I hope everyone is remaining safe during these uncertain times.
Like you, I have paid close attention to the global pandemic, and how it is destroying lives across the world.
I apologize in advance if any of this is jumbled. I’m a mess of emotions. Bare with me.
The impact of COVID-19 has been catastrophic for many, and I’m no exception.
In the beginning of this whole thing, I was one of the lucky ones, able to maintain my job, and keep up on bills. I helped out anyway I could for those less fortunate. My S/O was getting out of the military (right before covid was reported). But after a series of very chaotic events, it has put us in a position that others faced earlier in 2020. However, the benefits that were offered to those initially, are now expired and we do not qualify for anything currently being offered.
In the mix of the employment and reduced hours (but not enough to qualify for the benefits), we were also called to care for my niece. We chose to prioritize our bills the best we knew. Rent. Food. Medical. Etc etc. we maxed out credit cards (close to $15k), trying to stay current on things. Our savings were also drained. But that’s what they’re for, right?
Mid July 2020, I was contacted by my sister, requesting my help with her daughter. She asked me to let her live with me until she got her own life straightened out. At this point my S/O and I moved out of an apartment, and back in with my brother and his daughter. We are forced to move out of our apartment due to covid. Since we left the jobs for new ones, we were becoming financially stable in some areas, we were in a better position to care for her, than her own mom. It’s now March 2021, and she is still in my care. She has seen her mom a total of 8 times. Each visit lasting less than an hour or two. At no point have I kept her daughter from her. She just chose to run after a man and not take on her responsibilities. Initially she said she was going to send me $100 a week to care for her. I never asked, nor did I tell her she had to. I knew she wouldn’t so I ignored her statement. I never brought it up. She has sent me a single payment of $100 on Aug 26, 2020. Almost weekly she has been requesting money from me for things though. Which it’s always the same amount and I know it’s not for what she’s asking. And when I tell her I’d just get her what she needed money for she would decline. Why does she need money if I have the only valid reason she should ever ask? I would tell her I didn’t have it, and she would go off. Making life harder for her daughter. She also received money on both stimulus payments. She also claimed her in taxes even though we were counseled by lawyers stating she was to be claimed on ours. But I chose not to bring this up to her, until the court finishes the guardianship. I fear harm would come to my niece should I not let legal action take it’s course.
My niece is 12. She has seen more than what any 12 year old should. I refuse to let her end up in a home where she is hurt and abused. My sister lives with her boyfriend and his mom and about 6 other adults (no exaggeration) and two of them are offenders. (Yes it has been reported). My sister sent her away not once but twice. And this time she’s not going back. She has an attention problem. But what teen doesn’t? We get her to a point of adjusting her attitude, just for her mom to call and then the behavior goes south quickly. I 100% believe she has Stockholm. She sees no wrong in her mom. I just hope she will see otherwise soon.
As school came back into session, I remained home and worked part time, while my other half went to work. This wasn’t by choice. Without my full income, we got further behind. I initially had to homeschool her. But her grades weren’t good. She can’t learn that way. She had to have in person, and honestly I’m not a teacher. I have so much respect for educators. I could never do what they can.
I finally returned to work end of September.
During all of this, we found a landlord that would allow us to move in and defer our deposits. My brothers home was too small for all of us to live there, so we were really lucky to find a rental in the middle of a pandemic. Such a lenient landlord too! Since our credit was ruined during covid, he broke up the deposit over the course of the 3 year contract. Which was helpful, but still worrisome since this whole pandemic is unstable. We did not find something we couldn’t maintain. It’s just the back owed bills that are due on top of the new monthly bills.
One of the BIGGEST issues, is the back owed vehicle payment. We worked with our lender, kept them in the loop, we went through every option. We made payments as we could, even if it wasn’t a full payment, we still did what we could. But now their hands are tied. We are 3500 behind, and they won’t defer. His credit dropped 300 points since Jan 2020, just by this loan alone. They won’t refinance. They won’t extend. They gave us 3 options of payments. They offered a settlement of $22k (of $26k), three monthly installments on top of the new monthly payment ($1300+ total a month), or one full of backed owed, and get back on track. They have it on repossession status. This left us disheartened. All of the assistance that was offered initially during the break of this virus, no longer applies. Most expired in august, the others in September and October.
It got to the point that we reached out to the CEO of our lender, via email. They called 4 days later and honestly wasn’t a lot of help. While they did remove the repo from the request, they will reapply it if we don’t meet their agreement, which is $400 a week for 12 weeks. In order for this to be the plan, we had to make a good faith payment of a full monthly payment, which was 468. I made that on March 1, 2021.
We do not have family members who are capable of helping us with this, as they are not remotely close to being okay either. We are alone on this. And time is running out.
If we lose our vehicle, we will lose jobs, if we lose jobs, we can’t make other bill payments, if we fail to pay, we lose our home. If we lose our home, we lose everything.
We have not been late on rent yet, but getting help paying off that deposit early would take a huge weight off of us. If we can at least get caught up on the back owed, we can move forward, and that would practically save us. I have a lot of court fees that will be needed to cover the custody situation. Had we kept up on the vehicle, we would have no problem covering this. We need to get her back in therapy, but like before, we make just enough to not qualify for anything. She needs her medicine to help with focus, and company insurance doesn’t cover it. When it’s said and done we are looking at over 600 a month for medical. And since we used our credit cards for bills, we no longer have that option.
I am actively trying to find a better paying job but our location makes that difficult should we lose our vehicle. Public transit is far as well. Loans aren’t an option as our credit is ruined. Can’t take out a secured loan because we have nothing of value. It’s honestly a lose lose situation.
He works full time, and makes decent money, but it’s not enough for everything backed up. He wants to use his GI Bill and go back to school, but given our current situation, he can’t afford a day off, even if they do give him the housing allowance for using GI benefits, it could be months before he sees it.
In total, we’d need $12k to catch it all up and start working towards a better future. This amount is just for the owed deposits and late auto payments, and medical/office visits. But we are overall about 20k in the hole (basing it off of settlement of auto loan).
My pride is obviously broken. I’ve spent years battling my pain inside and never opening up. At a young age it was beat into me by an ex that crying or asking for help is a sign of weakness. I’ve spent 10 years with that mindset. I always made it work without asking for any help. I never showed anyone I was struggling. There were days I’d lay in bed wishing I didn’t wake up. I faked being happy for so long. I truly believed I deserved it. In 2018 I broke that mindset. I finally felt good enough. I was away from abuse. I was okay. I was safe. I filed for divorce. I found my happiness and focused on it and not worry about others. I began saving my own money and not worrying about someone else controlling my bank.
Then it all came crashing down last year and I realized how much I kept inside. While I was happy in my relationship and family, and all that, I became panicked worrying about the safety of a child that didn’t deserve what was happening. I worried for my finances that were quickly diminished by things out of my control. I worried about losing things I’ve worked so hard for.
If you’ve made it to the bottom of this very long novel I just wrote, then I honestly appreciate you. I know it’s like a long text you get after an argument and you just don’t want to deal with it. The bad part is this is the condensed version. There’s so much more to be said. But I honestly feel so much better by getting it out of my system.
I have documentation to prove every word of this to be true. This posting only allows to upload one. But I am willing to show any proof needed.
I’m always there for everyone. I’m the one they come to when their world is crumbling down. But here I am back against the wall. And I don’t think I can stand tall anymore. I thought I’d be stronger than this, but the truth is, I’m the weakest I’ve ever been.
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