Tag Archives: Helpless

Yes, This is a Thing that Happens

Where the Hell is the Key to This Thing

Just last year, after fighting for an associate’s degree and then fighting the job market, I landed a job with insurance. It was the first time I had insurance in 16 years. My various illnesses then became so bad that I could no longer work. I lost the job and the insurance that came with it.

I tried to collect the private disability insurance that I had paid for every week, but because I had signed the policy in December of 2013, before the new healthcare laws went into effect, the pre-existing clause was still legal. After months of going back and forth with the insurance company. Running around getting medical records, sending them papers from my former employer, after signing a piece of paper that gave them access to any and all medical records that have ever been collected on me, they told me they came to the conclusion that I was indeed disabled, but they wouldn’t pay because of a technicality. Essentially, they made me run around and wait five months to tell me something that they should have said in five seconds.

After my disability was denied, I tried to apply for insurance through the exchange, but because I qualified for Medicaid, they would not let me buy a policy. Apparently, if a person qualifies for Medicaid, they have to apply for and then be denied it before they can buy an insurance policy on the exchange. It can take up to six months to get a decision from Medicaid. Also, and here’s the really fun part, in my case the Medicaid decision is attached to my Social Security Disability claim, which could take a year and a half before it’s settled. I am suicidal and physically ill, and I can’t get insurance, for up to a year and a half. It doesn’t matter that I’m willing to pay for a private policy. It doesn’t matter that my conditions can not wait for a year and a half.

I looked for something I could do in the meantime, but there was nothing. There is no coverage available for people stuck between Medicaid and the exchange. This is the system that is supposed to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens? This is what we came up with? And people wonder why I feel hopeless all the time.

Roaches Make Strange Bedfellows

Rusted and RuinedMy mom tried to kill herself, and was consequently deemed an unfit parent. Children services took my brother and me away and introduced us to the wonderful horrors of foster care. Luckily, our grandparents decided to take custody of us shortly thereafter, but forms and proceedings had to happen before they could take us “home,” so we were stuck in the system.

Children services decided to put us both into a group home for boys. They knew the situation was temporary, so they gave in when we begged them not to separate us. That’s how I, a girl, ended up sleeping on a couch in a group home for boys. They only let me stay there because I promised not to go upstairs where the the boys slept. I stayed downstairs, where the bathroom had no shower or bathtub, and I went without a shower for a week. But, all this was fine by me because my brother said the roaches were worse up there.

It was hard to imagine an infestation larger than the one downstairs. Roaches where everywhere. I hardly slept the entire time I was in that house. I knew the roaches would crawl all over me the second I drifted off to sleep. When the house was dark, they crawled out from their hiding places, frolicking on the counters and cabinets, tables and chairs, walls and ceilings, curtains and rugs.

I fought the urge to burn my clothes and tear off my skin every morning. I knew, I just knew the filthy creatures laid eggs under my skin while I slept. The disgusting things had crawled in my mouth while I snored. They went into my ears, ate the wax, then shit it back out. The dirt of their little bodies covered every part of me, but I couldn’t take a shower because it was upstairs with the boys’ rooms. I washed myself in the bathroom sink downstairs as well as I could, but I didn’t feel clean again until after I had taken four or five showers at my grandparent’s house.

People seem to think that foster homes are safe and clean. They think that the places are regularly inspected, the foster parents thoroughly checked. They think the system works, that it protects children. They’re wrong.

Bad Hood

It Took Way Too Long to Take This Picture

We lived in a neighborhood where abandoned couches and soiled mattresses filled the alleys. Crack houses dotted the landscape, and we had the pleasure of having one right behind our house. Gunshots and sirens pierced the night while we tried to sleep.

We were kids, though. We thought all these things added excitement to our lives. The thrill of police rushing by, my mom yelling, “Hit the deck” when gunshots rang out, the shady people walking by while we played in the yard. It all made us feel like we were living in a gritty movie.

