So, naturally, after posting about feeling hopeful the next go-around, it’s time for the other shoe to drop.
Today was a hard day. By hard, I mean it brought me to my knees. It was a one-two slap in the face and a kick of dust to my face once I hit the ground. It hurt. But still, I will get by.
It started with Killian trying to sort out a $65 bill our doctor’s office said she owed. The billing office said insurance denied it because our policy was cancelled.
This sounded off to me. On my “exit interview,” I was explicitly told by our human resource manager that the supplemental unemployment I would be receiving would deduct the cost of my then-current health insurance premium for the period of two months. Naturally, I thought I was set with my health care through the end of August.
What she should have said, if she was neither incompetent nor a liar (I’m leaning toward incompetent) was that I could continue my health insurance at the current rate for two months but it I would have to pay it out of pocket. In other words, I had trusted her that my insurance premiums were being paid. They weren’t. I’ve been without health care for since July 1. I’m number 40 million and one; don’t get me started on this nation and health care.
That was bad enough, but then as I checked my bank accounts online, I realized that my mortgage company said I was behind on two payments. One was just sent out Friday, so I know it will be received in the next day and be fine. But the other? My fault. Totally my fault. I sent out a partial payment and then forgot to send out the second half before the month end. I was told the partial payment is being sent back to me.
In the fluster of the moment I said that I would repay that amount plus the remainder to be brought current. I then asked the big question I had been putting off: I am unemployed and can’t afford my mortgage, what can I do?
The answer? Nothing.
As in, there’s nothing we can do for you so god help you, you’re on your own. “Do your best,” is how they put it. Do you have forbearances for the unemployed? Nope. And I already knew my loan didn’t qualify for the federal assistance for unemployed homeowners because that’s for FHA loans only, and mine is not.
So, do my best. Unfortunately, my best is… nothing.
I’m at the point where I have to face it. I can either kill myself paying my mortgage and being $500 behind every month, or… not pay it.
If you haven’t been here before, this is not a decision you want to have to make. It sucks. It makes me feel like a failure, like a loser. It makes me do two things I really hate to do.
One: I have to admit my powerlessness. There are simply some things I can’t do right now. I do not have the resources I did a few months ago, and I have to make choices. I hope to god I get a job soon and that reverses, but the cold hard fact is that right now, I do not. It’s a choice between having food or paying on a mortgage I can’t afford… yeah. I will get myself current and then simply stay in my home rent-free for the time being, until the bank takes it away or my situation turns around.
Like any first-timer at an Alcoholics Anonymous, here I am, admitting that I don’t have power over my situation. And I hate that. Viscerally hate it. No, I know. I will get a job and it will change. Someday. I will regain that power back. But for this very moment? Gone. Outta here. I am helpless. I have to recognize what I can do, but also what I cannot.
The second thing I really hate about this is that I hate giving up. I mean, I detest it. I am stubborn through and through. I stuck it out in a horrible marriage for five extra years because I couldn’t stand to give up. And just typing that, of course, it strikes me that tenaciously hanging on isn’t always the smartest move. But I hate to let go. It hurts me. It hurts my pride. It makes me feel weak and small. It reinforces the powerless feeling I have, even though logically I know I am making the choice to let go.
And I hate what lies before me: endless calls from the bank asking me to pay, the court notices that I am in default, the whole grueling foreclosure process. Notifying my ex, whose name is still on the mortgage, that this is happening. I worry that he will be angry, even though he has been unemployed for two years and isn’t in any better position than me. But this is going to hit his name too, and his credit (crappy as it already is) is going to take a hit, too. And I am ashamed for it.
And ashamed that I can’t give Killian the security of a home. I invited her to uproot herself and move across country to be here. I did that thinking I could give her a home. And now? Now what. Where do we go? Who will take us?
I reach deep for that feeling of calm I had just a few days ago. My hand is grabbing in the dark, trying to find it. And it is barely within reach, and I can’t see it, but it is there.
One of the places I sent a resume asked me to fill out an application. My LLPC supervisor gave me a lead on another agency that might have a job.
And just now, out of the blue, it occurs to me now that all these problems have the same solution, one that my mom told me ages ago: Immer gerade aus. Always move forward. Keep moving. Because my hope is in the future, and I have to move toward it.