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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Life "On the Dole"

In my last blog post I mentioned that I have received Government benefits of some sort or another for the vast majority of my adult life, but I didn't elaborate on the whys of any of that.  I did that on purpose.  You see, it really shouldn't matter why, and those who think it does would never appreciate the reasons anyway.  If people want to think poorly of me for it they are going to do so, no matter what the reasons were.  But for those of you who would still like to believe that Mother is a good and decent person and not just a perennial leach on the hard working folks around the country, for you, I would like to explain the details now.

I have NEVER wanted to receive a dime from welfare, that has never been my goal or my plan, I actually despise having to deal with the system in any way, shape, or form.  It is degrading, humiliating, and infuriating at every level to have to deal with Government employees, and I hate it.  That being said, when the need arises for one of my kids, I will deal with the devil himself to get it dealt with.

Okay, so my story, Reader's Digest Condensed version:  When I was 18 I was pregnant with my first child (no he was not an accident).  I lived with his father who received Social Security Survivors benefits at the time, and he was in college, so he got Pell Grants and Government money for that.  We received no other benefits, no food stamps, not even medical, my parents kept me on their insurance through the birth of our son.  When we separated, I gave him custody of our son because I didn't want to go on Welfare. 

And I managed to stay off the system for three years.  It wasn't until three years later when I was married and working a part-time job that I had to apply for Welfare for the first time.  My husband was ill and unable to work, we didn't know what was wrong with him yet, that would come later.  When I became pregnant on our wedding night I had no choice, I had to have medical care for the baby and there was no other way to get it.  We got food stamps, medical care, and a couple hundred dollars a month in cash I think.  That was it.  I was working the entire time too, right up until after my son was still-born six months later.  The grief and despair took over my life for a few weeks and it was all I could do to look after my oldest son who had been back living with me since just before the wedding.  I just couldn't handle going to work, and I really did try.  I loved my job and the people I worked for, I wanted to go, I didn't want to let them down.  But I just couldn't.

It was just over 2 months after the birth that we finally learned what was making my husband so ill for so long.  Two weeks before his 29th birthday, a major artery in his brain burst open, and he suffered a stroke and died.  Unfortunately, dumb ass that I am, I preformed CPR and brought him back to life.  It turns out that artery had been swelling for months, pressing against something in his brain and that was what was making him so ill, and when it finally blew open it was catastrophic.  After he started breathing again he said it felt like someone was pouring gasoline in his brain and setting it on fire.  The emergency surgery they preformed at the hospital sealed it off but it took months for him to be able to do much of anything again.  And gee, guess who had to take care of him 24 hours a day 7 days a week, yeah, that would be his wife.  Kind of hard for me to get a job and go to work when he can't be left alone and there is no one else to take care of him.

Nine months later my third child was born, 7 weeks premature and he was in the Neonatal Intensive Care for 5 weeks with one problem after another (most of which were caused by the staff).  My husband still walked with a cane and had a patch over one eye as the aneurism had damaged his optic nerve.  We had applied for Social Security Disability for him, but they were still claiming he had an "alleged" brain aneurism and an "alleged" stroke and were refusing to give it to him.  Now how you fake a brain aneurism and a stroke I do not know, but that's not important I guess.

One year after my third son was born I finally left my husband the first time, and I did apply for welfare as I was pregnant again at the time, and had two children under school age to take care of.  Unfortunately, again me being the dumbass I am, I reconciled with my husband shortly before my daughter was born and three months later we finally received a settlement from Social Security, and he was given disability benefits each month (which he still collects to this day).  We tried to be responsible and used the settlement money to buy a house in town (with running water and electricity!) but we got ripped off by a con man and almost lost the property that we already owned too.

Anyway, I tried several times over the next few years to get a job and get us off food stamps and everything (we didn't get any cash from welfare once the Social Security kicked in, but we still got food stamps and he and the children had medical coverage).  It was three years later before my #3 son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (High functioning Autism) but the signs and the issues had always been there.  He couldn't go to day care because he couldn't learn to use the toilet, and he couldn't communicate.  His father had his own mental issues, plus we would later learn that he too has Asperger's Syndrome, and physical limitations and was unable to care for the two youngest kids on his own, so when I worked I had to pay a baby sitter to care for the kids and my husband.  I could never make enough money for it to improve our conditions, no matter how hard I tried.  If I made too much then my husband would lose his medical coverage, which we could not afford, and my son would lose his therapy, which we could also not afford.

When #3 son was almost 6 he was finally diagnosed, and a few months later we started receiving Social Security disability benefits for him as well. It was funny that they didn't even argue on his, they saw the diagnosis and just started cutting him a check, but with a piece of titanium holding an artery closed in his brain his dad might have been faking it?  It was after he was finally able to start Kindergarten that I was able to go to college to try to get the education I needed to make enough money to cover everyone's expenses without relying on the Government.  But of course that meant taking more money from the government to pay for the cost of going to school.

