I am 54 years old and here's my story. I was married at 19 to an older man with 3 kids. He didn't want me to work, so I stayed home and raised them and had two of my own. 15 years later, we got divorced. I had no money, work experience or education, or child support so at 34, I started from scratch with two small children. I had no family or friends to help me. I got a minimum wage job that was related to a talent i had, so I didn't need paid work experience to do well. I advanced to management in a short time because I worked hard and learned fast. With that experience, i found a better-paying job with a company that was doing something i was interested in, so I did well there too. In a few years, I was CFO of a start-up software company where i was making a lot of money. This is all with no formal education--just the ability to learn fast, work hard and make myself indispensable. I left there to become a construction project manager at a home rehab company, a job I created for myself after being hired as a phone sales agent. within a year, my boss was able to buy a $700k home for his family with the $ I saved the company. I was poised to start my own business, I had the funds and the plan, so I quit my job. The very next day I got word that my mother was in a health crisis. She died two days later. I don't know why this sent me spiraling into a deep depression, but it did. My relationship, which was on shaky ground, couldn't stand the stress and we broke up. I couldn't concentrate on work. I just stayed in my room crying or sleeping. The money for my business got spent on bills. I lost my home. My older daughter moved away and my younger daughter went to live with her dad. my car broke down and I had no money to fix it. Finally, I ended up living alone in a leaky old motorhome on the street with no running water or electricity. I went to the county mental health service for help because i was completely broke with no health insurance. A friend helped me realize that I could get a degree while giving myself time to recover from my depression and anxiety. By the time I would have to go back to work, I would be educated and more employable. I went to community college which was free for me because of my low income and my disability (mental illness). Living on the street, I didn't have many expenses and I literally lived off my Pell grant (about $4000 a year), student loans and money i picked up from infrequent side jobs. I was worried about doing well because i have dyslexia and barely graduated from High School. Right now, I have 2 semsters to go and I have maintained a 4.0 throughout my education because of my willingness to work hard and not give up. Throughout all this, I never smoked, drank or took drugs. I have had little help from anyone. I still live on the street, but I feel good about my prospects now. My advice: do what you gotta do and don't give up!
Wow that is some story I just finish breaking down into tears after reading it what a great inspiration you are to others and me. I am very depressed right now, because of my situation but I am not homeless yet. I am 55 year old with no job and I have a degree in Business Administration and still can’t find work almost every job I look at wants someone with experience. I have my real estate license and I want to sell real estate but I don’t have the time and money to get started they say you should have least six months of living expense saved, I have maybe around $600.00 in the bank and my mortgage is three months behind and I am in $55,000 credit debt, $11,000 state taxes, $4600 fed taxes. I am over weight and need to lose around 80 pounds. I don’t have a love life. I am like a roller coaster up some days down others. I try to exercise because it does help with this situation. I read and listen to inspirational books and audios. I have never been in this situation and think of suicide a lot. I am just not happy and yes I do pray a lot. Think you for your story it has help me a lot.
i hope you are doing well. I find myself in a similiar situation.
are you religous. you never mentioned God in your story. however l pray God help you through. regards kunguru
You do just that...start over. You are brave enough. It is in you. Go to a shelter if you have to. Get help finding a job if you need one. Start every morning by looking in the mirror and congratulating yourself...you did it. You had the guts to start again. Find out more about you. One thing you must not do is quit. You're about to write the story that you tell to at least one other person and it saves their life. Trust this...and get started.
You treat it as an awesome adventure...
Don't think of what you've lost, think of the things you are going to gain through this experience.....
I have started over a couple of times and have found the experience to be a time to find myself....i also am 56 and started over again at age 52...
Good luck and enjoy your experience....
Finding this had been very eye opening. So many people struggling and suffering out there today. Mostly woman I see here. Its a scary world today. I am so paralyzed with what I am enduring that most days I can't even get out of bed. Fear & pride are just a few of my issues. Wonder why I am even here. No family, no children and no friends. All alone in this big very cruel world. I keep trying to hold on and have faith but its hard to do at almost 60. Having Hope is harder & harder to hold to.
