I haven't posted on MDC in awhile (I used to frequent the boards when I was a SAHM) and I've never posted in this forum, I don't think. At the moment, I really need a place to vent and this seemed to be the best place. I don't have many friends who know what I'm going through.
I've been a single mom for about a year now. Divorce was final in January and I'm finally getting child support (he wasn't giving us any money while we were "separated", now he sends a whopping $128 every two weeks). I work at a coffee shop, making minimum wage and I'm lucky if I can get 30 hours a week on the schedule. I worked three jobs last year after getting fired from one and quitting the second (not enough money). I was unemployed in between jobs. I have no savings and got absolutely nothing in the divorce. The only thing I own is a car I somehow scraped up enough money for while waiting to get out of my abusive marriage. I live with my four year old daughter in an old RV, that I rent. My disabled mother watches her while I work.
Most of the time, I feel fine. I feel like I'm barely surviving, but I'm optimistic or at the very least, I try not to let it get to me. Today after work I realized that I had a flat tire and now have to buy a new one. I have the day off tomorrow but I was going to spend that day doing the one billion other things I don't have time to do on days that I work, like reapplying for food stamps (which I am now completely out of), etc. When something like this happens I feel like I can't handle it, my brain just stops functioning. I go numb and I can't collect my thoughts or figure out what I need to do next. I feel like I'm standing in one place, unable to move, watching everything crumble and fall apart around me.
I need a better job. But I can't do that without going to school. I tried going to school but the counselors and financial advisers there kept brushing me off, or at least that's how it feels. Anytime I finally gather up enough strength and motivation to do something positive, nothing happens. I fail. I get discouraged. I quit trying.
My ex was seeing my daughter every once in awhile most of last year. Some months he'd take her every weekend. Sometimes he'd have her for a week straight and then not see her again for a month. Sometimes he'd promise to take her and then just not show up. It was really rough on her. Going back and forth between him, me, his parents, my mother... there was no stability. They didn't respect my rules (bedtimes, diet, etc) so she was just getting confused. After the divorce was final, ex moved to Chicago with his new girlfriend. I feel like my daughter is happier now, despite missing her father. But even after only a month or so of not having the occasional weekend off I feel like I am drowning. I feel alone.
I have a boyfriend who is wonderful and has great parents, who he lives with. He's a college student and his parents are upper-middle class. They're all great with my daughter and she loves being around them. I have these people who love me and help me in little ways (like letting me do laundry at their house so I don't have to go to a laundromat) but I really need help finding things like permanent housing, getting my daughter ready for school this year, getting MYSELF ready for school, figuring out how I'm going to work her school schedule around my work/school schedule.... it's way too much for one person. Sometimes I feel justified in saying that, and sometimes I feel like maybe I need to be medicated.
Sometimes I feel like there is something wrong with me, that I'm doing this wrong. Even on days where I work a five hour shift I feel too busy to make it to the post office or stop and gas up my car. I literally feel like I don't have time. And when I do have time, like I said, something goes wrong: I go and talk to financial aid at the community college and they give me a run around after I'm doing everything they've asked me to do, resulting in no help. Or trying to call 211 (social services hotline in Texas who supposedly help people, but I've yet to be helped) to find out the phone number for the food stamp office and them giving me the wrong number. Twice. Or some things are just plain my fault: I have a flat tire because my tire was low and I neglected it to the point that it was destroyed apparently.
I am a mess. I had a plan for my life, I had things I wanted to do and I can't even remember what they were anymore. I look around my "house" and am reminded every day of how life has taken a big crap on me and I cannot see a way out. I feel completely and utterly hopeless.
Sorry this is so long. Like I said, I needed to vent. When I try and talk to my boyfriend about this all I can get out of him is an, "I'm sorry babe. I love you," which is sweet but doesn't help at all. I only have one single mom friend and she lives pretty far away so I don't see her much. We went through similar situations where we both ended up in (different) women's shelters and she stuck it out there so is doing much better than I am (I felt imprisoned there and could not force myself to stay longer than two weeks). So even though she's been through most of what I have, we're not in the same place, you know? Has anyone been where I am now? How long were you stuck and how did you get out of it?
Thanks for reading. Take care.