Tag Archives: debt

Day 24 – seven things that cross my mind a lot

  1. Money
  2. Debt
  3. Love of my life
  4. How I feel about my life at the moment
  5. How to make more of my website
  6. The stuff I want that I can’t have
  7. Food

Pretty much in that order, I suppose. I guess you could also say it’s a bit of a one-track mind.


On giving up


I’m tired. Mostly from not getting enough sleep – if it’s not the dogs, it’s the sleep walking/talking roomie, or the other inhabitants of the house going about their business while I try to get an early night to compensate for my early rise. But it’s gone beyond that.

The general consensus is that I’m overreacting. I feel like I’m heading for a break down at a great speed. I’m miserable. I feel unloved, lonely, inadequate and trapped. It feels like I’m constantly being criticised and that only the negative things about me are being highlighted by the person I rely on the most for uplifting and encouraging me: my mom. Nothing I do seems to be good enough, and her comments last night – telling me to grow up and that the world does not revolve around me – only opened up years of festering resentment about never living up to expectations.

There is nothing I can do to change the situation; there is nowhere I can go. I have nothing – no money, no desire to be alive. I spend days in tears, unable to pull myself together; unable to contemplate a light at the end of the tunnel.

Stupid universe


Stupid former sister in law. Stupid former father. Stupid life. Stupid stupid.

Every time I develop the intention of saving a bit of money, something happens. If it’s not the x-rays and doctors’ bills that fall into my self-payment gap, it’s a gross wardrobe failure, necessitating the urgent scheduling of a bit of essential and expensive shopping. Except, without the backup of a credit card, neither the shopping nor the payment of bills have happened yet, although arrangements have been made to pay the x-rays over three months. (I’m still anxiously awaiting the shock of two orthopaedic consultation bills.)

Meanwhile my mom was happily planning on buying the bath for our new flat, when she received news that a) the settlement amount on our home is about R20 000 more than she planned and b) she needs to pay close to R3 000 to the social worker assigned to my nephew’s case. Because my brother’s first wife is a fucking bitch (FB). There, I said it.

The social worker told both my brother and the FB that neither of them are allowed to tell my nephew the outcome of the mediation; that the social worker will tell him when his parents go in to sign the parenting plan. And then FB told him the morning before they signed. I feel she should pay that R550 penalty because SHE broke the rules. She also refused to drive with my mom to the social worker’s office, saying she’ll get in the car with anyone but my mom. I contemplated taking to Twitter to find her a chauffeur for the day. In the end the social worker went to FB’s home, charging an additional R790 (which I feel that miserable cow should pay for too). And for going through the plan again to ensure everyone’s familiar with the content, she charged the balance of the money my mom has to pay. And despite the plan stating that no party is allowed to bad mouth the party or their extended families, FB has got plenty nasty and untrue things to say about my mom to my nephew. There should be a fine for that too, but she’s so stingy, trying to get any money out of her is simply pissing in the wind. Have I mentioned she’s a fucking bitch?

So ja. Mom and I are both a little down in the dumps while I shake my fist at the universe, demanding… well, I don’t demand. But dammit, we need a break from all this misery!

Another emotional rollercoaster


Last Wednesday I went to see the orthopaedic surgeon about the constant and rather debilitating pain sprouting from my lower back again for the last three or so months. After some pulling, prodding, twisting and x-rays, the diagnosis was an inflamed nerve. Something about Schmorl’s nodes on L1 and L2. Dispatched with a script for seriously hectic pain killers (specific for this neuropathy) and a week-long course of cortisone, as well as instructions to return in three weeks. I ended up locking my car’s keys still in the ignition (terrible and recently often recurring habit) when I stopped to pick up meds.

A week later I can report the following: despite strange and unusual shooting pains on the right side of lower back on Sunday night/Monday morning, I have not experienced any significant pain in my back or left leg since Saturday; x-rays are bloody expensive, and since my medical aid isn’t paying for it, I’ve fortunately been able to arrange to pay for it over three months; did not take any Lyrica last night – just to see how the pain is doing underneath all the chemicals and because I’d like to spend a day not feeling hazy; this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced in my life. The last bit is relevant because the colder it gets, the worse my back spasms and my leg hurts. I’ve also noticed that despite it being pain free, I often still rub my leg, just above the knee, usually when I’m feeling emotionally unbalanced. Except for now. I’m rubbing the knee because the pain is definitely still there under the Lyrica-induced relief.

