I just paid off the last of the debt incurred during the 8 years of financial struggling we went through. 🎉🎉 The financial struggles finally came to an end in the beginning of 2020.
I look back at myself during those times, living with heaviness like a storm cloud that never dissipates, with awe and appreciation for how I managed.
It all began in 2006, with a separation, followed by divorce in 2007. Absolutely everything was in my name, as the person I married had poor credit. I had excellent credit. I paid for things as long as I could, using all savings, all retirement money, giving my car back to the bank, until I had to file for bankruptcy in 2009.
With poor credit, I could not get approved for any type of credit. We lived off of what money I earned, Lillian’s SSI, and about $300 in child support. Then when I finally was approved for credit, we lived off of credit, paying the minimum each month, just to borrow from it again the next day or so. It was an incredibly draining time, emotionally and physically.
My way of dealing with much of our experiences during that time was to make everything an adventure. For my sanity, I had to do this. Living as a family of 3 in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath 800 square foot place for a little over 4 years began as an adventure, ending with feeling like a caged bird set free. Not having enough money to pay for food, rent, utilities, with a constant thought stream of “How am I going to pay for this?” is exhausting.
Having this experience, along with being a parent to Thomas and Lillian, has been absolutely life changing. The Before Camilla was a judgmental, stuck-up, non-empathetic, it’s-your-own-fault-you’re-in-this-mess, take-care-of-it-yourself person. I mean, I was still a nice person, but I cringe at some of those old beliefs. Life took me by the hand and said, here, have these experiences and see if you feel the same.
This melted the hard shell surrounding my heart, causing it to expand with empathy, love, and understanding for my fellow humans. I wish I could have gotten to this place without having to have had the harsh experiences. Yet, for some, this is what it takes.
I do not share this for sympathy. I share as that’s what I do. I share so that you can celebrate with me. Celebrate for yourself, too. Celebrate your own resilience with me as I celebrate mine.
I hadn’t intended for this to be so long! Once I get going, I can’t stop! May we all shed the hard shell surrounding the heart. 🥰🥰🥰
I don’t know how I would have made it without the help of my Mom and Frank, my Daddy, and many loving friends. Thank you all so very much!!
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!
“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.