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#1 of 14 Old 02-08-2011, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#2 of 14 Old 02-08-2011, 10:21 PM
 
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Okay I am not a single parent but I must post on this thread. All I can say is you sound like a really strong person even though you are not feeling that way right now. I think when you get into this low place and feeling like a failure, you need to focus on your overall statistics, that is, look at the direction your life is headed as a whole. What stands out to me is that you were in an abusive relationship and you got out of it, even though it was really hard i'm sure. So, that is a huge accomplishment. Some people, many people never get there. You did what was right for you and your daughter so you need to just pat yourself on the back everytime you start to punish yourself.

I don't have a degree and back when I was in the workforce I spent many years as an assistant. Eventually I ended up making decent money. Can you start out as a receptionist maybe? It might not be what you are looking for but that is just one example. There are many entry level jobs that don't require a degree. Just a thought.

As for schooling I would encourage you to tell the counselors just how frustrated you feel and what your situation is. Cry if you have to. Do whatever it takes to get your point across and get help. Don't throw in the towel! Hell you have gotten this far. May as well run with it!!

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#3 of 14 Old 02-08-2011, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have a degree and back when I was in the workforce I spent many years as an assistant. Eventually I ended up making decent money. Can you start out as a receptionist maybe? It might not be what you are looking for but that is just one example. There are many entry level jobs that don't require a degree. Just a thought.

As for schooling I would encourage you to tell the counselors just how frustrated you feel and what your situation is. Cry if you have to. Do whatever it takes to get your point across and get help. Don't throw in the towel! Hell you have gotten this far. May as well run with it!!
 


I only got my GED this past summer (I dropped out of school at 16, married at 17. I'll be 24 in May.) While in between jobs I applied and looked literally everywhere. I just couldn't get my foot in the door anywhere. My options were fast food, Walmart, stuff like that. I'd prefer a professional job that looks better on a resume but I couldn't find anything that did not require some kind of degree. I applied at a temp agency once to have them tell me I didn't have enough job references.

 

Haha, maybe I will go cry to them. That made me feel a little better. :)

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#4 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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I totally agree with PP!  You are so strong!!!  Getting out of abuse is HUGE. 

 

Reading your post, I'm reminded a lot of myself.  I get the same exact way when obstacles come up when I'm doing the best I can to tackle things.  When I was trying to get out of my abusive relationship last year, stupid blocks kept coming up... like the domestic abuse shelter would cancel my counseling appointment... on a rough day I'd call the "warm line" for some encouragement and get disconnected.  Weird stuff that would make me feel like just giving up...

 

I don't know how... but I kept going, and you are doing the same thing!!  And that is something to be totally proud of.  My counselor tells me when I get in those "funks" to sit back and really take stock of what I HAVE accomplished, not on what hasn't been done yet.  And I have to say, it really has been doing wonders!

 

You may feel like you're ready to give up... But I can read in your post that you are fighting and you are still planning... you are looking at school, you are thinking of what will give you and your DD the best life.  You are strong and have so much fight in you.  *hugs*

 

I think the temp agency sounds like a great start.  Most towns have more than one temp agency as well, and some places even have temp agencies that offer training for certain jobs.  Most temp agencies that I have worked for give you computer tests and such to add to your resume, especially for office type jobs... Find those temp agencies and ask to take the tests... data entry, microsoft office. (if you are unfamiliar with Word and Excel, look up tutorials online, there are always free ones floating around). 

 

I also do not have a college degree... but I've finally gotten into a decent enough pay scale just from the accumulation of experience with computer programs and data entry skills.  So it can happen.

 

Crying is good... talking/telling your story if you are comfortable also helps... you will find a kind soul that can commiserate and help you.  I found this in odd place that helped me keep going over the past year... such as when I went to open my secret bank account before I left... the woman at the bank who opened my account took just my pay stub where I updated my address to my parents address to open my account, as I told her my story... she then told hers of how she left her abusive ex too and she gave me her number to call anytime I needed to.

 

I have my good days and bad days (most bad stem from my parents abuse now)... but I have SOOO many more good days than I did.  Focus on everything you have accomplished.  You are DOING it.  And yes it IS a lot for one person to have to handle.  I get that feeling often.  But you keep going.  Be proud of where you came from.  :)   *hugs*  Keep fighting, you will get there.

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#5 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 08:16 AM
 
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 You're getting aome really good words of encouragment. :-) I also wanted to add - so what if you live in an RV? You know what? I lived in an RV when I was around your age. Now I live in a big house. But even if I didn't it wouldn't matter. Living anywhere is better than living in hell with an abuser and subjecting that to your daughter. Besides, you are YOUNG. This is just the beginning. There is a lot more life for your and different experiences for you to have. Don't write yourself off yet!

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#6 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Reading your post, I'm reminded a lot of myself.  I get the same exact way when obstacles come up when I'm doing the best I can to tackle things.  When I was trying to get out of my abusive relationship last year, stupid blocks kept coming up... like the domestic abuse shelter would cancel my counseling appointment... on a rough day I'd call the "warm line" for some encouragement and get disconnected.  Weird stuff that would make me feel like just giving up...


That's why I left the shelter. It was so hard to get in to see the social workers and counselors. There was generally one person on staff and they sat in a little office in the front of the house. I felt like I was in a psyche ward or something. It was miserable. I am much happier now that I'm on my own and away from him because even if I'm making slow progress, it is progress.

