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November 12, 2010 11:24 AM
Who do you turn to when you feel like everything in your life has just gone horribly wrong and you just don't know what to do to make everything seem better? My post is probably going to be horribly long and extremely personal. I just feel like I have no one that I can talk to that understands where I am at, and could really use a sympathetic ear who has been in my shoes.

Right now, I have a fairly new baby, am married, have 5 kids, and have been totally successful with getting back into shape. I should be on top of the world right now, and happier than I've ever been. But it's just not so, and here's the long story of why...

Let me start by saying that I was previously divorced and had two kids. After the breakup, I lived by myself with just my two children, and really didn't date for about three years. I was a little lonely at times, but I was ok. I was financially stable, and had paid off 45k in debt that my first husband had dug me into, and then stuck me with. I was debt free and able to do it all on my own. I was proud of that.

Then I met the man I am married to now. He seemed to be the perfect mate for me. Silly, bright, funny and witty. He had two kids of his own, who took to me right away. We all formed a close bond, and about a year later, we got married. My husband was working for a band, and traveled a lot. He left that job to be with his family, and subsequently did not find work for two years. He said during repeated arguments that he didn't have the confidence to go out and apply for a job. I struggled to support the family, but we relied heavily on my credit cards, and before I knew it, the debt was just piling up. At that point my husband finally found a job, and we stabilized a bit. We decided to have another baby, and within a month I was pregnant. She was child number 5, and was born last August of 2009. My husband's attraction to me started to wane during that pregnancy. I mean, he still found me attractive, but we were no longer "intimate."

I went back to work when the baby was 2 months old, only to be told my first day back that my position was relocating out of the area. It was too far for me to commute, and didn't make sense for me to be an hour away from my 5 kids if they were sick or needed me (which as any mother of 5 knows, that's a regular occurrence.) They also took away my ability to work from my home, which comprised a good portion of my hours. So, I was forced to resign. Thankfully, though they fought it, I was able to get unemployment. I was glad though for the opportunity to be home with the baby, as in my heart, I feel this is where a mother should be. (no offense to working moms, I was prepared to do that if needed too).

So, time passed and we continued to have to use my credit cards. Last year, a month before Christmas, they were all shut down. Some tricky changes and minimum payment requirements meant we could no longer afford to pay them. So since then, for the last year, we've been desperately shuffling money around, struggling to pay anything.

My relationship with my husband has become very strained. When I first started my weight loss journey, he seemed proud of me and supportive. As time passed though, my efforts began to annoy him. If I ordered an omelet for breakfast and asked them to make it without oil, and to use egg whites, he would roll his eyes. He began to make comments to me that I was addicted to exercise, and that I only would spend time with the kids if I could do something with them that involved burning calories. At that point I was exercising 5-6 days a week for about an hour. He took it so far as to mention it to our family doctor that he thought I was addicted to exercising. The doctor laughed it off, and said "that's a good addiction to have." He would start bringing home sweets and candies and ice cream "for me," though we'd gotten into arguments before because I didn't want those things around to make this harder. He recently started to make comments about how I used to have a great butt. And probably the most insulting thing was when we were watching the show "What's Eating You." It was an episode where both girls were severely bulimic, and one would eat junk food right out of the trash. These were two VERY sick women. He compared me to them, and then made a snide comment about how he was going to watch for tips on how to get a "friend of his" to stop obsessing over calories. I of course knew he meant me and really was hurt. Not to mention the fact that this had taken place after he had eaten a HALF A BOX OF OREOS!!! like 15-20 cookies!!! Yet *I* have a problem? For those who do not know me, I have been very dedicated to doing this the right and healthy way. I consume anywhere from 1400-2500 calories a day, most of the time coming in around 1800. I try really hard to watch my macro nutrients of course, and get a healthy level of protein and carbs. I try to eat healthy fats, and tons of fresh veggies and fruits. I also closely watch my sodium, fiber, and vitamin A & C. I shoot for good calcium levels and iron levels. I take a very multi faceted approach. I take a daily multivitamin, calcium, and vitamin D. I try so HARD to do it right for GOOD HEALTH. ANd it's not like I am so obsessed I never cheat or have a bad day or a horrible for me meal. Those things are definitely mixed in. Sometimes a lot. I am human. But I really, really try, and I combine all of this with what I consider a varied, healthy level of exercise. To have all of that work criticized and compared to these very sick women, was so insulting and devastating to me. So hurtful. And one might argue that a man who is 100 pounds over weight, 35 years old, and on blood pressure and cholesterol medications might be the one who has the serious problem. A man whose own father had his first heart attack at 41.

