Some of the people I know from the past have all gotten their lives together, except for me. While Im stuck in a homeless shelter, these people are all living their lives. Im sure they all found out that I lost custody of my children to my mother and Im probably some where in the world in a shelter.

While Im in debt and collecting 781dollars a month in SSI benefits, Elaine, Nonie, Marisol, Ging, and others have income and apartments, and family. I have no one. I put myself in debt. I took out retail cards and spent feverishly on clothes and accessories.

I had the Barneys card, old navy, torrid, Walmart, macys, Ashley Stewart, lane Bryant, express, tj Maxx, avenue, eddy baur, modells, loft, pottery barn, room place, Victoria secrets, chase master card, and a Visa card from a lenders company, and a few others that I can’t remember. And I went through each of the credit lines.

I kind of blame my mother for not showing me that credit could ruin your credit score. While I was at laguarida community college I had gotten a master card. There where people out side the college Soliciting new signees, and you could find out if you where approved right on the spot. I was approved for a $300 dollar credit line. I thought if I got a credit card I could put my books thats I needed for class. Not thinking that I had to pay it back. Ging always had a job as a waitress she got a $500 dollar credit limit. So when the cards came, we went shopping at old navy on 125th street. My mother wasn’t too mad at me, but she ended up paying off the card for me, and closing the account.

When ever I got into trouble paying off something my mother would swoop in and pay it off for me. I never learned until recently that I need my credit score to rent an apartment even with carrying a voucher like section 8 or cityfeheps.

I was more concerned with getting my hair and nails done and keeping up with what my friends where doing, like Chinta she moved out of her fathers apartment to Queens at 25 years old. She was working at a fortune 500 company. She had finished college and was paying off her student loans, she even had a saving and loan program set up for herself, and an American Express card. I always wanted an American Express card. Ging had Discover and American Express and even had a time share set up for herself by the time she was 30. Elaine was taking out the same cards and had Bloomingdales and got a discover card, but she had more money then I did With getting SSD and two extra checks for her minor children and child support she had her snap in place and her own apartment in Jersey city.

I never bothered to check my credit score. I just opened the accounts with the retail credit and set up an online account to pay the bill on the first when I got paid from social security. I know now you have to pay it when its due and not post date the check because they will close the account like Macys did. I had pac sun card I left my son buy clothes and I also had a pay pal credit line of $300 which I let my son buy bike gear from eBay.

I once spent a whole summer applying for job through craigslist and and I sent over 1000 resumes, with no call back. I had nextel phone which my mother was paying, I even had a fax line set up on my computer so I could fax my resume. I was good for nothing. My mother had even let me work from home from her her job at ART Oh mi where she was an accountant when she lost her job at Dalton do to down sizing. She was the boss now and I was getting a check for $179 dollars a week. This was before my debts. I didn’t have any credit cards, I had an assurance wireless phone and I had a case manager coming to see me once a week. I had already been in the hospital 4 or 5 times for a psychotic episode. My daughter was 3 years old, and I was a stay at home mother. she was in the potty training faze, so when my mother gave me the job to sort mail she brought back from the office, I jumped at the chance to make a pay check. My bank at the time was TD bank.

Im also in debt with banks, like TD bank, capital one, and Bank of America for over withdrawing on my accounts. Chase bank I closed when I got kicked out of the apartment.

When My mother was paying off my student loans I had to have $100 in my bank account for them to withdraw, of course my mother as giving me the money, I had to make 6 payments before I could differ my payments.

Then My td bank account was over with drawn when I opened up a chase account and had my benefits direct deposited into my chase account instead because I couldn’t get over draft. thats the only reason why I switched banks. I was buying things on mecari and I wanted this bag but didn’t have enough money and so I thought if I could over with draw and left the my ssi cover the difference I was good. So I switched banks so I could get over draft. I ended up buying the bag and over with drawing $500 on my account with TD bank. They closed the account and my benefits where safe I didn’t have to pay any fees.

I never worried about the debt I was accumulating because I never thought I would get kicked out and my mental health didn’t play a part in why I was grander living. I was accustomed to having what I wanted. I was getting older and So where my children and I really thought $733 was going to pave the way for me to live and support myself and two children.

So when I got the job at Dry bar I had to report my earnings to social security by phone. I had the potential of making $1500 every two weeks working full time. But the time I started after training I was down to $9.00 an hour and they had me down as part time. My daughter was 9. She was in after school with JCC which was free. My son was working and I was off welfare.

But I never got paid from The dry Bar. I was that bad a stylist that I had to keep going back to the training room floor. Then I got an email from the manager that I had bad reviews from the clients at dry bar and I needed to go back to school. I resigned my position. I never lost a dollar from my ssi because when your working and receiving ssi for every $100 dollars you make SSA takes $67 dollars out of your benefit. So I had to go back uptown to 209 west 125th street and 7th ave to let social security know that I was no longer working, after I transferred job to manicube. Manicube was a traveling manicure station that set up shop in corporate offices like coach and Viacom. They gave you the supplies, in a luggage suit case. It was a dry manicure which meant no water was used, and all the supplies where recycled. You got an iPad which was set up for in house payments and An array of nail polishes that you had to set up lights to darks on your display table.

