All that's left is the recovery.
A little over a year ago, our house in the small town went into foreclosure. Despite attempts to pare down and literally ignoring every other bill with the exception of the car payment (so I could go to work), we finally reached a point where we could not make payments on a consistent basis. This was in large part due to being underemployed and employed in a position where the pay was not dependable in any fashion, but my layoff well over 18 months ago had a huge part in it as well.
As the "breadwinner" in our family for a good number of years, this particular news struck me with a force I cannot explain. It was the most emotionally damning and damaging piece of news I've gotten in a good number of years. The inability to provide the most basic of needs for my family- a roof over their heads- damn near crippled me as a functional adult.
I did the "right things"- I called our mortgage holder repeatedly and often. I tried everything I knew and some things I had only heard whispers about in an effort to save my family's home. I worked insane hours- often driving myself to exhaustion and frustration in an effort to salvage that beautiful place I called my home.
For many months, I told absolutely no one. I hoped (desperately) that we'd find a way to get out of the situation; that modification would work; that I'd get a better job- ANYTHING- would happen to change my situation. I was beyond ashamed; embarrassed and disgusted were daily emotions. I finally broke down and told a limited number of people- honestly, it was just my parents.
I wish I'd been able to give my parents any other news than: I'm a complete failure and I can't keep my family indoors. The response was not great- but some glimmers of hope came out of the wreckage that was my pride. I got through the Christmas season almost entirely on my mother's good will; and tried to right my ship with what looked to be a very promising job.
That job fell through and I wound up with literally no income. I broke down an applied for family assistance and went back to working a backbreaking and emotionally tolling job to bring ANY money into the household.
I got hired back at a former employer in March, and I started making preparations for the reality that we were going to lose the house. I'd tried negotiating with the bank again at that time, and the news wasn't good. I got a letter in the mail from a short sale specialist, and I took the time to call him up and ask a million and one questions. The process took a very long time and I almost changed my mind several times. We moved into a rental that my parents lovingly co-signed on for us just about a month ago.
The move nearly undid me- in many, many ways. Almost none of my friends and family knew the WHOLE story- but they showed up in droves to help me regardless. In the process of moving, my cookbooks were lost. The loss of that single box id more than heartbreaking- it's damn near killing me. My cookbooks are such a big part of who I am and how I function in my group of friends. So many of our friends love my Dude and I'm often crippled by insecurity that they don't like ME. So I bake as a way to cement my place in the circle- I show these people how much they are loved through good, handmade food, and they like it so I know they like me. That's been taken from me and it hurts almost as bad as losing the house.
I don't know how this happened for me in the way it did, but I believe G-d had a big hand in it.
We sold the house to the short sale specialist today. The bank cleared us of any deficiency and we're protected from capital gains for at least another year.
Whether my heart is protected from the damage is another matter.