26 December 2019
It has been awhile since I’ve sat down and wrote anything. Since I closed the website down I have been just working. As far as writing, I’ve been refreshing my batteries. When I closed Creating Dreams, I envisioned this blog to become a new voice for my writings. No longer trapped by what “needed” to be written, as far as putting pressure on myself with the Steps or Promises. If I wanted to say fuck – I could and my audience wouldn’t be hurt or misled by the premise of the site. Even though, I posted odd nude photos on the site, I never really crossed the line to erotica, which I could do on the blog – if I so wished. If I wanted to post a nude of myself, I could do that on this blog – if I wished. Those thoughts gave me a compelling feeling as to what this blog could become. But up until now, I just haven’t had the energy to write much of anything – until now.
In England, it’s Boxing Day. The day after Christmas. A national holiday which gets as much attention as Christmas. For me, it means another day off from work and a time to reflect and be sad with thoughts of how I have treated people and how people have treated me. On Facebook, I received wishes for a personal milestone, yet no wishes from some people who I helped raise.
I’ll freely admit that I was a horrible dad when I was drunk. With sobriety I made amends to every child I hurt and tried to the best of my ability to rebuild bridges between us. It hurts when my building is sabotaged along the way. Even then I’ve forgiven them for the pain they inflicted on me, yet my forgiveness is never respected with an apology.
Years ago, one child wanted a change of living circumstances, so they concluded the best way to do this was to go to the police and say I was abusing them. Not only did this affect my life, but also the life of my ex-wife and her children. I gave this child the change of life they wanted and now a decade later they still have never apologized for the emotional pain they inflicted.
I used to send financial gifts to some of these children and their children and not once did I ever receive a thank you. I finally surrendered to the thought that no matter what I did it would never be enough, so why even try?
I shake my head thinking that if they knew how comfortable my life has become (financially) that they would be calling me everyday. As much as I would love a relationship with them I won’t buy it.
So here I sit on Boxing Day, grateful for a wonderful wife and our not so little ginger cat, working on my final year of immigration before I can get a permanent residence card to live and stay in the United Kingdom.
Just writing this has me feeling free. Free from the immaturity of others who should know better. The sad part is that the cycle will not end. Alcohol has deep roots in my family. My parents were drunks and treated me like shit. Then I became a drunk and treated them like shit. And treated my kids like shit. Sadly my sobriety has not changed things. My kids are doing what I did as a young adult – treating their parent like shit.
As for me, the money I used to give them I now give to The Salvation Army to help other families have a joyful Christmas...
24 September 2019
Posted this on a forum I belong too. Wanted to save it because of the "wholly trinity."
Seriously? Come on Bill, you just avoided going bankrupt for the second time. You pushed your student debt back onto the taxpayer and now you’re ready to spend again? SMH. You’ve mentioned in the past that you have a problem with spending, yet you’re ready to make a major purchase less then a month after acquiring a windfall? Why not try something more productive for your own future growth? The reality is that this is your last chance with having any form of savings… any form of financial security.
Why not leave the money in a financial institution for a year and learn to live on just what you earn? It will teach you the value of a dollar and help separate wants from needs and if you truly need something you will work for it. It is also very freeing to know that money is there but that you can live without it. If you can do that for a year, then do what you want with it. I bet if you did that for a year you’d realize that having it in savings is relaxing and it didn’t disappear or burn a hole in your wallet. You’ll gain some self-respect and see that the things you want can be gotten with patience and a plan.
I’ll let you in on my major plan. I want to buy a house boat. I want to live on the English canals on a boat. It is a very relaxing laid back lifestyle. I’ve been researching it for over a year and right now I could get a pretty nice one with cash. Then I’d need a simple source of income for mooring fees and insurance as well as upkeep. I can easily do it right now. Instead my plan is to wait a couple more years. During that time, I’ll still be researching it and saving more money. If I do it right, I can live on the water for ten years with no worries about any fees or insurance premiums.
It will be more rewarding to me when everything happens because I worked for it and earned it and so can fully enjoy it. The rest is just pscyho-babble which has helped me, hopefully you will read it, if not, no problem, I need to see it myself every now and then…
Every person has three “beings” within them. In me, I call it my “wholly trinity.” These three characters are my inner-child, my inner-parent, and my inner-adult. Now imagine all three are on a bus riding across the country. In a healthy person, the inner-adult is riding the bus. He is managing every curve, watching uncoming traffic, and obeying the speed limit. Behind him, sharing a seat is the inner-parent and the inner-child. The parent has his arm around the child’s shoulder, and pointing out everything on their journey. He pointing to the beautiful mountains and the lovely lakes. The child, with eyes wide open is enjoying it all, realizing he is safe and free. This is a wholesome and healthy inner-family.
