I never thought writing an anonymous post would be so difficult - but the opportunity to write about virtually anything was almost overwhelming! Should I talk about that time in college when the paramedics came, or maybe I should write about how hard it's been trying to get pregnant.
Then I realized that, for the most part, my blog already is anonymous. My husband doesn't know about it, nor do any of my friends and only one family member knows - but she stumbled upon it by accident and has since lost interest in reading what is basically a journal (she probably would have killed for the opportunity when we were young). So if I already have anonymity what do I have to tell that I wouldn't want to put on my blog?
And then it hit me, there is one thing that I've never told anyone else. It's the thing that only my husband knows (well a fair number of strangers and court people too, but no one I actually know). We declared bankruptcy this year.
Now you may think that there is no shame in declaring bankruptcy, tons of people do it every year and it's no big deal. And you'd be right, it's probably not a big deal to most people and given the financial situation that we were in we really didn't have another choice. But for me it was a huge deal - it meant that we had failed. We had failed at being adults, at being normal everyday citizens. To me it seemed that we had become those people that couldn't take responsibility for their own lives and had to be rescued by the government. We were taking a hand-out.
I'm assuming that I felt this way because of how I was raised. We were always well-off enough that we never really needed any assistance. Even the times that our family was in a financial hard place, I don't remember my parents having to ask for assistance from family, friends or government. I was raised knowing that you made your bed and you had to sleep in it - so when we had made our financial situation unbearable it still seemed to me that it was our responsibility to fix it, not someone else's.
I've since gotten over that feeling, to a degree. I realize that we really did not have a choice in the matter. It was either declare bankruptcy and save our house or lose everything. I've also accepted the fact that it was not just our fault - sure we had some bad spending habits, but our loss of income and move had severely impacted our ability to pay for things that we had purchased long ago. I also realize that having to declare bankruptcy has made us better at managing our money and we've become more responsible spenders and savers.
The only thing I haven't gotten over is the sense of shame and failure that I still carry with me - and I'm not sure that I should. Shame is a powerful motivator and maybe it can keep me motivated to never let our finances get out of control again.
As for telling anyone else, well, let's just keep that between us for now.
If you want to read more of BlogSecret, SoMi has a participants blogroll posted here.