Chapter 13

Read Chapter 12 “The Meetings”

The Workshops


It’s already February, and another half term is looming around the corner. Where does the time go? Do I live in some time speeding vacuum? I was just shopping for Christmas, for Pete’s sake.

I still haven’t challenged Jim about the mess he made, neither I faced the school’s financial department. I need to be much stronger than I’m now. I don’t want to cry the moment I open my mouth.

Christina the Destroyer has been bouncing around the school like there was no tomorrow, and no karma was coming after her. Oh, stupid girl, you can’t even imagine how hard karma will kick your skinny ass because at the end it always does. The other day she even tried to talk to my girls before I told her in my nicest and the sweetest possible voice I could master to “Fuck off and never talk to my kids again”. She seemed surprised and shocked that I was able to stand up to her. Even I didn’t think I had it in me. Perhaps I’m stronger than I think I’m.

I was always scared to stand up for myself and tried to avoid confrontation at all cost. But someone has to put a stop to her cockiness. She’s never been nice to me, but now she goes way out of her way to make my life in the school community unbearable.

On the positive side, I attended my local library financial workshops this week, and that day was just incredible. Lesley, the lady who run the workshops, was what I needed. She was honest, direct and wasn’t sugarcoating it for us. She said: that it wasn’t going to be easy to come back from the debts; that it would take a lot of hard work and sacrifices; cutting down on shopping at Waitrose and going to Lidl instead; no take away coffees and expensive outings. She kept repeating that we need to stay focused on finding paid jobs that will allow us to become, financially independent.

After very harsh, but much needed and sobering introduction, Lesley took each participant’s case individually, analyzed it and gave each one of us some ideas on how to start moving forward. There were lots of tears, but at the same time, we felt a lot of support for each other.

When I shared my situation with Lesley and when I told her what all my assets were, she immediately suggested that I should divide my house; yes, it’s still my house, to either rooms or two studio flats that I could rent out. In theory, that would give me enough money to cover the basics, plus allow me to pay off the minimum payments on all the credit cards and loans. I’ve been so distressed with all my debts that I don’t even know how much I would need to pay back monthly.

She also proposed that to boost my confidence; I should find a job, part-time if possible, even if it’s low-paid, to put me back on the job market. That will allow me to meet people from outside of my current circle and will minimize the anxiety connected to looking for a job. That could help to trick my brain into thinking that I already have a job so I won’t be looking for a job, just be moving up.

The downside of the workshops was my realization that I wouldn’t be able to pay for the school, neither for the mortgage. I guess, until I’m in full-time employment I will need to talk to my parents about covering my mortgage. To get money to divide my house into two studios, Lesley suggested that I should sell all the crap my husband collected over the years, which is only taking up space in my garage. I think it’s a brilliant idea; he has lots of high-end shit lying around, that he left behind, which I’d be delighted to sell.

I’ll ask my baby brother to help me out with the renovation work. This way I won’t have to pay for the labour, just for the building materials.

The New Me loved Lesley and her robust approach; no more sitting around and waiting for something magical to happen.

PS. Last week I changed my bank account and blocked Jim’s access to the other one. That felt incredibly good. 

Move on to Chapter 14 “The Change Is Coming”