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#1 of 133 Old 01-22-2012, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you struggle every month just to have basic necessities? Is it not possible for you to be frugal because there is no money to be frugal with? Do the other low income threads talk about luxuries way beyond your means? Need a little support and commiseration? I know I do, and I know I'm not the only one. So how about a little poverty thread... anyone else game?


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#2 of 133 Old 01-23-2012, 12:17 AM
 
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Game on mommy!


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#3 of 133 Old 01-23-2012, 08:22 PM
 
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I'll join! I am feeling pretty discouraged these days - choosing which bills to pay each month, running out of money with a week or more till payday... Realistically, I can't live much more frugally. I know the biggest problem is that my rent is too high, but I can't do much about that, for a variety of reasons. I really don't buy any extras. My kids are done growing so we hardly ever buy clothes, and then all from thrift stores. No car payments or credit cards. Pretty basic stuff at the grocery store - no organics, but no over-processed foods either. I work full time, so serious home baking and the like is not possible time-wise. But I question how much that could really save anyway. Gas is a huge expense, but driving all over town is a major part of my job.

 

OK, enough whining. Usually I spend more time being grateful than complaining. Just got a mood tonight. Thanks for the opportunity to vent.


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#4 of 133 Old 01-25-2012, 05:17 AM
 
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Good idea, Jess. I go in and out of this area, and I'm so glad there is support here for those who need it. 

 

My XH is trying to get his child support reduced significantly, and if he gets his way I'll be in this thread for sure. 


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#5 of 133 Old 01-25-2012, 06:31 AM
 
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I am in this boat right now and have been for a while. My husband was unemployed for 5 months and for that time we didn't even have enough income to pay rent, much less pay our bills too. We had to max out what credit cards he has and borrow money to pay rent so our bills wouldn't be late. I hardly EVER spend money. I feel guilty if I spend a dollar.

He finally has a new job as of last week but it isn't exactly paying top dollar. I'm hoping we can at least make rent and bills though.
His hours are so odd that is isn't feasible for me to work too or I surely would. I'd basically work to put my kids in day care.

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#6 of 133 Old 01-25-2012, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The (lol) short version of my story is :

My stbx and I were doing alright when we decided to make a major move 4 years ago. We came to Hawaii, the economy tanked, my guy had a total breakdown and basically stopped functioning. After less than a year, the savings was spent, the cards maxed, we had next to no income. We went through 3 years on and off of technically homeless situations (ie: shack w/cold running water). The one year we had something like a "real" house, it was still totally dysfuctional and only possible because I was getting a decent amount of support from first ex. Ex stopped paying, back to sketchiness. A year ago current husband and I split (so I was eligible for assistance I hadn't been) and I filed with CS Enforcement about first guy. Got a chunk of money, not tons, enough to get a decent REAL house and a few niceties. So far so good right? I was just able to make ends meet, more or less. I had enough for rent, utilities and car insurance. Still had a crappy not quite legal car and treats were few and far between, but we were getting it together. December comes around, holidays, new car troubles, and NOT ONE CENT of CS from ex. He just stopped paying, like he did before. I went to enforcement and found out that the state he is in doesn't want to pursue him, end of story. I applied for TANF, was sent to First to Work, no one seems to care that I have no formal education or useful work experience and jobs are extremely scarce, I don't have reliable transportation (bus is not reliable, employers don't hire people who don't have their own cars) and I am having a baby in April/May. I am still required to do 30 hrs a week for assistance equal to about half what I was getting in CS. So I have done the only sensible thing and applied for temporary disability, (would give me 2/3 what I got for CS). I have an interview next Tuesday. Meanwhile, I have had no meaningful amount of cash since November, couldn't pay rent this month, will probably get notice before I can pay it again (assuming I get any money, it will still be a few weeks), don't know how I'm going to pay the bills, trying to hang on to internet but that's not easy. Somehow tho, I have been able to patch things together enough to keep moving forward (I think). I do sometimes have to ask my 18 yo for money, which I hate to do, but sometimes it comes down to it. But then I also get little things here and there... an unexpected $20 for selling something I didn't need and was going to give away, a "rewards" certificate from my local natural grocery (hello TP and dish soap!). So it sucks, but hey, I started this thread cuz I knew I wasn't alone, right? So whether y'all are right there with me or damn close, thanks for getting on board. I hope everyone can vent and feel supported. grouphug.gif


