Help. Honest to God...help. Today I was reading a blog post by my second ex-husband's wife and reached the end of my rope. something I read just added one more thing onto my already overwhelming stress level and I am on the verge of a complete and total mental breakdown. Before I lose it completely I decided to get it all out and ask the kind people here for some analyzation of my stress and see if I can find a better way of managing it.
Here's what has me so stressed out that I am about to lose what little is left of my sanity...
1. I really don't like my job. The people I help are cool, but I am so fed up with more and more and more stuff being thrown at me and no pay increase in sight. No one in my office has had a raise in four years. Also, due to company changes, my job is on the line and may be eliminated in 2012. So, do I stick it out in hopes that things will turn around or do I give up and start job hunting?
2. I despise my husband's job. He's a retail store manager and his boss is a total jerk! My husband is also new to this company, has not received proper training, and is getting constantly pestered and harassed by his boss because things are not complete. He isn't given enough labor hours to allot to his employees, so tons of the work gets piled onto him. He works 6-7 days a week for 10-12 hours each. I never see him anymore! By the time he gets home he's exhausted and falls asleep. He doesn't get to spend time with me or my daughter very often and that's really bothering me and her.
3. I am worried about my health. My knees ache all the time. I feel twinges of pain in my chest from time to time. I have migraines. I have constant sinus infections. I have high blood pressure.
4. I'm fat. I am working on losing weight, but things have stalled. The past couple of months I have lost and gained the same stupid five pounds. I can't seem to get anywhere and that's disheartening.
5. I worry about my father-in-law's job. He works in a warehouse and his job has already landed him in the hospital for dehydration and a minor heart attack twice in the past four months. He's currently on short term disability after the heart attack and subsequent surgery, but it scheduled to return to work on December 22. I am guessing he will land himself in the hospital again after another couple of months because his job just doesn't care about his health. If he goes home during a shift (regardless of the reason) he gets written up. So I worry about him either having a major heart attack and dying at work, or getting fired. If he gets fired, we will lose the house. His paycheck is paying the mortgage because we can't afford it right now. See #7 for why.
6. I have absolutely no help around the house. My daughter is too young to help much, although she does throw her trash away and put her dirty dishes in the sink. My husband's too tired to clean when he gets home at night. My father-in-law's too sick to help too much because of his heart condition. So that leaves me doing damn near everything. I just can't keep up with it all right now.
7. We do not have enough money coming in to pay all of the bills right now. My husband had been with Blockbuster as a store manager for 12 years. He left college to pursue that as a career because he believed in the company and thought it would be a great career. Blockbuster let him go 10 days before our wedding in June. Two months later he did find a new job, but had to deal with a pay cut of $8000. He was already living paycheck to paycheck at his Blockbuster salary, so we are going in the hole every month.
8. Due to the reduced income, our truck is 3 months behind on payments. I drive the truck to work and my husband drives my SUV (which is paid for and old) because I have a longer commute and the truck gets way better gas mileage than the SUV. I'm worried it's going to get repossessed any day now and I don't know how I'll get to work then.
9. I have two children from different marriages. My 7 year old lives with Ex 1 and his wife and my 2 year old lives with me. Ex 2 is the biodad of the 2 year old and lives about 1800 miles away. Neither of us go through any child support agencies, but just deal directly with one another. I am supposed to pay Ex 1 child support and Ex 2 is supposed to pay me. Ex 2 is behind on his payments, and therefore I am behind on my payments to Ex 1. I owe Ex 1 for the past 6 months. I'm scared to death that he's going to get fed up and turn me in, but I can't do anything about it right now. I can't afford the 2 year old's day care bills of $540 a month and pay Ex 1 child support as well.
10. I want to see my 7 year old more, but feel like because I am behind on my child support payments that I have no right to ask to see her. Besides, they live 2 hours from me and I don't have the gas money to drive up to their house and back twice a month to get her and take her home. We used to meet halfway, but they are having car issues and don't have a car right now. So that would leave it up to me and I just can't afford it. See #7 about the reduced income as to why.
11. I am in collections for an ER visit a year ago. I owe the doctor $500 because apparently I no longer had the health insurance I thought I had after I moved. If I knew I wasn't covered, I wouldn't have gone to the ER for the migraine. I've received legal paperwork about it but don't have the money to pay it. Once again, see #7 about the reduced income.
12. I have a credit card that got charged off after I didn't have the money to pay it. I know I owe it, but don't have the money to pay it. Back to #7 and the reduced income again.
