The past

In the past, I have had a lot of different oppertunities to have a job. I couldn’t for the life of me work for $7.25 a hour and be a single mother. I tried working for barnes and noble for $7.25 an hour I made 50 bucks a day for two days. I worked for Godiva chocolates for $9 dollars an hour I worked for 3 days and I still couldn’t make up the difference with being a single mother. I don’t know how I was going to make it with no child support, and paying 5 bucks to get one the train to get to work and have a cell phone and try and go shopping. My mother was like if I work I had to contribute to the household by giving her half my paycheck. If I didn’t work I had an allowance of $20 dollars a week, so I resorted to stealing from her debit card to pay for things like getting my nails done and shopping. It was in small increments but Elaine got a job working for GNC and was bringing home 380 every two weeks and was able to buy timberland boots and clothes at Ashely Stewart.

I barely had work clothes and If I asked my mother to take me shopping it was for one or the other, work clothes or play clothes. I didn’t even have job interview clothes I wonder how I made it through the job interview. I had to pick jobs that I could go to an interview in jeans and a decent top, I barely had clothes as it was.

I worked for curves gym on 48th and 5th ave I was the front desk receptionst I got paid $10 dollars an hour for 4 days, and I still had to contribute to the house hold. My mother made $80,000 a year, I was pissed off that I had to give her half my check, that when she trusted that I was at the grocery store with her debit card buying the things she needed for dinner, I was also taking out $35 dollars at the register. I so badly wanted to get my nails done that weekend with Elaine, that I had no choice but to steal. I had already run through my pay check with giving my mother half, that having a metro card to get to work I was broke.

I never had enough money to get my feet done, just my nails. And back in the early millinium flip phones where popular. So I had me a flip phone from sprint. My bill was $75 dollars a month which I paid at radio shack, and I would spend the weekend hanging out in my apartment with Elaine after work. We would get beer and she would buy weed and we would sit on the terrace and hang out. My son was going on 6 or 7 by then. I was in early 20s and I didn’t see a foreseeable future.

Elaine had already advanced at her job becoming assistant manager and she was getting a raise, She was going out with guys she met from black planet and migente. I was dating a guy named Bishop. I met from black He was from Brooklyn. He was a drug dealer and had a daughter. We mainly got together for sex, we never went out. I was working at curves gym, and he was in Brooklyn “doing music”. He called himself a music producer and had the full set up in his room, protools and the g2 Mac desk top. He said he worked for sisal, some reggae dude I never heard of and he had his mind set moving to Atlanta for the music scene.

I didn’t fall in love with bishop but I met him on social media. He was cheating on me with other woman he was meeting on black planet. He had a fan base that he built himself and I was only around for the sex we had in my mothers apartment, while my son was asleep in my room, and my mother was in her room I was on the couch having quickies. This seemed tone my dating life.

How I found out Bishop was cheating because I had given him a phone on my plan, a Motorola flip phone and I was at work, I hacked his account to see his pictures, and he had pictures I never saw him dressed up and he was in the back of a car with sun glasses on. He was sending pictures to other woman, and I confronted him about it, and he said he was sending pictures to his sister because she hadn’t seen him in so long. I didn’t believe him, so I had the phone line suspended. I was paying the bill anyway. Not once did he try to contact me, we where only together for 6 months. In that time I was working and then lost my job because they couldn’t afford to pay me. Curves was privately owned so I had to go back on allowance with my mother, paying my cell phone bill.

Aaron was a happy kid because I did the most to make sure he had his video games. But I feared as he got older he would get into sneakers and clothes. I was walking him to school everyday and picking him up and spending my time writing and smoking weed, my mother was even buying it for me. But I would have mini panic attacks, that I had delusional thoughts that I would make it as a writer. My problem was that I could write spoken word I couldn’t recite it, and there was an avenue of expression on you tube thats I hadn’t even found yet, spoken word artists.

I had my little dell computer that I got from pc mall thats I went into debt for on a credit line I took out that my mother ended up paying for, I had put all my poetry on word and I had my desk top in my room connected to wifi.

The first person I told I was pregnant with my daughter was my son. I decided to keep the pregnancy I must have been delusional. This is when William moved in with us, and Aaron had his own room. I thought William would take care of me, but he had his own dream of becoming a dj and a personal trainer that when he was diagnosed schitophentic, It was too late. My sons step father wasn’t able to keep his job at New York sports club. He was going to work for crunch fitness but settled on David barton gym, I had already kicked him out because he had a porn addiction that I wasn’t living with, My daughter was already born, my mother was the one buying diapers while I was on wic for formula. My father bought me the car seat and stroller because William couldn’t afford it. He was taking trips back home to Pennsylvania get his laptop so he could download music and be a dj to techno music. He didn’t have a fan base and Then It was the equipment he bought to synthesize music.

I didn’t even have a wedding ring. We got married in June, after much arguments because if I wanted a roof over my head I was going to marry the son of a bitch who got me pregnant. That was the help I got from my mother. My father came over to take Aaron out on the weekends, and I was home with the baby while William worked at New York sports club. Having him on my snap budget Dwindled my budget because he was working. I was used to having 600 a month for food stamps, I was only getting 345 in food stamps, and no cash assistance.

