birthday blues blow out

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Dixies_fire, May 31, 2013.

  1. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Big kids left yesterday to dads.
    Big blow up with hubs in the car pretty much the whole way there.
    He told me a month ago he would go with me and then an hour before we were supposed to leave he says "I'm not going"
    I told him I would be unhappy if he didn't go as I have been making this 3 hour round trip by myself every time.
    I think he is insecure because my ex offered to let me kids and Gavin stay with him when hubs had his break down and ex also knows about hubs being in mental hospital and the over dose and he is embarrassed.

    Anyway just the lovely send off the kids needed before they go stay with dad for 3 months, especially since its up to tk if she wants to come home at the end of the summer.

    Hubs was subdued on the way home and apologetic but I just didn't want to talk to him. Still not really wanting to talk to him.

    We finally! Got paid today hubs bought my birthday present last time we were paid so we have been very broke for the past two weeks. Of course most of the bills need to be paid today. Hubs wants to go out for Chinese food tonight but we honestly in my opinion don't need to be spending the cash, especially after this morning.

    They didn't say anything about a medboard today at his phase two physical they just told him to go file with the va next week. And that the chapter could start in a week as well.

    I have reminded myself repeatedly I don't have to think about this stuff today that I have every right to take this one day to myself and not think of it but of course it's the only thing on my mind.

    To top it off yesterday I we went to the health department to apply for wic and food stamps. I am really ready not to be breast feeding anymore and need to be able to go to work or whatever I need to do and the best thing I can do Is prepare mr Lewis for mommy not being home. My wic appointment is next week no problem except I forgot boyo was going to be with his dad so I will not be able to put him on the program.
    But surprisingly we were denied food stamps, I say surprisingly because we qualified for all kinds of assistance on an e-4 salary in tn but never used it but according to colorado we make 600.00 over what they allow that is crazy to me because food is so much more expensive here, cost of living is so much higher. So it was a bummer to sit there for 3 hours to be told no. He brings home 800 every two weeks after child support for his twins comes out and bah has been taken for housing.
    I guess we are blessed we have a roof and don't have to try to pay for that out of 800.00.

    This is all very scary to me as I have not allowed this situation in the last seven years. One of my break ups with ex in which he took everything and moved out caused me to get two jobs and turn one minimum wage 4.50 hour a job into a management position with free health care for me and a salary large enough to pay my bills with no sweat after that job I went in the army and largely never sweated paying my bills. We may not have had extras but we had our bills paid and I did that on my own, ex wasn't there and when he came back I assigned him the role of house husband so that The kids weren't spending 12 hour days in day care.

    Why is it that every time a man swears to take care of me and mine they can't seem to do half the job that I myself can do?
    This fear is distasteful to me I grew up poor counting every last dime to get us through and never minded it too much but hanging on the precipice of disaster when you have 3 kids to care for/ 5 if you count my step children who will never be able to live with us because of hubs break down (break down happened right after we went to court to obtain custody) and a husband who may or may not be able to work out in the civilian world is more then I can stand.

    I don't want myself or my children to be a victim of hubs mental illness we have all been through a lot getting through this time and things WERE getting better, but I don't really understand what the hell is going on with him and the switch from dream husband and father to the koi I had to deal with yesterday.

    This is a vent just needed to get it off my chest.
  2. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    5.50 an hour.

    Hubs podcast said his moodiness is because he came off of narcotics from surgery. This makes me feel better but I am really tired of the drama.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    husband should not have been on narcotics long enough to have it affect his least generally speaking, although that surgery is not a fun one to have.

    Skip Chinese and stick to your budget. Perhaps think of something else yummy and cheaper the two of you can enjoy instead.

    I'm stunned you don't qualify for food stamps. I think I'd appeal. Seriously. But it might be because a LOT of state are overwhelmed right now with the economy in the shape it is in. Ohio reduced the amount of payout a few months back.

    I grew up poorer than dirt. I am again poorer than dirt. I spent most of my life under the poverty line or standing on it. It stopped bothering me quite some time ago. Although I admit money enough to pay my bills comfortably would be to me like someone else winning the lottery. ugh lol

    If you've not shopped at Aldi's see if there is one near you. They may stock mainly generic brands but it is good food......except the peanut butter.......not so fond of that but krogers sells a really good generic peanut butter. Aldi's kept my family well fed when otherwise they were barely eating.

    If not using something electric, unplug it. Residual power will bleed your budget dry. It's a good habit to get in to. (plus makes sure lights and such are off when someone leaves a room)

    Watch sale ads and use coupons with them...........even if you don't buy a lot, sometimes every penny counts. Go online and sign up for free samples. You'd be stunned at what you can get for free........just make a new email account and use it because otherwise your normal one will be hard to keep up with.

