Season’s Greetings. Happy Holidays. Heaven forbid I say, “Merry Christmas” … right? Well, since this is my blog post, I’ll say it anyway: Merry Christmas.
I hope the holiday season finds everyone well and healthy. Life around here has been one huge roller coaster this year with more downs, it seems sometimes, than ups. I mean, on the plus side, we were able to complete repairs on the house —thanks to the people who helped us get those done on time! You will forever be in my heart; I hope you all know that.
On the down side, my husband’s company had a meeting around Halloween and told everyone that things were ‘looking up, blah blah blah’, and then last week, another meeting to announce that they’re closing as of March 2014. It felt kind of like a kick in the gut, or maybe the very last indignity heaped upon an already craptastic year. My positivity at this point is shaky at best and barely hanging on, and it feels sometimes like the more I try to encourage others, the more my life seems to fall apart. At this point, I’m just trying to hold everything together for my husband’s sake. I mean, this isn’t his fault. He’s worked there for fifteen years now, and then this. It’s all so horrible, and I’m glad they’re giving everyone notice, but just before Christmas . . . well, it makes everything just a little harder to take. We already knew we had next to no money for Christmas, thanks to Eric’s lack of overtime. My kids are old enough to know that they won’t get a lot for Christmas, and they’re okay with that. They’re just happy to be with us, and I’m happy, too, and yet I can’t help but feel like that happiness is so very fragile, as though it’s teetering at the edge of a very thin blade and that happiness is a tightrope I’m walking. I feel like this is what I get for thinking that the worst was behind us because I know what the job market is like around here. It’s not good. We come from an industrial area, and yet all the industries are closing. Of the twenty factories that existed prior to the recession, only four remained. As of March, there will be three. People ask us, why don’t we move? It’s not as simple as that, either. As it is, we own our house: no rent, no mortgage, and if we can barely make it through as it is, then what hope do we have for a time when we won’t have an income to speak of (because unemployment is just not enough to make it.) Will Eric get a severance package? Sure, but not in the true sense of the term. He’ll get a very small amount for his fifteen years of dedicated employment, and all that will serve to do is screw with filing for unemployment and such because, as many know, even if you want food stamps, you have to starve for a good month before you can even qualify to get those, too.)
I feel like we’re at the very bottom of a glass cylinder that stretches up to the skies. There’s nothing to grab onto; there’s no hope at all. Eric doesn’t have his GED, and I tell him that he can get it—I mean, he kind of has to, all things considered, and yet, I worry about that, too. See, he was in a car accident when he was in high school, and it affected his short-term memory and still does. He has trouble remembering things, and if those things don’t interest him (like school work, for example) then he has even more trouble with it. When he dropped out of school, he was roughly three grades behind. He’s not stupid. He learns things through repetition and does a lot of note taking, but he’s scared it won’t be enough to help him get the GED, and I believe he can. At least, I hope he can since his ability to get another job depends upon it. As for me? I’ve been putting in my application everywhere, and nothing. Now, part of that, I know, is due to the fact that I haven’t worked since 2000. The rest of it? The biggest part of it? I’ll be honest here. I made some bad choices back then, and I got in trouble with the law. Where it used to ask on apps, “Have you been convicted of a felony in the past seven years?” it now asks, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”, and once they see the YES box checked, then you can forget about it. Yes, I realize that I made my own bad choices, and yes, I learned from my mistakes. Yes, I know that my inability to get a job is ultimately my own fault, and I take responsibility for that. But no where on those apps does it ask, have you learned your lesson? Do you understand the reasons behind your own actions? Can you be sure that you won’t repeat the same behavior again? Because I could answer all of those positively. I went to counseling. I learned things about myself that I didn’t know before—ugly things that I hadn’t wanted to know, and yet, I was able to deal with those same things and to grow from them. I know that people are allowed to make mistakes. I don’t think that they should be punished for them forever, but I am, and I know that it’s my own fault, but that doesn’t really help me feel better when I think, what the hell are we going to do?
As for my computer (which I’m not writing this from lol), I don’t currently have one. I have to borrow my kid’s computer because mine got dropped and pretty well shattered, which is the main reason I’m writing this now. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get another computer. At this point, it’s a frivolous thing that we just can’t afford. I just don’t know, so the reality of it is that all of my stories are going to be put on indefinite hiatus. I hope you understand. I hope to finish the stories one day, and I will check in as much as I can from my phone or on my kid’s computer. Just know that Evan and Valerie will get their happily ever after.
My wish for all of you is to be healthy and happy, to love and to laugh. The time I got to spend with all of you was truly a blessing to me and one that I will forever truly miss.