Now imagine the opposite – an unhealthy inner-family. The child is riding the bus, the parent is in the rear of the bus ignoring the child, reading the newspaper, while the adult is yelling at the parent to take charge. The child doesn’t care about curves or sped limits or anything else… everything he wants, he wants RIGHT NOW, no matter the consequences. When “stuff hits the fan” the child cries and whines that it isn’t his fault. The parent hides behind the seat, and the adult tries to protect the other two by pointing fingers at everybody else, instead of accepting any responsibility for the child’s actions.
The conclusion is that the child is never wrong. We all need to have dreams, yet it is the responsibility of the parent to say no to the child and to be a parent and not a friend. If the parent can do that then the adult can ride the bus knowing that everyone has a place and everyone is responsible within their place.
I spent the majority of my life with my inner-child riding the bus, going from one disaster to another. Form unemployment, to homelessness, to addiction and alcoholism, to finally finding financial security and peace.
06 July 2019
Ten years! Seemingly a long time, yet in hindsight a very short time. Ten years ago, I was deep in debt, going through a divorce, contemplating bankruptcy and very much ashamed of how my life turned out.
At 52 years old and besides having a small 401K I had nothing to my name. I was cash broke and asset poor. While I owned a home, the two mortgages against it made it virtually worthless.
As a recovering alcoholic I only have one thing in my life that I guard as much as my sobriety and that is my word. My debts were the mortgages, medical bills, and credit cards. Everyone of these debts I gave my word that they would be paid back. It was only this word of mine that stopped me from bankruptcy. So somehow I had to find a plan to get out of debt.
The first step was getting rid of the biggest debt I had – the house. I wrote a letter to the mortgage company and told them that I was walking away from it. That the house was theirs – to do with what they wanted. I did this to actually save a little money on court proceedings and eviction.
Within a year the house was sold and I owed a now manageable $9,000 on the shortfall from the house. Over the following year I paid that off as well as the penalties owed on taxes.
By leaving the house, I left behind a $564 a month house payment and found a $250 a month small apartment. I got rid of cable TV and lived with rabbit ears on the TV and watched other shows via the Internet. Instead of a 40 mile round trip car ride to work, I now had a two block walk to work, saving more money.
Being 52, it was time to start some kind of a savings account. My first one was with my checking account. I rounded up the checks I wrote and rounded down the deposits I made. It was a very small way to save money but it served another purpose. It stopped me from bouncing checks. At $35 a shot, the savings added up quickly. I haven’t balanced my checkbook in over ten years and haven’t bounced a check in that same time. While my account may say I only $10, the truth is I have over $500 in it, but just seeing that $10 in my ledger stops me from going overboard on spending.
Anyway, after the house was settled the rest of my bills fell into place. So many people worry about their credit scores. Let’s face facts, your score is already shot or you wouldn’t be in this predicament. I used this to my advantage. Instead of paying 10 different bills every month, I just paid one and I put every cent that was available for the other bills into paying just on that one bill.
I always paid on the smallest bill first. I didn’t care about penalties or late fees. I just remained focused on one bill at a time. Within three months, I was down to eight, five months I was down to six. The bills were disappearing and I began to see that I still had money in my wallet a day before payday.
I started a real savings account and kept paying on my bills and after two years I applied for a new credit card, since all my old ones were closed down. It was now time to start repairing the damage created by my reckless behaviour with money.
Ten years ago my credit score was 385 – can’t get much worse. By 2016, it was 725 – can’t get much better! I went from losing two credit cards with a line of $4,000 and both maxed out, to having five cards and a line of $16,000 and not one dime in interest ever paid on any of them. A nice savings account was built and an emergency fund that would take care of me for 28 months, instead of the suggested six months.
In 2016, I left America and moved to England, only to realize that the credit systems are entirely different. So once again, I was starting over. But the time in America taught me how to live on money alone and to not rely on credit. For three years, I lived with only cash and survived quite well. In January of 2019, I applied for a credit card and got approved as a very high risk customer. Which was fine with me. I learned how to pay of these cards in full and on time so the high interest rate meant nothing to me. Now in July, I applied for a second card, with better rates and now rated as a lower risk. I got approved for that as well. Now with two credit cards, a nice savings account, and a stable job, I’m feeling a sense of accomplishment that I wished I learned years ago.
At the age of 62, life is comfortable. I know I’ll never live the high life in retirement but that’s OK because I have learned how to live a comfortable life with a lot less. All of this happened because I wanted to keep my word with my creditors. All of this was possible because I tuned out the outside world with their thoughts on money and made a plan that worked for me.
That plan didn’t involved credit scores or penalty fees. It involved a program similar to my sobriety. Instead of staying sober a day at a time, I worked to get out of debt a day at a time...