Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shop with a Cop

I have said the word “ridiculous” so many times this month, it is beginning to lose meaning.  It’s new meaning will be “normal” or “expected” or “standard”

It is my understanding that if /when we get ss we will not be eligible for state medical benefits for about a year because of the “windfall” of back pay benefits.  The current standard of care in the state of Washington is no care at all- at least for my diagnosis.  I am refused medicine which has not been made available in generic, physical therapy has been recently removed from the covered treatment plans, and no rheumatologist in the sound will take on a fibromyalgia patient with state medical insurance- probably because their prescriptions are refused and treatments disallowed.  Who would want to treat a patient whose HMO will not allow proper care?

So, I suppose the only thing I will be lacking for whatever amount of time is deemed appropriate by the state to have spent the “windfall” of “back pay” is the regular visit to the doctor in which she stares at me blinking and trying to come up with whatever brilliant plan she has not been able to discover for the past three years- something to subvert the ridiculous system and find some relief.

Meanwhile, the TANF (welfare) benefits are going to hit maximum and I will have nothing to clothe my growing child.  It’s ridiculous that any agency can get away with expecting a family of two to survive with no housing and a cash budget of less than $400 per month.  This is why I completely support any family or individual who has considered the assignment of living on a welfare budget for a time.  

A month is not long enough, you have to actually lose your cable, internet and phone due to non-payment, pawn your ipod and plasma screen for the over the counter medicine for your kids, and be in jeopardy of losing them.  

You would have to give up your house and find a place for your family to sleep- and be repeatedly humiliated by the process of asking for the help of overworked and abused (from every angle) caseworkers who still work through DOS to process you through the services you paid for out of every single paycheck since the age of fifteen.  

The conditions also include a life improvement “plan” obviously am I simply doing things all wrong if I got to this place (dependant on anyone or anything other than myself) and now the state has to teach me how to survive.  

I discussed thoroughly my options for housing in kitsap county with the KCR program. At first I believed the man I spoke to began to realize that there is no long term solution for a disabled single parent. I felt that he began to see the  problem and consider seeking a solution, but as soon as I walked out the door he dropped my file on the desk of a woman who had no intentions of working with the limitations of my illness and treated me (again) as if I am just some lazy idiot who is choosing to be homeless and bankrupt rather than getting off my ungrateful ass and finding a job.

I was actually asked what the hell did I think I was doing, asking to look at the shelter space before committing to live in a converted old police station with cold drafty rooms and decades of chemicals layered on top of each other, outgassing straight into my migraine and chemical sensitivity.  How dare I ask about conditions of a homeless shelter?

Have I mentioned I love my job?  I still use the present tense because I want it back.  I love the people- the work, the plants, the creative license- my boss is wonderful and I even enjoy most of the clients- It says a lot when I am so contented that even bored rich housewives can’t knock me down off my self righteous perch.

Even if the nursery was not an option, I have so much job experience in food service that I could get hired in almost any town I could think to look.  There is ALWAYS kitchen turnover- every city and every town I have ever lived.  I have turned down more cooking positions than I can count.  

I don’t mean to toot my own horn- but HOLY CRAP,  PEOPLE!!  learn how to cook!!!  There are so many restaurants! I seriously consider that when the end of days comes, the entire upper half of the economic social strata will starve to death because they won't be able to figure out how to feed themselves.

Also, being sick is horribly boring.  I would much prefer complaining about my mediocre boss than have nothing at all to complain about (or be forced to admit to and complain about the facebook games I have played just so the relative time passed at all ~My daughter told me I was the “one percent” of facebook games. I already knew it was bad- but that was difficult to hear).  

I miss having daily audible, intelligent conversations with adults about ANYTHING other than homework chores and ridiculous storylines from the video games which have since stolen any chance of creative or quality time with my offspring.  

Although this blog reads with moderate coherence, in real life I often spend 4 or 5 minutes staring into the corners of my brain to remember a simple word. I figure my mind is a little like my physical space- ordered chronologically by altitude... which was going just fine until the neurons in my brain lost their pathways.  

So as you can imagine when I am speaking in person~ it’s difficult to find the patience to listen to me finish a thought.  It’s hard for me to watch you find the patience.  It’s hard for me to be patient enough to finish a communication and not allow this brain fog to derail the desire to complete any mildly complicated idea. Conclusions lack footnotes or evidence, and sometimes I don't bother participating in a discussion which would require statistics or references.

~fibro digression

The network of "entitlements" such as social services and housing authorities and social securities have so many holes that it’s greatest function in society is that it employs so many people.  At least there is that... because it is just as likely as not that you would fail to be caught before you hit the ground shivering and cold.

If you get sick and can’t work- unless you are dying or have an uncle who works for social services, your family could just as easily end up where mine is-  on the couch in the livingroom of a generous family. 

It is true what they say ~that the ability to empathize with the suffering of others is directly related to the size of the bank account and the privilege a person is born with.  

I have never known people who gave so much 

than those who had little to give.

I repeatedly bear witness to belief that 
*the plasma screen and the newest iphone are necessities above the well being of friends and family.  
*the speed of the internet is more important than keeping a spare bedroom for someone who has none at all.  
*the NFL dish package supersedes the decision to make thoughtful purchases at the grocery store.

