The title of this post might sound like the theme for the crazy cat lady or a melodramatic overstatement but it is simply a statement of fact. The world is a harsh place. Many people are lucky to excape major illness or catastrophe in their life, but frankly, most are not. Even the United States, the richest country in the world, full of innovative people like those in Silicon Valley, has major problems.
I lost my last permanent job in the 2008 financial debacle where the ecomomy dried up for thousands of people. Unable to get a job I started a tutoring business. Why couldn’t I get a job? I was already having trouble with arthritis and walked with a cane. One woman actually contacted me and said if I took any action on what she told me she would deny ever speaking to me but I didn’t get the job because they were afraid of their medical and other benefit costs because they saw the cane. Never mind it was a desk job. I met many people at the library looking for work who shared the same story of being “too old” and “overqualified”.
As the bad economy finally trickled down to the frugal immigrants I was teaching English and whose children I was tutoring in school subjects my business died with theirs. My apartment complex had been taken over by a mostly government funded non-profit when the condo conversion collapsed with the economy. A bailout deal was finagled with the county that would have done any third world corrupt government proud. Within months we were stuck with shoddy management that harrassed us for wanting maintenance, who harrassed my disabled neighbor for having a therapy animal while letting the people upstairs from me have six illegal immigrants living in the apartment in addition to the three people legitimately on the lease. They inspected twice a yearthey had to know those people lived there. Anyone with a pet was harrassed and charged a very high extra pet rent. Two different friends of mine lived in luxury condos that had more pet tolerance and lower pet fees. Mountains of garbage piled up around the dumpsters. We had police helicopters flying overhead hunting gang members. It had been a quiet, safe, multicultural place where neighbors spoke with each other and it became a slum. The cats developed allergies and autoimmune symptons and I was getting depression and PTSD. I had to get the cats out of there.
Luckily when visiting my friend, I saw the house for rent I am in now. They were willing to accept the family income I got without question although their office screwed up the paperwork and I almost didn’t get it because someone told me it was rented to someone else. I wound up living in my truck for a month unti lit got straightened out. Thankfully my friend had room and took my cats in. Through all this, keepng my promise to my rescue cats that they would have a forever home was the thing that kept me fighting. The family money won’t last forever. My father saw the wisdom in helping me when I needed it instead of waiting until he died and letting lawyers and the government take a big chunk, and I am lucky he could do that. There is very little interest in education here, I have had occaional tutoring gigs with accounting students at the University of Virginia, but only one K-12 studen in five years, and his parents were here temporarily from West Virginia, not locals. When I came here the manager of the local office of a national temp agency said, and I quote “We don’t have much call for brain work around here.”
So I got a coaching certification. Lots of people wanting help and advice but not willing to pay. I started blogging for my sanity and it has been a real life saver, but it is not a business. I have tried so many things to bring in more income. The network marketing group I joined had great products but even closer to the city no one was willing to pay for health up front, they would rather get sick and pay doctors and insurance copanies than take vitamins and use personal care products without toxic chemicals. I certainly didn’t connect here. I don’t get it. I know there are lots of people out there that don’t think like that.
This is not my usual kind of post. I try not to complain and this is not a venting forum. I like to inform and entertain. It’s just that I am reaching a point where I am running out of energy to keep up a false front. I went back to school and I am trying to finish a master’s thesis on returning compassion to medical care. Maybe all the things I discovered in researching it have tipped the scale. You know the saying, “No more Mister Nice Guy”. It could be too, that the last year of loosing my aunt, who I talked to every week, and finding out she had left me a generous bequest in her will, only to have to struggle to get it has tipped the scale. The stress has brought back all my auto-immune symptoms. Blecch!
I don’t know all the reasons people decide to follow this blog. I am sure each one is unique and I thank you all for doing so. I do know people like to hear about the cats and people seemed to like my October specials. That was a lot of work but I hope to do it again. If you managed to read this far and not get bored, discouraged or depressed you deserve a reward. Please comment and let me know why you subscribed so I can write more about what you like to read about. Believe me, after all the effort I put in on my thesis, I really want to write about anthing but the dysfunction of the American medical system.