    Katie opted out of cable (only way you can watch tv here) due to M getting his hours severely cut. It was cheaper to sign up for internet and Netflixs where they can watch both movies and most of their favorite tv shows. Nichole did this did Travis for a while. (we may be doing it again)

    I know it stinks but usually if you try to think outside of the box (and habit) and look around the house there are dozens of ways to trim the budget down. My girls used to moan and groan or laugh at they're doing the same things. lol

    You're wanting/craving/needing stability. been there done that and there again. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact that should be what everyone wants.

    Do something just for you. Even if it's a nice walk or an hour soaking in the tub.

    Keeping you in my prayers. And Happy Birthday!

  4. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Thank you HD... I have looked around for cheapie grocery stores and have been separating out where I buy stuff. Commissary has the cheapest meat. Safeway has 99 cent bread and 1.50 milk. King sooper's is pricey unless you have coupons.

    I cut our grocery bill quite a bit by buying a small freezer a while back, cut it by 200.00.
    I went to home made on everything I could if I had a plot of land at all I'd be gardening and canning but alas I have a patio and landscaped postage stamp I can't dig in.
    I have cut hundreds of dollars this way.

    With the kids being gone for the summer we can cut back even further.
    Food doesn't even sound appetizing really right now.

    They had him on Percocet for about a week and for three days after they were gone he's been a koi. They said because of the schizophrenic tendencies he is apparently very sensitive to any kind of narcotic or alcohol. I have the hardest time figuring out the things going on with him are they an excuse? Is he safe to be around? What can I expect from this life? Is this normal? Should I just leave even though I do love him and when he is normal he is the most awesome man and husband?
  5. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I don't really have any advice I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday! I hope you can enjoy it and spoil yourself rotten.
  6. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Thank you CB it's getting a bit better and I am relaxing. Hubs is cooking dinner and I'm lounging on the patio. I got dressed up and painted my toe nails.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm. With the schizo issues mixed in there........well........maybe. Give him the benefit of doubt as that surgery IS painful.........and even now he has to be sore so that might also be affecting his mood a bit. (doesn't help that most men are babies when it comes to pain )

    I know you're new to the area, but I wonder if you stop in at some farmer's markets if perhaps you inquired someone might be willing to give you a share of the harvest for help in the garden, maybe an older couple? We have a few folks around here doing that for both the harvest AND to learn to garden as well. Also keep a watchful eye on those farmer markets because as veggies/fruit begin to get really ripe the prices drop dramatically, especially if you buy in bulk enough for canning. The girls and I were able to purchase our tomatoes that way last year, peaches as well.

    I don't know if you're one for facebook or not.........but if so, do a search to see if there are any community pages such as for yard sales and the like. Our small town has like at least 5 of them. lol Alex will have a fabulous birthday because of one of those yard sales and it didn't cost me much at all. (thank goodness as I have 4 bdays in the month of June!) People on our sites are also good at pointing those who need it to help for various things........and anyone who is hiring whether small business or company.

    Check to see if you have a Community Action or similar that will help with utilities and help pay for your gas when you find work.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Some people have far stronger reactions to medications esp pain medications than others. I am likely a bit of an 'expert' as I have been on them for years due to chronic health problems,I took classes on medications etc... as electives in college and my family and friends all come to me with questions. Some people go through withdrawal after only a single dose or 24 hrs on pain medications. It is a VERY personal thing as to how you react and there are general guidelines to predict what they do but they are NOT exact no matter what the doctor says. Given the other issues, I would try to understand a week or so of behavior problems and if they continue then insist he get therapy to deal with the withdrawal.

    I also think that both you and your husband should at least try to get some therapy. The military is supposed to have fairly good therapy and I think that it might be very well worth the time and whatever cost (should NOT be much) as it will help you and your husband figure out a lot of things including how to handle his illness, the parenting stuff, each of your feelings, etc.... Even if he wont' go, you should take advantage of it. Or find a clinic in the area that offers a sliding scale for therapy if you don't want to go through the military.

    As for coupons, they can provide a big payoff.

    For cooking at home, I can give you recipes for your own mixes, etc.... that are cheaper and make a HUGE difference in food quality from store bought mixes. Look up food pantries online and don't feel bad about going to one. You would be shocked at how many people go to them now, and at least here they do not ask your income because htey know how people here have been struggling hard even if it looks on paper like they shouldn't.

