Self Blame Love Blog

Punishing Yourself for Past Mistakes

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It’s going to be years before I dig myself out of the financial mess of my second marriage. Even when I say the phrase “second marriage” I am embarrassed. My intention was not to average a new husband roughly every ten years.

To be fair, there was a gap there. I finalized my first divorce in 2008. I didn’t get married again until May of 2014. On the same day as Kanye and Kim Kardashian. Why didn’t I see THAT as an omen?

Now that the painful repair work to my financial wellbeing is underway, the full realization of that as another damage I incurred with making (clearly) the wrong choice in partners, hits home. I congratulate my sister, step-sister, and close friends as they near the end of their mortgages. People who have their financial sh*t together, because clearly, they made better choices than I did. And are ergo, better humans than I am.

And a small voice emerges. As I also do the work on my negative self-narrative. She is a quiet voice. She is neither the mother’s voice nor the inner child that is speaking. I don’t recognize this voice. It has no persona in my heart or mind yet. But I welcome her words. Because they seem to be kind.

“They also didn’t take the risks you did”.

Interesting perspective. Which my inner narrative tries to shut down as quickly as the words are spoken. That voice is very familiar to me. She says “That’s a cop-out, and an excuse, you are just a f*ck up at the game of life”.

And somewhere in a field of knee-high green grass, and daisies, a little girl steps behind the dragon again. So that she may be sheltered from the voice that does me the most harm. And, in this phase of my self-awareness, the voice I know hinders me the most.

Womans Blog Austin Texas
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Things That Were Not My Fault

This list is harder to generate. You see, in my psyche, everything is my fault. It is a strange kind of arrogance I guess because I do believe myself to be smarter than the average bear. But, what evidence do I have of that intelligence?

Do I own a house? Nope. Do I have a big savings account (like I did before I moved to the United States?) Nope. I was debt-free five months after I moved to Texas. And right now, thanks to medical debts, and other situational adversities, I am not debt-free.

Years. It’s going to take YEARS to fix this. My credit too is shameful. I, the educated, careful spending person that I used to be, has a credit rating that looks like it belongs to someone irresponsible. Medical debt does a number on your credit. Big time. As a freelancer, I couldn’t keep up.

That wasn’t my fault. I was trying 800% and working insane hours. Taking any work I could. I was not cherry-picking. Had no sense of entitlement. And I was married to someone who was, very much, lazy, unambitious, and reticent to buckle down to strategize about finances. I was married to a kid, who wanted to party. And who didn’t give a sh*t about the future. Or financial stability.

US Immigration Blog
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Immigration Error and Fighting Deportation

It was a perfect storm. A dip in my freelance income. Followed by three rounds of immigration and almost deportation. Thanks to (not kidding) the wrong form used. That’s it. That’s all it took. I dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s meticulously.

The wrong form on a website put me head to head with immigration. But after an expensive immigration law firm was retained, and with prayers and many sleepless nights, we were able to straighten it out. It was VERY expensive. The whole process of immigration and fixing the issue.

Not only did I feel VERY unwelcome in my husband’s family (who had its own struggles and adversities and with few exceptions, toxicity), I felt America hated me too. I had given up the close love of my family and friends (geographically), a government job, AND a thriving part-time consultancy. I was killing it in Toronto before I decided to uproot my life. And dive into the hostile and administratively unforgiving process of immigration.

The condo I wanted to buy (and qualified for with my perfect credit in Canada) was only $399k. Had I bought it, I would have it made in the shade. The value of that condo is now over $800k. I would have owed about $280 on it by now. You do the math. I would have sold that sucker, and bought a house outright.

Except, you know, I moved to Texas.

Fighting for My Life

Then I got sick. Like, really sick. Sepsis tried to take me out in 2018. They thought they fixed it. They didn’t. Then it tried to take me out again in 2019. Hospital bills piled up, even with medical insurance. I cringe to remember how I fought to get us insurance when my former didn’t believe it was necessary. If we didn’t have it? Bankruptcy would have been the only answer.

There was so much Sepsis in my body the second time, they were fearful my heart was going to stop. Imagine being in a hospital bed, and hearing a doctor say that to your husband. By the second round of Sepsis, my former felt extremely inconvenienced. Although on the outside, he claimed to be worried sick for me.

Sepsis Infections

I mean, if the person that you rely on financially looks like they may die, with a paltry $100k life insurance policy, that sucks. Particularly when you can’t afford to pay a single rent or mortgage payment alone. Or groceries. Or home repairs. Christmas. Dinners out. Anything really.

That. Was. Me. All me.

He paid the utilities. And seemed to feel that was enough. What a man.

But as the IVs continued, and my recovery from painful surgeries (I had almost 4 lbs of necrotic tissue removed from the area), I worked. And I worked. And got yelled at by nurses in the ICU. You try typing with an IV. I didn’t think I could. But I had no choice. And I asked him to take on a part-time job, anything really, to help since his own income was very low. That was, apparently, beneath him.

I’m not going to go stock shelves at Home Depot so everyone can see me and laugh at me”.

But it’s okay for your wife to be working round the clock WHILE trying not to die? MMmmkay. Got it.

