Member since: Thu Oct 11, 2012, 06:50 PM
Number of posts: 1,002
Number of posts: 1,002
"The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth." ~ Chief Seattle
Hi there! I've written plenty on here about poverty. The outpouring of support from DU has been beautiful and overwhelming. Several people here encouraged me to share my story elsewhere. I admit, the idea has made me so nervous....to share about poverty outside of the safe confines of an understanding place like DU. I'm afraid of the comments sections. Well, I dipped my toe in the waters and sent my story to a blog that focuses on the everyday plight of the nation's poor and offers solidarity as well as advice. I said if I ever wrote about it elsewhere, I would share it here. Please take a moment to read if you would like. Thank you to those who encouraged me.
"Today, I did something I never thought Iíd do. I yelled at my son for being hungry. Oh sure, there are many parents nodding in agreement because theyíve done the same thing. Many have yelled at their kids for asking for one more snack right before dinner was served or for wanting to eat junk food out of boredom. Thatís not why I yelled. I yelled because I didnít have extra food to give him and I was taking my frustration out on him. He wasnít doing anything wrong. Heís just a kid, a 7 year old who is full of energy and constantly growing. Of course heís hungry often. Thatís what kids do. However, I didnít have enough food for anyone to have extras. Everything has to be rationed out over a week or more. Food stuff needs to be stretched. Already angry and frustrated with our situation, I lost my cool when my child asked a simple question Ė because I knew there was nothing I could do to change it in that moment. My anger turned to worry, another constant feeling in my daily life, as I wondered if this would create food issues in my child. Will he be afraid to eat, knowing that we might not have enough the next day?
Iím 35 years old. I am a mother and a wife. I am college educated, degreed, and I have held a professional license. I have been working since the age of 18. Until now. I live in poverty. I am poor. My family is poor......."
The rest of the story is at the above link. It was just published this morning and, so far, feedback on the blog and the corresponding facebook page has been kind. Whew!
Please continue to vote for those who will fight to raise the minimum wage!!
I want to thank each and every one of you who has responded. It means so much that my story is being read and shared, and that folks like me can see that they are not alone. I think it's also great that it's being spread around so people can see that those of us living in poverty are humans just like them - we're their neighbors, their friends, the people in their community who are just like them only less fortunate.
The response and the generosity has been nothing short of overwhelming. DU has always been generous with me in the past. I truly think we are going to be ok. I have a lot more hope today than I did yesterday.
Again, thank you to everyone who has read this, kicked it, shared it. Thank you for all of the support and the love you have shown. I appreciate all of you.
Let it be known that the response to my story is proof that there is good in the world. There are many days when it's hard to see it, but it's there and it's greater than we could have ever imagined. Good people truly exist.
Posted by Tree-Hugger | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 02:24 PM (127 replies)
I get into this fight with fellow Christians. Mind you, I'm Catholic and I have some pagan leanings as well, so many evangelicals already think I'm satan's bride.
An evangelical friend will say Christian's are persecuted. So, I asked her how often she feels afraid to go to church. She is not. I asked her how many times she has had to pass protesters outside of her church telling her that her religion is wrong, she is going to hell, etc. She has never experienced anything like that. I asked her how often she worries that her faith will interfere with her getting hired for a job. Never. I asked her how often people graffiti her house with slurs against her religion. Never.
Their idea of persecution is having to live with the fact that not everyone believes the same thing as you.
I have pointed out that the only time I have ever felt persecuted for my Christian faith was when people would stand outside my Catholic church and hand out Chick Tracks (spelling? it's those crazy ass booklets) that were geared towards Catholics and how we're going to hell for the Virgin Mary and the belief in the Eucharist.....
Posted by Tree-Hugger | Fri Feb 7, 2014, 11:56 AM (0 replies)
That's mind control from the gays to subvert traditional marriage and kill baby Jesus.
Dear God, we need science in schools now more than ever.