13. I've been taking a weight loss supplement called Healthy Trim to lose my weight so far. I honestly don't have the money to order any more after this bottle is gone. It's been a wonderful appetite suppressant, but I don't have the $60 to spend on each bottle due to #7. I worry that without it, my appetite will be raging and I will eat and gain back all the weight I've lost plus more.
14. In Ex 1's wife's blog, she posted about my 7 year old making comments about worrying that she's going to leave. I know my 7 year old feels like that because I left when she was a year old. The reasons for the end of the marriage are not something I will go into publicly, but if you want to know feel free to PM me and I'll tell you why I left. But reading that my 7 year old is worried about that makes me feel like I scarred her for life by putting my own needs first and getting out of a terrible marriage. Am I supposed to put my own needs last all the time? I already do put other people first in my life and in my home. When am i permitted to concentrate on me? Apparently, the answer is "never."
So, as you can see I am on the verge of losing it! If you have any advice or suggestions on how I can better handle this stress, please do share. I am at my wits end and don't know what I can do anymore to handle my stress. :(
12-11-2010, 12:49 PM
ok wow.wow. wow. i would've already blown a gasket long ago.
1. have you tried applying for child care assistance? in my state, IL this is called CHASI. people that qualify pay on a sliding scale. people that have poverty level income pay nothing. nada.
2. what about medicaid or food stamps? have you applied for those?
3. i think you deserve to lose the weight and CAN! first you'll have to learn to deal with the stress in ways other than eating. this was very hard for me too.
to deal with the stress, do what you did today. tell us about it. write it down, call a trusted friend. anything, get it off your chest. if you can, try to listen to Inside Out Weightloss. it's a free podcast. Here's the link:
no ipods required. i just listen on the computer.
4. there's a lot you can do to reduce the cleaning around the house. do you use paper plates? often with little kids the kitchen floor needs to be cleaned daily, so i clean it with baking soda in between mopping. it's super fast, and kids won't slip on the floor. i just sprinkle some baking soda on the floor. get a rag or towel, wet it a little. then just rub where the baking soda is. it becomes like a paste. makes my kitchen floor whiter and cleaner. it's the best thing to get rid of that stickiness too. so sweeping, wiping with baking soda. you could be done with that in 10 mins or less.
12-11-2010, 12:54 PM
borrow a dave ramsey book from the library. he also has a show on the radio, you may be able to listen to it in your area or on the internet. here's a link to his budget worksheet: http://www.daveramsey.com/media/pdf/fpu_monthly_cash_flow_plan_forms.pdf
this is a link to his radio show webpage: http://www.daveramsey.com/home/
12-11-2010, 12:58 PM
i think you should start looking for a job, but not leave yours yet.
there's nothing the creditors can do. you can't pay them. if they sue you, they wouldn't get any more money anyway.
12-11-2010, 01:03 PM
have you tried cooking with beans? they are literally the cheapest food in the store. lentil soup, vegetarian chilli, there's alot of ideas you could try for next to nothing.
i totally relate to the long hours of your husband's job. mine has been at his job for over 2 years. on the weekend, he works 12 hour shifts. with his commute he's gone close to 14 hours. so i basically don't see him at all the whole weekend except when he's getting ready to leave unless i stay up until 1 am when he gets home. so i miss him and i'm alone with our 3 kids all weekend. most of the time, i hate the weekend. as they get older, it's getting better. they're listening better. i'm working on yelling less.
12-11-2010, 01:09 PM
have you heard of flylady? maybe there's some tips to help your cleaning go faster, more efficient. http://flylady.net/index.asp
12-11-2010, 01:32 PM
Thanks for your replies Katy. :) I really appreciate it.
I have looked into state and government programs for child care assistance, food stamps, etc. We make too much money for them. In my state, they take into account the incomes of all people in the house, so they count mine, my husband's, and my father-in-law's incomes. We make more than they allow for any sort of state or government assistance. We're stuck on our own.
I am looking for a job but not finding any luck yet. there are tons of part time ones out there, but I need full time and it has to let me work during the day as day care closes at 6:30PM. I actually scored a job interview, took one of my last two vacation days from work, and was planning to go but they filled the position with someone they had interviewed earlier. I took my day of vacation on 12/8/2010 and got other stuff done, but was admittedly disappointed that I wasn't able to interview since I'd already taken the day off from work. I'll keep looking though.
