You’re welcome. I’ll be here all week.
One thing I didn’t mention- a lot of single women with children are escaping abusive relationships. I was. My ex-husband orchestrated my exit from our home. He is a passive-aggressive, narcissistic sadist whose worst fear is that people he deems worthy of his respect will see him for what he is. So he is extremely skilled at the kind of torment that doesnt leave marks. He isolated me from all of my support system then manipulated me in ways he knew would destabilize my mental state, and when he finally succeeded in me becoming suicidal, he put the plan he and his lawyer came up with when I asked for a divorce into motion. He begged to stay in the home until he could find somewhere to live and 6 months later, I tried to hurt myself and the cops were at the door to escort me to the hospital, where I was unceremoniously served both divorce papers and a restraining order citing me as “a danger to myself". I didnt see or speak to my children for over 4 months (when I was able to get an audience with a judge to ask why he didn’t have to honor the visitation schedule — I was in inpatient care before then and he had been granted temporary custody with weekly visitation for me until I was released but he just didnt feel like bringing the kids).
I also never again stepped foot inside my home. I had been staying home with the kids, 7 and 3, so I was unemployed. He changed the locks and had the order, so I was immediately homeless, and as soon as I was finished with treatment I had to find a cheap apartment and got the first waitressing job I could, and we went to 50/50 custody. We didn’t have a car for 4 years, but I got the kids to school and myself to work every day. We didnt have any furniture for almost a year. When the ex bought new furniture, rather than give our stuff to me, he took it to the dump.
I averaged 14 bucks an hour. I’m a college graduate, you would be stunned at how little that matters when you are literally starting your whole life over. For 4 or 5 years I qualified for daycare assistance and a small food stamp allotment. We were on the housing assistance wait list the whole time; by the time our number came up, I was making 30 dollars a year too much to qualify. When the food bank gave out turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving, I stood in line like it was Disneyland. Every. Year.
Because otherwise we didnt eat.
It’s been 10 years this October, and I still barely make ends meet. But I havent needed help in almost 6.
I’m really thankful that when I did, it was there.