Posted by Tree-Hugger | Thu Feb 6, 2014, 05:04 PM (0 replies)
Just checked my balance as it was due to roll over at midnight and we've had a $0.00 balance for about a week. We have been getting $476. It was increased to $481 for some reason in October (something about new allowable deductions). Then it was decreased to $444.00 after November 1 when that budget thing expired. We had to renew, so I sent in all of our stubs, etc. My husband has acquired a third job since our last renewal. This new job pays anywhere from about $25.00 per week to maybe about $60.00 per week. Well, our new SNAP amount is $265.00. I am shaking. We aren't making it with his three jobs (and, yes, I have been trying to find employment) and the $400+ was hard to do with our family of four - and I cook from scratch, use coupons, shop sales, etc. I knew it would be decreased because my husband had a new job. I just didn't think by this much. I am in a full panic at the moment.
Fuck this life. Fuck the system that allows adults with families to support to work slave jobs for $7.75 an hour. Seriously, fuck it all.
I've relied on the generosity of so many lately, including some beautiful folks from DU, but it's not way to live. This seriously cannot be okay in what we are told is the greatest country in the world. It's not okay.
Has anyone ever appealed a cut like this and had them increase your amount? I sent the required pay stubs, bank statements, rent and utility statements. They can plainly see for themselves that we're not surviving on this.
Gotta keep fighting the good fight to increase the minimum wage to something livable.
Posted by Tree-Hugger | Mon Dec 9, 2013, 01:27 AM (24 replies)
You may remember me from such hits as Poverty Sucks and Poverty Sucks:Cop Edition. No, really - I have posted a few times here on DU about my struggles with poverty and how us poor folks are perceived in this society. So many of you have posted encouraging words on my OPs and/or have inboxed me thoughtful messages.
Some posters encouraged me to contact OneGrassRoot in order to get set up on Wishadoo and possibly obtain some help. I have a lot of trouble asking for help. I'm so used to being a fixer. The message from society that poor families like mine are just made up of takers really does wear down on you, even though you know it's not true, and lends a certain level of shame to asking for assistance. Still, I sucked it up asked for help and held onto some hope.
I'm writing this because Gmail has been super wonky for me for the past couple of days and I have yet to be able to send personal thanks yous to those of you who have donated to Wishadoo for me. I am a very wordy person and I have found myself without the adequate wording to express my gratitude. These donations are going to make a big difference for my family - from paying some bills, to fixing my car, affording gas for that car, to getting my husband some damn work pants without holes in them. This has given us a moment to breathe - something we have not done in a long while. Just the knowledge that there are people - total strangers, as folks would say - out there who would be willing to lend a hand leaves a giant bright spot in our lives and reminds us that there is so much good in this world, even if it doesn't make it to the headlines. One of my friends has this piece of artwork that says, "Believe There is Good In The World," and certain letters are highlighted to say, "Be The Good." You have all been proof of the good in this world. I am still in shock that we are getting such help and I wish I had a better way to let you all know how grateful I am on behalf of my family (hubby and two kids).
To those who have given me kind words, words of encouragement, some understanding, good thoughts, and prayers - THANK YOU. It helps so much just to know that there are people who are reading your words, understanding and sympathizing with you plights, and thinking of/praying for you. Just to know that you have people who are in your corner is a massive morale boost. I thoroughly believe all that positive energy does very good things.
I'm sending love to you all.
And now, every emoticon that applies to my gratitude towards you folks:
I'm sorry if this doesn't belong in GD. I wanted to be sure many folks saw it. My apologies if it's the incorrect spot.
If you'd like to read my posts on my family's struggle, you can find them here
****Just a small update 11/23/2013****
I got my rear cylinders fixed. I went back and forth on trying to learn to do them on my own, but ended up going to a local shop and having it done. They charged half of the original garage's quote, and $80.00-$100.00 less than other quotes from various shops. I just took it back to the garage that originally did my inspection...the folks who told me to bring it back when I get the work done and they'll re-inspect no charge. Except they won't. They want to charge me. I get it, ya gotta make money, but you don't gain my trust by going back on what you told me. So, I have an appointment for inspection with the shop that replaced my cylinders. So, fingers crossed that everything is good and I don't need additional work. My car feels better...there is a notable difference when driving. Yay!
