Thursday, February 20, 2014

A little o' this, a little o' that...

I've really got to keep this going more regularly. It's important that I say what I have to say, and yet I never seem to put much credence into the words until I have been thinking about them. This post has been on my mind for the last few days, and I really meant to do this two days ago.

Two days ago marks 17 years since my mom's passing. In the years since, my dad has been involved with a good handful of women, none of whom could ever hold a candle to that woman, and I'm not just saying that out of loyalty to Mom. Unfortunately, a majority of those women have been politically conservative, and got my dad started watching Fox News (aka Faux Noise) which he has taken, in his advanced years, as The New Gospel.

A man who used to be pro-union now can't stand them. I know he doesn't see me and mine as "takers" from the system, because he believes we have "legitimate reason" to utilize what we do, but everybody else? Abusing the system, and how! He howls for impeachment, he who used to vote a straight blue ticket. He's also 89, and I just nod politely or change the subject when it comes up. I love him and would rather not fight.

When my oldest was little, after my mom passed, I'd point up to Venus, glowing oh so bright in the sky, and say that was Gramma watching over her. How appropriate that Venus was the goddess of love and beauty, two things my mom brought to this world, and to me.

The night before this anniversary, I was up doing laundry at Dad's. I've fallen way behind because of the weather and my job search, which hasn't been fun when done slogging through the snow in business attire. This gave us plenty of time together, about seven hours, during which we talked quite a bit, and he told me about a woman he's interested in seeing. She sounds marvelous and more like what he had with Mom, so I'm glad.

I steeled up my nerve, and talked to him a bit about some of the contents of this blog, as pertain to my earlier years. I haven't told him about the sexual abuses, but I told him about my late night rambles, and the reality gap when I went into junior high and high school, some of the bullying I endured. How that continues to impact certain parts of my life. Some of the less wonderful things about my adult life and my thought processes. I talked to him about my dental health, as he was my ride home after my extraction yesterday and I asked him about why he and Mom had  never gotten me in to see a dentist the whole time I was growing up. He knows I don't blame them, it's just how it was - and he is just as boggled as I am about why the ex, with his dental plan and the means to pay for care for all of us, never did.

I told him that since the meltdown, I have backtracked and made a lot of observations about things in my life, his life, Mom's life. I explained that when I've asked him about whether Mom had miscarriages between my brother and me (with our 11 year age gap, it was possible), whether my thoughts about her possibly having depression seemed legitimate, all of the things we have talked about, it's because I am seeking to understand the environment in which I was raised. Why those things continue to affect my behaviors, especially in my current family dynamics.

We talked about all of those things so much, in such wonderful depth, for the first time ever.

The end result: He told me that our talk was "the best time in his life." It was an enlightenment for him to so many things that had gone unanswered over the years in his own mind. He was amazed at the amount of observation and insight I possessed into why things are the way they are, in my point of view. I gave him food for thought, knowledge he had never gained into who I am and what I am all about, what our family is and how it got to that point. He sees ways now that my oldest sister and I may be able to forge a union that surpasses anything either of us could imagine alone. He said that he sees me as someone with a lot to give, that I am not the kind of person who just takes from others or expects something in return if I give.

In short, the entire afternoon was a success.

I have rarely spoken to my family because, as far as I could tell, my siblings have always seen me still running around in my Dr. Dentons, thumb in my mouth and blankie draped, Linus-like, over my shoulder. Even at the age of 49, as I am now. When I was taking care of Dad last September after a fall, they were praising me to my face and criticizing me to Dad behind my back. They have never taken the time to get to know me, and expected me to come to them, Mohammed to the mountain style.

It sounds like that may change soon, for the better.

For a time, I felt like I was going to bide my time until Dad passed, and, once his will was read, tell my siblings to come close, because I had three little words for them. I'd utter those words - "go f*** yourselves" - and walk away. I have certainly not felt much love from them, in spite of my efforts over the years. It sounds like that may not happen. We'll see.



In other updates:

I have an SSI/SSDI application in, as reported last post, which I am not actively pursuing. I do not agree with the last psych evaluation - I am not some big wailing ball of hurt, unable to function in this society, and that is what they want me to believe. On the contrary, I am eager to participate, to contribute - as I have said many times, if desire alone were what it took to have a job, I would have one. I enjoy work, as crazy as that may sound. I would much rather take disability money when I feel the impact of my conditions more clearly; at this point, I am functional.

