Archive for the poverty Category

Let’s Redefine The Word Poor

Posted in anxiety, bipolar depression, depression, poverty with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2020 by morgueticiaatoms

I got so offended when people kept referring to us as poor then I realized…Some people are ignorant of dictionary meanings. So lemme explain the difference between ‘struggle and cash broke’ and “true poverty’. Because even a whack job like me is bright enough not to let depression lie to me and make things seem worse than they truly are. So many have so much worse.

My monthly income: $848

Monthly Expenses

Rent $400

Heat and Power- between $120 and $320 depending on season

Car insurance $47

Water bill $69

Internet and phones- $74

Gas in the car- $40

Pet supplies- $35

Household items (toilet paper, shampoo, et al) $25

That comes to $924-and I did up the heat bill to reflect this month’s bill of $235 and I did get a break with my car insurance 9 months on, 3 months off but what it boils down to is…

Too many expenses, not enough income. By societal standards, we are indeed ‘poor’. And my kid’s friends are not shy about reminding us at every turn that we are ‘poor’. We are also treated to food shaming because we qualify for food stamps, whether the deadbeat donor is paying or not. (No one is harsher on ‘wellfare people’ than my own father) and my kid gets free lunch. I drive a 2001 Chevy Lumina with over 230,000 miles on it. 98% of what we own is second hand via yardsales, auctions, and people getting rid of stuff. And I am not ashamed to admit on occasion when someone has moved out, I have gone dumpster diving just in case they got rid of anything that was still usuable.

I take further heat from all factions, it seems, for being on mental health disability. This angers me because I started working when I was 16. I always tried to work. When my mental health eroded I was basically told I could resign and get a good reference or they could fire me and it wouldn’t be such a good reference. I tried for years to get disability but it wasn’t until I had a reaction to antidepressant that left me drooling and incoherent in a psych ward for a week did my application get granted. I nearly died and I came out with great mental deficits in addition to what I started out with so to me it felt like I’d done all that I could do, I am in fact disabled. Funny how people disagree with that and put you down for it. My dad’s the worst, calling it my ‘nitwit’ pension. Over the years, I have repeatedly tried to work in whatever small capacity I could, even if it was dogwalking. Disabled does not mean shiftless and lazy. It means DISABLED. As in my conditions hinder my efforts to exist in the ‘normal’ bubble of employment where stability is a must and I have very little stability. Instead of being shamed for playing the hand I was dealt, I think people should either commend me for my efforts or keep their mouths shut. I am well aware working would mean more money and bolster self esteem and all that good stuff. Right now, I haven’t bathed in a week and am barely getting two hours uninterrupted sleep at night so it does not seem the right time to go telling employers all about how stable and reliable I am.

I am trying my hardest, and it seems like society-and my family- cannot wait to knock me down a few pegs on a daily basis. Maintaining your self esteem when it was low to begin with becomes a dire task in light of daily putdowns.

If nothing else, the donor walked out on me and my child 9 years ago and not once tried to contact to see her, even when a judge wanted him to sign off on the court ordered visitation. He ‘forgot’. I’ve been here with Spook (my daughter) from the moment of conception. I have done everything in my power to give her what she needs, some of what she wants, and plenty of love and empathy and compassion. I tell her I love her frequently (my parents never did that) and I give her lots of hugs (my parents did not do that, either) and I am always telling her, you are so smart, so funny, so creative, so pretty. Because my parents never did. I have managed to break their cycle, as a single ‘poor’ parent with a plethora of mental disorders. That should be worth something. I am not saying people should be lauded simply for caring for the kids they brought into the world, I am just saying…the donor’s 11 years older than me and has 2 other kids he didn’t help raise, didn’t support, and has no contact with and he was allegedly fine and upstanding and mentally stable. Yet he couldn’t handle the pressure of raising a child with me on limited funds. For not crumbling to pieces, for putting my child’s needs ahead of whatever was rioting in my head at the time- that takes strength of character.