Over the weekend mom and I bought some groceries (in bulk from Makro). In hindsight, my mom has had some panic attacks at the thought of how much money we spent. Considering that for the past 11 months she’s been mostly living of bread and tomato sauce, I can see how this was a shock for her. I did try to keep expenses down by choosing moderate amounts, rather than big amounts, but she chose the 9kg washing powder when I considered the 5kg, etc. So yes, we (she) spent more than what I was aiming for. For my part I spent bit at the butchery, but my days are long and cold, and I have no desire to go hungry, or in good conscience, let my mother go hungry either. How we’re going to make it to the end of the month, I’m not sure. It’s times like these that I miss the false security of credit cards, overdrafts, revolving credit, etc. It has been almost two months since I gave all of that up, and will be paying for it for about another six years (unless some miracle happens). If I still had my trusty Visa I’d have bought for the groceries without blinking. I have no desire to buy clothes or shoes or anything frivolous like that (although I need a few winter tops, evidently – after three years the couple of shirts I have are a little worse for wear, and have I mentioned that this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced?). I’d spend money to feed us.

Last night, after mom recovered from her panic attack and told me that when we move into our new flat there are likely to be no cupboards, no floor coverings and that the only room finished will be the bathroom, it was my turn to have an attack of conscience. I’m worried that moving into an unfinished place will mean we never finish it; at the very least not in a way that my mom wanted, and this was her chance to get her own little dream place. But she had to modify her plans to ensure that there is a room for me, because I’m too pathetic to take care of myself like someone of my age is supposed to. So the larger flat is going to cost more than what she’ll have left from the sale of the house (which seems to be going fine – oh, I never blogged that; the house has been sold, and plans for the flat will hopefully be submitted no later than next week. This means we’ll be moving in with my brother and his family at the end of the month at the latest).

And so I started my “everything would be so much better if I were no more” cycle of thinking. Because I’d not have to worry about medical expenses, painful limbs, thinning hair, uneven skin tone (when I get depressed, I get depressed about *everything* in my life that’s wrong); I’d not be the reason my mother spends thousands on groceries, or several thousands more on modifying her new home. In fact, if she were to get her portion of my life insurance designated to her, she’ll be able to pay for everything relating to her new place without a second thought. Similarly, my best friend would not have to borrow money against his car and work through the night to try and make ends meet.

But here I am. Pouring my misery into a blog post instead. And because I have no choice but carry on, I’m pondering how to make changes to what has become a stifling routine.  Or maybe I should just carry on and risk death by boredom.



So it’s been three weeks since my finger was used as a chew toy, and although the nail is going to take months to look normal again, and despite the lump of eina nerves that make the finger go numb when I apply pressure (like when typing), it is a lot better.

The two weeks I spent at my mom’s place was great. I didn’t get to sleep in much, but I did whatever I wanted to – which wasn’t much – and I felt very happy to be with the people I love and who cares for me.

Going back to work wasn’t too unpleasant, and things seem to carry on as they always have, but that’s more or less where the usual business ends.
I’ve decided to move back to Pretoria, because Johannesburg just makes me miserable. Sure my fuel consumption is going to increase & cost me more, but at least I’ll have one happy place, where I currently don’t have any. I will get up an hour earlier to (hopefully) get to work the same time I do now, and I will get to listen to my audio books while sitting in traffic in the afternoons. At least, until the Gautrain starts running from Pretoria. A month pass will be cheap by comparison, especially with the ever-increasing cost of petrol and the tolls launching soon. On days where I need to go see my doctor, for example, I’ll drive in, but that won’t be more often than once every two weeks.