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#7 of 133 Old 01-25-2012, 04:52 PM
 
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yep. sounds vaguely familiar. ;)


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#8 of 133 Old 01-25-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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I'm here and this month is turning out super crappy.  I'm a sub and the way pay works is there is a 3-4 week delay (totally legit, payroll is set up this way) and its usually ok but with winter break there was a 3 week NO WORK stint in December which is causing a pay problem for me in January.  Plus there is the pay lag into January... I'm not really getting  a check until February.  I have no money, my son is cranky because his 'allowance' is going to be late.  (yes I know there are much worse things).  Credit cards were already full, low lines of credit so...

 

No child support, just huge and ever growing arrears.  Mr wonderful isn't around.

 

Food stamps have $$ left on them.  IDK when the renewal is and I'm terrified about that.

 

I feel this depressing creeping up and I've been fighting so hard to keep that away.

 

 


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#9 of 133 Old 01-25-2012, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Aw, ((hug)) I know the feeling. Some moments are harder than others. I'm thinking positively about getting through the next few weeks and getting some cash and knowing that something always comes through somehow, but then I look at my foodstamp balance, or my electric bill... Trying to not put things so far out of my mind that they don't get taken care of, but not dwell on them so much that I begin to feel utterly hopeless.

 

On a positive note, a friend is moving back to the mainland and giving me a bunch of stuff like a matching sofa and chair, only a few years old. The trade off is that she is my dear friend and she may never come back, but for the first time in my adult like I will have real, nice living room furniture.


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#10 of 133 Old 01-26-2012, 01:25 AM
 
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I just realized my son's swim team fee's are due MONDAY...  Hopefully the coach will hold the checks and not rush them to the bank.  Swim team is 'only' $75/month which is very reasonable.  In the past year swim has dropped from an all time high of $250 to $150 down to $75 so this is not expensive in the least.  And swim is DS only activity right now aside from library which is free.  He wants to do theater again but no $$.  Theater is about $100/month.- Maybe next session.

This is exactly why I didn't have swim team put on 'auto pay'.  I do not need things 'auto bouncing'.  My bank will pay a check, they will not pay an 'auto debit'.  January checks didn't clear until mid month.  I hope that happens with Feb's as well.

 

I want to scream.  I need to do my taxes... I sure hope I get a refund.


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#11 of 133 Old 01-26-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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I'm not sure I 100% qualify, but I can tell you that when I read Suze Orman's Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke, I thought, "This is a pretty good book, but BOY, do I wish I were as upwardly mobile as these 'broke' people!"

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#12 of 133 Old 01-26-2012, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

I'm not sure I 100% qualify, but I can tell you that when I read Suze Orman's Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke, I thought, "This is a pretty good book, but BOY, do I wish I were as upwardly mobile as these 'broke' people!"



LOL. EXACTLY! That's how I feel reading most of the Frugality&Finances forum. And also what bugged me about the picture on the MDC homepage when the Low Income Support thread was featured last week. That's what motivated me to start this thread. Not that it's a competition of who's worse off, but I think there tends to be a certain lack of comprehension of how some people can have less when one is feeling pinched and having to cut back. Like one day, I was talking to a friend's mother... she had just helped her daughter get a new Prius and she was telling me about how much her daughter was struggling. I said, "Yeah, I've got about $6 to my name." She gave me a blank stare and slowly said "How do you get by?" I told her that we lived in severely substandard housing, we get foodstamps, and everything else is a daily challenge. Her response (after a long pause) was something like "Well I hope things get better for you."

Yeah.


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#13 of 133 Old 01-26-2012, 05:31 PM
 
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Something I just found out like last month. Cracker Barrel Restaurant, has the 'old country store' attached to it.  Such a sweet old time store.  They have 'stick candy' 8/$1.  The same candy is at walgreen 3/$1.  My DS LOVES going to the CB store to get some stick candy for $1.  The sticks are still huge and last forever - much longer then a sucker.

