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And Am Stronger Because Of This

Strength when you’re poor is this funny feeling you get when you feel like you need to keep as much money in your pockets as possible but your pockets have a bunch of holes in them and so all you can do is watch the money fall out without crying about it, and it’s tough. It really is.

I grew up always having to worry about money and the lack of money my family has. I don't have a dad, and so I guess since my mom never had anyone else to complain about financial problems to, it was always me that would listen about all the things we couldn't afford, and about her financial fears like "We could be homeless next month". "I don't know how I can pay for ___". I remember because of this throughout middle school I was SO worried about being homeless.

Then when I started high school we technically would have been homeless if it wasn't for my aunt to let us live in her small 1 bedroom apartment. My mom sleeps on the couch. I sleep right next to the couch on a twin bed in the middle of the living room. We've been living here for 6 years, and I am 19 now. Sometimes I wish I was born into a rich or at least middle-class family and I wonder how much easier my life would have been if I was. Other times though, while I will never wish for someone to have to grow up the way I did, I can't shake the feeling that I am a much stronger person then I would have been because of the struggles I had to go through.

When my family moved to this 1 bedroom apartment I was deeply depressed. There wasn't any room for any extra possessions so all of the things I owned had to be either given away or thrown away. I thought I could never get out of the depression I had unless my family got more money to move out. That I could never get out of depression without a room. Without a phone. Without all these materialistic things my friends had that I couldn't afford. I thought that I could never be happy till my family moved but then guess what? My family never moved. I just kept getting older, living in the same damn place. With the same few possessions and low level of privacy and everything. For 6 years we have been living here and we are not moving anytime soon. But I learned to be happy. I am not depressed anymore. I decided that I can't wait forever for things to change a certain way in order to be happy, sometimes in life you have a choice to either wait for the impossible to change, or make a change within yourself.

Now that I've learned to be happy living here even though we are in the same exact financial situation, we are still poor, I feel like I can accomplish anything. I feel invincible.
sparkella sparkella 18-21, F 7 Responses Feb 8, 2013

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Qwertymj, I wanted to speak to you as well. You too sound so bright and intellegent with great depth! I hope that you can also reach out to your community college or some program that will help you move forward. You sound like you have so much to give like sparkella.

Do you have a part time job? Just because your home life is the way it is presently, you will make sure that your future will be different. It was my hope, and through spiritual guidance & faith, strength and endurance comes naturally. God made us strong with free will, take that spirit he gave us and put it to good use!!!!

I pray for you both, good luck and reach out!!!:)

sparkella, what compassion and inner wisdom you have just expressed to Qwertymj!!! I see great things happening for you. You are an inspiration, and I suspect that your road will lead you into the helping field.

Community Colleges have a great financial package that is beneficial to students you both you and Qwertymj. I know this, because it is exactly the tools I used for my family and you would not pay a dime. Both of you are at that age where the opportunities are there you just need someone to help direct you in the right direction.

sparkella, question for you both actually. Do either one of you work part time? If you can get some pocket change and do something other that staying in yor surroundings, doing something proactively will keep your mind off things and off the streets (so to speak)

Take care, keep up posted--we care about you....:)

I have nearly the same story as you. I am a junior in high school and I've been living in a one bedroom apartment with my mom and dad for about five years now. It's the upstairs of my grandmas house. I sleep in the bedroom and my parents sleep in the living space that's directly outside of the bedroom. It's really hard and emotionally draining. It makes me even sadder that their is two of my parents, and they sometimes can't even afford the $400 rent every month. We haven't had a steady amount of groceries in about seven months. They can't afford it, really. Even though my living situation has been a huge part of my depression, I try thinking, I'm seventeen. I have my whole life ahead of me, and I want to go to college to be a nurse. I've come to terms that I have to deal with my parents financial situation the best I can, and I have to make things better for myself.

Wow, our stories are very similar as you say. I can really empathize with how challenging it can be to have a living situation like that one, especially the emotionally draining part. I am really glad that you are thinking positively about your future like that. I know it takes a lot of strength to look past what you are surrounded by now and to realize life has much more ahead for you. But there really is so much more, and I am glad you know this. Even in this difficult living situation that you may feel is out of your control to change, you can still make changes for yourself, you are not powerless or hopeless, you're far from that. One day you will live on your own and provide yourself with the money that you need and it will be awesome. I know that you can push through this, I am rooting for you!!! Thanks for sharing.

I can relate to both of you...very much. After my mom couldn't afford our 3 bedroom anymore we had no place to go and moved into a 1 bedroom apt on top of a bar. It really makes me depressed and ashamed & I wonder why things have to be this way. I am too embarrassed to tell any of my friends where I live. It really
Lowers my self esteem. And even worse my mom doesn't own a car. It's very hard but were
Not alone

This response is to Counselor Dan, what a testimony of true courage and strength all of which is Christian based. I see that Christ is your center. Awesome! Your plight will be golden and you continue to focus on what is important.

Mold is not good for all of your health, I hope you can be able to do something about that. Although it sounds like you have extinguished all options, keep trying a door will open up.

I will pray for you and for sparkella:
Sparkella, how are you doing? What has been going on lately? How are your spirits? Let us know how you are doing we care!!! God Bless

Hi pinterest, I have been doing fine lately, a bit stressed out maybe but not from living in my home situation like I may have been when I had depression; mostly from balancing my job and school work. My spirits are doing good for the most part, I'm hanging in there. Thanks for your concern, God Bless you too.

I can truly empathize with your situation. I have struggled to try and better my family’s life. I went to college and earned a B.A. in Psychology, and an M.A. in Professional Counseling. I then went and applied with the state and was granted my LPC Intern License. I did all of this as a blind person. Despite all my best efforts no one wanted to hire me, and we applied everywhere. Now in March the government wants us to pay back my deferred student loans. We have been trying to get disability for a year now and the government is fighting us. We have food stamps one month, and because some technicality they take it away the next. My daughter has Cerebral palsy, and my son has Type 1 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Our trailer is very run down and has black mold growing up the walls. It is hard I know. It seems like life isn’t fair, but we are stronger, because despite the hardships we are still pressing forward. I admire your courage. I will add you to my prayers. Take care.

I am glad to hear that you are pressing forward as well. I know there is a brighter side ahead for both of us. Thank you for the kind words :)

What a beautiful story! Do not worry my friend, keep your chin up. You will recover when you least expect it. Trust me it will be ok. We were almost in the same boat 10 years ago, but with patience and my faith in God, we passed all those things throughhard work.

thank you <3 :)

Your story is touching and I think you should celebrate your inner strength and yes you will one day leap to be at the place you dreamed of.

Sometimes life happens as we grow older and redefine our goals. I am sure you must be doing just that figuring out about college or working. The world is your playground and the opportunites are out there. Be smart about it and start living your future.

Are you committed to a home church or religious group? Sometimes church has resources that can help you. That is one place to start. Another is to go to your community college and talk to a guidence officer who can direct you in the right place. There is all sorts of financial support out there.

I was raised in a family of poverty, raised my children in a single parent home in poverty. I know about the things you experienced. My strength lead me to college, finding a home church and as a result my kids are stars working in great jobs strong and independent. You can do it, I know it because you write with soul and strength. Hang in there, keep up posted and God Bless!

Thank you for all the kind words of encouragement. While I feel strong, I know that I still have a long road ahead of me to get to where I want to be. I haven't committed to a home church, and I have never thought of being apart of church before, but that is a lovely idea. I hope you and your kids will continue to prosper. Thanks again!