The first time I got led astray by credit was in the 1980s, I was $5,000 in debt to those cards. I went to the bank and successfully took out a loan which was paid back through payroll deductions, and I will never forget the bank manager, Sandy Ellis, warning me to be careful or I would probably be back again. I thought that was ridiculous, I will never let it get out of control again.
Well, in the early 1990s guess what – once again credit got me in trouble. This time my stepdad loaned me the money, but I had to pay him back – only fair. I needed a second job that provided instant cash – and found one. Mom went with me when I applied at the local Friendly’s as a waitress. Everynight after my regular job, I would moonlight as a waitress – I figured one season and my stepdad would be paid back, well it has lasted over thirty years.
Things seemed okay for a while, then in 2008 I realized I was at the lowest point in my life. Creditors were calling day and night. One night I got a call from a male with an hard to understand accent telling me I was going to be arrested and all kinds of talk that scared me. What had I done? I was scared. I was afraid to go out, so I emailed my little sister to tell her I did not know what was going to happen to me, but I wanted her to know I how much I loved her and the family – just in case…
This scared her, which was not my intent, and she went to my stepdad to tell him crying. A few days later I had the morning off, and was shovelling our 100 foot driveway when my stepdad came out to join me. But not to shovel, just talk. He was not mad, but concerned as he loves each of us – then it was when he made one statement that really made me stop and wonder. He said, “of you girls, I always felt you and your little sister would be the ones most likely to succeed…” Suddenly I felt my world fall down to the ground, as I thought to myself, “Have I disappointed him as a failure?” He continued to give me some pointers, and that night I put them to work and began restructuring my finances – I had to reprove myself to him somehow.