Friday, 25 March 2011

A pocket full of joy

I have struggled to keep things in perspective over the past few days and I think it has alot to do with down time. After all, as I am so often told these days, "It is only money" and inevitably one does get used to anything, eventually. However, now the fear is back and I think it may well be because I have, on occasion recently, been slightly more relaxed.

Braced for abuse on every front in the beginning there was certainly no respite when I initially discovered the size of our financial problems on a dull life changing October day in 2008. I was bombarded from all sides by every means of communication known to man. People were constantly knocking on the door of my home, while others chose to approach me at school.  Each one panic stricken with concern over whether they were going to have their money returned.

The phone rang up to forty times a day, day in day out and the postman delivered armfuls of hate mail every morning. Everyone wanted to know the same thing. How was it possible for my husband to be without funds when he had repeatedly promised them if they were patient he would pay. Disadvantaged by the beauty of our prestigious sixteenth century home, those who arrived on our doorstep struggled to believe there was no longer any money after they had receive so many assurances to the contrary. Some I discovered, had waited almost two years to be paid. My husband had appeared to them, as he had to me, to be a rock of integrity who did not have the disposition to go back on his word.

During these early days I lived in a state of constant panic, surviving only on an instinct to fight for my families safety. Thankfully fear kept the adrenalin flowing while  functioning in overdrive meant I needed little in the way of sleep or food. Having lived the life of a middle class house wife ten years, I had to dig deep to encourage the former business woman in me to resurface. I put aside an overwhelming need to grieve for a life lost and instead forced myself to acquire the expertise necessary to explore all options including find a home that wasn't a local authority shelter.  Every single minute of this two year period was endured "braced" for more revelations from yet another friend or relative who had, unbeknown to me, lent my husband money.

At the height of our financial distress my hair fell out in handfuls leaving me completely and I lost more than two stone in weight over a matter of weeks. I regularly shook from head to toe with the shock of what I was finding out about my husband’s business dealings. Sickened with the shame I had unknowingly acquired enormous debts to my name, I was terrified of the prospect of having no means with which to repay them. Angered by our predicament, I could not bring myself to look my husband in the eye let alone speak to him for the diappointment I felt and the fear of more lies.

In contrast, two and a half years on, there are now times when I am truly happy. I can, on occasion, feel contentment and sometimes pure joy. In situations where I have a role to play, such as at my children's new schools functions, I completely forget I am actually a “distasteful debtor" who has been tarnished for life by her husband’s business gambles. Thankfully, I no longer wake every morning ready to cry with the hopelessness of our situation and mercifully the hate mail arrives much more infrequently nowadays.  My life has taken on a semblance of normality and I love the feeling of living without fear haunting every crevice of my life.

However,still it only takes one letter to plunge me back into a state of panic and sadly this is what has happen again this week. Irrational though this may be my panic can last anything up to three days after which I am left completely spent. Unless I secure debt forgiveness, I am destined to live the next twelve years stepping from heaven and into hell because we have no money with which to pay our creditors and they just won't listen.

It for this reason I fight for just a pocket full of joy.

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