Frustrated is the word that pops in my head when I think about living hand over fist. I could say we’ve all been there but that isn’t exactly the truth. Most people in this world will never understand what it means to live this way. And while many are living this way, there is still someone out there miles away or minutes away that have it worse.
So what’s worse for me? Well, of course if I think on a broader scale by including those suffering in third world countries, then yeah many have much more to deal with than what I have. Still, I think my situation is pretty bad relatively speaking. I’m homeless with my two kids. We live in my SUV. Funny thing happened the other day. When I had some money to stay in a hotel, we went swimming in the hotel’s pool. It was very chilly, but the kids insisted. We stayed in the pool for about 20 minutes when they begged to go back in the room, shivering as the words slowly came out their mouth. So we went back in the room, changed out of our swimsuits, and snuggled under the covers. As a joke I asked the kids if they wanted to go back in the pool. My 9-year-old daughter immediately stated “No!” My 3-year-old son said yes, but when I asked him if he was sure because it is cold out there, he then replied, “No, I want to go home in our truck.”
So why don’t we have a home? Well, believe it or not, we had a home in another country. Our favorite place to live. One day my husband, high on cold and cough pills and drunk on Bacardi rum, tells me he doesn’t want me there anymore. He doesn’t love me anymore and wants to live his own life. He feels like marriage and kids weigh him down to the point he can’t enjoy his freedom. I bet you’re thinking I was a bitch of a wife to him. Actually, I think I was way better than most. I had my faults, rest assured, but to lay it all out, I think I was relatively passive to what he put the kids and I through. He has cheated on me at least once every year that we have been together (that I can prove). He always went out with his friends to the clubs and came home off the Richter scale drunk. He got a DUI—though he still claims he wasn’t drunk—but it was enough to get him involuntarily chaptered out of the service. Through all that, I chose to believe the hype that love conquers all and forgive him.
But none of it mattered. We were solely there through the sponsorship of his job. So when he told his command he wanted us gone—well, that’s what happened. By the way, the hype that the military cares about family isn’t entirely true. His command knew he was having affairs while married to me yet they still chose to support “their soldier” by honoring his request. They processed the paperwork to have us sent back to the States quicker than you can blink 1000 times. Oh, and since his drunken and superlatively high decision to rid himself of his family, he hasn’t lifted a finger to support us financially. I informed his chain of command that we didn’t get anything from him. I bet you’re wondering what they said. They said the same thing that is equivalent to what I have been receiving since he abandoned us a year and a half ago. Nothing.
So we came back to the States and stayed with my brother for a few weeks. Well I thought it was a while until I could get on my feet, as I basically had to start from scratch. Um, no. They thought I wasn’t doing anything to look for a job or a place to live. So what was I doing? Looking for a job and a place to live. I have a desire to finish my PhD. Now I know many can balance the world on their shoulders, but I know my limits. I have to balance single motherhood of two, a demanding school schedule, and bodily chronic pains that have ensured my monthly disability check from the VA. Oh, I forgot that part. Yes, I wasn’t just a housewife. I have two Bachelor degrees and I am an Army veteran.
I had applied for what seemed like 100 jobs. Nothing that would take too much time as I do have two kids and schoolwork. Whichever mom said “being a mom is the best job” only got that statement partially true. She forgot that there are moms who have to being a single mother AND work AND go to school. And in my case, all alone with a support system stemmed from judgement and non constructive criticism.
It’s ironic that we are taught so many positive and uplifting things, yet I’ve discovered that those things don’t turn out to be true. Be kind and others will be kind to you (a little Game of Thrones if you paid attention... I’ll delve more into that on another post). Do the right thing even when no one else is looking. Love is all you need. These hard times will pass. At the end of a rainbow is a pot of gold.
I’m still waiting to see that leprechaun.