A little history

When I applied for social security income the first time ever, I was denied. I had only been hospitalized twice, and they didn’t find me disabled. I had to go for an appeal. Which meant a year long wait to go to court in down town Manhattan at civil court.

My daughter was 3 at the time, and I had a case manager named Natasha Phillips coming to see me once a week to make sure I was taking my medication and make sure I was ok. She was appointed by the hospital and I had no choice but let her come and visit me. She was nice and helped me apply for a Obama phone. My mother was working for democracy prep high school in east Harlem. Her job at ART oh mi was temporary but she soon landed a job at Democracy prep. She was making $75000 a year as the high school librarian. She was the bread winner, and I was just another mouth to feed.

I had been lying to snap with a letter I hand wrote myself with a factious address and phone number stating that I was baby sitting for $100 dollars a week. The offices don’t have enough leeway to cross reference letters or pay stubs so I was able to get snap with out having to go to work force. Work force is orientation for non working working people. They give you a test to see where you stand academically and Point you in the direction of a person who handles job fair. And your supposed to go to orientation to get help getting a job. They have jobs at staples and and security positions, and they don’t help with metro cards. Your suppose to run around New York City on their appointments given so you can keep your snap benefits. You have be doing something. Working or going to school. It wasn’t until I had to apply for welfare the very first time I learned this. I decided to go to Manhattan barbering school on 28th street and broadway. I had a student loan taken out and I was getting $64 dollars every two weeks in cash assistance and $597 in snap benefits. I still just a single mother of one child.

The course was 12 weeks and at the end I had to take the practical which was hard as fuck. It was given at the school and my father had his brother as my model He got a hair cut and a hot towel shave. I failed the master barbers test. I only had my temporary license. I was able to get a chair working in a barber shop in the Bronx off the the 2-3 train. I was in a shop with a bunch of men and I had no idea what I was doing that the manager of the shop had to finish my hair cuts. He wanted me to work on the beauticians side of the shop, it was a double shop one side was a barber shop the other side was beauty salon. But I didn’t have my license so I quit the job.

So then I found out that I didn’t have to apply for full welfare benefits I could just go to the snap office on 125th and 8th ave, someone told me to lie to them and just get a letter saying I was working so I didn’t have to go to child support court again. So I wrote a letter and I was Approved for snap benefits. My cash was coming from my mother. I didn’t have enough to get my nails done so Elaine was generous enough to pay for me keep my nails done. And when I wanted my hair braid I was steal my mother debit card and take out $100 so I could go to 125th street and between 6th and 7th ave to my girl Kane to get my hair braided in an African hair braiding shop that I had been going to for some time.

I was still applying for job and getting some interviews but never called to start working. Until I got job working with a veterinarian as front desk reception. He delt primarliy with Cats, located on 79th and broadway. I got fired from the job because I screwed up the paper work on the computer. I got paid $80 dollars. I didn’t even last two weeks on the job.

So when I found out I could lie to snap thats what I did. I had snap for 6 months until recertfication, and the same rules would apply. I would have to bring in a copy of the lease, a letter that I was working or pay stubs, and wait to be seen by one of the snap officers. This went on for some time and as long as I was putting food on the table no one said any thing. I did still try to find work. I lied on my resume and used my friends as references like when I was working for the town shop which was a lingerie shop on broad way and 81st street.

So when I was hospitalized, then hospitalized a second time, Natasha told me to apply for SSI, that I may not get approved the first time but I could do an appeal and go to court. Surly enough Thats what happened.

Natasha met me down town by 8am to go to court. It was was in July. My father came by the apartment to baby sit for me and I went down to the court houses.

When you do an appeal you have to write to SSA and give a reason why you want to appeal the decision made in your case, and you have to do it online. I had a little notebook laptop called an EEEpc my father bought me for Christmas. I had to make a social security profile and submit To a questionnaire form. I was given a reference number and in a few days a letter in the mail with my court date attached to it. I had no money for a year. I was getting $20 a week from my mother or when I needed money for appointments with snap. I was given laundry money to do mine and my daughters laundry and I spent my time home with my daughter.