It was an exciting life, and we loved it until our house was broken into. It was right before Christmas while we were away visiting my grandparents. They robbers took what little we had, all the way down to the welfare butter and cheese in the fridge.

The crack head crooks were kind enough to completely wreck the house while they were there. It takes real talent to trash a piss infested rat hole of a house, but they managed it. I remember seeing all of our family pictures thrown all over the dining room floor. They were wet and curling from the beer the thieves dumped on them. All those happy memories spread out on the ancient, scratched, pitted hardwood floor. Pathetic in their ruin.

Our house was broken into again a year later. My mom had once again been carted off to the loony bin, and after a week of my grandma and dad trying to get the house key, we pulled up alongside the house only to find the door already open. Mom in the hospital, house robbed, uprooted again, no clothes, no security, no nothin’. Fun, exciting times, indeed.

Frozen Fish Sticks Aren’t Funny

Tasty Apples

My stomach was trying to eat itself, my legs wobbled, my head spun. My parents were asleep, and I wasn’t allowed to use the stove. No cereal. No bread. No peanut butter, leftovers, nothing that didn’t require cooking, and there wasn’t much of that either. I found a box of frozen fish sticks, sat on the kitchen floor, and ate them one by one. They tasted awful, shards of ice mixed with frosted breading, but I was so hungry I kept eating them.

When my parents found out about my fish stick feast, they laughed and laughed. They told my grandparents who also laughed. My goodness, it was so funny that a little child would up and eat half a box of fish sticks straight out of the freezer. They didn’t realize that I never got enough to eat. They didn’t know that my little body ached from the lack of food. They didn’t know that the tomato soup they’d fed me a few days ago was the last thing I ate.

I told my grandma there wasn’t any food at our house. She went over and looked through are kitchen. Sure enough, hardly any food. She yelled at my dad about not providing for his children. She called my mom names. When she left, my dad beat me. He screamed that I would get far worse if I ever told anyone else about things that happened in our house. I kept my mouth shut for many years after that.

Sweet Potatoes Really Are Disgusting

What's Behind Door Number One

I don’t want this. I don’t want any of this. I didn’t ask for this. I don’t want to eat, but I don’t want to not eat. I don’t want to exercise, but I don’t want to sit on my ass all day. I don’t want to go outside, but I don’t want to stay inside. I don’t want to play any games, but I don’t want to be bored. I don’t want to be miserable, but I don’t want to be happy either.

This is all the illness talking, of course. At least, that’s what they tell me. I’m afraid I might get to a point where I’m no longer mentally ill, but still take no pleasure in the world. I mean, what if I just don’t like being alive? Some people don’t like carrots, and some people don’t like life. Is that a thing? Does that happen? In addition to my aversion to sweet potatoes, do I also have a general loathing for  life?

Get Back Down There, Worm!

Less Than a Worm

I’m at the bottom, and I’m afraid I always will be. It doesn’t matter how hard I work to climb up, I’m always forced back down. I fall, I get up, I climb. I fall, I get up, I climb. A rising and falling tide, a perfect cycle of failure. It’s happened a hundred times too many, I’m afraid. Cynicism and suicidal ideation are my reaction to everything now. I will lay  in this filth until I break, and when that happens I will kill myself.

I’m making excuses for my personal failure in life, yes? I have a defeatist attitude, yes? I deserve everything I get, or don’t get, yes? I’m weak, yes? I’m stupid, yes? I’m worthless. Yes. I believe I am.

Gourmet Goop

Maybe if We Deep Fry Them

Thinking that someone won’t want to work because they are provided financial assistance is like thinking that people won’t make homemade meals because they can have TV dinners. Sure, a few people will be happy to eat nothing but microwaved mystery meat with a side of goop, but most people will still want home cooked meals. Most people will joyfully pick up those pots and pans, turn on that stove, peel those potatoes, kneed that dough, and savor every moment of the glorious meal they prepared themselves.