Please keep faith, I am sure that things will improve for you. Surely thr is someone out there that you know that wants to help you. I do not know you and I am here praying for you and wanting you to try and have a bit more hope. xxx
First off don't listen to those idiots that say crap like "treat it as an awesome journey" They have no idea what it is like to be in your shoes. I am there right now and I know what your feeling. I am 42 and lost everything including a house and car. I am educated, however no company wants to hire someone like me, just for money sake it seems like. I also lost my first child at birth last year. It also seems like everyone around me is doing good and I am tired of seeing them happy it makes me sick. I am sure you feel this way. The best thing to do is accept it, even though it is hard and do "baby steps" to get to a better place. Through your pride out the window and ask for help from close friends and family. Try and do things you like, even though others may think they are stupid, who cares. Working out also helps a lot. Trust me. The thing about life is that there is no absolutism. It does change constantly and the odds that something good will come to you is good. Keep your chin up bud.
I came across an inspirational site - completely by happenstance while I was looking for something completely off topic here (Tiny Buddha). I was stuck like a lightning bolt by comment along the theme here, by 'Steve'.
I was overtaken with the need to write my commentary to him (we are all our brother's and sister's keepers). I kind of poured my soul out too (I had too - probably because I needed to!!!). I saved my commentary for a close friend that had been through a similar 'meat grinder'. Steve also commented on the situation where people are falling through the cracks in North America (so I offered my thoughts and will leave it in).
I remembered that I had joined 'Experience Project' months ago but hit it by accident today (searching: "how to start over once you have lost everything"). I was overwhelmed by the post from Spelbynder - WOW!!!!!! So impressive. You should be public speaking as you are a true inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As such, I think I am meant to share my comments to 'Steve' here to (that way both he and I can share the gift of the experience to help drive the wings of a "Butterfly Effect").
Hope my personal experience can help you and others here and now:
Spelbynder, o.k. I am not fond of the concept of "misery loves company'. I don't think it should make any normal person feel better to know that another person is suffering in any way along side them or in any way they perceive is worse (it certainly should not, at any rate). However, I think it still makes us feel better to know we are not alone in the desert, or unique in crossing these deserts - in such, sharing I think there is hope (we are tribal creatures - not solitary - so it comforts us to know we are not alone in that respect). And, then we can be the angels for each other were are actually sent here to be.
I have come to believe in my experiences and working with others (and not getting what I want; getting exactly what I have wanted; or otherwise, having the sht kicked out of me and losing absolutely everything I held dear at the moment) that we are here for two reasons that encompass everything else one can think of: we are here to grow and to give (nothing else - ¡nada!).
So, your experience and sharing is probably helping you accomplish both, as well as being a light for others you will never know you have touched and given -even one (but eternal) moment to. You are (from the hues and colors in your words a good and caring person) that should count for more than $$$$$ (or the lack thereof).
Aside: The problem with your country (and mine - Canada) and our society is a different matter my friend (gamed/ rigged capitalism). What happens to a pride of lions if only the one with the biggest mane gets to eat and does not have to catch any of the the food in the first place? Eventually the ones that catch the food all die... and the Hyenas eat the ones that are left!! The American dream only works if the playing field to turn that dream into reality is a level playing field - it never was, is or will be level (remember that The Declaration of Independence - as noble a document and premise as it was - was written by the wealthiest and most powerful men in the country). The closet the United States ever came to codifying the rights of every man, woman, and child was FDRs 2nd Bill of Rights (which died when he did). Social capitalism is the only harmonious model that works in nature, and it has been the only one that works for tribal creatures like us (any and all faiths converge on these values). We have forgotten we are all equal, and only survived to even get to this point by collaboration and valuing each other above 'stuff' or status.. and being tribal where every member of the tribe was equally and critically important to the survival, success, and evolution of the group (that is not communism by the way). This brand of capitalism (winners that make the rules and losers who don't) is a cancer and it is not your fault, my fault, or - pretty sure - anyone's reading this.
My story (hope it helps in some way): only child, super supportive middle-class parents, all the opportunities for the most privileged of education and peer groups (yeah for me!). Still, I became enamoured with 'stuff' (but always had compassion and empathy for people - and a sense of responsibility to help others as both an obligation and privilege).
