My name is Tiffany and I am a single mother of 2 from Mississippi. I’m not quite sure how to put my whole life into this post, so I am going to mention the parts that I believe will assist you in understanding.
Starting at the beginning, I was a very sheltered child. My parents were humiliatingly strict, and unfortunately did not teach me a thing about life or the world. I was under the impression that the world is either white or black, and I didn’t find out until adulthood, that it is nor white or black….but mostly gray area.
I started noticing around age nine, that things were not on the up and up in my family. My mother carried around enough prescription medication to be considered a mobile pharmacy, and she did nothing except yell and complain while laying in bed. My daddy went to school full time, while also working a full time job to support us. I have 3 younger sisters that I was practically raising, while also cooking, cleaning the house, and doing laundry, while daddy worked hard and mama popped pills. My childhood was non existent.
At the age of 15, I felt as though my entire life had ended. In July of 2001, I found my daddy unconscious and had to call 911. When the ambulance pulled away, transporting my daddy, that was the last time I ever saw him. My mother murdered my sweet daddy by drugging and poisoning him over time. No one even saw that coming. No one suspected it, and she would have gotten away with it, had it not been for my aunt digging for the truth. Bless her soul.
After my daddy’s funeral, our home, still filled with all of our belongings (yes, daddy’s things were still there as well), was set ablaze-not once! not twice! like FOUR times…by the hands of my mother, in efforts to destroy evidence. With nothing but the clothes that were on our backs, having lost our daddy…and all of our possessions and home, we also had to leave town to move closer to our grandparents. The only reason we were in Greenville was because of daddy’s job, so mama felt there was no reason to stay. I had a different opinion as a teenager whom had just lost her father and pretty much everything else…the last thing I wanted to do was move away from all my best friends and graduating class.
We moved back to Vicksburg, my birthplace and home of my grandparents, shortly after the house fires. A few months after getting there, my mother was charged with the arson of our home. She was sentenced to prison time and it was while she was serving that time, that my aunt had dug up enough evidence to charge her with daddy’s death. She ended up doing 13 years in a Mississippi Women’s Correctional facility…which was more or less like summer camp.
With my mother in prison, my grandparents were awarded custody of my sisters and I. Imagine being a kid, starting a new school, and your whole family is on National News…all over the TV and in the newspapers. Before I even had a chance to make friends, alot of my classmates were forbidden to have anything to do with me. I was so lost, hurt, and confused. I had started my first job to help keep my mind off of things, and it was there that I met and fell in “lust” with my son’s father.
I am from a very southern, racist family and my son’s father just so happened to be a black man. I have always been different….thought and acted differently than anyone else in my family. My grandfather is in with the KKK and, I never thought he truly meant it when he would tell us that we would be disowned if we ever dated outside of our own race. I found out the hard way that he did indeed mean it, with all of his heart. I was made to leave my grandparents home twenty something years ago, and to this day I am not welcome on they’re property. My sisters were brainwashed into thinking that I am some terrible monster, and were not allowed to have any type of relationship with me. The birth of my innocent children did not even make things change, not even a little bit.
On my own since I was 16, no family, I had to fend for myself. I had to teach myself everything, learn it on my own. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done it alone and everything I have ever owned, I got it myself. I have worked since I was 15, despite all the odds I did get my G.E.D. and went to college where I earned my Associate’s degree in Business Administration. I have taken care of my children on my own since they were born. I am all they have, and they are all that I have.
The events that I have just shared with you are on a deeper level than you could imagine…and from all the trauma, my mental health has suffered tremendously. Moving forward, it continues to diminish due to many more tragic events. I came home one day when my son was about 6 months old, and found his daddy with another woman in our house. I left, having to take my infant son to stay in a women’s shelter for the two months that it took me to save enough money to get us another place. Later that same year, I met my daughter’s father (also a black man), who I ended up marrying. He turned out to be an abusive, alcoholic, crack-head, who did nothing but lie, cheat, steal from me, and was physically abusive. I was trapped in that marriage for 8 long years, until the day he came home at 5am, drunk and high, and chased me around our house that my children were sleeping in, with a machete, attempting to kill me. My children and I had to hide in a safe house until my divorce was final and there was a permanent protective order in place.