Anyway, I though maybe our lack of intimacy had to do with my weight. I thought that might improve. Wrong. Just to give a picture of how bad, there's only been ONE time in a year and a half. (please don't delete my thread for saying that :( ) He's become distant and withdrawn. He barely talks to me. When I speak to him about the seriousness of my feelings, he doesn't even respond. He literally says nothing until I prompt him. I know that he's not cheating, because he doesn't go anywhere. He refuses to leave the house unless we have a fight first to get him to go do anything with me. Yes he will go out to dinner. But he is completely hands off with the kids and any housework. He's become a nightmare and refuses to clean up anything after himself, despite me telling him many, many times, and many many fights. All he will do is sleep if he is not working. He gets up on his days off, eats and stares at the computer for a while, then lays down on the floor and naps for hours. Gets up and eats, then falls asleep watching tv. He spends QT with no one in the family. We started arguing about the kids, and he had even accused me of not loving (his) children. A statement which is thoroughly ridiculous, and anybody who has been around our family for 5 minutes can see how much I love them, and they love me.

To make things worse, we finally had to declare bankruptcy. This is an all time low for me. I took great care of my credit, and my score was close to an 800 when we got married. So, that was officially filed last week. The next day, his car broke down. It is not running at all. A few days later, my phone was shut off for non payment. It's the middle of the month, and we still are short for the rent check we already sent. My car payment is over a month past due. Even with the bankruptcy, we don't make enough money to cover the bills we still do have. So, I cancelled the gym memberships. Cancelled the cell phones. We are even getting rid of our 4 cats because we can't afford to feed them. I have been sitting in my house for two weeks with no phone, no car, and not a penny to my name for two weeks now. I am going to go crazy! There's no money in our budget for clothes or shoes for the kids or us, for any type of activity or evening out, not even enough to really buy enough gas for the car. Then my husband decided that his two kids needed to see a therapist. Rather than take advantage of the free counseling their school provides, or find someone at a church or something, he's going to pay $100 a month for his two to go to therapy. Not saying I think they shouldn't be allowed to get help if they need it. But when things are this bad, doesn't it make sense to use a free resource?

Top all of this off with the cherry that Christmas is next month. There's 5 kids and not a single present bought, and not a single penny to buy a thing. I feel like our marriage is falling apart, and I am coming to just feel resentment all of the time. Mostly for the misrepresentation of who he really is, because he's not the same man I married. I feel like I wish I had just stayed single forever. I can't sleep at night, and am constantly sick to my stomach from the stress of managing this household and worry. A household which, according to my husband, I do nothing for all day. Despite the fact that I do all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and pet care of 4 cats and a dog. And I might mention that I don't mind doing all of things. Being a stay home mom that's part of the deal. But I am treated like a maid. And that's NOT part of the deal.

My unemployment is due to run out in a few weeks, and my kind husband made sure to point out that I needed to figure out what I was going to do about it. Problem is that I was the primary breadwinner in the family from the job I lost, and it paid pretty well. On unemployment, I make far more than I would going anywhere else even if I had been able to find something. So no matter what I DO find, we'll be taking a pay cut from the unemployment we get now. That's assuming I can find a job that fits around his weird work schedule and accommodates the schedules of my 5 kids, and can afford to pay a babysitter for 5 kids to make said job happen. That and still take care of the entire set of household chores and responsibilities, as that's how it was before when I was working and he didn't even have a job. Meanwhile, he is too exhausted from his 37 hour a week job as a rental clerk to even stay awake to care for the kids if I was gone. But as he said, I need to figure out what *I* am going to do about it.