I went to my bi weekly appointments with outpatient care on 114th street and Amsterdam with my therapist Chris Wilson and my psychologist Ricardo Miller. I was given a metro card at he clinic to get back home, then I had my weekly visits with Natasha.

Natasha worked for a program called Post graduates on 23rd street. Her job was to visit mentally challenge people at home to make sure medication was being taken and if needed fill out a 2010e. I wasn’t eligible for a 2010e because I already had shelter and I was a single mother . You have to be living in a shelter and not have children, and be recieving SSI. She was in charge of placement of 2010e like moving someone into a group home and things of that nature.

My daughter wasn’t school age yet so Natasha tried her best to help me get her into day care but I had to be working in order to get her into day care. So I would spend most of my time pushing the stroller to Barnes and noble and coming back to feed her lunch. Alot of time was spent in front of the Tv. Because I was on Zyrexia I was groggy. It was a anti psychotic drug. Which left me incompassitated. I would sleep until noon leaving my daughter to fend for herself while my mother went to her 9-5 job. I couldn’t get up out of sleep. So as my mother left She would leave the house phone by my head and my daughter would be up playing with her toys while the tv was on. My mother would feed her breakfast.

It was July when I had to make a court appearance at civil court. My appointment was at 9am. I was there by 8 am waiting outside for Natasha to show up. She was my witness. If you need to bring someone with you to court like a case manager or a family member it was written in the questionaire I had to fill out online.

The judge was given a letter from my psychologist stating that I was unable to work because I was in intensive outpatient care at the psychologists office and that I was a good candidate for SSI. The judge read the letter and told me not to move to expect a letter in the mail in 7-10 days with a determination. In about 5 days I got a letter in the mail it was my award letter. I had to go to the social security office which used to be located on 55 west 125th but moved to 209 west 127th street and 7th ave.

When I went that Monday morning to to the social security office I learned that I would only be getting paid $421 a month but if I brought a letter back from my mother stating I was paying utilities I would get the full benefit amount of $733. So I came back with a letter from my mother, and they called her to verify. So once a month on the first I was getting $733 a month. I got retro active pay in a span of 6 months I got a deposit in my td bank account for $3600 I gave my mother half, the $3200 then another $3600 dollars. I gave my mother half of all the back pay. I spent the rest of it on clothes for myself and my daughter and bought a phone. My mother already had ATT so she let me get an iPhone and the cell phone bill was my responsibility. My son was starting high school and needed a phone so my mother took him to ATT and got him an iPhone. He was attending Essex street academy in china town. So I had 3 phone lines that I was responsible for paying. The bill was $125 a month.

I was feeling myself. I had an iPhone and Elaine had just moved to jersey city she had had her second child and was goin through a divorce. She had an iPhone and we would face time each other and talk all the time. My son said to me its business phone Im not doing anything why did I have an iPhone. When he started high school is when things begin to change between him and I. He was more arrogant and told me about myself more then one occasion. He was acting out and smoking weed by the 9th grade and hanging out with older boys from the building. But what could I do, his father wasn’t around. He was still a good kid but our relationship was rocky. I was only good on the first of the month I got paid, he would hit me up for money so he could go out with his friends.

Before ATT had grandfathered back in unlimited everything we where on a data plan. So the bill was always escalating. The bill rose to $300 and thats when My son was in the 11th grade and started working for insomnia cookies. So my mother and I switched to Sprint and got new iPhones and my son had ATT which he paid his $90 bill with his pay check. I thought if I could show him responsiblity it would be to pay his own cell phone bill, but most of the time my mother paid it because he was always using his money to buy weed and fix his bike at the bike shop. If it wasn’t the tires it was the spokes.

By the time My daughter was in kindergarten the sprint bill was almost $500 a month, because I added tablets and I had a subscription to beats music. I had $75 dollars left after all my little bills where paid, and the laundry still hadn’t been washed. My mother was paying to wash my laundry.

