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Hey, Paula, I'm sorry that I hadn't read your post before I wrote the first time. It's gotta be so hard knowing that if you could just "make it around the corner" things could improve for you. I wish that I could help in some other way than thinking good thoughts and saying prayers for you but that's all I can offer right now. I wish you peace and that each day you have at least one thing that makes you smile. (I have 6!)
My name is Lisa and I'm a 47 year old, single mother of 6 of the greatest children in the world. The boys are 18, 17, 15, 15 and 11 and my only daughter is 16. After a 17 year marriage, I divorced my abusive husband in 2004. The divorce was described by my friends as worse than "The War of the Roses." I was a full-time mom for nearly all my married life, which I thoroughly enjoyed. After the divorce, my ex was so hateful toward me that he was totally blind to his children's needs.
He took out his anger on them and started to abuse them mentally, emotionally and even physically, once or twice. He began dating less than 6 weeks into the separation (before the dissolution process even started) and was married 3 weeks after the divorce was final. He "informed" his children of this by flashing his wedding ring in their faces, not saying a word, when he came to pick them up for visitation. Because of his selfish, abusive behavior, the kids begged to move away from him. We had lost the family home we had built in 1997, as part of the divorce settlement and the people of my hometown, since I was 4 years old, turned on me. Because we had been forced to portray the "perfect family" and hide our "dirty little secrets," our friends and neighbors were shocked at my decision to divorce, what they believed to be, the perfect husband. We even received annonomous letters and phone calls saying that they hoped that my kids would someday hate me for what I'd done to them. Anyway, with all of this, my decision to move 700 miles away was rather easy. Our new life proved to be more of a challenge than I had imagined. I got a job as a one-on-one aid to an autistic boy with severe behavior problems...and fell in love with him. Even now, I miss him so much. His mom and I, and actually his whole family, became great friends. They were facing as many challenges as we were and we leaned on each other for support. But, that was the extent of the good things that came from this new life. The kids missed their old friends, hated going to a huge school,(their class size went from 35 to 450)hated having a working mom and had a very hard time finding friends. They just didn't adjust well. Their grades plummetted, they became disrepectful, started hanging out with the wrong crowds and got into trouble a lot. If that wasn't bad enough, the house we bought flooded 7 times in the first year we owned it. I am still facing legal action against the previous owners for not disclosing that there had been previous problems. We lost over $50,000 in beds, bedding, all the kids' winter clothes, our computer and other electronics, some of my photography equipment and all of my quilting fabrics and supplies. We developed a severe mold problem so the carpet, pad, baseboards and most of the sheetrock had to be torn out of the basement. During this, my 5 boys who had bedrooms downstairs had to sleep on the floor and sofa in our family room for almost 3 months. Anyway, because of this and many other factors, our financial situation became desparate. We had over $20,000 in credit card debt and another $20,000 in personal loans due to replacing what was lost in the floods. I started having trouble making even the minimal payments so my credit was hurt. It seemed that we had nothing but problems. But, it was the fact that my kids were suffering and had even been endangered while hanging out with some bad kids that had been the deciding factor in moving back to our hometown. We didn't even wait to sell the house. My kids NEEDED to get back to a normal life and no amount of financial burden could have stopped me from "protecting" them. Well, now we have 2 mortgages (and have had for over a year)but my children are all doing so much better...I just wish I was.
So, here's my plea for HELP! Until that other house sells (we've lowered the price by $30,000, in desparation)we just can't make ends meet. Our monthly bills exceed our income by more than $680. Our credit cards are maxxed, my car and mortgage payments are late and I have collection agencies calling 20-30 times a day. Right now, my checking account is $692 overdrawn (I totally forgot my automatic withdrawn insurance premiums) and I can't even pay for gas or a gallon of milk. Three of the kids have full-time jobs just to add to the family's income. They have all been SO understanding and considerate through all of this. They're GREAT!!! I don't sleep because I can't stop thinking about how I've failed my kids. It's gotten so bad that I've even consulted my attorney about giving up physical custody of the kids. I'd HATE that but can't think of anything else to do...besides begging for help from complete strangers.
So, if anyone can spare a few dollars, we sure would appreciate it if you would consider helping a very worth-while cause. Anything would help and, if possible, will be paid back after the house sells and the law suit is settled. Thank you for your time and consideration.
P.S. The photo is one of the Senior portraits I took of my son, Sean. After my equipment was damaged in the floods, I got some new cameras. The day before we moved back home, all my equipment was stolen out of my locked car (I thought it would be safer that the moving van.) Insurance did cover it that time, thank God. That's what I do now. I have a photography business that I run out of my home. I'm still operating in the red and right now I can't afford to advertise so I'm not making any money.