Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Only Constant...Money Problems

It's been 1 month. One very long month. After Labor Day, I found out that Dean C and Dr. S had changed my schedule. They didn't tell me. They just did it. They wanted me to take all these classes and to do my internship. It didn't matter that I couldn't afford it. Or that I was already registered and taking 2 classes. They made the change. And by the time I found out, I couldn't change my schedule back.

No one ever listens to me. It's not that I wanted to just leave. My internship had become my entire life. And living a life as lonely and sad as mine, it was the only light in my life. The only thing that made me smile. It made me happy. I was doing something amazing. Helping innocent babies grow strong. Saving lives. It gave me hope. And to be honest, it was my only reason to get out of bed in the mornings.

But with the growing costs, and less and less gigs, I had no options. Do you want me to tell you the truth? I'm still paying J for money he lent me for the 2010 Spring semester. I know he doesn't mind. In fact, he's told me time after time, to just wait until I graduate. He doesn't need the money. Heck, maybe one day we can break even. I can be his kiddos' doctor. To be honest, I think he's hoping I'll just tell him yes one day...

All of that makes me uncomfortable. So I work. I sign over my checks to him. Every payday, I just sign my check and leave it on his desk. And anytime I have extra money, he gets it. I'm so determined to pay him as soon as possible. I know that my friend loves me. And I know that he would do anything for me. But I don't want him to think, that I use him for money. First and foremost, he's my best friend.

I also don't want to go down the route of Student Loans. Not yet anyway. I know, one day I might have to. Heck, I know when I get to Medical School, I'm going to have to. So I don't want to do it now. But that means, there are sacrifices to be made along the way.

So where am I going with all of this? It's been a tough month. I've tried to figure out ways to pay for school. I've looked at upcoming gigs. And how much money I'm going to make. I've thought about asking J to lend me more money. I've thought about leaving school for a semester. I was offered an amazing job with the Border Patrol. But I couldn't take it. Why? Because as an intern, I'm required to work 100-120 hours a week! And I have to be ready to travel at the drop of a hat. So with the internship, I couldn't work at the Border Patrol.

That leaves me with over $15,000 to pay by December. Half of which is due Friday. I've borrowed $3500 from J for books. Dr. S paid my insurance. Which is another $3,500. You know, he's half at fault for this. My other friend, Dr. M, he paid for my scrubs. I'm still left with almost $8,000 to pay. I've paid over $1,000 in tuition. Thus far, I think that's good. I've done it on my own. And I have a balloon payment due on Friday. $3,500 for my internship. And the difference in my tuition. I have to at least have $1,750 paid.

It's midterm. And I don't know where to turn. I've carried all of this. Just like ever other semester. I've carried this burden, this stress. I didn't want to be here. That's why I was only enrolled in 2 classes. I knew I couldn't do it. I have no support. No one to lean on. No one to talk to. I could handle 2 classes and $800. I didn't even buy the books for those classes. That's how tight money is. But this...$15,000, an internship, and 28 credits...I can't handle this anymore.

This is about the time I'd call Patrick for advice. Just wanting to hear his thoughts. Asking for advice. I'd never ask my parents for help. They have a business to run. It's bad enough that everyone else in the family uses them for money. I'm determined to stand on my own two feet. But I don't have Patrick to call. I have no one to lean on. It's just me. Alone, scared, stressed, worried, and falling apart. No one to talk to. No one to listen to me. To really sit down and listen to what I have to say.

Sunday, Dr. S yelled at me for at least 2 hours. Trying to talk me out of this. Come on. $3,500 isn't going to fall from the sky. I don't have any money! I work and work and work some more. I'm just not making the money. And then, Monday night we talked on the phone. I told him there was no way I could do this...

So this morning, I was supposed to work with him. At the hospital in my hometown. I came last night. My Dad was bugged. Not in any kind of mood to talk. This is why I don't talk to him about these things. Because he gets so mad. So I didn't say anything. I couldn't sleep last night. And after that horrible conversation with Dr. S, I knew it was over. I knew all the things I had worked so hard for and sacrificed for, they're over.

I'm only one person. I can only do so much. I can only carry so much weight. I've been carrying the weight of the world since I was little. Trying to make peace within my family. Taking everything that my siblings have to dish out. Being the peace maker for my parents. Being strong. Holding my family together. Keeping people happy. Being everything that everyone needs and wants me to be.

Today, I was leaving. Heading south. For my 4 hour road trip, to work. And as I was leaving, my Dad knew something was wrong. And as I tried to calming explain it, he blew up. This man, my father, the person I'm supposed to turn to when life is falling apart, he just blew up. He doesn't understand. I doubt that he ever will...

All of a sudden he wants to run in and save the day. Write a check for $200. And that's supposed to fix this. Come on. And he blamed me for it all. Let's be real here. He knew I was having trouble. He knows how much it costs me to go to school. He doesn't ever want to talk. You know, because of my brother. I'm pretty much at midterm. And last week was the first time he offered me money. $250. I'm grateful. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't make much difference.

So when he's yelling at me, I just have to sit and think. Does he get it? NO! I'm drowning here. And he's on the sidelines watching. Criticizing everything I'm doing. But he's not willing to walk a day in my shoes. I'm trying. There's not a single thing I can do. I mean, you can go to my house right now. There is nothing in my refrigerator. I have a few cans of food in the cabinet. I don't go shopping. I can't tell you the last time I went out to lunch with friends. I don't do anything.

I sincerely have no money. Besides the $250 my parents gave me last week, which I'm using to make a payment for school this week, I have $25 in my bank account. $25 people! Yes, we go on trips for gigs. I do what I have to. I go to the rehearsals, the performances, and whatever else appearances we have to make. Then I spend the rest of my time, in my room. Because I most certainly can't afford a meal in Las Vegas. Heck, I can't even afford to stop at Taco Bell, when we're playing gigs near home!

It's that bad. And all I can ever get from my Dad is negativity. He doesn't get it. I don't want his money. But I do want some support. Some compassion. For once in my life, I want him to tell me that he loves me and that he's proud of me. That's it.

I look at the things I do in life, I do them because I want him, to be proud of me. That's it. I've given up men that I love, a career in music, and even my happiness. But it's never enough. I fear that even when I become a doctor, it's not going to be enough. How much more do I have to do? I go without eating and sleeping. I'm trying to get myself through school. I just feel like I always come up short with my Dad. That my Mom and me will never matter. No matter what we do. ♥

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