My daughter got left back in kindergarten, she was being tested for a learning disability by the school, but they wanted to wait until she was in the first grade.

We had switched from time Warner cable to Verizon fios and I had Verizon fios put in my name so I could have a bill in my name so when I went to the DMV for my state Identification I could prove my address. I was still using a passport, and I had a ticket in my name for not wearing a seat belt, even though I had just taken it off when I was parked in front of the building after coming home from a lousy date, where I was date raped. He had made me drink his seaman after a blow job. then drove me back home and treated to leave me on a road in Queens, but ended up driving me home and getting a speeding ticket, and I got a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. I met the guy on black planet. And I was also Cat fished. It wasn’t the same guy from the pictures, but I still went on the date. I ended up getting pregnant and having an abortion.

I was always with out money by the time I got my SSI. I was good for a couple of months but when we switched from time Warner to Verizon fios I was always broke. My mother never asked me to contribute to the house hold because I was bringing the food stamps. I was putting food on the table. By the time I got my SSI I was up for recertification, I had to bring my award letter and a copy of the rent to recertification on 125th street. I wasn’t off zyprexia but my doctor had recalibrated my medication intake and instead of 25 milligrams I was put on 15 milligrams which helped. I was able to get up in the morning and take my daughter to school.

So it wasn’t until I started seeing my therapist and psychologist once month that I decided to go back to school. I only had had one problem with SSI which brought me to their offices they said I was over paid and they didn’t pay me one month, but quickly fixed the problem and the next day I was issued my money.

It was 2016, I enrolled at empire beauty school. Determined to get off Welfare and Close my ssi case and have a normal job, I was seeing my therapist and pscyhologist the entire time I was in school. I had to leave early on the day I had to travel from 34th Street to 114th on the 1 train. When I graduated I won award for time management. I had 98% attendence. I was at school by 8:30 am every day after dropping my daughter off at school, I was paying for after school which my mother took over payments because I couldn’t keep up with it and the cell phone bill.

I wanted a career not just a job. I was in deferment with my student loans so when I got approved for financial aid I was too happy. I got a pell grant to pay for school, which meant I got a check once a month from the bersus office of $225.

I was feeling myself, but panicked every time I got on the train. I would have to tell myself that I was just going to school. I was just taking the train, I would listen to music while on the train so I wouldn’t have to hear other peoples conversations.

I had already been receiving SSI for 4 years. So when I started School, I met Tamara, who owned a beauty salon on 106th and Columbus ave. She drove a Mercedes Benz and lived in the Bronx. I got her name and number from one of Elaines friends named Faye. I decide to have my hair cut into a pixie. My hair was pretty long about shoulder length, I had it relaxed and cut into the style I desired. I decided that shorter hair would be easier. And this was a sign I know now that when I do something dramatic its my bipolar acting up. I paid $85 dollars to have my hair done. Not thinking of the cost for up keep. I had bought all new clothes in black for school, and I had a disablity metro card in place which Natasha had taken me to Water street by the ferry to apply for before graduating out of post graduates. I no longer needed case management. I had case management for almost 3 years.

So I would put $35 dollars on my metro card which allowed me to ride the train for $1.35 per ride instead of $2.25 per ride. And that was for the month to get back and forth to and from school. I brought my lunch from home because there where micro waves or I bought lunch out or I didn’t even eat lunch when I was in school. It all depended on how much money I had.

So When I recertified with SSI for snap benefits, recertification was now every year, and not every 6 months. But thats all I had was snap and SSI. It wasn’t until I was in school that I learned section 8 was closed in New York City, but you can apply for section 8 outside of New York City there was a website with an online portal for the application process.

It wasn’t until after I resigned from the dry bar and go fired from manicube that I applied for welfare one last time. My son was 20 years old and my daughter was going on 10. Because he was working I had to put him on the budget and when he refused to go to orientation I decided that If I couldn’t get cash assistance then my mother couldn’t get the rent check. I don’t know why she let me have a bank account in her name but I guess she trust that I was make lucrative money reselling on mercari, which I was. I had made $600 and gave it to her. I also made made $100 dollars her and there, but I was selling off prized possestions like Beats head phones and video games and gently used clothes.