If you've made it this far, you probably deserve some kind of Nobel prize. I am sorry for outing all of this about myself on a public forum, but I just kind of needed some people who don't know me to be objective and offer me words of wisdom. I am so sad and miserable, that I feel like it is destroying who I am. I just don't know what to do. I feel like all of this is going to end at the expense of my marriage. And I really don't want that, not for me, my husband, or my kids. I just feel so disconnected now from him. He used to be so kind and caring and thoughtful. And he is. I see that toward his other friends at work, yet he's so unwilling to make an effort at home. Everyone from family to friends of mine comment that they can see these changes in him. He says he's not depressed, and that he still loves me. So I just don't understand... :(
  411273
November 12, 2010 11:39 AM
I am really sorry you are going through all that. flowerforyou
  2256520
November 12, 2010 11:43 AM
Oh man I am stressed out after reading that I can only imagin how you feel liveing it. Sounds like a tough spot you and your family is in. I wish I had some great thing to say to you to make it better. To me it sounds like your husband is maybe depressed and not feeling good about himself so he is taking it out on you and your accomplishments with your weightloss and dedication to exersize and eating healthy. It sounds like he needs some counseling himself.

I hope things get better for you.

Julie
November 12, 2010 11:46 AM
My heart aches for you. cry If I may be so bold, have you guys thought about counseling? I will certainly lift you up in prayer so that you and your husband can find a way to work it out & find happiness again.
Edited by 2bFitNTrim On November 12, 2010 11:47 AM
November 12, 2010 11:46 AM
Wow! I am so sorry for your challenges. They say God does not give us more than we can handle - sometimes I wonder. I will include you in my prayers. It does sound like your husband is deeply depressed and needs some help. You did not mention insurance - not sure if you have it. I am assuming you don't. There are community mental health organizations in many areas - something to look into. It's also time to get help from a free consumer credit organization and start making to do lists with deadlines so the TWO of you can dig yourself out. It can be done! I wish you love and happiness.
  1318287
November 12, 2010 11:47 AM
First, let me say how sorry I am that this joyous part of your life (a baby and lots of loving kids) is marred by stress, anxiety and confusion over what the future holds.

Now, let me say that it's time to get some professional help. As you mentioned, there are free resources out there available if you seek them out. Many churches have counseling available free of charge. I think I know what you'll say "He'll never go for it." It doesn't matter. At this point you need this for you. Commit to find someone to help you sort through your hurt, disappointment and confusion. Even if he doesn't come with you, talking this over with a professional will give you wisdom and understanding when talking with your husband. There are many issues at work here and anyone (everyone) needs help sorting through the hurt and anger to get to the fear that's motivating it.

You've commited yourself to living a healthy life. That's not just exercising and eating right. You need to take care of yourself mentally as well. I'm sure you know that stress and anxiety can damage all the work you've done to be a healthy mom for your kids. The consequences are very well documented: headaches, stomach aches, muscle cramps and even heart attack.

I'll be praying that you find someone soon.

Thanks for sharing. I hope that helps in the short term to vent this out.
November 12, 2010 11:48 AM
I feel for you, I really do. My unemployment HAS run out and we lost our home to foreclosure. grumble

Is there any state or town agency that you can contact? Surely there must be a Community Action Program for heating and for food? Try a food pantry...after all, that's what they are there for. I can't relate as far as the husband thing goes, because my hubby works his BUTT off. I see him one night a week. Otherwise, he is working both his jobs to support us, until I can find a job. Nothing much out there, I know.

I definitely think you ought to find someone to turn to about YOUR feelings. Is there a Priest /Clergy that you can talk to? Your well-being is of the utmost to your health, AND to the health of the kids.

