Thursday, July 7, 2011

When you are poor

People won’t consider you a reliable source of information about your efforts. You are forever the leech, and no amount of words you can produce will change that. 

People will either assume that the system is already in place, or that you are trying to game it. Can’t get  source of income? I’m sorry, but you might not be eligible for those services that non-poor people think exist to help (or “enable”) you.

People will assume that the services that are available are suitable. While they’d never take their family member to the county MH office, they are shocked if you say that they aren’t suitble and you need help to get money for the other provider in the county.* They will think that if you are going to be picky, you need to just earn more. 

People will second guess when you say that your SO, Brother, caregiver, room mate is abusive or harasses you. Or maybe they’ve just made life untenable. After all, if that were true wouldn’t you just move out? Or hire another caregiver. (Though maybe the caregiver is family, or a land lady, or the only one you can afford in the area.) And after all, there’s  reason for the protection and advocacy centers isn’t there?

They will point out all the options they think exist, and give you a new label when you walk them through why you aren’t eligible for them, or why they cannot help you. After all, look at all these things that are supposed to help- surely you are “shooting them down” because you aren’t “reasonable” or are “unstable and paranoid” or maybe even a specific diagnosis.

And when you come to them with a solution? Maybe if they know you or even care for you, they will see some solutions as appalling, or as surely too hard or scary or whatever for you to do or “sink” to. Otherwise they might call you presumptuous, especially if it’s anything beyond you “pulling yourself up by your boot straps” and “getting on with life.”

ya know? (I’m venting, but it’s all true, and all things we hide behind that stiff upper lip or cheerful facade.)

*I’m rural too- so there’s an additional limit on resources or alternatives here. 


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