Posts Tagged ‘survivng a recession’

add_toon_info1Today I did something that was very, very difficult.  For a long while now, we’ve been dealing with financial insecurity, some of it our own fault, some of it the result of my husband’s connection to the automotive industry. Occasionally, we’d let slip a comment to indicate things weren’t good, but until now, pride, and perhaps denial, kept us from laying it all out in the open. 

Eighteen long months without a regular income has changed all that. Today, via email, I told friends and family what was happening to us, that we are forced to sell our home but are still short the money we need to prepare it for sale, and that, even worse, we don’t long how long it may take to sell.  I told them that between us, we’re applying to at least twenty jobs a week, with no luck. Our age, our prior employment, all of it could be a deterrent. I asked for help.

I couldn’t send it to only those I knew might actually be in a position to make a difference. I couldn’t stand knowing that I’d put them, and myself, in such a difficult situation. Instead, I sent it to everyone, no matter what their circumstances. I didn’t ask directly for a loan, but for a referral, for names of people who might be in the business of taking a financial risk via a second mortgage, payable when our house finally sells.

ARGGGH. The idea of asking for anything makes me ill.  Chest pains have been plaguing me all day. I tell myself that surely, people would have offered if they were able, yet I know that’s not always the case. They tiptoe around the idea, waiting for you to ask, perhaps hoping that you won’t, because they don’t believe in lending money to friends – and who can blame them?  Or maybe, they’d like to help, but don’t want to offend by interfering.

The last thing I want to do is appear so pitiful that others are made to feel guilty because they’re experiencing better times. I don’t want people to avoid us because they don’t know how to deal with the fact that they can’t or perhaps don’t want to help. I’ve crossed a line, delivered a tacky soliloquy on an issue that’s usually discussed behind your own closed doors. My face is still red. I wish I could just hide and pretend I’d never hit “send.”

I did do my best to backtrack, to tell them that we don’t expect a response, that there is no need to explain anything, that we feel like shit for being so brazen about our need.

I hope that they understand how hard hard it was to do,  that it was simply one of the many desperate measures we have to consider while trying to survive.

It is very, very humbling, but maybe if we’d demonstrated more humility in the past, this day would never have come. I once read that it is only when we are at our weakest that we find our strength, that we recognize our own humanity. I think I’m there.


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