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Author Topic: suicide vaccination
softlight
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Ever had thoughts a bit too dark to reveal to family, even most friends? I find it ironic that I can share this with the members of hatrack, who while a friendly and thoughtful bunch, are separated from me by miles of silicon, but I couldn't breathe a word of this to the people I share real life with.

I have posted before, but I'm using a new login to conceal my identity from certain family members that are a bit too skittish for the subject matter.

So what's the deal? Times are bad. Real bad. A few years ago I had a giant windfall come my way. More money than I should've been allowed to have, I guess. I put a chunk of it into the stock market, and spent the rest on various causes like rescuing family, building churches, starting businesses, chasing dreams .... I don't regret any of it. What I do regret is leaving the rest of the money in the stock market ... only to see it vanish when I was the last one to figure out that tech stocks were laughably overvalued.

Which leads to the next situation. Big, scary government agencies were supposed to get some of that money. No, a lot of it. More than I make in a year.

At first, I was somewhat ignorant of how the system worked, and I blew whatever money I had left trying to find some business or investment to make up the difference. I've never worked harder in my life, but starting something like that is something you can't really succeed at with a monster breathing over your shoulder. A bit more research and some professional advice recommend bankruptcy. Having no alternative, I go for it.

Chapter 13, it turns out, won't cancel out the federal lien. In fact, just about nothing will. With the lien on, there's no statute of limitations that will ever stop the madness. They just renew it and renew it. Interest continues to accumulate so fast that there's no way to catch up to it. So either I have to make Chapter 7 work or live out my life under wage garnishments.

And wage garnishments are harsher than they sound. Apparantly they don't have a problem with you living right at the poverty line. For me, it means never escaping the rat race.

So make the Chapter 7 work, right? To qualify, justifiable expenses must exceed your income. I'm working on that, but there are no certainties. In the mean time, I'm exposed to collection for months on end. And I am so exhausted of all this. All the stress has ruined my health. Fighting with terror at your doorstep everyday.

Dark thoughts cross my mind. I have lots of life insurance. Too much probably. Enough to pay the debt. Enough to set my loved ones up. After reading the policy, I find that the policy would cover my death under circumstances that would not be difficult to achieve.

I've been here before, many years before that. In the middle of seeking death, an an overwhelming instinct to live took my mind by storm. It was like waking up a giant. Depression couldn't touch it, and despite such thoughts following me down the years, this guardian has always made no compromise. It was like a vaccination against suicide. Circumstances didn't matter any more. When it came to life, this primal force ruled.

That's my safety now. Mentally, though, it's harder to cope with these two emotional titans crushing me between them. My life may be out of depression's reach, but it can still inflict pain trying to reach it. Most of the time I'm defiant. Right now I'm just too tired of it.

Talking to you folks helps me cope a bit. Thanks for your ears.

[ March 10, 2005, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: softlight ]

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ElJay
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Good luck, softlight. I'm pulling for you.
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Boon
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This is all the help I can offer, and I'm afraid it's not much. But I don't know if you've heard about this: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc204.html
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ClaudiaTherese
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Hang in there, sweetheart.
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peterh
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(((softlight)))
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TMedina
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Life is a game Soft - you can't win if you can't play.

Not to sound flippant, but I've been there and I freely admit it is difficult to find a point to living when all you have to look forward to is more of...this.

One piece of advice I can offer - tunnel vision is common in a crisis. It can be physically difficult, if not impossible to step back and evaluate all of your options impartially.

This is why counselors and neutral third parties can be so invaluable to talking out situations.

Accept your thoughts, embrace them. Realize your final solution doesn't have a time limit and if you so desire, you can always come back to it.

The same can't be said of exploring other possibilities.

-Trevor "the grim squeaker" Medina

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Farmgirl
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If you spent some of it "rescuing family" and others, is there any way they can now reciprocate the favor since now it is you in need?

FG

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softlight
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Ah, yes, Boon. The offer in compromise. I did explore this avenue a bit. There is a minimum floor to the amount you pay back in the OIC, and it must be all at once. Neither the taxpayer advocate or my lawyer could find a way to make it work in this case. I'm grateful you offered the information, as the moral support means more than the actual content.

You know, the IRS is the only government agency that can take away your property without due process that I know of. Despite being manned by human beings, it runs mechanically by immutable rules.

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softlight
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Farmgirl, my family would aid me if they had the means to, I have no doubt about it. They have also faced a rocky financial period over the past few years. We're talking about an amount that is well out of range for most folks.
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ClaudiaTherese
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There have been times in my life where I took grim comfort in the fact that we no longer have debtor's prisons. Much harder, though, when you have people depending on you. I could suck it up and live in an efficiency in some hellhole of a place, but that's so different from having to raise kids there.
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Ryuko
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Good luck, softlight. (((((softlight))))
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softlight
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TM

Seeking counsel and researching options is something I've gotten right this time around. In this case the options have gotten down to fewer than unusual, but a miracle may unfold any day now, making new choices possible.

