Over the past 51 years I have endured abuse from my mother, brother, ex-husband, employers, co-workers and so called friends. I thought that I had beat the odds which were against, until yesterday. I made a deposit for my aunt on yesterday and somehow lost the $60.00 cash she needed for groceries. I am unemployed and do have any money to pay her back. When I could not find the money, I broke down crying and all of these emotions started flooding me then I realized that I felt defeated, broken and a severe loss of hope. I have a positive business which I have been trying to build, but it takes money. I had two jobs (one they organization lost it state contract. The other I became deathly ill after the construction projects ended and I was diagnosed with exposure to mold. I have not been able to secure employment since over 2 1/2 months. I had to file bankruptcy in 2013 due to the divorce which was final 9 years ago. As a result of the bankruptcy my credit union revoked my membership so I can no longer make my car payments online, I have to mail them in and if they are late, I will be fined or my vehicle will be repossessed. I have been to counseling over the past 12 years, but I have not been able to find a free service here in Los Angeles. I have no income so I cannot afford to pay someone. I feel defeated, broken and trapped. Nothing is working for me it is almost like all of my efforts are working across purposes. Please help!
A: I’m sorry you are going through so much. You’ve really had it rough these last few years but try not to lose hope. It also sounds like you are well on your way to changing your story and moving beyond all the abuse and suffering. Sometimes when we are down, it’s easy to be flooded by all of our past losses and traumas. It’s important to remember that these are just memories. Let them come up, feel the pain, but then let them move on so you can refocus on today.
I know it probably feels like losing the money was the “last straw” but we all make mistakes. Try not to personalize it too much. By the time you read this response it may seem too late, but did you consider finding a food pantry to pay your aunt back with actual groceries rather than trying to replace the money?
I’m glad you have been in counseling because with all that you have been through, I think it’s crucial. I did a quick internet search and found lots of agencies in the Los Angeles area that offer mental health services to those who are struggling financially. Here’s an example of just one link, but I recommend doing your own search: http://www.opencounseling.com/category/counseling/counseling-agencies/location/ca/los-angeles/?page=3
Sometimes “free” isn’t really free, but most agencies at least have discounted services or can connect you to resources to help in other ways. However, most support groups (such as AA, Al-Anon, grief groups, etc) are free. Many churches and hospitals offer support groups of various types. This may be an option for you to pursue as well.
I hope things look up for you soon and your business takes off. Make a commitment to yourself everyday that you will not be broken by your experiences, but rather, you will triumph over them.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Counts, H. (2014). Feeling Broken. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 9, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/25/feeling-broken-2/