I will pray for you, as that is all I, personally, have. I wish the best for you. And I hope you find happiness.....soon!
November 12, 2010 11:53 AM
Oh, honey! This sounds so hard! It sounds like somewhere along the lines, whether while you were pregnant or since you started losing weight, your husband started to resent you for something. I wonder if you could could find some cheap/free marriage counseling in your area? It might be hard to get him to go, though. I really wish I could give you more advice.
  2704986
November 12, 2010 12:09 PM
Sweetie -- I am so sorry about your situation. The first place I start, even if I have done it in awhile, is to pray. Keep praying. Look at your church or a church close by to give you counseling. Yes, your husband needs it, but since you're shouldering all of this, you need it too. The church may also be able to give you financial help. Trust me, they often do (especially the bigger ones). I will certainly pray for your situation.

Please know that all of us will be thinking about you.

May God Bless you honey.
  1976234
November 12, 2010 12:15 PM
I will be waiting on my nobel prize via the mail I made it all the way through!!!!

I so feel your pain my situation is quite similiar and must commend you on reaching your goal through it all. As I have only been gaining and losing the same weight. Not to mention starting and stoping workout programs (Insanity) finally I am determine to finish that.

My words of encouragement are if God brought you to it he will bring you through it just like you did the first time. I know its hard to feel like your repeating yourself all over again but things will get better. Women are stronger than men in these situations of course they don't think so but really we are. So he may very well be depressed but it's going to come off in other forms to protect themselves but don't realize the hurt they are doing to us.

Keep your head held high it takes a strong woman to share there struggles and I feel it is the gateway to resolution. Sometimes we have to do things that we really dont feel we should to get ahead for example taking a pay cut but if it's going to help during this time than you may want to see about jobs you can do from home to help with the day care issue.

Best of luck with everything!!

Check you inbox as well!!
November 12, 2010 12:16 PM
Dear Jessica, I hear the pain, frustation, and exhaustion in your words. My biggest gift to you would be to help you find someone to talk with.. Find a counsler at church, or call a woman's center in your home town. There are loads of free help out there for you. Please call this afternoon. Do not tell anyone, not even your husband. Do this for awhile, like maybe 2 or 3 weeks. Just consider it your pvt time, for you and your brain. Soon you will feel stronger and more in control.
I admire you so much, when I went through this about 24 years ago. My mom had died and I was very depressed, I ate all kinds of junk food. My life was in the toliet with 2 little boys who needed me and a husb who did nothing around the house except start projects and never finish them. But one day I realyzed I needed some help, I had a job with good insurance so I went to a counsler. She kept telling me she wanted to meet my husband and I told her I wasn't ready for her to meet him yet. But the truth was I wasn't ready to tell him I was going to see her.
When I did tell him things improved. I lost some wt. but his rudeness, and meaness came back. I was the type of wife who cooked all kinds of great things to keep my family happy. I figured if I cooked great meals with great desserts, cleaned the house, drove the boys everywhere and worked a parttime job at weird hours I was doing everything right. But where was the time for me.
Eventually we divorced when the boys were older we tried lots of marriage counseling. But if your husb is not ready to make changes in his life it will never work. So Please get some help for yourself. Make arrangements to find some type of job, work nights, let your become more responsible for the children. Get him to a doctor or else he will have severe health problems and you will be alone with all those children. Don't ask him, demand it!! He will eventually see that you mean business. But first get your mental health in order. I would love to hear from you. So I am going to friend you. I will be praying for you.
November 12, 2010 12:18 PM
Hang in there. BIG HUGS...
November 12, 2010 12:21 PM
Don't apologize for venting. It helps to get these things out and sometimes the compassion and insight of strangers can help.
I am really sorry you are going through all that. I too am struggling through a particularly stressful time and can sort of relate. Although I think it pales in comparisson to what you are going through. You are a very strong woman and will get through this.

From what you have written I think your husband is struggling with depression and maybe his wanting therapy for his kids was his way of trying to tell you that without actually admitting he has the problem.

I agree with everyone that you should take advantage of the free services in your community. When I was a child we went to the food bank regularly and relied on friends and family for help and support.

