Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Defeat should never be a source of discouragement but rather a fresh stimulus. Robert South

I struggle to recall a time when life just came easy. I mean smooth sailing, no stress, no money worries- kind of easy.
I married pretty young. Just before my twentieth birthday. Younger than two of my children are now.
But that was not a struggle.
We purchased our own house-our first house that same year.
Things were going really well for us.
Our house was filled with hand-me-down furniture and decor, but it was ours.
Six months later on our first Christmas Eve, we discussed the idea of starting a family. We figured it would take a while... six months at least.
My first born, my son's due date was September 26th. My birthday. And if you do the math, it didn't take us six months.

It was a good year, money was good enough for me stop working and return to school. We purchased our first house, our first car-straight off the showroom floor, and things were going well.

Until it all started... the spiral.
It began with my first labor sensation. I was five weeks early.

I was scared but continued on trusting

After thirteen hours of labor and tests and worry and uncertainty, my son came into this world. He was early and small but healthy. He spent a week in intensive care and made huge strides in development then came home.
I was not healthy. The reason for my early labor, the reason I was forced to pant through the contractions and pushing, the reason my young son was pulled out with forceps and Cesarean was out of the question was my blood. It was not clotting. I was sick. Platelet count was about 150,000 less than needed. Tests were taken, biopsy's and transfusions followed.

The most painful test of all. A bone marrow test- a test for Leukemia.

I was scared but continued on trusting.

Tests came back negative for cancer. Surgery was scheduled. My spleen was removed. It seems my own body was fighting itself. Then I came home to my baby. Not cured but treated.
Husband was let go from his job- unreliable, missed too much work, to be with me.
Just a year and a half later, pregnant with my second. Still in college. My husband, a weekend warrior is sent to Desert Storm. He is safe, stationed in Germany. I am alone. Money it tight, soldiers pay is minimal.

I was scared but continued on trusting.

He came home, our daughter was one month old. Our bills were not paid. Our American dream, our house in foreclosure. They said there would be aid. There was not.
We had no choice, we moved in with my parents. I graduated school the same month my third child was born while there.
One more year and we were able to buy our second home. It was something that was ours.
Things were looking up. I was working once again to help with the expenses. But they were still tight. We fought of money often. Then just two years later, he left us.

I was scared but continued on trusting.

I had never been alone, it was terrifying. I had never been in charge of my own finances and he left them in a state. Multiple payments past due, and my accounts empty. But I worked hard and payed them up. The kids  were upset and it was up to me to console them as he was preparing for - yes his second marriage. We were strong- together. Then a few years later, after months and months of court and fighting for support. The announcement. He was moving. 2000 miles away from his children.

I was scared but continued on trusting. 

We did it just fine. Weekends with my kids were never a burden to me. I returned to college once more. I wanted more for us. More for me in my stagnant career. Long days at work, nights at school, and three kids full time kept us all busy.  And then the company was moved to Mexico. The job I held for twelve years was to be eliminated.

I was scared but continued on trusting.

I was offered a position at a small company. I knew the work. I gave up a five figure severance package to take the job. But it was a great offer and stability. Two years later I am a graduate. Same month as my oldest graduated high school. It was a rite of passage for us both. Until the company, not yet making a profit- ran out of funding. I was once more eliminated. And once again...

I was scared but continued on trusting.

It took a few months, I was able to score another gig. A long commute, a stressful and toxic workplace. It paid the bills- for the most part. Until the downsizing. I felt tired and defeated and a little less self confident.

I was scared but continued on trusting.

I am now on my sixteenth month without a paycheck. Nearly every resource has been extinguished both monetarily and emotionally. I am limping. I am scared. But... I keep on trusting. Trusting in faith? Trusting in Fate? Trusting in hope?

I do not know.

This week brings me some potential changes. This week brings me some possibility.

But then, I have been there before. Here is hoping.

1 comment:

  1. Heartbreaking. And so courageous of you to share this. And important - for those who think that if we aren't working now, "we've somehow brought it on ourselves."

    So many of us trust in each other, trust in our employers, trust in our institutions, trust in our educational and healthcare systems - only to be dreadfully disappointed.

    But we keep going - as long as we can.

    I'm right there with you - my story is different in many ways, but with the result very much the same.

    Scared. And still hoping. And very much hoping that you have good news soon.


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