So I would check the mail, and take the checks and deposit them into the checking account at bank of America the bank I choose to open in her name. I would forge her signature and keep the $145 every two weeks.

My cash assistance was $145 every two weeks and that was with going to child support court. I was given $75 every two weeks from my daughters father but it went into arrears. I had gone to court 7 times, because William, my daughters father was scheduled for a phone conference from Pennsylvina. Then I had found a way to sign out of going to see my psychologist and therapist, so I was on my own.

I only collected 4 checks then cut off welfare after I was done with court. I went to reapply for just snap benefits. I ran into a snag, because my son was working I would still have to include his income on my budget. He was working for cash and didn’t get pay stubs. So I quickly learned that Even being head of household on the budget I was responsible for him under the same roof until he was 27 years old. I could no longer get food stamps. And I tried. I used the app and I went to the office and They wouldn’t let me get snap benefits.

This is when things took a turn for the worst and I let my daughter stay home for a week and an acs investigation was done on me and I was evicted from my mothers apartment. There was nothing but arguing going on, it was a span of couple of days when I found out the bad news about my snap benefits and when I got kicked out that when I tell you I was hearing voices I was hearing voices.

They where coming out from the Television. I was talking to myself. I thought I was in the FBI witness protection program and I thought Diddy was talking to me though the camera portal in the television.

I had bought a pit bull I named Harlow and brought her home. I told my mother she was a gift from a friend for when I move to Cohoes New York. I had a year on the waiting list for public housing. That didn’t mean I got the apartment it just meant to meet with the housing specialist for choice voucher. I called myself crate training the puppy and even though they fell in love with Harlow she is what broke the straw on the camels back.

I was sharing the master bedroom with my daughter at this point. My mother was in the living room. We decided to switch rooms because my son was coming home from work late and I didn’t want his noise to interfere with my daughters sleep for school, and with him leaving his bike in the living room, my space, there was nothing but arguing going on. So my mother suggested that we switch rooms, and that allowed me and my daughter more privacy. We had maintenance come up and help us rearrange the rooms.

So now its been a year. I don’t know how I made it living on the street for 3 months, that sleeping in a gazebo was the best memory I have from being in the street. I spent my days walking back and forth, stealing from dune Reade and spending my day in the time Warner shops building. People where giving me food and helping me with money they knew I was homeless. I was in central bookings to prove my identity and also for shop lifting. Being thrown out of mcdonlads and arrested for loitering. And with in a year and half managed to get my SSI back and now have to worry about my future. Im facing jury duty when I move and learning how to travel the Bronx is a big deal. And I thought I would have been able to make it on $733 with my daughter, even though she started receiving benefits.

I applied for Buffalo, Newark ny, tarry town, Florida, Massachustes, ohio, main, Vermont and some other places. How was I going to get there? I couldn’t afford a seat on a plane to and from. I didn’t know how to get am track. I also applied for Newark New Jersey housing development.

I went so far as to research mitchellama apartments in Manhattan down loaded and printed the application and sent it off by mail just so I could have my own apartment. I didn’t have money for furniture or a cup to drink out of. I didn’t know that when you move you have to go to the DMV and get a new identification with your new address on it. I didn’t know when you move you have to tell social security administration that you have a lease if your receiving benefits. I have to find the snap office for my location when I move. I have a lot on my plate to think about. I might end up in a group home.

So now this month is the first month I actually got paid from SSA, and I got May and June in one check on my direct express card. So when I got SSI the first time, I literally didn’t know how to act. And I was hospitalized also. I have been in the psych ward so many time that each time I was admitted the staff remembered my name.

The longest time I was in the hospital was right before I made it to Franklyn woman assessment shelter. I was hospitlized for two months, and all the while I was in the hospital I was hearing voices. I was counting security cameras to see if and when Diddy logged in to check on me. I was having conversations with myself about remember I had the eee pc, (the mini laptop my father bought me) and the poetry I wrote.

