There is something that people don’t realize about being on the edge of poverty. You live in constant fear of your bank account. You check it when you wake up, you check it throughout the day, you check it before you go to bed, just in case. Every text message, every email, could be an overdraft notification. The problem with living on the edge of poverty is that you have the occasional reassurance that you have money so you can sign up for things that only work on a monthly bank withdrawal. You have that thought of “of course i will have $8 by this time next month, $50 a year from now, that can happen. The problem is that by the time it does happen you 1) don’t always remember and 2) don’t always have the money.
This fear can be completely debilitating. It makes you not want to get out of bed, not want to go out in public. You hoard money away so that you have cash “just in case”. You know exactly what time you have to deposit or transfer money in order for it to count for that day so you don’t get an overdraft. You try desperately hard to not let people know how little you have. It’s by far the worst place to be. It’s very hard to get out of it.
We are finally on our way out. saving this money, buying this land, moving, C getting a new job, it’s all helping us come out of this. In fact, as long as everything goes as planned (famous last words), this should hopefully be the last month of this. Today i looked at our accounts and they all had money in them. I know we have bills to pay, I know we have no clue when C will get his first paycheck, I know that we aren’t out of the woods, but for once in a really long time our accounts have over $100 in them, each, not combined. Yet I still can’t breath. I still feel like the bottom is going to fall out, and it still may. We are still waiting to see if C gets an unemployment check for December, we are still waiting to see on a lot of things.
I want you to realize though that it’s not easy. Please don’t dismiss the struggle. Don’t talk about how lazy poor people are, or how people just want the easy way out. That may be true for a few, but it certainly isn’t true for most. We don’t want to be here. So stop your judgements, stop your preconceived prejudices, stop looking down on us from your high towers and help.