Filling the void
Original story submitted by Lorin
on July 11, 2012
Location:Long Island, NY
Age: over 55
on July 11, 2012
Filling the void
How do I start a story about greed and stupidity? Where does it start? Go back to the point where I started filling the void with 'things'. And as the void grew, the size of the 'things' grew. But the void was never filled. I work as the Director of a homeless shelter in NYC. I am well paid, with a salary that should take care of me for life. But the void was huge. My world was the shelter. Stuck in a government job, with no real fulfillment in what I did left a void. No family and no relationships, just the job. And the void grew. There came a point where three children from my shelter were freed for adoption as their mother had abandoned them. I had gotten to know them and care about them so I agreed to take them into my home. All my focus became these three very very troubled children. The Courts agreed to allow them to move with me but stated that due to the fighting I had to have a home with separate bedrooms for each of them. And so it began. All of a sudden what I had had as a child I wanted for them. I bought a house on the beach with a bedroom for each. The mortgage company was happy to give me a mortgage that I could never afford. And I convinced myself that moving out of state to a better educational system would be best for them even if I did have to commute 4 hours a day. (2 each way) And even if I had to pay extra taxes, and even if I paid $600 a month in tolls, and even if I had to buy a new car (on credit) and even if I lived in a behemoth that sucked 1300 a month in utilities and my taxes were 10 grand a year and even if flood and homeowners was 12 grand a year. I was determined to give these kids everything they had never had. I had convinced myself that as the kids graduated from college they would each get a job and contribute to the home costs. At first I was very good at keeping up with the mortgage and other bills, even paid ahead. Credit cards came in by the dozens. But then the heating system went and I dipped into the cards. The kids needed computers, I dipped into my pension. A small trip for them and me, I dipped again into the cards. And on and on. Let's skip to the end of the story. Two kids are in jail, one has moved out. I was alone in huge house, had maxed out all my cards, borrowed all I could against my pension to keep the payments up and the value of my house had dropped from 370,000 to 190,000. I had hit the wall. Then hurricane Irene hit and I found out I was underinsured with flood. No repairs. Lost the heating system, electrical and hot water heater. The value of my house drops again. You reach a point where there is nothing else to do. I called a short sale realtor. My first bit of luck was finding a realtor that was not a scam artist. She told me I had to file bankruptcy before I sell the house. And so, I moved out of my unlivable house into a rental in Long Island. Because of my bad credit and my dog, I had to give the land lord 6 months rent and 3 months deposit. I moved the first load of 'things' into the rental and returned to NJ to pick up the second load. When I returned to Long Island, all my 'things' were gone. And so ends my story. After 11 years with me I never saw the children again. I live in a rental. Next week I close on my house which sold for 170,000. I purchased the house for 370, put 50 grand in renovations (curse you HGTV!), I owe 39 grand to my pension, my credit is...well who knows any more. But guess what, I am ok. I have learned that I can live without the 50 inch flat screen, or the ipod, or the ipad, or the computers. I would like my pots and pans though. (yes, they stole my pots and pans). I know the void is back and maybe it will never be filled, but I am careful what I try to fill it with now. I try to fill it with good books, good friends, and peace.
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