It’s 2006 and I’m 46 years old. Never been married. Never wanted kids. You might even call me kidaphobic. I love animals…from afar. I am deathly allergic to cats and I am highly allergic to dogs.
I’m a few months into my new CruiseOne gig when some guy in Egg Harbor Township finds my profile on Yahoo Personals. I ignore him; he has 3 special needs kids (ages 9, 12, 15) and two dogs. And……a not yet ex-wife who lives in the in-law suite in his house. He says his life is like living in a hurricane. Hey, at least he’s honest.
And he’s persistent. He says it was the picture of me smiling with a pink hat that drew him in. I finally give in and start chatting with him with the understanding that no way in heaven do I want to be in the eye of a hurricane.
He tells me sells game worn hockey jerseys and he’s thinking of creating a Game Worn Hockey cruise. So we have lunch.
His name is Milton Byron and we’ve been living together for 4 years now…in the eye of a hurricane.
Four months into our relationship (we took turns driving back and forth from Cherry Hill to Egg Harbor Township), Milt suffered a TIA otherwise known as a mini-stroke. Although his motor skills were not impaired, he did and continues to suffer from blackouts, fugues, and extreme bouts of tiredness.
His business was suffering, the kids were suffering. Their mother was fighting her own demons at that time and wasn’t capable of helping.
He needed me, so slowly I started moving in and started the “Marilynization Process.” The house was in turmoil. His three sons lacked discipline and took no responsibility for the way the house looked. I was living in the personification of the phrase “men are pigs.”
I share this with you because I used a home equity loan on my condo to create a place that I could feel comfortable living in. I built myself a beautiful master suite bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and shower. I’d been single for 46 years and although I had lived with someone once before, we had two bathrooms. I wasn’t about to live with one bathroom now.
Then we remodeled the bedroom. And because I had bumped the youngest out of his bedroom, we remolded the two remaining kids room.
But it still didn’t feel like home to me. Most of my furniture, my books, paintings, knickknacks that made it feel like home were still back at the condo.
It took about two years for me to finally move all of my stuff from Cherry Hill to Egg Harbor Township. Two years of paying for a place I wasn’t living in.
I was helping cover expenses at my new home, paying expenses at my empty condo, and trying to make payments on both the home equity loan and the SBA loan. I slowly being pulled down into the abyss.
By 2009, I was starting to get that sinking feeling…
Drowning in Debt—part 4 of my Bankruptcy story