I didn’t last too long at that job either so, I went to social security and let them know I was no longer working. I didn’t even get paid from manicube my reviews where so bad. And they gave us training with a manicurist at the manicube office down on 48th street.

So When I decided to apply for a retail card I was on my tablet window shopping. I was on the Ashley Stewart website and it said to apply for a card today, so I did and got approved. The digital card came up and I took a screen shot of the card and spent my time shopping on the website. I got approved for $150 dollars. Elaine had told me about promo codes from retailmenot and so I got got bunch of codes and got discounts for the items I purchased. I bought bras and a denim jumpsuit. The card came in the mail in 7 days, and I had already went thought the credit line.

So then I started to do some research on my tablet. I looked up retail cards and which banks sponsored retail cards and I started applying for retail credit. I told Elaine and She was doing the same thing and she ended up with 29 cards in a 3 month period I needed up with 26 cards.

I didn’t use them all right away. But one big purchase was a a mattress I forget which Store I gotten it from, but the credit line was $1500 dollars. I was sleeping on a futon and it was hurting my back. I was in the living room with my daughter. She and I where sharing the futon even though she had her own bed. I decided to get a mattress which was 6 month financing on the card, the mattress was $800 dollars with shipping from out of state the total came out to the full $1500 because of taxes.

Like I said I kind of blame my mother because When I was growing up she kept up with the jones. We would spend weekends at macys with her American Express card and Go shopping. She bought furniture and clothes like she was drinking water. My father was all about the hippest restaurant and we would always be going out to eat. I never learned the value of money. If you had it spend it thats what I learned. While my mother had the best clothes I had hand me downs from my God sister or my cousins. Shopping was always for my mother. She never bought me new clothes and This stuck in my head as I applied for retail credit.

As I got older no one sat me down and explained bank accounts or credit cards. No one told me about the birds and the bees which is how I got pregnant. I had a boyfriend, Im supposed to have sex. I know now that I can’t spend my money the way I want. I was lucky enough to get a double payment the month of June from Social security so I bought myself a referbished Mac Air 11.6. I had to wait 3 months for my payments to kick in because I was on the 9th month when I was approved for ssi. so I got my retro, (back pay) and I put 60% of it in savings, and spent the rest on clothes.

This time around I purchased myself a laptop, I determined to keep myself busy while living in the shelter and write my novel. I have nothing else to live for. I just have to think of a topic for my urban fiction novel Im going to self publish on my Mac.

I have no way of finding out how to pay back my student loans, or credit debt. Its too late. They where already sold off to creditors. The shelter has credit advisor come in once a week to a credit check on willing clients and I did mine a while back while I was waiting for my ssi to be determined. I had 13 pages of bad credit history. We talked about going bankrupt and filing chapter 7 bankruptcy when I get approved for ssi and using my back pay to pay a lawyer to put in the petition for me. But chapter 7 doesn’t take care of student loan debt. I owe over $50,000 dollars. Ive been to two different vocational schools, Mandell school of allied health and Empire beauty school.

I have no visitation privileges. Its like I was never there. I have to hold this weight on my own and see what happens with housing and the vouchers and such. I fear for my future with housing. Im going to end up in scattered housing with a case manager on site. Im not going to be happy living in a dorm type development. I have to grow up and take responsibility for the things I have hidden in my credit score.

I also have to take care of my mental health. Im not writing a novel to try and become famous. I enjoy writing. It keeps me busy. I have nothing or no one to pay gratitude to. Im a fucked up indiviual. I have $781 a month that 60% going goes into savings, but because Im in quartine I decided to buy the laptop from amazon. I also signed up for amazon prime so I could take advantage of the movies on prime. I bought a pair of sneakers because the ones Abdul bought me have a hole in the toe.

He was nice enough to buy me new balances, but the material is mesh so it wore a hole a toe. I have spending my food stamps on food from a gourmet deli that takes EBT and eating. Im in the room alone thinking of ways to pass the time for the next 3-6 months. I needed a laptop. I bought a carrying case for it as well.

And I go out to smoke cigarettes and people watch. I watch the people on Central Park with their families and the bike riders which reminds me of son with his bike. I see little girls with their mommies and I want to cry. I lost that. Its difficult to be seprated from my daughter. My son and I where not that close. As he got older he made it a point to tell me about myself. He didn’t like that I wasn’t working and that I was claiming disabled. But people with mental health fall into patterns. I haven’t found my pattern yet. I am all over the place with my thoughts and the only thing I keep worrying about is my credit score and my debts I owe. Am I the only one at the shelter with outstanding debt?

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