A Year in Review (Better Late Than Never).

I have been debating about this entry for a while. I haven’t really wanted to write over here, actually. I’ve been told that all I do is “complain.” Even though I have a little caveat on the side bar that clearly indicates that is the point in this entire blog, I’ve been keeping myself away even though I’ve been at near-explosive levels of irritation and rage in the last month alone. I’ve also been accused of using this blog to belittle and angst at people. Again, I have to point out that it clearly states on the side bar that if you don’t like what I have to say here then don’t fucking read it. With that, let’s talk about this passed year.

There is no other way to put it: 2012 sucked for me.

For almost the entire year, minus the month of November, I have been unemployed. Most people would assume that being unemployed would be “fun.” I’ve heard people discuss the whole unemployment thing like it was a game. “A bit of time off to get your head in order and then you find a job.” The reality is that unemployment is extremely boring and beyond terrifying. For months on end, you are endlessly hunting for something to replace the last position you had, at a similar pay rate and with similar hours, only to find that there are twenty people in line with you for the same position for the same reasons. And invariably, you don’t get the job and you’re left angry, depressed, and beyond upset at the callousness of your situation.

It may take a while but the “joy” of having some time away from work is quickly replaced with nothing but negative emotions that you have to try to constructively get rid of, otherwise you’re bound for depression town with no way out. Medication is all well and good, but to remove yourself wholly from the depression, you have to get out of the situation causing said depression. How do you do that when 7% to 9% of the entire country is in similar boats? There is, unfortunately, no quick fix for these situations, either. The government keeps going on about how they’re “fixing it,” but the reality is that most of the unemployment numbers are as low as they are because people have lost their benefits and are no longer eligible for any sort of assistance outside of state welfare programs.

I bet if anyone stopped to look at the numbers of welfare programs, state by state, we’d see the reality of the unemployment numbers. I wrote about this in October or so, in which I wrote about my frustration and angst. I was lucky, unlike a lot of people in that situation. A job opened up with the temp agency I had been “working for” since August and I was able to actually take it. For a glorious month, I knew where the money to pay my bills was coming from. But then, the unemployed thing happened all over again, only that time, I wasn’t eligible for state unemployment benefits.

What has made our situation all the more devastating is this fiscal cliff shit that has been going around and around. I watched as the unemployment aid that TH was receiving completely dried up. That’s right; for the last half of December and thus far into January, TH has not had any unemployment benefits either. In all honesty, I think unemployment for construction workers, painters, and other trades should be calibrated differently than other workers but they aren’t. So, we have been literally living entirely off of what is left in my savings account. It got us through Christmas; it got us through no state aid in health insurance, food stamps, or cash assistance. Every now and again, I think ruefully of being denied Head Start funding for my son and wonder, if things had been this dire in August, would we have gotten more help?

Throughout the entirety of 2012, I have felt very much as though a large round mill stone has been around my neck in one form or another. Aside from constantly going to interviews – success; someone wants to talk to me about my qualifications – I have had more rejection E-mails than I can count. All of that has really added up to fray up my confidence. I’m not exactly the most self-confident person in the world, so in either receiving the “thanks, but no thanks” E-mails or no responses at all… it’s added up. I’ve constantly felt as though I am completely inadequate, unable to take care of my family, and just a complete failure in every sense of the word.

What really irritates me about this whole situation is that I have only, ever, applied to jobs that I felt I was qualified for. Occasionally, on a whim, I would fill out for jobs I had no business looking into. Mostly, I’ve been looking in the customer service sector since I know that job backwards and forwards. And for the most part, I’ve been informed that since I don’t have a college education, I can’t possibly get the job. Since customer service really has no business being a college course, I’ve been at a complete low ebb, flowing from anger and irritation to depression and inadequacy.

