venting and looking for support(long)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by sjexpress, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. sjexpress

    sjexpress New Member

    Hi- I am sure no one remembers me as it has been years. I have a now 15yr old ds who is a difficult child. I used to post on the main parenting site and it was always helpful. Fortunately, with lots of help and maturity, knock on wood ,things have been going much, much better this past year for us with difficult child. I have hope we will all make it.
    Anyway, today I am posting on this board looking for a place to vent for me. Long story...when difficult child was born I stayed home a few months and then had to return to work since husband salary alone could not support us. difficult child went to daycare until he started fulltime kindergarten. When difficult child was 6, so 9 years ago, my 2nd ds (easy child) was born. When easy child was just a few months old, my mother in law died. She left her house to husband and I. We sold her house and decided I could quit work and stay home being we had a nice cushion of money in the bank. Not a ton since it was a small house but enought for a few years. We knew we would live off that money using it to supplement husband salary since his alone could not pay the bills. The plan was when the money got low, I would then have to return to work. It was a blessing to be home caring for my home and my family, especially thru some years when things were horrid at home and school with difficult child.
    My husband does all the banking for the family. I would often ask him the balance and he always said not to worry, we are fine. Well, yesterday, I had to go to the bank to take care of something and when they told me the balance in the account, I freaked out...only $100.00!! I called husband who admitted the money ran out almost 8 months ago but he didn't bother to tell me it was even getting low because he knew how happy I was being a stay at home mom and he was happy how things were too. He got a promotion a few months ago so now his income can just about pay our basic bills but nothing extra!! I am at a loss. I am beyond angry at him and myself for believing him that we stretched the money for 9 years ( each year we get about $10,000 back in tax return too so it helped stretch) I don't understand why he would let this happen and leave us with nothing in the bank!! His answer is only he wanted me to be happy and to be home with the boys. I know we are fortunate to be able to pay the basics and we certainly aren't going to be out in the street, but this was not the plan at all!! I am sick with stress and worry now with having to find a job and who will care for my younger ds when he is sick or there is no school. Who will drive kids to all after school activities, etc... all these changes that will have to occur to my boys when I have to get a job shortly. I feel like husband set us up for a downward spiral. Worse, how will difficult child handle all this?? Will he fall apart?? Change for him is awful. Of course I will do my best to find a job with hours when they are at school but that is a whole other issue.
    For 20 years I had a career in the medical field. In order to keep your license to practice, you had to take a certain amount of continuing ed. classes each year. They are very expensive so since we were always conserving money , I didn't take any so until I "catch up", I can not return to my former type of work. It will cost a small fortune and time to take all those classes now. So the best job I can get is probably min. wage at best as I have no other skills outside my career.
    I am sick, scared, angry, overwhelmed, feeing so stupid, and anything else you can think of. I just needed to vent. I really have no one to talk to. My sister would just lecture me on how I could have been so naive. She is a know it all! I also have so much hate for my husband right now for not being honest and putting our family in this situation. I told him that and the truth is that is how I feel. If he had just told me when the money was starting to get low, we would have had more time to plan things out. I feel like I am in panic mode now! THanks for listening.
     
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's a lot to take in. I'm so sorry. I understand your feelings and how frightening it must be for you. That kind of information about money gets us right in the survival mode instantly, so it makes sense that you would be scared and panicked now.

    My suggestion would be to try to step back from the ledge for a moment and access where you find yourself. I understand how angry and hurt and scared you are, and at the same time, I can understand how your husband made the choice he did trying to keep you happy at home. Even though that wasn't the plan, and I do get how angry you are, but it doesn't sound as if his intentions were bad, perhaps misplaced. He likely saw you being so happy and didn't know how to interrupt that. Unfortunately, you're both now in a situation that calls for action.

    When you're able to calm down from the insult of this, putting your heads together for a plan is the next step. Again, I'm sorry you have to be in this place. However, now this is where you are. Perhaps you might find a temporary position, part time, while you make a plan to pay for and take those courses necessary for your career. It may take awhile. That may give your difficult child time to adjust to the new circumstances a little more slowly. You might be able to find something part time while the boys are in school.

    I know how distressing this is. I've had similar things happen to me where your world as you know it is ripped out from under you. It's going to take a little time for you to adjust to the new circumstances and get used to the new "normal." Give yourself that time to adjust and have your feelings and be able to express yourself to your husband. He most likely feels like a real heel right now too.

