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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Ready to Stop Now!

Life is hard, there's no denying that. I knew growing up that my life was never going to be easy, and I just accepted it. I will admit that I used to think that all I needed to do was ask my mom or grandma for help, and then my life would be a bit less hard.

At some point, I grew up, and realized that I couldn't do that. I stopped asking my family for help because they didn't have anything to help me with.  Even so, I always believed that one day things would get better. I always believed that one day all the hardships would pay off and I'd get to enjoy life for a while. I still believe that, but...

This just might be the straw that breaks this camel's back! Let me set up the situation for you. It all started when I made the decision to be a stay at home wife and mother. These were my goals in life, and while the majority of people might point a finger at me and judge me because of my decision, I don't think that being a stay at home wife/mother is a crime. I should not be punished, yet that's exactly how I feel. Like I am being punished.

As a result of my decision, I do not have a job, nor do I have any form of income. I got my first job at age 16, and more or less had a job or two until I was 21. Therefore, I did not realize that choosing to stay home would make it harder for me to find a job in the future. However, I haven't worked in so long that even when I apply for a job, I'm not hired because I don't have a work history.

This is the foundation of all my problems. I chose to rely on someone else to support me, but life has not been kind to him either, so we have no money. MOST of the time, I actually don't mind this. Don't get me wrong, if some benevolent Deity offered me a choice between being rich with tons of non money related problems, and being poor with tons of money problems, I'd probably choose to be rich. After all, everyone has problems, so why not have problems AND money?

Yet, I have learned so many things because I'm poor that I know I would never have learned had I been born rich. I am truly grateful that I am who I am. I'm grateful that I've learned the lessons I've learned. I honestly wouldn't change anything..... except for my income. I want to earn money on my terms damnit! I want to support my family using MY skills, not by obtaining some job that I will never care about!

Ok, so by now, it's obvious that my current problem involves money. Here's more behind what happened. In 2003, I was driving my car with a license but without insurance. I was following my friend to a place he knew but I didn't. I didn't have insurance because the car cost us 50.00 to buy and would have cost 100.00 a month to insure. We didn't have that kind of money to waste. (We never do...) I got pulled over for speeding, got a ticket for no insurance. I eventually had my license suspended then revoked because I couldn't pay the 600.00 fine.

In 2008, I was driving our vehicle at the time. It was a van my mom had bought for us for 600.00 (which means that it was practically worthless). I honestly didn't drive it often, but on that particular day, I had no choice. I had to drive my boys to daycare and get to class. I was running late, and it was raining. Taking the bus was not an option at this point because I would have missed my class altogether. So, I made the decision to drive without my license OR insurance. (Again, we were on welfare, how could we possibly afford insurance???) (Also, don't judge me damnit! I know I am not the only one who has ever driven without a license or insurance.)

On this particular street, there's a light every block or two. I had stopped for one light, then slowly approached the next. It turned red suddenly enough that the two cars in front of me stomped on their brakes. I wasn't worried in the slightest because I had more than a car length between me and them. They both came to a full stop, but my brakes decided at that moment to not work. I stepped on them, and NOTHING! I didn't slow down in the slightest!

I ended up rear ending the car in front of me, but after we both pulled over, the driver and I both inspected her car. She had a scratch. I didn't see it, but she assured me that it was there. I told her that I had to get to school, and drove off. I was freaked out because - had I been the one hit - I would have just dismissed the scratch as nothing and went about my day. She - on the other hand - could not leave it at that. She reported it, and I got into trouble for driving without insurance. (That's actually a whole other story, heh heh.)

Get this! I already stated that I didn't have a license at the time, but did the cops, judge, or lawyer appointed by the court care? Nope! They all told me that I can get caught driving without my license as much as I want and I'll just have to pay a fine and have my license suspended (by this they mean that there would be a time frame attached to when I would be able to apply to get my license back).

However, if I was caught driving without insurance just 3 times in a 10 year period, I would be charged with a felony, have to pay a huge fine AND have to serve time in jail! Oh no... the laws are totally not designed to favor the big insurance companies! (Note the sarcasm.)

Anyway, what does this have to do with anything? It happened years ago, right? I have not had so much as a traffic violation since then, plus we had insurance after that - to avoid potential felony charges and jail time (even though we had much better things to spend that 70.00 a month on). Well, that other driver apparently claimed that she got injured. Probably whiplash or something equally as... You know, I do believe that the fear, adrenaline, and sudden wrenching movements of an accident can cause muscular problems, but I was trained as a massage therapist. I do not for one minute believe that treating a case of whiplash should cost 12,000+!

