Family Devastated by Mental Illness
We have four kids, two who also struggle with mental illness, and I just learned last week that my husband has been so unable to function because of his deep depression that he allowed our house to be foreclosed and repurchased by the mortgage company—all without my knowledge.
This campaign is my “Hail Mary” pass to try to keep my family in our home, the only home that my youngest daughter has known in her 8 years. I worry about how the upheaval of having to leave this house will affect all of my kids—especially the 8-year-old, who doesn’t understand what’s going on beyond that “daddy has been feeling very sad,” as well as my two kids who are already working so hard to deal with their own mental health issues.
I worry that losing our home will mean that my husband, currently hospitalized, will not be able to get past the self-loathing he expressed after he finally confessed that he had stopped making mortgage payments years ago—the shame that he felt for being so unable to function in our family has been paralyzing for him.
Though I knew he wasn’t doing well, I had no idea that his illness was so serious and debilitating. I trusted him to handle the bills, but I know now I should’ve been paying more attention. Money has always been tight in our 23 years of marriage (partly because my husband has been unable to hold down a full-time job), so I realize now that he just couldn't muster the basic organizational efforts needed to manage it and creatively stretch the budget—it was too much to ask of him. But I didn’t know, and—one of the saddest things about major depression—my husband couldn’t tell me how much he was suffering and how badly he was managing, and the longer it went on the worse he felt.
I admit that, with my intense work schedule—from 40 to 60 hours per week—I was in denial that things were so bad. This campaign is also my effort to make things right to my family, whom I feel I have failed in so many ways.
It breaks my heart that my kids will suffer so much because of their dad’s mental illness, and that my husband’s suffering will be multiplied because of the serious consequences of his losing battle to function in the world, his inability to ask for help and my failure to see that things had gotten so bad.
So I want to ask now for the help that he couldn’t. I want to raise the money to pay the mortgage company what we are in arrears for ($197,000, but I’m trying to negotiate with the company to reduce that amount), and then go back into the mortgage. We have the income to make our payments; we just didn’t have the proper procedure to manage it because of my husband’s severe depression. (Knowing now that my husband is so ill, I of course am planning to change many things about the way we operate as a family—including taking over the finances.)
Please help a family of six stay in the home they love.