    Hang in there sjex, this is tough stuff to assimilate. It takes time to recover from a blow, especially a financial blow of this kind. Things are going to change,but it isn't necessarily all bad, you may enjoy getting back in to the job market.............eventually, after the shock wears off.

    I'm sorry. Sending warm hugs..................keep us updated..............
     
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    When you calm down enough to think straight... (which is a major task in itself)... try doing the logic backwards.

    How much additional income do you really need?

    Then... can you find ways to work evenings/weekends/during school hours? Would it help to do before/after school care for some other kids? How about taking on some house-cleaning, where you can be a bit flexible on the schedule?

    Just tossing out ideas here. Sometimes, a crisis spins us 180 degrees in our thinking, and we might only need a 20 degree correction.
     
  4. sjexpress

    sjexpress New Member

    Thank you for the replies and advice. I do need to get past my anger and face facts. Nothing can turn back the clock so I must look ahead try to move on. Our local library has someone who will work with those returning to the work force to get their resume and cover letter together so I am planning on making an appointment. after my kids return to school after xmas break ( which is 2 weeks here!). Since I have not worked in almost 10 years and will not be going back to the same type of job, I could use the help on my resume. I also spoke to the state licensing agency about getting my license active to practice again. This will take time and at a cost due to all the continuing ed. I have to make up but it is something I can work towards. The hardest part will be the child care for my 9 yr old mostly when school is on vacation or when he is sick. My difficult child at 15 is able to stay by himself for a number of hours. I will only work part time anyway to start off. Like mentioned above, I have to figure out how much I need to make to give us a cushion and not worry so much if we need emergency money. Right now this feels like the worst thing that could happen...like you said, someone pulled the rug out from under my "perfectly happy little life" and now I must regroup and adjust. Like I said in my first post, I knew the time would come but thought it wouldn't happen so shockingly! Thanks again for listening
     
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, you've already done so much in one day! Talk about taking the bull by the horns! You've gotten a lot of information already and you're on the case. The quickest way out of feeling like a victim is to take action..........you sure did that!

    One thing I've learned in my century on planet earth is that everything changes, just when you feel the most comfortable, you can pretty much expect change to come barreling in! Makes sense to be flexible and adaptable. And, you sure seem to have all the traits to make this into an opportunity.

    Hang in there. Keep us posted. Somehow I believe you're going to do very, very well, whatever it is you end up doing.
     
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome Back! Long time, no see!

    I am sorry the rug got yanked out from under you so fast. You have already taken LOTS of steps to start turning things around. At the very least, go find your emergency chocolate/wine/Cutty/whatever and hole up for a little while to take a breath and pat yourself on the back for not just sitting there stunned and waiting to be told what to do. Just taking a few steps is HUGE and should be rewarded.

    Give yourself some time to cope with the shock. Sit down with some paper and a pen and figure out what you are currently doing that is a need, and what is a want. Ask yourself what would happen if you couldn't enroll difficult child in x, or easy child in y, or had to drop service q. Would life end or would things be okay? There are often lots of places to cut costs that you may not even realize or miss after a few weeks.

    Your husband did a boneheaded guy thing, but his heart was in the right place. For just a minute, imagine the stress all of the financial worries put on him. It was NOT the right thing to do, but it happened because he loves you and your kids. Also it happened because society STILL gives guys the message that they should be able to provide for their families all by themselves. I have had a lot of guy friends and do not know more than 1 or 2 who don't feel bad on some level that their wives cannot be sahms. I also know a few who decided to try to live a very frugal life, stretch EVERY penny until it screams, and at least tried having one spouse be a SAH. Some found that they liked it, some hated it and the spouse went back to work. Some found that one spouse loved it, one hated it, they stopped talking and got a divorce. It generally was the 'stopped talking' that led to the divorce.

    There are some amazing books on frugality out there. I still believe the classic, and best one, is "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dacyzian (may have mangled her last name). I strongly recommend heading to alibris or amazon marketplace and ordering it. Be sure you get the one that says "Complete". It originally came out in 3 volumes, one at a time, that do not repeat, then all three were printed in one volume by popular demand. It is available in hardback and paperback and I strongly recommend hardback. Right now amazon isn't showing it in hardback in marketplace, but alibris has it in hardback for $1.39 plus $3.99 shipping (http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?keyword=complete+tightwad+gazette&mtype=B&hs.x=22&hs.y=33). I have purchased the indiv volumes and 3 copies of the complete version, including one at full retail, and every time have saved enough to MORE than cover the cost of the book in under 2 mos. I have given it as gifts many times. Mostly I get that quiet thanks that comes when someone is underwhelmed with a gift. A couple of months later I get a call that has a real "WOW" in it and an excited thanks and how much it has saved money, time, etc...