Despite studying to be a Jesuit priest and work with children and single mothers in South and Central America, I went the opposite direction and became a tiny member (imp) of the group that exemplify the problem in our society. I went into the investment business where sociopathy, narcissism, and even psychopathy is considered a virtue. These people and the materialism and measuring success by 'things' / 'stuff' and status is all that matters - this is the capitalism where someone wins by how much someone else loses - it is axiomatic, not just my opinion.
O.k. if you are still with me - thank you. The point is, I made a lot of $$$$ (relative term believe me) - while you can eat and indulge a distraction here and there - you can still be poor at $100,000... or $500,000... or $1,000,000 - then, you have no place to hide because the illusions have all been exposed. But I was always envious of the guys at the next level up (because - to me - those guys had made it and had it made).
I had good times, and my kids had fun (kids are all that matter in the end - if you have them), but making sure I was number 1 in my firm and industry (to assure I had won the immunity idol and would climb the next rung) was protecting my family - right? I was travelling all the time. I didn't spend the time I wanted with my heroes - my kids. No amount of money can ever by that back. Ended up in a nice house with nice cars wondering why I was petrified and deeply unsatisfied. Perhaps sleeping in the basement of my big house (6,000 sq ft) on a couch with my Doberman and Great Dane for ten years should have been a clue, because my (now) x (who is now back with her previous X multi-millionaire husband) didn't want to sleep (or anything else) with me (Prince Valium and a few glasses of wine had replaced me). She did, however, want me to be 'on the road' making as much money as possible and for me to come home occasionally to clean up the few weeks to month or so of two giant dogs doing their business in the back yard twice a day while I was gone (every day... including the week long periods of rain the West Coast has become known for). No one was ever inclined to take them for a walk, or to otherwise help in this regard.
By this time, all I could think of was saving my (long dead) marriage and the dream of family I always had since I was a little boy. I was (am still) a hopeless romantic - what can I say (a lot as you will see... hopefully some pearls from my own scars of wisdom).
Business got tougher (stock market and economy sewered in 2000 and again in 2008, I got older (less desirable instead of more in sales for some reason - I thought we got wiser and smarter as we aged... that is the case with tribal societies isn't it?). So... the wife replaced me with her x-husband (who came from a wealthy family and was/ is/ will be still wealthy). I think she was actually 'replacing' me on going with her previous x while I was still living in the house.
Aside: history repeated itself as she did the same to him with some other guy who used to climbed the trellis every night, and fathered a child in the process... which I raised as my own when I stumbled along a year latter to pick up the pieces for her.
Back to the more recent time-frame: she still wanted half of my income (funny how that happens). My Father was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma and given less than two years to live; (still defying the odds so that is good); a car tried to hit me while I was on a training run one week from Ironman Canada, and I ruptured three discs in my back and needed to re-learn how to walk (let alone run) over the next six months (while still trying to do meetings with a cane because I knew my 25 year old Jr. associate was after my job and was actually undermining me at every opportunity behind my back). I Lost my job at 52 (not a good idea to lose your job once you cross 40 as you know). The company lost patience because I only had a growth rate of 72% when the wanted 120% (they felt I focused too much time on the relationships vs selling - even though my rate of growth was in the top two). This was off the back of the worst recession since 1929... which is a depression and is still going on today despite the news to the contrary, and will get much worse - by the way, absolutely nothing has changed on Wall Street... and it never will until we are fighting coyotes over scraps of food!
My firm replaced me with two guys whose combined age was still less than mine, and who had three years of experience between them. Half of the severance package went to (our version) of IRS and most of the other half went to my x. After 600 plus resumes and attempt to stay in the game and not even being able to get a job as a chicken catcher - I kid you not - I knew, despite all my fancy degrees, I was in BIG TROUBLE. After nearly two years in my little apartment I had moved to after the separation; without an income, I was royally screwed (but the government justice program was still trying and accumulating an on-going debt against me for $5,000 a month for my x-wife (my youngest child was 21 by this time so it was lifestyle for her, not family support). I thought 50% of salary when the salary is zero - is zero??? Guess I missed that class in Calculus!! Since the lawyer who could fix this needed a $4,000 retainer and I did not have $400 (or $40) let alone $4,000 I was up the creek without a poodle :). Meanwhile, she was holidaying at one of the properties of her new boyfriend (x-husband) in Cabo, Acapulco, Hawaii, or Kelowna, British Columbia every two or three months (or otherwise driving the new car he just bought her - she deserves to be happy as we all do, I do not hold any of this against her). Meanwhile, the government had suspended my drivers license and was after my passport to encourage me to pay up (did not make much difference since I could no longer pay my insurance so I ended up giving my car to my daughter in any event). Somehow taking away a person's means of livelihood seems paradoxical to get them to pay support payments - impoverishing one person to sustain a higher lifestyle for another seems flawed to me.
