So, we just found out our initial application has been "turned down" and is now off for a "2nd level review," ie management review. At this point hubby and I are beyond frustrated and those cardboard boxes are starting to look like shelter, as homelessness looms closer. Did I ever think I would find myself in this situation? I am a married, 34 year old mother of 4 with a freaking PhD and full-time employment and full-time employed husband, so in short NO!
It all comes down to the fact that the last few years while I was finishing my PhD we had financial woes. I feel like we are being penalized severely for making the choices we thought best at the time, which was usually between making a late payment and doing the "hope and a prayer that this check doesn't bounce" plan. Yes, I know the optimal thing is to NOT find yourself in that situation but we did and now we are paying the price. It makes me wish that the financial institutions in this nation hadn't so royally screwed us all over in the past 8 years, because now reality has hit and it BITES! I can logically understand that they are reviewing the evidence in front of them, but my heart and head don't always line up.
I feel like if I could just TALK to the reviewer, maybe, just maybe, it would make a difference. We wrote our letters, but how do you really explain in a letter, and keep it brief at the same time, your life story and how you ended up where you ended up. I mean, I want to ask them, have you had to tell your child, no you can't have that veggie/fruit/cereal today because it's not on sale/I don't have a coupon/it's not in the budget for weeks on end. I want to ask them have you tried to feed a family of six on WIC checks alone, which FYI is meant to be a supplemental food program, not a sustaining food program. I want to say that this is America, where we are supposed to be able to pursue our dreams, and now we are being penalized for following our dream. And not because we purchased crap or were irresponsible, but because we bought groceries and medication for my diabetic husband and asthmatic children and gas. And in all reality, we purchased minimal medication for my diabetic husband the last 6 months of my schooling, so we would have more money for food. Why should his health have to suffer so that I can feed my family when I have health insurance, but can't afford the co-pays on the medication? I can't even explain all the swirling emotions at this point.
We are supposed to take a little mini family vacation this upcoming week and both hubby and I want to cancel it, because we need to find housing and because of the reality that I KNOW I will feel guilty spending money on a much needed mental health break, when I could be putting it towards our debt. And, as I sit here and type this while my little 2 sleep and my big 2 put away the groceries we just purchased for our trip the tears just pour down. I also know that a lot of the world will judge us for taking this vacation, but I am a firm believer in mental health and both hubby and I need the time away. So please don't judge when you see people posting about money woes and then taking a trip or going out to eat. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, deserves some type of mental health break. And for the record we are going tent camping on Lake Ontario and taking our kids to Niagara Falls and attending a family picnic, so it's not an expensive vacation and it will only be Wednesday to Sunday, but still I feel guilt and judgement.
So I am asking my readers, friends, families and all of you to please pray for us. Hubby and I are continuing to explore options and need we need those on the receiving ends of our requests to keep an open mind and heart.