Start a new life for my two girls and I

Carissa, Tennessee

Oh, where do I even begin..I guess, from the beginning? Lol. Let's see. Six and a half years ago, I was eighteen, and fell in love with a soldier. We married two months after meeting. Eight months later, a week after my husband deployed to Iraq, I found out I was pregnant (we were trying). I had my daughter alone while my husband was deployed, and he returned home three months later. One year later, he deployed again to Iraq, this time for seventeen months. Then he came home for a year and a half, and a month before he deployed to Afghanistan, I became pregnant again (we were trying). When I was first pregnant and unaware, I was still working my job at a childcare center for the Army. I lifted a child to change their diaper one day, and tore the placenta (or what was forming the placenta) and ended up on bed rest for seven months of my pregnancy. Because of my bed rest, I was unable to work, and ended up having to take a lot of cash advances on my credit cards to pay my bills/car payment/gas/food. (gas money was to drive my daughter to her 3 hr. pre-k program, the closest to our town, 26mi total a day) Yes, my husband should have been giving me money, but his bah payed the mortgage, and that is all he felt I was entitled to. (Confused yet?? Lol) Before coming home from Afghanistan, my husband told me he wanted a divorce, that he no longer loved me, and had no interest in being married. I can't say this was a complete shock, because through the years, I could see him pulling away emotionally, not just from myself, but from his family and friends as well. I tried to get him to seek counseling, but between deployments and training when in between, well, it doesn't leave much time, nor did he ever have much interest in it. After three deployments, my husband, an infantryman, is not the same man I married, nor does he want to be. It's like, it is his body, but the person inside is a stranger to me, a stranger to our daughters. My oldest, who is now 5 and SO smart, asked me when he first came home this last time, "Why is Daddy acting so different?" "Why is Daddy mad all the time?" How do I answer those questions for her, when I do not know the answers myself? (We are now going through a divorce, but I'll still call him my husband for the rest of this post) My husband came down on orders to PCS, and asked me to go ahead of him with the girls, so he could still be apart of their lives. Our youngest daughter was only 3 months old and I was just about to return to work, so instead, I packed the kids up, and moved ahead of him. Because I did not have a job yet, the only rental agency here who would rent to me requested I pay 6 months rent up front, which led to more cash advances on my credit cards. Total moving expenses, 8k including my security deposit, 6 months rent, and moving in itself. Ugh, I know. I regret it now, but at the same time, I just really wanted my girls to be able to see their Daddy. Once I moved here however, my husband has decided that he, along with no longer having an interest in being married, no longer has any interest in being a father. It has been five months since he has seen our daughters. Sometimes I feel like my girls and I are the silent victims of war. The forgotten victims. No, the war in itself did not change my husband. But these constant deployments, insane training schedules when they are home, never getting to see each other, never getting time to give our marriage the attention every marriage needs (as an infantryman, he was in the field about one week a month, gone for training at other bases two months a year, and worked overnights about three nights a month and would leave for work at 5 am and not get home until 700ish every night.) Yes, we signed up for the Army, we knew about the deployments, but when they are home, why do they never get time to spend with their families? Basically, I am writing this post to ask for financial help in starting a new life for my girls and I. I have no family, its just my girls and I. Between 30k in student loans (which thankfully are deferred until January 2012), and all the credit card debt from my bed rest and moving (15k), plus my car payment, rent, childcare ($270/wk for both girls) I am just not making ends meet. I was able to transfer my job working on post from our old duty station to here, however I am still literally not making ends meet. Every pay period I am sitting down trying to figure out which bills I'm not going to pay this time, trying to alternate from the ones that didn't get paid last time. Now with my daughter starting kindergarten and needing school supplies and at least a few new outfits for school, it just makes me even more stressed out. I have never had debt like this before, it feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I have a 9 mo old and 5 yr old to care for, no family, no friends here, no emotional support system, just me and them, and I have to try and be strong for them, espeically my oldest. She is so in tune with me and always knows when sometimes is bothering me, my little princess. I hate that she has to see me like this, so stressed out constantly. I try my hardest to hide it, I really do, but sometimes she catches me crying, which makes me feel even worse, and I can see her get scared. She has heard me on the phone talking to and crying with debt collectors, and recently wrapped her piggy bank up in construction paper for me to open as a sweet girl. Please, do not think I am some lazy person. I am educated, a good mom, my girls are my life. I work hard, I babysit every weekend to make extra money, but it's just not enough to make ends meet. My goal right now is just to try and pay off as much of my credit card debt as possible, closing the cards as as I pay them off (I never had debt, other than a car payment until my bed rest). I want to be able to own a home again someday, afford extra-curricular activities like dance and gymnastics for my girls, things like that. I am not looking to get rich, I just want to get by. If this works, I hope to start up a blog site, posting pictures and updates, for anyone who donates, to be able to watch us grow as a family as we move on from this experience and try to start over, starting a new life, the three of us. Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you have no interest in donating, I don't blame you. But if you do, thank you, thank you so much..