In early December, I loss a childhood friend who was very dear to me. I’ve written of this friend before. She was “BFTX.” Since she started her path into Christianity, I’ve been waiting for the inevitable fall out that would happen between us. I am distinctly pagan, specifically polytheistic, in my practices. I’ve known that there would come a time when I would lash out or she would. I tried very diligently in giving her advice regarding her “darker moments” and I had tried very hard to maintain a friendship that was slowly falling away into a crumbling heap mess. I won’t get into the specifics, if I ever will. But, the loss of my childhood friend because of a difference in religion really hit me square, center over my heart.

I always thought that our friendship would slog through every possible hook that could be thrown our way. We past through hell, ten times over, together and we managed to come out, not whole, but at least relatively safe on the other side. We stopped talking to one another quite a few times since we started our friendship at eleven, but no matter what, we’ve always managed to pass through the sinkholes and come out all right. In this one, however, I don’t really think that could possibly happen. She’s since blocked me on Facebook after claiming to have apologized for being a bit of a jerk regarding our differences in opinions. Since the words, “I’m sorry I was a dick,” have not reached me, I don’t consider anything she has had to say on the matter properly closed.

I have yet to heal from this loss, in all honesty. It still tweaks at me in ways that I cannot convey. When it comes to soul mates, you just think, Forever and ever, but that’s not always the truth of it. There must be reasons why we are constantly searching for the soul mates. And even sometimes, it doesn’t really matter what the situations are… maybe you find them and maybe you don’t. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be with them forever. Fairy tales have passed out of this world for a reason and reality is a lot of things from happiness to pain. In this particular instance, pain is what I’m learning and what I will, hopefully, one day be able to recover from.

In the mean time.

This past year has been literally awful in so many different ways. I’ve felt, very often, misunderstood, unwelcome, disliked, and unqualified for various reasons. I have felt like a complete failure in religion, friendships, family life, and on a personal level. I have felt as though everything was going to fall down around my shoulders and without my being able to fix it. I think after time goes by and I move further away from this past year, I’ll hopefully be able to look at it more subjectively than I have in this entry. Right now, I simply can’t. There has been too much heartache and too much pain for me to look for all the good things that have happened. Good things have happened in various ways, but the overwhelming feeling of 2012 has been a complete nadir.

As everyone else in my situation has said, or people giving advice to me have said, it can only go up from here.

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Depression is The Inability to Construct a Future.

I haven’t been in the best of moods lately. Since I’ve noticed it, I have watched how everything is impacted by these emotions. As far as I can tell, this has held me off from doing much of anything. I’ll reiterate: My bad mood has infected me so thoroughly that I don’t want to do anything, in any way. I don’t want to read, write, take pictures, eat, sit, stand, clean, mother, blog, shower… in other words, I’m pretty fucking miserably depressed. I just want to be in a single, dark place and stare moodily.

I’m pretty fucking good at that.

I really began to notice the change in mood about a week ago. I chalked it up to a lovely cased of seasonal affective disorder. Everyone, I believe, suffers from it if they live in an area that “enjoys” winters with snow. There’s just something dark and depressing about the little to no sunlight, snow, hail, and temperatures low enough to freeze the snot in your nose. There’s some fun, of course. There’s sledding, snow forts, snowball fights, snow angels and snowmen. But, the all-pervasive glum can ruin any kind of good mood. Just ask anyone who lives around here come February.

To stave off true depression, I went about rearranging my cabinets.

This should have been a very clear indication that my depression was more than just a little seasonal thing. When I begin to rearrange things in my house, it’s usually caused by feeling out of control, as though my life has been suddenly wed with chaos and no one is stopping to let me off the merry-go-round. This, in turn, makes me crazed with worry and stress, which in turn, makes me crazed with the need to rearrange my entire house. I figure it’s kind of like: I have no control over my life right now, so I’ll force some control on the items around me. It’s cyclical. It’s unbeatable. And it’s a clear fucking sign that my depression has an actual cause this time around.

