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I Feel Lost

I don't know what defines poverty but I think that defines myself and my family. I live in a two bedroom home that my cousin is letting us rent because they could no longer afford the payments and were going to let it go back to the bank. Everything we own was either purchased when I had a good job or given to us by family. When I say that I don't mean nice things just things that were in bad enough shape they didn't want them anymore but good enough shape that we could use them. I haven't had "new" clothes since I was probably 14. I now shop at second hand stores and I only do that once every 2 years if i'm lucky enough to have an extra 50 bucks by chance. I just had a baby 4 months ago and we hadn't bought him a single thing until after he was born. Everything we have was given to us at my baby shower or family bought things at garage sales. I couldn't breast feed after 2 months because we couldn't afford food so I dried up because my body had nothing in it to produce the milk. So now he's on formula that we get from WIC. If it wasn't for WIC I don't know what we would have done. I had a job paying a dollar under minimum wage (non-profit organizations don't have to pay minimum wage) 2 days a week but I was fired while on maternity leave. So now all we have is my husbands income which is decent but only enough to pay the bills and maybe once a month buy $50 worth of groceries. We try to eat at least 1 meal a day but that only happens a couple times a week. Mostly I just eat tuna that I get with WIC with mustard and crushed up crackers. It just seems like anytime things are looking up something happens that completely destroys all hope of ever getting out of this hole. I decided to graduate highschool early so I could get a start on a college education. I was in an online college and loving it when about 4 months in I find out that they completely screwed me and told me it was going to be $3000 a year when it was actually $8000 a year. So I had to drop out just to stop the student loans from raking up. So now i'm out $8000 even though I was only in school for 4 months out of the year because "no refunds" and I have to get a job without any education to pay for the student loans I have for not finishing college. And yes it sounds like I need to find a lawyer because they cant do that, well are you going to lend me the money for that lawyer? Didn't think so... We got this house from my cousin and I got a small loan for an SUV for the baby and not even a month later we find out that my cousin was 4 months behind on rent which we now have to take care of. We would just move out but we have nowhere to go. The SUV I bought blew the engine about 2 months after we got it and my husband works 35 miles from our home so we can't go without a vehicle. We bought a new tv and our dryer quit working. We got another loan and found an amazing car for REALLY cheap and then we found out my cousin is 2 years behind on the property taxes. Oh and did I mention that we had to completely gut our babies room because snow was coming inside the giant 2 foot hole in the wall? So noone is worrying about the baby he sleeps with me and has never slept in his room and I would sell everything we own including the clothes off my back before I would ever let my son go without food or clothes or doctor visits that he needs. Also i've been trying to get a good job since the day I turned 16. I had 2 jobs at a time until I got married when I got a good job at a grocery store warehouse but because of my arthritis in my knees I couldn't do it anymore and had to quit which I regret every day. I would have rather suffered through the pain everyday and have that paycheck then live how we're living now. After that job absolutely nowhere was hiring. This was when the economy was at it's lowest and I live in a town of only about 2000 people so there's not exactly places needing anyone. And with only one vehicle I had to make sure the hours would work with my husbands hours because we live 10 miles from anything in any direction so I can't exactly walk to a job. Then I got the job at the non-profit place and with that paycheck we could at least buy groceries every 2 weeks. Then I found out I was pregnant which was amazing and we are so happy about our son. But since I got fired i'm so scared that he's going to grow up without anything and be made fun of for having nothing. All I want is for him to have everything he needs and then some. I can gurantee that I will buy him the things that he needs before I buy anything including food for myself though. That's the only way he'll ever have anything. I just hope that I can survive this way. I had alot of back and hip problems during my pregnancy and now I swear I feel like an 80 year old. With the arthritis in my knees and the hip pain so bad sometimes I completely colapse in pain and the back pain so bad I can only sit or lay certain ways or i'm in complete agony. And on top of that i'm hungry. Even when I do get a little something to eat it never goes away. I'm only 20 years old. Why is all this happening to me? I've never done anything to anyone. I believe in God with all my heart but sometimes I wonder why he's so cruel. But then I feel horrible for thinking that and look at my beautiful son. He's cruel in some ways but then he gives me the most beautiful amazing little boy I could ever dream of and I love him more than I thought was humanly possible. I'd just like to know why all these bad things keep happening to me. I'm just a kid myself, Why do I deserve all this pain?
srj2009 srj2009 18-21, F 4 Responses Feb 22, 2012

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Your text brought me close to tears because I can so very much understand your experiences. Granted, I don't have a child and I'm much too young to have one for some time but what you wrote about the state of the house, the clothes, the food... It's the same with me. Especially what you said about God and wondering why these things happen to you when you have done nothing wrong.. It truly is ironic and I'm so sorry that you and your little son have to experience this.

All I can say is that you're in my prayers and I hope things get better for you.

Look, I understand hunger. I REALLY DO! I lived on 320 a month for 12 damn years! Does that put us in the same boat? You bet!

Man, I feel for you, yet wicked ppl THRIVE daily. It's f-ed up! I'm there myself-hope that first comment helped & sorry that I couldn't but i COMPLETELY understand.

Hey, girl. There are some non-profit lawyers out there and I will google it in a sec. It might be something better for you to do because I don't know where you are so, you might find something local. There ARE options! I see you are on WIC, have you applied for SNAP (food stamps)? There is disability, which you might be able to look into due to your arthritis, hip and back issues. There are also child care assistance programs that will pay all or some of your child care fees. Like I said, starting locally is the best bet. Check with any gov't offices, whether it be employment, unemployment, department of child and family services, health department, even schools. Check with local churches, shelters, the YMCA (if there is one locally), there are non-profits for all sorts of things run-aways, half-way houses, abused spouses, single parents... While not all of these places apply to your particular situation, they have the resources to direct you to the help you need. Just call as many of these places as possible and tell them your story, I think you will be surprised at the resources you find. Outside of that, do you live near family? Do you have the emotional support there for you? What you're describing sounds terrible and heartbreaking. I commend you on your strength for taking care of baby and yourself as well as you know how. I know somedays, it must be hard to even get out of bed when your prospects seem so bleak. Try to encourage yourself that each day is new. Have patience and persistance and there is no way you can fail. It may take time. Keep your chin up and a smile on your face!