For the last few weeks, I feel like I have been drowning. It is as though I am barely treading water and I am continually sinking into the abyss exhausted from the struggle. Only occasionally, can I muster the strength to pull myself up to gasp for air.
I hate admitting to being so weak; I wanted this blog to be a story of survival and not of being a victim. Yet, here I wallow in my anxiety and despair.
November has become a difficult month since that is when the nightmare of my marriage escalated into the financial and emotional upheaval in 2011. This was when MSTBX had decided that he was no longer obligated to provide for his family. It had already started many months, (years even) of him withholding money but now he blatantly started to completely cut us off. Now his stark resentment about paying for the household expenses in the home that he was still living in became glaringly apparent.
I am now embarking on my 3 rd year into this mess. I am fighting a foreclosure on the house that my son and I reside in, we have nowhere to go and for whatever reason, I cannot seem to find a job.
My life is a big mess, and financial instability is at its peak. When MSTBX moved out in March 2012, he closed all bank accounts and left my son and I on our own. At first, I did not believe that he was really doing that and then I thought that this would all be settled in the courts soon. Wrong on both counts.
We BOTH started the business about 20 years ago and it was his and my only source of income and employment for the last 19 years, yet he reaps all of the benefits and hides his income through the veil of the corporation.
His tactic in the courts is that he pleads poverty and he knows he can get away with this because I have no money to prove otherwise. His other tactic is to drag this out in hopes that my attorney will eventually leave because he knows I have no source of income to pay her. Luckily, I have been blessed with an attorney that is an advocate and has still defended me in spite of the fact that she has not received any payment since January 2012. But even she has to pay her electric bill, and I have no idea how long this will last.
After MSTBX left, I borrowed money from my mother (she also loaned me the $5,000.00 retainer fee for the attorney) and from my brother just to survive. I naively thought that it would all be over in a few months and I would be on my feet again.
Herein lies the problem; it is now this long and I am still not on my feet. I have gone through county aid, food stamps, welfare to work program, WIA funded 6 month re-education and upgrade my skills program and I have written more that 60 cover letters since July applying for work. I cannot find a job.
I know it is a bad economy, and just turning 60 years old (I had my son when I was 42) and having no discernable work record for the last 20 years does not help. And really can I let them contact my former employer??? I have been doing some volunteer jobs just to get references.
I did find a job at the local department store for Christmas help, but even they are only scheduling me for only 8 hours a week.
I feel like such a loser because I cannot financially sustain myself. I do get on occasion some court ordered spousal support, but that is not enough to sustain my son and me. I could not manage the mortgage and expenses on that alone. In addition, even in spite of the fact that the support is court ordered, he ignores the order and payments are only sporadic. There is lots of back child support owed and Child Support Services is a joke. CSS is only functional for the easy targets and not for those like MSTBX because he hides the money.
If only I could find a job and show income then I have a shot at keeping the house. There is money in an escrow account from a property that we sold. I could pay back the money that is owed for the mortgage and be reinstated. Yet again, another court appearance is required to get a hold of that money. Some of that money is even my personal money. I generated a paper trail to prove that it was mine before the marriage.
If only I could find a job, then I would not have to frantically run to the mailbox daily to see if there is a check in there.
If only I could find a job, then I could put all of this divorce stuff on the back-burner and just move on with my life.
And most of all, if only I could find a job then I could inspire my son to go forth and leave his room. He stays up all night. I hear his friends dropping by in the early hours of the morning. I know they are smoking pot. I gave up that fight a year ago, yelling and “boundaries” never helped. I know it is a self-medication thing, but as I keep telling him: it is time to end the pity party. I have been trying to be strong for the both of us, but now, it is becoming more obvious that my strength is failing. He spends his days sleeping while I try to spend my days at home working on the computer searching for jobs. My days are filled with filing out paperwork for the IRS (more stuff to deal with and too much to write about now) retrieving paperwork for the attorney, and so many other things that I have to deal with due to the problems that destitution incurs. The only thing my son sees is his mom just spending endless hours in front of the computer.
I am at a complete loss at where to turn. I only have a few friends and they are far away. I had few local ones. Many have lost interest because my situation is so perpetually bleak and has been for so long. I still get comments like; You still haven’t pulled it together yet? Why isn’t your divorce over yet? I can only shrug my shoulders and I can feel their frustration that my situation is still not resolved. So I just avoid them now. If I do run into them by chance, I just camouflage my despair and angst with optimism and strength. Besides, I really never could afford the cost of those coffees anyway.
I joined a weekly meditation group. Their basic philosophy is that we attract the good and bad in our life. So my joke is that I must be a masochist. I have not gone any further in describing the sordid details of my life. It is supposed to be a positive outlet. The only thing that I know is that when the lights go down for the meditation is that I burst into uncontrollable tears. I quietly cry through the entire meditation. I have started bringing a hidden hanky to wipe the tears. It is literally soaked by the time the meditation is over. I do not think anyone has noticed it, because I do this quietly and I am much too embarrassed to let anyone know. What is weird is that this is the only place that I cry. I have felt like crying for the last 2 years, but I never did. When I started with this group, just a few months ago, it just happened when the lights were dimmed. I do not understand it, but I do find some relief in it.
And, as for my mother and brother, still no contact. It is a can of worms that I am not ready to open. Yet I struggle with the no contact because I have a son. I cannot and would not deny him access to his father. And I cannot deny him access to his grandmother or uncle either. I can only be there to talk to him about their transgressions after he has personally experienced them. For me, I think I can still just roll with the punches except when they target my son. Then I go nuts. The holidays are coming and I do not want this to end up lasting 20 years like what happened to my other brother. He has since passed away and that is another long story. I understand my vulnerabilities, but in my heart, I cannot do “no contact”. I still cannot ignore the fact that both my mother and brother financially provided for me during the first year of this mess. It is all so complicated and I am still so confused.
If only I could find a job….