Posts Tagged finances

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Posted by on Friday, 25 May, 2012

It’s hard to say where we are right now.  Talk about leaving has stopped but we’re more distant than ever. I used to think there was nothing worse than serving a long jail sentence. The loss of freedom and loving human contact seemed impossible to endure. Well . . . there’s something worse. Lost intimacy after nearly thirty years of marriage. We’re like long time roommates who have forgotten our friendship. We share the worries. We share the duty of raising the kids. She doesn’t life a finger to clean the house. We don’t talk except about the kids, money, and her mental state. There’s no sex. No kissing. No hugging. No cuddling. Gone are the inside jokes and conspiratorial looks. She literally sleeps on the bitter edge of our king sized bed, and that’s when she actually joins me. Many nights she falls asleep on the couch.

We have taken some steps toward curing our cash flow problems and imposing the very first layer of financial discipline. The “ifs” and “maybes” outweigh the concrete. We’ve applied for a loan modification for our mortgage. That’ll extend the life of the mortgage but cut our payment by a $1000. We’re applying for MassHealth. If that happens, our single biggest expense will be curbed. The national debate about health care is about whether our country can make the costs sane for people like us

When she first got fired in 2008, it our monthly bill was $1400. It rose to about $2300 last August. That’s more than our mortgage. Lord knows what it’ll be this year. Of one thing I am positive: it’s not going down.

Health insurance is a basic need of the same order as food and shelter. She’s a cancer survivor who has been admitted to a partial inpatient facility about once a year since she was bullied out of her job. Things have been so difficult that I became depressed. Now I see a  psychiatrist and am on a cocktail of Zoloft, Lamictal, and Trazadone. And God forbid something happen to one of our children.

She had undiagnosed cancer in ’08, when those bastards retroactively cancelled her health insurance.  Her cancer  has an extremely high mortality rate. We were profoundly lucky. The malignant cells were encapsulated in a large but benign tumor.That was a temporary condition. Had the disease gone undiagnosed much longer, I’d be a widower and a single dad. Removing the tumor got rid of the cancer. The radical hysterectomy significantly decreased her chances of a relapse. Knock on wood it’s been four years.

Beyond our mortgage and health insurance we also have a home equity loan for about  $100,000. That was a loan consolidation for a butt-load of credit card debt she ran up during the year long torture to which Bull Dog subject her.

Compulsive shopping is a lousy coping mechanism. We’ll be paying that back until we sell our house, at which point the balance will siphon off a good chunk of our equity in the sale.

Sometimes I want to scream. Others I want to cry. Others still I feel like sitting in the dark with a tumbler full of my favorite scotch, the one we used to share at the many five star hotels we stayed out together. Can’t afford it. The thought of being a drunk on cheap booze is so unappealing. (At least I have a little bit of pride left).

Often I fantasize about revenge. Not violence,. Bruises heal and give people like the Bull Dog another way to make things worse. These guys, the board and the Bull Dog covet their reputations and their money. So much so that when the Bull Dog was censured by a southern state supreme court, he sued them for slander. He didn’t win but that’s the way to do it.

The beautiful part is we could use his own words, and those of his colleagues to make the point. He was so full of hubris that he brought in a court reporter to capture his first attempt to fire her in February 2008.

I digress . . . If we can tame our cash flow and finally adopt some some financial discipline, we should be able to survive for quite some time. Another big “if”. To be sure these are all things we should have done years ago. But I was borderline phobic about dealing with money that my head was so far up my ass that I needed a glass bellybutton to see the world. She was so mired by depression that it sapped her of the initiative to set our house in order.

I’m feeling another fuck you Steve brewing. Fuck you Steve. You used to say you love us but then your turned your back. Where’s the karmic retribution? Or is this situation our karmic retribution for being assholes in our last lives? i don’t really believe in reincarnation. I do believe in bad luck. Sometimes bad shit happens to good people.

Where does this leave us? I honestly do not know. I can see her leaving. What’s worse, I can see me leaving. A lot of foul water has passed under the bridge. I’m not sure we can ever clean the river bed sufficiently to permit bathing and picnics on the banks?