I can’t say for sure, but I thought I was a good mother. I got my kids ready for school, cooked dinner, went to parent teachers meetings. But there was always something off about me. And as I progressed into my diagnois, and having to go to out patient care to see a psychologist and a therapist, I think my mother was ok with me living at home with her for the most part. It wasn’t until 2016 when things with my public assistance case took a turn for the worst and I couldn’t get snap benefits anymore. I blamed my son for not cooperating with me.
I cried because I couldn’t get snap to open my case unless my son was willing to bring in his W2 and he didn’t have one. They had to adjust my benefits to how much cash was on hand. I was no longer head of household on the budget. My son was an adult. But in the eyes of the government I was responsible for him until he was 27, which pushed me to seek out section 8. I wasn’t head of house hold of the apartment, I didn’t pay the rent. With y mother being retired and living off retirement, my son had a job in place. But it was cash on hand. He was getting direct deposit, but living off tips every 2 weeks. He hasn’t quite gotten a w2 yet. But he refused to go welfare with me with a letter stating that he was working from his empoyers letter head.
I was in the throws of an episode at this point. I had let my daughter stay home for a week, I wrote, “Sean was here” on my bedroom wall in pen. I was hearing voices talking to the televison I had threw away my iPhone that my mother had disconnected. And then ACS shows up and tells me I have to go to court. The next day the cops came and took my house keys away from me. My daughter was at school, and my son was talking to the police officers. I was served a restraining order and told I had to vacate. I grabbed my pocket book and my jacket, already being dressed in a pair of jeans and a t shirt, and I left the apartment.
I had desecrated the bedroom with baby powder because I was having hallucinations, and saw Tupacs face on my wall. I was locking myself in the bathroom and thought the pope was marrying me to 50 cent, which was strange because Diddy was my man. I thought there was a camera in the ceiling fan in the living room and I was being monitored. My son was putting all the food my mother bought in his room so I couldn’t eat it. That The phone I did have with mobile I hadn’t even given Elaine the number yet. So I didn’t have her number. We where talking thought Facebook messenger, that I was posting all types of absurd things, and locked myself out of the account.
The past will come back to bite you. After doing much harm to myself, My credit score is 429. You need a 700 to rent in New York City. 13 pages of deliquent accounts the credit advisor pulled up when I had my credit history reviewed.
I wanted to die when I heard I wasn’t a good candidate to rent any place. His only suggestion was to claim bankruptcy, but I still didn’t have the $2000 dollars to pay a lawyer with having to give 60% of my income up for savings. He wanted me to see Bronx legal services Legal Aid society.
I never called or went. For one when I did this credit review I had been in the shelter 4 months. I didn’t have a phone or car fair to get to someplace I wouldn’t be able to find with Google maps. So I had learned that if I can’t get placed in an apartment or a share that I would have to live in scattered housing which has case managers on site or a group home. Its been a year in May the passed that I have been in the shelter, and I haven’t even built an income profile yet.
I sit back and wonder how many other woman are in the same situation I’m in. Not only that I have been arrested and let out on my own recoginitice for shop lifting. Is that on my background check? I have no idea. All I know is I had to take a picture for a mug shot.
Its been a year, and I dwell on where am I going to live. Perfect time to be thrown out on your ass, in debt that its suggested that you file chapter 7 bankruptcy. Its nice to have SSI, its a real cushion to not having anything but $45 dollars a month and donated cash by someone you met on a dating app, I literally have no place to go. I have to assume that when its time to start looking at apartments and talking about scattered sites that It will take some time to be selected, because I cut be choosy. Its not first come first serve in my situation. I literally have to face the fact that I may be living in a dwelling with medal detectors and paying for it for the rest of my life or in a group home for the mentally challeneged and sharing a room with someone who has worse mental health issues then I do. Or being segregated to my own room but having a curfew and no after hours.
Its why I invested in a laptop. I have to put my story out there for people to read. Im no convert, I changed. Im not a thief anymore, I cant be anyways. But I decided to invest in something greater so I can keep my mind active and build an audience. Its better then writing on paper where no one can see or read my thoughts and my experiences.
A year passes by so quickly, that living in a shelter that the day is cumbersome. The day is surrounded by waiting for something to eat. Its breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you want to eat out you can but The shelter is run by the kitchen. 3 meals a day. No dessert only on special occasions if by chance they are able to provide dessert, that the bakery up the block on burnside ave is making a killing excepting EBT for a slice of cake. A slice of cake is $4 dollars.
There are primarliy Spanish restaurants around the shelter. I live in little puertorico is what the ladies call it. The only thought on everyones mind is what time are they going to eat, or getting something to eat. The food is served one helping at a time, no seconds only at lunch time if they can manage it. So you kind of go to bed hungry. Theres really no science behind running a community kitchen.
I will never be able to take my daughter to brunch or go to Central Park in the summer time and spend time with my daughter in the little playground on 96th and Central Park. I won’t be able to fall asleep watching friends or watch cable tv. I won’t be able to have the little moments shared with my family, or have Thanksgiving feast, or open Christmas gifts ever again. Im on my own to deal with my demons; mental health, schitophrenia.
