Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Feeling Surreal Today

In the last few weeks, I have learned something about myself.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am forced to apply for disability benefits and medicaid for my son and myself. I have put it off far too long, and now my financial problems are so drastic because I did. My son and I will in all likelihood lose our home because of my recalcitrant behavior. I find that all of the things I read and see my conservative friends post about 'entitlements' and programs to help the poor now apply to me.

The application process for disability is not easy, in fact I am still working on one of the parts of the application-3 days later. I have already had 3 phone interviews with 3 different people, and there is much more to come.

I have spoken to my therapist in the past about learning to accept the fact that I am no longer able to work. It is so difficult to admit that you are not able to provide for your child and yourself.In our culture we are so often judged and valued by what we do for a living. I was very proud of my job. I gave it 110 percent every day, and I was very good at what I did. So, now, since I no longer have the ability to stand on my feet or use my hands I feel useless. I spend time writing, and trying to figure out what it is I am supposed to do.

The day Mr. Bill was killed, we sat on the deck and had coffee together before I went to work. We discussed our hopes and dreams, plans for the future. We were aware that I would not be able to work at the store forever. So, we talked about me taking courses to do a totally different type of work.We were  so happy that morning, planning a new direction for our life. Then, on his way home from work that night, a drunk driver killed him, and my life has been spiraling out of control ever since. So here I am, no money in the bank, plowing through the paperwork for disability, hoping that there is a way to save our home, and support us through the next part of our life.

Sometimes, I wake in the morning and I am so confused. Who am I? How did I get here? One of my favorite quotes says "Shame on the body for breaking down while the spirit perseveres~John Dryden" So, do I blame my body for breaking down and taking away my ability to work? Do I blame the drunk driver that took my husband from me in the blink of an eye? Do I blame the company I worked for because they terminated me instead of working with me when I became disabled?

I think that I must move forward, accept that my body has broken down. Now I must find a way for my spirit to persevere. Now, I must swallow my pride, and apply for benefits to help support my son and me. Now I must allow the forgiveness that I so often and so easily extend to others to apply to myself.

In this age of social networking and blogging we are privvy to more information about our friends than we used to be. So, now, I can see on my fb newsfeed the religious and political thoughts of hundreds of people every day. I see my conservative friends posting things that lead me to believe that they will look down upon me as I apply for benefits. It hurts to be in this position.

It hurts to do things like adding a paypal button to your blog, hoping that someone might see it and feel led to share. It wasn't that long ago that I was sharing with others. It hurts to feel hopeless and to feel like you are failing in your role as a parent. And so you add these feelings to the other things going on in your spirit, the grief, the pain in your body, the loneliness.  You seek to allow your Higher Power to work in you and through you and for you. Then you blog it and let it go. Surreal, yes, but these days what isn't!


Groote's Gaggle said...

People who are fast to rush to judgment about Entitlement programs seem to not have any other solution than to just stop them. I'd like to know how they felt when all those folks who rely on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are destitute and crowding the streets of our country. People were up in arms over the images of Katrina's victims in New Orleans. That would be like a Mardi Gras parade compared to what the entire country would look like should these programs be cut.

Andrea said...

You are an amazingly strong woman, and being able to recognize when you need help, and asking for it, are forms of strength. It takes strength and courage to admit that we need help of any kind. The programs aren't "Entitlement", they're safety nets, and they are there to catch people who have fallen on difficult times. There is no shame in that! You paid into the system during your working years, and now the system can and will work for you.

Our true worth is not measured by how much money we have or make, but in the quality of our spirit. My friend, you have a spirit of the highest quality. Sending you (((hugs))) and love.

Anonymous said...

One step at a time, Belle, one step at a time... hold strong to your faith and know that you will get through this... surrounding you in white light, love, and prayers...

ellen said...

Praying for peace in your life; for friends who understand, who care. God asks us to love one another, and that is it. Our only jobs are to share, to love, to give without condition, without judgement. We are to be Jesus's hands - God's example of Grace here on earth!

Paul C said...

Hang in there. I'm adding you to my prayer list. I've been out of work for almost 4 months now, trying to watch over my elderly mother who has health issues, and wondering about the future. God will see us through. I wish I could do more for you now.

cmbg said...

Dear one, please do not apologize for the PayPal button! Authors get paid for their work. This should not make you ashamed; this makes you a professional writer, and resourceful besides. :)

Also, I learned something about apologizing (or not apologizing) from this dear man's blog today. It's the post called "Elevating Wisdom," from April 20, 2011. I hope it blesses you, too:


Thank you for sharing your sorrows and joys and wisdom.

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