Rebuilding in the Trailer Park

I have an unconventional relationship with debt.

You may have noticed that my link section is no longer populated by my friends and acquaintances, but is instead populated with thought leaders in various fields. These are the people guiding m life right now. You will now see Dave Ramsey and Chris Hogan over there. I hate debt as much as they do.

My first wife and I got ourselves in trouble with credit almost immediately as teenagers. My first credit card was an AAFES store card, I never made a single payment on it because I screwed up the address and never once got a bill. It was my fault but I knew I was supposed to pay and never looked into fixing it until it was way too late. That pretty much set my tone for dealing with debt from the get go.

When I first tried to go to college and flunked out the first two times, I paid cash because I didn’t want loans. I was allergic to debt even then, just not enough.

Then I divorced my first wife.

My trip to Antarctica on student loans (my third time going to college I did it the dumb way) and my Mother’s credit card, set me up to be thinking about debt.

I was floored to learn that my Father had no idea that the card I was using in his name existed. My mother who was recently bankrupt took out a whole shit ton of credit in his name again.

I was given access to all of their accounts, that didn’t last long but I could see just how deep the shit they were in was. It was unbelievably so. That’s part of the explosion between my mother and I.

Here I was though homeless staring down the barrel of a Montana autumn. While I was starting to wrap my head around how bad debt was, something I had known but apparently forgotten judging by my own behavior. I still thought that Building Credit was a positive thing to do. I had a problem and I thought a signature loan from a rip off company would solve it for me, besides I convinced myself I would Rebuild My Credit.

My first wife and I had a concept we called the Justification Monster. When one of us said something that was obviously just a thinly veiled justification to do what we wanted to do anyway, we would hold our hand “sock puppet” style up to our forehead and repeat whatever it was the other had just said to indicate that was the Justification Monster speaking.

The Justification Monster was speaking loud and clear here, I didn’t realize it at the time. The Second didn’t point it out and it got her what she wanted anyway. I don’t think she knew what a terrible idea it was. I guess she may learn as the judge in our divorce was kind enough to gift her with half that debt, though I don’t really think she’ll pay a dime and it will all be on me.

Anyway signature loan acquired we rented a run down trailer way outside of town. It was the worst place I had ever lived when I was not technically homeless.

Beyond our terrible living situation, I hated my job. Customer service was not for me. It never has been. All of my jobs have been dangerous, paratrooper, armor crewman, bouncer, now truck driver. None have ever been so dangerous to me as customer service though.

My first marriage started to crumble because of a near suicide due to the stress of my customer service job doing billing/tech support for a satellite television provider. It soon became clear that while this management job was a great experience for me it couldn’t go on forever. Besides we were going completely broke living in this shit-hole trailer and me commuting to a job where I was on salary and dramatically under paid.

This is about when we got married, I was trying to fix our money problems by going back to the military, my hearing was to bad for that though. It did make sense for us to get married before I did that.

When the First and I lived in Las Vegas before our oldest was born, I had flirted with the idea of being a truck driver.

When it became clear that the situation was untenable at the dealership, I revisited the idea. I arranged to go work for a company that would pay for my training. The Second, couldn’t continue to live 45 minutes from the grocery store with a $1300 van if I wasn’t going to be around as much.

She had some family half-way across the state. Moving there made sense, but we were broke. I ended up doubling down on my stupid ass loan so we could move.

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