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We aren't doing to bad. Although we are both on disability, we can get by. Its not easy and there are zero perks. Cant afford the movies or even cable tv. And we have to plan ev
erything from dinner at the end of the month to tomorrows breakfast. There is very little 'extra' ever. And I'm not complaining, not at all. I know so many people who are MUCH worse off and although we do our part to help.... its never enough. The point I want to make is that for people on 'welfare' or unemployment or disability and yes even Social Security; if you didn't plan for early retirement or to get laid off or be forced to rely on the government for help.... There is no Thanksgiving. There is no Christmas. They/we cannot afford to buy gifts or an extra turkey. We cannot afford 3 different kinds of pie unless we freeze 2 and 1/2 of them. And it hurts. We don't feel adequate. We feel that our lives are used up and people look at us as if we don't care and never tried. We cannot work anymore and therefore we are useless drags on society. We don't add to the solution, we are made to feel that we ARE the problem. Because we feel we are 'entitled'.
When our mother died in 2008, our parents 'estate' was worth close to half a mil. But that was thru dads hard work at Boeing for almost 50 years and moms working in various positions in banks and other lending institutions. They saved and saved. They never took any real vacations. Unless they were attending a funeral. And they invested by starting with a cheap home in Wichita, to a better home there, to moving to Mukilteo, Washington and buying a nice home there. it was within walking distance to Boeing for dad and he did that alot of the time. Until he got to old for it. And then they improved the home and made it the class of the neighborhood. Mom turned the yard into a garden paradise. We wanted to keep the home but the taxes were way too much. So we had to sell it. She died in May 2008 and we put it on the market by Sept. It took most of 3 years to sell it. And its worth went from over $500,000 to less than $300,000. And when we paid off the mortgage, less than 200. We divided what was left and while one brother lives in Minnesota, my other brother and myself decided to combine our money and try to find a place for the two of us and maybe a garage for a recording studio. I guess we felt 'entitled'. We found this run down tri plex, put in an offer and it was accepted. Now, two years later and we almost have it paid for. It wasnt easy making payments out of our disability, but we did it. And we have helped a few people along the way.
As I said, we are/were lucky. My brother and I worked most of our lives before becoming disabled. My brother has always been sickly with asthma but when he had heart problems he had to quit working. And I worked for over 30 years before I was disabled on the job. So I guess we are entitled to what our parents struggled so long for. And for what we did and do. But for most people in our place, we hide on Halloween because we cant afford to buy candy for the kids trick or treating. We pretend to be sick, so we don't have to go to functions where its weird if you don't bring a bottle of wine or something. There is no real Christmas or Thanksgiving because it costs extra, and extra don't come with SSI, or welfare or unemployment.
And the republicans want to eliminate what we do have.

And at the end of December, the 'extended' unemployment package runs out. So unless your state is different, lots of people are going to be real bad off after the first of the year. Remember that if they cant make it to your new years party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There's always many folks that are worse off (16+ / 0-)

    I'm across the Sound from you. I had to go on disability due to a brain injury. Even friends would look at me funny; since they couldn't see the problem it seemed unreal. And I can sympathize as it seemed unreal to me as well and took me 3 or 4 years to accept. We live an a beautiful area with great neighbors, have a roof over our heads and food on the table. I have an internet connection and a library card. Who could ask for more?

    Best wishes to you and your brother.

    Our reason is quite satisfied ... if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized... Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case. - William James

    by radical empiricist on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:00:32 PM PST

  •  Thanks for telling it how it is (15+ / 0-)

    I pay market rent...it's 3/4 of my disabilty check. Until last yr could work a little,not now

    I've never heard someone articulate the reality of choices as you did...you articulated my experience as well. Recently I decided to skip a party because it was pot luck. I can't muster the requisite 6 or so serving dish...that would be eight meals for me...too much of a stretch even to honor someone who might have become a good friend (she'd been out of the country). It was hard physically too. Yet I am aware that I send the message of not making the effort (I live very close by) and am aware of how it landed by me not going on this particular relationship and to this particular party. But if I explained it, beyond that I wasn't feeling well, I would have either looked needy or like I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. I've been accused of that before in this circle of people (I'm not part of the circle any longer but "see them" on Facebook. They have no idea what's going on with me).