Good luck. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Katrina
November 12, 2010 12:32 PM
I'm going to friend you ...I DO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL! My situation may not be exactly the same but I've either been their or am their...Financially I'm trying to claw back from losing every thing. I was so broke I couldn't even afford to file for BK, I consulted with an attorney at the beginning of the year and I got lucky, he called me a few months later and offered to take our case pro bono. (you know your broke when an attorney is willing to do something for free) I've been lucky my husband has been very supportive of my efforts an is also trying to get healthy as well..he works self employed plumber but the income is touch and go...I have worked off and on over the past year (currently off) No more unemployment for me and he didn't qualify when he finally gave it an decided it wasn't unethical (We had a business which provided a nice income, we gave up our personal imcomes for a year trying to keep it going..I filed, he refused)

My guess would be its your husband that needs the counceling sounds like he's depressed, I bet he's feeling insecure with your looking good so he is lashing out at you trying to tear you down...If the kids need counceling my guess is they are reacting to whats going on between the two of you...no matter how much you try to hide it kids pick up on that stuff...

Somehow in all the madness I've found many blessings and working on ways to move forward. I hope you and your family are able to do the same
November 12, 2010 12:51 PM
That is very brave of you to reach out to others in a time of frustration. A lot of times we want to put on a brave face that nothing is wrong and I'm happy that not only have you turned to others for help, but that there has been such an outpouring of love and support from others on this site (I'm fairly new here).

There have been many wonderful suggestions here: pray, find counseling through a church or free organization, find others who have been in your situation. I wholeheartedly implore you to act on all of them.

I will fervently pray for you and your family. With HIS love,
-J :)
November 12, 2010 1:04 PM
Girl, I am soooo sorry for your pain! You are such a strong woman, it is ashame your hubby can't see that. He obviously has some ill feelings towards your success and for some reason is trying to sabotage it! But like the other say you need to do what is right for "YOU" and "YOUR KIDS" Try the free counseling, and maybe even check out Free debt consolidation! Do you have family that can help with your childcare until you can get settled in a good job?
Hold your head up, you have done so well! Be proud of what you have accomplished and dont let ANYONE take that from you!
IF you need another ear, I am always here!
Sending up prayers for you now! flowerforyou
November 12, 2010 1:43 PM
Oh Jessica I feel your pain and am trying so hard right now not to cry because I'm at work. cry cry I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said. I'll definitely keep you in my prayers. Please keep us informed how things work out for you. (((Jessica)))
  27137
November 12, 2010 4:42 PM
Wow, I remember going through something similar but with only 2 kids/babies and my husband WAS cheating on me. They do whatever will hurt our self-esteem the most. It definitely sounds like he's depressed (sleeping and unplugging from the family). There was nothing I could really do until I left him. The main thing I learned was that once the thing I thought was most important stopped being so important, I was free. I didn't want to break up my family and I thought I couldn't make it on my own financially. After I stopped holding on to those two things I left. My home was foreclosed on and my relationship was over. I actually felt in control again. It took about 3 months and he was begging to get back together. I only took him back because I knew it was depression that controlled his actions and I knew he loved me (although he had to prove all of that over and over for a long while).

This situation will change because it is impossible to keep going the way it is. Take stock of how you feel now and how your feelings change over time. The answers will come. Please let me know if you need any clothes or toys. My daughter is turning 7 and my son is 5. I can help. You will be in my prayers! flowerforyou
  1178406
November 12, 2010 5:19 PM
take a breath. it's okay. you need to remind your husband you're still a team. you shouldn't shoulder all this alone. i guess the best thing to do is to figure out the "next" best thing to do. budgeting, talking, praying and not in that order. financial stress really does take its toll. believe your husband when he says he loves you. just ask him earnestly what he thinks you should do to handle it. and tell him you can't do it by yourself. there were 9 kids in my family and it is hard. but those kids will love you forever whether you give them a christmas present or not. just be strong, be an example and not only survive, but thrive. keep venting. it is therapeutic and believe me, you're not alone.
November 12, 2010 5:21 PM
You have to protect yourself. By protecting yourself you protect your children. And I mean emotionally and spiritually.
While I admire the strength it took for my mom to stand up to my dad when he was acting similarly, and I acknowledge the strength it takes to endure that kind of emotional hurt and keep it together for her kids, she eventually backed down- figured if she left him we would have to live with her parents, admit defeat, that we'd never be a family again, and she just let it go. It set a bad example. I would've rather lived in a box than have had her give up her life to maintain appearances or ego or whatever it was. By no ttaking care of herself, she dishonored herself and she dishonored us. I LOVE my mom and by God she is my Rock - but I wish she had been her rock too. They are ok now but it's a pseudo relationship. I firmly believe that had she left he would've snapped out of it, or maybe he wouldn't of, but the lesson of stick up for yourself would've been grounded in me sooner. Unfortunately I had to learn it a much more difficult way years later. I'm not saying get a divorce, I'm not saying stop loving him, I'm just saying be your Rock- DO (as in action- not passive) what you have to DO. You cannot fall apart right now. And from bottom there's no where to go but up.

