First 30 Days Blog

08 aug

Bankruptcy at 60

This Monday I file Bankruptcy; Chapter 13. I have tried since 9-11 to catch up, to pay my bills on time. Interest rates kept climbing. The banks pulled up to my money bumper. I started to tread water and found that no matter how I tried I could not get out of debt.

I ran two businesses, contemporary Fine Art galleries in NY State pre-9-11 and held on for three years after the tragedy but the writing was on the wall. My businesses could not survive the continued downward spiraling economy. I had been given two large loans to start and grow my business. They started to take off. My exhibitions got great reviews. 9-11 happened. All came to a grinding halt.

I shared a pot of money with my family; inheritance money before they died but my Dad got lung cancer and then Alzheimers and so the pot dwindled.

I had a career path besides the gallery business but it went through growing pains. There were few jobs .

11 years have passed since my Dad died. My Mom had a heart attack. She lived in Florida. I found a job near her so moved to be closer to her. I lost the job two months into it because I wanted to start a gay mens support group. I was told I was trying to start a gay movement on campus. They didn’t like it and asked me to pack up my things one day and escorted me to my car.

I have been on unemployment for three rounds, have taken odd jobs and fashioned myself as a demo girl in grocery and pet stores. I have worked hard in operations jobs setting up and taking down others exhibitions. My heart hurts. I am grieving the loss of NYC in my life, my galleries, my Father, my Mother’s old self, my carefree life and a friend who died this year.

My Mom got Shingles. More money from that pot went to her medical bills. Our portfolio yielded only 2%. No more income. Today we both dip into the principal. It has created a rift in our relationship. I have to find a full time job at 60.I have no retirement.

Today I am in an interview process but start Bankruptcy proceedings tomorrow. I am scared but hope to get my life on track again, somehow. I am living day to day. I try to keep the dark nights of the soul at bay.

Shared by levybal22.

Posted by First 30 Days on August 8th, 2009 in Personal Stories | 0 comments

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