Anyone who has ever gone through the emotional pain and stress associated with bankruptcy will tell you that bankruptcy was not something they ‘planned’ or considered to be a part of their future plans.
I remember, as a new mother, taking my six month old son to bankruptcy court with me. My thoughts in the days prior to formalizing our bankruptcy were a combination of self-pity, anger, shame and just plain sad. I felt like the months after a baby’s birth should be spent getting to know the baby. Gazing into his eyes and feeling his little smiles warm my heart. I kept looking in his eyes and thinking ‘This is NOT how I wanted to start my new family!’ or ‘This is NOT the way I wanted his life to begin.’ I couldn’t believe this was happening to ME. Bankruptcy not only gave me a bad credit score but my self esteem also took a pretty large ding.
As a teenager – I remember my diaries being filled with certainty that I was going somewhere. I was going to be financially independent, have my own place, and even be my own boss.
Nowhere in those dreams did I envision what really happened: I went to college, graduated and planned to start my own psychology practice. Instead I got married and helped him start a business. Before we knew it were getting past due notices from suppliers. I made the mistake that many people make. I assumed HE was keeping the books. And in retrospect, I guess he must have assumed that it was ME who was doing that. One thing is clear though: No one was paying attention to the ratio of money coming in vs. money going out.
Many couples make this mistake and you don’t even have to have a company or business of your own to make it. Some people just sort of live in a denial state or block out the fact that they are getting deeper and deeper in the debt hole. They feel frozen and know they need to take action but they stay frozen to the spot.
If you are at that point where you’ve been frozen or you have been pushing the facts aside, it’s like you aren’t sleeping at night (because these things ALWAYS seem to show up when we try to sleep). The best thing for you is not sleep aides or grasping at whatever you see first. Use the Internet as a tool for exploring your options. Don’t focus on ‘panic’ driven information or. Seek factual information and remain objective. If you are thinking of bankruptcy and really don’t want to go there, run a search on the Internet for ‘bankruptcy alternatives’ or ‘bankruptcy solutions.’ Read blogs and forums where people discuss what works. You can find blogs, websites, and forums on everything from avoiding foreclosure for months to negotiating a loan modification by yourself.
You CAN take control.
Participate in constructive discussions (not gripe fests!) with others going through similar situations. Teach yourself to find solutions. Watch out for companies that claim to specialize in whatever misfortune they can make money from. You may eventually hire a professional representative or firm to assist you. When you do, it’s wise to be informed and educated. When you are prepared, you are better able to handle whatever comes your way.
The self confidence you gain from knowing you can handle your life’s concerns is one the biggest gifts you will ever give yourself.