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TMedina
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Which is the hardest part to keep in mind when looking up from the pit.

Remember that and you'll keep everything else in perspective.

-Trevor

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ClaudiaTherese
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One thing that sometimes helps me is to remember that you never know who you're going to meet next or what will happen tomorrow. Of course, you could be meeting a new bill collector tomorrow ( [Wink] ), and you still have to do the groundwork to be prepared for any good thing that may be coming to you, but sometimes miraculous things do happen.

*fingers tightly crossed for you

[ March 10, 2005, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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TMedina
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I can promise you this - you'll never look at a sunrise the same way again.

-Trevor

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softlight
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ClaudiaTherese

You hit the nail on the head! It's always comforting to compare my situation to those that faced worse and survived, whether debtor's prisons, or plastic shredders, or desperate poverty. But that is no comfort for my family. This whole episode has also stressed me enough to make me a somewhat poor father and husband. So it comes back to the question, what would benefit my family the most? Freedom from this mess I created with fleeting grief, or misery for years to come.

Fortunately my instinct to live won't even hear such questions.

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ClaudiaTherese
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Yeah. Very tough stuff. The whole world changes when you have children. However, you are showing them (even if they are too young to realize it) how to deal with problems as a good, responsible parent does. This will be something they can use as a touchstone when they are older and especially if they have their own families then.

My mother used to talk to me about how hard it was to raise us and how sorry she was about the mistakes she made. But we also talked about how horrible it would be to have had "perfect parents" you never could hope to live up to.

[ March 10, 2005, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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twinky
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It actually sounds like you're managing. That's good. You haven't lost your mind, that's a starting point. [Smile]
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Dagonee
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quote:
What I do regret is leaving the rest of the money in the stock market ... only to see it vanish when I was the last one to figure out that tech stocks were laughably overvalued.

Which leads to the next situation. Big, scary government agencies were supposed to get some of that money. No, a lot of it. More than I make in a year.

I've been trying to think of a way to allow that capital loss to offset some of the income, but nothing springs to mind. Still, it's possible there's something there that might be useful.

If nothing else, you shouldn't owe capital gains for a very long time.

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softlight
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CT

Well if not being a perfect parent is helpful for children growing up, I just got raised up a few notches. [Smile] You're too right about them learning from every example, whether we mean for it to be an example or not. Well said.

After making it through this, I don't think anything will seem difficult anymore. Maybe some of that will rub off on them.

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softlight
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twink, I don't know how I do it. I just have this internal force that seems immune to my own thoughts. It doesn't care about hope or dreams or poverty or fear, it just insists that I'm alive. It doesn't even seem like a part of myself anymore, as though the will to live fractured off from the rest of my mind to retain its integrity.

And thoughts like that make me wonder if I really have kept my mind intact. Sheesh.

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softlight
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Dag, you're right, my accountant was able to bring down the amount considerably using such concepts.

Thanks everyone for chiming in ... I feel a bit of the defiance creeping back up. It's a refreshing sort of anger.

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ClaudiaTherese
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For what it's worth, we had it just about as bad as it could be for a stretch when I was growing up. I became pretty fearless about tackling hard things head-on as a grownup. [Smile]

We lived on my father's pension (about $270/month) and a small bit from his Social Security. Mom quit work as an RN to take fulltime care of him at home. (He'd had a stroke when I was 3, and he couldn't even feed himself.) No car, so she pulled me in a little red wagon to the neighborhood grocery store. Thankfully, the mortgage was only around $150/mo, and it was paid off when I was in junior high.

Sure, it was tough sometimes, and I know they wished they could have given us more. But we were safe, and we learned how to amuse ourselves, and we learned that we didn't need much to get by. That was an invaluable lesson, and it enabled me to eke my way through four years of grad school. [Smile]

Like my mother, I cut up my old dishwashing gloves to use as rubber bands. And I could spot a cashmere sweater in Goodwill at forty paces. [Big Grin]

I think the real thing I learned that even if it gets awful, and you are so depressed you can hardly get up to go to the bathroom, you can still keep going. What a blessing.

[ March 10, 2005, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Dagonee
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Well, I'm sorry your accountant couldn't do more for you. It's really a horrible position to be in. I have a friend who got similarly in trouble with stock options. There's not enough education about these things, and it's very non-intuitive.
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softlight
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Maybe one thing that has kept me sane is the utter rejection of fear from a spiritual basis. The way I believe, fear is sin, it is a corruption that flows through your soul and manifests in your circumstances. Fear is a face of death. Countenance fear and it will kill you. I still have to fight it everyday, but at the end of the day I win. For a space there, I have some peace. Brave words from friends are so helpful. Thanks all.
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twinky
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quote:
And thoughts like that make me wonder if I really have kept my mind intact. Sheesh.