I also spent my time in the library pretending to read the boring selection of books they had in the hospital, not once did I ask about being discharged. I felt safe in the hallways of the psych ward. I was given 3 meals a day and I had a shower and note book to write my poetry in, in pencil.

I remember when I was living on the street, I had gotten food poisening. I was on 98th and Columbus ave inside star bucks. someone had given me $20 to get something to eat, so I got a Starbucks sandwich and a frapachino. I stayed until they closed. So I quickly went down the block to Petco and locked myself in the bathroom and spent the night in Petco. I was vomiting all night. It wasn’t until the manager of the store came to open up the store at 7am that she checked the bathroom and found me in there and told me to leave before she called the cops on me. She had her phone in her hand and recorded me getting up off the floor and leaving. The only reason she knew I was there because Petco has motion detectors inside the store. So when my stomach had calmed down, I left the bathroom to look for something I could make a pillow out of so I could lay down and get some sleep.

I was delusional the whole time I was out on the street, I kept getting asked if I needed help. I turned away Goddard assessment team which came around in the vehicle to see if any body needed help with getting into a shelter. I didn’t know it was against the law to be homeless, thats when I was sitting in the train station the cops even told me if I didn’t have anywhere to go I could go to a shelter they would take me. I said I had someplace to go. I was planning on staying on the street. It wasn’t hard to come up off a couple of dollars. People where feeding me and I had made a friend at Lincoln square who was buying me lunch and giving me a coupe of dollars.

The mind of a a schizophrenic. I had slept in the rain one night in the gazzebo on 58th street. I slept under a tarp I stole from a cart park outside someplace, probably from a panhandler who left their cart outside. And I lucked out on a pack of cigarettes. There was a stray cat that came and made friends with me, not once was I thinking about home. I thought I would see my family again I just had to do this one thing to prove myself to The FBI that watching me in glass eye so I could be reunited with Diddy and I would be able to see my family again.

Its been a long year. Now I have much to face living alone for the first time. I have a lot to take care of. First is the loneliness, everything else will follow. I have to say I made my bed, now I have to lay in it. I can’t even say I blame myself, its my mental health that is at play. I have all the time in the world to become and be creative now that I have the things I need like a laptop tablet and phone. But I have a lot to face, one day at a time.

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 planet.com 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.

To scratch the surface

I remember when I was living with my mother, I was filling out section 8 applications outside new York city because section 8 is closed in the tri-state area. I so badly wanted my own space.

I was going to use my little income and live in public housing, mind you I can’t navigate Manhattan I was going to move to Cohoes New York with my daughter. These are the things that worry me about my future.

I live in the south Bronx now and I can barely make it around. I don’t know up from down. Where I was living was easy, I had all buses and trains flowing on either end of my residence and it was the upper west side.

I had 733 a month which I was used to blowing on clothes and my cell phone bill. With out landish ideas of turning my poetry into songs for the wildly famous Bad Boy entertainment. I grew a small infatuation with Diddy aka Sean John Combs and thought if I applied myself I could be a writer for Combs enterprises.

I spent my money and I was broke by the second week of pay day which is on the first of every month from social security administration. I didn’t worry about laundry which I had to pay for and I had my food stamps aka snap in place for a budget of 3 people which included myself and my two children. My mother wasn’t charging my rent for the master bedroom I shared with my daughter. I don’t know how I got by. I smoke cigarettes, but so did my mother. I would bum cigarettes off her when I didn’t have any more, but I felt that I was doing the right thing by having snap I was putting food on the table. But I was also trying to keep up with the Jones.

A childhood friend of mine manage with her mental health diagnosed schitoaffective she married and had two children. Moved to north Carolina and then settled in Jersey City. She has a tiny two bedroom apartment, only difference is that she was getting SSD, social security disability, and child support, and with SSD your children get a check also. She was getting 800 per child for child support, mean while I was going to family court to try and get child support for my son from his father, and from my daughter’s father whom I’m still married to.

