The Silent Blog

I guess it’s okay to not have a post for “Silent Sunday”, and yet I sit here yearning for something, anything to write about. The past few days have taken an emotional, mental, and physical toll on me to say the least. I’m exhausted, frustrated, lonely. ( I wish this auto correct crap would stop telling me I can’t use idioms)! Yes, I meant TOLL!

There is so much going on in my life at the moment, so much twirling around inside my head, but I just can’t seem to get anything to settle long enough to put two thoughts together. Have you ever had so much to say that you just sit in front of the blank screen, and stare? Funny, I’m glad I didn’t plan on a “niche” for this blog, especially one that had to be truly uplifting or inspiring! I would be a complete blogging failure just a month into this thing.

The fear-filled night of my last post has put me on a strange, almost non-existent sleep pattern, and combined with some other stressful happenings around here I just want to medicate and go back to bed.

Have I mentioned that rent is due tomorrow, and that my money is being held hostage on a GreenDot prepaid Visa card? No? Oh, well, there’s a story.

Hubby’s “company”, and I use that term loosely, pays them with GreenDot Money Paks, (who the hell does that)? Anyway, it hasn’t been a real issue until this week. Normally he gets his money pak, loads it to his prepaid debit card, and transfers the money to my companion card. It’s all a bit of a pain, but has worked well. Then yesterday he calls to tell me that GreenDot would not allow him to load the money, (HIS money), onto his debit card because there has been too much unusual activity on the card. First of all..the card he loads it on is not even a GreenDot card! It’s from a completely different company that handles paycheck cards….OHMYGOSH, this is even boring to ME! This is why I wasn’t going to write today. Screw it, I’ll finish anyway. So, being completely broke myself, I had to take $20 out of our rent money, go buy a GD Prepaid Visa (that’s GreenDot, not a cuss word), which cost $3 for the card, and I had to load $10 just to buy it. I got home, registered the card, called him for the MoneyPak number, loaded his paycheck on there…and then…and then…. I find out that I can NOT take cash out with the temporary card that I just bought, not even a cash back with a purchase! I have to wait 7-10 days until my permanent card comes in before I can do any transactions that require a pin. So, tomorrow I have to give the landlord part of the rent, and explain to him that I HAVE the rest of it, but I’m not allowed to take it out? Are you freakin’ kidding me? I wish I was kidding.

Have I mentioned that I don’t drink? This is a good thing. I knew I shouldn’t have started a post tonight. Seriously.

Oh, and have a wonderful week ya’ll! Be happy! Think positive! Yeah, whatever.

Three Golden Eggs

threeeggs

No matter how many hard knocks I have had in my life, I sometimes find the littlest thing can trigger a moment of sincere gratitude. It is these moments that we need to remember when we are facing a difficult challenge or trial.

Back in 2009 my husband lost his job when his company downsized. After two weeks of searching for work, we knew we were in deep trouble. We had no money for the rent, and little food. We had been eating nothing but white rice for four days. I finally got up the nerve to go and ask a neighbor if I could “borrow” a couple of eggs. She handed me three eggs. I thanked her and headed back to the house. I had never handled eggs so carefully in my life, watching every little step to make sure I didn’t drop them. I got home and scrambled them so there would be enough for both of us to eat. Oh, but the smell of those eggs cooking was like heaven, my belly rumbling, both of us giddy at the thought of something besides rice to eat! They were the best eggs I’ve ever had. We lost the condo a few weeks later, and were homeless, but that’s another story.

About a year ago I was in the kitchen fixing my dogs something to eat. I went to the fridge and pulled out two eggs  to scramble in the microwave, so I could mix them in with their kibble.  As I held the eggs in my hand I became overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. Here I was feeding eggs to my dogs, recalling a time when three eggs were like gold, because it was all we had.

I’ve learned so much in my struggles with poverty, and found a way to be grateful for something in every day… on that day, it was just eggs.

© Kim Hood 2013

The Many Pains of Poverty

   I see so many different forms of poverty every day, and experience many aspects of it myself. The pain caused by poverty is mostly hidden, felt inside the person experiencing it daily.

  There is the physical pain of hunger. This is not always caused by not having food to eat, but many times just skipping meals to make what is in the cupboard last longer. There is also the pain of walking through a grocery store and seeing all the things you wish you could buy, but you stay focused on your list, on the essentials, and you smile at the people you pass…so they can’t see. You smile again when, even though you did the math so carefully, you see the total at check out and realize the package of chicken you picked up has put you over the $10 you have in your wallet. You smile as you ask the cashier to take it off the list, you smile at the customers behind you and play it off like you just forgot to take some more money out of the atm, or left your card at home. You pretend it’s all just fine, until you are safely out of the store, and then you cry when you get in your car, where no one sees. Food banks are always a resource, but you can’t get milk, butter, meat, vegetables or any other fresh food.

Then there is the pain of being physically ill, and knowing that even if you go to the ER, (your only option with no money  or insurance), that they will run tests you can’t afford, give you prescriptions you will never fill, and tell you to see your primary for follow-up, which you are unable to do either, so you just don’t go. I knew I had skin cancer for over a year before I found treatment where I could make payments, and even then, was unable to pay all of it after the surgery. Even now, I need follow ups that I just can’t afford to go to yet. The “free” clinics are full, and even if you can get in, if you or your spouse work they will say you don’t qualify, same with Medicaid.

I can’t even begin to describe the most recent pain of missing my daughter’s wedding…something I can never get back, and can’t even write about…the pain is still too raw.

The worst pain of all is having to deal with the shame and embarrassment. No one wants to ask for help from friends and family. No one wants to admit that they can’t pay their own bills or buy food. Being judged, made to feel like you are to blame for your poverty is what I will never understand. Life is hard, and no matter how hard you try, you can get thrown. I have some wonderful people in my life who have helped us, some of them many times over, without me ever having to ask, and I am so grateful, and beyond blessed. My husband and I have had some very rough times the past few years, gotten a bit better, and then traveled back down to the “what shall we do now” hell of poverty. My most recent endeavor, starting the fund-raising post to raise money for our bills was not easy for me to do. I am embarrassed, and feel shame constantly, but I had to do something. Losing your pride is also very painful, but necessary to survive poverty. I guess I just don’t want to feel judged anymore, because unless you have been where I have been, you have no true understanding, and thus are in no place to judge. I pray no one ever has to feel this way, that everyone I know, and don’t know, will always be blessed. A roof over your head, enough food to eat, bills paid, time to enjoy life instead of living every day just surviving and wondering if it will all be alright. I try to keep my eyes on God, and my trust in Him…but, it’s not always easy. On this day I have food, a roof, a bed to lie down on, my dogs to keep me company, and a husband working 1200 miles away…the bills are tucked away in a drawer, not seen, but I know they are there…like my shame, my fear, and my poverty.

Oh, and just a last word. I don’t want your pity, and I don’t need your judgement. I wrote this to hopefully find some understanding and empathy…because in the end, that is what we all need most.

©Kim Hood 2013