The ABD money? My current income exceeds the maximum required to get it, so that's out. Two hundred dollars more a month, that could have paid my electric bill, but I make too much to get it with my current level of income, which barely covers my rent. I did the math. Eighty-four percent of my income goes toward my rent. Eighty-four. That's almost three times what a healthy budget allots for rent. What a f***ing joke, I swear.

I continue to live broke.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I finally have a doctor, if you want to call it that. The one assigned by Amerigroup (the state system) is an older gentleman of Asian descent, who has an office he shares with his wife. They also have an acupuncture clinic in the other side. They have sent me to the labs for tests twice, and I have seen them three times. This last visit, he asked me questions based on the first visit, did not tell me the results of the last lab test, and told me he had some medicine for me. I saw him take it out of the cabinet, and that was the last I saw of him for that visit. The aide returned to me with this medicine and proceeded to guide me to the reception desk. I asked her if he was going to give me my test results, and that I needed to speak to him about getting cholesterol medication as I'd discussed with his wife during my second appointment. She left and asked him about my lab work, then returned carrying a 28 day supply of the cholesterol medication he'd decided to try on me. Not another word out of him. I think they're trying to get rid of us state patients, and if so, it's working. I am looking over the providers list and seeing if I can find someone taking on new state patients who can actually act like they give a damn about me.

SNAP benefits were cut back, starting this month. Because of my new, modified low cholesterol diet, much of that modified allotment is gone already. I can eat some of what I already have in the pantry, as I've always tried to eat as well as I can, but I won't get my new allotment until the ninth of March. That's a while yet.

Currently behind on the electric and will have my cell paid by Friday, but debating on whether or not to keep the internet. It's become kind of essential when my sleep patterns are so erratic - some of my best job applications are submitted at 3 a.m. - but if I end up on the streets, it's all rather irrelevant, isn't it? I considered a house share or two when my lease was about to lapse, but requested (and got) a six month extension so I can try to figure out what to do. I can't afford a move, I can't afford to stay - what's a girl to do? Oh, I know, GET A JOB!

(Insert laughter here.)

I've had some really good job interviews, but nothing has worked out yet. One involved four steps - I made it through three and am still waiting to hear about the fourth. The search continues.

I refuse to quit trying!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

End Of Year (Almost) Wrap-Up

It has been a while since I posted anything - mostly because I have been running on pure adrenaline.

The current financials are as follows:

Income:
Child support = $467
Help from Dad = $250
SNAP = $187
**TOTAL: $904 ($717 without SNAP)

Outgo:

Rent = $595
Electric = $70 (before the winter)
Cell phone = $55
Internet = $30
Food = $187 (because I have nothing left to put toward the food)
**TOTAL: $937 ($750 without SNAP)

In short, still unable to meet the most basic expenses. I gave up the landline a few months ago, once my daughter decided to move in with her dad. The internet, though, is a requirement. Traveling to and from the local WorkSource office every day is a time expenditure I do not have, and I still manage to get at least four hours a day (including weekends) in for the job search, at least twenty applications out per week.

I interviewed last week. Just got word tonight that I didn't get past the first round. I have several interviews lined up next week; here's hoping one pans out.

I've been to every workshop WorkSource offers. Every last one, including the Job Club;

I've been tested on the skills that I need to succeed at most general clerical positions, and am rated advanced level on every one of them, even the ones I've never really used or been trained in;

I've been assessed for my interviewing techniques and told I am an extremely good interview; the person doing it was arranged to provide a mock interview experience, but I was told it was for an actual position, so I did not go in knowing it was not real;

I've had my resume revamped and my cover letter writing abilities assessed; both are excellent and my resume only needed minor changes to it;

... and yet, here I am, still looking. Still scraping.

If it weren't for the occasional piece of my jewelry that I've managed to sell, I would be on the street by now. Yes, the state has heard of this - I would  have to make over $900 for them to worry about it as income, they've said. I don't even have to report it to the state unless I make over $600 in sales, which I've yet to do.

