Saturday, July 16, 2011

(Part 2) My Horrible, Terrible, Awful, Bad, Disastorous, Unfortunate Choice!

If you have not read my previous post,"My Horrible, Terrible, Awful, Bad, Disastrous, Unfortunate Choice!" (Part 1, July 13 post), you may want to read that one before reading this one.
My purse was stolen in Miami, and we now realized these people had not only my license- but they had our checking account number and were using it, and they also had my Social Security number.
The next morning, after we realized they had our checking account number, Lupe was advised to head directly to the bank. After much discussion, weighing all of our options, they totally froze the account so that only deposits- nothing else- could happen against that account (since we had direct deposits going in within a couple days). We opened another account and transferred everything into that. The Saturday morning following our direct deposits going into that account, Lupe headed to the bank to transfer the money out of that account and close it.....or so we thought. Upon Lupe arriving at the bank and sitting down with their manger, it came to our attention that some bank teller in Miami had cashed 2 checks totaling over $3000. against our account (even with every red flag possible on that account). In other words, our account was now almost -$4000., and our rent was due! I don't think it is even possible to describe the amount of stress and emotion that was on our soldiers.
The bank graciously took full responsibility- that although we appreciated- their gracious responsibility wasn't going to pay our rent, put gas in our car, pay our upcoming car payment, or buy our groceries (that were getting very low). I felt like a knife was thrust into my gut the morning I took an Eviction Notice off of our front door. It was going to take they 7+ days for the bank to get the money back in our account. We now knew we were dealing with professional thefts and identity thieves. I quickly put the appropriate protection on my identity also.
We had our window fixed the very next morning after my purse was stolen, this was before all of this other stuff happened. I don't know if we would have done that if we would of know what was about to happen in the next 24 hours- but really- doesn't matter!
Because we were now so far behind on every bill, and have had to beg for extensions on almost every bill- because they were now getting back piled against us- we had to reach out for help on every level. We had to borrow from family, and our church- which they were all so willing to jump in and extend themselves. Not to mention, we didn't have medical insurance yet (3 more weeks)- and I needed insulin ($150. a bottle). I got creative, I had a bottle of long acting insulin (which is only used in combination with short acting- which I did not have). So, I went on a very strict diet of no carbs at all for about 4 days, so I could survive on only that type of insulin until we could scrape together the money to buy some short acting insulin- and I did it! Not the ideal situation- but I did it- against every doctors advice. Insulin is one thing I literally cannot live without, and it made me very angry to have to buy insulin for myself over buying food to put in my house.
Our most humbling moment, (which I don't think we've shared with anyone) we had to work to accept as "humbling" instead of "embarrassing and humiliating". As we stared into our empty pantry and coordinating still empty bank account- we had to go to a food bank to get us over the hump. That's not the easiest place to be- and it definitely required us to suck in our pride and think of the bigger picture, our kids and our necessities.
This is also when I decided to go back to work, which meant I had no choice but to pay the money to go get my license- something I had to have to work. In the long run this was going to push us over the top- but it also meant we were going to have to shell out the $40. to replace my license.
Believe me, it was more than one time that I, and Lupe (who rarely gets really angry) wanted to find these people and straight up hurt them! Forget praying for them, I didn't even want to consider forgiving them. I was beyond mad- it was that they had stolen from me- they had stolen from my children, from their well being! They had put us in position that we, and no one else, should ever have to be in. Even now, it makes me emotional thinking about it.
It took us months to recover from that ONE, horrible, terrible, awful, bad, disastrous, unfortunate choice. I still regret it. Although, I have finally forgiven the people who did this- I still struggle with forgiving myself. I, ultimately, caused this. Not that it takes them off the hook, but if I wouldn't have made that choice, out of convenience, it never would of happened. But, me living in guilt isn't helping anyone or anything- especially not me!
Regardless, here we are, almost 5 months later. We are well- our rent is caught up and paid, our electricity is on, our pantry is well stocked, there are a few bills we are still getting current on- but we are getting there and we are all okay! Our medical insurance is up and going- and we are grateful! I don't think I need to go over all the lessons we learned- I think most are obvious. God is so faithful, and he carried us through one of our most difficult times and gave us peace.

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