By this time, I had also gotten re-married (before I lost my job or realized the cliff I was heading towards) to a wonderful woman I met in Ecuador (who by the way lost her job the same exact time (like the same day!!!) I lost mine because she would not succumb to the sexual overtures of her new boss; and, when she raised the sexual harassment issue with her human resources - she got involuntarily separated from payroll) .
Since the Canadian government in all their racist/ and racially profiling wisdom makes it very difficult for Latinos to even visit Canada as tourists, let alone to move there, the best case scenario was seventeen months waiting (don't think either of us being unemployed would have enhanced our chances of a successful outcome to get her to Canada). I managed to learn Spanish (más o menos) from scratch as she speaks no English - necessity is ever the mother of invention - I/ we fight tooth and nail to raise a bit of capital to start an import/ export business between Ecuador and Seattle/ Vancouver; and, got on a plane to Ecuador (before any issues with my passport closed that door). Left all the shards of the material ($20,000 worth of books for example) in my little apartment because we were starting a business between North and South America with a guy I wanted to help (who had gone through a similar meat grinder), who in turn brought a mercenary sociopath in that convinced us to be in teak (which we knew nothing about), because we could make $200,000 a month (we heard what we wanted and needed to hear) - perfect (ship was finally coming in). Off to Ecuador I go and left my apartment with all my stuff to my son so he did not have to pay rent and could focus on school. Well, the teak was a disaster (bad and very difficult business - negative thing in any event) and we lost what little we had. Couldn't pay the rent. Son was't interested in the place in any event. Kid's weren't interested in helping me out to move my stuff (even the one I gave my car to) and felt it was my fault and responsibility. So, I lost every piece of clothing, furniture, book, Ironman/ fitness equipment, and kitchen stuff (loved cooking). Everything I still had that was not ravaged after the separation and divorce - every single thing including diplomas, memorabilia that could never be replaced, etc, etc.
Critical point: I have heard one of the most important things we can do to assure (or at least not hinder) financial success, is to marry wisely (not necessarily well from an ascetic, ego/ status perspective). Someone that is a true best friend and partner that we not only love and respect, but admire and grow from. Think I would have been better off meeting my now wife way back when (but then, we miss some of these wonderful lessons we came here to cultivate into our soul's code).
We now go through bouts of not eating (she has kids and if we have food or the where with all to buy some - they come first - always). This week, for example it will probably be a week (parents are getting a little choked by now coughing up their hard earned savings - can't blame them).
My kids, now think I have betrayed their Mom (although her moving on with her life is perfectly understandable - and, again, I agree she, and everyone deserves to be happy). They - all of a sudden - think I did bad by them too (when they never wanted for anything - including all my love, affection, and admiration) - think having to be away made me feel guilty so I over compensated financially). To me "a man's success is determined by the size of the smiles on his children's faces at the mention of his name" - looks like I missed the mark there... but, I cannot figure out how.
The upside is, if we survive the next five or six months, we will have a million dollar cashflow business that is helping create positive "Butterfly Effects" around the world, but right in this moment, but we live in sever poverty now and right on the edge of the abyss. I still have days (many) where I hope God takes me before I wake, while I have still been able to keep my million dollar life insurance policy going (I would sell organs and blood to keep that policy in service). The past year, specifically, has been the worst of my life and I have major anxiety attacks where I feel like I cannot breath or my heart has stopped (totally in my head), while realizing I am on the cusp of the real possibility to have the best and most fulfilling next ten years of my life in every way (including helping my kids as was always my main plan), every new day some strange new bizarre twist takes me down another rung. I could never take my life (I was almost a Catholic priest if you remember), and I believe life is precious and one of the two gifts from God (whatever you perceive him to be) - the other is choice - I do often think my kids and my wife and her kids would be better off with the money now to create possibilities and peace (so for people that think that way, you're not alone). I also, used to do seminars and talks to over 2,000 people at a time on motivation, attraction and manifesting - now the person I have the hardest time keeping positive is me!!