And this is where ‘redefining the word poor’ comes into play.

We are pretty much always broke so we are cash poor. But when I look around and see all that we do have- roof overhead, heat, furniture, food in the fridge, tablets, computers, Tvs, clothes, our cats…I feel like a heel for saying we are poor. We aren’t rich or even well off, but we do not have it as bad as some people who don ‘t know where they will be sleeping tonight or when they’ll next be able to feed their kids a meal.

Our wealth comes from making the best of what we have and struggling through the stigma attached to ‘being poor’. Maybe all our stuff is used or off brand. Maybe the furniture has seen better days. The car has definitely seen better days but it still gets me from point A to point B. (At least until March when I have to renew my sticker and the new jackass governor jacked the fee from $105 to $152, OUCH, I don’t know how I am gonna pull that rabbit out of the empty hat.) My daughter and I are decent people, with good hearts, and we mind our own business and cause no one problems. We are richer than words can say if you take into account our gratitude for what we have even if less than ideal and unimpressive to others. We appreciate what we do have. We absolutely adore and appreciate the friends we have who have over the years helped us so generously. Cash poor but rich with gratitude for what we do have. So many people take things for granted, get pissy when denied the newest iwafflemaker or whatever Apple has released, and bemoan that they have to drive a car from last year. The horror!

Sometimes, Spook and I have our silly ‘if we won millions in the lottery’ game. I want a big house far from my family near the water, possibly in Maine or Delaware, with a moat filled with hungry gators and crocs to ward off visitors. I have fantasized since childhood about having a fridge with ice maker and water thing in the door. Heated in ground pool. A housekeeper since my depressions turn to biohazard conditions fast. Spook wants a house with the little witch hat turrets and an elevator and an escalator. I want my own skee ball lanes AND a giant ball pit. She wants a Husky dog. My dream cars would be a Dodge Hellcat or 1976 Caprice Classic. (I like old cars.) She wants a convertible. I want another pet snake since mine passed away 20 years ago. We dream and we dream sort of big, but even in our wildest fantasies…we’re down to Earth. With millions and our frugal ways, I could start up a no kill animal shelter and food programs during the summer when kids can’t get school lunch and their parents can’t buy them food…So much good could be done.

So, yes, we are cash poor.

But in the ways that matter most, we are wealthy beyond our wildest dreams.

That being said, buy me lots of cups of coffees so I can replace this laptop before it completely gives up the ghost. LOL.

Redefining the word poor is not simply to make us aware of how much we actually do have, it is to let the world know that their entire notion of what ‘poor folks’ means has nothing to do with reality. Needy is not greedy, and cash poor does not mean we live in a cardboard box.

So if you want to get politically correct, let’s call it ‘income challenged’.

And let none of us forget all that we do have and to feel grateful because our threadbare carpets or 2017 model TV might seem like a big deal and so you feel poor…Some people live in their cars, on the streets, in shelters. Some people go days without eating or rummage garbage cans for half eaten food. Some people cover up at night with newspapers on top of them and stuffed inside their clothes for insulation.

I know writing this is unlikely to draw much attention or change anything, but I feel better having gotten it off my chest. Spook’s friends calling us poor has rubbed me the wrong way for months now and I understand why. Because with everything we have, how fortunate we truly are, calling us poor is rude, insenstive, and insulting to people who truly are poor. That is what offends me.

The way the poverty stricken are treated by society should offend us all. We are all forever one bad break in life away from ending up there ourselves, in need of compassion and a handful of coins to get a cheap sandwich. Without pity or insults or looking away or looking appalled. One day that could through some twist of fate be you, your child, your grandchild, or your elderly parents.

Kindness costs nothing. I don’t know why we don’t show more of it to others.

Ko-fi post: Redefining the word poor

Posted in disability, Ko-Fi, Mental Health Disability, poverty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2020 by morgueticiaatoms

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