Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hold Tight

The phone has been ringing since 8:00 this morning, a Sunday. Not with friends and family but with bill collectors. One of them probably the landlord. I could "feel" the vibe, even though the number said "Unknown". The cat has been yowling and when I got up I realized I have no food for him.

I was going to complain about it, about sitting in Foodstamps Thursday afternoon and again on Saturday morning (where I was told I qualified for a whopping $87 a month.... I have a decent child support judgment and currently my paychecks are running about $90 a week after deductions. Combined it's not enough to pay my rent that's $1275 as of 12/1. But. It's too much income and the rent is noted but it's not calculated into the percentage. So $87 is better than nothing, right?). I was going to comment that particularly on Saturday morning (and Saturday morning appointments are a new thing) the crowd waiting--and I do mean crowd as the waiting room of about 40 chairs was full--were all obviously working people. And not just women. Women with partners. One man in a firefighter's sweater was helping his elderly mother apply.

But I read my sister's post and I guess I have no right to complain. I still have a phone for bill collectors to call. Although if I don't pay my light bill by Friday nothing is going to work.

Yesterday I went to the dojo to watch promotions. I haven't paid them the monthly fee and even though I've done flyers for them, it doesn't really cover the cost of the fees so we haven't really been going. And I couldn't afford the belt test fee and plus the Sun has been slacking. So I went to watch and take pictures. I started talking to BigSensei's wife, asking about her best friend who recently had a nervous breakdown.

It turns out the friend's living with her two teenaged sons in a house with an emotionally abusive man and his grandmother. She doesn't have enough money to leave. The older sun, 16, ran off for three days to be with a girl, and when she went looking for him and slapped him when she found him, he called the police and pressed charges. It generated an ACS case. She was so hurt she completely freaked out and so they took her to St. Vincents, and gave her medication. The kid is not showing up for the meetings, although she is, which means that at some point the Family Court will label the child a PINS -- Persons In Need of Supervision.

In the meantime, the boyfriend (who has a gambling problem) and grandmother are threatening her, berating her, calling her names. The system's response? Medicate her. So every time the boyfriend starts, the mother just goes into her room and takes whatever the psychiatrist has prescribed. Legal medication. If she were doing drugs, you see, she'd just be some crackhead.

It just makes you wonder.

So compared to those two stories, I'm doing fine. Although it really doesn't seem that way at all.

I went out Friday with my friend and we discussed our project some more. It's exciting. It could work. But it's long range.

And in the meantime there's so many things I need, I crave... but I can't complain cuz there are folks out there this morning who have it worse than me.

5 comments:

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

You know normally I'd high five you on the drug comment but I've been forced to rethink that whole medication thing. First, depending on what this woman is on, it's not likely to have nearly the same mental effect as crack. Second, if she's getting therapy along with the medication, it's going to do her far more good than the crack would have. And lastly, if it keeps her from slitting her wrists, she's alive. And maybe that's what it's doing for her. Just another perspective.

The economy has finally started apart here. We bumped into some people we knew the other night. She's already lost her job, and he's waiting to hear about his as he used to work for Wacovia/Walls Fargo. And we know too many people living in this fear. That's why it gets me all wound up when I hear some freakin' conservative moaning about tax breaks for those on welfare.

The Bear Maiden said...

I go back and forth on the meds thing, Ginger, but the thing is I know the system. She doesn't need medication. She needs money. She needs to leave. She needs to be someplace so she can think... but nobody can/will take her, probably cuz she's got two teenaged boys. If the meds they prescribe (and I'm guess Klonapin, cuz it can put you in a stupor so you are not longer a danger to yourself or others--and BigSenseis wife described such a stupor) are fuzzing her over to make the pain go away, they are also fuzzing her ability to think clearly and formulate a plan. She doesn't need not to feel, she needs to be able to feel precisely so she can get the fuck out.

But there is no money. There is no bailout for the little people. We can spend fucking billions and billions to bail out badly-run car industries and insuruance companies, but there is no fucking money to get this woman out of this situation... in which she is convinced she will be killed.

Their is no money to help my sister's client get a roof over her head.

The more I think about it the more pissed I get.

professor said...

also, they give meds with no therapy...you get five minutes with psychiatry student who does not give a fuck about you...
it's really bad...I thank God everyday for what I have...

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

A friend of mine threw in the towel and moved to North Carolina. He rents a 2 BR house for under $500. I thought of doing this, but then the wages are lower so it might end up the same.

Even though I'm not in a dire situation, I can see the economic train wreck coming for the entire country. No job will be secure. Hell, I wonder if the government will be able to afford to run the public schools next September.

Your situation sounds extreme, Bear Maiden. I'm very concerned for you. If there is anyone in your past or present life who is kind and stable, and would allow you to rent from them (maybe an elderly aunt who would enjoy a little extra help?) it might be worth a look. I wish I had a magic solution for you. Hang in there.

The Bear Maiden said...

@ Ginger, hope you're holding on and feeling better...

@ Professor, yup. Very little therapy. Takes too much time. Unless you become a ward of the state like Thumbelina in which case they send the police out after you if you don't show. Mind you, she has a job and a life and drives and pretty much does OK unless you piss her off.

@ Kit... yeah it's extreme. But I have an Upstairs Neighbor who's kind of like an aunt, and I have a mom and Pop. I just HATE OWING THESE PEOPLE. But thanks... keep thinking of me cuz I believe prayer works.