In order to better cope with the nightmare that is my finances, I have applied for debt counselling. I’ve come to a point where ensuring that I pay all my accounts every month means I have no money to live. Technically I can’t afford to eat, drive, have life insurance, a pension fund and several other bits, non of which qualifies as luxury expenses. I can’t even buy a single of my beloved magazines. I’ve tried selling my books (and my soul, several times), but no one seems to be interested. I need to buy a new mattress. My back is giving me problems again, but buying anything is not an option.
The problem now is that I need to pay for my brother’s petrol on Saturday so he can help with the move, and I only have enough money to put petrol in my own car once before the end of the month, which is still a long way off. I’m not even IN Pretoria yet, and already I have petrol issues. That makes me sad, but I’ll have to make a plan. I’m taking control of things that are a problem, as much as I’m able to, and I can’t let this derail my plans.

It has been a long time since I had a plan of action, and more importantly that I have set in motion, and I’m determined to see this through.

During my lunch break on Wednesday I hope to open a new bank account, as advised by my counsellor, taking one more step closer to taking back control of my life.

If you happen to find some loose change between your couch cushions, won’t you please mail it to me? 😛

About stress and stuff


My body seems unable to cope with the amount of stress I’m experiencing at the moment. My one kidney aches, my skin is a mess, I’m tired and nauseous all the time.

So yesterday I (very reluctantly) applied for a professional to contact me regarding debt counselling. Which resulted in a tiny panic attack. My gut tells me this is not a good idea and that it will cause more stress than relieve it. My head tells me that if I could only get my debt consolidated (even just half of it) I’d be able to pay everything I need to without resorting to desperate measures, as I’ve had to for the last three years. But it also knows that no bank will lend me that amount of money.

And now I wait for a stranger to call me and get all up in my digits. I’m not happy about it, but it doesn’t seem like I have a choice. I’ve been avoiding the debt counselling for so long, especially after my mom told me that the past year she’s been under counselling has been the worst decision she made.

Speaking of my mom, she’s officially single again since Tuesday afternoon. Now we just need to get the house sold so she can start over. I’m going to mail her as soon as I’ve posted this, to hear what my nephew’s report card says. I miss my people – everyone I love is in Pretoria. I’ve left everything behind for a job that did not live up to its promises and expectations.

Oh well, I suppose I should be happy it’s Friday. And payday – for what that’s worth.

2010 in retrospect


Lifted from my fabulous friend, Nafisa, 25 points of contemplation on the year that was:

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I watched soccer at a stadium, US vs Algeria. The gees was amazing and contagious. Sure I was sick going there and got ridiculously ill afterwards, but it was totally worth it. I also attended a short course at Vega, Writing skills for copywriters, something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now, and I was very good at it – even if I say so myself.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
A few years ago I resolved that I will accept help when it is offered, and to ask for it when I need it. I don’t always stick to it, and I will carry this forward in the next year. I will not be making any more.

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
I’ll be housesitting for a friend, and plan to have a tiny pool party with some other friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Almost, but fortunately not.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. I did relocate to Jo’burg though.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Money. Loads of it. Less stress, etc.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Not only did the Soccer World Cup start on 11 June 2010, it was also the day my nephew had a cornea transplant.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Achieving highest marks in my class at Vega. It proved (to myself) that I can do copywriting, and pretty much anything creative, as long as I just get down and do it.

9. What was your biggest failure?
There are so many; I’d rather not dwell on that now.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just got over gastritis/pharyngitis. And I’ve a recurring ulcer that refuses to go away.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The groceries I got for my mom end of November.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The bottomless pit that is my debt.

13. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Waka Waka.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Write and work on my secret project.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Sitting in my room in Jo’burg feeling sorry for myself.

16. What was your favourite TV program?
Grey’s Anatomy.

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a very strong word, but the father person has definitely dropped off the list of people I like.

18. What was the best book you read?
Her fearful symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. She really has a way of writing to invoke really strong emotion with the reader.

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I managed to track down the song that I listened to repeatedly 15 years ago on the morning my grandfather died. I’ve made my peace with it. Allegro from Beethoven’s Sonata No4.

20. What was your favourite film of this year?
Despicable Me.

21. What did you do on your birthday?
Had a braai at my mom’s before I had a fight with her about my shrink.

22. What kept you sane?
My friends, prescription drugs, Twitter.

23. Who did you miss?
My grandfather, as always.

24. Who was the best new person you met?
Caryl, who generously offered me the use of her spare bedroom to live in.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
You can do it – regardless of what “it” is.