 

Everyone needs a treat once in a while and CB has tons of 'old fashioned' stuff.  I know the holidays are over.  Winter blues in some parts of the country.  Something to keep in mind (even for Easter)

 


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#14 of 133 Old 01-26-2012, 06:51 PM
 
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OP and the other posters on this thread:  I don't want to hijack this thread because I'm not in a position of poverty right now, but I have been there, and I totally know where you are coming from.  I often feel extremely frustrated not only on MDC but when I hear people IRL (especially people in political, religious or other positions) tooting about the idea if you are frugal enough, smart enough, responsible enough, worthy enough, then you shouldn't have any financial problems, even if you're low income.  It pisses me off, for lack of a better phrase.  I've been there, done that, and I know it is not about responsibility, smarts, worthiness, frugality and all the other virtues that people preach about.  When you have nothing, you have nothing.  You can work as hard as you can with the best of your abilities and there is still not enough to cover the very basic necessities.  

 

Just wanted to say that some of us here understand (at least me).  I'm tired of the lectures that if you just sacrifice enough, you'll be fine and benefiting everyone including yourself.  Right....


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#15 of 133 Old 01-26-2012, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP and the other posters on this thread:  I don't want to hijack this thread because I'm not in a position of poverty right now, but I have been there, and I totally know where you are coming from.  I often feel extremely frustrated not only on MDC but when I hear people IRL (especially people in political, religious or other positions) tooting about the idea if you are frugal enough, smart enough, responsible enough, worthy enough, then you shouldn't have any financial problems, even if you're low income.  It pisses me off, for lack of a better phrase.  I've been there, done that, and I know it is not about responsibility, smarts, worthiness, frugality and all the other virtues that people preach about.  When you have nothing, you have nothing.  You can work as hard as you can with the best of your abilities and there is still not enough to cover the very basic necessities.  

 

Just wanted to say that some of us here understand (at least me).  I'm tired of the lectures that if you just sacrifice enough, you'll be fine and benefiting everyone including yourself.  Right....




yeahthat.gif Totally.

That wasn't a hijack at all, the input and support is appreciated. Out of curiosity, since you've BTDT but no longer, what changed in your situation? Was it hard work, luck, a combination? I'd like to hear more.


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#16 of 133 Old 01-26-2012, 08:12 PM
 
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yeahthat.gif Totally.

That wasn't a hijack at all, the input and support is appreciated. Out of curiosity, since you've BTDT but no longer, what changed in your situation? Was it hard work, luck, a combination? I'd like to hear more.


I would say that it was a combination of consistently trying, getting up every day to start over despite the odds, and a whole, whole lot of good fortune.  I would say that a great part of my life has consisted of a number of fortunate events.  I think it helps that I have time on my side too (I'm 48), so I've been around a lot longer than most here and I would say that things have progressed very slowly over the years.  It is hard to see light, however, when you are in the middle of it.


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#17 of 133 Old 01-27-2012, 02:42 AM
 
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I think a big problem is that people earning less than a certain amount of money simply are not addressed in our society.  They are spoken of in third person, as a lump of people who either deserve food stamps or don't.  Books that deal with work issues inevitably are talking about white collar jobs only, and books that deal with personal finance inevitably are addressing people with advancing careers and so much money that they can divide it among retirement, life insurance, disability insurance, a child's college fund, etc.  It's as if publishers don't think poor people read, when the reality is that many of us spend much of our free time at the local library.

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#18 of 133 Old 01-27-2012, 03:31 PM
 
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I think a big problem is that people earning less than a certain amount of money simply are not addressed in our society.  They are spoken of in third person, as a lump of people who either deserve food stamps or don't.  Books that deal with work issues inevitably are talking about white collar jobs only, and books that deal with personal finance inevitably are addressing people with advancing careers and so much money that they can divide it among retirement, life insurance, disability insurance, a child's college fund, etc.  It's as if publishers don't think poor people read, when the reality is that many of us spend much of our free time at the local library.



Yes, I hate reading finance books where the main advice is to cut out things I've never owned/done to begin with.  I've been following along, but I really don't like to think of myself as in poverty, even if that's where we are.

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#19 of 133 Old 01-28-2012, 10:14 AM
 
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It doesn't matter how hard a person works, if the job is low paying than there are going to be financial difficulties. Unfortunately hard work does not equal decent wages. The most hardworking people in this world live in poverty or very close to it. 