 

Thanks everyone, for your kind words. I have a lot of people here telling me what I'm doing wrong instead of what I'm doing right.

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#7 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix~Mama View Post

Reading your post, I'm reminded a lot of myself.  I get the same exact way when obstacles come up when I'm doing the best I can to tackle things.  When I was trying to get out of my abusive relationship last year, stupid blocks kept coming up... like the domestic abuse shelter would cancel my counseling appointment... on a rough day I'd call the "warm line" for some encouragement and get disconnected.  Weird stuff that would make me feel like just giving up...


That's why I left the shelter. It was so hard to get in to see the social workers and counselors. There was generally one person on staff and they sat in a little office in the front of the house. I felt like I was in a psyche ward or something. It was miserable. I am much happier now that I'm on my own and away from him because even if I'm making slow progress, it is progress.

 

Thanks everyone, for your kind words. I have a lot of people here telling me what I'm doing wrong instead of what I'm doing right.



~ Bolding is mine.  I get a lot of that from my parents too.  They love to focus on all the negative, has been that way my whole life.  My counselor gave really good advice for this... "be your own cheerleader".  It's a hard thing to learn at first... but it works.  :)


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#8 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 01:52 PM
 
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I have a lot of people here telling me what I'm doing wrong instead of what I'm doing right.


ARG this drive me nuts. I am doing so much so why the Hell does everyone dwell on the areas I am struggling with. It doesn't help at all.

 

I have made it my goal to try and tell others what they are doing well and support there effort to improve those that are not going well.
 

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#9 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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Sometimes when you are around someone a lot you can find yourself adopting their unhealthy viewpoints and running them in your head as if they were your own. It is good to try and become aware of this and change the pattern by reminding yourself that you are doing okay and that the voice in your head is not telling the truth. Also, when the person that is always putting you down sees that you are not going into agreement with their negativity it gives them permission to change and they will respect you more. And if they don't change then you may want to consider getting more distance from them..

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#10 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ARG this drive me nuts. I am doing so much so why the Hell does everyone dwell on the areas I am struggling with. It doesn't help at all.

 

I have made it my goal to try and tell others what they are doing well and support there effort to improve those that are not going well.
 


My one single mom friend has always been one step ahead of me, as far as getting a place, finishing her divorce, etc. So there's a lot of, "You should have done...." after the fact. I know she means well but (at least as far as the divorce was concerned) I really just want everything over and done so I can move on and be comfortable. I know I probably SHOULD have fought for more child support but I don't have much fight left in me when it comes to that stuff. I can barely bring myself to do the dishes every day, let alone add any more stress to my load.

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#11 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes when you are around someone a lot you can find yourself adopting their unhealthy viewpoints and running them in your head as if they were your own. It is good to try and become aware of this and change the pattern by reminding yourself that you are doing okay and that the voice in your head is not telling the truth. Also, when the person that is always putting you down sees that you are not going into agreement with their negativity it gives them permission to change and they will respect you more. And if they don't change then you may want to consider getting more distance from them..


Yes, I'm definitely still recovering from my marriage even though it's been about a year since I left. We were together about nine years, and I spent more than half of it listening to how worthless I am. So I'm pretty cautious around people who put me down. I'm pretty proud that I've made it this far and mostly without any support from the ex.

 

A little update: I'm doing much better today. I woke up this morning and everything was iced over, I slept in MUCH later than usual (this usually will ruin a day off for me) but I still got a lot done. I made an appointment to renew my food stamps, got my tire fixed FOR FREE :) and returned my cell phone that was crapping out on me even though I just bought it less than a month ago. Also I finally found light bulbs for my RV (who'd have thought they'd only have them at auto stores??) that I've been looking for forever now. So it's been a good day. I'm finding the motivation I've needed the last few days to get my house clean.

 

And on a sorta unrelated note: A lot of people have suggested I get help from churches. I wouldn't have a problem with this but I'm a non-believer. I don't know if this sounds silly but I almost feel like taking from a church without disclosing this would be like lying. Would it be wrong for me to get help from them?

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#12 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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I don't think it is wrong because helping people is part of the church's mission. I would, however, be prepared to hear some ministering (is that a word?) because to them that will be part of the exchange.

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#13 of 14 Old 02-09-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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I don't think it is wrong because helping people is part of the church's mission. I would, however, be prepared to hear some ministering (is that a word?) because to them that will be part of the exchange.


I agree with this. I'm a believer. It wouldn't offend me in the slightest if someone who wasn't a believer sought help from my church. Don't feel bad. You need the help right now. You will find ways to pay it forward as you get over some of the humps. I'm in a similar situation right now, with disabilities and a baby, and it is frustrating and scary, but we will get through this and as a PP said, living anywhere is better than living with an abuser and subjecting your daughter to that.


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#14 of 14 Old 02-10-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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I wanted to pop back in and add that NONE of us knows what we are doing. Life and parenting are all about learning on the job. Sometimes it is important to remind ourselves that. Our neighbor might look like they have it all figured out but we have no idea what is going on inside them and their homes.

 

 

 

Oh and I feel I am really struggling right now last week felt like I was in three avalanches of stress loads. I am still trying to figure out how to dig out.  

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