I remember it was about one year after my divorce. See, we lived together for a while after our divorce was final. We couldn’t sell our house. We “lived” in separate bedrooms. Our daughter barely noticed.
My husband refused to leave the bed, so I slept downstairs on a futon. He said “This is my bed; you can choose to sleep in it or not”. I slept in bed for a while, as far to my side as I could. Because F you, I’m not going to sleep on a fucking futon. I’m not.
But then it got to the point where I had to sleep on the fucking futon. The futon was worse than four years in Illinois State University’s dorms and student apartment beds. My back ached. But yet, I was free.
Then he moved out of our house. Finally. I told him to leave. It was after the divorce was final and we pretended for maybe 8 months that we were still together – waiting for the house to sell, for holidays and such – and then it became clear to me that this union was over and we both needed to move on.
I took on the house even though there were no buyers lined up outside. I said please leave, I’ll figure it out. After about 1.5 months I realized I really couldn’t actually take on the house the way I had envisioned. It was not only putting the garbage and recycle bins at the curb each week, mowing the lawn, and any minor repairs that came up, but additionally the financial aspect of it all.
I couldn’t do it. I simply could not do it.
I cannot afford to make this happen, to keep my daughter and I in our home; I thought. Truthfully part of it was just bad luck; we lost our asses when the housing market tanked. But, even so, as a single parent getting no child support I could not afford to continue to live in this house and support my daughter. Period.
I thought what any mother would think. I will do whatever it takes to keep my daughter in this home; her home. This is the only place she’s ever known, and no matter what it takes I will keep us here.
The bills continued getting higher…truly, have you ever gone on $1 until next your pay period? I have. I can tell you it’s frightening. It’s completely demoralizing.
What should I do? How could I solve this problem?
My friend told me, “You’re young, you’re hot. You can totally be an escort. They don’t have sex with the guys, they just meet them and go out with them. You’d be perfect for that.”
“I don’t know….” I replied. If we’re being honest, I’m not really a “people person”. I’m sort of a know me and love me kind of gal. But at this point I was desperate. Very desperate.
The only thought continually going through my mind was you must keep your daughter in this house no matter what it takes. And to make that happen I was going to need cash. And fast.
So, I made the call.
“Yes, I’ll come downtown to meet you in person!” I sounded more excited than I ever had in my whole life.
I got a friend of mine to drive me. I told him I had to meet with someone about a job, but never specified the job. I had him to drop me off at the restaurant next door, and I’d text him when I was ready to be picked up.
I went inside the restaurant and gave myself a once over. I took a deep breath. I looked in the mirror and told myself I am doing this for my daughter. I am doing this to support us and to keep us in our house. This is necessary. I am a grown woman who needs to support my kid. No matter what it takes. And that’s what I was going to do.