Thoughts like that make me confident your mind is intact. [Smile]
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Book
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Sweet Christ.

(((((((softlight))))))

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Bob_Scopatz
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softlight, I think you're actually telling a very inspirational tale. You just haven't completed it yet.

I was going to recommend getting a good financial advisor, but you posted that you already have one. That's good. Hopefully someone with IRS experience is advising you too. Have you got your final deal with the IRS already set or are you heading into the negotiation phase soon?

I have a friend that this happened to as part of an inheritance gone horribly wrong. His experience leads me to believe that if you are successful in negotiating any sort of relief from the IRS, you simply MUST get it in writing. They have this weird tendency to "forget" what they agreed to and then the next person who is assigned your case starts all over by going by the book.

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quidscribis
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softlight, good luck. I hope you can find your way through this. [Group Hug]
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LadyDove
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softlight-

You can't put a price on your value to your children and your grandchildren. Families that survive suicide are like families that survive child abuse; there is an elephant in the room that haunts not only the current generation, but in most cases, the next two or three generations. It's ugly and sadly, it seems to give permission for others in the family to use the same escape route.

Remember, it won't take any courage to leave. It's the easy way out. It will leave all the responsibility to your family. The tough choice is to stay; to fight and to watch your kids learn from your example.

I grew-up very poor. Some nights we didn't eat and more than once the repossessors visited our home. I don't remember that part of my childhood with horror, I remember it with pride. It gave me a chance to create myself... with the help of a few kind strangers. All of my ugly memories have to do with words and deeds by my parents, not with the things I did or didn't have.

The only thing that I would change in my childhood is that I would like to have had parents that thought more about their childrens' hearts and less about their own immediate gratification.

You can give your kids what no amount of money will ever be able to provide. But you can only give it to them if you choose to be there.

[ March 11, 2005, 02:34 AM: Message edited by: LadyDove ]

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Beren One Hand
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quote:
I put a chunk of it into the stock market, and spent the rest on various causes like rescuing family, building churches, starting businesses, chasing dreams ....
You had a chance to help out the people you love and start your own business. Sounds like you've lived a far richer life than most people I know. You took a shot and missed. That's all. There will be future opportunities to turn your life around. I promise. [Smile]
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Man-Eating Cow
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Physically enriched for a while, and mentally and spritually impoverished for the rest of their lives because of your suicide

or

Mentally and spiritually enriched for the rest of their lives because of your (to me) obvious intelligence and good heart in their lives, but physcially poor for a while.

The choice seems clear to me, but what do I know? I'm just a dumb cow. Moo. [Smile]

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softlight
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All you guys are too much. ((hatrack community)) Thanks. I'm feeling much bolder today. I'm going to get this chapter 7 to work even if I have to quit my job to do it. Worst case scenario is a few months of poverty, not a lifetime of it.
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dread pirate romany
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(((softlight))) I'm confident you can work your way through this.
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quidscribis
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Me, too. You're obviously intelligent and think things through carefully. You obviously love your family (and I'm willing to bet they love you, too). You can make this work.
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MaydayDesiax
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(((softlight)))

I'll applaud you for getting help before you tried something irreversable, like I tried to... Twice.

Fear was actually the only thing that's got me here today, a fear of what would happen to me afterwards, that is. It paralized me from stepping out in front of a car, and still makes me gag at the sight of a handful of pills. However, after seeking death for so long, nothing is more precious to me than life.

When humans reach a certain limit, we all get desperate--it's the animal instinct in us to fight like a madman out from a corner. You, my friend, have reached the point where--to you--your death has a pro as well as a con.

My philosophy teacher this semester said something interesting in class one day, when we were discussing the morality of suicide. One of the main reasons people attempt/commit suicide is for the want of a better life--they've hit a low they're trying to escape.

But how does one have a better life... When there IS no life to live?

Debts can be repaid, the same way a house can be rebuilt after a fire, or a field can be replanted after a flood. It's a helluva lot harder to relive a life once you're dead. [Wink]

We have faith in you. You'll get through this and be stronger for it.

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Icarus
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Good luck, softlight.

Er, do I know you?

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Telperion the Silver
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(((softlight)))

I understand totally. Times are not bright for me either and dark thoughts are ever present.

Hang in there.

*more hugs*

[ March 15, 2005, 02:09 AM: Message edited by: Telperion the Silver ]

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