Just to start off I have struggled with mental illness and dealt with extreme lack of self worth as a child, I was sexually abused by a family member from age 4-12.. This is in no way an excuse for things I have allowed to happen to me but a contributing factor, I know some won’t feel bad for me and would tell me I only did this to myself.
When I was 19, I met a man who I thought was the love of my life. Young and dumb, my parents never set a good example of what love should be. I did everything for this man, took care of his child for 3 years and finally left when I had nothing to my name and not even a vehicle and 15k in debt after supporting him and his son for over a year, mind you at the time I was only making $7/hour so I supplemented best I could with credit cards and loans to be sure his son had a roof over his head. This is where ashamed comes in, it wasn’t my son and I know it was his responsibility but I just couldn’t leave a child with nothing. This would be my downfall.
Shortly after that I met a man that I ended up marrying and it was great at first, I had started to get things on track, I finally had a decent job and I brought my debt down significantly, still only making $11/hour. This man had a daughter and things were really good… until they weren’t. He started drinking significantly and abusing his daughter and myself, mostly emotionally but sometimes physically. I tried to ask his family for help but was told this was normal and since I grew up around this assumed they were right… also ashamed of myself for this. This went on for 6 years. This man isolated me, got me pregnant and convinced me to become a stay at home mom to belittle me and make me feel worthless. I finally came up with a plan to leave and I took my stepdaughter and daughter with me but not before racking up 20k in debt (on top of previous now ~10k I was still working on) for things we needed to get by. Unfortunately because he made so much money by this time but I was only allowed a small allowance before I left, I hadn’t saved anything and I had to claim his income and didn’t qualify for anything. The state was unwilling to help me without me reporting him and since I hadn’t ever previously I was not believed. Reporting him would would only make things worse for me. I’d given him his dream of leaving him kidless so staying quiet was best for me. we eventually divorced once I could scrape enough money together to pay filing fees and did all the paperwork myself and represented myself in court, he did not fight me on our daughter because he never wanted to be a dad in the first place but I was to take on debt incurred by us in the divorce because the judge favored him. But at last I was free and that’s all that mattered to me, however now I had close to 30k in debt and two kids.
Fast forward a few years, still barely scraping by but chipping away at my debt and making just dollars too much for state insurance. I am in a hit and run that broke my sternum and it’s an excruciating recovery. I had only started a new job about 6 months before this so I did not qualify for FMLA or PFMLA of any kind but forced to take at least 6 weeks off for recovery. I can barely get out of bed but have to for two kids who need me. I take almost a month of this time unpaid and do not qualify for assistance or unemployment of any kind so I fall further into debt due to unpaid time off and medical debt.
I’ve now met the love of my life, we have been together a couple years and he was helping me best he could to continue to work at this debt when I became pregnant and he lost his job shortly after. He is working as much as he can but was only able to find a minimum wage job. Due to pregnancy complications I can no longer work and I’m desperate and ashamed to ask for help but the bills continue, we are about 50k in debt now. There’s so many details left out of my story and I wish I had the energy to write it all out, I am tired of carrying it. No matter how ashamed I am to be here asking, I really need help before my third child comes. Anything helps.