My first ever guest post! Jeanie Davan spoke from her heart and my heart heard her – notice how closely ‘heart’ and ‘heard’ are spelled? They are kinda like sisters if our words had familial connections. In the SCA world, Jeanie and I are cousins, so I’m going to get out of my cousin’s way and let her words speak:
I truly wish people would understand my life and how their comments about welfare/assistance receiving people hurt. I work. I work a lot – I have been working hard ever since I turned 18 and especially since I had my kids. Without Social Security, we would not have survived Skeeter’s cancer. Leukemia takes 3.5 years for standard treatment and I was a returning adult student- I went hungry so my kids could eat. I beg and borrowed because state assistance wasn’t enough to help us (on top of all the loans I took out). I would love to explain how difficult it is to come off of assistance – how each dollar more you make, they take away two so you can’t get ahead. The programs do not allow you to save money – they check your bank. The month my tax return would come in, would mean I wouldn’t get my funding the next month (or any following till that money was gone) so it keeps cutting you down. I work long hours and usually 6-7 days a week. I don’t get child support for PJ (his dad owes me over $22K).
I cannot get private insurance for my child – cancer as a pre-existing condition does that … So state/federal programs are our savior. Jumping the gap is very hard and I am working to do it. Heaven forbid, you end up in a position where you need help – from disability to food stamp. Will you decline it and let your kids starve?
I have put up with being insulted, spat on and called lazy. Everyone likes to say that they “know someone who abuses the system”…, well, then, REPORT them. I have to do paperwork to prove that I need the programs every 6 months and so do they.
If you think they are doing something wrong – then report it. That is your right as well. Don’t just throw stones at a wide audience because with that you hit people like me as well … And it hurts. It hurts a lot.
This is a problem with parts of our society, folks. It’s like some of us have no pride in our safety nets put into place to assist people survive and thrive. I am glad we have the state and federal programs already in place, put there by people who are trying to make this world a better place. I’m glad that people use them.
I hope Jeanie and her family keep moving forward toward goals and doing what is necessary. I wish I was able to say I was better at this moving forward bit – I have my own goals and I am constantly setting new ones. Today goals, tomorrow goals, five year, ten year. My goals are just as important to me as Jeanie’s are to her and I have my own stories…which you get to listen to constantly via this blog. They are not survival stories, though. I think we need to hear those stories.
And it’s people like this that have led to me being active in the greater community again. How can I help? How can I learn what I can do? Partly by reading posts like this one, and then this one by someone who voted with her smarts and her heart. How can I do my part in supporting and moving along a governmental agenda that helps more and more of us achieve our goals? I want to continue trying to figure that out and then take action. (Unless your goal is to stomp your way up on the backs of others and that’s just wrong. )
Good Job on this writing, Jeanie. Thanks for letting me post it.