got him back. His last evaluation put him ABOVE his age range in terms of his skill set. It took me an intense year, but I got my son back. According to all of the doctors he is normally functioning with a very bright future ahead of him. Not many mom’s are given the chance to give life to their child twice. I am so blessed.
Yet it cost me my home.
I took so much time away from working that I just kept falling farther behind, and I couldn’t build up a savings account. I was still just barely making it, but now I’m not. This last month both kids were sick for two weeks and then I had the surgery. I can’t make my mortgage payment this month and because I am still on a trial period for the modification, I don’t have any time to bargain with.
What’s worse than that? I can’t afford an apartment. My mortgage payment, thanks to my loan modification, is $512 a month. That is UNHEARD OF around here. Most start at around $2500. Apartments around here start at about $1,000 for a one bedroom.
I have no debt, my credit score is in the 800’s, I’ve done everything right, and I am still going to end up homeless.
Even if I managed to scrape something together for this month, I can’t keep up with it, we are barely making the monthly necessities. My boy child’s clothes are way too small, I’m always hungry, I “borrow” my neighbors Internet, my car is 2,500 miles overdue for an oil change, and I can’t keep doing it anymore.
I just simply can’t keep up with it.
I feel like the entire ocean has washed over me this week and I am completely drowning.
I know that I’ll swim out of it, I know that the surface isn’t far away. I just need to clear my head and figure out my next step. I’m optimistic and I’m keeping my smile. This isn’t the worst thing that has happened to me and unfortunately it probably won’t be the last, so I’m going to start swimming. If there is a life boat out there, I intend to find it. I am going to remind myself of every other time that it felt like my life had burned down and how everything that grew out of the ashes was more beautiful than what had been there to begin with.
|In my entryway|
( I know all of you have offered to help, but as far as I can tell, unless I set up a “doing business as” company and open a bank account under that name, which costs money that I don’t have, I can’t take donations that aren’t made out to my full legal name.)
(Editing to add, thank you to all the readers in the comments section for showing me how to set up an anonymous paypal donation button. All of you who have been nicely pressuring me to do that, I caved. I am so totally mortified that it has come to this. With that being said, please, PLEASE guys, this blog is NOT ABOUT MONEY. It is about healing, awareness, support, love, and laughter. So please, keep coming day after day like you have been just to read. I want my readers infinitely more than I want any donations, which is why I put the button way down under all the topic titles. I don’t want any new readers/visitors to think I’m just looking to make a dollar. I would rather them see the posts and read them, than see a donation button. I love you all way more than that!!!)
Photo Credit Trophies: http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapr/
Photo Credit Vacate Sign: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rob_nguyen/