I just finished texting with my best friend of the last 32 years. She is in Puerto Rico, helping herself, her two teenagers and her mom. God knows who else she is helping because I know how she is. I offered to send her whatever she needed. Then I looked at my wallet. I have $2.35 and my car has no gas. Where is all the winning promised?
Maybe if I keep repeating the realities of my current life, I will actually believe them, get over them and move on. I am a 50-year-old, white looking, Puerto Rican woman. Now, that reality I live with every day, that is not the part I still refuse to believe. I have been unsuccessful in finding work for the last year. I refuse to believe it is harder for a woman like me to get a job or find a project to work with. Where is all the winning promised?
I want to help my people rise up from this devastating storm. I have to look at my own numbers. Since I became unemployed, I lived on credit cards and savings for most of the last year. Savings were gone in six months and now the credit cards are unavailable. I’m pretty sure we are over $110,000 in debt. In order to survive, and this does not include going to the movies, or even to a restaurant, this family needs $6,000 a month. Since May, this family makes about $4500 a month. I started selling what we own, including my i-Pad (that I got for my blogging business), my GoPro (a birthday gift), all my jewelry and exercise equipment. I even worked on a project for a month. Now, I have to call the creditors one by one and tell them there is no more money. Do you see the winnings yet? And even though this is my reality, I still want to help my friends and family in Puerto Rico, mostly because they are all middle class and as usual, ignored even by the aid agencies.
I am the one in the house that is always saying everything is going to work out. Things will be fine. I have filled out so many job applications I know my entire resume without looking at it. I have applied for any and all projects. I’ve begged online for work. As usual, a lot of interest and no bites.
And you know what the worst part is? I’m tired. Ever since that gallbladder surgery in 2014, it has been one hit after the other. We’ve had cancers and deaths, and Alzheimer’s and accidents and layoffs and everything else you can imagine, culminating on hurricanes and just more bad luck. I’m tired. I don’t want to do this anymore. I keep getting sick but I don’t even have the $10 copay I need to visit my doctor. Let us not forget that no matter how good it is, when you have insurance, you still have to pay for your doctor’s visits. I don’t know if I’m getting sick because there is something wrong with me, or is it because I’m exhausted and I don’t have access to a healthy diet or adequate rest . All I know is that I could use a nap.
One of the things the president said when he was running for office was that we were all going to get tired of winning. As most campaign promises, this one came without much information about what where the actual winnings going to be or what plan he had for the winfall. I have not seen any winning. I’ve seen his staff members winning, I’ve seen all the golf weekends and the trips and the people boasting about their private jet flights. We were supposed to see winnings and we made the mistake of assuming he was talking about us. At least, I did.
I am looking online for a good bankruptcy lawyer. I never thought I would see the day when in order for me to get up, I would have to kick myself down. To add insult to injury, I cannot afford to get sick because as far as I know, there is a big possibility that I will not have sufficient coverage since they insist on repealing the current health program. There is no winning here. I am tired of staying positive. I need to be realistic. There is no more sugar-coating it for me or the millions of Americans in the middle class who are seeing their incomes shrink while the bills pile up and no winning in sight.