I really love this time of year. I really do. This year, though, I kind of hate it. It seems like historically in my family, this time of year rather sucks. It’s just dumb. I mean, a number of years ago, Eric used to get a very nice Christmas bonus. They got it for years, and it was always what we spent on Christmas. Then one year, they just decided not to give anyone the bonus but didn’t tell anyone till about a week before Christmas, which left us rather screwed. That was fine. Back then, his work would allow them to get cash advances that they then took out of their checks over a number of weeks, so we did that. It was fine. They don’t allow that anymore. They used to have really great Christmas parties for the kids, as well, but those stopped back when the recession hit. I guess Eric was lucky. He’s one of the two in his department that didn’t get laid off then.
This year, just before Thanksgiving, they decided to cut everyone’s hours to 32 a week, and if you didn’t have vacation time, you were screwed. Eric, luckily had three days left, but still. Then they decided to shut down completely for two weeks between Christmas and over New Year. I don’t know what we’re going to do then. Right now, we’re down to about 375 bucks a week, but when Eric’s vacation time runs out in two weeks, it’ll be closer to about 250 if we’re lucky. It’s not like I can call the places we owe our bills to and tell them that we just won’t have the money to pay them. We already cancelled our Dish Network and a number of other small bills that don’t matter. Aside from letting them take our car back, there’s really nothing else we can cut, but we can’t make it on one car when Alex’s few hours a week are always varying from Eric’s.
So I went out and applied to a number of places, trying to get just a job that could help at least put food on the table, but no one is interested in hiring someone who hasn’t worked since 2000. Kind of figured it’d be that way. I mean, it took my 18 year old (at the time) almost a year just to get a job as a bagger at Krogers.
I feel so hopeless. I can feel the edges of depression creeping up on me. I’ve suffered through it before, and I really hate that I feel as though I’m going right back there again. I guess that’s the point of this post. Maybe if I can get it all out of my system, I won’t fall back there again. By nature, I tend to not post much about stuff on Facebook and such. I hate feeling like I’m whining, especially when I know that there are so many others who are far worse off than I am.
I’ve been trying to wake up in the morning, to remind myself what I have to be grateful for. Some days it works better than others. We don’t even have enough money to buy the stuff for Christmas dinner, but you know the kicker? We’re not poor long enough to get any kind of help from welfare or anything. We don’t know if Eric will be able to get unemployment or not, but even if he can, there will still be a week when we have absolutely no income at all if we do get that. Forget buying Christmas presents. We bought Skylar some things—drawing things that are pretty cheap, like paper and crayons and stuff like that. I’d just like to pay the stupid bills and to be able to buy food!
And then, there’s the whole thing with my dad. I wasn’t able to go to see him. There just wasn’t any way, and there wasn’t once they cut Eric’s hours, too. On the up side, he’s doing better. They’re saying that they think he will get to go home eventually. It’s been such an emotional drain on me because I’ve been trying to stay positive, to be upbeat because my mom already has enough stuff to deal with that she doesn’t need to be strong for me. The doctors said to her that she should consider letting ‘nature take it’s course’, which, in Dad’s case, would mean letting him starve to death because his main problem right now (and the only one right now) is that he cannot eat. I mean, really? Isn’t that, oh, I don’t know . . . illegal . . .?
The true problem is (and the other reason I’m posting this all) is just because it’s been affecting my ability to sit down and write. I feel as though I’m so overwhelmed that I just cannot even do the basic things. It’s true that writing has always helped me deal with things, but not this time, and I don’t know why. It’s not writer’s block. Everything is there in my head. It’s just this stupid feeling whenever I sit down to write that nothing in the world is okay, and it’s hard for me to believe in happy endings lately.
And the dumb thing is that I haven’t told Eric any of this, either. He feels bad enough already, you know? I see it in his face every day, how much of a failure he feels like because he can’t even provide the basics for his own family. His dad was rather like that. He didn’t work more than a week or two at any job at any time, which was hard on Eric and his family. Eric has never wanted to be that way. So I’m trying to hide it all from him, too, and all I succeed in doing is snapping his head off when he doesn’t deserve that, so then all I can keep thinking is that, if I died, they’d get my insurance money. Isn’t that awesome? I’m worth far more dead than alive. But then I get so upset and ashamed of that thought that I just don’t even want to look at my own family—the ones who should and do bring me joy.
I’m too old to expect miracles. They don’t happen very often, and I’m not asking for that now. I just feel so hopeless. I feel like if I keep all this inside, I’m going to explode. Hopefully tomorrow when I wake up, I can remind myself again that I’m thankful for so many things, and even if we don’t have money, we do have love. I’m sorry for unloading all of this on you.
I was asked to post this link. I hate doing it, but I just can’t get around it, I guess. Thank you. God Bless.