I’ve survived date rape, the death of a lover, single motherhood, domestic violence — and all the challenges each complex situation has despite its over-simplified, relatively sanitized, and crisp name.
So it really pisses me off that right now, my family and I suffer from the mainstream extinction that is poverty on the brink of homelessness simply because the tiny percentage of wealth holders in this country unethically gambled and stole the money and investments of others.
Thanks to the banking industry exploiting the deregulation wrought and bought by lobbyists paid for by hardworking Americans, the economy has hit the skids, forcing not only a reduction in hubby’s employment but a forced move out of state for our landlord, who has been kind enough to work with us during the many rough months (including periods of time during which we had no working vehicles), resulting in his need to sell the house we rent.
This double-whammy leaves us wondering just where we will live in the next few months, and how.
Having once worked for an organization for the homeless, I am far too aware of just how precarious our situation is… I know the great possibility of our family being split up. I know how we will disappear from the world as we — as you — know it, our only existence as numbers lumped in with other numbers. We will only really exist as statistical data. A percentage of the population. A percentage of those not so much in The System, but in The Cycle.
Heck, my kids aren’t even young enough to be pitied by well-meaning folks — they prefer to donate to and assist babies and toddlers, not kids aged 10 and up.
Right now, I stand at the top of the slide, arms on the rails trying to block my children from the descent, but hungry things clamber up the ladder behind them — no matter how valiantly my husband swings and kicks.
I’m tired of fighting.
I’m tired of the soft hopeful smile I wear on my face, trying to sooth and calm children who trust me.
I’m tired of looking forward to the times the house is empty and I can cry alone.
I’m no longer sad that my husband and I have so little left from fighting and clawing to preserve our status that we can barely manage any kindness for one another once the children go to sleep; I’m too exhausted to be hurt, too scared to long for anything other than some safe square to stand on, and so is he.
We are past the moments of tightened belts, even tighter grimaced smiles, and hands not so much held as gripped, clinging, as if what we navigated were so physically perilous it might tear us apart — though, in truth, in might. For we are slipping away, losing ourselves and each other, as we fight to retain the place where we stand.
This place we so wearily defend, according to governmental charts, lies just above poverty level — too much income for assistance, too little to actually live anything other than a hand-to-mouth existence.
I’m tired, too, of pretending here at this blog, that all is well when it is not. As the weeks pass and bring us closer to the day of dismissive invisibility, it becomes harder to distract myself with the fantasy of pretty things. So for the past week, I went on a walkabout — in my own head, which, let me assure you, is far more frightening than being given a canteen and a knife and dropped off in the wilderness somewhere. And I’ve concluded that all I can do is ask you all to consider, “What if you woke up one morning and I had slipped away?”
If you’d miss me, if you’d miss this blog, perhaps you’d consider donating a little something… Just something to help us stave-off the wolves.
I’d appreciate it very much.
(Please send me a message with your donation if you’d like me to be able to thank you personally!)