||Pristine to Ruins in 30 Days
30 days ago, life was pretty good.
My fiance' was working a full time job, making $1800.00 paychecks. We had a house, pets, and no financial stresses in sight aside from a pricey vet bill and wedding finances that needed to be tended to.
As far as we were concerned, life was settling into place. We were making plans to have a family in the next 14 months. Talking about how to do our nursery, what color to paint our walls this summer, if we wanted to adopt another kitten.
Basically, everything was perfect.
May 27th is when that disc of solidity was ripped out from under me, and my life went from pristine to ruins in a matter of 24 hours.
My fiance' ended up getting laid off. At first, we sat down, and thought, "Okay, well, this was to be expected. The mine was closing. Everything will be okay."
But then the fights started. We got into a huge argument that day, and didn't talk at all till 4 in the morning. I fell asleep on the couch after kicking him to bed during an argument. I woke up in a huge coughing fit. Swore I couldn't breathe.
Him being the loving, tender man he is, came out to my rescue. He held me while I sobbed my heart away, struggling to breathe. He forced my ventolin in me, then some cold medicine, and eventually my lungs loosened. He carried me to bed, tucked me, then held me as I cried myself to sleep.
I woke up early that morning with a plan to make things work. I made myself some coffee, sat down at the computer. I gingerly pulled up the budget, took a deep breath, and went in for the plunge.
I removed every future paycheck, and instantly, my budget turned red. I knew we had a $2000.00 paycheck coming in 2 weeks, but no matter what numbers I moved around, I couldn't stretch that out far enough to last us. Shaking, I got up, undressed, and crawled into the shower. And like a poorly built stack of cards, I just crumbled to the floor in a heaping mess, overwhelmed by the lack of direction our lives was taking. I cried harder then I have in a long time. And there he was again, sitting in the tub, clothing and all. Holding me while my heart just broke.
The day was slow and hard. We talked, finally. We made plans. We decided we were going to move to Toronto as soon as possible, because my mom got her job, and we were going to split on rent for a house. We had our plans in place, and I got a text message.
Mom didn't get her job. My wedding plans had changed. We could no longer afford the venue, or to help pay for anyone. Mom told me not to worry, they will take our payments out of the budget, and we will just look for a cheaper venue on the ocean.
But the bottom line was; we couldn't move to Toronto.
This went on for days. The uncertainty, the random melt downs, the desperation for some kind of direction. We had no money for rent, a $700.00 vet bill, and I owed my mom $600.00 to help with costs for our photographer and wedding planner.
We scarped the bottom of our change container to find money for groceries. We somehow stretched out 50 dollars to get us what we needed, priorities being bread, milk, and pet food.
My depression came back in full swing. I had no energy to do anything, and I was beating myself up constantly. And with this depression, came my pain. My body can't handle stress very well anymore. Whenever I'm overly stressed, I get extreme levels of back spasms and pains. So I was hitting pretty low for a while.
There was one night when I was at rock bottom. Aaron had gone to bed, and I sat in my underwear on the couch. I had a blade in my hand, and traced over the scars on my legs, and closed my eyes. I didn't cut myself. I couldn't. I made a promise to Aaron, and it felt like the ultimate betrayal if I had gone through with it. But for a second, I relished in the feeling of cold, serrated metal biting into the skin on my thigh. For a second, I almost broke my promise. But instead, I sighed heavily, put the knife down, and curled up on the couch with a blanket. It had been at least 13 months since I last hurt myself. I thought I was cured of such thoughts.
I guess not.
I didn't sleep that night.
June 4th came, and I awoke to the worst news. Our landlord did indeed have a check for June. A check he denied having. He just deposited it that morning. 10 days earlier then usual. I cried when I checked my bank account, and saw that we were in the negatives by $1400.00. Immediately, I was flooded with anxiety and fear. How would we pay this back? How will we keep our heads above water?
