I never thought I would ever be a father. Then comes Father’s Day of 2021 and the love of my life tells me she’s pregnant. Nothing can change a man and his worldview the way getting that news does… nothing can light a fire under him that burns as strongly. Since then, I have worked harder than I ever have before. Because that’s what a man is supposed to do – provide for his family.
I worked a second job, I found us a place to live (another full-time job in itself these days), I started taking classes online to hopefully be able to improve our standing and provide a better future for my son… I was tired, sure, but I was proud of myself for what I was accomplishing.
Yet somehow, these days, we have found that giving it everything you have sometimes just isn’t enough… the second job dried up and went away, I’m struggling to find a replacement, and my new-found credentials have yet to bear fruit. I expected to receive my raise in September like usual, but still haven’t even heard if one is forthcoming. Meanwhile our money doesn’t go as far with this year’s record-high inflation and my rent has gone up another 10% despite being assured it wouldn’t raise at all the first year we re-signed our lease.
So our place of comfortability has slipped into a place of stress and worry… there is still a roof over our head, but we’re having to pick and choose which bills get paid each month versus which ones are okay to let slip; we genuinely have no idea how we are going to afford food this month. Applying for assistance tells us I make too much money, but I can’t help wondering how they came to that conclusion when I can’t even pay all my bills…
The credit cards are maxed out. My bank account is empty. There is $0.14 in our savings account. There is no gas in the tank to get to work this week, but I have no PTO to afford missing those days. I’m already skipping 2 meals a day, so I can’t really eat any less. I cancelled my doctor appointment because we can’t afford the copay, and that means I can’t get the medications I need just to function properly. I put out the last of our cat food last night, while the dog has maybe another week. For the first time in my life, I had to go to a food bank just to get us through the next week…
I was happier than I ever thought possible, but now I can’t keep myself from breaking down as soon as someone asks “How are you?”
This is to say nothing of the fact that we feel a desperate need to move away from here. We fear for our safety on a regular basis and constantly worry about how our surroundings may influence our son and his future.
Yet what hope do we have of getting out if we can’t even get out of the debt we’re drowning in?
Despite all I have put into being a good father and husband, I feel like a failure. I feel ashamed. I feel desperate. I feel lost and unsure and scared for my family and our future. I hate that it’s come to this, to begging on the internet for money, but what hope does a man have when the game is rigged against us?
A little generosity can go a very long way, and we are in dire need of it.
Literally anything helps.