Bankruptcy official.....Why Dont I Feel as Awesome as I Thought I Would?

Updated on March 29, 2013
E.B. asks from Tacoma, WA
14 answers

Good evening.....It would not be a life milestone without sharing it with everyone.

As most of you know, the last three years of my life have been the worst three years I hope to put behind me. Ever.

Today we went to court to finalize our Bankruptcy on over $122k(mainly medical debt....some bank debt incurred after my 2010 auto accident when I was having to pay out of pocket for VERY expensive medications).

Court went fine. Minus a few minor set backs, that offered up some comic relief.......Leaving my wallet with id back at my husband's office.....causing my husband to have to RUN all the way back to retrieve my ID to be able to even get into our court room. Lesson Learned to triple check even the obvious.

Why dont I feel better? If anything relieved that this nightmare is slowly coming to a halt.

To really top off the awesome cup.....I start a new job at one of the coolest Not for profit second hand stores, next week. My boss being someone my husband worked with for ten years. She is amazing and is flexing around my busy life as a full time mom of three young kiddos.

I thought that I would leave the court room totally vindicated. totally accomplished(not something I ever wanted to accomplish but given the circumstances around the type of stuff we filed on.....I use this as my cup half full).

I turn 30 in a few months...So maybe I should allow myself sometime to still let all of the new beginnings form.

I feel like I am starting all being 18 again. Only this time, I have three kids that depend on me. Reason and motivation enough to do this better.

Help me fill my cup.....I want it to feel over filled. Even if it is only in theory and not literal. I can make believe until my training wheels have come off.

Thankfully I had a ROCK STAR of a good friend give me Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace book.....which is the new Bennett financial blue print to do things right this time around:) So maybe it will all come with time.

Anyone else hope to have all types of wind in your newly bankrupt sails...only to find the breeze not really blowing like you had hoped?I want to feel like a million bucks....Or at least $122k.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I have too say......I have had my eyes opened to a very real and scary aspect to filing bankruptcy......All the new avenues of aggressive predatory lending. Not in the form of fancy home loans and credit cards. But for things like cars, store credit cards and those types of credit accounts. All with horrid interested rates and what not.

I am someone who has vowed to give up that life style and have been living with more then less more and more. So, I know I am not going to get into trouble again. Though, I could see where it would be tempting for someone who does not have the self control my husband and I have learned to have!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, hon, I think you feel this way because bankruptcy is not a "good" thing.
But sometimes it's a necessary thing.
It was necessary thing for you guys.
Think of it as starting anew.
You're starting at square O..
Like when the priest says "Go and sin no more"! Lol

Cash only. No credit cards.
That's my best advice.

You are moving forward.

Best of luck with the new job!!!
(P.S. 30 is baby food when you're staring down 50!)

16 moms found this helpful

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answers from Miami on

Hey sweetie. I just wanna say to look at this in a different way. You don't feel awesome because you are a good person. And I want to say that this is a GOOD thing. If you felt awesome, then you would be one of those people who don't care that they have declared bankruptcy and don't care about their obligations. Those aren't the people that bankruptcy was created for - it's for people like you, Tat.

Relief is what you are feeling. It takes a bit more time to "feel", rather than awesome. And that's okay too.

I will tell you that it's probably good not to feel like a million bucks. People who get too much wind in their sails start making mistakes and get themselves in debt again. I think that the credit card rules changed to help prevent this, but in the past, credit card companies tried to get people who had previously declared bankruptcy to take on credit card debt, specifically because they cannot declare bankruptcy a second time.

Do feel good, Tat. You really need to let yourself feel good because you have gone through real hell over this. I'm so happy for you that all this with the court is now over with. Now to getting yourself healthy!! Hugs!


15 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I filed bankruptcy in 2003 with my ex wife. It has since be paid, done and gone. I understand your feeling, it's like that balloon you blow up, hold on to and then let go. It flies around the room and.... nothing, there it is laying on the floor.
The anticipation and build up would lead to you believe there will be more to it when the judge makes it final.
I can tell you it is behind you now and only good things will come. You credit WILL improve, your status WILL improve and you will be back on solid ground in no time at all. Stick with the plan and it will all fall into place. It takes time.
Hang in there.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

it just makes me nuts that unavoidable catastrophic medical bills can do this to a young family.
i'm so glad you have been able to overcome this hurdle and are moving on.
the breeze may be fitful now, but i suspect that if you keep on the way you are right now, you and yours will soon be riding a glorious fresh wind!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We haven't had bankruptcy, but we did have a foreclosure 5 years ago. My husband lost his job unexpectedly (his company folded) just as the economy tanked and housing prices crashed. We were in the middle of a perfect storm. We did everything we could to save our home (thinking/hoping the economy would turn around again and he'd find a new job similar to his old job... didn't happen). We went really far into debt trying to make those house payments. Finally having to leave our home (losing our $100K down payment in the process) was the most heart-wrenching thing I've ever done. So, I know a little bit about how you feel right now. You're out from under the crushing debt, but there's no feeling of freedom. You just feel sort of... crushed. Right? In your case, probably more so, because your bankruptcy was caused by something as simple as getting sick. Why, in a civilized world, does getting sick mean $122K of crushing debt, followed by bankruptcy, followed by 7 years of awful credit? Yeah, I don't know either. It's not right.

But what I can tell you is that it gets better. We paid off all of the consumer debt we wracked up trying to save the house. We haven't put a dime on a credit card in years. If we can't afford it, we don't need it. We drive cars with 200K miles on them, but we have no payments and owe no money to anyone. Three years after our foreclosure, we started our own business, and now, 5 years after d-day, our business is growing and we're looking to hire people. I can't say I'm GLAD we experienced something so awful, but even horrible experiences have a way of teaching us something very valuable. You will be a stronger person in the long run for having experienced this.

