Psychologist Dr. Clara Lora – “How Can I Get Back On My Feet Financially?”

QUESTION:

I don’t even know how to start but here goes. Today I got into a violent dispute with my husband. It started out as an argument but led into a violent dispute that ended up with cops almost arresting us. And this was all because of money. I’m not writing this because I want to beg for money but rather I’m just simply looking for encouragement.

You see, two months ago I felt under the unemployed status before having my children. I was always doing me and would not allow anything or anyone to bring me down. After I met the father of my children, things went really sour economically. I wasn’t ready to have a family. However, I did my best. I purchased a home, had a job, had a car, had money in the bank, etc. Life was good. As soon as I had my twins we went through major burdens. I lost my job, my car and money was going down the drain. I also lost my home to foreclosure. This all happened in 2007. I still managed to keep my family together while my children’s father was scared to be the man that he needed to be to keep this family going.

Since that time things have been up and down. This year we lost our vehicles, I lost my job and we got evicted. It’s been a total mess but slowly I’ve been able to pick up the pieces. Shortly after losing my job in October 2010 I decided to bring up a website so that I’d be able to make some money to provide for my family. Don’t get me wrong, my kid’s father provides for us but only in portions, as if he doesn’t have responsibility. So ultimately today became a very sad day. It got so ugly that the cops were literally going to take both of us in and take the children away…all because of MONEY!

All I need are words of encouragement. I have family members and friends and all they seem to say is “OMG, what now? How about the children? Take him to court for child support. Go back to NYC and take what you can from the system. See what help the government can give you. Or just go back with him and see if you can work it out because you have 3 children together. How would you be able to maintain a home with only one unemployment check, no car, no job, etc.” I have no real positive people around me so I try to encourage myself.

In the meantime, though, part of me feels like breaking down and ending it all today! However the other part of me is saying “No! You are not a quitter and you will definitely not take the coward’s way out!” But the pain is consuming me and the time is running out. Soon I will have to start paying the bills by myself. So I am having all of these thoughts at one time. I’m not thinking whether my children will have presents for holidays because the best present is to have a roof over their head and a fresh meal on the table. They’ll be fine with me just taking them on a stroll outside the vicinity. That will mean more to them than anything. I just don’t want to taint them with all of this. Please support me with words of encouragement to keep my motor going. I don’t want to give up!

DR. LORA’S ADVICE:

You sound like a very strong woman! I am sorry that things with your husband do not seem to be working out. It sounds like you have been going through some very difficult times recently. However, you have a strong record of achieving for yourself and your family and I have no doubts that you will be successful in the future, with or without the support and presence of your husband.

The whole country has been feeling the strain of unemployment and financial worries since the meltdown of the banking system, and it seems that you are no exception. But you are a hard worker and a survivor. You have come from behind in the past, so I know that you have the drive to pick yourself up once again. As you look toward your future, I want you to consider a couple of things that may help give you and your family some much needed stability. First, I want to encourage you to make a financial plan. Take some time to go through all your fixed expenses for the last couple of months and put yourself on a strict “purchasing diet”. Learning to budget your expenses and manage your finances is one of the most important ways to ensure that you will always be independent. Second, I would like you to consider what you do for employment. I want you to think in terms of a career and not just a job. There are many careers that require minimal training but offer occupational stability and financial security. For example, massage therapy is one of the fastest growing fields and offers very good pay once you have received your training and completed your practice hours.

While you get yourself back on your feet, there is nothing wrong with making use of government programs that you might qualify for, especially for the benefit of your children. Most importantly though, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Take time every day to give yourself some relaxation and encouragement. Start a journal where you focus on all your strengths and write out your future goals and all the little steps you are taking to achieve them. Also remember to write about the things you are grateful for, because these are the things that will motivate you to continue working hard and overcoming your obstacles. Separate five minutes daily to do a relaxation exercise and do some deep breathing and positive visualization to keep your mind clear and keep yourself motivated. Surround yourself with other positive, strong and motivated individuals, and try to stay away from negative people who will just drain your energy. If you are going to try to work things out with your husband, then make sure you set clear boundaries (no verbal abuse or physical violence) and expectations (both of you contribute equally to the finances for the family) for each other and hold him to the same high standards that you hold yourself.

You have come this far because of your intellect, your grit and your determination; and, with just a few adjustments you can take some significant steps toward a more stable and fulfilling future for yourself and your children. Good luck!

Besitos,

Dr. Clara Lora

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