A part of it is the job. It really does get to you. At first, it was because of the horror stories that I continuously heard. There’s only so much of the most horrific moments in a person’s life that they can relive before they begin to break down, which makes you break down alongside them. I’m not the only temp who has had this issue. There’s at least two other people who are having difficult times listening to the sob stories. However, now, it’s worse because the initial claims have been pretty much taken. Now, we’re getting nasty remarks from the people who filed the claims who have still not heard back from a claims adjuster. A part of that is because of how much damage there really was and another is because there isn’t enough man power to go around and mostly, it has to do with the insurance adjusters being douchenozzles. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve had to field because an adjuster’s phone was disconnected or they don’t return phone calls or they can’t even remember who they’re talking to or they don’t show up to appointments… Yeah.

But now, I keep getting sent home early. This is part of the job. I’m a temp; it’s a call center. They have full-time employees that can handle the queues when a natural disaster or BP doesn’t fuck up. It’s part of being a temporary employee. Our contract is up with this particular company on the 30th. No big deal; a new job on the horizon and… But, nope. There aren’t any new jobs on the horizon. There is literally nothing in our area for the temps that our at this job. (Well, for the agency I work for.) All they do is administrative and office staffing. And there is nothing for the ten of us, or so, that work at this job. Let me reiterate that: AFTER THE 30th, I AM UNEMPLOYED AGAIN.

Gee, I wonder why I’m getting so fucking depressed.

I mean, I’ve been looking. I had a bite a while back from McDonald’s, but we couldn’t get our schedules to connect for an interview, so I had to beg off. Aside from that, I’ve been trying. I’ve been trying so fucking hard that, fuck it. LOOK. I FUCKING APPLIED AT MCDONALD’S. That’s where I’m at. And as of Friday, I’ll be right there yet again. What am I supposed to do in the mean time? I get to be that asshole that hopes the state will give me enough money to help me pay for rent. I can figure shit out for other bills; I will go hooking if I have to so that the bills get paid. But what do I do? What am I supposed to do now?

WHY IS THIS MY LIFE.

The Land of Claims.

I think one of the major reasons this job grates on me is the bureaucratic bullshit I’m hearing about. I get about three to four calls, a day, in which I have to listen to an irate policy holder complain to me. They almost all are usually demanding to know when an adjuster will be coming by to view the damages to their home or calling to set up an appointment to come by to see the damages to their home. From what I’m seeing and hearing, not just from these people but from other people in the center, it would appear that this particular company is sitting on their ass and busily doing nothing.

It drives me insane.

It’s not that I’m being yelled at (although that is extremely irritating) but that I can’t assist these people. They are calling me for the answers that I have absolutely no access to. All I can do is give them a telephone number (usually the one that they called to get a hold of me to yell at me) and update the information to be sent off to the main branch. I can’t give them absolution or a time limit on how long the travails will be happening to them. And usually, that’s all they’re looking for. They want to look at their shit time as being finite and I can’t tell them that.

I am really good at customer service, if I do say so myself. I know how to foster a relationship. I know how to smile even at four in the morning when I’m dog tired. I know how to troubleshoot. But, here, I can’t do that – my hands are completely tied. I can only respond with, “I don’t have that information. I apologize.” And then, give them a useless fucking telephone number that will probably bring them back to someone else in the call center.

It’s fucking maddening.

I am rapidly beginning to realize that I am a “soft touch” as Tony from The Tenth Kingdom would say about his daughter. I want to help these people with their problems. I want the good feels of a job done well. I want to be able to say, “Hey, I know this is awful right now, but it will end around this time,” and have it come true. I want to help, help, help.

And I just don’t feel that I will be able to do that here.

After work, I am just completely grateful that I survived another day.

And that, my friends, is a huge fucking problem.

I’m running through a field, occasionally glancing back to make sure the horror is no longer following me. But it’s always there. It’s always just at my back with claws extended and gaping maw. It will devour me if I don’t keep running and I know this. Some days, I fall back and catch my breath, almost in the hopes that the horror will catch up with me and eat me alive. I can’t outrun it. I can’t escape. I will never escape. And then other days, I know that I have to run and run and run, even though my side aches desperately and the tears of made me eyes prickly and puffed. I have to run and keep eternally outrunning. I will win this fight. I will survive… but some days, I don’t want to.