What has kept me going (outside of incredible self belief and courage - despite my words that might suggest otherwise), is that I believe the highest calling is to be a servant (unwitting angels to others). Whether we want to be or not, we are here to be those servants and angels (even if it is just a smile or compassion in a moment in time we would never think matters - but it does). We are here to give and to grow - ya! I know I am repeating myself (it is the Yin and Yang and Harmony of one aspect of our soul feeding the other). We are all reflections of God and the same soul after all.
Aristotle said our purpose is Happiness (or flourishing) which he called 'Eudaimonia' - it actually means fulfilling one's highest purpose and potential (not having a Porsche with license plates saying "mi Porsh" how rediculous!! or being hedonists). Our purpose and potential is each other. As beat up as I or you may be - our purpose is divine... and sublime. No matter how much we can be so sad and broken that we think it is better off to not be here, we have a higher purpose and with life we can fulfill that purpose and express those gifts we have been given to share with others.
Besides, we are super resilient... and I think we all know if we listen to the whispers of our angels, that no matter how bad things are, life can manifest better for us in a heart beat then we are even capable of imagining.
I Hope there is at least one thing that is useful for you Angel of brilliant light. I pray for you that 2014 is not only a great year, it is the very best year of your life in every conceivable way possible. Thank you for being God's gift and angel to me today... and, I am sure many many people as well. May myriad blessings and abundance pour upon you like Niagara Falls ten thousand days for every tear you have ever shed or held back. We all need to stick together as we are each other's missions and purpose - Kevin (a.k.a K2)
Thank you for this. For whatever reason you moved me. I don't know if it's your story or the love or both, but thank you.
I lost a child at age 42 as well, sent me into a different world! What a heartbreaking experience that is. For the rest of your life! Had no other children so that was it, my marriage has never been the same, Now after 25yrs we are divorcing gone thru bankrupsy - have no place to go- looking for some kind of sign what will be best for me at 62 yrs old on SSD with a bad back after working retail for 39yrs, Some days I get very worked up and get nothing done. Cannot wrap my head around what will be best for me . How do we make that decision at this age you can't afford to make the wrong choice.
Is there a family member that would possibly let you stay with them, just till you get back on your feet...I know if I had someone in my family that was in your situation, I would take them in, for at least a while, till they found gainful employment, and could save some money...
You can save, and get a used car...won't be the car of your dreams, but at least it would be paid for, and get you to and from places you need to go (work, dr.s appts, church, grocery store)....then, tuck some money away each payday, for an apt....garage sales are right around the corner and will be great for finding some nice stuff, reasonably priced....You'll see, little by little, it will come together...
Don't look at the big picture....(being homeless, no car, how will I make it...)Make a list of priorities....start with the most important things first....then, cross them out, one by one...it won't be as overwhelming...One step at a time....and you'll get there....
You are going to be so much stronger, having gone through this, and survived....just watch and see...Good luck to you.
My heart geos out to each and every one of you I'm 42 and lost my job, home , and just working harder for less lost my apt of 6 months .shame to say my youngest daughter and I are living with my older daughter and my grand ,and her friend. I feel so out of place and I wake up asking why me and why I cant seem to get a reliable job many time suicide crossed my mind to take me out of misery! But I know my god and I know what he can do. I keep trying to get what he would want me to do that's love to my kids cause that are all I have left my mother father brother all passed on years ago so I don't have a shoulder ti cry upon so I try to be for my girls.
"Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.", Jesus. That simple statement provides the best place to start. You work to please Him and He takes care of all the rest. Although it sounds naive, I have witnessed His faithfulness to "provide all the other stuff" so many times with people who had lost everything, that my faith in His provision has grown.
