Believe in the Flowers.

Carol of the Zombie Jesus!

I was originally going to say that today alone had been tough, but that would be a lie. The last couple of mornings have been, though, with a certain small someone deciding to wake up around 6:30 AM after going to bed far too late. It used to be that we would fight him on this and attempt to force him to go to bed at a more reasonable hour, but after we realized that he would go to sleep whenever he pleased - about the same time we gave up trying to get him to sleep in his crib around month four or five - we gave up the futile effort. It wasn't worth the screaming and crying and hours spent sitting next to him, singing until our throats hurt and our mouths were dry, storytelling and just talking about absolutely nothing - like how the seasons work or why it rains or where milk comes from - until he would give us that look that begged us to stop being stupid and just let him do what he wants. I have to admit, too, that Col was way more patient than I was 90% of the time and tended to do a lot of the sitting and singing. I'm just not a patient person.

But lately things have been descending into this little personal hole of hell that we seem to have created for ourselves. It comes and goes, but lately exists as a grocery-less fridge and cupboards, a past-due car payment, an overdrafted bank account that will soon close, and three other bills (electric, phones, cell phones) that have past their due date unpaid. Never mind that the car insurance bill should have been coming out of the bank account (but since that's empty, it won't happen). Oh, and we owe another $50 in rent.

There's a certain sense of personal responsibility for these problems that I harbor. I try not to discuss it much and do my best to act as though I don't feel bad at all and know that things will improve, given time, and that we all encounter problems occasionally. It's just difficult to ignore all of the problems, and knowing that if I had a job, I could fix these problems ... Well, it doesn't go over well in my head. But the job market right now doesn't allow for the unemployed, doesn't give me any kind of boon for having not been able to find a job. We don't receive any kind of government pity because of the requirements of TANF payments and it's only thanks to the government as it is that we have any kind of health care available for us or Gabe. Today my intentions are to call my DHS caseworker and beg her to let me come in and reapply for the Link card, in hopes that we will find some kind of fallback and at least can get groceries. We gave up the card when we were doing a bit better, not wanting to be the stereotypical moochers; it was so nice, for a time, to be able to provide for ourselves and know that at least when it came to food on the table, we were the ones responsible for it - not the $400 a month we were handed so very kindly by the state. Now, though, I regret that high horse and wish I could have admitted the truth to myself: no matter how well we're doing, we are still lower class and will probably suffer for the rest of time for not being born under the right names or situations.

I can't help but think that it's bruising to the ego to have to go back to depending on the help of others after being self-sufficient for a time. It always hurts to admit that yes, we're doing badly again, and no we aren't proud of it, but there isn't a whole hell of a lot we can do right now. We can complain and do our best to fix our problems, but we always have to keep in mind that they may not be fixable and we may suffer the consequences of being poor.

I used to like to use the excuse of being college kids; everybody understood that, and agreed that it was tough. But now that Col is graduating (with an AS, and you had better bet your ass that I'm proud of him for it) and I have for the time being given up on the prospect of school, it seems that excuse won't be adequate anymore.

I guess, really, that's it. There's nothing else to all of this, just that it depresses me and I know it depresses Col, and I don't know how to fix it.