Yep, 12,000 plus. Our state is supposed to be a no fault state. This means that an accident is just that and no one is at fault, but I have been through enough accident in my youth to know that this is not true bordering on a downright lie. The insurance company that belongs to the "victim" always seeks repayment from the insurance company of the one at fault.

In my case, there was no insurance company, so her insurance company is suing US for over 12 thousand dollars! This is just one more demand for money we just don't have! I immediately called the lawyer listed on the paperwork - the only contact number - and told them that this lawsuit is pointless. We have no ability to pay, and so their client will in essence be spending an additional amount of money on a lawsuit in order to obtain money from us that does not exist! I begged them to reconsider. I told them very honestly that:

My hubby and I are both unemployed. We have been on welfare since 2004. (FYI, we have not taken all 60 months of cash assistance that we can get. We have only received cash assistance for 36 months, that is why - for those that know about the 60 month limit - we seem like we've been on welfare longer than legally possible.) We get section 8 rental assistance. My husband currently gets unemployment benefits because he was unfairly fired from his job that he hadworked at for 3 years. (I must point this out because we ARE trying to get off of all public assistance, though I feel like no one believes us. Also, please note that unemployment benefits only last so long and will run out.)

Therefore, we have no "earned" income and the only "unearned" income we get is what the government pays my hubby for his unemployment. The only reason we are not starving out on the streets is that we get rental assistance and food stamps. We literally owe more money than we will probably ever earn, and adding another 12,000 to it just makes me feel hopeless.

Keep in mind that I owe 12,000 on a repossessed car from 2003. My hubby owes more than 35,000 in back child support, and we both have more than 12,000 each in student loans that we will need to repay at some point. Not to mention the various other debts... How will things ever get better unless we win the lottery???

My faith is very low. I honestly do not want to continue living this pointless life. Seriously, as long as I had hope that one day things would get better, I was able to keep struggling and keep going. I had faith that everything would turn out all right in the end, but now I don't. I don't want to commit suicide, I just want my fairy godmother to euthanize me.

My ONLY comfort is that my boys cannot be held responsible for our debts. This means that after they grow up, they will be free of our constant money problems. They will have me there to warn them not to get in any debt. They may actually get to live the life I always hoped I'd get to live one day. A life where there is enough money in our bank account to cover our expenses and feed us without help from anyone. (Especially NOT the government!)

Ok, so I am almost done ranting. The last thing I have to say is this: The response I got to my pleading to have this lawsuit dismissed... I was told that I can make payment arrangements - he refused to explain to me how I can make payments with NO money - or they will place a judgment against us. At that point, they will revoke both our licenses (hubby was not involved in the accident AT ALL, but his license will be revoked too because he owned the car I was driving SMH!), and garnish our wages and taxes until it is paid. I actually laughed. I already don't have a license, and I don't have any wages to garnish. We haven't filed taxes in years because A - we don't make enough to have to pay taxes, and B - we wouldn't get the tax credit back anyway because child support already has a permanent garnishment against our taxes.

SO considering all that, WHAT can we do, I asked? His response... "File bankruptcy."

Ok ok, let me get this straight. INSTEAD of dropping a case that will cost money to pursue and NEVER pay, the lawyers and the insurance company would rather ruin our lives and force us into bankruptcy. We just FINALLY got to the point where all our previous debts - except our student loans and the child support - were almost 10 years old. If we had any money to put down on a loan on a house, we could actually qualify (if we had jobs). But NO! Now we will have to probably file for bankruptcy and then wait another 10 years before a bank would even consider letting us get a home loan. Which means that things really will never get better unless we win the lottery.

So tell me, why am I still alive? I just don't know any more...

14 comments:

  1. Umm...they can't touch Jim's licence unless the car was also in his name...I think they are blowing a ton of smoke up your ass.

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  2. The car was in his name, it wasn't in mine at all.

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  3. But I do hope it's just a bunch of smoke and fear tactics. That I can deal with.

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  4. Bankruptcy only affects your ability to buy a house now for 2-3 years. I have several people that I know that have filed and have been able to get houses real soon afterwards. I know this is not the answer your not looking for, but it is some hope. Also, why don't you do your massage therapy as a side job?

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  5. Massage therapy as a side job would be nice if I could get licensed, but aside from the fact that it costs money to get licensed, the school I went to closed and refuses to let anyone see my records until I pay them what I owe, so I have no way to prove that I was trained for licensing purposes. If I could find clients that didn't care about my lack of a license, I would totally do it... and then pray I never got caught, lol :-)

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  6. Doll, you are seriously handy with a crochet hook, why not try to sell some of that online? (unless you already do and then I'll feel really stupid)

    A second thing I've discovered in my 30 years on this earth is that Minnesota is a MF trap. Everyone I know who is in Minnesota (no matter where in the state) is struggling hard and no one seems to make ends meet.

    I know it's not a solution but just remember it's not just you. It's everyone in the state.

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  7. Flipping burgers, telemarketing, delivering papers, bagging groceries, ANYTHING to give yourself a work history and work your way up, one step at a time.

    Call a bankruptcy lawyer for advice. Don't worry about not being able to buy a home right away because it will probably take you years to build up a down payment anyway.

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  8. You can not file bankruptcy on your student loans. Sorry, but they don't ever go away. File for the rest. You probably won't be able to qualify for a house purchase until you have saved at least 20% (or more since your credit ratings will be taken into account). That is probably a long way off.

    Your car repoed in 2003 is probably not even a thought in a collectors head anymore. Get over that. Pull your credit report, see what can be done.

    Get a job at Mc D's or something. If hubby is not working then he can watch kids while you work at a low paying crappy job. It is a start. And if you do a good job at these types of places (fast food), you can get promoted from within which looks good when applying for something else. Some places also have education assistance once you have been there for a while, as well as insurance and such. May not be able to afford it but you gotta start somewhere.

    File your taxes. You will need to file them for purchasing a house anyway. And if you do qualify for earned income credit and are not filing because it will be taken since hubby owes back child support--what a piece of crap you two are. I can forgive just about anything but "I am not going to file because we won't get anything back anyway because he owes child support". HE OWES 35,000 in child support--WTF???

    Since you are on assistance, get the training that is out there. Stop sulking and sitting around feeling depressed. You need to do something for yourself and your children. What happens if your hubby suddenly dies? I doubt he has life insurance that will let you live in luxury for the rest of your life.

    Go to the workforce center. They have programs set up to help you get training for something. They have a computer thing that you go thru that helps you to pick fields that you show some interest for--I know probably not massage therapy but who cares? They also have programs set up to help you gain skills in both job hunting and training. Just go--you have to put forth effort.

    Try temp services as well. You may not know much in office/computer stuff but if you stay with a company long enough they will usually provide training for you. The more you know, the more you are worth.

    And that driving without insurance thing--yeah people do it all the time. You are lucky you didn't kill someone or seriously hurt someone. I don't care if you are a massage therapist (I don't know of any who actually make a decent living doing that), you can not account for someone elses injuries. What if an elderly person was in the car and suffered whiplash? Or if a child was in there and was hurt. Just because you were not speeding down the interstate does not mean that you did not hurt someone. They have the right to get the treatment they feel they need--dr, xrays, pt, etc. If you don't agree with it, so what??? That is THEIR choice to get the treatment to put them back together as well as their vehicle. Quit whining. File for bankruptcy on that if you are worried. Be thankful it is only 12000, that is nothing.

    Jessi

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  9. @ Jessi - Thank you for your comments and for signing your name. You have provided me with much to think about. However, I would like to point out a couple of things. Yes, I was whining because I needed to vent in order to feel better.

    As for the child support, hate me all you want but by LAW they are only supposed to take 25% max of my hubby's income, but for the past 7 or 8 years, he has only made about 5 to 10 thousand dollars a year, the back support has added up AFTER they've taken what they could out of his checks. Do the math 10,000 *8 =80,000/25% =20,000 So, if you really want to judge me for complaining that he owes over 35,000 in child support that has accumulated over the past 8 years WHILE he was working because they figure he owes 500.00+ a month no matter what he makes and refuse to grant him a review to change it, then go ahead, judge me for being a bitch that would rather let the government keep my taxes then give it to a woman who doesn't need it nor is she legally entitled to it if they actually followed their laws. Also take into account that they are now supposed to count her income into the equation, and she makes between 35-40,000 a year. And so does her husband.

    Lastly, the reason I am so willing to suffer from poorness - despite the occasional complaints - is that I want to live life and support my family using MY skills. Yes I am skilled in office work, but working there made my health suffer. My passion is writing. My reason for being on this earth is to guide others. I would rather continue struggling and trudging down this bleak path that I believe in then get just any old job for a paycheck that will ultimately steal my health. Yes, I know I am stupid about this matter, and yes I'm just stubborn enough not to listen to reason, but it is my deep belief that everyone is meant to do what they are passionate about, and that they shouldn't settle for less. If I suffer for it, then that is my own damn fault!

    Phew... that said, I do appreciate that you took time to give me advice and that you care enough to tell me the smart thing to do. Please do not be offended if I don't follow your advice. I'm sure there will come a time when I reply to this again saying, "Stupid me, why didn't I just listen to you."

