Wow. This feels weird. I received THE BEST news a couple of weeks ago.....and I'm being completely chastised, ridiculed, and scorned for it.
After 3 years of fighting tooth and nail to keep a roof over our head, with one bout of brief homelessness, leaving an abusive marriage and determined not to go back to an abusive man ever EVER again....determined to put my son's needs first and make sure he gets ALL the mental health services he needs (which are many) and simultaneously stay on top of my OWN health,both mental and physical...(which has deteriorated slowly over the last decade).....focusing on being the healthiest we can be, while continuing to live in one of the MOST expensive parts of the country (for my son's education and to maintain a relationship with his father)....so that my son does not become another fatherless man...
It's been a rough 3 years.
I finally got a break. Because of ALL my hard work and trying my best, and continuing to constantly live on the brink of homelessness, after 2 housing programs and not much progress (simply because of the cost of living here)...I am getting a section 8 voucher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You don't understand. This has SAVED me! It is a HUGE sigh of relief. And yet I've shared this with some of my friends and family, and been told, "You're better than that! You are too smart to fall into the welfare trap! You are well educated with a good head on your shoulders, intelligent......" and yada yada....and my favorite line, "There are too many people out there who need it more than you do. You were just smart enough to figure out how to manipulate the system to your favor."
Wow. Really? A woman finally gets a break and is told she's manipulating the system? No. It's called trying to give my son the best life possible. And I'm sorry. As a single mom with a very aggressive son who is already showing multiple signs of mental illness....I need all the help I can get. I have approximately 6-7 before he hits puberty and becomes stronger than me. As an almost 7 year old he is already physically violent towards me. And don't you dare say that is my fault. Fuck that. I've done EVERYTHING I know how to do, and it's getting worse, not better. So no.
So yeah. Maybe I'm better than that. But damn it I'm fucking HAPPY! I no longer will have to stress about becoming homeless ever again. To me, that's a step in the RIGHT direction.
Can't believe so many people are being critical when this is probably the best thing to happen to me in a LONG.....time.
I even had someone tell me, "Why don't you just start dating and find a man who is willing to take you and your son on and help you?"
Oh yeah. That's a much better plan, lol
Good for you, Belle! I'm fairly familiar with the system, after spending a couple years in housing with several previously homeless vets. It turned their lives around, except for only a few who couldn't beat their drug problems. I met woman vets in the program, too, and the single moms deserved and benefitted from the help more than anyone, plus their kid(s).
You might also have a more direct line now to helpful charities and services who really care, and people in similar situations.
As far as the shaming goes, I saw very little, and those who shamed really had no clue how debilitating it is to be homeless, and they have the impression it's more because of laziness than bad luck. (Some of that is true, but some people are truly disabled by not having family or friends to house them until they can recover.) Just the shame can debilitate them more into withdrawing, if (say) they're suffering from depression.
People don't even realize how incarceration and/or poor health can cost much more than section 8. Don't let them get you down! You now have opportunity that everyone deserves, especially single moms.
Good on you Belle. Great luck to you.
That's brilliant Belle. I was given a "council flat" 12 years ago and it's one of the best things that's ever happened to me. It's almost like owning your own flat. The only downside is a certain amount of anti-social behaviour, but my enlightened landlords are moving me to a place for over-50's as soon as one becomes available, so it shouldn't be a problem any more. So I love and adore my flat anyway.
Perhaps we can assume that all those people who criticise you have never been in your position.
That is great news. To know that you will have secure housing for the future must be a huge weight off your mind. You can now focus your attention on other aspects of your life without that worry hanging over you. Don’t pay any heed to the comments of those who have not walked in your shoes.
That dating advice is funny. Probably from someone who has little or no sense of independence. Now I am off down to the aquarium to see if I can sell some bicycles :-0
Fuck them assholes. Who are they to judge you? They can't say shit to you unless they've been you.
Good for you kiddo. I'm your biggest fan. I admire you and your gumption.
I was homeless in 1977. Nineteen and going no where fast. Being homeless feels like defeat. Being homeless on subway trains, in New York City? Wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. Joined the Navy after about two weeks of that happy horse shit. Some are just not as fortunate as me. I get that.
Like has been said, you'll have one less thing to occupy your already busy mind and concentrate on righting your ship and moving on to the next phase. Good luck Belle.
People who pay taxes include a sub-set who don't want to. A large sub-set. In the US at least :)
They see, because they were taught it, that people who are homeless are crazy or stupid or lazy, etc. They see those on aid/welfare as freeloaders.
If they are on unemployment insurance, or social security, etc, they say they earned it.
If they find out a buddy is collecting unemployment payments, they say the lazy ass hat should go find a job and stop freeloading.
If you ask some of them, they think the AVERAGE person on welfare is a fat black woman popping out a baby every 9 months, for her entire lifetime, to get the extra stipends.
They think the AVERAGE homeless person is a crazy drunk old man.
