The way things were going last Thursday, I fully expected to be spending today looking for a different place to live. And I had no idea how that was going to happen since we’re already living in the cheapest housing we could find. If I haven’t been able to pay the rent, I’m surely not going to be able to come up with security deposit, 1st & last month’s rent for another place.
My morning started with a pre-eviction notice that gave us 3 days to come up with $2,200 , followed by a visit from the electric company with a 72 hour shut off notice. We should be getting our income tax return soon so my first go-to was to ask if I could just pay when we got that money back but that was a big negatory on both fronts. while venting to my daughter about that, I said, “You’d think they’d be a little flexible and let someone do that,right? If I was a landlord, I’d let a tenant do that.”
She answered, “Uh,yeah. But if you were a landlord, there would be a lot of things you would do that most won’t because you understand this kind of thing.”
I think this was the same day I daydreamed about becoming a billionaire and buying Mar-a-Lago out from under the so-called President and turning it into a sanctuary for refugees, immigrants, low income folks, and pretty much anyone who is marginalized. For free. Because why not?
But back to reality…
I got desperate and came here to the blog to ask for help, even though I HATE asking for help. Hate it. I can’t even express how much I hate asking for donations. It’s largely because I know that the majority of readers here are also not financially stable. There is also that horrible,horrible lingering ideology hanging over from the way I was raised that attaches money to personal failure and assigns some morality to poverty. Asking for help means I’m a loser. Perhaps this is why I am always putting out into the universe this idea that poverty is not a moral failing. I’m still reminding myself of this all the time. In reality, and perhaps what’s the most frustrating and soul crushing part right now, both my husband and I are working harder than ever to try to get out of this chasm of poverty.
By the end of the day, people had donated enough money to cover our rent. By Friday, there was enough to help with the electric bill and groceries.
I spent the rest of the week feeling tremendously grateful… while also not feeling great about the entire situation. I’m still reconciling all of those feelings. It isn’t that I don’t feel deserving of help. I think I’m mostly just so angry that I even have to ask for help and knowing how many people out there are in the same and worse situations. I’m already angry at the world for various reasons. Adding extra ire can’t be healthy.
But still…grateful was the primary theme of my emotions. “Thanks” doesn’t even begin to express how appreciative I am of generous people who supported me though the last few days. It wasn’t just the monetary donations that made such a huge difference to me. Those personal messages written with so much love and compassion have been a major source of encouragement for me.
There was a good reminder I needed in all of this,too. The world (ok, mostly America) is a garbage pit right now and it’s hard to remember on some of these days how awesome people can be. People are fundamentally good. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Also, if you’ve ever wanted to help out someone asking for donations but only had a few dollars and thought, “Why bother?” …DO IT ANYWAY. I received so many donations and I am making it my personal goal to reply personally to each and every one but it might take me all week. But here’s the main point: most of them were $10 or under. Sometimes literally only $2 or $5 . Every little bit truly does matter.
art by Emm Roy!