Addiction and Drug Charges

Texas is not a legalized state. And I am a Canadian. Warned several times not to “ride dirty” my former seemed to enjoy bragging about “how much” he had on him. And was able to buy. (Easy when you have a spouse paying 90% of everything for your household). A felony and misdemeanor charge complicated our world, in the midst of my health crisis.

Great. More lawyers.

Drug Addiction
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People started to tell me he was into heavy drugs. I saw no evidence of it. Still blinded by my absolute love for my partner, I refused to believe it. Until that evidence presented itself six weeks after I moved to Austin. After we sold our house, split the property, and I left. When he tested positive for two drugs (one heavy one) that resulted in a disabling accident behind the wheel.

Confessions of Infidelity in Black and White

But by this time there had also been a cheating issue. A long text where he confessed a relationship he was having with an older woman to his cousin. I was TOLD to read his phone one morning, as we waited for confirmation on a fishing trip with our buddy. Whose name also matched the name of his cousin. There it was in black and white:

“I have the best of both worlds. A nerd making me money, and a honey who loves to take it up the – – -“.

And then I got to read (literally) pages of conversation as he showered. All the wonderful things his side chick was doing with him. While I was working 100 hours per week to try to keep up with bills.

I was broken. And despite trying my best to forgive him, in retrospect I know the marriage was over the moment I read that text. When I got no support or sympathy from his parents. No one cared. You see, my former was known to be an underachiever, criminal-minded, get into trouble kind of guy. I guess no one was shocked. And no one in this country had empathy for me. I was told to forgive, and get over it.

I tried. But the relationship was broken. But I still tried, because of the kids, who I loved much more at that point than their father. And the idea of TWO divorces? Broke my heart. So I kept trying. But I know now that a wall went up in my heart, that was never going to come back down.

I sacrificed everything, for someone who turned out to be a piece of crap, in every possible domain. Unsupportive, exploitative, lazy, and debt-ridden (more than I knew before marrying him). The kind of person that pays $100 on a credit card and immediately charges up to the maximum again. No money management skills. No sense of responsibility. No goals. Nothing. A live for today kind of party guy. And I began to hate his touch, the smell of him, even talking to him irritated me.

I fell out of love. And when the blinders came off and I saw who I was married to? I couldn’t pretend anymore. Not even for the sake of the kids.

Fixing Past Mistakes By Loving Myself?

My boyfriend is pretty amazing. To be clear, I had no intention of getting into another serious relationship. In my head, I was going to be a player. Not really. I’m neither cruel nor promiscuous by nature. I talk a good game, but I can’t be intimate with someone I don’t love. Really love.

And he is pointing out the negative self-talk. And the importance of learning to forgive myself for adversities that were not in my control.

Every morning as I log into work, I am listening to podcasts. They represent the areas I want to improve in as quickly as possible. Financial? Debt strategies? YEP! Lots of those. Rebuilding credit takes time. Especially when phantom healthcare bills come hurling from the past and ding you again, and again, and again.

Self Care and Love
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I hate the American Health Scare system. It is designed to saddle you in debt, f*ck up your credit, and make your life a living hell. Unless you know, you never get sick. Then it’s all good. *insert eye roll*.

Sometimes people think I write these blogs to barf my trauma. I don’t. I write these blogs as personal therapy for myself. To create a strong mindset. To organize and separate the anxiety of what was, and what still can be, if I focus on the right things.

Today, these things I know to be true:

  • I didn’t deserve the spouse I had.
  • I didn’t deserve or cause my illness.
  • I didn’t deserve the immigration problem.
  • I didn’t deserve to be cheated on.
  • I didn’t deserve a hostile nuclear family.
  • I didn’t deserve to marry into a hostile nuclear family.
  • I didn’t deserve the things that happened to me.
  • I didn’t cause them either.
  • I didn’t deserve to lose my job to a merger and acquisition (after working so hard).
Debt Relief and Fixing Things
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These things are also true:

  • I’m a smart, educated, and hardworking human being.
  • I’m a good person, who has not let these experiences make her an a$$hole.
  • I try to do good for others.
  • I’m a great friend.
  • I’m a great dog mom and guardian to my pets.
  • I’m kind.
  • I’m strong.
  • I’m resilient.
  • I’m a bad a$S creative marketer and in demand.
  • I make good money.
  • I’m doing the emotional recovery work.
  • I’m doing the financial recovery work.
  • Someone amazing has fallen in love with me. All of me. The good, the bad, and the financial challenges that lay ahead for me.

And things will get better. Not as fast as I would like them to. No. I must be patient. Strategic every day about how I spend my money and focus on the things that matter. My job. My social life. My love life. My dogs. My family, and my new friends. My health. My mental well-being. Finalizing the divorce. Fixing sh*t.

And not the least of which, is my self-forgiveness. And faith in God, Karma, and the Universe to see me and support the change in direction I am working hard to achieve.

Now what I do is for me.

Because Lori deserves to win, for a change. But I know I cannot undo years of adversity and the impact it had on my emotions and finances. But I have a plan now. A strong sense of purpose. And a desire to get back on my feet, and keep trucking.

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Midlife Debutante

A forty-something single woman, with too many small dogs. Marketing professional, creative writer, and culinary disaster (but always trying). You'll find me outdoors as often as possible, or on a patio people watching and writing.

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