Hugs and a lot of love
  1834784
November 12, 2010 7:27 PM
Oh JESSICA honey, I am so sorry you are dealing with such stress and pain. I understand your pain and problems and I pray they will get better soon. It really does sound like your husband is depressed and most depressed people deny it therefore he will not seek help or treatment willingly. REACH OUT FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP!
I agree you need to protect yourself and your kids and if he will not seek help and become a part of your relationship, home and family then you may need to make some hard choices.

HUGS AND PRAYERS
November 12, 2010 7:40 PM
Do you have 211 services in your state--you dial it and they let you know what resources are available. Do you have a neighbor who will let you use their phone? do you need one of us to send you a prepaid phone?

Call your county's womens shelter or the tollfree (800)791-4000 and ask for a referral.

www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/pennsylvania.html

http://www.hud.gov/local/pa/homeless/shelters.cfm

888.697.0371 United Way free phone #

LIHEAP grants to pay utility bills or partners for warmth at 1-866-827-1281 apply asap.

your guy has serious depression issues and you are being abused--mentally and verbally.

hopefully someone who lives in PA will read this post as i have not been there for 30 years and can get you more up-to-date info.

Vent any time--we are here for you! let us know what you need. there are plenty of us who will respond as we can.
  1198157
November 13, 2010 6:14 AM
Everyone has given me such an outpouring of support, I sincerely and deeply appreciate every single one of you taking the time out of your lives to listen and help :) Though I know the situation has not changed overnight, I am feeling so much better just having the support and friendship of my family on MFP.

First things first, about the depression. I do believe that he may be seriously depressed. He definitely shows all of the signs, especially the sleeping and the disinterest. I recognize them firsthand because when my first marriage was in the toilet, I went through it all myself and was put on meds for it. He already does take an antidepressant for having anxiety issues. Though he won't admit depression, I do believe that maybe he doesn't recognize it. And it would explain so much. Perhaps another in depth conversation is warranted on the topic with him or maybe with his doctor.

As far as counseling, yes, I do believe that is something that needs to happen. I said in a private message to someone that though I don't know what his reaction to my suggesting counseling would be, my biggest fear of it is in admitting that there is a real problem here with the marriage. Once you've started to go to counseling, you are a "troubled couple with problems." Now, don't think I am using this as an excuse to not do it. I will absolutely do it. It's just what is making me fear suggesting it to him. I don't really know what his reaction to it will be, but if he does love me the way he claims to, then I think he should be all for it. If he's not, well then I guess that would give me some insight as to his true feelings. I went through marital counseling with my first husband, and what I took away from that was very basic...if it's going to work, BOTH people have to want it to work. I don't feel that dragging him to counseling if he's unwilling would be very effective, but that's a bridge I will cross if I come to it. In the meantime, I will just have to be a big girl, be brave, and face my fears head on. It's scarier for things to remain the way they are.

