As we begin day 4 in the shelter let me tell you about the system. Here is how I understand it’s supposed to work. Apply for emergency assistance, get placed in a shelter (this could be a hotel, group home and even temporary apartments), look for work or continue working, apply to housing, apply for Section 8 or continue to wait for Section 8, follow all rules (no illegal activity, no drinking, be with your children at all times) and move out of the shelter into an affordable place of your own.
How the system really works is a joke. Apply for assistance, get placed in a dump, not follow rules, not care about finding a place to live cause shelter life is free and you get Food Stamps and Cash Assistance, take up space in all shelters and get told housing lists are 10+ years long or closed.
As we navigated these past few days we’ve met some great people who like us are working to better their lives and fond a home. They’ve told us the ins and outs (cause the staff here tells you next to nothing), who to watch out for (like the single guy who likes to stare at the little girls or the crazy guy who goes off his meds resulting in police coming at least once a week), when they offer free meals, how to get clean towels and bedding and what is within walking distance for necessities.
On the other side you have the ones who treat this hotel like party central and are just fine with living like this for the rest of their lives. You’ll know them right away and can find them drinking and smoking pot in the parking lot. They look dope sick and their children can be found running around unattended and playing in piles of dirt (or the nasty sand box they call a play area) with containers and utensils from the trash. They give give us the looks because we’re always spending time with our kids and scoping out what we have in case they want to steal it. They’ve been here for months, I even heard one say a full year.
You would think because we were a bit ahead in the system with my having a job it would be a quicker process, but because of the freeloaders we are not. Everyone of them fill up multiple spaces, in every shelter, leaving little to no room for a transfer. We were placed roughly 50 miles from our home town. Sure I could commute if I drove or there is the T at $30 round trip each day. Don’t forget the mile and a half walk and nearly 2 hours of train hopping to get there. This means each pay cycle I’d be using around a 3rd of my pay to get to work, the rest would be used on stuff like disposable diapers (oh how I miss cloth) and every day items that I don’t have the luxury of shopping around for.
We’re making the best of it all and hoping it works out. We have some good people on our side helping to get us closer and hopefully our stay in this shelter will be short. Stay tuned because tomorrow I show you some of the “luxury” we’re living in.
Today begins our second full day in the shelter. It’s a special day because it’s hubby’s 32nd birthday, but there won’t be cake and presents. There won’t be card making for daddy and there won’t be a special birthday dinner.
Everyone is still sleeping and I sit here being cuddled by Kaleb. He’s not phased by the situation. He’s still being the biggest bed hog, sprawling out and using me as a foot rest. In so much change and uncertainty it’s nice to see some normal remains, be it ever so small.
Tomorrow luck has shined our way, my grandmother is coming to bring me into the city. I’ll be picking up my check, getting some money from my dad, meeting up with mother in-law to get some more of our stuff and then going food shopping. It’ll be nice to have our homeschool supplies to at least bring another bit of normal back to our lives.
Everyone is still working so hard to get us closer to the city. Being this far out with no public transportation is tough. Resources are limited. We’ve had to put Kaleb into disposable diapers, it kills me having to buy them. Breakfast is offered daily, but there is only dinner twice a week. Food has to be something that can be microwaved, eaten as is or fit in our fridge.
Homelessness is no fun. I’m writing this from a state run hotel for homeless families. The place is beyond disgusting and unclean. The kids are doing ok all considering, but hubby and I are going insane. We’re an hour from Boston and I’m not able to get to work and wondering how once our money runs out we’ll make ends meet.
This system is a joke. You’re supposed to be trying to better yourself, but who cares if you have a job. You stick people in the middle of no where, but want them to work. Hubby now lost two potential jobs and I’m not sure how long my boss will hold my position. Even worse the “play area” if you want to call it that has parents letting their kids run wild while they smoke pot and get drunk.
There is an upside to all this I hope, I’m just still trying to find it. One thing I’ve learned is knowing people really helps and they’re working to get us closer to the city so I can return to work.
As you can imagine I’ll be a little bit quiet and write as I have the chance. For now I leave you with Kaylee’s smiling face.
It’s been a while since I have updated my look. I’ve been itching to create a new look, but I have no idea what I want to do this time. With my current design it was easy, Kaylee helped me to design it. She was very specific in wanting owls and our pictures.
I want something that will flow easier, be easy to navigate and have a smaller header. I think I might want to remain in the same color scheme and still have our photos in the header, but I am just not sure at all. I want it to showcase our family, which is tough when we are a little bit crazy, green and off the beaten path with our parenting. Now to just find the time and get my creative juices flowing. Hopefully I will be able to create and launch a new design just in time for the New Year. Now to just figure out what I want, which is the hardest part of all! My next hardest part is finding the time.
I have been trying to launch my design shop for nearly a year now, but it seems like just as I get two steps forward real life happens and I never find the time to get more designs done. I guess that will have to be one of my resolutions. Something like a design a week for the shop. With any luck perhaps I can have my shop fully open by this time next year. I tried to do custom work for the time being, but I utterly failed due to time restrictions, illnesses and not being able to always communicate at times that were good for the customers I was working for.