They don't KNOW that the AVERAGE person on welfare is on it for ~ 3 years...and it helps them get back on their feet and then they are off it.
They don't KNOW that the AVERAGE homeless person is a CHILD.
And so forth. Its societal prejudices.
In the US, its spread on purpose by those who's platform is largely comprised of cutting taxes so they get votes...and those who lose services cut with the budgets, or who recognize the value of the services, don't vote for them....so they don't care about those voters.
They rationalize why they can cut benefits to the less fortunate....they are not unfortunate, they're just lazy freeloaders.
Don't expect them to change...just know you are right, and they are wrong.
My experience with Section 8 has been the opposite; it involved renting to a Section 8 tenant.
She moved people in illegally, and couldn't even scrape together enough money to pay $23 of the rent and an electric bill--in spite of having four adults living in the apartment. In addition, the place reeked of pot and I couldn't persuade them to smoke the shit outside far enough away from peoples' open windows (remember it's legal here). Then things got worse.
It depends *greatly* on the recipient. She's no longer on the program as far as I know, and certainly got booted out of the unit long ago.
Congratulations, Belle. The people who are giving you grief really have no idea how hard it has been for you. My son is autistic, and I count myself immensely lucky that he is not at all aggressive and is very sweet-natured, because he is 15 now, over 6 ft tall, outweighs me by a good 40 lbs, and has size 13 feet! Accept your Section 8 housing voucher, get yourself and your son into a stable home, and feel grateful, happy, and relieved. You deserve that. You deserve to feel that you have finally gotten a break when you really needed it, and to be happy about it.
Where were all these people who think "you're better than that," and that you are just manipulating the system, when you and your son needed a home? Did they offer you one? Or were the challenges you and your son face just too daunting? Some of them probably don't have a clue how much damage you and your son have already sustained from having been in an abusive marriage, whether that abuse was emotional, verbal, physical or all of the above. I do hope your son's father is treating him appropriately during their time together. Inasmuch as you want him to have a relationship with his father, be very aware that if the man abused you, he will almost certainly abuse your son in some way, if only because hurting your son is a surefire way to hurt/control you. Not being a fatherless man may be preferable, but it sort of depends on how good the father is, yes? You may need to ask yourself: Is the damage to my child from being fatherless greater or lesser than the damage being done to my child from remaining in a relationship with his father. If the relationship with his father is more painful to your son than being fatherless would be, you may need to examine whether you really want to work so hard to keep the man in yours and his life. Many terrific people have been fatherless. And father-figures come in many guises. Does your son look forward to time with his father, or is he anxious, afraid, needing lots of reassurance in the days and hours prior to a visit? Are his negative behaviors worse after he returns from his father's care? Does he seem angry with you after returning from his dad's house? Be aware that you are his stability, wherever you are is home, and his being angry at you after being with his father may not be anger that you have taken him from his dad. It may be that he is angry at you because it is not safe for him to be angry at his dad, and you are the only safe place he has to put his fear, anger, and anxiety. If your ex is primarily verbally and emotionally abusive to him, he may not even be able to clearly identify it as abuse. At seven, these are not things he will easily be able to identify and verbalize, meaning that you may have to trust your intuition and make some executive decisions that, while painful for both of you, may be necessary for your son's long-term health.
I am sure I am being presumptious, and I only know your situation from what I have read of your postings here, and I am probably not telling you anything you don't already know. But, from my admittedly limited perspective, it appears that you are doing everything you can to provide stability for your child while keeping yourself and him safe; all the while trying to take a balanced approach to your ex in spite of the pain he has caused you personally. No easy task, and the people who don't get that may not be people you need around you now. I am myself in the midst of a very painful divorce from an emotionally/verbally abusive drug addict. So, I am right there with you, my sister. It sucks in the worst way! And it can happen to anyone. I'm a damn counselor, ferchissakes, right? How did I NOT see it coming?? :) LOLOLOL
There have actually been studies that show that a stable home is perhaps the single most important factor in creating overall stability for a family, and that our efforts at giving job training, medical care, and mental health intervention, and THEN helping the homeless to find a home, is backward. A stable living situation has to happen first for any of the other stuff to really work. Now you will have that, and that is definitely a reason to be happy, naysayers be damned!! I hope that you are living in a state that has good services for your son. Unfortunately, the US is notoriously bad at providing mental health care and support for the families of those in need of it, and the range of services varies widely state to state.
Wishing you love and strength and peace of mind! Celebrate! Be happy! This is good news!!
Thank you very much, Strega!
And no need to address me so formally! :) My moniker is all lower-case: daughterofkarl.
It was the guys at my previous discussion site who started calling me by the condensed version, DOK, which I loved. I always said that if I were a tagger, that is what I would tag shit with! :D Train cars, bridge overpasses, street signs, all blazoned with DOK-DOK- DOK! Hah! No one would ever know I was a middle-aged, white broad!