Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Borrowing From My Daughter


I knew my marriage was over. What I couldn't figure out was how I could financially afford the loss.

After the first 6 months of my 2 year marriage I used to drive to work silently adding and deducting salary and expenses in my head. I couldn't seem to ever come up with enough money to survive without his income.

I would check apartment listings, and seemed to find it so difficult to find an apartment in a safe area that I could afford. I even searched for roommates who would be willing to live with a young woman and her 1 1/2 year old daughter.

After two years, without a second thought, I told my husband to leave. I had no plan, and $50 in my checking account.

2 weeks after he left, while dropping off our daughter after a visit, my husband noticed my Cadillac was leaking fluid in the garage. He must have been able to read my face, because the first words I said was "How can I afford this?" "I'm not giving you shit," he said. "This is what you wanted. This is what you deserve."

I borrowed money from my mother and a friend. This was the only time I asked anyone for money. Or, at least the only time I asked an adult for money.

One day I took my 2 1/2 year old daughter into her room and took down her piggy bank. "Honey," I said slowly. "Mommy's going to have to open your piggy bank and use the money inside."

Stella: No! That's my money! I love my money!

me: I know, I know. But Mommy needs it. I'm sorry!

Stella: No! (pulling piggy bank from my hands)

me: Stella, I need to use it to buy food. You want food don't you?

Stella: (between sniffles and clutching piggy bank) Yes.

me: And milk? You like milk?

Stella: I love milk. I love milk a lot.

me: Ok, well, we need to open your piggy bank so that we can buy-well, milk.

Stella: Ok. I love milk. (gives me piggy bank)

We opened her piggy bank together and poured out the $30 in pennies, dimes, and nickles. We went to the store and bought milk and the other things we needed. I promised her I would pay her back, and I did.

Somehow, we made it. While married it seemed inconceivable that I could afford to live without my abusive husband. The true nature of my situation is that where there is strong will, there is survival.

Life is about more than believing "I can't."

Instead, believe "I will."

This post is dedicated to my star, Ms. Stella Leigh.

Posted by Jaimie :: 4:53 PM :: 21 Peeked Into My Diary:

.:Write In My Diary:.

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