Not long after my divorce, my mother was released from prison on good behavior and working day for day. Somehow she had gotten my contact information, and she called me. Put yourself in my frame of mind please, as a very fragile person…who had never wanted anything more than to have a mother that I could have a close bond with. She calls talking really good, and I just happened to be weak and vulnerable enough to buy every single dream she was selling me that day. What a mistake. You probably guessed that nothing good came of me letting mama back in, in fact, I just handed her the knife to jab me with again, only this time much deeper.
In February 2017, my fiance’ and I and my children lived in a rural area of town. The transmission had gone out in my car, my fiance’ happened to be out of work at the time due to a back injury. I couldn’t afford a new transmission, nor a new car, and had absolutely no one to rely on for a ride to work. It didn’t take long for me to lose my job because having to get rides from other people caused me to be late if I made it to work at all. The disconnect notices started coming in right along with the eviction notice. I had to send my son to his dad’s house, but the shelters were full so I had to figure something out quickly for my daughter. I ended up having to turn to one of my sisters for help, and though she promised me that she would help me with my daughter while I got back on my feet, what she did was complete opposite. With the help of my grandmother and my mother, my sister basically kidnapped my daughter and because she was kept out of school for so many days and taken to my mother- CPS took custody of my daughter for missing school and being placed in an unsafe environment with a convicted felon of a violent crime. I spent the next 2 years fighting to get her back, and by the grace of God she was home in 2019.
By 2019, I was doing extremely well for myself, had a great job, and a cute little place. December of that year I was actually able to get my very first brand new car, which was a Christmas present to myself. My kids were home, happy, and healthy, my fiance’ and I were doing good. For a moment, I experienced happiness. That soon faded, when I found out that someone had stolen my identity and fraudulently filed my income taxes. I did all the necessary paperwork, did everything that I was advised in order to straighten that mess up….and then COVID-19 happens. I end up being furloughed indefinitely at first, to my position ultimately being completely eliminated.
With COVID going on and everyone being forced into quarantine, the situation with my taxes and personal information, was not dealt with. It was impossible to receive any type of assistance regarding this matter. The identity theft is also a contributing factor in my not being able to receive unemployment benefits, for all my information was screwed up and accounts frozen or closed. I got behind on my bills, no one to turn to for help, my car was soon repossessed, and my children and I were evicted, once again.
Without a vehicle, living in a rural area, it was very rare that I was able to get out of the house and take care of anything really. Thank God Walmart has grocery delivery and for foodstamps, or I am afraid that we probably would have starved to death. I was not able to receive any of the stimulus checks nor child tax credit checks that most people were getting, due to the identity theft. To this day I am still awaiting my tax refunds from 2018, 2019, and 2020, as well as all my stimulus money and child tax credits. I am still unable to get anyone to actually help me, I really need an attorney but I am unable to afford one.
August of 2020 is when my fiance’ started falling ill. He was hospitalized from August-December, due to having 3 different strokes that were caused by a blood infection that he got from an abscessed tooth. He lost mobility on the right side of his body, along with his speech. We worked hard in his recovery, and by January of 2021, he was walking and talking normal again. The blood infection had also attacked his heart, causing a main valve to collapse. He was under the knife for 2 long hours as they replaced the valve in his heart with a titanium one. In June, he woke me up complaining that he couldn’t breathe. After rushing him to the hospital, everything happened so fast…before I knew it, they were telling me to say goodbye because he had to be airlifted to another hospital and I was not allowed on the helicopter. That was the last time I saw my him.