I had my son when I was 16 years old. My first high school boyfriend was his father. My parents picked up the tab on financials like diapers and formula, clothes and child care so I could finish high school.

I landed my first job at Barnes and nobles bookstore with another childhood friend of mine. While she was getting paid 350 dollars a week working the children’s department, I was in the history department on the weekends making 101 dollars a week. I took the job so I could get experience working, but soon quit the job when I landed a job with Godiva chocolates.

I couldn’t work the hours needed at Barnes and nobles for the children’s department because it was full time, and my mother worked full time so did my step father. They where paying a puruvian woman to care for my son inside our apartment and the hours requested from Barnes and nobles was the evening shift 3:30 on to closing. My shift on the weekends was 8 am to 4 pm.

I never really finished college. I got accepted to Buffalo state University F.I.T for merchandising and LaGuardia community college I ended up going to LaGuardia community college which is located in long island city. My best friend at the time, the one who worked at Barnes and nobles with me transferred from BMCC to LaGuardia just so I wouldn’t be alone. She was majoring in hospitality, I was majoring in liberal arts.

I had to start my day early during the week because the baby sitter was there in the morning at 7:30 am. My first class was at 8:45 am. My dad had me on a grant that paid for college from his job at Cornell University, but it didn’t cover books. I was taking math , English and critical thinking. My friend was taking English, sociology and calculus.

College didn’t last too long because I flunked out my first semester. I never gravitated towards the college experience. My friend decided to give up college and continue her JOBS waitressing and Barnes and nobles.

My job at Godiva chocolates was fantastic but I still found a way to quit. By then my son was already getting ready to go Pre-K and so I was a stay at home parent. I hadn’t applied for welfare yet until my son’s father hit me with court paper for visitation of his son. I never denied him the right to see his son but I did tell him that he couldn’t see him until he started paying child support.

We had to go to court, my father got me a lawyer to fight for child support and he got his visitation but I couldn’t be around. It had to be my mother and his mother with him and visitation was once a month. Child support was 25 dollars.

While I was going through this I was getting an allowance from my mother and she told me I should try school again, so I applied for beauty school. It was on 34th Street, in the heart of Manhattan. LIBS. My mother paid out of pocket because she made too much income for me to get financial aid. I was still a minor at 20 years old, and she was head of household.

I met a Japanese girl named Seiko who was staying in an SRO (single room occupancy) on a visa to attend beauty school. She was 21.

I wasn’t really that good in hairstyling but I tried my hardest to Excell because when I was a little girl all I wanted to be was a beautician.

I got my temporary license but never got my license because you needed a live person for the state exam. I couldn’t find someone who would let me cut their hair in a 30 degree hair cut,so I never made it farther then working for Supercuts as the receptionist. I wasn’t making good money their either I was working 3 days a week and making 125 dollars very two weeks at 7.25 an hour.

By then my son was in school and so during the week when I wasn’t at work I was trying to keep up with my childhood friends who worked and maintained themselves.

I did everything first, lost my virginity first got pregnant first and started smoking weed first. I was the bad apple out of the bunch. So during the week when I wasn’t at work I was at home on my desk top writing poetry and trying to find ways online to get my poetry noticed and smoking weed, and that’s when I found blackplant.com and what used to be migente.com it was the day of social media. Myspace wasn’t that popular yet, but I was on both black plant and migente and so where my childhood friends.

The reason why My sons father and I where no longer together was because he cheated on me with another girl and I found out about it and confronted him about it. But by the time my son was born, our relationship was over already. He couldn’t take me being pregnant and stopped coming to see me.

He was there for the birth of his son. And these are some of the pictures that are left behind in a photo album someplace in the apartment that I used to share with my mother.

And so when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, my mother forced me to get married or she was going to kick me out because no only did I put up an argument for him to stay with us before I got pregnant I had no money and nowhere to go. Was I hearing voices? No I wasn’t, but I was exibiting signs of depression and bipolar disorder, with what my father called self medicating with the weed. I hadn’t hit my low point yet.