The Reality of the Unemployment Situation.

I called a friend of mine up in a panic today on my way home from submitting applications and feeling true despair at the totality of my situation. She told me that I wasn’t allowed to panic. We would brain storm about things later together. And then she said to me, “Just don’t panic; you can go on Don’t Panic, but you can’t actually panic.” So, here I am.

Yesterday, I received the news that I knew was coming from the office of unemployment. I was no longer eligible for unemployment benefits and now, I have to become a “welfare bear” in the hopes that my family and I can survive the harsh reality of our situation. I cried. There’s no other words for what my reaction was. I just cried. I cried and I cried and I cried. And I can’t help but wonder how many other people are in my situation, crying their eyes out as they try to find something that allows them to survive in a country that has “no jobs” and is itching to cut the very benefits that will keep people like us alive? I can’t help but be angry at the situation – it sucks – but in reality, I feel very betrayed and disenchanted with everything this country is supposed to stand for.

We hear the politicians talk about how unemployment rates are lower than they were. All right, yes. I’m sure the rates are lower, but the only reason is because people have passed their extended benefits and are no longer eligible, whether they are employed or not. The break down isn’t discussed. You just hear this magic number (I believe it’s 7.8%) touted about and everyone pats each other on the back. “Look what we did! The unemployment rate is down!” But how many of the people who have fallen from unemployment are still looking? How many of those people are living off of state aid in an effort to stay with a roof over their heads and food on the table? I seriously doubt I’m the only person in the entire country facing this crisis.

Did you know they did away with the third tier benefit? And that’s probably the real reason why the unemployment rate is so low.

When you’re filing for unemployment or are living off of the state assistance programs, they actually make you go and take classes at your “local career center.” This is a euphemism for a dark, shadowy place of imprisonment that has absolutely no desire to help you find a job. They tell you about the classes they have and they tell you about using their computers and they update their job postings every day! These are half-truths and outright lies. For example, I have applied for the same job three times via their resource list that cut off hiring in August. In August. (I keep applying because by the time I get that low on the list, I’m drunk with typing and thinking.) Their computers need to be signed up for days in advance, but that’s no big deal. And the classes? They’re typing 101 and they’re how to write a resume 101 and all the next levels to these classes. How are they supposed to get you a job?

Why not have a class about what to wear to an interview? How about a class on proper E-mail etiquette when you’re fishing for a second interview? What about a class on how not to feel like a complete fuck up and loser while you’re going through this crisis? Why not offer counseling services for your mental and emotional well-being instead of all of these “skill set” classes? For the most part, I have to assume that they get enough students for the classes. And I have to assume that they are well received by the local and federal governments because the local career centers are still getting aid at the state and federal levels. So, obviously, this is all well and good in the eyes of politicians who don’t understand what it’s like to have to worry about where the next meal is coming from and what’s more important: gas in your car or toilet paper for your ass.

I am so angry and frustrated all the time. I hate feeling this way. I really feel very similarly to how it was just before MEH and I officially broke it off. I am angry. I am frustrated. I am hurt. I am bewildered. I am scared. And always the same advice from friends and family, “when the doors closes, a window opens.” What they forget to tell you is that you didn’t bring a flashlight, the window is probably a thousand miles down some tight corridor, and you have to find it in the pitch blackness of reality. I hate that phrase right now almost as much as I hate the phrase, “have some hope.” Have some fucking hope?

Everything is wrong and evil and stupid and I am so fucking angry. I am beyond angry. I want to hurt that company so badly. I want to stick it to them. I want their pens to dry up; their computers to be attacked by viruses; their questionable fucking practices investigated on a state level; and I want them all to suffer. I want everyone who threw me under the boss and everyone who still works there and everyone who kisses ass over there to hurt and be angry and know what it’s like to be thrown under the bus after nearly two years of committed service. I want every single one of them to know what it’s like to get interview after interview that lead to nowhere. I want every single one of those selfish twats to see me crying as I panic and worry and have anxiety attacks about how I can’t possibly raise or take care of my family.

