I’m not exactly sure where to start with this, but I guess there’s no better place then the top. This is going to be a bit long, but I beg you TO PLEASE READ.
It seems that no matter how hard I fight I cannot get all the way up. Yet I refuse to accept that this is as good as it gets. I could accept defeat if it weren’t for the fact that I have to fight for the sake of my boys. So I’m at my lowest point, and this is my last stitch attempt at trying to find help before I begin to look into less respectful ways of making money to save us.
Six years ago I left in the middle of the night with a garbage bag of clothes for each child and the clothes on my back. I was battered for the last time, and I knew I had to save myself. I did exactly that, and NEVER looked back. However, all debt incurred within my marriage fell onto me as everything was in my name alone. I was solely responsible for $16,000 in debt, vehicle payments, 8 months remaining of a rental lease agreement (even though he proceeded to live in the house), and $6000 in credit card debt. He quickly drained both bank accounts as they were joined, changed all passwords, all my email passwords, etc. As well he sold our family boat and bass boat making a total of $8000, and kept the money. To this day I have NEVER received a cent from him towards helping with all the above, but much worse towards our son together.
Being as our son was only 3, I had to quit work to take care if him. My place of work was not understanding towards my situation, and left me no choice but to quit. I was also raising my sisters son who at the time was 14. We spent 2 weeks living in my van before I was able to find a place to live. That put me back in soo many ways I cannot begin to explain. The ramifications are still effecting me.
When my son was 6 he became very ill. Long story short, he ended up with Kidney Failure and air lifted to CHEO in Ottawa where he would spend the next 4 monthd. I blew through all my savings on travel, food, lodging, miscellaneous necessities for him, and uncovered medical expenses. Again I recieved no financial help from his father, and very little physical help as well. Might I add during that time I was 4 months pregnant when he went into the hospital and 8 months upon his release.
I was born with Spina Biffida Occulta. There are 3 levels in which the effects vary. In my case I have the third. It is where the back is left closed when a child is born and the damage from the disease is trapped inside and riddled up through the spine from the base of the tailbone to the tip of the cerebellum. In short I have had 15 brain surgeries, 12 back surgeries, 5 leg surgeries. I’ve fought to regain my mobility twice, having to relearn to walk twice. Been completely blind for 2 years. I’ve suffered from surgical meningitis twice, and have had to have man made amnesia implemented as I woke up in mid brain and back surgery, and the doc’s had to force me to forget it. That lasted almost 2 years. As i have a lumbar shunt to drain excess fluid off my brain and it filters into my tummy as i have severe hydrocephalus (pressure caused by extra fluid on the brain). My last surgery I’ve had was when i was 24, and i swore that they would never touch me again. If they dont have it by now the then they aren’t going to get it. I’ve been home schooled and private schooled most of my life as I was never well enough to fully attend a normal school setting. However, I think some of that was an advantage as I am very intelligent, and I have a huge LUST for education and I simply cannot learn enough. I love to read and I almost always have a few books on the go. My most favorite book of all time is Jillians Cell. In many ways Jillian reminds me a lot of myself, a must read. If I don’t tell ppl this about me then they never know. I hide it pretty well.
All of this has finally caught up with me. I hate to admit it, and it’s hard to accept, but I’ve had to rely on Disability Assistance for financial support. I am making a mere fraction of what I’m used to. I’m not trying to sound ungrateful, but facts are facts. Plus being the person I am I have taken in my nephews best friend. I have raised my nephew as of 2 weeks old as his mother chose a different lifestyle that was not ok to raise children in or around. Along the way his bestfriend has become another one of my sons. To date he still lives with me, and I care for him in every way a parent would.
I have since saved my sister from the lifestyle she was leading, and her own living hell. Drugs had consumed her. I have finally managed to show her the light. She has now been sober for 4 years. As well I extended the same hand and guidance to a long time friend. She came to me needing help, and finally willing to accept help. So I helped. She to has now been sober for almost 4 years as well.
Here’s the kicker. Both my sister and friend are on Disability Assistance as well. By them sharing the rent of $1800 with me with each of us paying $600, ODSP has now after 3 years considered their rental portion as me collecting extra income. So now as of last February I have had my income reduced by $800 a month, plus pay an overpayment of $100 per month towards the $43,200 they now say I owe for my sister and friend paying $600 each towards the rent. I tried to appeal the decision, but I got nowhere fast. It’s sad. Even with the horrible state housing is in ,and the ridiculous rates being charged for rent I still got nowhere.
