I was never one of those children who wished their childhood away. Whilst I maybe didn’t have the “perfect” childhood, it was mostly happy. I loved school, I loved my friends, I loved my family; life was good. I dreaded leaving school, becoming an “adult”. I was happy in my bubble; many a time I’ve said that if I could spend the rest of my life repeating my matric year, I’d do so in a heartbeat. THAT’S how much I loved school. Then again, 2003 was an awesome year. A happy year. A year with no worries or regrets or “what ifs”.
My life is full of worry now. I don’t focus on the regrets or what ifs because that will not fix anything. But in a nutshell, we’re teetering on the edge of collapse. Finances, what finances. At the end of this month, we’ll be 4 months behind in our rent. Whilst we have communicated our situation to our landlord, he can only be so understanding for so long. And I know that. The husband is now 3 months behind in EVERYTHING. The bank will come for his car at the end of the month, and whatever else they can attach to make up the shortfall of what he owes on it. For the first time in years, I will not be able to meet all of my financial obligations this month. And that scares me something stupid. I have worked really hard to get myself back to a semi-viable financial position, and this month it will all come crashing down. Even with my second job, I will just not have enough.
And my biggest failure of all? Myself, as a mother to my children. I’m not even buying their food anymore; my mom is. I cannot even buy my children milk and bread. Morgan-Lee is turning 7 in October; she was telling me yesterday about what kind of party she wants to have and what presents she’d like, whilst I sat there fighting back the tears because I can’t give any of it to her. Oh she’ll have a party, because my mom will make sure of it. Yet another thing that I can’t do. And yes, a party isn’t a priority but she’s a child. Our financial failures as adults cannot affect her. And I’m trying so hard to not let them. But it is soul destroying when she asks for a chocolate bar, and I honestly cannot buy it for her. I simply don’t have the R6 for a chocolate. R6. And she looks at me, doesn’t argue, and simply nods her head and walks away. I want to die. I want to curl up in a ball and just disappear.
The husband and I are good people. I know that everyone says that “they’re good people” but we are. We really are. We’ve been battling now for almost a decade. It all started with him being retrenched in 2006, and we’ve just never been able to get completely on top of things. We’ve come close, but just not close enough. Then the events of this March-April just sealed our casket. Yes, he is working now and we are both so grateful for his work and monthly income, but he is earning a lot less than what he was, and because we were a month behind in everything when he started his new job in June, it just continued to spiral downwards from there. The amount that he now has to pay out in 1 shot is staggering. And it’s at the point where he is about to be handed over for legal action. Where the bank is threatening to repossess his car. Where his cellphone is about to be cut off because he hasn’t been able to pay it. Where he now cannot provide for his family. And neither can I.
We have both been responsible for certain financial obligations in our household; I cover our medical aid, car insurance, school fees, internet etc, whilst he covers the rent, most of our electricity, 90% of our groceries, big appliance payments etc. So he pretty much runs our house. And for the past 3 months, he hasn’t been able to. And he’s burnt out. What has happened to us, to him, has crushed him. He’s hanging on for our kids, and I know it.
I have been yearning to write a blog post for weeks now, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do so. I have just felt empty and uninspired. Lost. But when I write, it helps me. So it’s been a kind of catch 22. On my drive to work this morning I thought of the title of this post, and it’s just gone from there. It’s not normal to struggle so much in life, is it? And yes, I know that there are families out there with far less than us, that there are families living in war-torn countries, families fleeing across the ocean, facing peril and death. But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about my family. My children. The ones who rely and depend on me; the ones who I am currently failing.
I saw my shrink on Tuesday; she upped my meds to help me “cope” with our situation until things calm down. I don’t feel that they’re making any difference; maybe my body has become used to them. I dunno. All I know is that I feel April creeping back up onto me, and I don’t want that. But every day I feel just that much less in control. And that frightens me.
The 1 silver lining is that if we do have to move out of our home, I have amazing, phenomenal friends that have agreed to take us in for a few months. I’m talking all 5 of us. Obligation free. Knowing that if everything does fall apart but my children will still have a roof over their heads and food in their tummies, eases my burden. My worry. My stress. I don’t have much in my life, but I am beyond financially wealthy with these guardian angels in our lives. Knowing that my children will be safe and protected and loved and warm. Knowing that they have a place to go. Thank-you. Just, thank-you.
I am dreading payday. It’s exactly 1 week away. But, I am also trying to teach myself to stop worrying and stressing about the things that I do not have any control over. It’s so much easier said than done, but I have to try. For my own mental well-being, I have to try.
I have always been open and honest in my blog posts, whether I’ve been happy or sad. This is my platform to be real, to express myself. It’s not attention seeking on my part; writing helps me. Writing is my release. Words are my medication.
I just wish words could fix our mess.
Not this time.