And I hate feeling this way.

I’ve worked a very long and hard time to gain adequate control over my emotions. I’ve probably taken that control a little too far, to the point where crying actually physically hurts sometimes because I just… don’t. But I prefer to be in complete control over my emotions instead of being the insane raging beast that I used to be. I much prefer this to that, in all honesty. And the fact that I am always angry, hurt, bewildered, scared, anxious, and panicking drives me fucking insane. All of this drives me fucking insane.

The politicians who think they’re doing a good job.

The people who think they can give advice when they really don’t know the situation well enough to give me advice.

The people who offer me the same old platitudes.

The people who aren’t around to watch me suffer.

The people who did this to me.

I am so fucking insane with rage that all I want to do is shake someone or something all the time. (I suddenly understand BFMA’s intense desire to throw shoes at a door whenever she gets upset on such a better level now.) I don’t do this. I scrub the counters. I scrub the toilet and the bathtub. I do load after load of laundry. I sit down and I fill out endless applications. I sit and I fret, but I don’t shake anyone or anything. I don’t throw shoes at a door. I end up crying instead and have panic attacks.

This is the reality of unemployment, people.

Keep that in mind, too, when you vote on November 6th.

P.S. In case it’s not clear, this isn’t some random “VOTE FOR ROMNEY” ad or anything. Romney can eat a bowl of dicks. I lived in MA when he was governor and he was next to useless. His stance on things like Planned Parenthood, abortion, and his belief that his “business savvy” make him ideal of president are laughable. What I’m saying is DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Why a Bipolar Diagnosis Helped BFMA.

This post is brought to us today by idiots on Tumblr. (FOOD FOR THOUGHT OVER THERE.)

Today, someone I follow over there was discussing about needing help to learn to live, preferably on her own, with bipolar disorder. I was talking to her prior to her outcry for assistance in finding places that would be capable of helping her. I told her that in my life, with BFMA, I was the buddy that she had to get her to live on her own successfully. (HI BFMA.) However, as the person pointed out, she doesn’t have a buddy in her area to do that, so to go her own, she’s looking into halfway houses for such a thing. A young child made a commentary on her post that was, well, young. That person’s comments were pretty hilarious and also very dangerous chatter, in my opinion. When young’ns come into something not knowing a damn thing about a mental health disorder but feel like they can just spout out whatever they can type as quickly as they can type, we have a problem. Life experiences are kind of more important to such things as mental health disorders than, say, being able to look shit up on WebMD or Wikipedia. But, really, what got to me was when someone said something along the lines of, “Who needs a diagnosis? I think everyone is a little bipolar everywhere.”

And I lost my fucking shit because I’m BFMA’S BUDDY.

I lived with her before she had a diagnosis. I got to watch her break apart every two weeks when she went into a depression cycle. I got to watch her start a shit-ton of projects that never got done when she was in a manic phase. I got to watch her try to kill herself when she was in one of her depression cycles. I got to watch her talk about how she was going to buy a fucking set of bagpipes because she would learn them when she was in a manic phase. I got to watch this tear her apart because she didn’t know what was wrong. Technically, she had a diagnosis – she was depressed and she suffered from ADHD! What a hellacious way to live your life. It was the worst fucking thing to watch her think that she was just batshit insane and no one would understand, the doctors didn’t care, and everyone kept walking away because it was “too much” or “too overwhelming” for them to deal with it.

Prior to a an official diagnosis, she went on and on about how she felt like she was crazy with no real reason. She had people tell her that she was insane – inventing things. Her own family and doctors would infer or out right tell her that she was melodramatic. I watched as people walked into her life and then right back out again. I watched as people from previous relationships warned new boyfriends and friends away from her because she was “way too melodramatic; fucking crazy.” She had the stigma of being “too overwhelming” and “too melodramatic” or “too paranoid” prior to being diagnosed. It was hell on fucking earth watching her go through that and trying to help her get through it one day at a time, one step at a time. It was fucking hell.

