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Mar 30

These are my truths

If there is one thing guaranteed to make people MORE uncomfortable than me showing my naked tattooed chest, it’s me talking about my current financial situation. But after spending a good 5 days humiliated, ashamed and embarrassed, I have decided that the only way to face this is head-on. These are my truths:

  • I spend 15 years putting my husband’s well-being first and my career last
  • I quit several jobs, including one that I really excelled at and that provided well, to take care of him and our daughters.
  • In the 12+ months that I cared for him in the hospital, I also downsized our possessions and our lifestyle and uprooted our kids to a house that would be adapted for HIM, not for us.

And yet here I am, struggling to make ends meet. So I have taken huge steps:

  • Gone back to work
  • Asked my father, who is retired, to please pay the contractor for the bathroom renovation that we did for J. to come home because waiting 3 months to be paid is too long, especially when they were so sweet to us and went above and beyond to help me, the girls and the dogs.
  • temporarily borrowed cash from my daughter’s savings to pay the penalty to return his car early on the lease.

And then I cried. For days. Because I was raised to be financially independent. I was raised to live within my means. And my husband promised me everything would be fine. One day, I will pay my daughter and my father back. My kids are learning a huge life lesson and are drastically adapting the way they think about life: no more Sunday movies, no more restaurants. I remind them every single day that there are more people in the world who live this way than the way we lived before. That there are people who are way less fortunate. That yes it sucks, but that I will work very hard to make sure we are all ok. And that pride is worth more than any amount of money.

11 comments

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  1. Andrea

    Your courage continues to amaze me.

  2. Liz

    end of life care is so difficult and so expensive– and leaves the surviving spouse in poverty, having to sell off assets and use all available cash. It is heartbreaking. Of course, I’m American where we expect this shit. I hoped it was better for you…. sigh.

    Things will look so very different in a year, and in five years. I know that sucks to hear, because it sounds hopeless, but I don’t mean it that way. I mean that your life will not stay this way, and things will get so much better.

    Love.

  3. Deanna

    You and the girls will be okay, and they are learning resilience and life lessons through this as well. You’re amazing and strong, and as much as it sucks now, you will get through it all. Sending much love and support.

  4. Amber

    There is no reason to feel ashamed when you have to ask for help. I know there are many times in your life when you helped others and this is a period when the tables are turned. It isn’t fun, but it certainly isn’t shameful. These are your Dark Days, V. If asking for help is what you have to do to get through them, please ask. It won’t always be like this.

  5. Elana

    Of course it makes people (myself included) uncomfortable to see someone we admire and respect, left without financial support. It is our worst fears become a reality and it’s beyond hard to look at it in the face. Virginia, you are incredible human being, as are your girls. Please know that you are never alone, you are surrounded by people that care.

  6. Sarah in Ottawa

    I am so angry, Virginia, that this is happening. I am so angry FOR you, angry and sad. I don’t know all the details but I am gobsmacked and horrified that people are making the hardest time of your life (of YOUR life, which is saying a lot) that much more difficult.

    I have no doubt that you will all be fine, because you are amazing and unstoppable. But as I’ve said before – I am not a violent woman and this whole situation makes me want to HULKSMASH some faces.

  7. Carrie in UK

    Asking for help, borrowing from your daughter is not something to be ashamed of.
    There are clearly others who should be beyond ashamed of their behaviour. What you are doing, how you feel is utterly normal – having seen good friends go through similar. The girls know everything you are doing is for them. They will respect you hugely. It’s shit and I am so very sorry you are having to go through this. Hugs

  8. C

    I recognise these truths – I have gone through them, under different circumstances. I know it feels humiliating and hard and unfair. It is unfair. And I know it might leave some additional emotional scars. But I also think that your taking the time to make this into a life lesson for your kids is a fantastic sign that things will get better for you, and for them. Because you are facing this head-on and making the decisions that are necessary and not running away from them. That is one more tool in the tool box of becoming responsible, independent (and sometimes dependent but remembering that your pride comes after your responsibilities) and resourceful adults that you are helping them create. It’s one more proof that you are a balanced, loving, responsible parent and a wonderful example for them. Hugs.

  9. Martin C

    You still gonna have to try much harder for me to be ashamed of you. You are the utmist representation of strength I have ever encountered.
    Martin C

  10. Martin C

    Utmost, not utmist!

  11. Anna in Turin

    You have nothing but admiration from this puppy on the other side of the ocean. You are financially strapped because SOMEONE ELSE is not keeping up their end of the bargain with J. They should hang their heads in shame.

    You and the girls will ultimately be ok. When I lost my job in 2012, we told my son that we couldn’t do all the things we used to do. He would still play football/soccer, he would always have food and clothes, but we would have to be careful and not spend money unnecessarily. He was only 9 years old at the time, but he got it. He would use his own money if he really wanted something we thought was absolutely unnecessary. He waited 3 years before we bought him a Wii. This year he wanted an x-box but we nixed it. We told him we cannot afford it, so he has to continue playing on his PS 3 and buy games for that console. He gets it. Since I got a job this year, I have splurged and bought him clothes NOT ON SALE…but we tend to wait for sales cause he outgrows everything so fast anyway!

    Just do your best, which is what you are doing anyway, and life will fix the rest…..one day at a time sweetie, one day at a time. big hugs to you and the girls.

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