I do cook with beans. I am a vegetarian and working on becoming vegan. My husband and father-in-law are meat eaters. They will eat my vegetarian food but they keep meat around too. They loved my vegan chili I made last week though. It was cheap and easy. Still, I don't have enough money for groceries. My mom bought my groceries for me a week ago because I just didn't have the money. I was extremely grateful for that, but don't want to hope for a handout from folks. I need to be able to make it on my own, and not being able to do that at nearly 32 years old is tough. (I'll be 32 next Friday).
I've tried flylady before. It definitely can help. Part of my issue though is with my OCD, I'm kind of an "all or nothing" person and feel like I've failed if I can't get everything done at once. I know with flylady's concepts though they have people work on little bits at the time with the decluttering and scheduling when to do the major cleaning parts of each room. I figure once I actually get the whole house done, then flylady's methods will help a lot in the maintenance, but the aspect of getting the whole house done alone is a daunting task that I never can seem to accomplish.
12-11-2010, 01:33 PM
I second Katy's flylady suggestion.
It helped me in a very low time of my life. My situation was similiar to yours, with the addition of a disabled child and my DH having a heart attach and a triple bypass. Not just with cleaning, but with facing my financial problems, looking for options, seeing humor, moving more daily (exercise) and looking on the bright side.
You have a lot on your plate.... but you can do it. You just need a little help. You have done a great job of listing the issues. Now you can start to deal (or not deal) with them.
I don't know if you are part of a faith community, but if you are, let pride go and go there and see if they can help. I am sending hugs and prayers your way.
There are options, but like the poster on my wall says "when you're up to your a$$ in alligators, its hard to remember that the objective was to drain the swamp!!"
12-11-2010, 01:38 PM
There are options, but like the poster on my wall says "when you're up to your a$$ in alligators, its hard to remember that the objective was to drain the swamp!!"
LOL!!!!!! God, I needed that laugh! I may have to print that phrase out and tape it up in my cubicle at work!
I am not active in a church at the moment. I fear going into one right now with my issues that people will think I am just out for a handout and that's totally not the case. I just want to find a way to deal with these issues and get myself back on track before my family commits me to a mental hospital...and adding more bills because of it.
12-11-2010, 01:48 PM
angel food ministries could really help alot. it's not a 'hand out' you still pay for the food. it's discounted though. you order and pay for it in advance, then pick up your box on sat. morning. often it's at a local church. you don't have to attend church to pick it up. they use volunteers to drive the trucks, pack it, and give it to people. http://www.angelfoodministries.com/about/
12-11-2010, 02:03 PM
I also recommend Katy's suggestion of checking out Dave Ramsey's website. I haven't personally read his books, but there was a long thread on another forum I frequent where people were raving about how his "snowball" approach to debt helped them get out of debt even if they had dug themselves into a giant hole and didn't have much to work with. It's worth checking out.
In terms of the immediate future, if you haven't already, try to cut out as much unnecessary monthly expenses as you can. This is easier said than done, but if you're having trouble paying the mortgage and car payments, see if you can free up money by getting rid of your cable, landline, moving to a cheaper cell plan, reducing your energy bills, stop eating out/getting fast food, see if there are cheaper daycare options, i.e. maybe it would save money to have someone you know watch your daughter, get rid of netflix if you have it. All of those little things add up to real money pretty fast.
There may not be many full-time jobs available right now, but definitely keep searching especially if yours might get cut in the future and hopefully something will open up. In the meantime, definitely don't quit yours, but keep searching for something better.
In terms of cleaning, I don't have any great advice since I seem to have the same problem! However, one thing that has helped is just getting rid of some of the stuff. It's so much easier to keep things clean if there is less clutter and I find that being in a cluttered space just adds to the stress.
Hang in there:hug:
12-11-2010, 02:19 PM
if you got a part time job that could would save money on the child care expenses. or maybe part of the time you are working or a few days a week, the father in law could pick up your daughter and watch her until you get off work. with daycare, the good news is, as soon as they are potty trained, your expenses go waaay down. that should be pretty soon, i would guess.
12-11-2010, 05:52 PM
First of all, please stop taking the HealthyTrim immediately! It contains hydroxycitric acid, which yes is effective, but can also be EXTREMELY damaging to your liver. Don't struggle to pay for something that could create a huge number of severe health problems. While it contains less than most diet pills, it's still there.
Second of all, look at what you can cut out of your budget. I have no idea which of these you might have already done, so just ignore the ones you're already doing or can't implement.
Do you have cable or satellite TV? Discontinue it. How much does your internet cost you a month - are there cheaper options? You can do things like put tape over window seals to increase efficiency slightly. Foodwise, eliminate all eating out (even coffee at the gas station) - this IS possible, and it will save you buckoos of cash! When grocery shopping, stick to UNPROCESSED food - you can make five times as much food for the cost of 1 lean cuisine if you do it from scratch - and it doesn't have to take ages.