Okay, so now, after suffering through ten years of this disabled asshole treating me like I am crap every damn day while I am breaking my fucking back doing everything for him and everyone else while he sits on his fat ass getting hemorrhoids (for which he needed surgery - twice! Because he never would get off his damn ass!), I finally had enough.  I gave him the house and every item of any value that we owned, and took the kids and moved out.  All I wanted was custody of the kids, that was all that mattered.  And he promised that if I let him have the house and everything else he wouldn't fight me for them.  In taking the kids that meant I took our son's Social Security benefits, and the dependents benefits that the kids and I received from his account (which wasn't much).  This pissed my ex off to no end.  He didn't care that I took the kids, he just wanted their money.  And he used every trick in the book to cause problems for me to try to get me to give him that money.  For five years I fought tooth and nail to keep custody of my kids while he made up lies, and filed court case, after court case, after court case.  And once I met the man I am now married to, it got worse, and worse.  I was in court no less than 30 times in two different states before he finally found a Christian Conservative Republican judge who was so outraged to learn that my new husband and I were Atheists that he was more than willing to overlook my ex-husband's criminal record, psychiatric history, domestic violence history, and current substance abuse because he wanted to take the kids to church and I didn't.

And, now you know why I have such an extreme prejudice against Christian Conservative Republicans, and Morons.  I have not seen, or even spoken to, my #3 son or my daughter since that day.  It has been six and a half years. And if you have not been there you cannot even hope to imagine the immensity of the pain that that causes every single day, so keep any fucking judgements you may have to yourselves.

I quit fighting for those kids that day because I still had three other children who needed me, and that judge terrified me.  I knew he was trying to find a way to take the rest of my kids away, and even if he wasn't, I couldn't take the chance.  My husband sold the house and we left the state as fast as we could. Since that day in court I have not received a dime from the Government, well, other than income tax refunds.  My kids do get medical coverage from the state now, but they went without any for years.  And we rarely use it anyway.  They are healthy, and I don't believe in taking kids to the doctor for a cold or a scratch, so they don't cost the state much in treatment.

So there's my story of  what a lazy, worthless "Welfare Queen" I am.  I left out a lot of details, like living without running water or electricity for three years, and all the things I mentioned last time that I have done for others over the years.  So, if you want to judge me harshly, at least you have a few facts to base your judgements on.  I don't expect any sympathy or compassion, I would just like people to stop and think once in a while BEFORE they assume that everyone on Welfare is lazy and looking for an easy, free ride.  It ain't easy, and I have paid a higher price in the loss of my dignity and self-esteem than anyone should ever be made to pay for the simple privilege of feeding their children.  So take your judgements and shove them where the sun don't shine and count yourself damn lucky that you never have to face the realities that life threw at those who weren't quite as lucky as you.

2 comments:

  1. So sorry that you haven't seen two of your children in so long. Truly amazing the amount of 'Christians' who dismiss Christs' teaching as being inconvenient, if they've even bothered to read their supposed 'Holy Book'. Modern Christianity has the stench of social control for most & a power grab for some.

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  2. Dear God in Heaven (whether there is or not:), you had me pulling my hair out from the first paragraph.

    I would never think you were a welfare queen. If you were, you wouldn't write so intelligently and compassionately, you would be playing games on facebook and writing things like "r u 4 that foreign born president?" Even if I knew you got public assistance, I'd assume there was a good reason behind it.

    You know, with your stories about medical problems for your family, this is why I don't understand the resistance to some sort of universal health care. If you had no health insurance, and you had all those medical issues, you would never get out from under the medical bills you ran up in just a few years. People don't understand that most of us are just one lost job away from potentially being financial wiped out by an illness that may not even be catastrophic.

    I have to say, you've had more than your share of troubles! That's what disturbs me with all these local municipalities--too personal,not enough options, and too much power given to a few people who might not be anywhere near impartial.

    If you're atheist because that's truly how you've always believe, that's fine. But if you've allowed these so called Christians to turn you away from something you'd always believed in, I wouldn't let them. They turn people away from religion in a way that reminds me of some people I know who go on and on about a family member, usually one of their children. And you have a chip on your shoulder towards the individual, until eventually you realize you like the person just fine, what you can't stand is listening to the other person go on about them.

    It could be the same thing with God. The thing I find very funny is that all the people I've known who profess not to believe in an afterlife, lead lives anyone would admire. I think that's more to be admired, since you're not doing it as a hedge against eternal damnation.

    If people truly believe you're cheating the system and spending your days drinking beer and polishing your welfare queen crown, I can't understand why they hang around and criticize. There are so many things I want to read, I certainly wouldn't spend my time reading the blog of someone of whom I disapproved. I nearly went wild when I thought I'd subscribed to a Facebook page called Conservative Hammer, where thousands of people complained about California potentially putting a law into effect prohibiting people from putting their gay children into therapy that promises to make them straight. The fact that this therapy doesn't work and is dangerous to the child's mental well being was irrelevant; the problem was that the parental authority was being questioned. And after all, as one genius pointed out, you just need to give boys G.I.Joes, and girls Barbies. That's all it takes, because being gay is in fashion now. I started frantically checking to make sure I hadn't actually put myself down as liking that page (turned out the page I liked was a review of the page, which made fun of it).

    I considered writing a scathing response, but given the number of enthusiastic likes for the writer, I decided it would simply be casting pearls before swine (I think that IS a biblical quote, from where, I don't know.

    Don't let the ignorant and inquisitive get you down. Unfortunately now, anyone with enough money for a computer and an internet connection can be found in cyberspace. Unlike real life, you can't get away from them by moving to a different neighborhood!

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