Hi internet, I need help.
I don’t know where this post is going to go in terms of context, but I will try my best to post it in the most appropriate corners of this community in hopes of finding the right resources, advice and help.
I’ll try to give a few highlights of my life throughout these ramblings, and I appreciate anyone that goes as far as reading this post whole, let alone reaching out with their piece of advice and help. Please excuse anything that might sound like insight into the mind of a madman, but I think I just about got over my first-ever panic attack.
I was born in eastern Europe and my parents divorced soon after. I used to see my father, but that quickly faded away into memories as he began his new family. My mother met another man and the two quickly brought my unmarried sister into the world. Around 2006 at the ripe age of 10, I was hauled 2000 miles away from my motherland into England with the promise of a better life. And life was good, for a couple of years at least, until yet another parent was taken away from me at the whim of lust. My mother ended up leaving my stepfather, completely turning her back on the whole family, and leaving the country to start a new one. This left me with a stranger of a father figure.
I was 17 while diving deep into education when that happened, and safe to say the family situation did not help things. I fell behind, I started missing school, and I lacked guidance. My stepfather was by no means a bad man, but he was ill-fit to be a parent by himself. He kept a roof over my head as best he could while earning in above-the-line minimum-pay jobs, kept me fed, and supported me as much as was within his reach. I didn’t get far in life since then, failing miserably at every turn. My higher education got nowhere, and I was forced to take up work to help support a crumbling household and myself as a young adult entering my 20s.
Since 2015, I have been working a dead-end customer service job for an online retailer. I started becoming independent as much as possible, but the burden of finances quickly fell upon me as my stepfather lost his job right before the pandemic towards the end of 2019. Debts started to spiral out of control, and money was never really a topic that was discussed openly around the house. I never felt comfortable talking about it either. I just did what I could to help, while making uninformed and uneducated decisions as a 20-something-year-old. I took on loans and credit cards. All sorts of things dangerously accessible.
My stepdad has since then been in and out of work as a self-employed labourer. His inability to keep a steady income means variable trouble month on month, and with the addition of my sister and her lousy boyfriend, I’m struggling to make ends meet month to month while supporting my make-believe family. To put it into perspective, I have just about £100 left to my name with over 2 weeks to go until payday. I have not made a single lavish purchase, aside from a £20 secret Santa gift. Going without eating, or worrying about what will keep the lights on is a constant worry. I’ve been wearing the same clothes over the last 2-3 years, damn it.
I’m in no position to decline. I have nowhere to go. I have no immediate family around me, and everyone is essentially a stranger from a family that isn’t entirely mine. I lack trusted friends that I could rely on, the industry of my employment is failing due to the current financial climate, and I don’t know how much longer I can go at this pace while keeping everyone around me happy AND still expect to make something out of my life in the next few years.
An added stress is the fact that my sister, who also lacked the same kind of life education as me growing up, is pregnant. Again, after losing her previous pregnancy at 7 months, which only took further financial tolls on me and my stepdad. She’s been in and out of work and failed at trying to secure a place with her boyfriend. They’re currently staying with us, leeching off of my income. And again, I’m in no position to refuse. I lack the emotional resilience to raise my concerns and not have them spiral into incessant arguments, which I know will happen to resolve themselves not in my favour and potentially with me on the streets.
I tried to look into renting a place of my own, and even though my budget would easily stretch across rent, all other bills, repaying my debts and supporting myself instead of a family of 4, I have been declined on account of my poor credit history and no potential guarantor to sign my lease.
After nearly 27 years, I finally feel like I’ve been dealt a bad hand in life. I feel like all my burdens that don’t feel like my own are crushing me into a tiny room with no escape.
My mental health has been deteriorating significantly, and so has my work performance as a result of it. This spells nothing good in a performance-driven role, and despite many attempts at getting myself together I can’t help but think of my own problems when I’m meant to be addressing someone else’s. I’ve seen many people struggle with their health and well-being in my department, they didn’t stick around for long.
I’m hoping to secure some sort of a career as an LGV driver, but the requirements for such a shift are expensive, nearing £3-4k in training costs. I enjoy driving, I’m a sensible driver, and nothing is holding me back from disappearing for days at a time. The only support available from the government for such is through unemployment, and I can’t risk throwing my current job away to achieve this. There are also very few logistics companies stationed in my area that could offer apprenticeship training, trust me I’ve been looking. Unfortunately, those sort of savings are way out of my reach for a long time, at this rate, and with these kinds of rising costs of living.
My debts, which I currently repay through a debt management plan at a semi-steady rate with varying repayments depending on my budget sit at around £2880. Fixing those mistakes will take years to come, which will no doubt bite me in the ass more than once along the way.
The one thing I would like to do before I haul ass out of this hell is to help my stepdad clear his debts, which sit at around the same amount as my own, if not more. Unfortunately, the exact amount is beyond me, as I said the topic of money is a hard one to approach. It’s the least I can do for someone that kept a roof over my head for the last 10 years, despite it being at my heavy expense for a part of it.
There is a number of things I wish to change in my life, and they all stem from the same root of all problems. I’m in the process of seeking some psychological assistance to figure out what’s going on up there, alongside wrangling my health into shape.
I’m not sure what to expect from this wall of text, but I’ll appreciate all the help I can get, whether it be advice, donations, or just some good luck wishes. Hell, even if you do donate and wish to see the money make it through to my woes, I’d be happy to provide proof and verify. If someone wishes to reach out directly, please PM.