Life, Relationships

Finding Faith After Foreclosure….

I hope that in some way, whomever stumble is touched.  Perhaps, someone will be able to learn and understand how important the little things really are, or find comfort in knowing that someone understands. Perhaps knowing, that you are not alone through and/or in this, will touch someone and brighten their day.

Foreclosure effects families.  For all that we hear/read about on the news about the real estate market’s downward spiral, the focus fails to talk about the impact on families.  It is easy to talk about people who “went out and bought houses they couldn’t afford, were upside down on thier mortgage, bought cars, and lived  lavish lifestyles.  It’s easy to villify people who are already going though the shame of having their homes foreclosed upon.  We must remember that old adage ” but for the grace of God…there go I.”

I wasn’t one who took out huge sums of money on my home to finance a lifestyle I couldn’t afford.  I took out money when I exhausted my paid leave and had to go on unpaid leave to care for my father, while continuing to take care of my responsibilities.   Mine is not to run from holding myself accountable or accepting responsibility from my own personal housing debacle, but simply to explain part of the  lessons I have  learned. 

Some how, I will come back from this, stronger, wiser, better because of the experience, I know and believe that to be true.  

First off,  I didn’t lose my home.  I know exactly where it is!  It’s just that I don’ t live there anymore.  The thing that I took for granted, complained about, and wished were better is now gone from my control.  I was one of those who believed that a loan mod would save the day.  My lender failed me, but in all honesty/fairness,  I falied myself because there were things that I could have done differently. ( Isn’t that why they say experience is the best teacher?)  I faxed every paper, prayed every prayer, and in the end even had the money to reinstate my loan, but it was to no avail.  The place that we called home for almost 10yrs, now belongs to someone else. 

I will never understand how the bank/lender would auction “my” house for almost 200,000 less than I owed on it.  I had been working with them, and had they done that with me, I would not be writing this blog/post. 

 The pain of foreclosure runs deep.  It catches you when you least expect it; When you finally begin to understand the reality of your situation and just how important the security/stability of owning your own home is; As you stand there speechless when you find out that the home you’re currently leasing is in foreclosure (with a sale date) and all the property management company can tell you is …”sorry we didn’ t know” ; When the same owner who said that you were the type of tenants he was looking for ( perhaps he was looking for a formerly foreclosed upon fool) now says, trust me, as you realize that all faith in others in gone; When those who have come to depend on you as thier sole custodian ( my five children) and primary caretaker ( to my 81 yr old wheelchair bound blind mother) look to you for answers you can’t possibly provide.  This pain runs deeper than any I’ve ever known. ((Ok, I won’t get carried away, this hurts but the pain of my father’s death and the death of the yorkie poo – that is burried in the backyard of where I used to live- are far much worse than this – but it hurts in a way that is completely different that any other I’ve known).  This becomes one of those times that God provided for you to “lean not on your own understanding” and trust His process; His plan. 

It isn’t that I am overly attached to material things. The inablity to provide your family with the basic securty of a home to live in, is something no one should have to face.  Having money, means nothing when you are unable to acquire a home. Frustration, fear, and fatigue from worry set in and subsequently take away your ability to be “fully present” and focus on right here, right now.  I watch my mother’s dimentia get worse and hear the nuerologist tell me that it will only be much worse than it is now.  Finding a way to focus on the time I have left with her is difficult when I am unsure of where we will live and how she will acclimate to new surroundings. 

I have come up with everything I can think of to procure a sense of permanency.  As I do, I realize that no one really cares about my situation, my family, or me.  No one (not those who came along willing to take money with the promise of a loan mod) sees anything but dollars and sense. 

As I look at the pictures of what once was, while facing the uncertainty of the unknown, I realize that I am fortunate.  I have my faith and my family.  I am able to draw upon past strengths ( surviving and leaving an abusive marriage, being the primary caretaker to both my elderly parents while working full time and being a single/divorced parent, completing my Master’s and pursuing my doctorate) and realize that in some way what I am learning here, is a lesson no expert could have prepared me for. 

The hope that someone will come along and say “your  family is great, we’ve got this property to sell you that is everything you want, and we’re willing to work with you to make it happen” has faded.  Initially, I thought “surely they will see what a good person I am and all will be well.” That thought, too, has changed.  I am just one of many, whose story, albeit demographic details, is the same as thousands.  In the end, I realize the only thing I can do is to be fully present! Right here, right now!!  My mantra has, for so long, been ” what we learn in the process is often more important/significant, than the end result.  So here is to what I have control over, me – and how I react to whatever life throws at me.  My father died in 2003.  My mother is still here!! I have been blessed yet another day to wake up with my family, do what I love for work -help people work through thier trying times, write about what crosses my mind, and find joy in the little things that life has to offer.  For that I am truly thankful.

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2 thoughts on “Finding Faith After Foreclosure….

  1. WOW! I just read all three of your postings and all I can say is WOW! You have a gift of expression and you are using it. You are a realist and I have so much respect for you and your honesty about life how to deal with the blows of life that are thrown at you… you are so very resilient and that is what it takes to stand and keep standing when life keeps trying it’s best to knock you completely down. You are very inspirational.

  2. Hi Gigi,

    I’m a member of the clinical vignette group and saw your link there. I’ve been reading your blog and relate to many of your circumstances and feelings. Your words are full of hope, strength and compassion. I am awed by your story. You are a strong, resilient woman, Gigi. You are an inspiration. I hope others find your site. I would like to share a bit of my story too, and hope it brings increases your faith.

    When I was 23 years old with a 2 year old daughter, I left an abusive husband. I worked full time, took college classes when I could afford to, and raised my daughter alone for 6 years Those years were hard, but I wouldn’t trade them now, because I grew up and became stronger and wiser.

    Then I met Rick, my husband of 27 years. We didn’t have any more children but he is my daughter’s Dad. Our daughter is a single mom too; our granddaughter is in high school. We’re lucky; we are a close family.

    We were foster parents for about 5 years; it’s a very rewarding job but demanding and difficult. However learning how to work with the system and the children’s behavioral challenges motivated me to finish college, go to grad school, and become a therapist.

    Our “foreclosure” story hasn’t happened so far. We are part of the naive group of people who refinanced our home in 2005 to buy a second house to rent for extra income and for retirement. Biggest mistake I’ve ever made. In our area, rents have gone down, so we had to lower the rent, while the payments rise. We lose money every month and we can’t sell it. It’s been very difficult. We are not in foreclosure yet, but my husband’s job is uncertain and I am starting a private practice, with no clients so far. When I feel stressed or worried about it, I look back to other times when my problems seemed insurmountable, and I see that everything worked out even better than I could have planned. Then it’s easier to trust that God will guide and provide, as He has in the past.

    You are a wonderful writer, Gina. Have you considered writing a book? There is a publisher in Berkeley who is looking for manuscripts in the mental health field. I think it’s Hazelton but I can look it up and send it to you if you are interested.

    I would like to keep in touch if you’re willing. Best wishes and God bless you and your family. ~ Rebecca Robbins, LMFT

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