Never mind what the doctors did to her. Invariably, they all pretty much called her crazy or making things up without actually coming right out and saying it. Or, they would tell her that she was making things up for attention. As if having severely suicidal tendencies after a week of feeling like you’re on a constant high is something to do so that you can get attention. They never listened to her. They never thought there was something more wrong than the depression. They weren’t interested in listening to the one person who could explain all of the symptoms clearly. And it was because, on her chart, it says that she was melodramatic, overwhelming, and given to flights of fancy.

Then, she was diagnosed about six years ago and everything magically clicked.

It all began to make sense. She wasn’t over dramatic. She wasn’t overwhelming. She wasn’t really anything that people labeled her as because she just had a chemical imbalance in her brain. She had a reason for her outbursts. She had a reason for the suicide attempts, the stays in hospital, the random spending sprees, the being unable to hold down a job, the entirety of her life began to make sense. The pieces fit together instead of being jammed together with scotch tape and glue. Everything began to just get so clear and so obvious.

Do you know how sad it is when your best friend calls you up, excited and thrilled because she finally had a real diagnosis for all the shit she had been going through and putting others through? No? Well, I can tell you that it is a very bittersweet moment. On the one hand, you finally have absolute clarity for things that never really made a lot of sense. And on the other hand, it is so fucking sad and depressing that you get excited over a doctor finally listening to you, after years of fucking ignoring you when you say, “something is wrong.”

However, on the other hand of the spectrum, there comes a whole new host of issues that you didn’t really understand. You have to work hard and do a lot of med checks to get the right dosing. Some of the side effects of those drugs are hilarious but not when they’re happening to you. (The lactation. The being unable to feed yourself because you have the shakes so bad. A serious case of death.) And then comes the fun part of explaining to people that you are the way you are because you have a chemical imbalance. And you get to watch yet more people walk right the hell out of the door because they can’t fathom what it’s like to have to deal with this in a relationship, in a friendship on a daily basis.

So on the one hand, you get to think that you’re fucking insane for no reason whatsoever without a diagnosis. And on the other hand, you get to think your fucking insane for a very serious reason that no one can understand or is willing to cope with.

Yet Another Week of Feeling Like a Loser.

Note: I’m just venting, so I really don’t want to know if I hurt your feelings.

I put it off as much as I can. But, I know that sometimes, something is going to happen that means I have to call the people in charge, so I try not to put it off too long. I find myself sulking and depressed whenever I click on the link. It gets to the point where I just don’t want to. I keep telling myself, this week, I’ll have the job I need and want, whenever I click the unemployment link. But, you know, each week I apply, I still don’t have a job. And I still feel like the world’s worst loser in the shittiest lottery contest known to mankind.

And whenever I talk about it with other people, employed people, they tell me lots of things that are meant to make me buck up and get on the horse. They’ll remind me that the entire nation is going through a shit time with employment thing. They’ll remind me that I just have to have hope. They’ll tell me that I did pass down some jobs since I’ve been hunting for one. They’ll tell me to suck it up, grow thicker skin, just keep at it. They give me loads of advice. I appreciate the fact that they’re still willing to give me advice when I get so very, very, very low about this job hunting thing. The fact that I haven’t scared them off with my depression regarding my unemployment is an amazing thing. However, I have to say? There are lots of days where the advice fucking sucks.

