Sorting things out, bit by bit

I am at a complete impasse with my money. I am doing well, salary-wise, in a competitive field, but I am literally living paycheck-to-paycheck, in no small part because my last brain injury happened at a really crappy time. There’s never a good time for a head injury, but this one took place about a year before I was about to become vested in an options program at work, which had siphoned off all my extra earnings for the past three years to pay into, so that I couldn’t pay off any of my credit cards all during that pre-vesting time.

So, after I fell, I was left not only with crazy credit card balances, but also the inability to finish out my vesting term, which means I lost half my money to taxes, a remaining fourth to paying down out-of-control debt, and the last quarter fled from my wallet in an amazingly short period of time. I hate when that happens…

Long story short, I’m earning a good living, but I’m barely scraping by. It’s straining my marriage, it’s threatening my house and my sanity, and I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t ask for help from anyone close to me, because all my friends are in terrible shape, losing their houses and marriages and jobs, and my family is all fairly not-well-off… plus, they all think I’m made of money, not knowing the details of where I’m at — and why. I can’t even begin to explain my situation to them. They wouldn’t understand. They just don’t get a whole lot about me, including why I’m having as much trouble getting by, as I am. I just can’t do the lecture-thing. Just can’t.

Sometimes it just sucks to look good, while you’re struggling.

Anyway, enough feeling sorry for myself. I’ve made some calls, and I’m getting my financial situation in order. I have been wanting to do this for years, but I’ve always been uncomfortable with approaching others about my money. I got too turned around, and I didn’t know how to ask for clarification. I literally didn’t. I thought I had to tough it out and soldier through and try to figure things out on my own. That never worked, and it was debilitating. Disabling, really. I was trying to go it alone, while that was about the last thing I could manage.

I’m not going it alone anymore, at least in this respect. I’m asking questions when I need things explained. I’m getting help, and it feels good. Scary as hell, but good.

After being on the phone about this for the past two hours, I am utterly bushed. So, I’m off to bed. More on this later. Just the fact that I was able to pick up the phone is a real sign of progress. And the more I think about it, the better I feel. But for now, I’m too tired to do more than click Publish and head off to bed.


Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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