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I was already working full-time, so with both incomes we were on the right track to buying a home of our own. It had only taken us six years of struggling to get where we are. A new car, financial freedom, and SURPRISE, a baby due in eight months. Life was great... or so we thought.
First the job..
It was August when we made the first payment on our new car. He started a new job, making much more than he was at his last. We were both happy and incredibly relieved as things seemed to finally be going well for us. Thirty dollars an hour is an achievement for anyone, and this was going to get us exactly where we needed to be. Baby number three was on the way, we had our new reliable vehicle, and now we earned enough together to really start saving for a house for our growing family.
This is where it starts going bad..
Here comes the first payday! Under the impression he was being paid $30 an hour, we were very surprised when the check stub said $21! The explanation from his boss was that they expected more from him.
A. You never just decrease a pay rate without discussing it with the employee first. B. How can you determine what someone is worth after two weeks on the job? Boss man now promises that because he didn’t discuss it with us first, he’ll promise an eight percent commission on any new install sold. I guess that’ll work.
After selling jobs left and right throughout October, and selling an install for $22,000 the first week of the November, we were looking forward to some extra cash for the holidays. Just from what he sold in October alone, we made plans to put money away for Christmas and maybe set up a double payment on the car. Try to get ahead of the bills this year since we damn right earned it. Here comes pay day again! But no bonus.
You can imagine by now, there’s no words for what this company is doing to us.
Boss man says, “To be honest, we can only afford to pay you your hourly wage. The company is BANKRUPT!”
Apparently this guy was using his ONLY EMPLOYEE (had no idea until now), as a means to get him out of being bankruptcy. AND HE DID! So where’s my money? IOY!!! The work van was dropped off that afternoon, and he last check was sent to us via mail. I think boss man got the point.
Now the eyesight..
As you can imagine, we’re both pretty depressed right now. Gotta stay positive though, if not for us then for the baby. He gets another job since his older job won’t take him back. This boss man takes him on, only to tell him that his insurance won’t cover him due to his driving record so he can’t keep him employed. Awesome!
Fast forward to January, still only one income. We made it through the holidays and managed to still keep up with our car payment. I’m heavily pregnant, around seven months at this time. One more month until my maternity leave starts!
Now he tells me he needs glasses, that his eyes are getting really bad. Sure, no problem. We go to Walmart (I know), and he gets prescribed the thickest most generic looking pair they have. Only, the glasses aren’t helping. Even after wearing them constantly, his eyes aren’t adjusting, and the “floaters” the lady said he had weren’t going away but getting worse. We try another, a real, optometrist. It took this doctor not even two minutes to turn to us and tell us he was blind! He tells us the black spots are not “floaters”, but something worse and he needed to see a specialist. Off we go! It’s March 1st now, and I’m nine days away from delivering our baby when we’re told by the specialist he has to go for blood work to determine the underlying cause of the vision loss, because he really just doesn’t know.
Fast forward to May, with a beautiful healthy baby boy added to our family and he gets the call. He’s legally blind and from what they found, he may never see again. Leber’s heredity optic neuropathy, a mitochondrial disorder passed from mom (carrier) to son. Twenty nine years of near perfect vision, and now this. Depression dripped like an IV into our life. An IV of thick black ooze that covered everything and everyone. Stay positive right? Right...?
His best friend..
One phone call shatters our lives AGAIN! We were both home, playing with little man and he gets a call. “Have you heard?”
His best friend passed away earlier that day.
Here comes that black oozing depression shooting right back into our veins like it never left. He cried. In what was now six years of being together I’ve never seen him cry. He cried for months, grieving the loss of his friend. Why him? Why did he lose his eyesight and then his best friend? And it still wasn’t over...
His favorite aunt
Soon, following the death of his friend he would lose his aunt. His favorite aunt, who he looked to more like a grandmother. She was his as he was hers. For her, the years of abuse to her body finally took over. His devastation dropped to an all time low. This was the worst I’d ever seen him and through all of this, we somehow had to put on a show and pretend we were okay. After all, we had three kids to take care of.
September and the week after getting the first of his disability checks, our “reliable car” overheats. The radiator is leaking, there’s no oil (even though we just had it changed), and the water pump is leaking. We seriously, can’t catch a break. A $2,700 job turned into a $1,000 thanks to a really good friend. THANK YOU! With the car back on the road, and a handful of arguments along the way, we’re moving along.
It’s January, a new year, and I just quit my job. WHAT?! I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. He was tired of being home all day everyday with the baby. I always had to pick up extra shifts to bring in the extra cash, so the IV of depression just kept flowing. I quit my job once he got an opportunity to work, for cash (again I know) but to where he didn’t have to drive and the money was good. So I stayed home, and it was the worst decision I ever made.
He was so sore and tired from working that we fought everyday he came home. Over anything too. From the dishes not being done to the laundry not getting washed. It didn’t matter what it was, he found a reason to fight with me about it. He gets a day off, and we spend the day talking and trying to figure our relationship out. That’s how bad it got.
I find a post about someone hiring locally with decent hours and decent pay, for me. We’ll think about it, since he hasn’t gotten a call about work in a couple of days. By day five, I’m going on an interview to clean an office building because he just stopped getting calls. Awesome. I’m on my feet for eight hours a day now, and my feet are blistered and burning. By day three at this new job, he calls me and tells me to go back to my old job. So I, very unprofessionally, leave this job in the middle of the day and go right back to my old job for an interview. Hired on the spot! I guess they like me.
Back to long days and him being home with the baby, but he’s started to accept it more. Baby’s first birthday has passed and we’re okay. For now...
Fast forward one year..
June of last year, we found out we were pregnant. Amidst the arguments of whether or not a baby was a good idea at the time, we found strength in the opportunity to move into a new home. We used that as a reason to better our lives and live better for our children. It had been a tough year, and a tough eight years.
We each struggle mentally after everything we’ve been and put ourselves through. Despite the struggles I wouldn’t change what I have for the world. He’s accepted his role of being a stay at home dad and looks forward to the days to come with little man and the new princess. While I hate having to leave them, I know it’s all on me to make this life the best I can for my family.
While things may go wrong, even to the point where you want to give up, don’t ever lose hope. Despite the bad, we had a lot of good times entangled in that mess. For all of the bad that came, it made the good time so much better. Cherish them and your family. They will truly be the only ones standing with you when it’s all over.