A divorced woman, looking to elevate her standing in the world
By serving others, by being of use to her Higher Power as she thought He deemed
To guide others out of the hell of addiction as a counselor of addictions
She thought her future looked bright; that her life was going as planned
Only to find that in reality, her vision of life was a pure contradiction
To what reality showed to the world. Her life was spinning and coming unfurled
Up one moment then in tears the next; she couldn’t handle the wild swings
Like a wild roller coaster; frightening highs and just as frightening lows
This successful woman was now losing control over her destiny, her actions
Her own sanity. Her elevation to a higher purpose was now crashing
With her mind; she was heading into the shadows thinking she’d never come out
The losses began to mount on top of her sanity. Her kids, her job, her dreams of serving
Then comes the biggest loss of all: her dignity. To gain true help, she had to
Risk her shaky mental health and give up her possessions, her life as she once knew
Her home, her pet, her clothing, her car, you name it, she lost it ALL
And then, because of the rules of the government, she had to declare herself as legally
Homeless…and enter into a woman’s homeless shelter.
From a two bedroom condominium with full amenities to a 9′ by 12′ room
This would become her home – her dignity was now destroyed beyond recognition
And deeper into the abyss she went – she was now totally dependent upon the government
New acronyms became part of her vocabulary: GRH, SNAP, GA, MA, ACA, thank you,
Barack Obama, oh holier than thou President number 44.
“Yes We Can!”
HA! Yeah, right. YOU live in a 9′ X 12′ room, after living in the White House, on Ninety-
Two U.S. dollars a month and tell a woman who has lost everything – her heart,
Her soul, her mind, her kids, her pride, her possessions, her home, her privacy, her ability
To care for herself and now must rely upon Big Brother to determine her fate!
“Yes We Can!”
You tell her that, Barack, you arrogant, insensitive, idealistic, legalistic, political
Operative! She’s lucky that she can get a ration of food for her meals in that dorm of a
Shelter that has flavor – after the kids get fed. Remember, families come first; not a single,
Mentally ill woman. They receive ALL of the benefits – even if Mom is still doing the dope
And drink but hiding it while in the shelter and breaking all of the rules.
“Yes We Can!”
This woman who wanted to believe in your promises, number 44, of making a difference
Serving the drunks and users as she was one of them. Now she can’t. Her face has been
Smashed deeper into the mud. Dredging herself out is now going to take a lot of time. She
Waits for four months. During those four months: outpatient group therapy, intensive
Individual therapy, medication management, humility slammed down her throat in the
Form of thrift stores for clothes, donated goods from major stores such as Target, Wal
Mart and grocery stores, constant rejection from her now teenage kids
Embarrassed to come near as if now she has leprosy and is in a sanitarium; hidden
Away so no one can see her out of embarrassment and shame.
“Yes We Can!”
Elevate herself? She just does what she can to survive day-to-day in this place of physical
Emotional and mental torment. What did she do to deserve to be in such a place and
Treated so poorly? Why is she being forced to suffer even more to get the help she needs?
Hasn’t she paid enough? What relief did this woman gain from that legalistic act of so-
called nobility? Oh was she happy when that day comes When she was told that she had
Her final mental health case manager and that housing was on the horizon! And sooner
Than she realized, she had an apartment….
But it was nothing like what she had. Pure squalor. She gave up so much already and
Now, she had to accept less than yet again and be denied – more humility shoved down her
Throat like those vegetables she refused to eat as a child and was force-fed. No
Wonder why she returned to the hospital a second time! The stress and anger over
Constantly being denied; her anxiety had risen sky high. Now her therapist said, “I
Want you to be admitted…”
Here we go again. Just like Lazarus who rises from the dead, she rises…but at least Jesus
Gave Lazarus half a shot and he was cured of his afflictions. This woman? Continues to
Rise a few steps and fall back more so she gains no traction at all. Frustrating. Entrapped
By a system that ensures dependence, feelings of failure, destroyed egos, crushed self
Images and discourages that same annoying hope that Barack promised…
“Yes We Can!”
Five frustrating years. That’s how long it takes for this once confident woman to heal
Enough to want to take that chance to rise, to elevate above her circumstances and
Depression of being on total dependence upon a system that discourages one from
Leaving. But you thought it was Barack’s “Yes We Can” helping hand, didn’t you?
Oh no! It’s bindings and shackles to keep you dependent! GA – notoriously known as
“welfare” – leaves in a flash. One dollar over that threshold and it’s gone -no gradual loss
There. SNAP – known as “Food Stamps” – is a bit more generous. It’s a gradual reduction
Based on earned income levels. MA – Medical Assistance? Also more generous. You don’t
lose it; just the “free” variety that becomes one with a “spend down” and copayments.
There are options for those transitioning out; trying to elevate their standard of living.
And this was before we heard…
“Yes we can!”
That’s…right. This was all in place before that arrogant, Law School professor who
Thought he could save every person with his idealistic plans but all that happened
His ideas ran into the roadblock that was named for a famous Revolutionary War event
The Tea Party
Too bad we couldn’t dump them like the patriots dressed as Native Americans dumped
The British tea into Boston Harbor – which is where all of these arrogant politicians belong
Drowned with cement shoes of shame for decimating, destroying, pulverizing, obliterating
Men and women who have suffered from mental illness and have had them give up
Everything placing their precarious mental health at risk all to gain the so-called benefits
Then, when the goal, supposedly to return to society, is reached, there are no supports.
For a woman, it’s unique. If she has kids, here come those costs of child care
That are insane. The more you have the more insane the cost and so, why
work at all? Then comes another huge obstacle: transportation. If you have a car, it’s the
Fees, repairs, gas and keeping the license and insurance current – if your record is clear. If
It isn’t like hers is, here comes transit and light rail. Talk about a system that makes your
Head spin…Vocational Rehabilitation is a huge support in that’s available and is absolutely
Crucial. Job supports, job shadowing, job/interview coaching, defraying the costs to prepare
For that interview, including transportation, clothing, hair cuts and anything else you need
And it’s what this woman desperately needed to get her back on her way to starting over
Again. And this was all before our “Yes We Can!” law professor who thinks he changed
Now the woman who lost it all is starting to rise from the ashes on her own and her
Conidence is rising along with income level. Forget the kids. It’s all about her and her
Alone now. They sure as hell aren’t thinking about her anymore. It’s time she thinks about
Herself and her future. And part of that future is wrestling that alligator called the
Government; the shackles that are trying to keep her trapped, jailed and her wings clipped.
Sure she got the help. Sure she’s grateful. But she had to endure great pain and sacrifice
To gain that help and that should not have happened – it nearly destroyed her yet again.
To elevate oneself out of an adverse situation such as this is never smooth; it’s jagged,
Rough with pitfalls, rises and falls until you gain a foothold and have hope of getting to
Your goal, whatever it means. And for this woman, just getting a job and her home
Is only the beginning. She wants more, much more.
And who is this woman, exactly, who went through this? She is ME…