Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Face of Foreclosure- Part 1

"The Fit"

It's Memorial Day and I'm at a BBQ sitting at a table outside next to a couple of friends picking the meat off the delicious smoked ribs, trying not to think or talk about any of this. This. You know. The house, foreclosure, where we'll go, when we're leaving, what's happening, etc. I'm in no mood to talk about it. No mood at all. Why? Because I've traveled to the dark side.

It happened Sunday night.

Actually, it probably began the day we got the notice of sale. I was slowly heading towards that place. I just didn't know it. People ask how I am and I say, fine. Because, well, I'm breathing. I'm surrounded by love and support. And it's only a house. I know this intellectually. What I experienced Sunday night defies logic. But it points to the deep, emotional impact of losing one's home. We are not immune.

What happened Sunday night?

It started with me 'leaking' in public. At a bar. Tears pushing their way out of my eyes and me trying to wipe them away before anyone noticed. Unsuccessful.

I don't feel normal anymore. I feel scared. And the last few days it has been extremely difficult to be hopeful. The bright side has darkened. How dark, I didn't know until later. Until at home I...

...well, until I flipped. I just lost it. My fear and anger welling up inside of me, emerged and took me over like an alien. "We're losing our house and I'm terrified!" I screamed. I got hysterical. I screamed more, I cried, I wanted to smash things (but didn't), I hyperventilated- unable to breathe at all. I choked for air. Bob was telling me to just breathe. But I couldn't. I couldn't breathe.

Is this an anxiety attack? What the hell is this?!

I was scaring myself. My body felt all twisted up, like something had possessed it and I was fighting to be rid of it. This foreign thing. This darkness. My body wasn't mine. I had lost all control. And then it happened. I, well, there's no delicate way to put this... I puked. On the hard wood floor. In the middle of desperately trying to breathe, I threw up. It felt like an exorcism. Out. Get out. Leave me be.

We'll pause here for a brief intermission:

Now- I debated whether to write about this. I just have to interject that here because it felt too real. Too scary. Mom, please don't worry.... but I know you will anyway. It's embarrassing. But, it's part of this. I don't want this blog to be only about the ugliness of our situation... which is why I hesitated in sharing this part. But I am because we're committed to the transparency. And there is a happy ending. So keep reading.

"Oh my God, I just threw up! Holy shit! What the hell is happening to me?!"

Bob, the saint, is cleaning it up. Telling me to just calm down. He's handing me a towel. I'm trying to take back control over my body. Slow. Breathe. Don't freak out.

I'm just so angry.

"At who?" asks Bob.

"At me. At myself!"


"For not saving us. I thought I could."

"I know. It's okay. It's just a house," Bob comforts. He's right. Of course. I know this. I know it's just a house. This isn't about logic, I tell him. I don't know what this is.

I tell him that I want to smash things. That I want a huge earthquake to swallow up the house and take everything with it. I want to just get in the car and drive away. Drive away and leave everything behind. Or smash. Back to that. Back to smashing.

I don't know where this is coming from, but for the first time I understand why people in foreclosure destroy their homes. The ones that do.
1. It's a way to let go of some of the anger and rage. It's a release. Why not? There's literally nothing left to lose.

2. If you destroy the house, it's no longer your dream. It's damaged. It's easier to walk away from a damaged house than a perfect home.

3. ? I don't think there is a number 3.
And 1. doesn't apply to us anyway. We do still have something left to lose. We want to leave our house in the caring hands of new owners through this short sale. We are committed to walking away whole and complete. Not broken. Regretting.

Also, we have logic. And love.

-Love held my hair while I expelled my rage onto our hallway floor. (gross, I know. sorry.)

-Love cleaned it up. (again, sorry.)

-Love looked at me and said, "I'm scared because I've never seen you this physically upset before... but I can understand how you feel. And it's okay."

-Love got me water and Tylenol and put me to bed.

-Love sat and watched movies with me for most of Memorial day and said it's okay to rest.

-Love and logic said destroying the house will only send you down a path you don't want to travel and one that isn't you. Don't succumb.

-Love held me while we slept.

I thank my husband greatly for his love. Thank you, Bob. So much.

Monday morning I woke up to an e-mail from my dad that read in part:

"...just focus on the good news and your have to deal with the bad news----but try to deal with it only the amount of time required, do not let it possess you or monopolize your time."

How perfect. It was as though he had somehow witnessed my fit the night before. Because that's exactly what I did. I let the bad news 'possess me.' And it wasn't pretty. Thanks, Dad. And don't worry. I won't allow it to possess me again.

What to do? Rest. Regroup. Watch movies. Comedies. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story followed by Kung Fu Panda
"There is just news. There is no good or bad."

- Master Oogway to Master Shifu in KUNG FU PANDA written by Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger

Again, how perfect. Bob looked at me when this line was delivered by Master Oogway turtle with the long nails. He looked at me, like, yes. It's true. There's just news. And that's how we get through this. It's not bad. It's not good. It just is.

(to be continued in Part 2... "The Inquisition")


Kim Hooper said...

Wow, what a powerful post. It's like you really were possessed by the situation, to the point of making you physically sick. I hope you are feeling better. Of course you're entitled to freak outs. There is no way you "should" present yourself on this blog, or in reality. Yes, it's just a house, but there is so much emotion involved with "just a house." I think it's beautiful what you wrote about all that "love" did for you. Sometimes, in those terrible moments, we just need someone else to take us out of ourselves -- spouse, parent, animal, whatever. Also, we just watched "Kung Fu Panda" last night. It was just what I needed. Also, I think what you wrote about smashing things was really interesting. I always wondered why people destroyed their homes, but it makes total sense to me now. It's like getting angry at someone you love before you go on a long trip (I do this a lot)'s easier to leave that way. I hope you start to feel some peace. Just don't feel like you HAVE to keep it together. You really don't!
How was the Angels/Sox game??

Love in the Time of Foreclosure said...

What a relief. I was beginning to the think that the chirping crickets meant that I had totally FREAKED everyone out with this post. As in, what the heck do you say to that? And what is wrong with this woman?!

Sometimes I think our honesty is too much for others to hear. They feel bad for us or just plain uncomfortable. I'm not sure. But I have people tell me from time to time, "Your blog made me sad."

And I hope that isn't the only thing we're leaving people with. I can understand it though. Hopefully once I post part 2 it will generate more conversation.

I do feel better, by the way. Much better.

Thanks for understanding. And for the comment!

Everyone else, have I completely freaked you out? Can you relate to the 'get mad at a loved one before a long trip/ smash things before foreclosure' phenomena? Bueller?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty!

Love in the Time of Foreclosure said...

My pleasure. Well, most of the time. Other times I just can't help it. (thanks for the comment!)

megan marie said...

I can't tell you enough how your continued honesty & strength inspire me.

Love in the Time of Foreclosure said...

Thanks, Megan!

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