For me, the scariest part of a marriage breaking up is not supporting the family on my own, though it was when my first marriage did. I know that I am strong enough and capable enough to do all of that. That's a lesson I already learned. The problem is, aside from my own personal heartbreak and my husband's, losing your children part of the time, and seeing the heartbreak in their eyes and hearts. My children from my first marriage still struggle with that all of these years later, and I think they will until they are grown. That's why it's worth making the effort and trying to keep a family together.

My husband isn't cruel or horrible. He's definitely unsupportive, and sometimes the things he says are very hurtful, but I don't think he's abusive. He presents some of the things he says in a joking way, the kind of joke that you know has the ring of truth in his mind on the other side. I think he has his own issues that he needs to deal with, but instead attacks my successes. I love him, but sometimes I just focus on the bad because I am hurt. It's so much easier to see everything that's wrong when we're hurting, and to focus on those things and let them define our world.

I had a lot of guilt and second guessing of myself after posting about all of this last night. I know these are conversations that I should be having with him, not others. But he's so quick to shrug off and dismiss (or totally ignore) my concerns when I address them. He'll make a joke out of it and change the subject. It makes me feel like he just doesn't care about my feelings.

As far as resources go, I have done quite a few of the things suggested already. We do pay for health insurance. It is horribly expensive, but a necessity with 5 kids and a hubby with health problems. We were on medical assistance previously when I was pregnant, but we no longer qualify. In PA, the income limit for a family of 7 is is $764 a month (gross), unless you are pregnant or have a life threatening illness that needs medical care. It's ridiculously low, but that's the reality. After my MA ran out, I unexpectedly had to have surgery this past April. That only contributed to our debt at $14000. After that we picked up the health insurance through my hubby's employer. It costs a third of his paycheck each week. But we do have it, and it does cover mental health with a $35 copay.

We do have a community action program here, which I had applied to previously and received assistance from. You can only receive crisis assistance from them once, and we already did last year when I lost my job before I had unemployment.

We do apply to and get benefits through LIHEAP.

We also do get food stamps, though the amount for a family of 7 is pretty low and we only get $139 a month. I am so thankful for that though. Every penny helps.

Since we've already filed for a bankruptcy, there isn't much a credit counseling agency can do. It will be a matter of us being able to juggle our utilities and rent and living expenses effectively. We can't move into a smaller home to save money. All of the bedrooms are doubled up already, and our bedroom houses the baby.

We do have an established budget, but the income just doesn't cover everything. We've cut every unnecessary thing out of the budget with the exception of internet and tv. That stuff may go next. I personally don't care too much about the tv, but I would really be hurting without the internet. It's my only lifeline to the world outside these 4 walls right now. But, when times are tough, you do what you have to.

I sincerely appreciate the offer of clothes, toys, a prepaid phone and those who have offered to send help. We will be okay though, and I will find a way through all of this. Though I stress so horribly about Christmas, there are far worse things in this world than not having the money for toys. I lost sight of that a bit when I was so wrapped up in this financial stuff. There are lessons to be taken from every situation, and perhaps focusing on the things that are truly important at the holidays is one I can learn, and one my kids can learn. You guys all taking so much of your own time and energy to help me has shown me that I am focusing on all of the wrong things. You all have helped me so much more than you even realize with your simple kindnesses. I am thankful from the bottom of my heart.

For those of you struggling with the same issues as me, I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers as well. We will all come through this as stronger people. Somebody cue Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive." LOL I am sorry for your pains and struggles too.

I hope I have touched on everything that was said. There was so much wonderful advice and support, that I was getting a bit emotional, which tends to make me forgetful.

:::hearts to you all::::
  411273
November 13, 2010 6:14 AM
My goodness this thread makes me write long posts!
  411273
November 13, 2010 7:12 AM
Oh, and one more thing I meant to touch on. Someone had recommended to me about going back to school. I actually do have my bachelor's degree already. Doesn't do me much good, as I haven't been able to find work in my field in the 10 years since I graduated, but it does look pretty inside it's little folder, LOL. I did consider going to hair school. I always thought that would be a lot of fun, and it seems like there are always jobs available in this area for that. That would be a real challenge though, with working, 5 kids, and school. Who knows, though. Maybe!
  411273

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