Reality and Its Discontents

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It feels like I spend half the day with my head in my hands. It’s getting tough now, friends. I’m not at this moment the chipper cheerleader teaching you how to shop on a budget. I’m now the bedraggled parent trying to figure out how the hell I’m going to do everything I need to do — especially now that it is clear that one kid, a very young adult, needs treatment for major depression and anxiety. Which may mean $28,000 per month.

I’ve applied for financial aid.

I’m not even going to go to what-the-fuck-did-we-do-wrong-to-create-this-mess. As one revered psychoanalyst put it, the child is the symptom of the parents.

That aside, how to handle this? Insurance may cover some — and they should but they won’t cover it all.  I still need to budget for this kid going to college in the fall in case that miraculously works out. And I’ve got another kid starting college. At least they have some sweet financial aid, but still the bill is going to be ten grand a semester for that one, easily 20k for both.

For a moment I thought about just plunking down a credit card on which I’ve got a few tens of thousands of dollars of credit available. But the thought now is so incredibly painful that I’m simply not going to do it. It’s already horrible enough that the current credit card debt has been hovering in the low 80-k’s for a few months. Holy hell, I’m not going to go back to over 100k in credit card debt.

And to make it worse, on my recent travels, I lost my iPAD. Every time I turn around I want it, but it’s not there. And I can’t bear to plunk down nearly a thousand dollars for it and all the accoutrements.

Yes, this is what financial reality looks like. This is the kind of thing I previously avoided in my fantasies about how I made so much money and could just put whatever on a credit card. Now I know we’re broke and can’t have everything. And I feel the pain when what we really terribly need may be out of reach.


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