    If you have credit cards or debt, find a consumer credit counselling agency and get help. They can do a LOT to lower credit card debt etc..... We did this about ten yrs ago and went from close to six hundred dollars due a month to about $215 a month which was a HUGE help to us. In our case, my husband had cards I didn't know about and maxed them out and it was the LAST time he was EVER allowed a credit card again. We do not use them, period. It has given us a huge sense of security as no one calls and hounds us over them.

    If you use the library, see if they have The Complete Tightwad Gazette and read it. I swear by this book and you can ask Lisa (Hound Dog) about it. It is TRULY amazing and life changing in a VERY good way. If you don't use the library or they don't have it, order a used copy online. I use amazon marketplace, and/or alibris mostly, and it is not terribly expensive used. If the hardcover version is only a dollar or two more, get that. the book started as a newsletter, then eventually was made into three books, and the "Complete" version is all 3 books in one volume. It is well worth the money and I could NOT have raised my kids with-o it on our budget.

    I truly have a homemade version of almost any store bought mix and you would be shocked at how much cheaper most are to make at home, and how little time it really takes to make up a batch of homemade mix. They even make amazing gifts that cost very little and are almost always greeted with delight twice. Once when you give them because people always think they took a long time and are sooo thoughtful, and again once they are used. I once gave a monthly free refill of a cookie mix to a friend and you would have thought I gave her the lottery each month from her reaction. That recipe is an old secret recipe a family friend gave my mom and I, and we don't let ANYONE have it (did not even give it to exsil when she was married to gfgbro!) but we give it away as a mix and it is always enjoyed.

    Most grocery stores have some things they are the lowest price on, and knowing this and buying ONLY those things can be a big help. One way to KNOW you are getting the best price is to start a price book. This summer with the big kids gone is the best time to start one. Take a notebook and write down 20-30 grocery items that are staples. Leave a line or 2 between each item. Draw a vertical line to make a column for each grocery store on each page. Go to the store and write the price for each item down. When you go to the other stores, write their price for each item down (be sure to include how many ounces/pounds/etc... so you can compare the prices accurately). All summer, add ten or twenty items to the book each time you shop. Check to make sure that you are buying items at the lowest possible price and you can save hundreds on groceries. It doesn't take much time once you get used to it, and it sure winds up saving a lot more than min wage would pay if you worked the amt of time you spend on the book.

    Start a list of things you enjoy that don't cost anything or cost very little. Focus on doing these things that enrich your life and you may be surprised at how rich your life is even when you don't have much money. I did this with my husband because he would have pity parties about not being able to afford this or that. We both found that we enjoyed a cheap movie more than a full price one, playing a game together or going for a walk more than going to window shop, and the 'little things' like listening to our kids tell us a story more than buying any item for any price. Having that list allowed us to not feel deprived. in my opinion that is a big part of the problem with money - it can take your focus off of the thigns that matter like hearing your child laugh, Know what I mean?? Yes, having enough to pay the bills is important, but it is also important to be able to enjoy other things.

    For household items, check out No one keeps track of if you give or get, nothing costs money or is a trade, you just post htings you don't want, ask for things you need, and accept offers for things you ask for or other people offer that they don't want. It is wonderful and keeps stuff out of the landfills.

    For phones, consider pay as you go. Net10 has been hands down the cheapest around here, though once TracFone offered triple minutes they also became very inexpensive. I get 750 min per month for $25 or 200 for $20. The 750 do not roll to the next month, but any unused of the 200 for twenty bucks does. Internet stuff is billed as minutes so you can go online if you have a phone that does that. You can get a cheap phone for ten or so, and a fancier one for twenty to forty dollars. It is vastly better than the contracts around here, and the service seems more reliable and clear here also. My folks use ATT and we can barely understand them sometimes, and leaving voicemail for them? Often they get it a week later! That happens no matter if we use ATT or ANY other carrier or a land line to leave the message. It is obnoxious.

    I hope you can find a way to enjoy your weekend, and I would choose another day to have a Birthday Do=Over. Make sure you do something you ENJOY that day, and it isn't a day you drop your kids off for months away from you.


    ps. I meant it when I offered to share recipes for mixes with you. Just let me know if you want them, and what mixes you often buy.
  9. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    You guys are really wonderful. I've gotten on the make my own mix band wagon for awhile now it cost me .60 cent to make a pizza dough that at the store they were selling for 6.00. I make bread, muffins, cake. Lasagna from scratch everything I can think of, but I will look up the tightwad gazette.

