My Life Is Just a Mess Right Now...
I am 40, divorced in 2004. We have 4 kids together ages 19-5. Three of the kids still live with me, my oldest is in college in another state.
I have lived in my current state since 1998. Ex moved to back to our old home state in 2004 after the divorce. Prior to the divorce, I was a stay at home mom, but I sold stuff on ebay and invested in real estate for extra income (it used to be cheap here!) for the family.
I am educated, I have a social work bachelors degree, and almost had my masters degree complete before moving to here with the now ex husband.
I am certified to teach K-9 and also have a real estate license. I am constantly trying to reinvent myself to stay employed and attempt to keep my life and my kids home life stable. My marriage was very rocky and unstable.
Since my ex moved out of state, I am the main caretaker of the kids. My ex has an order for payment of child support and he gets them every December for 2 weeks and usually a couple of weeks over the summer time when school is out.
During the past 4 years, I flipped vacant land and built a home on my own. I have lived in this area since 2004 and I like it here. It is safe and the kids have their own rooms and go to good schools.
The economy here is not good though. I have not been able to get another teaching position since I was laid off last school year. The value of my house has decreased over $200K and the one rental property that I have is now empty with lower rents not covering the mortgage and expenses.
Ex-husband has stopped paying child support and has not been able to get a job since being laid off last year.
I am not dating, and have not dated since the divorce. No sex, stressed out the ying-yang. I don’t have my old self-confidence and positive self image anymore — my mo-jo is gone, I’ve let myself go.
I don’t have the income to continue living in the house I built anymore. The taxes and insurance and mortgage are just too much now that my income is 50% lower without the ex paying child support, insurance and day care. It is just a house though, so it can go…
I would love to stay in the area so that the kids can continue to stay in the schools, have their friends, but I cannot afford the area any more. But I concede that I will consider moving if I have to…
I have tried to sell both homes over the past year, but I am upside down and cannot sell them without bringing money to the table, I don’t have anymore money. I only have the rental home listed actively, but will put the house I live in back on the market when school starts again.
I am currently making $15 a hour and have been bringing home about $1300 every two weeks. No insurance, no benefits. The bottom is very near for me. My credit cards are maxed, my car lease expires in 6 months and with my credit being messed up from not being able to pay the mortgage on my rental, I probably cannot get another car. I have been trying to do it all and keep it all together, but I guess I am not superwoman!
I am employable, a good employee, educated, reliable and ethical. I am good at whatever I attempt, but I do have 4 kids and I have to put them first sometimes, so that means I cannot work late, or on Saturdays or I have to leave early to pick up a sick child.
The ex-husband dropped the kids insurance, did not keep Cobra. One of my kids has 6 cavities. One needs braces and I need to lose 75 lbs. I make too much money says the state for kid care insurance.
My life is just not working out right now!
What do I do? What should I be doing? I am usually not a quitter.
Do I walk away from my homes and rent in the area?
Do I need a man? Will having sex again and another income/paycheck help anything or make things worse?
Should I consider moving to be closer or near the ex?
Should I file bankruptcy and just start over?
Should I get a U-Haul and pack up my house and drive where ever I can get a teaching job?
Do I just stop paying everything and hide my money under my mattress until the sheriff comes to evict me from my house and then go rent (if anyone would rent to me?)
I don’t know if I can handle the stress of my life right now! I am not suicidal or anything, maybe depressed.
The kids are scheduled to come back from visiting dad in two weeks, but he just told me that he is having baby #5 with another woman and would like the kids to stay with him (he says he is facing foreclosure and still does not have a job either). My oldest, out of college for the summer, says dad and the new woman fight all the time and that she is mean to my kids. When I ask the kids about staying with dad, they say they do NOT want to stay with their dad, that they want to come back home here. My ex never put my kids first when we were together, it was all about himself, I think he just does not want to pay child support (my opinion).
I don’t know what to do, what is most important, what am I missing in my thinking about my situation?? Should I put myself first, my kids stability first, my career first?