    When money is very tight and finite,  and you aren't that well especially, the simplest things can seem not feasable and stuff is all inter-related. Cooking dinner  hurts my injury today as does food shopping but I can't afford to take out or eat out or get ready made food from market. Must cook. (also heats house, which is useful). It's like trying to climb a greeced pole.

    I sound like I am feeling sorry for self...but I say this (also, lol) as an observer in my own life in the last year, getting a first hand whiff of what it might be like to be born into poverty without knowing the way out or having the wherwithall. Can't pull self up by boot straps when you can't find them or don't have any. It is so abundantly clear to me now what happens to people born without any privlege (including education which I did have).

    I took this election and Romney's comments about "takers" (and various other clueless peolple in my life's comments as well) pretty personally this time around. But also defensively for all those people who are busting their ass and trying so so hard. It is so unjust of them.

    glad you have your brother and yes, you deserve your house...your parent's legacy from their life's labors. IT is their gift to you.

  •  I've often been asked over the years... (8+ / 0-)

    "Why do you stay home on the internet? Why don't you make friends where you are and go out like normal people??"

    First off, I've never been 'normal people'. Even when I was a kid I didn't enjoy most social situations. I went out with my little core group of friends, but we were just as happy sitting at home reading together or listening to music.

    Second: With what money? Even when I was working I was getting slightly more than minimum wage. I was getting out more then, we could afford a movie once in a while, or to spend part of Dad's disability on dinner out once a month. Now that I'm not working? Forget about it. And that's not counting hiring a baby sitter. Yes, my son is 17 now, but whether he can handle watching his sister depends on the day. She's 9. In a few years more she will be old enough I won't need a sitter. I still won't be able to afford a movie.

    Third: My dad's an alcoholic. He was abusive, verbally and physically, not bad enough that we were in real danger but enough to make life difficult and mean. (And bad enough I used to have nightmares about him coming after me with the  ax when we were splitting wood for the furnace.) The LAST thing I want to do is go sit in an overcrowded, noisy, smokey bar and hang out with other alcoholics, or even just drunk people.

    But mostly it's money. Why go out and make friends who are going to want to go out and do things when you can't go out and do things? I'm more comfortable on the net. I can sit and talk to you guys all day, and I don't even have to pay a tip or ask anyone to pick up my tab.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:23:03 AM PST

  •  Everyone who reads, and understands... (6+ / 0-)

    Thanks all of you for taking the time to read this.  For those who understand, you already know what I am thinking. For those that dont, you would suggest that I am whining and to get over 'it' and move on.  I have moved on. I am past denying my disability. And it did take awhile. I kept thinking that 'it' would get better. 'They' will find a med that will ease the pain. But its nerve pain caused by a neck fracture. So, we deal with that part and find ways to forget the pain for a second or maybe 10 seconds if its a really funny incident. I am sure it would be easy to get so drunk that I could pretend that my stumbling was caused by that, and forget my 'woes' at the same time. But tomorrow, you have to get up, and the same pain and leg problems are there. And you cant get drunk every second of every day and expect your life to get better. And even if you could, who could afford it?

    The pain never goes away. You just find ways to leave it for a minute. Find ways to distract yourself from the pain and the problems. Whether its a bong hit, a good joke, or a hug.

    Peace

    MQW

  •  Awesome. (0+ / 0-)

    I too feel lucky, most of the time.

    In my 4th month of UI.  Sold about $700 worth of old stuff on ebay so the kids would have some Christmas.  Only netted about $500 after shipping and fees.

    Fighting the clock to have a surgery scheduled before my insurance is cancelled, but have only got as far as the MRI and that still needs an auth (pending now for over a month).

    So yeah, I'm lucky for food, shelter my health.

    Today, I closed an old savings account I had forgot about.  $59 in the + column.

    It's hard to socialize when life resides in that context.

    Romney supporters: Do you love your country, more than you hate President Obama?

    by Boberto on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:08:33 AM PST

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