2 years and giving up

I’m going to start by saying I’m not angelic. I’m not even really a nice person.   I laugh at reality shows when I know I shouldn’t (but seriously, after 12+ years of Survivor being on CBS, how can you be surprised at eating bugs anymore?).  I eat meat. I curse. I think some people have zero grasp of reality and mistake “a hard life” for “not getting what they want when they want it.”

8 years ago I made the single biggest mistake of my life. I’ve been paying ever since. Nobody died. Nobody was hurt. No local, state, federal or international laws were broken.  After earning a useless graduate degree 5 years ago,  and because of the second biggest mistake of my life, it’s one I’ll never get to use, I’ve worked such thrilling jobs as a temp job for a non-profit where the owner/ruler/person in charge wanted us to call him King (really), had 6 surgeries, worked for a retail company that laid me off after I refused to back down about seeking medical treatment (Shh, big secret, don’t use your employers health insurance in a recession) and in the past 2 years have had a temp job where I had to explain 8th grade government to a person who wanted a database of all elected officials as well a few others here and there.

Because I saved money, because I don’t live above my means, I’ve held on to my home. Yesterday, I lost it: in the take no prisoners sort of way. I called my student loan company to try to defer payments: I can’t pay them any more. I’ve paid them ON unemployment.  Because I no longer qualify FOR unemployment, I’m not unemployed and therefore not eligible for deferment.  So, I was screwed for paying them while ON unemployment because it was the right, responsible, ethical thing to do.  Never mind our multi-million dollar bailout of this company.

I’ve heard just about everything:

“Work fast food or retail”: Hi, I’ve been rejected by Starbucks, McDonald’s and a few others as I’m over qualified.  I’m willing to work there despite the toll on my body – see my previous job and the every 3 week nerve burning injections on my back because standing exacerbated the fractured discs caused by decades of artificial hips.

“Move”: Aside from not being able to probably even sell the condo, I can’t. I live in a state that allows me to purchase health insurance and doesn’t recognize pre-existing conditions. I can’t take the risk of moving to another state and being without health insurance.

“You aren’t doing enough”: Right. The volunteer work, career fairs, job network stuff plus nearly a thousand resumes aren’t enough.

“Pray harder”: go. to. hell.

“You need to cut back more”: I enjoyed my heat at 60 during winter in the northeast.  I like sitting in the dark. I’m a wild fan of variations of rice, beans, eggs and cheese.  And I really like going without the only pain medication that works.

Just once, I’d like somebody to say “I know things are sucky, what can I do for you?”  Instead, I’ll just figure out how to find enough money to keep paying for what I need.  And since I’m an ass, a list of those who never bothered to see if I was ok.


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3 Responses to “2 years and giving up”

  1. missdisplaced Says:

    I feel for you. While I do not have your medical issues, I have been through just about nearly all the same. I am also currently in school working on my master’s degree (sigh) which I wonder if it will help at all, since I seem to be currently overqualified with just my bachelors. [I was told I now needed my master’s in order to qualify for the job I held just 4 years ago]

    No more unemployment for me either. It ran out in November. I go to my bankruptcy hearing on the 29th. I do have a part-time job, but it only pays about $150/every two weeks. Basically, I am “surviving” on $300/month. Somehow this is still too much to get food stamps or welfare and I was turned down for that and LiHeap. I was lucky and got a mortgage modification, but I don’t know how the bankruptcy will affect that.

    Yesterday was my birthday. You know it’s bad when you’re driving down the freeway, and you keep looking at the side of the road… wondering where the best place to drive your car off it would be. I keep looking for the steepest dropoffs, with the lowest guardrails. Anything that would look the most accidental.

    I’m sorry, I intended to make you feel like you’re not alone… and man, I know how depressing life is right now. I wish all of us “99ers” could somehow get together for support. Our country has turned its back on us.

    • zebrastravels Says:

      hang in there. i keep thinking (partially because i’m a cubs fan and well….that makes me an optimist somewhere….). I’m sorry you had all of those emotions on your birthday! I don’t know what LiHeap is – but yes, the requirements are insane for qualifications if you are single and without kids (I actually had somebody in my state to tell me to HAVE a kid!). I know all those feelings of being alone .. and well, thanks. I’m VERY sorry you are in the situation and you are right: not only have we had our back turned on us but we are made to feel guilty. I laughed in a very snarky way about not qualifying: i’m was like hi, after i pay to live somewhere what am i TO do.

      Please don’t drive off the cliff. Somebody in your life will miss you and hurt forever (I know that one…). I hope your hearing goes well.

  2. missdisplaced Says:

    Thanks for the kind thoughts. I’m actually not suicidal really (don’t think I could ever bring myself to that) but was just having morbid thoughts.

    LiHeap is the federal heating fund for low-income (sort of like food stamps for heating oil, gas, and electricity–they give you vouchers). I froze in my house all winter, keeping the thermostat at 58 degrees and using a little space heater. Even so, I had to get two oil deliveries that cost around $300 total. Paid for that with my income tax return.

    Nothing but rejection on the job front for me. I’m glad of my part-time job, but at $150/every two weeks this is hardly enough to support. I have, in total, $4,000 left in the world. This, along with the part-time job somehow disqualifies me from any food stamps or welfare help.

    I honestly don’t know what will become of ‘folks like us. I know that many times, I get rejected from jobs due to my age (mid-40s). I often apply for jobs through my school’s career center, and can see and hear the surprise. I can see it in their faces or by the questions they ask me on the phone. Able and willing to work, and well educated, but YEARS away from retirement and the employers won’t hire us!

    I had to laugh at your “McDonalds” comment. I was also rejected by all of those places (Walmart, Target, Giant, MickeyD’s, Best Buy) and believe me, I tried. I think the minute they see you have ANY higher education, they automatically disqualify you.

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