I am a hard-working public school teacher. I have been taking care of myself since I was 4 years old. I had one parent that was an addict and the other parent that neglected me and my two younger siblings. I raised myself and my two younger siblings until I turned 18 and left home. I went to college and paid for every cent of it myself. There were times when I had 3 jobs. I once was working at a data entry job during the weekdays from 9 to 5, at UPS unloading trucks from 11 pm to 4 am, and as a hospital floor clerk on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 4. I have always been willing to work hard, but I can never seem to get ahead.
I am currently 52 years old. I have an adult son with autism for whom I am the sole caregiver. I will be caring for him for the rest of my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t worry about what is going to happen to him when I die. I have no family to speak of. I have no one to help me in any capacity.
I do have a house that I bought 3 years ago- well, I am buying- it won’t be paid for for another 30 years. It is an old house with lots of old house problems. My heat pump was installed in 2004 and is dying. It’s leaking refrigerant. I have had it refilled 3 times since I’ve owned the house, but it needs to be replaced. A new heat pump and installation costs $8000 I found out this week. I also took my car to get the oil changed and found out I need new brakes- another $420. I taught summer school this summer to make some extra money to try to pay off some bills, but I only made around $3000, and that doesn’t come close to meeting the new expenses that have just come up, let alone help me pay off my debts.
I had a part time job in addition to my teaching job before COVID. I was let go from the part time job in March of 2020 at the beginning of lockdown. I haven’t been able to find another one. Ageism is real. No one wants to hire a 52 year old woman. I didn’t believe it until I’ve encountered it first hand. I regularly search for jobs and apply and I haven’t had a single interview.
I know there are people out there in this world that could help people like me that are really struggling just to stay afloat. I pray that one of those people will read my story and be willing to help me.