Unfortunately, I am now my own counselor. I am struggling with a problem which has lasted longer than most of my problems. Often, my problems seem to magically disappear within a fairly short period of time- sometimes overnight.
I have had to construct a plan for dealing with the current problem, since it is not going away and it puts me in a bad mood. The plan is to label it, box it and put it away. It is going to remain, but I don't want it to affect me anymore.
I am embarrassed to admit that the problem has to do with money. Before The Child entered my life, I made a pact with myself that I was never going to let money make any of my decisions having to do with The Child. That as back before my huge salary cut which resulted from the reorganization of my workplace.
And for years, I stuck to that rule- I paid a king's ransom for organic cloth diapers after carefully researching the topic, I paid for a very pricey private preschool, I paid thousands each year for the very best babysitters. From a very early age, the Child loved electronics and I indulged his every whim, more or less. When The Father sued me for custody of The Child, I spent thousands on a lawyer to prevent the troubled, abusive man from ruining The Child's life.
Then a couple of years ago my workplace shut down for a few months and then miraculously resurrected, but with radically lower pay for all employees. There are precious few jobs in this field (no openings in the entire country right now) so job seeking was never a viable option.
Here's the problem: The Child was born with problematic teeth. He's missing 10 adult teeth- they'll never come in because they're not there. Three years ago the Child and I started seeing an orthodontist. I paid $2500, thinking that that was it- I was finished paying for orthodontia- and I thought that was quite a lot of money!
Imagine my shock when, during last week's orthodontist appointment, I was handed a bill for over $5,000!!! After they scraped me up off the floor, they explained that the $2500 was for phase 1. The $5,000+ was for phase 2, and phase 3 would follow! (Mind you, The Child doesn't even have braces on his teeth yet!)
So that's it- that's my problem. In my current state of finances, that $5,000+ is prohibitive and I'm having a hard time accepting it.
I am putting it in a box labeled "An unexpected, unwelcome expense which could be higher and could be related to something far more unpleasant then The Child's orthodontia. As far as problems go, this is not a very bad one. The people who jumped out of windows during the 1929 stock market crash did not have their priorities straight."
Hopefully the box will now collect dust in some remote, neglected corner of my mind.