I now make $200 a month less than that of a single person without children. Even though the rent is $1800 and we each pay $600, I still have to pay Hydro, Gas, Water, Cable/Internet, Car Insurance, Cell phone (I cut off home phone and only use cell). As well i have 4 boys to care for. None of that includes me buying their clothes, necessities, miscellaneous necessities, school related financial needs, uncovered medical, etc. Nor does it include being able to provide groceries. Four boys eat like no other. As well I have a $150 payment a month towards me doing a Consumer Proposal to try to make paying debt off easier.
In total I reciece $927 from ODSP. I then recieve $1029 from child tax. That’s $1956 total income per month.
Let’s do some math: $1956 monthly income
293 car insurance
150 consumer proposal
200 vehicle gas per month
150 just on milk per month @$5 per day
So I’m already at $2123 going out. That’s $167 more then my income, and I’ve not factored in clothing/shoes for my boys. Soon need new winter boots and coats. Medical necessities, which my one son needs something that monthly costs me about $100-$150 per month due to medical necessity. That’s no household necessities included. No school expenses. No miscellaneous expenses, and my vehicle has not had any service in over 2 yrs now as I cannot afford it. Most of all it does not factor in groceries. Which 4 boys cost about $800 on the low side to feed per month. As well my sister’s daughter is here just slightly under half the time, for which she receives no financial assistance for. Therefore, it falls onto me as well.
Now I’m a brutally honest person, so I will add that prior to Covid I was working 3 days a week under the table making $15/hr at 4 hours/day, so I was bringing in an extra $700 per month. However, I have not been able to work as of mid March, so that income is gone now as well. It was at least helping me to juggle everything a little bit better.
Here is some more brutal honestly. Once a week I am to the point of begging 2 or more utilities to either please turn their service back on, or to pls not cut it off. I cry everyday, I’m going 4-5 days not eating so to make sure there is more for my boys, I’ve begun washing clothes in the tub to not use as much water and then hydro to dry them as I hang them outside on lines I’ve put up, I never buy anything new for myself, I bargain shop for EVERYTHING, I save all change as I find myself counting it near the end of the month to buy bread, milk, hamburg, small stuff to get by really.
I want to work, but being as Covid is in effect I CANNOT find care for my youngest as there is NO available licensed caregivers in my area. Plus my mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy. As well she receives weekly treatments. I am the only one who takes care of her and she needs me. Please please please trust when I say I have turned every stone and split every piece of wood for cutting corners and looking for answers/help. I’ve sold everything I possibly can of value that I own, I’ve cut out every extra activity that costs money, I’ve used every outreach program available to me, everything and anything you can possibly think of. But here is some more brutal honesty, I’m now to the point that I’m considering less respectful means of making money, which I don’t want to have to, but my children depend on me.
I’m not well, this is taking a toll on me. I’m not eating, I don’t sleep, I’m crying (although hidden from my boys) more n more, I’m becoming extremely depressed, I feel beyond alone and lost, my hair is falling out, my skin is going dull and breaking out, my nails won’t grow, I’m beyond tired. Oh goodness I’m soo tired. My stomach hurts every day, and I think I’m in the beginning stages of getting ulcers, I can’t focus.
Most of all I am finding it harder and harder to smile. I just want feel normal again. I’d just about give anything to feel a bit of relief, and to not have to fight soo hard all the time. Something has to give. This CANNOT be as good as it gets for me. I’ve always done what’s right, always stood strong where others ran, or hid, and I faced mine and others responsibilities. I have always believed in the good humanity has to offer, and I try my best to remain positive. I know someday I will look back on all this and appreciate the lessons. One things for certain I will definitely pay it forward when I finally make it to my comfort zone.
It’s just now, right now, I have finally come to terms with the fact that I need to ask for help. I have to ask for the sake of my beautiful baby boys. They truly are such wonderful boys, and they deserve my efforts no matter what they are.
I know this was a long read, and for those who took the time to read it I AM MORE GRATEFUL THAN I CAN EVER EXPRESS.
There is much more between all of that, but those are just the big unfortunate circumstances that have made the most negative impact as of late.
May everyone stay safe during these trying times, and stay strong.
Ps. I tried to attach a few pictures of my overdue bills as proof of urgency of need, but I kept being told the file was too big. However, should anyone need or like I can personally email them if requested.
As well y PayPal link is as follows: