Sometimes everything seems hopeless. But, a proverb says that the branch that bends in the wind does not break.
Ten weeks after leaving, getting back to Texas became all I could think about. I missed everything about it–having places to go, the big open sky above me, and of course my husband was there. Keeping a relationship alive by phone and Skype is difficult. [I applaud military wives; I was a basket case within two months–I have no idea how they do it for a whole deployment.]
We fought often, usually over stupid things. He was terse, working all day and going home to a tiny room in a messy house, having to stay in his room after 9 pm every night. I was snappish after trying to keep my nephew from hurting my daughter all day, then trying to feed her and I healthy food using a microwave and a dorm fridge. Spoiler alert: she subsisted off microwave macaroni and cheese, crab sticks, baby carrots, and milk. She became addicted to “juice” [kool-aid] due to her six year old cousin constantly having a sippy cup of it, and is currently in withdrawal from that. I rarely ate and lost twenty pounds while I was there. My husband lived off fast food and pantry-stable snacks due to not being able to use the kitchen where he lived. His gout came back. I developed plantar fascitis. [This was due to having to favor my opposite foot back when I tore the ligament and not due to anything that happened while I was gone, it just happened to show up recently.] I hate admitting this.
I tried to make the best of it, but the truth was that we were miserable.
I don’t begrudge anyone any of it though. I know how lucky we were to have a roof over our heads for these past few months. I know how difficult it is to both share your home with people [even if they are family] and the guilt of staying in someone’s home and feeling like a complete burden. It’s not a situation I wanted to stay in forever, and though I love my family, the stress wore on me. I wanted to be in my own place again.
So about seven weeks in we had enough in savings to start looking at places to rent. I called management companies, private parties, and contacted apartment locators, but heard the same thing: you can’t do anything until your bankruptcy closes. Even then, no one will want you.
I was hitting the same wall on my own–no bankruptcies within the past ten years. Well isn’t that as long as one stays on record? Just say no bankruptcies! Why the weird wording? We found people that would rent to convicted felons before they would rent to people with a BK on their record. What? How is that…? Apparently stealing a car or murdering someone is more forgivable than saying, “We screwed up and had to use our mulligan.” The only reason we had to file was to protect ourselves from a predatory lender, not because we mismanaged our money. But no one wants to listen. It’s a sob story.
I found an apartment locator that claimed to help people in my situation. He was nice and responsive for the first three days we spoke. Now it’s been over a week since I have heard from him. Same as the rest, he dropped us and didn’t even have the courtesy to let us know. I wasn’t aware that we became sub-human scum during the past two and a half months!
That’s when the hopelessness hit–I would never go back to my beloved Texas. My husband seemed to hate the thought of speaking to me. We were probably going to get a divorce and I would be trapped in rural Missouri, forever.
Then the depression came, and I cried for days, non-stop. My parents don’t believe in depression, so they pretty much told me to put on my big girl panties and get over it. My husband wasn’t much help either. All he would say is, “I don’t know what you want me to say”, which made me cry harder. If he wasn’t willing to even put in a effort to reassure me, what was the point of struggling through this?
I felt useless. Hopeless. No one cared.
I laid in bed, and wished that I didn’t exist, because this whole situation had to be all my fault; if I didn’t exist, then this wouldn’t be happening. The only reason I was alive was to waste air and fuck everything up.
I don’t know what finally made my husband realize I was serious about feeling so bad, but one day he called and told me, “You are coming back here. We are going to live in my mother’s dining room until we find a place. It will suck, but at least we will all be together.”
Two days and an overnight car ride later I ended up back in Texas, living in a dining room on an air mattress. Seeing my husband again was awkward. I still love him, but it feels like we are such different people now. I think everything is being colored by my depression, which didn’t fully go away, and a serious lack of privacy. I’m trying to fake being ok until we get back into our own place, which I hope will dispel the rest of the feelings I have. We had to leave our cats at my parent’s temporarily because we weren’t allowed to bring them, so that could be a huge part of it. I feel terribly guilty over that. I don’t like feeling like this at all, but I know there is not much I can do about it until our situation changes. So until then…
Counting my blessings.
Swimming through the hopelessness.
Bending so that I don’t break.
Note #1: I am divulging this because I made a promise to myself to be open and honest with my readers and fans about my life. Life is never entirely sunshine and roses, and we shouldn’t pretend that it is. It sets up an “ideal life” that no one will ever be able to achieve.
Note #2: Due to this, my writing was… non-existent, so I lost a few weeks of time. This will push the release date of Atlantis: TVC Volume #2 back to Fall. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Note #3: I’ve been working on this post for a while, and while it was in draft, our bankruptcy closed. Hopefully this makes apartments more amenable to working with us! *fingers crossed*