Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Way back when I had the AFE and all hell broke loose, we were already strapped for cash. We were barely making it and the plan was for me to get a job in the evening and that would help me get out of the house and a break from the kids but also give us another income (even if only a small one). It was clear that wasn't going to happen and we really didn't have a plan B. We were SO grateful to have had my friend Sarah start a GoFundMe for us because we had a $9000 insurance deductible (and thank god we had insurance because my bill alone was well over $120,000) and that helped us pay all of that, get the first round of medications, get groceries, and pay a couple of bills I hadn't been able to pay before I went in for Lucy.

Basically, it's what kept us from losing our home and I will never be able to tell you what that meant to us.

I remember (kind of) the first year being really awful because Matt hadn't worked as many hours at work that we basically built our life on so we were always behind in bills, over drawn, robbing Peter to pay Paul essentially. I would forget to pay a bill and then we'd have to scramble. It was just a really awful time and we had spent a LOT on our credit cards just to stay afloat.

Which, of course, catches up to you eventually and that's where we are.
Every month Matt gets two pay checks and he works an obscene amount of hours. He has to and I am SO grateful he has his job and gets a regular check, I'm so grateful he can work over time and is never out of things to do, I am so grateful he has the best employer. They have been so good to our family and I think people and things come into your life at the right time and we don't always know why but it becomes known eventually. That's how I feel about his job. They are so great. If he didn't have this job I honest to God don't know what we would have done then and even still.

Every payday we look at the bills and figure out a game plan, we budget, we menu plan, we decide what the kids can and can't do with friends or activities, we look ahead to see what's coming, and we do our best. We aren't frivolous spenders. I don't have clothes that fit. Matt lives in his stained and ripped work clothes. Our house is freezing, and I mean that. It's been well below zero the last week and our house hasn't been any warmer than 67 degrees so I can keep the utility bill down and I can't feel my hands most days. It's cold. We eat a lot of cereal (not even name brand... blech), we don't have cable, and even still - we are broke.

Scary broke.

I don't know what to do. I don't know why we can't just catch a break. I can't make Matt work any more than he does because we certainly can't afford to have him die of exhaustion. I get my disability check but (shocker) you don't get much when you're disabled and not older. And that's fine, I'm happy I get anything because I really don't know what we would do.
But this week feels like it broke me. After dropping the kids off at school I drove all the way home in full tears in breakdown mode because I feel like everything is caving in on me. I haven't felt well lately so Matt didn't work a couple of Saturdays to help me with the kids and that reflects on his paycheck, which was lower than I thought it was going to be. Which means I can't pay all of the bills. I have to put groceries on a paycheck. My mom had to borrow me money so I can get Olivia to her dance competition this weekend. I try really hard to not let the kids see me break like this and I'm always honest with them that we just can't afford some things. They know this, they understand it and never make us feel bad about it, but they don't know that it feels like we're drowning.

Adulting is so super fun.

It makes me think about my parents when I was growing up and how hard they both worked, how tired they always were, and how we just didn't have the money to get the things we really wanted. They did a lot for us and we definitely didn't go without but I think I finally understand the crippling pressure they must have felt for all of those years.

I can't even tally how much our debt has come to because I feel like that would be the straw that breaks me. I'm trying so hard to stay afloat mentally for my family and keep it together but all of this stress added onto it is just too much. I wish I was one of those people who could just let a bill sit to the side knowing it'll just get paid another time. I can't do that. I'm going to obsess over it. I'm going to obsess over the ones coming in. I know we haven't hit our deductible yet this year so I have to figure out how I'm going to refill my medications. I'm trying to figure out which ones I can ration so I can hold off on refilling them for as long as possible. I know an emergency room bill is coming. I know Olivia gets her braces off soon and I'll need to get her teeth cleaned so they don't look awful. I know before I know it we'll need to school clothes shop and get supplies. I know I'm only a couple years out from driver's ed and a car and insurance and it's all too much. I try to focus on one day at a time but my brain can't do that. It's a runaway train and I know how quickly time goes and I'm never ready.

Then I worry something will happen to Matt. What would happen? I'd have to move in with my mom with four kids. I can't work full time, how would I pay for anything? I don't know how to take care of anything financially anymore. I don't know how to put things in order. I realize how MUCH I rely on Matt for, he runs the show. I literally am just here. Then I feel bad about myself and I get angry that this happened to me and I think if this didn't happen I could work and things would be fine. So now it all comes back to me and how this is all my fault.

I've brought this stress on me and my family. I shouldn't even be here. If I had just died they have less bills to pay and I'm just a burden.

Do you see the cycle? It's unhealthy, I know this. I can't stop it, it just goes and goes in my head all day every day.

So I cry. I cry in the car. I cry in the bathroom. I cry in the shower. I cry when I wake up. I cry when I go to sleep. I cry during nap time. I cry every moment I have alone. It's suffocating me.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm so sorry, Sara. I know there really isn't much to say to make you feel better, but I am SO glad you are here and your family and friends are too. Things might be tough, but they wouldn't be easier without you. If I ever win the lottery, I'm sending you money!!


Julie H said...

You know you don't have to pay all the medical bills at once right? Just as long as you make a payment they don't send it to collections. I've been paying $100 a month on a $17k hospital bill for years.

Bankruptcy doesn't sound fun but it's always an option too. It takes off a lot of pressure.

Unknown said...

I know there's nothing I can say to make anything better, but I'm so sorry you are all going through this. I AM glad you are here and still writing. Your kids need you and you are way more important than any amount of money. Even though you are drowning now, it will get better. Maybe open the Go Fund Me back up? Have some kind of fundraiser? I know I hate asking for help too, but sometimes you just have to.

Unknown said...

Oh my dear friend. I am so sorry this is so horribly difficult. I wish I could hug you.

mypixieblog said...

Oh, my sweet friend. There’s absolutely nothing I can say here to calm your fears and make you feel better, but I AM HERE. Always. You are not alone, and you are most definitely NOT a burden on your family. What would the kids do without a momma, and how would your husband keep up with all the recitals and school things and having to work a FT job?

I hate to see you this way, and am sending you so SO much ❤️❤️❤️ Please reach out for help. For school supplies, rides for the kids when you need, a friend to come over, anything. No one can do it all!

coach-daddy said...

I would definitely contact your medical provider to make payment arrangements. Also, call your credit card companies to ask for a lower interest rate. Some places you owe money to will allow you to defer a payment.

I've always thought about network marketing as a chance to break the cycle, too.

San said...

I am so, so sorry, Sara. The American Healthcare System is not set up for young adults to be disabled and it's a shame that there isn't more help for people in your medical situation.
(My husband isn't on disability, but he can't work either).

You have it extra hard caring for kids and trying to meet everybody's needs.
What can we do to help?