I am going to tell the truth about everything. I don’t care anymore who reads this, who cares or more likely, who doesn’t. I haven’t written in a long time. Mostly because all that I want to say is not exactly “positive”, the way I’ve always tried to be on this blog. Even during the worst of what I have had to endure these past few years, I tried to keep my hope and faith, and show people that it can be “okay”.
Well, today, I don’t feel okay. My life does not feel OKAY.
The last time I wrote, it seemed my life was getting better. I was working so hard to get back on my feet, and I was. I was going to classes, working at getting my GED, had a job. Everyone was cheering me on, telling me how proud they were of how hard I was working to “fix” my situation. Well, shit falls apart faster than you can blink. I guess I’ve been too ashamed to write since it all changed. Now, I just don’t care. I have to let this out and let the chips fall where they may.
I got hired at four different jobs this past year. Some of these jobs lasted a day, some a couple weeks. One job, the best job, even lasted a month, but that is because 3 weeks of it was in a classroom. I do that well, learning, class time.
However, after getting these jobs the anxiety attacks would start. Yes, I have a disease. It’s called Generalized Anxiety disorder. It is NOT a choice. It is NOT laziness. It is a real disease, and it is torture. So, one by one, each job was quit.
I also suffer from severe depression at times. (If you’ve followed my life at all up till this point, you’ll understand why). Depression is also a disease. I don’t choose it. I fight it. Some days I fight it with all my might, some days I glide through all happy, smiling, sunshine, photo taking, dancing…me. Then, there are days when it swallows me whole and I can’t find the strength to do the “positive thinking”, gratitude shit that can help.
Anyway, now that I’ve explained my challenges, my diseases, let’s add my daily struggles on top of this pile of shit.
Uncertainty while I was homeless was the scariest part. Never knowing what I would or would not have from day to day. Well, not having an income now creates that same fear, that same frustration and anxiety. The shame that I can’t take care of myself.
I have a place to live. I have food stamps. They give me $194 a month for food. You figure that out. Think about how you would eat, what you would eat, how you would make it last 4 weeks. It normally lasts about two. maybe three if I don’t eat much.
Now, let’s consider the other necessities of life. The things not covered by Food stamps. Toilet paper, dish soap, paper towels, shampoo, trash bags, vacuum bags….everything thing else needed to run a home. These require money. I have none.
I have one dear friend who pays my cable/internet and my car insurance each month, and tries to make sure I have all of these things. But, it is demeaning nonetheless to have to tell someone that you need them to buy you toilet paper…again.
I started panhandling about a month ago. I made a cardboard sign, found a nice spot at my local Wal-mart, and stood out there accepting money from strangers. Mostly being ignored and making people feel uncomfortable. Watching them look away, so they didn’t have to see. Most I think are just fearful that it could happen to them. Some judging and thinking things like, “why doesn’t she just get a job”…”oh, she’s probably not homeless” (which is true), or whatever else it is we all think when we see “those people”. Snap judgments based on nothing. No one truly knows what anyone is going through, but we all do it. Make those judgments.
Those of you who have read this far are probably thinking “there are resources”. No, there are not. Not for cash anyway. Welfare and medicaid are only for those who have children. I won’t even get into my health issues here, or the fact that without money or insurance, you don’t exist to the medical community.
Anyway, back to my story.
Panhandling was good. Pride crushing, but good. I averaged about $60 a day. This made me feel kinda good that I could buy my own stuff, the things I needed or sometimes just wanted. You know, important shit, like that scented candle (a luxury for me). Until some Wal-mart white shirt came one day and said I couldn’t stand there with a sign anymore. This morning I was at Wal-mart at 5am bumming cigarettes from people. IF you feel the need to say anything about my smoking, please move on now.
Omg, this post is becoming longer and longer.
I know that my ex will read this, and probably be happy about my misery. He never cared what happened to me when I was homeless, never offered to help, and still doesn’t. He is good that way. At just turning his back on people…he did it with his son, and his own mother, so why did I think it would be any different with me? He walked out on me, our dogs and our whole life together and never once asked if he could help. Never said me missed me, or asked if I was okay….so fuck him. I don’t care what if he reads this now. I will write the truth about him, my truth. He wants everyone to see him as the victim in this. HUH. He walked away to a job, a free motel room, a paycheck, and took our $349 a month food stamp card with him. I was left with a house full of our stuff, two dogs I had to turn into the shelter, and a two day eviction notice. Again, Fuck Him!
When I was homeless the only people who truly helped me were strangers, or distant friends. Not family, not siblings, not my kids….just strangers, oh, and one cousin (sorry hon). My brother offered a place for me to go back in Mass., but that wasn’t possible, he had his own problems. My other brother, never even tried to contact me. My sister who lives just 2 hours from me, wouldn’t let me live with her because her boyfriend didn’t want me there. Really? What the hell is that? I would never turn away a family member and just let them be homeless because of ANYONE. Maybe it was not even the truth. Maybe SHE just didn’t want me. A few months back as she and her boyfriend were facing some financial issues of their own, then got an inheritance from a dead relative of his. Not a shitload of money, but a good deal. They had just filed for bankruptcy, and she told me that her lawyer said they had to spend that money fast if they still wanted to file. She tells ME this. Really? Your gonna tell me that your “problem” is that you have to spend what I would consider a “great” amount of money really quickly, but don’t offer to help me? Then she tells me over and over how money doesn’t make you happy. Meanwhile, I’m looking under my car seat for pennies to get toilet paper. Yeah, okay. Fuck them all. Karma is a bitch. I would never wish bad on anyone, but I’m tired of being silent about the way I was treated by those who are supposed to care. Whatever.
So, here I sit….no money at all. I applied for SSI for my depression/anxiety issues and it of course has been months. No income, not sure where to panhandle now. Running out of smokes…staring at a whole list of stuff I need at the store, all stuff that I need money to get.
The one bright spot in this past year is that I got approved for an emotional service animal. I got a dog. The loss of my dogs, Cody and Casey still breaks my heart every day, but Miss Penny Lane has helped to fill the lonely hours. She makes me laugh, she kisses my tears away…..I love her.
I guess that is what I had to say….Just a rant. If it wasn’t raining I would be out somewhere panhandling or at least bumming smokes off of strangers. Survival is exhausting….I could sleep forever.