A Positive Step; The Negative Judges
I got a new job! A full time job! I start next Monday. I'm pretty excited. I can finally get my life back under control. I can have a new normal. I can move out of my family member's house and rent an apartment where I can cook and clean what I want when I want. I can almost taste the freedom.
My credit sucks, my husband still wants us all to be a big happy family, but this is a step in the right direction for me. I'm pulling myself out of the prison I was in. Living with my husband while he was abusing substances was like living with a ball chained to my leg. The drinking was hard to deal with because I was watching him destroy his body literally. He was always yelling, always angry, always depressed. Then he would drink even more and blame me and the world for why he had to do it. I wanted to do what I could to help him, but it was like battling a brick wall. All I kept hearing was how much he needed it. Then rages were what took me down the most. My confidence left me. Confidence is easy to destroy and takes time to heal and build again.
Since we've been separated, I've felt like I could breathe a little better. I'm still stressed because I've imposed my life upon unwilling participants. My husband did not give me any support for my child. I was in and out of work for numerous reasons. The first job was too far and because it was temporary, I was paying more in child care and travel than what I was making. The second job was temporary during the holiday season in a department store. Because of my previous problems with my back and nerves, I could barely make it through the two weeks I was hired. By saving grace, the job I currently have has been good to me. It took a while to start because of policy, procedures and training in another city that was not an easy commute. But I've managed to keep this job and do well, despite it merely being part time. On my off days, I've applied for work, went to interviews. The money was just enough to get my child the bare minimum of what he needed: Childcare, diapers, wipes, food for lunches and transportation to get me from point A to B. I hated that it paid so little, but as long as it could give me the opportunity to put forth the effort to find better work, I was okay with that. This job did what it was supposed to do: I got the job that I needed to get back on my feet again. And because I did such a good job with this position, they're willing to keep me on to fill in a weekend a month. I need the money now that I'm operating as a single parent, so I agreed.
I am finally figuring things out; I just hate that the world still judges you even when the world knows your situation.
"Why don't you have money saved?" One person asked.
The answer: "I paid childcare hourly; not by contract because my hours vary. One week I could pay $90, another $300. To maintain a good relationship with my sitter, I need to make sure I pay her. She's licensed, certified, I can afford her and best of all: My son loves her. She's allowed me to pay late because I've been so short some weeks with money and she's been supportive of mine and my son's situation. Most child care providers would turn us away."
"Public transportation is somewhat affordable. Yes, you get a 2-hour period to catch the bus, but if you also have to take a train, it gets much more expensive. And buying a $45 bus pass for a month is pointless if you don't use it everyday. To avoid paying the extra $25 for child care, I pay Uber to take me the 10 minutes to work and from work after I walk the half a mile to get my son to the sitter to save money. It only costs $10-$12 for one day with Uber. Oh yeah... My son's father pays no child support! I'm the only one footing the bill for my child!"
"Government assistance is a long, laborious process. You don't get cash assistance if you have income. Food stamps take about 3 months to get. No single parent gets assistance with a young child unless someone else thinks you deserve it. And I can't put my own son in Head Start or Pre-K because he won't be turning 4 until next year!"
"Oh yeah... Your financial future is determined by the person who hires you or however much money you can make doing side hustles."
The next judgemental question: "How come you didn't leave your husband sooner?"
The answer: "Marriage is supposed to be forever. And if you love the person, you do what you can to help them. Some people may think that to be dumb and maybe it is, but I made a lifelong commitment at an altar in front of 100 people."
I focus on what I can do; what's in front of me; my RIGHT NOW plan. That's the answer.
© 2018 Denalia Evans