My experience was definitely different. I was ostracized by friends, family, and coworkers. My financial downfall was more isolating than the marital separation that preceded it.

I was shocked at treatment I received from people who supposedly cared about me. I worked full-time, usually averaging 50 or more hours a week, for 35 years, starting when I was 17. I provided partial support for my elderly father and stepmother, housed my sister when she had no job and no money, and gave financial assistance to many others over the years. I was actively and financially involved with many charities. Still, I was an outcast when I was in need.

I am pleased your experience was different, Iva, but many, like me, discover that love, acceptance, and appreciation are predicated by one’s ability to fit into a particular social and financial group, even when that group is very middle-class and ordinary. My friends, family, and colleagues were one accident, one lost job, one illness, one divorce away from bankruptcy themselves yet they treated me like a pariah.

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