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Is this a common phenomenon?

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  • Is this a common phenomenon?

    It's now just past a year that my Chapter 7 was filed, and later on discharged in my favor. Reaffirmed a car that was worth far more than I owed, am current and staying in the house (though didn't reaffirm), single parent.

    I have something going on with me that is starting to make me wonder if I'm more abnormal than I thought. ;)

    I decided to ask here, to see if anyone else has experienced it.

    I've been self employed since 04. I have busted my butt in the last year to recover from the battering the recession gave me, including loss of a 5+ year contract that provided the bulk of my income in May 11.

    I am *finally* back to where I have a little breathing room. I have a tiny emergency fund, and am trying to eliminate student loan debt that could not be discharged in the BK.

    That's all good. It has taken a lot of work to climb out of the hole, but it is good.

    The part that is troublesome to me is that I think maybe I've gone far too much to the other extreme. It's like I'm terrified of spending a dime that I don't have to, and I resent most of them that I *do* have to spend. Going to WalMart is like a trip to Saks. ~lol~ If I can't get it at the Dollar Store or the cut rate grocery store, I don't get it.

    I'm also putting in a lot of hours. Again, that is a double edged sort of thing. I really need 12 months liquid living expenses. I don't think I'll feel safe until I have that.

    Then I can begin to freak because I am so far behind on retirement. ;)

    What concerns me about it is that outside of taking care of my teenager, the house, and working, I do absolutely nothing. I haven't seen any of my friends since I filed. It's not that they haven't asked. It's not that I think that I have to spend money to enjoy their company.

    It's because it makes me anxious to not be working. I took 2 whole days in a row off last week, and thought I was going to have a panic attack. For real.

    Has anyone had anything like this post-BK?
    Last edited by overit; 03-25-2012, 05:25 AM.
    Filed 3/16/11 via attorney who was worth every penny
    341 04/21/11
    DISCHARGED! 06/21/11

  • #2
    Well, depending on your circumstances as to why you had to file BK, you are like many who arent "paranoid" but have learned a hard lesson....to live frugaly and with placing needs before wants. My wife and I are in the same boat, and most splurges benefit our little 2 year old boy. (he has no problems with it, lol). We are able to save for rainy days and retirement, owe no one anything, save for the mortgage on our house...but its a great feeling of having the weight of debts off your shoulders and not living in fear, and knowing you will make it. I'm sure you, also like many on here are living a much simpler, happier life, and hats off to us, cuz we all deserved a 2nd chance., most of us wont dare temp fate and go back down the roads that led us to file bk. Congrats to you!!
    Filed Ch 7. Jan 14th 2011. 341 Feb. 24th 2011. DISCHARGED April 26th 2011. Closed May 10th, 2011. Huge weight off our shoulders! Scores as of 5/14/11 : TU-639, EQ-642, EXP-602

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    • #3
      I can understand your feelings. I have a hard time just sitting and watching the TV. Usually I have a book in hand that I am reading, or I have the laptop on my lap and am checking this site, or working on my hobby. If I knitted or crocheted, that would be in my lap. 'Hub fusses at me that I should just watch the TV or movie and RELAX! To which I say, I just can't be sitting doing nothing.

      I think you are very normal. {{{HUGGSS}}}
      "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

      "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 747LUVR View Post
        Well, depending on your circumstances as to why you had to file BK, you are like many who arent "paranoid" but have learned a hard lesson....to live frugaly and with placing needs before wants. My wife and I are in the same boat, and most splurges benefit our little 2 year old boy. (he has no problems with it, lol). We are able to save for rainy days and retirement, owe no one anything, save for the mortgage on our house...but its a great feeling of having the weight of debts off your shoulders and not living in fear, and knowing you will make it. I'm sure you, also like many on here are living a much simpler, happier life, and hats off to us, cuz we all deserved a 2nd chance., most of us wont dare temp fate and go back down the roads that led us to file bk. Congrats to you!!
        Good post and relevant. However, this is to 'overit': You are doing quite well on the average. During our "surprise" BK, I ended with a case of the big 'C' and the chemo was contraindicated with another drug so my female hormone shot just about killed me as I am male and the agoraphobia was immense. Even today, I am not into "people" except here.

        Your planning is very well thought out. You need to step back a bit, and look at what you have, not what you do not have. (the half glass of water theory).

        Things will get worse, yes, I'm saying it as is. You will have more to do, BUT then, it will get much better.

        I've said this in many posts. We were very wealthy, had no worries. Nine years of an enemy with serial suits broke us. Never a trial or resolution but for milking us broke. He is dead now and we are broke. HOWEVER......... Look up our posts. We have NEVER been happier with the reevaluation of our life and values. You will be fine, just wait. We too live month to month as you. 'Hub
        If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.

        Comment


        • #5
          OP, (((hugs)))

          I suspect you are having some sort of PTSD and it's not completely unexpected or bizarre.

          Y'know what, it all depends. If you are happy with what's going on, then it's probably not a biggie and will eventually work its way towards a softening of some sort. Perhaps work is what you need for awhile... but all work and no play will, I suspect, eventually get old and stressful. Having some kind of balance in your life is necessary... and friends aren't always so forgiving if you keep blowing them off.

          But, if you'd like things to be different, then, like any other change you want to make, you will need to take some simple steps towards it. Perhaps you could decide that just one time per month, you will do something social. It could be a simple "come over and have pizza and watch a movie" or perhaps something more stepped up like going out and meeting friends for coffee or even that big splurge, dinner out.. everyone needs to eat.... Or perhaps sign up for a once a week class in something, anything, that would force you to interact and be sociable and let's say, because you need that, "productive" at the same time. There are even meetups online for walking clubs... free, good exercise, and you might meet someone who could be a new friend.

