Feeling Stuck

Ok, this is going to be personal so if you are not comfortable reading it, I suggest you skip it. The reason I’m publishing it is, well, I did say this would be my journal; and I would really like some constructive advice other than my friends who I love dearly but with them I cannot get past: “Yeah we need to do something…”. I get that, I get that we need to do something. The problem is I feel like I have hit a wall, where my brain cannot seem to function normally and I don’t see a viable solution.

The usual well meant advice of: “Stop thinking about it and the solution will come.” I can’t afford to stop thinking or to relax. I have reached a point where I need a solution, the answer to my prayers and I need it now. The problem? Everywhere I turn I see more problems than viable answers.

If you are wondering what the heck I am rambling on about, I will give you a short version. I have mentioned before we came back to Croatia due to some personal reasons, mainly my mother being alone after my step father passing away and her having a car accident, as well as my ex husband suing me for a change of custody. We initially planned on being here a short while but seems fate had other plans.

My husband has been able to locate an employment that doesn’t pay steadily, while I have followed my dream of being self-employed doing what I love and know how to do because by Croatian standards I was not deemed worthy for employment due to lack of experience and being too old at the age of 30. I swear, sometimes it felt like I was supposed to be 25, fresh out of college with 5 years of experience, being able to do whatever job required, answer phone calls, make coffee and prepare crepes all with one hand while the other one was in places good girls don’t mention in public. (I leave that to your imagination).

Living with my mother again, proved to be a challenge in an of itself. We never really had the usual mother-daughter relationship and it was more a battle of wits and endurance. No matter how much I try, she is determined to see things her own way, refusing to actually hear what I have to say, and more often than not I do not get the support I would like in her. I am trying to compromise but compromise only works if both people are willing to do it, if it’s one sided than it’s a failed attempt and not worth it. Someone always gets the short end of the deal, and it’s usually me. If I had any siblings, I would swear on my blood that I am the proverbial black sheep of the family. Since I am an only child, I am not sure if I still qualify for the title, but I sure as hell feel like it.

Right now, everything seems to be a fight, everything seems to be a struggle, and we can’t seem to get the upper hand. Financially, we are strapped beyond belief, so much so that almost everything down to the last penny goes either to the house or the bills we need to cover. My mother has said to me on more than one occasion it’s a good thing we don’t have any money because then we can’t do anything stupid. Now, before you go thinking we are two irresponsible adults, let me give you a rundown on how our life looks. Both my husband and I are introverts, we don’t really like going outside and we would much rather have friends over for a night of Magic The Gathering, or video games marathon. We don’t go clubbing, we don’t frivolously spend money on high tech things we would enjoy, or clothes we don’t need. We rarely drink (and then we usually split a bottle of beer), we haven’t gone to a coffee shop for a cup of coffee in … heck, I can’t even remember when we did go out the last time. We take care of our kids before we do for ourselves. So what stupid thing we would do is beyond me.

The housework is entirely up to me. I cook, I clean, I do the laundry, I iron the clothes. I took care of the garden by myself while we had one. I don’t mind and I am not complaining. My husband takes care of the lawn, and any outside yard work that needs to be done. I might sound like I am exaggerating, but my mother literally doesn’t have to lift a finger around the house. And somehow, it is still not enough. Nothing is ever done right, or good enough. I have never met someone who can nag from the moment they get up till the moment they go to bed.

The stress is getting to me. I see it all over my face, I feel it all over my body. I can’t remember when I had a good night’s sleep. Something needs to give. Something needs to change.

The options? Not too many. My husband could get another job, if there weren’t 380 000 people waiting for employment, if there was no preferential treatment, if the replies given to a job application weren’t as follows: “I’m sorry but this was only published so we can be kosher with the law, the place is actually already filled.” (I received that one, and it was the final straw that pushed me into starting out on my own.) We even looked into getting him a job as an English language teacher for foreign language schools, but they require him to have an official Croatian language proficiency test passed, something we cannot currently afford. Asking my mother to loan us the money so we can do it is not an option because she will flat out say she doesn’t have the money, even though her income is twice ours.

Loan from the bank to get us somewhere is impossible due to my husband having an irregular paycheck and not a very high one.

We don’t have friends or family to help us out. We are trying to brainstorm what to do. I briefly considered going around town and gathering plastic bottles until we reach the bare minimum of needed amount but that thought is quickly going down the drain because I couldn’t do it myself quickly enough, and my husband can’t quit his job to help me out. (Besides, 100 000 bottles seems near impossible, especially since you can’t return more than 80 at a time.)

I have placed an ad in the local papers that I am willing to clean apartments and houses, or help with the chores, but that ad has been sitting there for 6 months without any results. Not even a single call to ask about my rates.

We can’t open a business without finances, and we don’t know where to go to find them. Angel investors? Crowdfunding? Which business? A whole new one? Expanding my current one?

I started something on my husband’s and my blog, Our Blended Marriage. If you follow him, you will notice that there is now a Work With Us section. Right now, it’s about the only thing I could think of, that doesn’t require a large financial help. I am not sure if it will yield any results, but I am hoping it does.

We are both writing a book, a story on how we met but that is still in infant stages. I am currently working on an e-book outlining home made remedies, which should be ready by the end of this week.

Short of that, I am running out of ideas. If you have a comforting word, or a totally crazy idea that just might work and you don’t mind sharing, please let me know. I really would like some positive, constructive things to start happening.

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One thought on “Feeling Stuck

  1. I think you are really brave, and im trying to put myself in your position and i feel your pain. You cant leave your mom because well, she’s your mom. But i think you’re not supposed to do everything in the house. I mean your mom used to do it when you weren’t here so why not split the work to do at home. I’m sorry though i dont have any ideas. Or maybe your husband can try to be english teacher for students at home (something like particular courses). Anyway you are really courageous and your children are lucky to have loving parents. Keep up the good work and i hope you’ll be lucky.

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