This year has gotten off to a horrible start. My husband lost his job mid-December, and, due to the frigid temperatures, there has been a delay in starting the new one. Add this to the fact his former employer has apparently decided not to pay him…well…you could say it’s been a touch stressful. It’s been over a month since he received a paycheck.
I was checking on my parents dogs while they’re on holiday, and had to fill a freezer bag with dog food just to feed our dog (I’ll replace it when I can, mom!). We received a small loan to help, and I’m now wondering how we’ll be able to pay it back.
In the past, when things have been tough, I’m a giant ball of stress, but my husband has always had the “we’ll be okay, we’ll make it” attitude, but this time…it worries me seeing him so worried. It’s definitely not lowering my stress levels.
We’re behind on our rent, behind on our bills, and I’m not exactly sure how we’re going to continue to feed our children. A friend told me “there are others who have it worse than you”. I’m well aware of that. But I’ve never been keen on that argument. Yes, I know others have bigger problems than we do, but acknowledging that isn’t going to magically pay my bills or fill my fridge. All it does is make me feel guilty for being stressed and worried, which makes me even more stressed.
Please, when a friend is confiding in you about her financial struggles, she’s not asking you to make her feel guilty by pointing out others may be worse off.
She’s not wanting to hear about the money you’re spending on your trip. She doesn’t care about the new clothes you’re buying, or the lessons you’re putting your kids in. She doesn’t care, because she’s eaten 3 meals in four days, just so her kids have enough. She just wants somebody to talk to. She wants somebody to listen. Because talking about it at home isn’t helping, it’s just raising the anxiety levels.
So stop talking, and just listen.