My name is Olivia. I’m a wife and mother of 2 boys. My oldest has just turned 20 and my youngest will soon be 13. I have been a Phlebotomist (draw patient blood) for the last 18 years until the beginning of this year when the company I had been employed with shut down. We have never lived above our means and regardless of my husband and I both working full time we lived paycheck to paycheck. My loss of employment put us in a bind, however we cut back even more than we already were and we handled it. I still have not been able to find work and I have tried drastically. According to fast food and retail companies I am either over qualified or they are looking for someone with experience immediately and training someone from the ground up is not a possibility. There have been and continue to be jobs available in my field, however it would mean a large travel distance and our vehicles are old and will not hold up for such long distance travels. So therefore I seem to be stuck with no idea on what will happen in the future. Then at the beginning of March my husband was laid off. The struggle became really bad then. He did however receive unemployment but it took till the end of March to receive the first one. By that time we were broke and extremely over-drafted with our bank. The checks he received were only a third of his normal pay so as each check came the overdrafts took it all still leaving more. He was finally able to return to work at the end of April but with a pay cut. With every check until the most recent we had still been paying off overdrafts. Car insurance and utilities had to be paid and although the money wasn’t there we had no choice but to risk the overdrafts just to keep power, water and food. I never would have imagined how much money could accumulate in Bank fees. Our rent was a completely different story, if we had bounced a rent payment we would have been homeless as well. The landlord agreed to work with us but we are now 3 months behind and will soon be 4 months. My oldest child lives on his own with his own bills and the worst feeling ever imaginable as a parent came the day we had to ask him for grocery money and gas money. My child who is just starting out on his own had to support his parents. That was crushing. The reality that I can not support my family or financially take care of my children’s needs, along with my child having to help support us and unable to find employment to help my husband get things back on track has me in a downward spiral of depression. I cry, I hide in my room away from family and friends, just because I don’t want to give them the chance to see the failure I have become. I know that no amount will change things mentally, but at least I would not have to worry about eviction and where my child’s next meal will come from. He wants to be able to watch the again and says it would be nice if he could just walk out of the room and leave a light on without someone fussing it’s raising the power bill. I know things will eventually work out for us but at the moment it just seems so far away.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I ask for your prayers for my family and myself that we will soon be out of the dark hole we are in. Thank you again.