    This book can help you find some breathing room to figure out your next steps. So can the list of wants vs needs. You and husband need to sit down and really TALK about what you want and how to achieve it together.

    I know it is hard with kids, but have difficult child or someone else watch easy child and go somewhere not at home, or get the kids out of the house for the evening, and stay home and really TALK. What are you each thinking, and more importantly, what are you feeling? Please try to understand what a big burden your husband assumed by not telling you. He has had ALL of the financial worries on his shoulders for years now. He gave you those extra years as a GIFT to both you and to your kids. Was it right? Probably not. Was it boneheaded? Of course. Was it designed to hurt you? Of course not. Was it easy for him? Not just NO but Hades NO!

    You CAN work through this. You CAN thrive through this and find an even better new 'normal'. but it will take work and open, honest communication.

    Please think about your career. Do you want to go to the same field or try something new? Were you happy in that career? Don't write off what you have done this last few years as nothing. You had to use a LOT of skills to manage a household, esp one with a difficult child in it. Sure it may feel as though you did 'nothing', but think about the various tasks and what it takes to do with them. There is a LOT more than you think, and often being stay at home mom prepares you better for a job than you realize. I can still remember one a conversation my mom had when she was a university dept secretary after she went back to work when we were in school. The other dept secretary in her office asked her why absolutely nothing really upset her or ruffled her feathers. She said that after raising my bro and I for a few years, she was prepared for anything and the antics of the profs and college kids was NOTHING compared with the stuff we did. a year later when she left to go to grad school, her boss (very gruff, grumpy guy) actually cried because no way would he find a better person to handle her work. They actually had to hire a full time person and a part time person to replace her because she multi-tasked so well and handled so much.

    So don't you EVER sell yourself short because you stayed home a few years. You learned a LOT and I bet will be great at whatever you choose to do next.

    I am sorry the rug got pulled out from under you. I know how scary it feels.
     
  7. sjexpress

    sjexpress New Member

    thank you again for all the advice and information on the book. I will definitely look it up. I am sure I can handle a new position outside of my former career. It of course is just a matter of finding someone that will hire me to give me a chance to prove myself. Right now we will just get thru the holidays and then tell the boys with a new year comes change sometimes and just explain to them that I had the opportunity to stay home for many years but now due to finances and cost of living, I will need to go back to work. ( i won't tell them their father is the biggest moron on the face of the earth and he screwed this family royaly! )
    I know that almost all of their friends have both parents that work so it certainly is not out of the ordinary. I will tell them that we may have to use childcare ( for my 9 yr easy child) but will do our best to all work together to be able to get to our sports and other activities that they love as usual.
    With this all just hitting me a few days ago, I am still trying to sort thru my feelings of anger towards my husband for letting our money be all used up and not telling me when our account was getting low so I could have gotten a job while we still had savings. I am still mad at my self for being such an idiot and never checking the bank balance myself but then again, why would I ever think he was not telling me the truth. And worse, my fear of how the changes in our daily lives will affect my kids. Especially difficult child, who is doing so well the past year. I find myself crying quite often thruout the day. I guess I am sort of in mourning for how comfortable things were...
    I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday time.
     
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think that's an absolutely appropriate response when a part of our lives ends......there is always grief, so your tears are good, it's healthy to let our feelings out........just remember, when one door closes, another opens..........you may be "in the hallway" for a little while, until a new door opens, but one will.

    You've been shocked in to change, not easy to move through that so gracefully for us humans, however, you seem to have a very good handle on things in spite of your anger and grief, which of course, are normal responses......you're thinking it through and making decisions on how to go about the change. Your responding well to a difficult situation.

    I hope your holidays are more peaceful.........and that you find your point of balance quickly..............
     
  9. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I wouldn't be upset at husband for long. It was probably hard for him to tell you after seeing how comfortable you were and how great everything was. My ex husband , even if he inherited money, would have never allowed me to quit my job. Count your blessings that you had and will continue to have. Time to become strong, your 9 and 14 year old will learn to cope faster than you.
     
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