    HD Colorado Springs is very desert like area. Found a few things the advertise as a farmers market but they aren't cheap like a real farmers market. We h e bountiful baskets but they are even 15.00 a week. I'm from alabama where produce is cheap cheap cheap and you can find it on a road side stand or talked to the folks who owned the land and picked it themselves.
    I'm on 3 yard sale sites on Facebook but its kind of filled with military wives who have shopping addictions they are constantly selling brand new stuff that they want almost full price for. Weirdest **** I've ever seen. I've had two yard sales in the past month and made about 400.00 total it kept us pretty comfortable, but I donated the excess after the last one because all I had left were clothes ten years out of date cause that's about how often I shop... I got some free baby food from the free cycle page I'm on from someone who was already on wic and there baby quit eating baby food and moved to table food.

    If you have any super successful cookie recipes or tips is be appreciative as my cookies normally come out dry and not soft?

    Hubs is in therapy with 3 different therapists. He sees at least one person every week, sometimes twice a week. I have attended some of his therapy sessions. We were supposed to be getting referred to couples therapy but that never happened.

    I need therapy no doubt about it and I might be able to go with the big kids out of the house for awhile.

    We have recently been touring parks, playing sports going on walks going to the splash pad for the past month that's why this week with the dysfunctional behavior has hit me so hard. I thought we were done with that. He's been a great husband and dad and step dad since he had his medications straightened out, came out of surgery as loving as he's ever been but the past 3 or 4 days were just horrible.

    Ill try those websites and books though every little bit helps.
  10. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing your at ft Carson and yep it is higher to live out there. Call the frg leader and ask her to hook you up with finance. They can help manage costs as well as possibly get you some assistance. They used to have a program called sssa I think but basically it was food stamps for soldiers. It came in your check as cash and made the army look like it wasn't underpaying their e4's and below. There are actually tons of resources out there on post that people never use and then the govt cuts the program becuase of underuse.

    Ive seen a lot of people struggle and not know the help was there. Do what you can to get the help it matters.
  11. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Dstc- we were referred to acs apparently there is a food pantry and I'm not against that but that's not really where I need the most help, I will see what else they say. My old squad leader sent me something about a program you can get to get cash added depending on the number of dependents you have and since we have six on his seers even though two do not live with us maybe they can help, if they leave it up to his commander that will never happen though.

    This guy has a hard on to abuse power and looks for reasons to say no instead of yes, so we will see. When he signed off on hubs surgery he told hubs he would be out of the army before he could get it, now I guess that could be true since they still just aren't talking about it but in The mean time we need some help.

    All things considered, truly it is beautiful here and I know we need to stay as long as possible to try to fix as much of the financial stuff as we can but honestly I can say I came I saw and let's get The hell out of here.
  12. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    The best thing you have going for you right now is the medical stuff. No matter what the commander says the doctor overrides him. Basically as long as he is medication board coded no one can touch him. It's if he doesn't get medication boarded that commanders can cause Tons of problems. As for the finance stuff as long as it is a benefit he is entitled to it shouldnt have to go through the command. Good luck
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    As Susie said, the Tightwad Gazette is just simply amazing.

    I happen to think it ought to be required reading in HS. We'd have a heck of a lot more prepared adults in the world.

    Oddly enough, I'm somewhat luck in that I live in a rural "poor" area. Not everyone is under the poverty line, but being poor around here is so common that it's just not a big deal. It also means there are services to help, although they're grossly over taxed right now. It's one reason I set my leftovers from the yard sale on the curb for free.........most likely the reason everyone who went through it.....and it was a considerable amount of folks young and old alike.........were neat and tidy and polite. But even here many have no clue how to actually "live" poor, not survive...Live. There is a difference.

    Sounds like you're doing pretty darn good at learning how to live instead of just survive. You'll think of more things.......most likely when you get to know the area a bit better.......that will also help. My sister managed to survive being stationed in Hawaii.........although she admits it sure ruined the ambiance of the place and she was thrilled when it was time to leave. (a shame, really) I think she found every single FREE thing to do there. lol Shopping for certain things was horrible so she'd ask family to buy items and send them to her.....she'd pay for them, but it turned out cheaper that way. This was before online purchasing.

    I just discovered our local food market gives a discount to military families. You might want to check and see if any in your area do as well, ask the manager or at the service desk. A nice thing for them to do. :) (the nearest base to us is about an hour away)

    Hang in there. :)

  14. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    re: "Hubs is in therapy with 3 different therapists. He sees at least one person every week, sometimes twice a week."

    I may be jumping in here with an out-of context question; but why 3 therapists; is there some kind of planned continuity between them? It seems like 3 different pro's might cause some confusion and angst, working on the same case - but not together
  15. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    One of them is at behavioral health, two are at the army substance abuse program, one of those prescribes his medicine. The one that prescribes his medicine is working with the one at behavioral health supposedly they talk and work together on hubs case. He didn't seek out 3 therapists when he had his break down and he went to a psychiatric hospital and when he came out he was required to deal with who they told him to deal with.