When will you listen?

I slept comfortably last night.  I woke up at a decent hour and felt fairly functional.  No tears or temper fits – to venting or yelling.  And in an instant message to someone, I explained that I had needed to set some tough boundaries.  I finally realized I’m my only hope.

I’ve stressed that I am not suicidal, and I stand by that still.  I’m also not homicidal either.  I’m not angry.  I’m not at peace – oh no far from it – but I believe I’m relatively sane for having lost my mind.  I know I’ve said I’ve been skipping meals – and it’s caused some worry and panic between people who care about us – let me assure you I’m not curled up in a ball sitting in the corner throwing crackers at the kid and crying my eyes out. (keep reading – you’ll see I’m doing okay) I’m sure that’s the picture most of you have in your head – and that’s okay – you don’t know what any of this looks like – and please go thank whatever energy you worship for that – You only know what you know – and you cannot be blamed for that.  It is ignorance…but I’m not calling you ignorant – or maybe I am.

Ignorant – people hate that word without even realizing it.  At it’s root is the word Ignore – and no one likes to be told they are ignoring you – But you all are ignorant – as in you were ignoring me – You were not listening to me.   You automatically assumed so many things and you didn’t listen.

I was indeed asking you to be a superhero – and cure my son – but not all by yourself.  We were gonna do it together.  I’ve been told so many times “Oh no, I couldn’t handle watching your son!”  Why do you naturally assume I can?  Are your own children’s disabilities the result of you not loving them enough?  Why do you assume mine are?

You aren’t listening to me.

People have all kinds of excuses for their bad behavior.  They want me to listen to them so I can make them feel better about themselves and their lives.   If you are crying about how worthless you are while people are taking care of your basic needs (Oh I’m so worthless – Honey, make me a sandwich? Oh thank you with mouth full of sandwich someone else made for you you continue to complain how worthless you are) – If you continue to take and take while crying that no one is helping you – If you continue to give excuses for your bad behavior and expect people will keep accepting them – then no one can help you.

I cook one large meal a day on weekdays and 2 on weekends, from scratch.  For most of you:  from scratch means I use basic ingredients to create healthy meals for my son.  Night before last, I made Salmon cakes, sausage cornbread, candied roasted sweet potatoes, fried green tomatoes and apple cobbler.  I cook (and clean up and serve and save) like that every day.  That takes about all the energy I have.  There is no McDonalds or Pizza for us anymore.  And no, buying me groceries this month isn’t helpful unless you’re committing to buying me groceries every month, because this isn’t “just a rough patch”.   After 8 years, will you all finally listen to me?

This is the way it is.  My monthly check from Social Security Survivor benefits, which I only get because CJ is under 18, and CJ’s monthly Social Security Survivor benefits cover all the bills and a little gas and some groceries every month.  We are not allowed to “save” any money past the payment date of the next check.  – not even a little bit – not anything (not that there is any left to save – And no, you really shouldn’t judge what I spend my money on).  (yes, I know there’s now a trust fund savings sort of thing for CJ that he can put money into to access when he’s 18, but when he’s 18, Long Term Disability from the State will take care of him as well as federal disability)  I have two credit cards of a couple hundred dollars that I use when I’m short for groceries or emergencies, and I pay each of them 50 bucks a month.  The IRS gets 50 bucks a month for a written off Credit Card I used to take care of us right after my husband died – they consider the write off as income and now it seems I owe them for the amount that was written off.  I don’t understand any of it, I just tell them all I will send them 50 bucks a month.  Then there’s another debt recovery place I send 50 bucks a month to for something I don’t even remember.  Then there’s the cellphone bill (which includes the iPad and all expenses with it that I pay out of pocket because everyone thinks it’s a luxury) that I’ll be paying 300 a month on for the next 6 months probably to get caught up to paying it on time, they would not move my billing date so I could pay it on time with my once a month a check so I’ve been paying it a month late for 8 years because I couldn’t get ahead.  I’ve never missed a payment.  The utilities and power are almost 300 a month – every month.  And then there’s rent – which I cannot disclose, but I can say I pay it out of pocket – I get no housing assistance, rent assistance or other subsidy for my rent.  I don’t get help from anyone paying my rent – and I’ve never been late with a rent payment anywhere.  Groceries and gas come out of what’s left – and I’ve had to scale back after my older child is now 18 and in control of their Social Security Survivor Benefits.   They pay their part of the household expenses – but my check and my sons check all go to household expenses.  Again – for those of you who haven’t been listening – there are no food stamps, welfare cards, DSHS vouchers, wic, TANF, child support, investment income, rental income, or other ANY OTHER INCOME – taxable, legal, or both or neither – there ain’t gonna be any “getting through it” or GETTING BETTER = this isn’t a rough patch –

Saying it again for those who didn’t listen the first 200 times –


I cannot work outside the home, and I cannot work from home.  I cannot get paid to take care of my son.  My arthritis in my hands has taken the ability to sew or do any kind of artwork or musical work.  My voice is thin and tired from years of clenching my teeth bracing for the next blow.


If you “loan” me 100 dollars this month, am I to just hold it and give it back to you next month, or were you going to loan it to me indefinitely?  Where do you presume I get an extra 200 dollars next month?  Why 200?  Because I’ll be in the hole next month by 100 dollars also – you loaned me 100 dollars, which filled that 100 dollar hold this month, but next month – I’ll still be in the hole 100 dollars PLUS I will need to find another 100 dollars to pay you back.  How does that help?


I’ve survived severely traumatic violent childhood and adult abuse, abandonment, loss of everything and everyone, cancer (3 times) and I live daily with severely painful chronic and incurable medical issues.  No one is doing my dishes or helping with bills.  You’d be amazed what you can live through when there’s no one else around.


I’ve replaced several washers and dryers, 2 tire rims, a set of tires, and financed every move I’ve had with maybe 2 or 3 people to help me.  I’ve begged and bartered for everything I have, but should I lose it all tomorrow – I wouldn’t cry.  I’d move on – I’ve lost everything I own 4 times now.


I’m not afraid anymore though – Look at how much I’ve lived through.  I don’t need to fight anymore – No more “come at me bra…..” there’s nothing in the sky to rage at – but that’s another post all together.  I hope this is the last time I have to explain all this to anyone.  It’s a comfort when my son’s caregiver says “Tasha, you don’t have to explain anything to me – I get it…..”  and I cry a little – because she doesn’t judge me or question me – she just accepts me and we take care of my son.  Why can’t any of you be like that without drawing a paycheck for it?  Because I assure you you cannot have any excuse that I cannot match and beat with a verifiably true rebuttal.

“but someone I loved died……”

everyone I loved died.

I’m still standing – and the fact that I am makes you question your very existence.

What’s your excuse?



If you’ve read through to here, I thank you.  Thank you for listening.




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Pearl Manhattan

Life interrupted - this space is changing - stay tuned

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