Work, Write, Love

There are so many things wrong right now. It’s ridiculous. I’m thinking too much and everything is driving me crazy. I think I’m getting slightly depressed because I’m stuck inside all the time recently because of the weather, with all of this cold and snow that’s been coming through everywhere here in the eastern United States. I guess it doesn’t make anything better when my fiance is working overtime because one of his co-workers is so badly injured that he isn’t able to work for the next two (2) months, so him and his other co-workers are putting in an exponential amount of extra hours to cover for him. This week, alone, he’s worked over sixty (60) hours. While, yes, the paycheck’s going to be lovely and both of us are looking forward to it… I miss him. I miss him a lot and I don’t get to spend enough time with him. We used to spend more time with each other. Hell, when my aunt was living with us we saw more of each other then, than we do now and we had severe privacy issues back then!

But all of this is just me ranting and raving. I need to get it out of my system. I have nobody – absolutely no one – to talk to about all of this.

I don’t have any close friends. I don’t really trust my family with personal information any more. It’s come to the point that the therapist who stops by bi-weekly to help with my child in his development (he’s a little behind, y’see) is easier to talk to than anybody else… except, of course, my fiance. But then it comes down to the fact that he’s never here and when he is, he seems to be sleeping because he’s so worn out from working. We never talk anymore. We never spend time with each other. We don’t even have money for a single Valentine’s Day dinner, I’ve come to find out.

I’m trying to figure out his schedule so that maybe I can arrange my mother and stepfather to babysit the children for a night or two so that my fiance and I can just have a night to ourselves and we can just, I don’t know, go out. Spend time with each other. See a movie. Have dinner. Go to a bar. Just have fun with each other. It’s not a big deal. The whole point, nonetheless, being is that we just need to spend time with each other. Without the children. Every couple does.

I feel like I’m losing him. And maybe it’s just me. I know I get paranoid sometimes and I definitely know that I have a tendency to overthink things, but it seems like my fiance and I have been growing distant from each other as of late and I don’t like it. Not one bit.

I know he loves me though. I need to stop being paranoid. The signs are there that he loves me. I’m letting too many things build up inside of me. Little things. Reminders from my past; things that people have said to me that are starting to get to me. It’s unfair and I don’t like it. I know what he’s really like. But again, that’s the problem. The little things that are wiggling their way into my mind are making me doubt stuff like that and, in my mind, if I really love my fiance I shouldn’t ever doubt him. I know that nobody is perfect; I know that no relationship is perfect, but I can’t help but continually wonder if something’s going wrong or if… just if.

I’ve wandered into “what if” categories. I really don’t think that’s a good sign.

A good sign, though, I think, is that he is the one person (not including my children) that I can’t picture myself without. I think and think and think, and then it occurs to me that we already act like we’re married. We share bills, rent, a home, chores, cooking (though, I will admit he does the majority when he’s not working); we share decisions and we compromise. We actually talk about where we’re heading in the future – where we want to go, in the sense of “when we finally get a house of our own and not this place, we’ll…” or “when we’re more financially stable we’ll take a trip to *example place* with the kids… they’d love it”. It makes my heart just grow and burst with such warmth. I feel like squealing and crying from happiness sometimes.

And, y’know, I guess it’s also probably a really good sign that when I’m reading my romance novels or watching my romantic-comedies (*cough* chick-flicks), or any sort of movie or book that has a significant amount of romance in it, I picture the leading female as myself and the leading male as my fiance. Especially once they start dating; especially if it’s starting to get more romantic. The thing is, though, it doesn’t have to be the “more romantic” parts. I have a wild imagination, and if I can picture my fiance and I doing something similar – then we’re in whatever book or movie I’m watching or reading at the time.

I love him and I’m in love with him. I’m not convincing myself of this. I’ve known it for about a year and a half now. My feelings have not faded; they’ve only grown stronger. I guess, though, I didn’t anticipate all of the other emotions – the stress, anxiety – that would come with it.