When William finally left for good I was trying to get a job but I wasn’t getting help with child care so I had to lie on my snap application saying I was baby sitting I forged a letter like most non convicted welfare abusers do, stating I was babysitting for Marisol R. (someone I went to grammar school with) I faked a number and address and prayed it would go through. I didn’t want to go to work force one because I had no one to watch Aliyah my daughter. So When I was approved for 6 months in snap benefits It bought me some time to make my next move. I had wic in place and snap And I was getting 649 again once William left the household.

It wasn’t until I had to fight for child support again that I realized how much sis didn’t cover. I had all the retail credit, I didn’t immediately start using the cards either. But I had started to buy things I didn’t need. I had a problem with doing laundry so I kept buying my daughter clothes she had enough underwear for a month and clothes for school, that I did laundry once a month. My mother did Aarons laundry and I did mine and Aliyahs. Thats the one chour I hate most in the world, Laundry. Plus it was expensive and boring. But like always I found a way out of doing the laundry until the last minute.

Then I found out about section 8 outside New York city. Theres a web portal Where you can fill out online applications for housing. Not realizing that I had to actually find my way there to the housing interview I applied for Newark New York, cohoes, and tarry town. the plan was my son was going to stay in New York city with my mother and I was going to move with my daughter upstate New York for a year and come back with a traveling voucher. But I was only getting approved for public housing not section 8. I was on the waiting list for damn near all of the places I filled out an application for, but it was public housing and the wait list was 5-6 years. Meanwhile I was getting into arguments about keeping up with chours in the apartment. I really didn’t want to do the dishes and I felt like my son should pick up his slack. He was getting older no and was preparing on graduating high school, which he didn’t let me attend, he gave up graduation because I was an embarrassment to him. I felt my mother spoiled him too much and I didn’t.

When he got his working papers his first job was at insomnia cookies as delivery. My mother had purchased him the bike for his birthday. His goal was to work for uber eats and make boku money, so he could by a MacBook to work on music production with his friends from the building.

I had a false sense of hope for myself and this is part of my disorder that I had to work through. I can’t be a mother on 733 a month. I can’t be a single mother in todays society with mental health issues and I damn sure shouldn’t have not had a second child. My mother told me to abort the baby But I didn’t listen. My father said Its ok to have a second child, but That mean that I had to fall back into a plan of action and get a career not a job. I had no help from William who considered himself the bread winner of our relationship, that when I went back to school the last time to empire beauty school, I really was taking my chance on finding work as a cosmetologist, that I even took a job at manicure which was a traveling manicurist for offices. I wasn’t any good at that job either, That They stopped sending me on jobs. I work for the dry bar, and even got a picture with All Webb when the upper west side location opened up. I was working with actual stylists. Woman who worked for Aveda and Jeffery stein salon.

Then I realized that I wasn’t good at hairstyling. I even was able to rent a chair at Tamaras beauty salon on 106th and Columbus ave. She was the local weaveologist. All the girls who worked for old navy and chipolete went to her for their weaves. Tamara had four stations in a small salon and After getting fired from dry bar I rented a station for $100 dollars, and access to the salon two days a week. I could take walk ins, or have my own clientele that I took out a second line with Verizon and had business cards printed. But I didn’t have supplies so I offered wash and blow out relaxers weaves and hair cuts.

After a month I went to the salon and Tamara had packed up my things. And handed them to me, “Its just not working out” she told me. Meaning I wasn’t making her any money, because I wasn’t making any money. So I took my things and left.

After I had graduated school I had gotten a chair all the way out in Queens in a salon called Sheer Genius. I had to take the A train to the last stop in queens. It was a two and a half hour train ride. I had stupidly taken all my supplies and Aaron went with me to go get them, because I had my hot tools which where heavy. IT didn’t work out there because every body was already established And there where no walk ins, and although I wasn’t paying rent for my chair I would have to let him take half my pay that I would make on each client.

I was not good in school either But I tried my best and I did what I could. But I was also 34 years old starting back in a profession that you really should start when your in your 20s. I realize now my mental health played a big part on my sobriety. Im an ex drug user, even though weed isn’t a gateway drug, I had only stopped smoking weed when I couldn’t get high anymore, and I had a psychotic episode and was put in the hospital when my mother called the cops on me.

Ive been hospitalized at least 25 times. Not all the times I was hospitalized was I there for two weeks at a time, sometimes it was 9 days. But What made me think that I was going to be able to take my daughter to go live upstate I can barely get around now and live someplace completely new with no one to turn to if something should go wrong. My kids are better off with out me, I rather them hate me then miss me. My daughter and I where close but I kept getting hospitalized, that the last time before the acs investigation happened, my daughter gave me a card that said though anything she would always love me. I knew then the clock was ticking. She gave that to me after going out with my father, she bought me a card and wrote inside “Though everything I will always love you”.

But Im left with shattered images, and no pictures. I fear for my future as a mentally disabled woman of almost a certain age. With no friends from the past to talk to. I lost everything and everyone that was important to me, but with good intentions. safety. I am a danger to those I love. Its better that I be by myself. I haven’t cried yet since this has happened to me. But I am on anti depressants as well as haldol. But I have to say I actually do feel the difference of not being on medication its been a month and I feel different. I hope I don’t have a psychotic episode. Am I hearing voices? No I not, but I am feeling uneasy.

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