In the last couple of weeks, I've had my jewelry for sale at a local shop, where I will be spotlight artist next month. The owner is working to find a second shop I can sell through, working on media contacts, and looking into other ways that I can legitimately make some extra money to get by... but it's hard to feel terribly optimistic, given the way things have been going.

Working so hard for so long has me frustrated. As I have said all along, if desire were all it took to get what I wanted, I'd have it already. People can talk positive thinking all they want, but it isn't getting me anywhere. I maintain a positive attitude, I keep on plugging away, and where does it get me? Nowhere. I'm so tired of the ongoing struggle.

I re-enrolled with vocational rehabilitation a few months ago, and was just removed from services this week. They received the psych evaluation they required to update my situation, and determined I need extensive, intensive therapy and medications - and to not seek out work. Instead, they want me to stay home and play the delicate flower, apply for SSI/SSDI and ABD (aged, blind, disabled aid) because I've had such trouble finding work that I can keep.

I've applied for both, but I refuse to cave in.

First of all, the psych evaluation was a joke.

One of the things said in it was that I don't take responsibility for things, I blame others. This is a total crock of crap. I am more than willing to take my share of responsibility for things... but I do expect others to share the burden of responsibility when it is warranted. I do not like it when people refuse to do so and decide it is far better to dump everything on me; it makes my anxiety worse, not better. I also dislike that people cannot understand that sometimes, things just happen and no one is at fault.

It also said that I lack insight into why my life is as it is; this blog should be ample proof of this. I have done plenty of navel gazing over the years since my meltdown, analyzing the reasons I think the way I do. I have also picked apart my childhood family relationships and my adult family relationships. I look at what society has influenced in my life, and what I have known. I am the first to admit imperfection, especially within myself. I sugarcoat nothing and strip myself bare in a search for the truth.

I have been using the jewelry design as a way to handle the stress of my daily life. When I had to do an inventory for the shop, I stopped at 73 pieces to take there, but continued the inventory when I got home. There are currently 188 pieces currently available, including those 73. I have sold over a dozen of them over the last year, almost none of them duplicates.

This means that I have personally designed over 200 pieces of jewelry.

And if this is something that I have done as a relaxing technique, this year has been one hell of a year!

How's that for insight and self-introspection, world?

All I want for Christmas is some financial stability. So far, it eludes me... but I just keep on trying.

The alternative is quitting, and I just can't bring myself to do that.

The doctor doing the psych evaluation did two previous ones for vocational rehabilitation purposes. He knows nothing of how far I've come without medication, without regular therapy. He has me fill in little dots on tests, results spit out of a machine. He talks to me and asks me about things that affect my life. He even said, this last time around, "I can't blame you for having a lot of stress, anxiety and depression - those things would be overwhelming to me, too." So, he tells me to my face that what I'm experiencing is perfectly normal, but then writes that I'm struggling with them.

Pardon me. Calling bullshit on that.

He notes nothing about my use of journaling, nothing about the jewelry making. He cites the injuries I've sustained - emotional as well as physical - while employed and implies that there's something wrong with me. No. I told my boss at the inventory position that I could not do the job they asked of me, due to a lifting limit which was recorded at the time I applied for work there. I have incomplete bones in my forearms, which makes certain types of lifting impossible - moving metal and glass artworks that are almost as wide as my "wingspan" off of elevated shelves while on a ladder is the last thing I should be doing. Having a boss who put his hand halfway up my dress when dropping me off at home after my shift at work isn't something I encouraged, and triggered past experiences (see elsewhere in this blog).

I am tired of being misunderstood by so many, and thankful for those who "get" me.

I'm not that hard to understand. I'm loving, honest, sincere, genuine and more. I'm the person who strikes up a conversation with someone on the bus. I'm the one who answers people who ask me for money on the streets, instead of shuffling by and acting like I don't see them. I'm the one who has nothing, but if it's in my power to help someone, I will.

I'm not a bad person.

Something's got to give, though.

I'm just hoping it's not me.


EDIT: A former supervisor wrote this about me when I requested a letter of recommendation. It had me all welly inside...

 Jane Doe worked for me as On-Call Shelter Staff at the homeless teen shelter, ______. She was diligent in her responsibilities which included maintaining records of client progress, enforcing rules and expectations of _____, and conducting maintenance of the facility. 

