Mother of two struggling to get by.
This is my story:
I’m a mother of two girls. My elder daughter suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being raped as a child. Her father also died when she was a young child. She self-harms terribly and also suffers from severe anorexia. She has been hospitalized in almost every psychiatric ward in the country. As we speak she is in her 7th psychiatric hospitalisation.
Managing her condition as a solo mother has been chaos. I have done my best to care for her while at the same time looking after a young daughter (with her own special needs) and working.
For years I have lived on edge, struggling to look after her while she has been going from treatment to treatment. There have been many many times that I had to leave work to rush her to the emergency ward. Sleepless nights, emergency rooms, terror about her safety…. That has been my reality for years.
In 2015, my ex-husband fled the country, abandoning me, his daughter and step-daughter to look after ourselves. He left us in enough debt that I could never hope to climb out of it as a solo mother.
My younger daughter suffers horribly as a result of her father’s abandonment and her sister’s condition.
Since then, it has been a constant struggle to makes ends meet. For years all I could do was to get enough money to survive. There were many times that I was completely broke, when I didn’t even know where to get money for the next week’s food. I also faced a costly eviction and thought that we would end up living on the street. eviction. Things just got worse and worse.
All alone, I was trying to deal with the debt my ex-husband left me, including dealing with abusive and threatening behaviour from creditors. I couldn’t pay it, so it got sent to Collections, which in Israel has such high interest rates that it becomes simply unpayable – (even after working for years and making regular payments as required, my debt has increased from around US$30k to over US$45k!).
I had no choice but to go on welfare (which Collections could not touch) rather than work and be left with nothing to live on.
In the meantime, the debt just keeps growing.
Because of this mess, I am not able to work, leave the country, start a business or even have a driving licence. Without help, I will be stuck in this financial mess for the rest of my life.
(You know what’s crazy? This isn’t even close to all of it. I’ve just cut it down so that this doesn’t turn into a book!)
I have found a lawyer to negotiate a settlement with the government so that I can have a fresh start. My partner and I just don’t have the money to pay him and settle the matter once and for all. Until now, there has been so much chaos in my life that just surviving from week to week has been my priority.
** Update 3 March 2019!!: We've had someone come through to help us with legal fees. We've already begun with the lawyer. THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH YOU HAVE HELPED!!!! ***
The final part is to settle with the government, so we've switched the donations to out with that.
My dream is to start a business and become financially secure. I want to work, but with this financial nightmare on my back there is no way I can do it. I’m stuck and I need your help. Please, please give what you can.
Thank you so much. You have no idea how much it would mean to me to reach this goal.
Love and light
Finally, a few points about eating disorders. These are things I wish I had known years ago:
- Eating disorders can be almost unbelievably difficult to detect (just watching someone eating does not prove anything). So, "keeping an eye" on someone may give you the illusion that everything is fine, when in reality you simply cannot know. You would not believe the lengths someone will go to in order to hide having an eating disorder.
- If you have a child under 18 you suspect may have an unhealthy relation to food, MAKE THEM go to a doctor with you. FORCE THEM, BRIBE THEM, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. At adulthood, the risk of an eating disorder becoming unmanageable skyrockets, and you as a parent are left with few legal options and you can (and likely will) be excluded from receiving important information.
- With children, do not link food with punishment. Doing so may create an association in a child's mind that food and nourishment are linked to good behaviour. If your child then suffers from low self-esteem (for whatever reason), such an association may lead to the thought that they are undeserving of nourishment.
- Eating disorders are triggered by trauma. It could be many things: a death, sexual abuse, bullying, a car accident. It is not as simple as media influence or pressure to be thin. Eating disorder is therefore a symptom of deeper trauma that needs to be found and treated. It's not enough to simply treat the symptoms of an eating disorder and then assume everything has been resolved.
- Warning signs:
- collar bones or ribs showing,
- counting calories / particular attention to nutritional content of food
- nibbling at food instead of eating it
- cutting food into very small pieces