And y'all did this. I got my car repaired thanks you Wishadoo and folks here. To make this political, I highly doubt we would see things of this nature on Free Republic. DU ROCKS.
Posted by Tree-Hugger | Mon Nov 18, 2013, 02:37 AM (10 replies)
....I just want to kick some law enforcement balls.
I tend to pass over some of the DU posts that seem anti-cop because a lot of the experiences are different than my own and I know good cops. I try to keep an even mind. But today I'm pissed.
I've written here about my own poverty situation (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023842668) and OneGrassRoots just set me up on the Wishadoo site so my family can receive help. Being poor sucks. It's like you're ties down and powerless while being constantly assaulted by one thing or another on a daily basis.
One of our daily woes with poverty is out car situation. We have two cars, which I think we're supposed to sell because poor people aren't supposed to have cars. I believe the RWers expect us to drag one another to work via rickshaws that we construct out of cardboard boxes and the filth of our poor poverty tears. I digress. One car failed safety inspection, but passed emissions, in July. We have not been able to afford the needed repairs (wheel cylinders and breaks). The other car is good on inspection until December, but is also due for breaks now and has just begun making a terrifying noise while being driven (I can only describe it as sounding like there is a wookie under the hood) so we have completely stopped using it. We're in a bad place with our cars. Still, my husband needs to get to his three jobs and my son needs to get to and from school, doctor's appointments, etc. And we need to drive to the grocery store (because God forbid they install sidewalks that actually lead to somewhere...) in order to spend our SNAP money and get judged in line for buying red meat or a bag of pretzels for my son's school snacks.
I was stopped by a cop today. He noticed my expired sticker as I drove by. He asked why it was expired and I explained my whole situation, saying we were struggling financially and were "food pantry type of poor." He seemed sympathetic and asked for my license and papers, which I gave him. He said he was going to send me back out in a quick minute. They run your license and registration and insurance routinely, whether or not they intend to give you a ticket so that didn't bother me. As he was doing that, another cop pulls up. That cop got out and talked to him and then came to me. He said he understands I have some money issues and asked what was wrong with my car and how much the repairs would be. He then sympathized and said it's $20.00 parts, but $300.00 for labor. He asked if I had gotten estimates anywhere else. The way he initially spoke to me sounded sympathetic and I thought for a moment he was going to tell me of some way to get help for my car (maybe there was a program that offered car repairs to the po'). But then he started going on and on about how I'm a liability on the road and can harm myself, my kids, and others. And I agreed. I said I totally understand and I have never been one to ever skimp on car repairs or routine maintenance until now, that hopefully this is a temporary bind, and that I don't know what to do because we need to drive to get to work to make money and try to save for all of our repairs. He was all, "I know, I know. I get that." He went back to the other officer and they chatted, while I sat there. He came back and said I would probably get a ticket today and it wasn't because they don't sympathize and that they don't care, but that I should, "think of it as an incentive to do the right thing and get the car repaired." What the actual fuck? It's not like I'm out here not giving a shit about my car. It's not like I'm blowing money on frivolous things and not taking car of what's needed. I'm in a bind. I need help. The other officer came back with a ticket and said to please fix my car within ten days. Otherwise, my license will be suspended.
So, I guess I'll be driving around on a suspended license.