During her time here, she had an amazing impact on the clients as a stable adult figure that shows them how to respect others as well as themselves. She took to her responsibilities head on, and was a reliable person for me to count on when I needed a shift covered.   She is highly respected by her co-workers for her willingness to help in any way she could.   Jane has proven malleable in her abilities to adjust to a new working environment and worked as a team player to create a safe place for our teenagers. 


I have full faith that Jane has great potential in becoming a leader, mentor, and curator for our future generations.  It has been a total pleasure to have her on staff with us.  I highly advocate Jane for proving herself as a conscientious, unswerving, and perpetual individual.  

Now honestly... does that sound like someone who can't succeed in the work force, who should just crumple up and call it quits? I think not!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Excuse me, can we move a little faster, please?

I have been in search of what I call The Job (note the caps) for three years now. This is a search for a full time, regular position with benefits - something I haven't had in years, and need now that I am divorced and a single mother again. The state won't give me medical coverage unless I give them the power to collect my child support, which I see no reason to do. Until I am working, getting that $116 per week is what we live on from week to week. It's not like he's not paying, nor is it like they're doing anything to get the over $7000 in back support currently owed me by my other two exes.

There is little more frustrating than wanting to work, and not having the opportunities to do so. It's only recently that I've been able to get interviews again, and while I realize that I worked part time or contract jobs in the span of the three years in question, I still have had to neglect my health for the most part.Totally not cool.

It is almost midnight here, and I am exhausted after a week of the job search. I'll try to post more about it soon... I promise!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Steubenville Response

I've spoken, in roundabout ways, about rape in my past, or what formed my thinking over the years. With the verdict in Steubenville, it's time that I talked about my experiences. This will not be pretty, this will not be fun, not for any of us. So buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

As I said once upon a time, when I was raped when I was older, or in a sexually uncomfortable situation, I would revert to the ten year old I was the very first time I was violated. My best friend's dad took advantage of my innocence and vulnerability at that age.

When I went home afterward, stunned, I bled and wept behind closed doors. When my mother saw my blood-stained underwear, she assumed my period had started and I was given a box of Kotex my sisters used when they visited the house, no explanation for the use given and no manual provided. It took me time to figure them out, as we hadn't had The Movie in school yet. (That came two years later.)

Because I was so young and naive, I thought that this made me a woman, somehow. But I also knew that my family could never know - the one thing I knew about my family, no matter how crazy things could get, was that we did not welcome even the faintest whiff of scandal. I couldn't tell anyone. My brother had done time for dealing drugs. My oldest sister had raised hackles by being the first female hippie in our home town. My other sister had had a child out of wedlock, who was put up for adoption after Sis spent some time in a "mother's home" in the mid-Sixties. No way did I want to be another black sheep in the family. I'd seen how much these things had disturbed my parents, even when I was young. So I buried everything, a pattern that would continue over the years.

Over the next few years, I discovered my dad's porn stash in my quest to find out what women were supposed to be like. What a warped way to go... Penthouse Forum and Hustler's stories, all taken to be the gospel by someone who knew no better. When a group of boys in middle school decided to pick on the quiet, withdrawn girl, she had some idea what they were after. She gave it, again silent in her complicity.

By high school, I had guy friends who enjoyed my favors, guys I now recognize as losers, users who enjoyed exploiting girls. I was irresponsible, crazed with pain I had buried so far deep inside of me that I thought this was who I was supposed to be. The sexual use continued throughout high school, until I got engaged to someone I thought I truly loved. I let him think he was my first, when he definitely wasn't. I was on birth control and fortunately, it worked.

When we broke up, I was devastated and went back to letting boys have their way with me. I didn't always consent. I wasn't always sober. They knew they didn't have my consent, knew I'd been drinking. Like the Steubenville boys, they figured this gave them license to do whatever they pleased. And so I would find myself degraded, over and over again, more and more depressed.

A good friend I thought I could trust raped me the night before I graduated. He turned himself in, and did some time in the minimum security prison. Ultimately, though, he received a suspended sentence for good behavior. Meanwhile, I lost friends like mad, who refused to believe I'd been raped.

