My story is like many others. It doesn’t end in a tragic death or hospitalization. Instead it ends in financial destitute, fear, and uncertainty. It began with common symptoms: head cold, short of breath, and fatigue. We had to make sure it wasn’t COVID-19, for the safety of our coworkers. We both swore it couldn’t be that. Maybe just a minor sinus infection.
Well, we were wrong. We were already living paycheck to paycheck and I had carefully crafted a financial plan for our survival into September. I had signed up for massage school because I was desperate to find meaning in my meaningless work. My husband was thinking of jumping companies because his low pay is causing me so much stress that I’m getting sick from it. I was already forced into taking two weeks off because my own boss was pissed I needed to be part-time due to my health. Sounds unfair? Sounds familiar?
I have to pay an entire months rent to the massage school before I even start. That was okay. I had a plan, and if I stuck to that plan we were going to be financially okay. A little battered, but okay. Well, I was wrong.
Every carefully crafted piece of my low stress facade is crumbling. Crumbling to pieces. We don’t even have enough in our accounts to pay a single bill. Sure, I paid you rent, but no we have enough dinner to last us two days. I was forced to quarantine even though I displayed no symptoms. Not only has my husband lost two weeks of pay, but I as well. If we don’t take a loan out, we are going to starve. We are going to lose everything. All over a fucking cold.
I’m at a loss right now. My husband is peacefully sleeping while this is the third morning in a row I’ve woken up crying. It’s not like I’m emotionally stable, or we are financially secure. No, everything about our life is hanging on by a thread and that thread is my hope. My hope for a better life. My hope for a better future. If you work hard, you will be rewarded.
Wrong. We have worked hard.our entire lives to be passed up for promotions and pay raises. We have come in first, and left last. Both of us have sacrificed our health, our social lives, and our mental well beings for our jobs, for our careers. This is what our parents taught us to do. This is what their grandparents taught them to do.
No wonder I cannot get well because there is no such thing as being well in this society. Sure, I have a phone. Sure, I have internet (not for very long). Sure, I have air conditioning and electricity.
But is that all I’m worth? Have a made some dire mistake along the way? I am suffering, along with countless others. I am being buried under pressure and stress. I am at such a loss, I can’t even formulate the proper words to express my own stress.
I just want my damn teeth fixed. I’ve been living with severe cavity decay for most of my youth, and I can’t stop it. No matter how many times I go to the dentist, my cavities always come back. I have cavities in my fillings. I have cavities in almost every tooth. Do you know what that can do to a person?
It can kill them. Here I am, struggling to pay my monthly bills and desperately trying to get ahead, and my teeth are rotting. I smile, and I laugh, but I feel constant pain. The pain is everywhere, and it’s leeching out through my jaws. I’d rather be dead than live this life.
I was raised in central Florida, USA. I was told if I needed help, my government would step in. If the government didn’t, then my family would. If my family didn’t, then a bank would. I could take out loans and be riddled with debt so that I could smile without pain.
This is all wrong. I have applied for everything under the sun. I have scrimped and saved. I have sacrificed and for what? For nothing. To simply be rejected because of my lack of credit. Well, I’ll take out a credit card and start building that!
Wrong again. Declined. Declined. Declined. I finally get approved, and I cannot justify the interest rate for gaining credit. I cannot justify this constant battle and struggle to be able to afford getting one cavity fixed.
Here I am, momentarily jobless, foodless, and soon to be houseless if someone else doesn’t step in. I am distraught at the shape of my own country, and I am suffering along with the rest. Is this what we mean to you? To you big CEO’s and bankers? Are we just cash flow?
Yes.. sometimes that is all that we are as humans. A means for profit. I don’t know where to turn to, and my only saving grace are the stocks my great grandmother left me. It’s just enough to cover a months bills, and I was saving it for us to move to Montana and start our lives out West. Do I gamble and reinvest? Like countless others? Am I the one percent that makes it through the gauntlet? For some reason, I don’t think so. For some reason, I fear trading them in and playing that game. I fear playing the very game that has robbed so much of humanity from having a secure life.
I know this is a very personal blog post, but I needed to get this off my chest. We haven’t even made it through the entire two weeks of quarantine and I’m already fighting extreme depression. I’m so tired of this life I’m living, and I know I’m not the only one.
For the moment, my hope is gone. It has been replaced with a crushing level of stress that I can only feel when I am alone. I’m terrified of being alone. These thoughts that swarm my mind.. it’s never ending, and the only thing that can end it is having our missed two week pay landing in our hands. It’s sad isn’t it? All this stress, all this fear.. boils down to about $2000. I fucking hate it. I hate the men in power who do this so willingly to men and women across the globe. If I was ever given any power at all, I would use every ounce of it to fully dissolve this archaic society we are all forced to be a part of. I would destroy all that those rich men in power hold dear because greed begets suffering. Over, and over, and over again.