My pastor just started a sermon series called “Now What?”. Now that Easter is over, and Christ is risen, now what. Well the point is that, we, as followers of Christ as to go and spread the Good News all over the world and make disciples of all the nations. Truth. And sure as rain I need to be better about spreading the Good News. I try my best to live the life of a Christian, but I need to not just walk the walk I need to talk the talk.
But on another level, when he started speaking on Sunday I felt another pull in my soul. Another prompting from God, that question again, “now what”, “what are you going to do now?” It seems inescapable. It is haunting me. It follows me everywhere. “Now what?”
I’m afraid. Now is scary. The future is scary but I don’t ever have to live there, and the past was scary but I don’t have to be there again, I only have to relive it in my head. The now is the scariest of all, because, well, it’s now. It’s inescapable. It requires commitment. It leaves room for failure, for mistakes, for heartbreak.
My fingers keep hovering on the verge of what I want to say. What my brain wants to type. What I *think* I want to do, but don’t dare. What I don’t know if I have the courage to do. What I don’t know if I have the talent or ability to do.
What if I fail?
What if I don’t?
It’s been a while since we talked money. And yes I am still poor, no change there – surprise surprise. Ed McMahon hasn’t show up at my door with a big check telling me I have won Publisher’s Clearinghouse (dating myself here…), and hubby’s disability was denied AGAIN. At the hearing level. What does that mean? It means that we have a pretty low chance of it being approved- ever. He has plan B in the works, but until then we are poor. And I have in some ways gotten use to worrying about money over the years, we’ve been poor for many many years- though admittedly not as poor as we have been the past 5 years. Anyway none of that is the point….
I am so tired of the way people treat you when you are poor. Especially how they treat you when you are getting “help” otherwise known as WELFARE it’s a dirty word. A word people whisper. In fact it’s a word of a gone by era. They call it other things now, food stamps are now supplemental nutrition assistance program, and there is TANF, temporary aid to needy families. The names have changed but the way people look at those in line to spend their food stamps haven’t. They scrutinize what’s in your cart.
People in the community and on television say mean and nasty things about people receiving the help. Calling them lazy, losers, moochers. Drains on society. Assume they all sorts of things about “those people”.
The workers at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). They are anything by human and certainly not HUMANE. In the waiting room is a huge poster with a cartoon spy with a magnifying glass requesting people keep an eye out for people defrauding the system and report them. It’s a very intimidating place. To a young person I can imagine it would be scary. To me, it incenses me. They too scrutinize your every word, they look at you with disgust. I get they are low paid, over worked employees of the state, but kindness is free. And I would be willing to bet the majority of people coming through their doors do not want to be there.
I am tired of being judged because of where my life has taken me. I am tired of people looking down on me and assuming I am a lazy, drain on society. I have mental illness, I have enough to worry about, I don’t need to worry about the fact that my being poor is yet another thing that makes me different from everyone else around me. I already live the fact that it makes my life harder.
So next time you see someone swipe their food stamps card give them a smile not a smirk. If you hear someone lambasting the “welfare rats” remind them most people don’t want to be there. And most importantly remember- kindness is always free.
Until next time.
Is it normal do you think that the best part of my week is the time I spend with my counselor, in my DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy group) and seeing my psychiatric nurse practitioner? They make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. They make me feel things, real things. They don’t look at me like I am crazy. They don’t yell at me about all my OCD “rules” and rituals. They don’t treat me like I am “sick” or like I am a specimen to be studied, but like a human, like I am an important human, maybe even a funny and smart human. Someone who is more than just the crazy. Someone who matters beyond what you see, beyond the hand washing, the disinfecting wipes, the checking, the fears, the depression, the anxiety, the hiding.
Do they see me? Is that why it’s the best part of my week? I don’t know, but it is. And part of me is glad. I’m glad I have a best part of my week. But part of me is not glad, part of me thinks it’s sad that the best part of my week is when I go to my mental health providers.
“I haven’t any dreams left to dream” ~Dolly from Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed Reindeer
I don’t know what I want to do. Sometimes I have thoughts. Are they dreams? Pipe dreams? I don’t even know. But is it too late for me? Will I fail and fall on my face? Sometimes I think I have a spark of a dream and reality comes crashing in and I remember that I live in the real world, not some made up utopia where things work out.
I don’t know if I know how to dream anymore. At least not for myself. I have plenty of hopes and dreams for my children. Maybe that’s what I need to do, maybe just focus all my attention there…. but I do worry if I do that, in 10 years, when little one is graduating and I am 51 I will still have no idea who I am and what I want to do, and I won’t have any children to put all my focus into….
Until next time I’ll keep thinking on this…
Hubby went and picked up my cap and gown on his way home from an appointment yesterday- after my complaining so of course I feel guilty.
So I guess it’s real. I sort of thought it would feel different.
What are you going to do?
What’s your plan after graduation?
And what are you going to do with your degree?
I get asked that question so much. Too much. I want to scream at everyone that I have no clue. I had no clue when I was eighteen years old and in college and I have no idea now…. maybe even less of an idea. I am forty-one years old and I have no idea who I am.
Graduation… ah graduation. 18 days away and I literally feel like no one cares. My inlaws doted on my husband all weekend, acting like he was made of glass because of “all the work” he had been doing for school; My mother in law narrowing her eyes at me asking what I have been doing to be so tired. As if I hadn’t been up until 3am every night for the past 3 months trying to stay on top of a workload I can’t handle. I am so tired I can barely function. I am so overwhelmed I waffle from angry to so sad it’s unbearable. And graduation? Well my husband and “so busy” he can’t make it a priority to schedule 2 hours into his day to watch the children so I can pick up my cap and gown. My mother HAS to go camping – unless there is an issue with her calf that’s to be born that will keep her home that weekend- why even bother. No one cares- Im not even sure if I do. I mean what I care about is the fact that no one seems to care. I know my sister probably won’t make the trip up, she will have just made the trip the weekend before, and I am not reminding my mother in law she just ruins every day she’s around anyway. Maybe I just won’t go. Why would I want to waddle up the stage round faced in front of everyone anyway. Besides I made this really cute countdown, and now, it’s gone. It was on my shelf next to my desk, and it’s disappeared, maybe it’s a sign.
The evil gremlin inside me is trying to convince me to not do anymore work in my classes, to just not finish to get what I get for grades… It sounds so inviting. I just want to go to bed and never get out of it again.
Yup, I am feeling sorry for myself again this is why I hardly write anymore, I feel like no one wants to read about some whiney American forty-something woman who can’t seem to get her life together and stop feeling like shit.
My little one is sick. Her fever was 103.6 tonight. Her little lips were all red and chapped looking. She was lethargic (which for anyone who knows my spitfire is NOT normal). She sat with Daddy dozing on and off all evening. It’s 11:23pm. We finally tucked her in for the night. I sit here at my computer after washing my hands for about the billionth time today (they are bleeding and burn) And my anxiety kicks in…. I sit here worried that her fever will spike in the night and I won’t know. What if she has a seizure? (She never has but still) What if she really needs me? What if something bad happens… something too scary to name…. So the anxiety in me wants to make up a bed on her floor, or crawl into bed with her and sleep, and then my OCD chimes in and says WOAH WOAH WOAH slow down there anxiety train you are not doing that. Do you know what germs you could be exposing us to? What if she has strep? Influenza? Or any one of another million other horrific diseases????? Then anxiety fights back with oh yeah well if something bad happens, then it’s all your fault and you will feel guilty forever and ever… did you SEE the episode of good doctor the other day? The mom? the car accident? She will feel guilty forever! OCD fires back… the GERMS…….
Oh the fights in my head……