I didn't know it at the time, but when I was first violated, I developed many of the emotional conditions that I now live with. I buried everything for so long. So ridiculously long. How could I do that to myself?

I still don't know.

My first husband was abusive, my oldest daughter the product of her father being an abusive drunk who wouldn't stop when I tried to form the word NO. We'd been in a car accident early in our marriage, and I spent two years recovering from that. During that time, he didn't stop exercising his conjugal rights, climbing on me even when I was doped up on painkillers. When I miscarried a child, I was so heavily medicated that I had no idea what day it was, let alone when my last period had been. I was treated like I was mentally challenged, even with a tested IQ of almost 180. Another piece of my life, buried.

My second husband was a manipulative jackass who played with my birth control and I wound up pregnant by him before I agreed to marry him. Because of my sister, I was still living by the code that said I didn't want controversy, and I didn't want to be a welfare mother with two children by two different fathers. The marriage lasted five months before I left him due to more manipulation and controlling behaviors. That move happened when our daughter was five months old; I moved a third of a mile away, taking everything of mine on a flatbed dolly with the baby in a pouch and my then second grade aged daughter watching to make sure nothing fell off. Back and forth for two weeks, as I could gain access to the house only when he was at work. I ended up getting a restraining order against him, and he chose to make a 90 day divorce take a year and a half.

Over the course of that year and a half, I started dating my best friend, who'd helped me get away from him. The friend expressed an interest in BDSM, which I'd had a curiosity about from earlier reading of Dad's stash. I consented, and found a great deal of pleasure being a liberated woman... all of this going on while my mother was battling cancer back home (I was no longer where I'd started). Needless to say, my mind wasn't completely switched on. Before long, I found myself in yet another abusive relationship and fled this time. I didn't want the sexual exploration known to my controlling ex, so I did nothing.

This is when the job interview rape took place; here I was, a young, newly single divorcee seeking a job to take care of my daughters, and someone I'd met at a local club offered to interview me for a job in his office. He decided to fulfill a fantasy of his, using me as the leading lady, and as it was just the two of us in his offices, no one heard a thing. I tried to press charges - only the second time in all of this, thanks to the repression - but because I hadn't said "no" specifically, the police wouldn't allow me to press charges. As I've written elsewhere, not realizing I was reverting to my ten year old self when these things took place, I could not have formed the word "no" if you'd paid me.

I entered a third marriage, this one a good one, a bit after my mother's death. While in that marriage, I had a boss who attempted to get a little too friendly - putting his hands in places they didn't belong - and I did say "no" and it seemed to be ignored, so I quit before things progressed out of control.

A decade and some later, we separated due to incompatibility of several types. The fact I'd been raped after a day of job hunting certainly didn't help. My oldest daughter miscarrying my first grandson at five months didn't help, either - my own miscarriage came flooding back into my mind. Holding my grandson's still body in my arms, at my daughter's insistence, took me over the edge. Way over the edge. In this time frame, I was first diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and two forms of depression. I'd also attempted suicide, as the memories of the miscarriage weren't all that came back. The memories of the first time, the things from junior high and all along, came flooding back in a torrent I couldn't stop.

I've had one step backwards since then, a re-examining of the BDSM lifestyle that brought the PTSD to the fore again, but I learned a lot from that experience. I learned that I am not interested in being subservient to any man, especially not sexually. (I also don't have any desire to dominate a man, or anyone else, for that matter.) I am not an object, least of all an object intended to be used for sexual purposes only. I am an intelligent, talented woman with a lot of love and energy to put toward creating the life I want. I want my opinions, thoughts and desires to matter to anyone I am involved with. I want to be treated with respect and love. And anyone I get involved with is going to get that in return from me.

For now, though, I am living the asexual life, working to forge my own identity and prove that I can take care of myself. I feel like I've neglected that part of me for far too long. Time to fix that! I'm in no hurry to get involved with anyone, and I do not fear growing old alone. If that is how it is to be, that's how it is to be. I can live with that. Besides, I do have friends who love me and don't expect a "hello" to lead to sex - a definite nice feeling!

I am still working through so much of this, but one lesson I gained was to not hold back the truth. It's almost killed me, but I've also learned I'm stronger than all of that.