“Take your baby and move into a shelter” but Aaron (my son) is staying with me. This was when William, my boyfriend turned hisband, at the time moved in and then moved back to Pennsylvania because he lost his job. Then he moved in with us when I found out I was pregnant. My mother forced the issue and gave me the bottom line. But before the pregnancy, and before he moved in, I had enrolled at Mandell school of allied health on 59th street , for medical assistant.

I met Monroe who soon became my boyfriend and I was doing poorly in the classes and couldn’t keep up with the course work. Monroe was a student at Mandell also and he was a veteran, slightly older then me he was also married an ex coke head living in a men’s shelter on 28 the street.

I got pregnant and quickly had an abortion which Medicaid paid for. Because by the time I finished the program I was the other woman in his still on going relationship with his wife. Monroe was still married but separated but that didn’t stop him for going to visit his wife on weekends.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I got married. My husband was working for New York sports club right down the block on Broadway, and I was pregnant at home doing laundry and cooking dinner, but we barely had enough money to get me maternity clothes, and his dream of being a personal trainer/dj to techno music would be on hold because he was only brining in 350 dollars every two weeks. Was getting snap and cash assistance from welfare but the cash assistance was only 64 dollars every two weeks and my husband smoked weed also. It didn’t dawn on me that the bills where getting paid by my mother like electricity and cable TV.

I put my school debt on deferment and it bought me some time. By the time my daughter was three I was hospitalized in the psych ward at st.lukes hospital on 114th and Amsterdam ave.

I could go into depth but I was diagnosed bipolar and put on medication. I was in the hospital for two weeks. After which I was in outpatient psychiatric treatment. I had to see a therapist and a psychologist.

I now think about it how would I maintained in Cohoes New york? I only know Manhattan. And now that I have to live in the south Bronx off the 4 train I am learning to travel around on my own away from Manhattan. I would have lost my daughter to the foster care system in a short time. I have to say that my kids are better off with my parents but I’m not ok, because when I was kicked out with nothing but the clothes on my back, I never went to path, which is intake for the homeless. I stayed on the street . I was with out a roof over my head for nearly 3 months.

I first stayed in a hotel called the days inn on west 94th street. I had gotten a deposit of 2500 from child support form my daughter’s father, my husband who was in Pennsylvania. He had abandoned me when my daughter was 6 weeks old. My mother picked up the tab for diapers and clothes where hand me downs from other moms in the building and eventually my mother picked up the tab on everything except child care. By the time my daughter was 6 I was on ssi. But before that I was on an allowance of 100 a month from my mother. I had my snap in place.

Ssi isn’t good money. It’s a payment once a month for people who cannot work due to mental health or some form of disability. I never had that much money to begin with so when I was awarded I had a case manager already because I had already been in the hospital 3 times. I had to go to court to get approved. I applied and was turned down so I had to appeal which took a year. So for a year I was on medication that made me gain weight and I was an at home parent. My son was in Junior high and my daughter was barely out of diapers.

By the time she started school I was in debt with student loans. My mother was paying it off for me but I deferred again and went back to school for cosmetology, empire beauty school. I was determined to set the record straight and live a normal life. I was using my little bit of money to pay for after school for my daughter while I was in school again.

By the time I graduated empire beauty school I was in debt and I was able to get my license. This time around the state was using mannequins for the practical. Shortly after getting my license, I started working for the dry bar salon upper west side location on 72nd street and Broadway.

After much training I got an email from the manager saying I wasn’t good enough for dry bar and I had bad comments from customers reviews, And I needed to go back to training like back to school training. So I resigned my position. I was only getting paid 9 dollars an hour and I was part time.

I had my SSI to fall back on. So when acs had me thrown out of the apartment I lost my SSI because I didn’t have an address anymore. All the credit cards I have out are now in default and my student loans are also. I have no way of paying them back. I was receiving student loan forgiveness which meant because I was a recipient of SSI I didn’t have to pay back my student loans. I lost that as well.

When I was out on the street living in Central park and stealing food from Duane Reade people where literally handing me money. But I did get into some trouble landing me in Central bookings. I was locked up for 24 hours for shop lifting and let out on my own recognitence.

