Yesterday I returned the beautiful crystal and silver snow globe that my boss gave me for Christmas. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen but the money will help me and my family to survive the few Christmas gifts we gave our two children.
My husband has been unemployed for almost two years and just got a job. We are catching up with all the bills that have fallen behind. We know we can file for bankruptcy but if we do that it may prevent him from getting a job in his real profession when something comes open. And, if we can do it without filing bankruptcy then that is what we want to do…these are our bills.
It’s funny how you think you are doing everything right and then the foundation crumbles beneath you. We have been married for ten years. We have two girls, Ella who is five and Jenna who is seven. When the company John worked for closed its doors we weren’t so scared because we had our savings; the hardest thing was handling family insurance and mortgage out of just my income but that would be okay with unemployment and our savings. Family relation-wise, one might say we are evenly yoked; we both come from loving lower-middle class working families who would gladly give us their kidney if we needed it but they don’t have any money.
Surely John would find a job in a few months. But companies had simply stopped hiring in our area. By the time we figured out that we seriously needed to consider moving to another area our savings had dwindled, it was impossible to sell our home for what we owed and the unemployment benefits were running out.
I am so glad my husband has found this job. I saw him go from this strong, positive, loving man to someone who was beaten. He looked so hard for a job and was willing to take anything, but employers would tell him he was over qualified or that he didn’t have a background in the jobs that were available. He would do temporary work whenever available and finally one of the companies hired him.
I think we are going to be fine. I said that John has been beaten but so have I. The entire time he was unemployed, I worried everyday about my job. And then, we both felt like nothing as we heard the banter about people on unemployment. John had worked since he was sixteen years old; he was not sitting and waiting on a handout. We were paying for this insurance but lived in fear that one of us would get sick and have to go to the doctor because we knew we couldn’t afford the deductible. We still live in that fear.
Everyone talks about the recovery. Well, our family is trying to recover. And now we are finally getting back on our feet and these people are saying don’t worry about the middle class tax cut; don’t worry about the $8.00 a gallon milk. Damnit! We have two growing girls and these folks are freaking hollering about food stamps.
I am many years beyond these days, but I know so many families that are going through similar circumstances today.