I wasn't the one who was wrong here; those who took advantage were. My best friend's dad was, so many others were. The media is also wrong for portraying women as objects, now as much as it did in the Seventies, when I was growing up. Still, the world is changing.

My oldest child was molested at the age of five, and had someone attempt rape on her; my second had someone try and she deflected the attempt. My youngest, now 13, has never had anything of the sort happen, and hopefully she never will. They were raised by a woman who strives to help them become strong, beautiful, intelligent women. So far, it's working.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Getting Mouthy Here...

I wrote the post below while I was sitting on the bus, heading to the grocery store.  I don't carry my computer everywhere, so I carry a notebook that I can write in when the mood strikes.  Well, there is a post in there about the anger I am dealing with regarding my recent ex-husband, written in April.  I reference it here because it's mentioned in the post.

If there is one word that can sum up my past, I think that word would have to be NEGLECT.  This neglect began when I was a child, and has continued on through my adult relationships.  By taking charge of myself nowadays, I'm breaking that cycle.



Before I was born, my parents were heavily active in our community.  They participated in Job's Daughters, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Jaycees, all sorts of things.  This involvement was evidenced by a number of photographs that I no longer have since the foreclosure.  My dad made my sisters' prom dresses, even though he worked three jobs to keep their heads above water.

By the time I was old enough to have memories, I honestly recall very little beyond the occasional card parties they'd have, and church on Sundays, when I was very young.  But one thing stands out in my mind:  The ongoing neglect of my health, in particular my dental health.

As with my bones, my teeth were no doubt impacted by the calcium deficiency generated before I was born.  The fact Mom loathed milk probably made the problem even worse; I doubt she forced herself to drink it "for the baby."  She didn't avoid all dairy, so I know at least sometimes I was getting calcium in utero, but I'm sure it wasn't enough, as evidenced by my incomplete forearm bones.  This isn't the neglectful part.

What is neglectful is my realization recently that I didn't have my first toothbrush until I was 16 years old.  The ones they gave me at school on Fluoride Day vanished within hours of my arrival home with them, somehow.  (Maybe Dad had to clean a car part, who knows?)  Our medicine cabinet held no toothpaste, no toothbrushes, no floss or mouthwash.

Mom had stopped caring for her teeth after the accident that had left her with a burned esophagus.   She didn't feel like dealing with them if she couldn't enjoy the food she was eating, so she just gave up.  Dad was never terribly big on dental care, either; we used to have pictures of him that were taken for his real estate license that showed a very unhealthy mouth if you looked at the 8x10s, less visible in the 3x5s that were needed.

It wasn't until I interviewed for - and got - my first job, as a dental assistant trainee that I even set foot into a dentist's office.  Looking back, I'm sure he saw the condition of my mouth and wanted to be helpful to my family.  He did all kinds of work to my mouth before he put me to work, and never charged us a dime for it.

I've never been able to afford regular dental care on my own, and even in 13 years of marriage I didn't really receive proper care, that mantra of "can't afford it" echoing in my ears whenever it came up.  The one time I did get to get into the dentist's, I had a severe enough infection that one side of my face was swollen beyond recognition.  That, he made the effort to get me in for.  But routine exams?  Preventative maintenance?  Fuggedaboudit!

While I wasn't able to get the girls in for appointments, I've at least made the effort to make sure the girls are supplied with the tools needed for care.  They have always had toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss picks and mouthwash available on demand.  They will not grow up hurting like I do now, I do my best to make sure of that.



I now write this post with two broken teeth gone, extracted, as that's the only care that the state will allow.  I have no medical or dental coverage at work, as I am only working part time, and foresee no time when my teeth will be tended to again.  My remaining teeth will drift and cause even more health problems down the road; women with poor dental health run an increased risk of heart disease.  The pain level isn't pleasant, and it's constant, even if it's on "low burner" status. 

I feel that having these teeth gone, and the problems related to them, negatively impacts my chances for a good job, one I'm definitely worth.  It's definitely a barrier! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

More updating...