Also, that stuff about your husband being too tired to help clean? Bull****. He can help. He's an adult, and he might have long hours but they're not so long he can't do little things to help you out - clean out the toilet bowl once a week, run a load of laundry, etc etc. Those things don't take much time or energy - but when they're ALL piled on YOU, it quickly becomes soul-sucking and exhausting.
12-11-2010, 08:20 PM
Try to find a few quiet moments - sit with your list of problems and try to find 1 idea of coping with each issue. For example---
1. Stay with your job for now -be glad you have one and are getting a paycheck -decide to hold off looking for a new one until other things in your life ease up...
2. See #1 - be grateful - 2 paychecks!!
3. +4. Your health can improve when you deal with #4 -your weight -so work on a weight loss plan that motivates you to stay with
5. Worrying about your father-in-law won't change anything -so again be grateful for the 3rd paycheck for now
6.Cut yourself some slack regarding housework -just stick to the basics and consider whatever housework you're doing a form of exercise -counting towards your weight loss goal -AND definitely recruit your equally tired husband for some help -share the load...
7.most americans don't have enough $ coming in every month -so do as others suggested, try to find areas of waste or luxuries you can give up for now
8.Re -your transportation problem -right now you have the 2 vehicles -so you are still able to each get to work -if and when that changes ,deal with it then -sometimes you need to put off the "worries " for another time -but just in case - what about car pooling or public transportation -or you may have to drop off husband and pick up later -but maybe he can car pool or use public transportation
9. What would be the point of your ex -turning you in?? Any judge would be able to see that your finances are already strained -so just keep the lines of communication open with your ex -so he can understand that you are trying to dig out of this hole you're in right now.
10. It sounds as if you are doing the best you can under the circumstances -so if you can't visit your child, call or email just to let her know that you are thinking of her and miss her and explain why you can't visit just yet
11. and 12. No need to do anything about these just yet -except let the companies know that you are aware of the bills and will make every attempt at getting to them as soon as you're able
13. Depending on appetite suppressants is a very individualized approach to weight loss and I'm in no position to tell you how to lose weight -but if you can't afford the pills, try to find a weight loss program that works without being overly hungry - there's plenty of info here for that. I personally find low-carb and lots of fibrous foods like roasted veggies,salads and protein keep me from overeating. It may be slow but NOT suffering is such a priority for me.
14. Often being a wife and a mother precludes your being able to "put yourself first" - so try to set aside a bit of time each day just for yourself -even if it's just taking a quiet bath or enjoying a cup of tea -or visiting here where many people care about you!!!
I hope I didn't sound "preachy" -and please know that these are only my suggestions without knowing all your circumstances...
What I mainly want to put out there is for you to try not to tackle every issue at once -give some thought and try to resolve or at least find a way to cope or treat each of the things you described. There's nothing wrong with asking for help when you really need it -so if you do have family or friends that can pitch in, you may need to go that route -wouldn't you help someone you loved if you could?? Best of luck -L
12-13-2010, 12:40 AM
sorry to hear about your finicial problems and all the stressors in your life. i to deal with alot of the same issues you have. i may get bood but bankruptsy was my way out. first it would put a stop on your vehicle being repossesed and the dr's office from suing you. it gives you time. you can pick and choose what you want to keep and it gets rid of what you can't afford to keep. my cost of living went from $1000 a month to $600 a month and i kept my vehicle. i pay $50 a month to the bankruptsy trustee a month and it covers everything. car payment as well as the cost of the bankruptsy to. just a thought. as far as all the rest as soon as you get out from under financial stress you can concentrate more on each sutitation you face. you can't do much about your father-in-laws health but ask him to take it easy. you may want to consider moving out on your own to be eligable for food stamps and other aid and just check on him often from close by. right now your not much help to anyone under this type of stress. several months ago i was just lost and could see no way out. today i still have some stress but can handle it camly because i've eliminated most of the stressors in my life. i wish you suscess.
12-13-2010, 04:22 AM
i actually work in collections (talk about needing a new job!!) and i really think that bankruptcy might be a valid option for you. I don't think it'll get rid of the medical bills, but it can give you some breathing room on the vehicle loan and all the other stuff can go away. Once all that is cleared up, then you can be in a better position to budget and deal with everything else. Usually you can keep one auto loan in a bankruptcy so you may still be able to work something out.