 

I really think that when people in the world say that hard work pays off, what they really mean is if you're working towards get a high paying job.

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#20 of 133 Old 01-28-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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i totally agree.  One of my coworkers(who does the same thing I do) once told me that her and her husband can afford things(that I cant) because her and her husband work really hard.  I just had to laugh because I feel guilty all the time because my husband works WAY harder than me and for less pay.  Me and her barely work according to my definition of work.  People really think they deserve every good thing that comes their way rather than knowing that they were just lucky to be born in the country/station/with the advantages/and mental/physical faculties that they did.

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#21 of 133 Old 01-28-2012, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Right. I had a "friend" who would always give me advice on how to get my finances together, how I, too, could by a house, have money in the bank etc. if I just did X,Y,Z, whatever. When i finally called her out on the facts that she had received enough inheritance to buy her first house at 25 in an area that was on the cusp of gentrification (sold it at 100% profit), had a father who would loan her any reasonable amount she asked for, and just happened to have an innate sense about real estate and a supportive husband, she responded that she knew that even if she was in my position, she would do things differently than me so she would have everything she did anyway.


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#22 of 133 Old 01-28-2012, 05:34 PM
 
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Ugh. I lent my friend my link card( snap) to get some milk and pick me up something from store. She got back- there is nothing left- I totally miscalculated... I don't get anymore till the tenth- I really messed up.


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#23 of 133 Old 01-28-2012, 10:12 PM
 
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I just want to vent, forgive me if this is in the wrong place.  DH and I are students and can only work a max of 20 hrs a week.  In a college town, the only jobs are provided by the university and for minimum wage.  Our housing is provided by the university for an unreasonable amount for the area and what you get (go monopolies!) and they raise our rent 5% every year without a pay increase ($700 .  We've been here 5 years trying to finish and it gets harder and harder.  We are in our twenties.

 

My dad is "making" me finish school - another kicker - there are NO JOBS available that will make up for the amount of time and money we have had to put into our so-called "educations."  They are dime-a-dozen undergrad degrees.  We eat beans and rice and homemade bread.  We have no car.  We have closed credit cards (thanks to DH's parents who had him co-sign on the 2 cards that they put his tuition on without telling him, then saying it was "his").  We have to pay credit card bills and interest on them when they aren't even available to use!  We walk everywhere (which is actually great for us, just limiting).

 

No kids = no snap.  At least I don't think so.  Haven't checked.  There were hitches with our jobs and a few weeks each without pay - hence the cards closing.

 

Anywho, I have had a cavity on a molar since last summer.  I've finally saved up enough to get it fixed this week.  My dad said "well, this is good for you!"  I DON'T MAKE ENOUGH when I have to give HALF of my month's wages to a dentist!  How is this good when I'm risking my current and future health while driving myself into debt for a degree I'll never use?  Risking tooth decay/infection/root canal?  I completely fail to see how ruining my credit and health is good for us.  I'm already underweight and DH has been losing as well.  Hunger doesn't help with making good enough grades to not have to retake classes.

 

My dad has a 6-bedroom house and a vacation house and spends more on electricity in a month than my entire rent and electric bill is together.  He's making me finish school, knows how much I make, and refuses to help with things "because I'm married."  Yeah, that would make sense if I wasn't finishing for him (he paid for my first year, which was awesome but in hindsight he was controlling and manipulating - he has been abusive my entire life, to my mom and me).  But he expects us to live off of 11k a year, pay for medical and dental and school and cards and FOOD?  No, not where I live.  Go part time for school?  I'd NEVER finish, plus I'd have to start paying back my loans.  Housing options are limited and the only reason we can get by without a car in this town is because we actually live next to campus.  Bus passes are 65/mo per person.    We get small grants, but boy is it not enough.  We've manipulated the numbers so much it makes my head hurt.

 

The numbers just don't add up and I'm tired of it.  This is such a joke sometimes.  

 

Hugs to all of you, I know I have a lot less to worry about than so many of you.  Best of luck, we can get through it.  I hope I didn't offend anyone because I very much did not mean to.  Thank you for letting me vent.  I read all of your stories and you are in my thoughts.

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#24 of 133 Old 01-29-2012, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No worries, I don't think anyone is offended by someone in the same boat. Even tho you don't have children, your struggle is just as real.