I don’t like living in a shelter. But my world revolved around how was I going to get money, or moving out of state. That when I brought the pitbull Harlow into the apartment I just added her to the cost of moving, all on $733 a month. I didn’t think that having retail credit would effect me. I really had no idea you needed a credit score to move, or if it would effect you having section 8. you cut get approved for section 8 with a piss poor credit score. The past haunts me every day. Im always afraid that Im going to have an episode and if I do who’s going to know if Im in the hospital. My schitophrenia is low grade, being stressed out effects my daily functions of trying to be normal. And Im going to have to see a psychiatrist for the rest of my life. I didn’t think of how was I going to feed the dog or take care of vet expenses. Which is another bill I owe to Gotham vets for Harlow getting spayed. They put me on a payment plan and I still owe $200 for the cost of her spay.
Was I in an episode for a year back in 2016? It progressed slowly. I never want to hear voices again. It was scary to be alone in the streets of New York and not have a place to sleep, and hearing voices telling me that Diddy was coming to get me, just hold on. That when I got a deposit of $2500 dollars in my bank account I spent it on Mac make up and a hotel room for 3 nights. By the time I tried to stay there a 4th night I had run out of money. I had ear buds on and was listening to music and hearing voices through the music.
The past stares at me every day. Im not up date with E! news or anything celebrity unless I log on to twitter or google news that comes across my phone screen. Ill never have cable tv again, unless I keep paying for subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu. The only thing I can can keep up with is Power because I have the starz app, but there’s no one to talk to about the up coming powerbook the continution of power. I would talk to Elaine about the show. We would watch it together on Sunday nights and then get on the phone and talk about the show together. I don’t have a pot to piss in or a friend in the world who cares about me.
I can’t share the story line with Ruby, she doesn’t have any apps on her phone, and is busy watching Micheal Jackson videos on repeat. I will never have a comfortable bed to sleep in, or a home cooked meal, like curry chicken the way my mother used to make it. And if something should happen to my parents or my children Ill never know about it.
My life now revolves around keeping my public assistance case open and making sure I get my entitlements, going to the psychiatist once a month going for a cryotherapy to get rid of the hpv. They don’t do the procedure at the clinic I have to go to the hospital in September. Then when I turn 40 Im looking at a mommagrahy. I don’t have any words or wisdom from my mother, or to see my step father come over with food he prepared for the family. I will never hear my sons stories how he was on his bike and almost “got a little bit hit by a car.” Or see my daughters school pictures or do her hair. I was living well beyond my means, and it reflects now. It did when I was living at home but I didn’t have an apartment under my name or paying the rent to take notice that I was destroying myself.
26 credit cards and all of them I owe and student loans. And I have no way of paying them back. If I work Student loans will garnish my wages which is worse because I wouldn’t be eligible to move into my own apartment. I would be working to pay off student loan debt. Who’s going to rent to me with my credit history. I can’t even get into nycha which is public housing. Theres no point in filling out an application online.
Some of the cards weren’t even explanitory, like Mandees. I can’t even fit their clothes, I just bought my mother clothes, and me a pair of boots, one day we went for a walk and stopped in mandees. I just wiped out the card like nothing. I thought I was being an adult by having credit lines, that I looked into having a time share like Ging. I couldn’t afford it. I even went so far as to apply for spousal support from SSA May 1st 2016, because my husband was in the army I thought I would be able to get his military points and get SSDI. He had to be living in the house hold and they would have had to found me disabled under SSDI terms.
I tried my hardest to live normally. But tying to keep up with the jones was a job in itself, that no body notice I had signed myself out of treatment. Things I was always waiting for the first of the month, that by the time I set up shop and was paying off as many cards as I could I set up payment for the first of the month including the cell phone bill, and over withdrew on my account with chase every month. I had pulled out money to take my daughter to brunch, but I had to make sure I had my gadgets on and working so she could use the tablet and her phone to play games.
I was trying to give my kids what I never had. I was raised an only child, so having a video game like Nintendo came with an arguement from my father before he allowed me to get a video game or a tv in room. He wanted me to read, that most of the time my allowance to get getting books from barnes and noble, and the weekend spent taking a walk with Monifa a girl who moved into the building when I was 12 years old. She was 13 and had a younger sister. Her mother was a single mother and they where renting the apartment down the hall from me. We would go to barnes and noble and buy a book and and got into the vampire diaries. That once a week we would be going to the book store.
But my mother never took me shopping or take me with her to get my nails done. She was an older mom, so by the time I was 13 she had stopped getting manicure and pedicures. I wanted more for my relationship with my daughter. I wanted to be able to go shopping with her and get manicures and go out to eat, that I vowed that when I was working for dry bar I would make it to manager of a one of the salons, it was just blow drying hair, right?
Little did I know the performence the job required. I now know I can’t work, and its not because of my student loan debt. I don’t function correctly. Im a misfit to society. My mental health is a big factor in my every day existence. Im always afraid Im going to have psychotic episode that I religiously go to my psychiatry appointments.
I just wish that I belonged to someone, even one of the cliques within the walls of the shelter. My only friend is my phone, my tablet, and now my laptop. I enjoy journaling my journey though my new life as a client on Susans place.