I am so unbelievably tired of fighting. I really am. And the time is coming where I either need to put back on those boxing gloves and get ready for (another) fight of my life, or else just admit defeat and take off the gloves and sit down. And right now I just really want to sit down.
I have talked before on my blog about my struggles to stay in my home as a single parent. The home that was purchased when this was a two-parent household. And the only home that my children have ever known. When I split from my Ex I had to give up on SO many of my dreams. I had to give up on the two-parent household dream; I had to give up on the dream of having my son grow up proud to have two Moms that had shown him the meaning of a strong relationship in the face of adversity, and I had to give up the pride of knowing that my life had turned out how I had always dreamed. The one thing that I got to hold onto was the dream of owning my own house. I dreamt of that WAY before I even figured out I was gay. It really has been a life long dream. And because of where I live in California it is a near impossibility in a one income household. But for the past two years I have scraped along and made it work. I have fought a monthly battle to juggle and stretch and pull and beg and plead just enough to get by.
I don't have lofty goals. I don't live a lavish lifestyle. If you don't know me in person, trust me when I tell you I have no life. I mean that literally. My life is my work and my kids. And that's it. And I'm okay with that. I really don't need anymore. I haven't been to a movie in over 5 years. I have been out to ONE dinner with a close friend in the last 6 months; I absolutely NEVER buy my lunch... I'm not kidding. I don't spend money. Seriously. I don't get new clothes unless my mom buys them for me...hell I don't even spend money on wine anymore. I drink the Trader Joe's Coastal brand for a "treat" because it costs $3.99 a bottle instead of $1.99. My point is, this is it. I can do no more. Or should I say I can do no less. There is no more room to save. There is no where else to cut back. There just isn't.
And right when I'm on the cusp of a new project with one of my clients that could actually financially give me a boost...right when I am starting to day dream about actually being able to afford health care for my daughter and myself (and therefore not have to "owe" The Ex for covering us)...and I get the text.
"Can we set up a time to talk about finances?"
Fuck. I know what that means. Considering I already got a text telling me that my payment for the 1st of the month would be delayed for an indeterminate amount of time, I know what that text means. It means things are about to get even slimmer. It means The Ex can't afford to continue to give me the amount for child support that we agreed on. Well I should point out that she has already reduced the amount we "agreed" on once, but it appears it is going to go even lower. She has made some bad decisions financially and unfortunately those decision effect me. I know she's not hoarding money and trying to torment me; she really just doesn't have it. But the reason she doesn't have it is not because she doesn't have a well-paying job or because of any other reason besides the fact that she makes bad decisions. And even though we have been split up for 2 years, those decisions still trickle down to me. I would tell you how angry that makes me but I simply don't have the energy.
So the question...is it worth the fight? I am so tired of crying and stressing and spending sleepless nights trying to figure out how to keep my family in this house. And I know the core reason for that is because it is the one part of my initial dream that hasn't had to die as a result of my split. But it might be the time. Do I just throw in the towel? Do I call a realtor and get him over here to give me an accurate picture of what I could sell my house for? Would it even be enough to break even on my mortgage? Sometimes I look at my kids sitting playing innocently on the floor and I tell myself..."They are just walls. THIS is what's important. And you can have this anywhere..." And I dream about not having to FIGHT every single month. And I dream about just being able to pay the bills and take care of my kids and maybe...I don't know...maybe exhale once in a while. And I think, screw it! Lose the house.
But I also know that if I let it go the chances that I will ever get back into the market again are slim to none. I know that if I let it go it means I will be pumping a couple thousand dollars into the TRASH every single month with rent. It means that my kids won't have a backyard all their own and the BBQ's and parties and FUN that go with being a part of their very own house will all vanish. And it means that when I am a 60 year old woman, still paying rent, and dreaming about wanting to leave my kids some money and security, the fact will probably be that there isn't a whole lot. Because I will have let it all go. I won't have fought hard enough.
But sometimes no matter how hard you fight you still end up losing. I have learned that lesson the hard way. And if that is going to be the ultimate outcome of this particular battle I would prefer to hang up my gloves now and just sit down. Just sit down and put one kid on each knee and hug them tight and try and tell them (and myself) that I did my best.