I've missed two days of work at my new job, which I started in mid-July, thanks to migraines.  The kind that left me on the floor in the fetal position.  So last week, I decided I was going to tackle them once and for all, and called my primary care physician's office.  Them and the persistent feeling of heartburn that I've battled for the ten days prior.  The two combined make eating difficult and I really am no fan of the nausea and vomiting that goes with both going on at once.

Granted, this is a clinic, but every time I have called to get an appointment in the last six months, they are too booked to see me, and refer me to an urgent care, which charges triple the rates of the clinic.  Some people might think, "So what?  You're not paying for it," which tells me they don't think that I care about that.  I do, though.  Besides that, if all my medical care is being done in urgent care, they're not getting that information at the clinic, right?  So how can I get any follow-through or consistency in my medical records?

I go in, and the girl can't find me in the state medical system.  It's done that for a few other people too, she says, and reassures me that it's probably not working right, they'll see me, etc.  I get seen, have a few scrips written out and head to the pharmacy, where I am told:

I AM NOT IN THE SYSTEM.

What?

How the hell is this possible?

I did a telephone interview with the state in July, and was told that I still had medical coverage, and they told me about the adjustment to my food stamps (already posted about elsewhere).  I have never received a letter saying my medical was cut, and even got a state medical card for my youngest daughter that says it took effect 8/1/2012.  When I called for that card, I was not told that I was cut from the program, yet here I was... holding a computer printout from the pharmacy that said I was cut from Medicaid at the end of April.  Um, no.  Don't think so.

Needless to say, my migraine and possible gastric reflux have been put on the shelf.  I've called the therapist I just started with at the start of August - the one who's joining the game six years late - and told her I have to withdraw from treatment until further notice.  And now I'm thinking of how many bills I am going to have hit my mailbox soon.  It makes me sick, it really does.

In other news...

A full time position opened up two weeks ago where I'm working part time at the moment, so I went ahead and applied for it.  I got my first interview in today, and am hoping for things to progress.  I know I can do the job, no problem at all,   It's just getting the job, and surviving my boss' attempts at giving me guilt trips because my life has changed...

I know now that reconciliation with the ex is not likely to happen; this means I need to find a new place of my own, as we've been sharing a place the last few months.  My choice more than anything.  Two of my three daughters have new homes, the last one begun this past weekend. 

And now it's my turn.

Looking into apartments that leave me with a great deal of mixed emotions doesn't help.  I want to keep my 12 year old where she is, but the apartments in this part of town aren't the cheapest.  The buses are mediocre as well from many sites.  The four block walk I do now is not bad, but some areas, I would have to walk nearly a mile to the bus.  I don't want to be doing that in the winter with my knees!

And so I am working on all of this at once, hoping things continue to look up...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Update Re Mama's Happiness...

Had to have a review with the state Department of Social & Health Services.

I was mailed the appointment information and a form to complete at an address I haven't used in several months, even though I've updated the address twice already, and never received it.  (Yes, I've had a change of address in since the change.)  Then I received a letter letting me know benefits would be cut at the end of June because I hadn't completed the form or the appointment.

This after being a dutiful citizen and giving them the change of circumstance form when my youngest daughter and her dad, my now ex-husband, moved in with me, as posted before.

I ended up having to wait for another telephone interview to be completed, and when that was done, I decided to go in and submit some of the information they'd requested from me.  Turns out whoever did the phone interview didn't include one of my children on the updates!

Medical has been saved.

However, because my teenager works, her income slashed my food stamp benefits to less than $1 per person, per meal, per day for the coming month.  Yes, she works, but she doesn't contribute ONE DAMNED DIME to the family.  Even though I'm busting my butt looking for work, and every little bit would help.

I didn't raise my daughters to be this inconsiderate toward others, especially their own family.  She's incredibly generous to her friends, but family?  Forget it.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm glad she works.  I'm glad she's saving some money from work to put toward her apartment when she moves out to attend college.  But when our budget is impacted like this, and I tell her, I really don't think it's out of line to be aggravated about it.  We receive considerably less in food assistance for three people than we received for just the two of us.  What part of "we need your help" does she not understand?

Does she not remember that she uses the hot water, the electricity, the internet, and lives under a roof we have provided?  We have not asked for a lot - merely $50 - but that is apparently too much.

So Mama is definitely not happy, not nearly as happy as she'd like to be.