Still no resolve in my finances nor the Identity theft, my fiance’ just passed away, no car so no job obviously, until a couple months later when I was hired for a remote position. Within my first 30 days I contracted COVID, and was so sick I had to be hospitalized, which in turn caused me to lose that job before I really even got to start. On top of everything else, my landlord was a very heartless man who had no tolerance for late rent payments….and you guessed it. Another eviction. I tried to fight it this time, for I was able to receive a small amount of assistance from one of the government housing assistance programs, which bought me a little more time, if nothing else. After winning the fight in that eviction, a needed repair in my home turned into the opportunity my landlord had been waiting for. He made false claims of black mold being in my home and informed me that I had vacate for mine and my children’s safety. I had Servpro come to my home to prove there was no black mold, I took witnesses and paperwork to court with me, but was still evicted.
December 2021, we spent Christmas in another shelter. It took me until the end of January to find a place in the right school district, but I did. We moved into our new place in February 2022, and the housing grant I was approved for, paid my deposit and rent up until July 2022. In May, the AC unit in our place went out. I immediately contacted the landlord, who brought me 3 box fans, told me there was nothing further he could do, and then ignored me for the next month to two months. It is Mississippi law that, if there is air conditioning at the inception of the lease, it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain it for the entirety of said lease. In a nut shell, my landlord either couldn’t afford a new unit, or just didn’t want to, and he ignored every attempt I made at contacting him-even when I tried to pay rent on July 1. Then on July 5th, he gave me eviction papers for non-payment of rent. People always get away with doing these kinds of things to me and my children because they know that I don’t have anyone to speak up or stand up for me, and that I have no money to pay attorney fees and such. They know they can get away with it cause I am nobody.
Having to once again, sell and give away all my belongings, due to not knowing where we were going, no way to haul it, no place to store it. A lady that bought a few of my things, was from another little town about 25 minutes from where we were living, showed interest in helping me. I had enough money to pay for a motel room for the kids and I, for 2 nights. That lady called me on the second night, as I sat there scared, not knowing what we would do next. She got a lady from an agency in her little town, to hear my story and offer to help me. The lady from the agency has a daughter that owns a rental house, only it was unable to be rented out at the moment due to it needing a new AC unit, and her not being able to afford it right now. The daughter offered my kids and I the opportunity to stay in the rental house until I was able to get on my feet. After confiding in them, letting them know what all Im up against, and asking-practically begging for they’re help, including help in finding help for my mental health, they promised that they were here to help me, even called me family now. Not even a month later the daughter texts me at 10pm one night, letting me know that her and her boyfriend were gonna move with all seven of they’re children, back into this small 2 bedroom house by December.
Over the past couple of months I have reached out to so many agencies for help, to be as prepared for this as possible…but I was unable to receive any help from them due to the fact that the main requirement is that you have to literally be in a shelter, or sleeping in your car, before they will help you. A little late, right? Definitely. So, here I am….I have received an eviction notice from her because I refused to get out by the date she told me too. I wasn’t doing it to be spiteful or anything of the sort….I just didn’t and still don’t have a clue where to take my children. I am still without a reliable vehicle. Still without anyone’s support or help, financially and non. Still have been unable to work due to not having transportation, but most of all, due to my mental health. I have until the 12th to figure something out. I have zero dollars, our power has been out going on 2 months now. We are seperated, because I refuse to have my children here in the cold and darkness….also without food. Thank God they have friends that happen to have understanding parents that agreed to my kids living with them until I find stability. For almost the entirety of the past two years, I have desperately struggled, not even able to provide some basic necessities. My kids didn’t get Christmas, weren’t able to put our tree up….didn’t even have a Christmas dinner.
I am writing this in hopes of receiving help from anyone willing. I need alot of help. I need basic things that we have been going without, a vehicle, food, and most of all- a home for my babies that no one can take away from us or tell us to get out of. I am going to include all of the supporting evidence and proof that I possibly can to show that I am real and genuine…and that this is definitely not a scam or someone wanting a hand out. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you so much, in advance, if you do decide to help.
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