          Perhaps someone even from these boards is local and would be interested to meet up and compare war stories... honestly, I think that's a big part of it, having someone to talk with about bk who won't judge, but has btdt.

          I have found that being broke means taking a big step back in relationships. I worry/dread about being invited to weddings and parties where gifts are expected... it's embarrassing to always be unable to give. Friends ask us to go out to dinner or events and we have to invent excuses why we can't go (we used to just charge it, of course).

          Keep On Smilin'

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          • #6
            Thank everyone for their replies. I really do appreciate them.

            I think keepsmiling may have hit on something in regards to it being a PTSD type of thing.

            I thought that the BK was going to be hard, but that once it discharged, I would feel better from not having the stress of it.

            That stress is gone, but it still is a really tension filled place.

            It's like a combination of being afraid that I'll go broke again, and some weird type of punishment for it happening in the first place. I wasn't previously very social, just due to the demands of life. But this just doesn't seem right.

            I'm not sure. It makes me very uneasy though.

            It would be interesting to see information on the psychological after effects of a BK.


            ~passes hugs around~
            Filed 3/16/11 via attorney who was worth every penny
            341 04/21/11
            DISCHARGED! 06/21/11

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            • #7
              Since you bring it up. Yes, after the bankruptcy I became c-h-e-a-p. Now everything is a tradeoff if I buy this, I go without that. I sort of took it a couple steps farther. I now drive a hybrid car, I only purchase clothes discounted and the real money saver? I coupon. I don't mean a little coupon use. I COUPON! My grocery budget goes so much farther it is insane. My 9-year-old daughter says that I am so cheap that if I sat on a lump of coal there would be a diamond there when I stood up. I just never want to be in a situation again where I have to face people that I owe money to and tell them that I can't pay.

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              • #8
                talk about cheap.....growing up i learned two quotes from my dad....."squeeze a penny till Abe screams" and squeeze a nickel till the buffalo shits" 9for those who remember buffalos on a nickel (and i'm 33, lol)
                Filed Ch 7. Jan 14th 2011. 341 Feb. 24th 2011. DISCHARGED April 26th 2011. Closed May 10th, 2011. Huge weight off our shoulders! Scores as of 5/14/11 : TU-639, EQ-642, EXP-602

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bell30656 View Post
                  Since you bring it up. Yes, after the bankruptcy I became c-h-e-a-p. Now everything is a tradeoff if I buy this, I go without that. I sort of took it a couple steps farther. I now drive a hybrid car, I only purchase clothes discounted and the real money saver? I coupon. I don't mean a little coupon use. I COUPON! My grocery budget goes so much farther it is insane. My 9-year-old daughter says that I am so cheap that if I sat on a lump of coal there would be a diamond there when I stood up. I just never want to be in a situation again where I have to face people that I owe money to and tell them that I can't pay.

                  I just started coupons and yesterday I was paid to try something. Product was 2 for 1.00. I had a 1.00 off coupon plus they gave you extra rewards for it and along with other items I got a total of 15.00 extra to spend it the store next time I shop. Pam

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yep, I have also changed a lot since BK. I have become less social for one thing, not sure if that's a bad thing except in my job (sales) since I have to smile, shake hands all day, and take the lead in most conversations. I didn't like interacting before and I HATE now, if I wasn't so well paid I would look for another profession. On the good side, I have went from a free spender to an cheapskate who gets up at 5am on my days off for grocery sales, lol. If lenders only knew what I good risk I am now for a loan, they wuld be fighting to give me a mortgage, lol! Back when I had a $2,200 mortgage, 10 credit cards and 2 car leases they couldn't loan me enough. Now I have NO debt, and can't finance a soup sandwich! Many of us are probably better risks than people with good credit because of the HELL we have beem through. I know I will not get another chance to change my life if I blow this new beginning, I plan on making the best of it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't think the changes you are going through are weird at all. Since my Chapter 7 discharge I have undergone a lot of changes as well. I used to love going out and doing things with friends and now I rarely leave the house. I do a great deal of my shopping online, and what I can't buy online (either because it is perishable, not available, or not cheap enough) I try to buy at dollar stores or discount places like Walmart.

                      Even back-to-school shopping for my 2 teenagers this year was almost panic inducing for me. The thought of spending 500 at once was painful. My husband bounced back to normal right away, but I have struggled with it. I don't know if it is guilt over not being able to pay my creditors, fear of ever having to go through that again, or just the feeling that I am sort of still punishing myself for letting myself get into that situation in the first place.

                      I am still trying to find a healthy balance of earning/spending. I can oversimplify it by saying that before the bankruptcy we earned too little and spent too much and now, about a year and a half since our discharge, we earn a lot more than we spend. It is a good feeling to be debt free and I like the idea that other than rent and utilities, we don't have any major expenses. My husband is self employed so our income varies month to month, which makes budgeting difficult. As I type that, I am wondering if that is where the insecure feelings come from.

                      As time goes on, I am hoping to get to feeling like my old self again, and I hope everyone else does too. Maybe it is a good thing that we really took it to heart and learned a good lesson from our bankruptcy experiences. If I felt back to "normal" already, maybe it would mean that I didn't take the whole experience as seriously as I should have.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This was interesting to re-visit and compare to my now.

                        There are certainly still elements of the original post in me. I think that for me a BK was its own little trauma, and it will never entirely go away.

                        I currently make more money than I ever have, and have more available credit than I ever did pre-BK.

                        But the scar lingers. Maybe that is not entirely a bad thing.
                        Filed 3/16/11 via attorney who was worth every penny
                        341 04/21/11
                        DISCHARGED! 06/21/11

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