Has it been 6 years already? Today we celebrate 6 years of marriage. At this time 6 years ago I was heading to city hall to pick up our marriage license and then upstairs to the JP. It wasn’t the wedding we were planning or wanted, but it was our special day. We’re hoping to have a renewal eventually to be able to celebrate with family and friends since we really didn’t have the chance.
Some people say that you shouldn’t consider your spouse your best friend, but my hubby truly is my best friend. There is not a single thing I don’t want to share with him. We hate to be separated and prefer spending most of our time in each others company. We’re not always doing everything together, but just him sitting next to me watching TV while I read a book or work on the computer is enough. We hate being away from our kids. They might be crazy, they might drive us nearly insane several times a day and they might be the biggest mess makers I have ever met, but they are our kids and we love them more than we love each other.
Despite my not so perfect past and despite his quirks that in others normally drove me to run and hide we love each other. I might not like his constant affection, his reminding me several times a day how beautiful he thinks I am or just stopping to stare at me, but it’s all his way of showing that he loves me no matter what and I do love that. I love it when he calls me a spoiled princess, because truthfully I am, but I think he loves spoiling me. Whether it is a late night run to get me food, cooking me something in the middle of the night and even one night baking me brownies because I wanted them (and passing out before they were done) shows just how much he cares. He doesn’t complain (he might joke a little) he just does it.
Little things to make me smile could fill a whole notebook or more. Silly things that I often take for granted, but women often tell me they wish their spouses would do.
Doing diaper laundry (he doesn’t let me do it anymore because he says he does it better)
Moving an entire room upstairs just because I thought it would look better
Understanding we needed a Keurig and Ninja blender
Giving the kids baths
Taking them to the park so I can work
Letting me sleep in
Let me sneak out to have a few drinks with my dad and future step-mom
Massaging my back, head, neck or other body part because it is sore
Allowing me to binge shop Ju Ju Be bags and nail polish
Let’s me run wild in the craft store and get more yarn than I could ever crochet into something
Paint my nails
Straighten my hair
Clean up puke, pee or poop (even mine when I have been sick)
Constantly worrying when I am away from the house
As you can see the list is nearly endless. It is all these little things, plus the love he has for our kids and his want to be together always as a family that has allowed me to love him the way I could never seem to love someone else. So my dear, sweet, every loving hubby Richie, I loved you yesterday, I love you more today and my love will continue to grow tomorrow. The life we share might not be exactly what we want it to be, but it is our life and we live it the best we can.
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You probably know the commercial with the line “depression hurts.” I remember one of the first times I saw this commercial. I was in my teens and with friends and of course in teen fashion they began to joke about it. I laughed and joked with them, but inside I was thinking if they only really knew how much it does hurt.
I talk to friends who can talk about their past. They can recall details of their 6th birthday party, who attended and even what some of them wore. If you ask me about my past it is black. I see nothing, I remember next to nothing. Sure I will occasionally recall a small bit of my past, but otherwise it is empty. What is weird is that I can give you an exact floor plan for every home I have ever lived in after the age of 2 and that was many. I can remember directions to relatives houses from my younger years and they have long since moved, but I can’t remember details about an event even while looking at a picture.
I do remember always feeling off. When I was younger I was called shy and as I got older my family and friends just called me weird. I couldn’t do normal things like others. Simple stuff like giving a presentation on a school project, ordering my own food or wanting to go outside and play. Whenever we were going some where I was anxious to get there, but began counting down the minutes until I got to go home once we arrived. I always felt sad. It wasn’t just because my sister got a toy I wanted and I didn’t, but an over all sense of sadness. Even things I enjoyed made me sad. I took to books more often than not because it allowed me to focus on something not pertaining to my life.
I wouldn’t say I had a tough childhood. My parents divorced when I was young and I didn’t see my dad, but otherwise my life until I was a teenager was pretty good. My mom had a good job for most of my young years, we were spoiled and I had a very nice group of friends. We had a stable home and it was often the daily hang out. Someone looking in would thing I had it all and truth be told I do agree, but it came crashing down soon after.
As a teen I looked into help, but I wasn’t a huge fan of medication. I never got an official diagnosis, but depression, bi-polar, obsessive compulsive and social anxiety were all the unofficial diagnoses I received from multiple doctors. I didn’t like meeting new people and I feared places I didn’t know so trying to deal with being bounced around to different doctors was making what I was trying to fix worse. I just slap on a fake smile most days and avoid situations that I know will trigger an episode. I don’t answer calls I don’t know (except at work when I have no choice), hubby generally orders my food and makes all calls I don’t have to make myself. When I am stuck in a situation I can’t avoid one of a few things happen, I break down in tears, I flip out or I run off.
You might ask why I am sharing this with you. I am sharing because for the last few weeks I have been having a low. My day is not interesting and I am losing pleasure in things I enjoy, one of which being my blog. My day consists of waking up, feeding the kids, homeschooling, feeding them again and then sleep or on days I work hubby takes over all those tasks and my day consists of work and sleep. The kids still bring me joy and I am able to genuinely laugh and smile with them, but outside of that it is all fake. I am hoping with things beginning to get on track again and go the way we had planned that it will lift my spirits and allow me to move out of this slump. I am going to be writing a few posts just so that it is not like I abandoned my blog, because it is not what I want to do.