My "what I would have done differently" comment for today is that I would have acted and reacted quicker. Instead of waiting and waiting for things to someday get better, I wish I would have recognized the point when things were so out of hand that I knew deep down inside we would never be able to recover. That point was when I could no longer open the mail as soon as I got it and when I had to change our telephone number. There were so many calls from bill collectors that we would not answer the phone when it rings. Still to this day my family doesn't answer the phone when it rings. This is the point when I should have acted. Filing bankruptcy was always an option.
Here is the thing, when you become bankrupt, it means that you had something and lost it. Having and losing it is a different kind of poverty than growing up in poverty your whole life. I never grew up in poverty. I do not know the ways of impoverished people. I am not saying that anyone is better off if they grow up in poverty or became impoverished through losing everything. I do know that there are systems in place that are passed down generations for people who are raised in poverty that teaches and helps them cope with poverty. Again, I do not mean to insinuate being poor is any easier or harder based on when it happens in your life, but what I am saying is that I do not know what it is like to live in poverty your whole life. I only know how to live in poverty after you have lost everything.
I have said to my friends many times that I am not good at being poor. Maybe, in the long run, that will help me. And then again, to put it in perspective, two thirds of the people in this world would love to have what I call poor!