Monday, December 10, 2012

Merry Christmas …?

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.

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posted by Sueric at 2:37 pm  


  1. Hello Sueric, I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. I know what it’s like for what it’s worth. A few years ago (when I was still living with my mom) it felt like we were never going to get a break, that we were always going to struggle and that’s just how it was. I was getting to the point (with my awesome teenage drama coping skills) where I was just angry all the time (sad too but it was easier to be angry). My parents are doing better now but not without sacrifice that I wont’ bore you with, but everything really did end up working out for the best for us. I will pray the same will happen for you.
    I wish there was something I could say or do to help make you feel better, but I know until you feel secure again this will be in the forefront of your mind. Hovering just below the surface. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs right?
    I appreciate that you are trying to power through your depression, I know a lot of people who just let it win. Sometimes I think that’s the right thing to do (occasionally) but recognizing it and tackling it head on ends up working out better for that person and those around them (I think anyway).
    Thinking of you and yours. -Lauren

    Comment by AtamaHitoride — December 11, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  2. Hey, do you still have that paypal account? I helped you out when you needed that roof repair, and I’d like to give you a little more so you can have a nice Christmas Dinner. I totally understand when it comes to finding it hard to be grateful for what you do have versus what you don’t. I have a “good” job and am good financially, but I really don’t like my job and I’m being treated for depression. I know I should count my blessings, but at the same time spending 8 hours a day somewhere I don’t want to be is very depressing to me. So one way I try to feel better about my situation is to use the money from my crappy job to at least brighten other’s day. So let me know if I can shoot a little peace of mind your way. 🙂 BTW: I totally know how V felt in your last chapter – thing of it is – I DID marry Marvin… May have met my Evan and lost him, maybe never met him. At least I have a sweet daughter out of it. Take care and God Bless. – Candace

    Comment by CandyEars — December 11, 2012 @ 11:38 am

  3. OMG, that’d be so sweet of you! My email address is for paypal… I hate to accept help, but I just don’t know what to do otherwise, you know? But that aside, I think it’s always a trade off. The safe one is usually the one that tries hard, but sometimes it isn’t enough. I hope for you that it is! Sincerely!!

    Comment by Sueric — December 11, 2012 @ 11:45 am

  4. Thanks… I guess I should clarify, I’m not feeling suicidal or anything like that, just really depressed. It’s true, however, I’m worth more money dead than alive. Usually, that’s just a sick kind of joke. It’s just something that occurs to me a lot lately given the situation. :/ I just know that I hated the whole depression thing the first time, and it took me a long time to get out of it. In a real sense, fanfiction helped me with that. Maybe it was just finding something to do that helped as much as it did. I just know that it was a dark, dark place, and I just really don’t want to go back there again.

    Comment by Sueric — December 11, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  5. The first time I had depression was so bad, and I didn’t have any help for it, other than writing. I also know what the whole hating what you’re doing is like, too. I despise working in ‘normal’ jobs, mostly because I feel like I have to be someone else at those times. I guess you do what you have to do, but at the same time, it’s hard not to lose track of yourself as well. That’s why I’m so much happier when I write because it is what I love. I just wish it paid me, but then, the trade off there is that fanfiction has a lot more freedom than writing for publishing. I don’t have an editor leaning over me, telling me that Subterfuge needs to be cut in half, etc. I personally like stories of growth, and to me, that’s what Subterfuge is.

    I guess that if I had to say, I’d have to say that I found my Evan–just doesn’t make as much money as Evan, but it’s kind of funny to me because Evan in the story is much like Eric is, and a lot of the goofy things that Evan says have come straight from Eric. Maybe we’re not rich, but we do tend to laugh a lot. I just miss that laughter these days, and I want it back, which was why I posted in the first place. I just felt like a ticking bomb ready to go off, and unfortunately, Eric’s also the one who receives the brunt of that, too, and he doesn’t deserve it.

    If you truly wish to help, I won’t decline it. I don’t really have a choice as to whether or not to do so and it sucks. Usually we try to help out someone at this time of year. I hate being the one who needs the help instead. I gave my paypal email in the first message, but I wanted to reply more in-depth to you here. I was on the phone getting an update on my dad when I wrote the first one. (He’s doing a little better today. Small steps, right?)

    Comment by Sueric — December 11, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  6. Sueric, I have been reading your fanfictions since I was in middle school and nearly 10 years later I am still completely inthralled in this alternate world that you have created. I am fresh out of college and fighting for my own survival. I spent months trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do and settled for a part time job selling shoes until I could figure it out. With car payments, hundreds in school loans, and everyday living expenses I have discovered life is tough and not fair. But there is also one thing that I have discovered and that is that it will get better. Which, this may not be something that you want to hear (when I’m mad/confused/upset, optimism is annoying) but it IS true. I believe that tough situations are put in our way because we can handle it. Because we breathed air into our lungs of our own power, we built strength in our muscles and we pushed our feet forward for our first step, we survived puberty, we pushed through heart break, you triumphed through child birth, marriage is a tough journey and demands work, and sickness and death are inevitable. Through all these trials, you survived. To finish with a quote from one of my favorite writers/thinkers, J.R.R. Tolkien says, “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” I had a fantastic professor who taught my C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien seminar that used to say to me, “Jessie, what do we do when there is no hope and your road is clouded with darkness and doubt?” I always responded, “We ride on”. So, we ride on because darkness can’t last forever. My thoughts go to you and your family in this time of darkness.

    Comment by SailingAway13 — December 12, 2012 @ 1:05 am

  7. I believe this, too. It’s just hard at times to see that light when I have no idea just when it’s ever going to end. I guess if the economy were better in this area, I would feel less hopeless, but unfortunately, the manufacturing area has been hit really hard, and, while it did make a comeback to an extent, once the incentives to produce ended, everything’s slowed down again. Unemployment is rising here fast, and even when I try to tell myself that it won’t last forever, that there has to be a good side if I just look hard enough, it’s extremely hard for me to do all the time. It’s made worse when I see those around me, struggling through the same thing. Reality is often a hard thing to overcome, and just telling oneself that it’s going to be okay doesn’t always work. I know in my heart that things always end the way they should–not how we necessarily want them to, but how they were intended to be. I was just venting, trying to find my own end of a dark tunnel, trying to keep what little sanity I have left right now. I could see the warning signs in myself of the rapid approach of someone I simply do not ever want to be again.

    Comment by Sueric — December 12, 2012 @ 1:15 am

  8. Hello Sueric, I’m sorry to hear that you have fallen on hard time, like many of us we live from pay check to pay check or have to rely on unemployment or welfare, but I think everything will turn out okay but we just have to take a breath and take one day at a time. I have a special present for you and your family it’s not much but I want you to have a Happy Christmas so I was wondering if you can email me (check my profile), I can tell you the rest till I hear from you. 🙂

    Comment by dannygirl9999 — December 12, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

  9. All right, will do that 🙂

    Comment by Sueric — December 12, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

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