At this point, I just wanted to give up. I started accepting that we were going to be homeless. That for the first time in my life, we were completely ********, and I didn't have any answers about what to do next. I felt completely and utterly defeated. I spent the day in bed, and didn't eat. I cried till my cheeks were raw and my throat hurt. I just couldn't do this anymore. And all I could think, is how I was making Aaron feel. I started hearing that voice in my head. She started saying, "Your useless. Your a burden. Your the reason you guys are in this mess. If you weren't so weak and useless, you'd have a job, and you guys wouldn't be in a hole. Good job, you fat, ugly, useless piece of s**t." The voice was relentless, and continued all day. I couldn't face Aaron, so I slept.
Luckily, the check did indeed bounce the next day, but now this meant we had to face our landlord. And I was scared.
Our renting this house was part of a business deal between the landlord and my uncle. Aaron being laid off was a result of my uncle being fired, and thus, this business deal fell through. We have been laying low and avoiding the landlord, nervous he might retaliate for such failure. But now, we had to confront him. And not only do we have to explain the check bouncing, we had to tell him our account was in the negatives by hundreds of dollars, but Aaron no longer had a secure job.
We applied for EI. But we didn't know when he would get it. We applied for OW, but we've heard nothing for over a week now. We had no answers. Only that we couldn't afford to pay rent right now.
So, we confronted him. And, as it turns out, things went better then expected, and I started to pick myself up again, piece by piece. He was understanding about rent being late (Though is charging us an extra 50 because he was charged as well for the check bouncing). He even offered to help Aaron find work. He also made a promise that we would get a rent receipt, since I know OW will be wanting one--if they ever call us back.
The rest of the week seemed promising. OW finally called us, and at our appointment, they agreed to help us. They quoted us $1043.00, which was a really good number. That, combined with Aaron's last pay, would help us pay rent for the next two months, and buy groceries. They wanted the receipt, like I knew they would, and I told them I would have it that weekend and drop it off Monday. We left feel like we finally had some kind of direction to take, and the path was a little less covered in thorny weeds. For the first time in weeks, I started to feel optimistic about our future again.
That night, we sat down, and had a serious talk. Do we want to stay in Timmins, or do we want to go home? Coincidentally, that night, I received a text from my dad, telling me he wanted me to come back home. So, after weighing our options, we decided we wanted to move this summer. September was our estimated date, at the latest. We did some looking around, and started to realize North Bay had next to nothing for rent. But luckily, I remember Bradwick.
The next day, Aaron called Bradwick, and we got an application. He explained he was going on EI, and that we would have a secure income. We cleared up an issue with pets (They have no problem with it), and this, things looked pretty promising. They just wanted a garuntor, and my father agreed to sign for me. And, well, you know. Having a dad that has the work title of, "Assistant Deputy Minister of Correctional Services of Ontario" helps alot. I doubt they will deny us.
The rent for the 4 bedroom townhouse, if we get it, will be 100 less then what we pay it. $845.00 a month. Not all inclusive, and no appliances. But that, I decided, was alright. We already own a fridge, microwave, and a chest freezer. We would just need a stove. And eventually, we could invest in a washer and dryer. But until then, we'd just either go to the laundromat, or maybe convince our best friend Brit to let us do laundry at their building (Would be cheaper. And we could all hang out for a couple hours every laundry day.).
I started to feel excited, and thus, the darkness I had been trapped in for the past few weeks started to recede. My depression started to retreat, bit by bit. I finally did the budget, and things started to look good when I put in estimated numbers. We could afford to move in August. Things were looking up.
That was, until Sunday. We chased down our landlord, and he confessed to us that he didn't know what or how to do a rent receipt. I was completely dumbfounded. Here is a man. A successful business man, at that. He owns and rents several properties, ontop of his own doctor's office. And he's trying to tell me he doesn't know what a RR is? I started to feel sick. It began to dawn on me that the doctor/landlord might be defrauding his income tax returns by not claiming our rent as income. Started to look like chances of getting an RR from him were looking pretty low. But, he said to make one up, e-mail it to him, and he'll sign it and give it to us that night in exchange for his rent checks.
So, I made up 4 checks. I prepared a story about how these were all I had left, and I'm waiting for my mom to send me my check book that I left in Toronto.
