As my husband arrived home earlier than unexpected today he found me sitting with a friend in our cosy farmhouse kitchen. Being a very blustery day, we had chosen warm tea and M&S waste sale chocolate for our refreshment while injured seals were the topic of conversation. This comforting scene was achieved by exercising a well practiced mental manoeuvre which took me swiftly from debt fighting machine to comely housewife and mother in the blink of an eye and, by adopting this facade, I have managed to maintain the divide between our unpalatable past and our family’s future.
My friend, equally chameleon like in her abilities, played her role of tea drinking companion to perfection as she packed away her computer while chatting about current affairs with my husband. After a few minutes of pleasantries, she discreetly gathered up the post of the day and made her exit. She, like my husband, understands the rules only too well. The financial monster in the cupboard has been strictly out of bounds for him since October 2008.
The letters dispatched today are as consequence of my email being featured on BBC Radio 2. Host Jeremy Vine was discussing debt related mental health issues with Martin Lewis who gasped when he heard my story. The task in hand has been to attempt to contact Martin Lewis for help.
One of the many points which were made was even a relatively strong, financially aware person, such as myself, is unable to make suitable and informed decisions while suffering from stress. The organisations whose livelihoods depend on the collection of debt, trade on this knowledge. It is little wonder many people, including my husband, are driven to consider suicide because of the debt collecting companies campaigns of unrelenting harassment. In 2008 we were receiving upwards of thirty phone calls a day starting at 8.00am and finishing at 9.00pm. I always answered every one.
For six months my friend watched me attempt to deal with our insurmountable financial problems until April 2009, when, I finally agreed to accept her help. By this time I had lost 35lbs and every hair on my body.
Today and every day since, my friend has freely given her time to fight my cause. We call it the “Crap Clinic” and we meet regularly to engage in the “Battle of the Banks”. Because of her determined resolve at a time when I was emotionally on my knees, my £1,000,000 horror story has been reduced to a mere £350,000 nightmare. Thankfully, she has agreed to see it through with me to the very end. Without her selfless devotion, I would have undoubtedly collapsed under the pressure.
How can I ever repay her?