But he makes me feel beautiful. He makes me feel whole. He makes me feel complete. With him, I am me and no one else. I don’t have to be. He feel in love with me at my worst and has helped me pick up the pieces. I truly believe he loves me for who I am. It’s just hard to believe sometimes. It’s a scary thought… to have found somebody so completely right for me that they’re willing to accept all of my fuck-ups & help me through my rough patches. It’s hard to comprehend to have found somebody who loves me even if my family is so against the relationship, or just completely horrible in their own right but he still loves me because, well, because my family does not define me. My family is not who I am. Just because I am related to them by blood does not always mean they are my family.

And he accepts me. And he loves me. And he loves my children.

That’s all that matters.

Fuck the world. We don’t need anyone else. Nobody else’s opinion matters.

Just ours.

Life with Stereotypes

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Five years ago, I was just starting my senior year in high school. Five years ago, I was still grieving the loss of my grandmother, my virginity, and my long-term boyfriend who had cheated on me with my best friend. I had a busy schedule with early classes and after-school classes; I wanted to make sure I was prepared for college.

Four years ago, I dropped out of high school because of a disease that prevented me from graduating and my school corporation didn’t acknowledge until the month before I was supposed to graduate. I made a point to take GED classes and get the highest pre-Test score in my state. I was proud.

Now I am a mother of three; I’ve been married, divorced, am engaged, and living on my own (with my children); I have an income and I can pay my bills each month on time; I am able to buy groceries for my children and myself and not worry about going hungry; all three of us have health insurance and see the doctor regularly.

Yes, I am a young mother. Technically I am a single mother since I am not with my children’s biological father, I am unmarried, and I take care of myself; and yes, I know I am looked down upon by the majority of society in my country.

I do not care either.

Here is the point I am trying to make, and something that some, if not most, of you reading this have figured out.

I am on government programs. I am in need of TANF, SNAP, WIC, government housing and medical, but I do not plan on keeping it this way. I do not WANT to keep it this way.

I do not like the looks people give me when I am coming out of my apartment complex, even though I do not look like a slob nor do my children. I dress them decently and I make sure they have baths and are fed. I shower at least every other day.

When I go out I do my make-up (at least eyeliner and lip gloss) and brush my hair: I make myself look decent. I do not wear my pajamas or house-slippers outside of my home; I always wear a bra when I leave my apartment. No, I do not wear short-shorts or belly tops. I do not wear clothes too tight for my weight, nor do I wear clothes that are obviously too big and hanging off of me. I am very self-conscious and always have been; I do not like the fact that people seem to judge others by where they get the money for their food, clothes, and other various items.

So why do I receive the dirty looks? The looks that seem to say they’d rather not be around me, even though they do not know me? Why do people steer clear of me once I tell them where I live or that I am on government assistance?

It is just something that irks me. Not everybody is a stereotype. Not everybody that is on some form of government assistance program does drugs, is an alcoholic or lazy. If people want to believe those stereotypes, then they need to do something about stopping them.

I’m in almost every form of government assistance, to my dismay, but I fully support not only drug testing to get approved for whichever assistance program you may need, but drug testing periodically – say every three to six months – for however long you may be on the assistance program. I know for a fact there will be people who say “nay” and will not want it to occur, because it is true: there are people in the world who put truth into the rumors of the stereotypes, but I have met a lot that make them false as well. I could pass a drug test easily.

Here is an example.

The government-run housing authority that I live in requires eight hours of community service each month unless you are exempt. Reasons to be exempt? You’re disabled (and can show proof), a student, or are on TANF. Why TANF? Because TANF requires you to put a certain amount of hours into looking for a job, working, are a student, or have a child under the age of 3. Not a lot of people are able to be exempt from either the housing authority or TANF.

There are rules and requirements attached to getting approved to any sort of government assistance, no matter what form it is. The bad name government assistance has in this day and age leaves some mothers that are too proud to even apply and ask for help. I have a friend who won’t even let her little boy visit me because “it’s in a bad area”. I’ve never had any problems and I’ve lived here for almost two years.

It makes me sad. I am just trying to make a better life for my children. I want a better life for my children than what I was able to have. I have no doubt there are many struggling mothers out there that would say the same for their child.