I don’t really give two shits about how the rest of the country is fairing. Just because I, logically, know that I’m not the only asshole in the entire state going through this at this moment in time doesn’t make it any easier. I’m not going to reach out to Unemployed Jane Doe and Unemployed Joe Blow and commiserate over a bunch of beers. I’m not going to sit around and join some forum for unemployed assholes. I’m not going to do any of those things, so why keep reminding me that this is a country-wide pandemic? Again, I have to say that just because I consciously know that the rest of the world is fucked economically and that like 8% of the whole country is also unemployed, like me, and probably not even for “terrific” reasons like myself, that doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve mentioned this in my religious blog and I’ve said this to my friends: MY PROBLEMS; MY MISERY; MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYONE ELSE.

It’s not that I’m trying to be an asshole with that statement but just because we know that someone else is going through similar situations doesn’t mean that it will impact how we feel. It doesn’t mean that we’ll magically get better. It doesn’t mean that we’ll end up feeling better about the entire situation. When it comes to our depression, our misery, and our pain, there is nothing greater than our own misery. This is intrinsically true with teenagers – I’m thinking of a certain lady who reads this with a teenage daughter. And it doesn’t make any difference later on in life. The misery we experience is the only misery that matters because it’s the only kind we can feel. Sure, we might feel sympathy or empathy for people going through a similar experience to our own. We might be able to understand another person on the same level because of the similar experiences, but just because Person One and Person Two have gone through similar experiences doesn’t mean it’s a bonding experience. It doesn’t mean that things are going to look brighter tomorrow. It just means that they’ve both been shit on in similar situations. But the core concept is still the same: the misery of Person One is more important than the one of Person Two, and vice versa.

I know in this economy that passing down of a job is pretty taboo. How could I dare to have standards? But it’s not really that. Some of the jobs that I’ve talked about have all had issues with scheduling. In effect, they’re at night. I guess I’m biased or stupid here, but I want to be able to raise my child. In one of the instances, TH’s mom told me that if we had to do sleep overs for R over at her house so that I could work late, then we’d do it. I appreciate the offer. I appreciate everyone’s offers of assistance. But, call me a bad person for wanting to raise my child. Call me a horrible asshole for wanting to be there with him, at night, feeding him dinner and arguing about whether he’s taking a bath. I guess I’m just a bad person for wanting to be his mother and not letting other people raise him. Sure, right now, TH is out of work. So, I could go back to work and I could work nights. But I remember those days at Greed, Inc. Before I became a manager, I worked second shift and I never saw my child. Or, if I did see him, I was too tired to do much more than the basics. That seems wrong and horrible. It impacted me relationship with my son and it impacted my self-worth because everyone under the sun was doing the raising and I was just some background noise.

It’s really different being unemployed when you have a child.

But, I think the worst is when people tell me to have hope. They tell me to buck up, chin up, keep on keepin’ on. I understand the viewpoint. And yes, I am still doing that. I’m still going around and doing the applications, sending out the resumes, sending out scouting letters and all of that lovely stuff. I’m on the websites that I use to job hunt between three and eight hours a day, depending [on whether things have been updated or not]. I light my candles. I pray before I send out these things. I hope. I have faith. I constantly tell myself that this will be the week that a job comes my way. I have all of those things, but you know, sometimes I just have dark points. I cry and I rage and I feel like my worth is in the negative range. It’s not because I don’t do the praying and the faith-ing and the hoping. It’s just hard. It’s so hard to maintain a one hundred percent positive outlook when everything always seems so bleak.

It’s just hard.

And today, I got to file for unemployment again. In the next two weeks, I’ll have to sign up for another extension, and I think it’s the final one. And I have to hope that something comes my way sooner or later. I’m at the point where DD and its minimum wage is looking appealing because, maybe, I can go in for the six in the morning shift. But is even that worth it? Is going back to work at minimum wage worth it if I’m not sure I can pay all of my bills and rent and maintain a good household and keep on keepin’ on? I make more on unemployment than I would working a minimum wage job, but it’s starting to look appealing because I’m almost desperate.

And I hate the feeling of desperation.

I just want to raise my kid. I just want to make enough money to live. I just want to be able to succeed somewhere. I just want things to look positive for once. But it’s hard because, at least four times week, I’m too busy feelin’ like a loser.