I’m learning that it’s ok to not be ok sometimes…

I’ve been going through a bad situation the past few months and I’ve come to the point where I’m understanding and admitting that I’m not ok. I will be, but now is a struggle. Right now I’m feeling all the things…grief, sadness, hurt, anger, betrayal, pain, disbelief, shock, the list goes on.

This post isn’t so much about what happened to me, although I’ll share that with you for context. I’m writing this in the hopes that it will help someone who is hurting, that they’ll be able to either use the things I’ve learned to help themselves through their rough time, or find some nugget in here that sparks their own healing process. I don’t claim to have all the answers to how to get through a terrible situation and/or heartbreak. I’m just floundering along, finding my way and hoping that maybe I can encourage someone, that I can use my negative experience for good.

This is going to be long, there’s no help for that. So grab a drink and settle in.

When my husband Ray and I got married 30 years ago we bought our house from my dad, who had bought it from his dad years before. We took over payments and have made them all this time, now only owing $8,200 on our home. We never got around to putting the house in my name; I’m an only child so it was going to be mine anyways, we had plenty of time to get around to it, blahblahblah, you get the picture.

My dad has mortgaged my home for an additional $337,500. He secretly took out an $189,000 second on it fifteen years ago. Apparently he hasn’t paid his taxes and last year the IRS put an $80,000 lien against my home for 2009-2015. Also last year he lost some sort of lawsuit and a judgement lien for $42,000 was issued against my home. The creditor wanted to sell my home to get their money and that’s how I found out that any of this had happened. I had no idea of any of this before this spring, when the creditor sent a letter of intent to sell my home. My dad told me it was nothing to worry about and he told me this again when they posted the paperwork on my front door. Then a man brought the paperwork to my door and informed me that yes, this was something to worry about, I was going to lose my home unless this debt was paid.

I went into action and we were able to settle with the creditor and, thanks to Ray’s parents, save our house in May. My dad did nothing. At the time I told him that we had to get those taxes off so we could get the house in my name and he agreed to get a lawyer to help with that. That was the last time that I spoke to my dad. I’ve emailed him and called him and he never responds.

What I need you to understand here is that I treated him with compassion and grace throughout this whole thing. I would tell him that I was angry but still loved him. I would send him emails telling him that he needed to talk to me so that we could move forward, that I understood he was embarrassed but that we couldn’t fix our relationship until we started communicating. I gave him three months of gracious emails before I finally said “You need to call your kid, I’m getting pissed.” I gave him a chance to make it right, a chance to reach out to me and say he was sorry. I was hoping that the silence was because he was working on the tax situation and wanted to have good news when he talked to me. That’s what makes the next part so hard; I had hope for a relationship with him, hoped that he wanted to make this right.

When we were in crisis mode in the spring, trying to save our home, I was also super busy at work and didn’t have time to really deal with all that I was feeling. I would tell Ray, I’ve got too much to do; I’m going to schedule a breakdown for July. I was so shocked that I don’t think I knew what to feel. Every time I emailed my dad or left him a voicemail, it hurt a bit more, I lost a little more hope, I knew with a little more certainty that he wasn’t going to return it.

Then last week I found out that the IRS just added another $26,500 for years 2016-2018 unpaid taxes. I’m devastated and I’m having a tough time handling this. It hurts even worse this time. Yes, the rest was intentional and he’s been lying to me for years, but now he’s not only piling more debt on me but also making it clear that he doesn’t want to have a relationship with me. That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

Friends, I’m tired. So. Freakin’. Tired. But I’m getting through it. This is where I hope that this story will help someone, by telling you how I’m making it through each day.

I can’t tell you how many times during the past few months that I’ve been literally hanging onto my kitchen counter, feeling punched in the gut and thinking “I can’t take any more of this, how am I supposed to do this?” I’ll take a few deep breaths and then remind myself that I’m strong and brave and that I know that I can do hard things because I’ve done them. I remind myself of all I’ve been through and not only survived, but thrived:

I was sexually abused as a child

My husband had an illness 10 years ago that they told us was killing him

The way that his illness has changed him and our lives forever

My daughter’s heart condition at 15, being alone with her in the ER when she coded and almost died

Illnesses and injuries that I’ve had

Being targeted by a charismatic bully and having lies spread about us that people believed.

I remind myself that I’ve really survived these things. There’s a story in Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being in the fiery furnace with Jesus, everyone is astounded that not only do they survive the fire, they don’t even smell like smoke when they emerge. That’s always been my goal, to not smell like smoke. And when I’m having a rough moment in this current situation I remind myself that it’s my choice, it’s in my control to come out the other side not smelling like smoke. That’s the first lesson, to remind yourself of what you’ve already accomplished and that it’s your choice in how you