Truth is, I didn't want to give him 12 months of checks. With our luck so far, if I did give him 12 checks, we'd go to him in July, tell him we're moving in August, and he would still end up depositing checks for the months we no longer live here. It would just be one huge headache, waiting to happen.
So, I wrote up checks for June, July, August, and September. And I put them on the fridge. Me and Aaron waited all day for him to come over. But by 7pm, we began to realize he wasn't going to come. By 10, we just knew he wasn't. I shrugged and said, "Well, maybe he's busy. Maybe he'll drop it off in the morning, and we can just go straight to OW and get our stuff done."
Monday morning came, and there was nothing. By noon, I just had a gut wrenching feeling, and started to feel resentful towards him. He made a promise, and because he's too ******** unreliable to keep up his end of the promise, he's denying us money for groceries and bills. I was so pissed by the end of the day, I decided that I was going to withhold the checks, and make him come and get them.
Tuesday morning, I decided enough was enough. I paid the bank to give me a copy of my last successfully paid rent check, and I handed that into OW instead, with all the other paper work. And then, we waited.
Days passed, and we finally got a call. That brings us to today (Friday). They had a check for us, ready to be picked up. I sighed with relief. We went and picked it up, and the relief I felt was quickly demolished.
The number was not what she promised. It was 100 less.
A few months ago, 100 less would've been no problem. But right now, it was the difference between moving or not. Hell, it was the difference between making next months rent, and not.
Trying to find something positive, I looked through the envelope and found our "Drug Card". Benefits that Ontario gives to low income family to help offset the cost of prescriptions. And, because I am sick, I do have some that need to be refilled. We tried to shortly after Aaron was laid off, and quickly discovered his benefits ended sooner then they were supposed to. My medicine was all full cost, and way too much for me to afford.
So, I was relieved to find the card. We went straight to the store to fill it and do some groceries. I started to feel a little optimistic again, hoping at least something would go right today. Right? Nope. I went to pick up my prescription, and they informed me--When I was paying--That I would have to pay full price as its not covered. I was distraught, but I needed this prescription. So that was $100.00 out of my account. And that was just for Birth Control. I started to feel nauseous trying to estimate how much my 250 pill pain killer prescription would cost us--and I was starting to get low on those.
We went home, and I immediately went to bed--even though it was only 4. I just had the worst headache in the world, and felt sick to my stomach.
I woke up at 8, and heaved myself out of bed. I decided that, for now, we'll just take things one step at a time, and just deal with things as they come. Aaron will call EI on Monday, and we'll figure everything out. I updated the budget again, saw the red numbers, closed my eyes and closed it. I started to walk to the kitchen, when something caught my eye.
There was Dexter, standing there with his tail down, head down, and can you guess whats next?
He was limping.
Dexter had surgery last August on his right leg. He blew out his knee, and it needed to be fixed. It was a major surgery that cost us $2000. Luckily, Aaron was at a good spot at work. He was getting 25/hour, with bonuses. So we could afford the surgery.
Come December, Dexter destroyed his left knee. Things were not so good that month. We had to cancel our trip home for Christmas because he just didn't have the money, and we were still recovering from his last surgery. In January, I finally sucked it up and brought him to the vet.
Me and the Vet worked out a deal. We would have to pay close to 2000 again, but in smaller, affordable payments. So, in February, Dexter had his surgery, and the 300/month payments began.
May was the last month for payments, and I finally signed that nightmare off as closed. We didn't owe the vet anything anymore, and Dexter was completely healed. The 5 month nightmare was done, and my pup was back to normal.
But now, here he is. Looking up at me through his eyebrows, holding his left leg up, shaking. That was the last straw for me. I just collapsed in a heaping mess, crying. Aaron held me for a long time as I tried to pull myself together.
And all that crossed my mind, "How the hell did our lives get so ******** up."
So, now here I am, venting to this journal. I just don't know what to do anymore. I don't know what my future looks like. What our future looks like. I just don't know anymore. I give up.
I hope things pick up soon.
I really..really do.
· Sat Jun 15, 2013 @ 08:00am · 0 Comments