November 7, 2011
Insult to injury leads to broken noses.
oh wait. I’m non-violent. (damn Buddhism and damn recovery. I can’t get away with that these days.)
Throw-away people. I was one of those today. You know the kind that sit in waiting rooms asking for those “hand outs.” The kind that have three children to care for and isn’t used to NEEDING help. The kind of person that sits and waits and waits and waits (eight hours worth) only to leave empty-handed because of incompetence. The kind of woman who would die for her children, and pretty much almost did die of shame for asking for a measly $350 worth of firewood assistance.
Why? Well I could go into a litany of not receiving child support regularly, not being able to utilize my college degree in an area that has no funding for “that stupid therapy stuff. You don’t need no damn counselor just buck up and drink this here moonshine.”, being stuck and struggling to make ends meet, and NOT used to being fiscally challenged (politically correct if you please).
I wanted to scream to everyone up in that joint… I’m smart. I’m capable. I’m not THIS person. I’m NOT a victim. I’m in sales and I’m good at it. I’M A WRITER ON THE VERGE OF MAKING IT. I’m NOT looking for handouts. It took everything I had to sit in that chair. Everything. No one would have cared. I know this. Very few people really do. They didn’t notice my trembling lower lip and pained expression. One guy even asked if I worked there.
Several tears rolled down the pink of my cheek and dripped off my chin after that comment.
I really despise asking for help. I mean I LOATHE it. And to add insult to injury… to be treated as a number and then turned away? Gah. The lady handed me a paper with the number of our congressman and stated, “You don’t like it. Call this guy. Don’t talk to me about it.”
The parking lot was littered with those fliers. Hundreds of them crumpled up into balls with a proverbial fuck you written all over them.
So I have two choices here. Continue to feel humiliated? Or allow the real valued emotion of humility (being no better or worse than anyone else) to wash through me. Stay mad and beat myself up for asking for a one time “handout” which would help make my daughters’ lives a little better? Or accept that even though my life doesn’t look like I want it to at the moment…
I’ll have some seriously fucking awesome life experience to share. To another woman in recovery… going through the same thing. Being able to understand HER trembling bottom lip and tear stained cheeks… and knowing exactly just what to say.
There is beauty in the struggle. I just know it. Recovery tells me this is so.