Best of luck to you! The worst is behind you.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

About starting over at 18, I have an 18 yr old. Would that he had your financial smarts right now without the painful experience. You bought and paid for that wisdom. Life smacks everyone around. We don't really get over the, What was That, feeling but there are good moments ahead.
Congratulations on climbing out of debt WITH wisdom. Despite the comic relief!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

You are nearly 30 and feeling that you should have accomplished some great thing by this "milestone". The real truth is that the most "successful" people in life have had some dreadful failures that they dealt with, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and got started again. One thing is certain - you will get knocked down in this life. Superstorms come and wash away homes, serious illness takes people we love, children do things that can cause permanent changes in their life, etc. But the ability to get back up and start over is the different between the successful people in life and those who get stuck in failure and never get past it.

Discovering what went wrong, making changes and rebuilding is vital. If we can learn from the bad things in life then we're on the righ track. Keep in mind too that this is a life lesson that your children are watching you go through. Kids learn more from what is "caught" than what is "taught".

If you have Dave Ramsey's book under your arm and are using it as the foundation of your financial future you'll be fine. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln tried unsuccessfully to attain political office 13 times? And we consider him one of our greatest presidents ever.

Take if from someone who's now 53 and got divorced from an alocholic at age 32 and began over, I can assure you that you still have so much life ahead of you. My 30s and 40s were some of my best years!

Finally - pray mama. Ask God to show you what He thinks of you - who you are in his sight. You will be glad you did. Check out Jeremiah 29:11 for some encouragement.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think you are feeling the right way, and you are taking responsibility to be the better person. I see that medical did you in, that can happen to anyone. Also a sense of accompolisment woudl have come from handeling everything, not the perveriable "sweep it under the carpet". Good Luck in the future, read Ramsey and also listen to Suzie Orman. They both share great thoughts, yet they are different. You can acquire good ideas from both.

Good luck to you and your family.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

It is such a fresh start for you. You are probably just still a little "stuck" mentally right now, maybe it will take a bit to process. Congrats though and enjoy the fresh start!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You will have the opportunity soon enough to test out your newfound financial discipline.

It's never big. It's never a new RV. It's little. It's insidious. It's eating out on Friday's - b/c you've been sooooo good all week! It's buying that new comforter, when you're old ugly one still works.

Stay humble. Shop at Goodwill for a couple years. You didn't go bankrupt the first time all in one day. And you won't suddenly have your sails full in one day either.

But make those choices. They're easy - but you can only be financially disciplined after the opportunity faces you and you have a choice to make. Wait until the first time DH or kids want to go to the movies. And say no.

That's when you have the choice, the fork in the road. That's when you have the **opportunity** to be financially disciplined. You haven't had that opportunity yet - so no wind. :)

Be patient - and maybe give your family a heads up. :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Sioux City on

I don't think I would have a good feeling about filing bankruptcy. I would really want to pay all my bills back and to be in a situation where I just couldn't do it would be disheartening. I think that the feeling you have is a good thing. It means you have learned some hard lessons about debt and spending. I understand that you feel like your slate is clean again and you would want that to feel good and I am betting you would have felt that if you could have been able to somehow pay all the debt back. I know when I have had a doctor bill or car payment and I am finally able to pay that off it really feels like I have accomplished something. It isn't easy.

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answers from Chicago on

I had to declare bankruptcy and it wasn't easy either. You have to admit to yourself that you "failed" in an area. Not all debt is running to the stores with credit cards buying anything you want all willy-nilly because you're just going to declare bankruptcy and it'll all go away! Bankruptcy is for people who are drowning, and you know because of predatory lending that it's nearly impossible to get out of once you're far down that road!

It was a relief, but I didn't feel happy or anything. It was kind of like there was a big tiger staring at me in a room wherever I went, and now the tiger is gone. Not really a reason to feel happy or accomplished!

But once you start living your life again you'll feel much better. It'll just be one of those big bumps in the road of life that's behind you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think Dawn nailed it right on the head for me.

I have a couple of friends (love them dearly) who have gone bank-o more than once. They are my age. One has finally realized that this means no more trips on the credit card 'because I deserve them....I work hard'; one is still making some mistakes that are hard to watch.

You don't feel great because you are aware of your sense of responsibility in that situation and how it came to be. Kinda like when I hit thirty and made the choice to divorce my ex-husband. I would have felt fantastic, too, if I believed *he* had been the one causing all my problems. Instead, I felt like a failure to myself and had to really examine my actions. Not making the same mistakes going forward took discipline and self-examination and learning new ways of living. It's only years down the line that I have a really great feeling about making the hard choice to start over again. I could never have believed how well things would turn out.

All that to say-- you are going to look back at this new start years down the line with that good feeling of relief which you aren't feeling now, because as others have wisely suggested, you haven't walked in these new shoes yet. As a dear friend tells me: you have to walk the path to know it.

I'm excited for you to go forward with your husband and family, with a new job and this new knowledge to arm yourself with. Be patient and remember that this feeling you have now comes with sobering knowledge which will help your family be stronger in the long run.:) Hugs to you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

While having your bankruptcy behind you will provide a lot of emotional relief, it's not the kind of accomplishment that will leave you feeling overjoyed.

Wait till you start your new job. I have a feeling you will start feeling joyful then.


3 moms found this helpful
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