Also as someone who works in collections, the absolute best thing you can do is call your creditors, be honest with them, and see if they can work something out for you. A lot of credit card companies are significantly reducing interest rates and minimum payments, you may be able to get a loan modification on the mortgage, etc. So if bankruptcy isn't an option, at least contacting your creditors is a start.
That's one thing off the list. Al the other things seem to have been addressed already- Flylady! Getting over the all or nothing mentality is so hard, but she helps and her stuff can be really helpful not just in dealing with keeping a clean house but in all aspects of your life- keeping healthy, exercising, dealing with work. I always tell myself "just fifteen minutes" and it seems to get me through.
I do think you should try to find a way to reconnect with your child that doesn't live with you. It sounds like she's going through a tough time and maybe could use the extra support. A small care package, a letter or email, a phone call to let her know you miss her. And I agree calling her dad and just being honest about what is going on.
I like the idea of just reexamining your list and seeing what you need to cope with each thing. Make a list of the things you can do to combat this- STRESSED? go for a walk, work out, you'll feel better. Overwhelmed at home? fifteen minutes a day can make all the difference in the world. You can do it!
12-13-2010, 03:04 PM
There's another forum I visit from tiem to time called Frugalvillage that has wonderful people with amazing advice. If you're willing to post your budget there for each month, I'm sure they can help you figure out how to bring the ends closer together. Definitely cut out the supplement. It's expensive and unhealthy. Stick to a fiber filled, balanced diet, and that should help suppress your appetite.
How much money does your father in law make at his current job? (not a question you need to answer, but think about) Would it be worth it to have him quit his uber stressful job and watch your daughter (saving the daycare expenses) during the day, and find a part time job in the evenings/on weekends? While working someplace like Walmart, etc. won't pay a huge amount, when you add in the saved costs of daycare, it may be worth it. Also, will the lowered income offset you into any assistance programs?
How far is your ex behind on payments to you? Not that it's something you want to do, but if you're having difficulties providing for your family, you may need to go to the courts to press for the money he owes you. Be honest with your other ex, keep communication open.
Call your creditors. See if you can work out a payment plan for your medical bill. I know it's late in the game if they're pushing for collections, but can you work out a 10-20 a month payment until things ease up?
Is your car worth as much ore more than what you owe? Sell it, quick. Pay off the loan and get the cheapest car you can pay cash for. If not, be prepared for the car to be repossesed. Squirrel away any extra money you can to go towards a cheap craigslist car.
Definitely cut any extra expenses you can- cable, cell phoen, internet, home phone, netflix, etc. Call your utility companies and see what you can do about reduced rates.
Find a way to relax!!! Set aside a ten to 15 minute period each day for some kidn of relaxation ritual. A bath. A cup of tea. A few minutes reading a library book. No matter how stressed you feel and time crucnhed your day may be- commit to that ritual every single day.
Decide on a baseline clean for your house- I know mine has varied greatly with the amoutnof time I have. Then, figure out what you need to keep it there and divide it up. FIL may be sickly, but he can vaccuum twice a week. Get the little things that stick in your toilet to keep them clean. (scrubbign bubbles or something? its like 3 bucks for 6 of them that last 3 weeks or so a piece) DH can empty the dishwasher before he leaves for work, you can run it at night when its full. If you dont have a dishwasher- get a rack and let him put them away when theyre dry. Have each person sort their laundry when they put it into hampers. Even if you have a cardboard box for each color, it will save sorting time.
You CAN get through this. And as a side note- my husband worked for Blockbuster for several years as a store manager. I firmly believe their impending bankruptcy is a direct result of karma for the way they have treated their employees.
12-15-2010, 03:04 AM
you can defently get rid of your medical bills and keep whatever items you wish to keep if your filing chapter 13 bankruptsy. if you have 2 cars you may keep both of them. your notes may drop by 75% or more. it's repaid over a period of time. i'm doing 5 years which is the max time to lower my payments to the lowest possible amount. everything that doesn't have a lien is wiped off your debts at the end of the time period you choose. taxes are not wipped off and must be included in your plan if you owe back taxs. also the 1st 3 years you have to turn over your tax returns to the trustee. it all goes toward your debts. alot of the laywers these days charge you nothing upfront to file the case including the filing fee. all cost are included in your payment of one lump payment to a trustee once a month. whatever day your laywer files the documents with the courts becomes your due date for your payment so be aware if you need this due date to fall before a payday. it takes over a week for your payments to be applied so if your payment is due on the 1st you would have to have sent it in at least a week before that date. hope this helps.