It just pisses me off because this is the overall attitude towards the poor in society. People act like we chose this. We're being stubborn. We're lazy and just don't want to work so we can live off of handouts all day. They act like a simple solution is just a pray and wish and a day's worth of hard work away...as if we can just snap our poor little fingers and a the answer will fall from the sky. I was just looking at this offer telling me that a ticket and license suspension will essentially incentive enough to cure my poverty and fix my car like he had three heads. It must be so easy to say that when you get to work a job with okay pay and benefits, don't have to worry about car repairs, and get to go home to your own home where you have a full pantry and fridge. It's so easy to tell poor people that things will get better if you just work hard enough...if you just want it bad enough. Just stop being poor. It's as easy as that!
Sorry if this doesn't belong in GD. I was looking for a place to rant. Most people in my personal life aren't aware of how bad things are for my family because a)it's embarrassing and b)I don't want my parents to worry anymore than they already do. So, I rant online. If you are reading this and you have a quick moment to send out a prayer, or a good thought to the universe, or some positive vibes, it would be greatly appreciated.
I'm going to sheepishly post my Wishadoo link here, as suggested by OneGrassRoot. Some folks have helped out and it's making a world of difference for us.
****UPDATE November 28, 2013****
Just wanted to give an update to this situation. I was able to get my cylinders fixed. I had initially thought I may be able to do it on my own, but I ended up needing to rush the process. My grandmother was placed on Hospice and I was hoping to be able to make the trip out of state to visit her, so I decided to go with an auto repair place instead. Most places quoted me in the $250 to $350 dollar range, except one, who charged half that and got it done quickly. My car also had another inspection and passed, so I am totally legal. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away less than 24 hours after my inspection was complete, so I was unable to visit her.
I just wanted to thank all of you who read this and gave me advice, support, and encouragement. And thank you so much to those who have contributed to my Wishadoo campaign. I am at 50% of my goal and the support has been tremendously helpful - I can't even begin to explain how grateful we are. I am in the process of sending individual emails out over the next couple of days.
Thank you EVERYONE!!!
Posted by Tree-Hugger | Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:01 PM (139 replies)
I am currently unemployed and raising two little kids. My husband works not one, not two, but three jobs. Two are less than $8.00 and hour and the other is $9.00 an hour. None of those jobs is full time. He has been searching all year for full time employment and it's non-existent for someone like him (relatively unskilled). He's hardly home since he is always working. Take today. He worked 9am to 5pm today. He just walked in the door and will quickly eat dinner before taking a nap and then heading out to work from 10pm tonight to 6:30am tomorrow. Tomorrow, he will go back in to work at 5pm until 10pm, sleep a little and get up at 4am to go to work at 5am.
I lost my professional license because I was unable to pay the license renewal fee. I can't renew until the end of 2014....and I won't be able to renew unless I have a certain number of continuing education credits, which I can't afford (to attend conferences, lectures). I've tried get work outside of my field and people don't want me because they are afraid I will eventually leave once my license is renewed. I am also a poor candidate because working around my husband's hours is near impossible. My son has some mental health issues, nothing too serious, that make finding adequate childcare difficult. And it's unaffordable anyway.
We are on food stamps that never seem to last all month despite the fact that I primarily cook from scratch. We barely make rent and needed Catholic charity help with that recently. We're overdue in electricity, unable to afford rent insurance, and we have medical and dental bills out the ass. God knows how we'll afford heat this Winter. By some miracle, my husband and I are covered under Medicaid at the moment, in addition to our kids. None of my husband's jobs offer insurance.
And it sucks. It's hard enough to live this life. But day after day I read and hear comments about how people like us are takers. We are sucking on the government titties. We are mooching. We are lazy. We just expect hand outs. I have Congress people talking about how it's not that hard to be poor. Politicians vote against families like mine. Christians tell me God helps those who help themselves....and we're obviously not working hard enough to secure God's mercy. People tell me, "well, you just need to go get a job." As if it's that easy. And of course I am sinning by using the internet right now. Being poor, I do not deserve internet time....or a car....or food.
There is so much judgment out there for people like me and it's sponsored by and supported by our wonderful Christian politicians. It sucks.
Posted by Tree-Hugger | Sun Oct 13, 2013, 06:10 PM (32 replies)
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