Several months ago I wrote to you for the first time, and then, about 6 months later, wrote another letter when I thought mine would not get published. Then, imagine my surprise when I saw both letters published (about 3 weeks apart) as well as your responses to both. Here is one of them.
I could almost feel the desperation in my words, especially the first. You see, I am 58, a single parent, with a grown and married child with a family of his/her own. I left a pretty good job in 2008 to accept a (supposedly wonderful) position a recruiter told me about. Then, the company replaced me with the first candidate about 6 weeks later…and then, I got caught in the unemployment “mess” and was out of work for 11 months (yes, 11).
I collected unemployment, worked at part-time jobs and probably looked for a job harder than I ever did in my life. I finally got hired (full-time) by a very large company. Again, a pretty good job. I could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It didn’t feel like a train…then, my company did some SERIOUS restructuring and I was out of work again, with no insurance (they let me go at the “89 day mark”) and even fought me over my unemployment claim, which I won.
I did my homework and had all my ducks in a row (as we say in the South) and was able to survive for a bit. Then, I took 2 part-time jobs again to make it, and again was offered a position. This time, though, I knew the recruiter personally as he was a friend of mine. I turned down the job offer 3 times and changed my mind. I made the “move’ and am doing well.
I feel much better now, and life finally has some promise. Because of a Chapter 13 “gone bad,” and a really inept attorney, my financial picture isn’t beautiful, but I have survived for almost 2 years, kept a roof over my head (my rent is almost 1000. and with my credit challenges, moving isn’t an option right now), and somehow made my car payment. I know things are going to improve, as I am living proof.
After getting my taxes done, I found out that last year I lived on only 22,000. Not much with rent of 950, and a car payment of 375. but I know now I can handle ALMOST anything.
Between a strong faith, some help from the church when needed (utility bills a couple of times) and some creative accounting/juggling, I survived.
Please tell your readers that even though it may seem hopeless, it almost ALWAYS will, and I was so depressed at one time I actually considered taking my own life. Can you believe it? For money? That’s paper…Who would want to kill over paper? I have been so close to being homeless that I got a letter from an attorney, asking me to move in 30 or so days. That was first time ever for something like this. I thought I would be sick when that happened. Well, I paid the late fees, and saved my apartment.
I have spent countless hours worrying about money and bills, and can actually see things changing for the better. I got audited from many years ago, and owe the IRS about 8000. but I am working on that, too. A friend of mine who owns a tax/bookkeeping business is helping me do an Offer in Compromise. I was to get almost 3000. back this year (school tuition helped/thanks to student loans) but I have to let IRS take it, but at least I may get the rest of the debt “forgiven.” I had almost run of out money for school, as I reached the aggregate level for my loans. Heck, I didn’t even know there was a limit! Anyway, I got a call from a friend of mine in charge at the school (I am a senior and I have only 6 classes left to finish my Bachelor’s) reminding me to apply for a particular scholarship. I had him proof the essay I wrote. Well, I though I would cry when I got the letter in the mail telling me I won 5000. to finish school (definitely not a scam!). This was the answer to my prayers.
I still may, in time, have to file bankruptcy, as I can’t file while the IRS is reviewing my case, but, by the grace of God, and several close friends who care about me, I am here, ALIVE and on the road to recovery. Please tell your readers to stay as connected as they can, to family, friends, employment specialists, business advisors, amd anyone in a position of influence who may be able to help them. Sometimes it’s a person who’s an expert in the field of resumes, sometimes it’s someone who is a expert networker and can introduce you to others in his/her sphere of influence, and sometimes (and quite often) it’s a friend or loved one to just listen, have a cup of coffee with, or just vent to. Find what works, know that it WON’T always be this bad, and there is ALWAYS a brighter day coming, even if several weeks away!
Also, please tell them to take NOTHING for granted. Each day is truly a gift and debt ia just that debt. Almost everyone has some and some is acceptable and some not. Please let them know that there is a 58 year old woman in the Southeast that has used up her retirement, has no life or health insurance, but is thankfully very healthy, and has a roof over her head, a car to drive, food on the table and car insurance in place (somethings are not a luxury!). The most important thing she has, however, is HOPE. God Bless you Steve, and I will update you as to my financial progress through the website.
You’ve learned a really valuable lesson that most often falls on deaf ears in the midst of financial turmoil, gratitude. Even in the most difficult days there is always something to be grateful for because no matter how bad things are, they could always be worse.
I’ve got a lot of hope for you my friend. You are well on your road to recovery and I’m so glad when you considered taking your own life over your debt, you didn’t. It would have been such a needless waste to see your life ended early over debt.
I’m so proud of you.