But I am wondering how your dad is "making" you finish school? I know that people, especially family, can be manipulative, but what is he doing that is inescapable? It sounds like you are frustrated that you are working so hard, sacrificing for something that doesn't amount to much. I can understand. But what would you change if you could, and what is holding you back?

Not trying to be provocative, but I'm curious, and maybe you can get some good feedback.

Oh, and you should be able to get SNAP, at least a bit. It's not that hard to qualify for, and even if you don't get the full amount, everything helps.


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#25 of 133 Old 01-29-2012, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh. I lent my friend my link card( snap) to get some milk and pick me up something from store. She got back- there is nothing left- I totally miscalculated... I don't get anymore till the tenth- I really messed up.



Oh that's hard. I'm out for the rest of the month, till the 3rd. Time to get creative with the bulk stuff and canned goods wink1.gif


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#26 of 133 Old 01-29-2012, 03:11 AM
 
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Sadly I did that last month so our cupboards are bear and I don't work till Thursday- luckily I loaned some money to friends and they are to pay me back this week... anyone else hate spending their own money on food when you get used to having the link?  I was hoping that money could go into an account for safety- luckily I have a bag of chicken and a frozen chicken- maybe I can ask boyfriend to invite us over a time  or two this week. Shit.  PANCAKES sound good- I need milk. Shit.


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#27 of 133 Old 01-29-2012, 06:52 AM
 
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mom31, you can make pancakes with water.  they won't be as delicious, but you can do it.  *hugs*  Been there.

 

 

 


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#28 of 133 Old 01-29-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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Pancakes with water are good too :)

 

By "making" ... I guess at the least he says I owe him $15k up front.  For a year at college, this included my transportation out to school, bus pass, tuition, housing, and food.  He took out a loan anyways, and if I don't finish, I have to pay that one back since I co-signed, as well as the ones I've taken out through the gov't since.  It's just somewhat impossible to start right away.  By abusive and manipulative, he's said things to my mother and I along the lines of, actually verbatim, "If you betray me, they'll never find your body."  He's as sweet as pie and smooth as silk to everyone who talks to him, though.  I was 18, I didn't know any better (still so much a kid at that age, like everyone else).  I didn't know how to get out and get on my own, because I have been made to believe my whole life that I'm dependent on him and worthless without men's help (looking to my mother, she's like that as well - very dependent on him, but an alcoholic who cannot function or keep a job - he likes her that way and keeps her drunk).  So there are lots of issues there - but I feel a bit better since I last posted and I'm glad I got to vent, so thank you.  I really am at a good place - DH and I are very happy and lucky and we know it.  I know that not everything is for naught, even though my degree is.  And y'all are right about the sacrifice for no point - it is frustrating.  

 

How do you shake the constant feeling of impending doom - like, what if something happens like a medical emergency, etc?  Do you have plans in place?  I can't help but feel like EVERYTHING will implode and we'd be done for if just ONE part of our lives got out of whack.  And then it would be like a domino effect.

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#29 of 133 Old 01-29-2012, 03:40 PM
 
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{{{{{{{fresh_veggie}}}}}

 

Have you considered applying to a bunch of schools for a transfer to get far away from your dad (you can get full funding and scholarships for them)? You don't need that abuse, and that IS abuse! If you need some support help try to get the book, "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward from the library... and maybe see if there are any (free) Al Anon support groups around you. They really do help as "Adult Children of Alcoholics" (ACoA) have their own set of "issues" and the group support can be VERY helpful (I went to them). If not try picking up some books on it and reading them if you have not done it. 

 

This does NOT have to be your destiny, he does NOT have any actual power over you... other than what you hand him, and there is another way and a better life out there!!!  

 

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}  


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#30 of 133 Old 01-29-2012, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeahthat.gif fresh_veggie, I know the personality you are dealing with, my ex husband is a controlling, abusive sociopath who everybody outside of partnership loves. Do anything it takes to disengage, put space between you and your father, and heal. You will never live up to his expectations, all you can do is get on with your own life. hug.gif

 

 

 

 

Mom31, Re: Pancakes with water: This is one of those times when it would be good if you can hit up a food bank and get some powdered milk. It's not much good for drinking, but it does work well in baked goods, sauces and soups.


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