Nudging the Boundaries


Fresno, California, US
April 11
Writer, Registered Addiction Specialist, civil rights/civil liberties activist


AUGUST 12, 2010 2:59PM

Should I be uneasy?

Rate: 6 Flag

I posted a piece of this in a comment on Becky Boop's outstanding article Let Them Eat Bitterness:

We are in the process of losing everything we have. I have no job, and my unemployment was ended at 52 weeks, which is all you get in California if you don't find any work for a full year.

With no money, I couldn't pay vehicle registration/smog certificate fees. I now have two unpaid citations for expired registration. Now that I have paid the registration, the fees are much higher and are in collections. My driver license is expired. The car was nearly impounded yesterday when I was stopped again. I can't drive it now without risking losing it. It has bald tires and the bare minimum of insurance. I put $5 of gas into it each time.

I will have to find a way to pay the tickets because my field requires a background check. I will not find work without clearing it all up.

My credit is a disaster. It was bad before I sobered up, but I had made a lot of progress in the intervening two years. I have three years of sobriety now. We had a checking account, but the abrupt discontinuation of my unemployment insurance income and one bounced check has resulted in a huge mess that I don't think I can ever clean up. Did you know that most jobs require credit checks now?

My spouse had a full time job, but she has had her wages cut by 10% and is no longer full time. She barely earns minimum wage. She can still drive the car, but it is unsafe due to the condition of the tires. She has a bachelor's degree and 15 years of experience in her field.

I lost my last job for the given reason and for the hidden one.

The given reason: I refused to withhold testing strips from a diabetic client who was running out within days.

The hidden reason: I'm openly lesbian, and the parole agent was a closeted gay dittohead. (And I'm not stretching the truth.)

In my most recent flurry of joub-hunting activity, I sent 27 resumes out at the very end of July. I have a BA and am certified to do the work. I have about two years of experience and am far better qualified than most people who hold this job.  I do it well.

I have high blood pressure and depression, and I had to order my meds through a Thai pharmacy. My partner also has depression, and I got her meds from an Indian pharmacy. We have no insurance and cannot afford doctor visits. We have no written prescriptions.
My wonderful, retired parents have been paying our rent for months now, but how much longer can they do that?  How much longer can I stand it?
You tell me, should I be uneasy?

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Yes, hon. "Uneasy" at the very minimum and I personally find that impressive vs. the absolute panic most people would be feeling.


P.S. I just noticed the link to SMART Recovery on your side bar. Fist bump, sister (in more than one way now). If you ever get down around the San Diego area make sure to stop and see Dr. Tom H. If you do, say "Hi" for me - the dude saved my life.
Tom Horvath? Good man.
SMART Recovery was a perfect fit for me. I was an online facilitator for a year there after I got sober. What I learned there has a lot to do with why I'm not in panic mode right now. And why I'm still sober through all of this. Nothing can change my mind about THAT.
What Amy said. I wish I had something more tangible to offer, support wise . . . some stone left unturned, or something . . . but I really, really understand. We dealt with some similar things a few years ago, and are still recovering form that debacle . . . the good news is that we're still here.
Thank you, Owl and Amy.
I would think it highly unusual if you weren't uneasy. I mean, this is serious stuff.

I wish the best for you. I hope you find a job. I know that you don't want to be in this position.
I sure am fond of you, BBE. Thanks for your integrity and compassion.
Much, much, much hope for you and your partner.
I am so sorry. This is hell. Somehow you will get through it. Refuse to let it totally get to you.
Sometimes when I think things in my life have exponentiated suck-factor-wise, I read something like this. Please do not mistake this for schadenfreude, reading about your situation makes me feel a whole lot worse. (Virtual hug)

As for the better lives your daughter and your friend have found abroad, per your comment elsewhere on OS, the U.S. State Department just raised the fee for renouncing one's American citizenship from zero to US$450.00 (“So the taxpayers won't have to pay for it”, whined the head pencil-pusher). Do you suppose that's a coincidence?

And as for the closeted conservative clown who fired you, I hope he ends up outed for all the world to see at long last like now-former senator Larry Craig.