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  10. Child support--if you don't think you should be paying that much (or your hubby), then you need to file a motion to modify. The paperwork for that is on the child supports site here in the state of MN. Not difficult. Even the instructions are on there. You can modify the order based on changes in income (unemployment, etc.). So quit whining and do something.

    And what kind of piece of shit are you for judging if someone needs the money or not for child support? Your hubby spawned child(ren) with this other person and he is legally liable to pay for them.

    And yes, they can take a lot more than 25% of the check. Where you got that info is beyond me. They can take EVERYTHING over the minimum poverty level which I think is $75 a week.

    So go ahead, whine about it. Sit there are support a dead beat mentality.

    Statistics show that your kids will probably also be poor earners, low level job holders, and create babies out of wedlock that they also can not support.

    Maybe you should just get a job and show some initiative and grasp up life off of poverty. What a thing to teach kids--get by on minimum and whine about it. Poor me..poor me.

    Venting is one thing, failure to do anything about it is another.

    Jessi

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  11. LMAO!!! Thank you, I totally asked for sarcastic commentary and you gave it to me :-D

    Apparently you don't see the part where I am not just whining. I am doing everything I can to make my dreams and goals come true. I hope you are happy up there on your high horse.

    I wish you the best, have a happy day :-)

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  12. Jessi-
    Since Roxie is too polite to do it let me...Fuck off...
    If you don't enjoy this site, if you don't like something that is posted, don't come here.
    This site is for Roxie fans...people who want to read what she writes. She simply doesn't need people with your kind of negative attitude here. Right now she could use a little support and not another kick in the gut when she is down.
    If you are just in a bad mood and feel the need to vent and be an Ass go to a website that doesn't care...I recommend Craigslist Rants and Raves...they are used to dealing with Trolls.

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  13. While I agree that perhaps Roxie (who is a very dear friend of mine) does contribute a lot to her issues Jessi, I feel that your comment was very unproductive and I also wonder where you get some of your information.

    First off, perhaps you should do your research on MN state child support law. You talked about the poverty level. MN state says that "An obligor needs income to support him or herself. The guidelines subtract from the obligor’s income 120 percent (120%) of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for one person to allow the obligor to have money for self support."

    For a family of four (which is the number of persons in Roxies family) the guideline is at$22,350, therefore the state of MN has to leave them with $26,820 per year to support themselves; however the site also states:

    If the obligor’s gross income is less than 120 percent (120%) of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for one person, the support Guidelines call for the following minimum basic support obligation:


    • $50 per month for one or two children
    • $75 per month for three or four children
    • $100 per month for five or more children

    If the court finds that the obligor has no ability to earn income, it won't order the minimum basic support. http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/

    So according to that, James should only be paying $50 a month. However they also go buy a calculation of James potential income, so it could still be a bit higher. Also, they do take the custodial parents income into consideration (not either spouses) and other children James has which should also make the payments a bit lower for James.

    Roxie, James should contact the case worker for directions in requesting a review of the child support order due to his recent unemployed status. If they see a valid reason for a change, this can be done with no court fee costs to you.

    I do agree that if people ONLY worked at what they were passionate about, there would be a lot of starving and homeless children out there and I do feel that sometimes it is necessary to do jobs we dont like to support ourselves. I do feel that it is unfair to society as a whole to have to pay to support people who have this belief (no offense Roxie), but I do think there are more appropriate ways to express our beliefs than to call people names on blogs.

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  14. well said Tiffany. As to Jessi Even though you make some points there is no reason to put them that way more so to someone you have never met. IF and when someone is down in the dumps even if they brought it on them self's you should try to talk to them and give them advice with out judgement. IN the end Roxie no one matter's but you. what do you want and how are you going to go about getting it!!!!! Hun you can wont in one hand and shit in the other.... but see what feels up faster. Your doing your dream right now your always wrighting and you even have a book ( bet you didn't know that Jessie) but as most people that go after there dreams you have to work harder then most because and i'm sure you know but it doesn't happen over night. So what if you have to take a job at MD or BK over nights or something like that we have all been there once or twice and most of us are still there. You have to start somewhere and what better place than the bottom this way you see everything on the way to the top and its beautiful just like you are. Do whatever you have to do to make you and your family happy F*** the rest One more thing....... Jessie you where right this is Roxie's and if you don't like what your reading then feel free to leave the page. And because your so good at pointing out the bad in everyone maybe you need to look in the mirror the last post you did was nothing but a child not getting her way. Your right Roxie is a nice person and sorry there's not enough room on her blogs for people like yourself. I hope you can have a good night and bright tomorrows.

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I welcome and encourage everyone to comment... except spammers and bots. So, I am sorry that I have to require the captcha, but I've now officially got 10 times more comments from spammers than real people. Thank you for your comment and have a happy day :-)

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