I was sitting across the street from the time Warner shops in Trump plaza when the cops stopped me and called EMS. They took me to the hospital where I was admitted to the psych ward. I was in the psych ward for two months . The person they called was my father and he had to come to the hospital so I could get discharged only I wasn’t going home. I was going to Franklin woman’s a

Living homeless

I live in a woman’s shelter in the Bronx called susans place. I have a story to tell and instead of writing a book I decided to blog my journey, and it’s not a pretty one.

I suffer with schitophrenia, which is how I lost my family. I used to reside in Manhattan on the upper west side of Manhattan in the 90s area near Central park. I, in due respect am a mother of two but lost my rights as mother when I kept getting hospitalized for my mental health. I have seen the inside of a psych ward 25 times in 5 years. I was on zyprexia seeking outside patient psychiatric care and I was on ssi. I had gone back to school for cosmetology and now I’m in debt. I fear for my future .

I lost custody to my children to my mother who now has full custody of my 22 year old son and my 12 year old daughter, when acs served me papers with a restraining order to vacate the premises. See I was in the throes of my disorder, and I wasn’t taking my daughter to school. The board of education called acs on me, and they did an investigation on me.

I was thrown out of the apartment with the clothes on my back. The cops served me papers. But let’s not forget there where other factors to play like domestic violence, my son attacked me.

Now this is an outline of my story, and it’s not a happily ever after fairy tail. I have what’s called schitoaffective disorder. I by law have to stay away from my family. I’m considered a danger to them.

I did alot of things I’m not proud of like identity theft. I opened up credit under my mother’s name to buy school clothes for my daughter. I was receiving just SSI at 733 a month. I opened up almost all retail credit under my name which now I’m in debt for. I was paying the minimum on the cards I was using, but I also ran up a cell phone bill in my mother’s name which she spent 2900 to pay off and disconnect the bill.

I now live in a micha shelter which is for mental health and the disabled. I’m back on medication only this time I am on haldol an injection that I have to take once a month at the psych clinic which is located with in the shelter.

When I got evicted from my mother’s apartment, I lost my SSI because acs went to court to have me evicted from the premises, I can’t even be in the building or any where near my child’s school. This all happened 2017 when my son had turned 20 and my daughter was 10 years old.

Now, after loosing everything I have gotten my SSI back because my address is now that of the shelters and I have a phone with metro pcs, a tablet, and I just recently purchased a refurbished laptop so that I can blog my story or my journey of living in a woman’s shelter and being schitophrenic.

I fear for my future because I am in debt with student loans, I have lost my friends, which now I’m on social media accounts like tagged and hi 5 to meet people and talk to people.

My best friend this far is a 59 year old ex crack head I met at the shelter named Ruby we share the same dorm. She had bipolar disorder. She’s on ssi also, and is awaiting her turn to move into an apartment or shared is what the housing specialist call it.

I fear I will never get a place to live. That I will be bounced from different shelters or something worse. I never thought that my credit score would be apart of the equation when renting. I am already approved for a 2010e which is a voucher for mental health disorders living with DHS.( Department of homeless services.) I have even looked up ways to take my own life like purchasing nembutal which they call the suicide pill. I am greatly unhappy.

This is my introduction. No names given I’m just sharing how hard it is living with schitophrenia and what I’ve lost and gained and possibly willing to try but I am unhappy. I was used to being a mother. I didn’t realize I wasn’t functioning. I even had a job at the world famous dry bar salon and I was unable to perform as a stylist. I got fired.

My son hates the air I breathe and my daughter is probably better off with my mother. But I lost my family. I’m alone in the world. It’s not like I had many friends to begin with just people I grew up with, who are far more advanced then I am, or ever was.

I decided that my blog, will be my journal, and instead of trying to publish a book I will share myself online through a blog, like things I remember with my times in a psych ward, my stint with dating social media bums. And why I no longer have Facebook or Instagram.

Thank you for reading my introduction. Follow me.