I just heard this great advice from a woman at my church. She was given the bad news that both of her two kids ages 5 and 9 both had musuclar distrophy and would not live past age 25. Even so, thepasture at the church asked her during a video tapeded interview years later, "we all knew u were hurting but you were always upbeat,how was that possibe? Here answer wAs, "i realized yhat god is the authour of life, and He provides us with joy we need in all circumstances, for better or worse. People make the mistake of relying on the positives of this world like a new job, house, promotion fir happiness., but the fact is this world is a tough place and you will have struggles. Dont look to pozitive life events as the only way to derive joy in this world. Trust got will give youthe joy you need in your life to be content in the worst of times. This is why christ died on the cross, he entered yhis world of pain and sorrow so he could provide us with the joy we neeed in this world even in our toughest times. (from brad powell sermon, northridge church)
Get on you hands and knees and pray. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. I know this sounds like shallow and trite advice, but trust me...the power of God is something you can tap into with a simple prayer from your heart. He listens. You are His child. Good Luck. Everything is going to be OK.
trust in God....start by one minute...one day at a time...lady di
i don't no buddy, because i lost my wife two years ago an everything went to hell. i have no money, lost my wife cos the job didn't think i was fit to work anymore. My credit is screwed up now, an there is not anybody hiring me. On top of that I do not know where my daughter is at, or i have not even heard from her.
I at 52 am starting over for the 3rd time. At age 24 I was a cash millionaire and by the age of 31 lost everything including a wife. Lived in a car that I convinced a car dealer I was good for the payments for the next 14 months (cold weather also) so I could pay my child support and make sure my kids got what they needed. I remember making decisions between food, shoes or pay my support which support always won over. I eventually started a new business that I closed so I could move closer to my kids and be there for them.(I could always make money but had one shot at being a father) To this day my kids are all grown and I still have trouble getting into that certian nich business to retire on. I not once regreted my desicions because I learned early on that the bulk of my losses was "just stuff"!!! God gives everyone talents to survive on "USE THEM". Only you know what they are so go with your gut and devote your energy to it and you will succeed!
I too am 56 and starting over or should I say just starting, I have been married for the past 39 yrs. to the same man who suffers from PTSD and other issues. I developed cancer and had major surgery, he and I then split, just couldn't heal around him. Moved out of state for a while and now am back and we are divorcing. I am getting one house and he the other, he was good at finance. I on the other hand was a stay at home mom, no real training... so, now I am going to have to figure out how to live alone with debt and no health insurance with a good chance of my cancer re-occuring. But I know that anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger and everyday is a new beginning. Keep your head up and your perspectives in line, love you for who you were and will be again only better and no that you are not alone in hard times. That is all they are really, just hard times. But this too shall pass.
Reading some of the comments and stories here has really inspired me. I am going through a hellish situation at the moment where a goverment tax officer has lied and cheated to try and extort money out of my small business. She has bullied and terrified me to the point where I considered ending it all. I am now at a point where I am trusting God, knowing that this is only a test and it will soon pass. Everything happens for a reason whether it is to make us stronger or show us what is really important in life. I am believing for a great outcome and I'm sure if you do too something great will come up for you. I've read too many "miracle" stories where a bad situation has turned 360 and ended up even better than before. Keep your chin up and know that many many people have been through the same as you and worse and they are doing just fine :)
That is a hard question to answer without knowing how you lost everything,because depending on what that is,you may lose it again.
I am in the same situation right now.. I would love to know how things turned out with your situation.
do you have kids relatives to help while you search, try roomating for a short while then if the house belongs to SINGLE man age apprioiate and get to know him find a caregiving job usually those are the quickist have you ever done that but find a roof over your head some how try and get into a friend relationship with someone you need help so try hard dont stop
I am almost 62! In good shape and look years younger! But in the same boat as you! I just started a new job that pays 9.95 an hour! Used to making almost $30 an hr. Just lost my house to short sale, after living there for over 10 years! Where to go from here is tough! I have a son in his last year of high school and live in an area where there are no jobs! Sucks! Where do you start over from here?
This is a honest answer. I am not going to tell you everything will work out and that god will find you, i have also found myself in the same circumstances as yourself, remember you are not the only person to go through this kind of ****, it is not really your fault that this has happened, and this has happened to thousands of people for centuries, and to good people as that, but what i will tell you, life is really just a game, i believe your time will come as it does to all, just be as good of a person as you possibly can and keep the thought in your head that next time around you will be on the on the opposite side of the dice, nothing happens only once.