Shall I poison the migrant farm workers and
dustbowl the land or should I pay forty cents per pound extra for this GMO free organic bunch of radishes whose farmers are actually thinking about the future of the soil?  

Shall I buy this single use plastic cheap-ass toy made in a toxic factory by exploited humans and exploited land for blankmart’s shareholders at the expense of blankmart’s
stakeholders?  or should I buy this handmade craft from a local vender who considers that the future of the product and customer satisfaction are more important than short term profits?

Honestly, your nephew won’t spend more than a couple of minutes getting bored of either product.  The  
attention span of a child could fit on the head of a pin.  

Is that moment when a child opens a present (when you see the look on his face- feel like a superstar for getting that thing he saw on that ad during the disney infomercial disguised as a cartoon) important enough to cause cancer and birth defects in some distant abstract country populated with brown people who might be on average shorter than your contemporaries?

Every time I go into the dollar store I ask myself this question.  In my mind the answer is always no.  But I am so fucking poor.  I can honestly tell you that almost everyone I know has never been this poor.  If I don’t buy pencils and notebooks at the dollar store my daughter will fail math.

This choice is no choice.

It is ridiculous that (insert name brand here) can sue and criminalize sales of knock-off handbags whose “authentic” counterparts are made by the same pool of workers at slightly higher cost (mostly for the quality of materials rather than for benefit of employees)~ while the the welfare of the employees and land that have been acquired and exploited for the purpose of quarterly profits can be considered as an acceptable loss.

So shall I buy this (insert product here) from a multinational whose business practices subject employees to demoralizing management and sell products from other multinationals whose business practices demoralize the working classes of distant cultures and abuse the land?

I know that most people have a sense that what they have to add to the world is important.  You are an individual and your effect on the people in your life and the world around you is significant.  You are special, and unique.  In my mind- this is true about every single person I know.  There is a reason that you exist and you are important.  

But I am of the opinion that all of that specialness and uniqueness is completely negated by the fact that most people are blissfully ignorant of the ramifications of uneducated purchasing.  You may as well have put another corporate lawyer politician in office if you seriously believe that your money is not your vote.  

OH WAIT- you did do that. 

You could be as peaceful and forgiving as the dalai lama or as helpful as a soup kitchen on thanksgiving handing out winter coats to foster children- but your thoughtless purchases could completely negate all of this positive action. Like carbon, your purchases leave a footprint.

“Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.”

I always think of my mother when I hear this line- I don’t know why because I can’t really remember her ever teaching me anything quite so righteous.  She probably explained it to me when I heard it somewhere else.  

I kept thinking of it when my daughter received an offer to go “shop with a cop” at walmart for holiday gifts.  I almost agreed to it.  For a little while I was dizzy thinking of the way she would feel when her friends and relatives opened the wrapping paper of these imagined gifts paid for by some benevolent fund.  I imagined her feeling proud of the thought she had put into them.  I even asked her to make a list of the people she wanted to buy things for.  

It took two weeks for me to come back to my senses.  It came on slow, rather wobbly at first.  Then came the black friday ads and the walmart boycott propaganda and I was solid again.  What the hell was I thinking?  Not to mention how I feel about the police state ... but that’s too ugly and big to digress about...

Nothing is worth the subjugation of people or the contamination of gaia.  I have tried to come up with ideas to supplant the “shop with a cop” offer, but she seems a little defeated.  Makeshift crafts won’t replace the stars her eyes for the handheld game or skateboard parts she envisioned for herself.  It is really hard to motivate her and we are running short on time. Jesus would be knocking over coffer tables left and right if he knew how y'all are celebrating his birthday.

Am I repeating myself again?

oh well.  Maybe this time someone listened.  

Stop buying stupid crap you don't need and find the someone you know who needs your help more than you need to feed your compulsive shopping addiction.  I am humbled by those who have seen fit to do so for us.

In conclusion, I want to go have a moderate emotional breakdown with my family in the northeast.  The housing thing has been a failure- even with all of the folks I have met through the “social movement”, I have yet to find a single hippie farm who can offer us space in exchange for the stuff I can still do, or the stuff my daughter and I can do together.  It has been a difficult pill to swallow- my expectations exceeded the reality.  I usually keep them quite low- but this time... I had hoped...  there is always reason for hope.  I’ll never give up on humanity.  

This time it really knocked me on my ass though.  
Knocked the wind from my lungs.  

I still have the desire to get back to the left coast, but not likely to the Sound.  

Depending on the outcome of the appeal and the status of my health and that of my 10 year old (going on 16, going on 30) I am heading for California.  (I love you so much for giving me a choice,  you have no idea how much it helps- I have half a mind to head down there right now, today...  maybe we will.  I think about it every day.  I visualize myself on the train and then on the beach...)

The hearing was painful and traumatic.  I am still recovering from it.  If I had been able to bring myself to blog about it, or fb post about it, I would have short circuited my computer with a river of tears.  I’m still not ready to talk about it, and I still don’t have any results.

So that’s why I haven’t been in touch.  I don’t have patience to discuss it, or much else for that matter.  

The view of social hypocrisy is really clear from here.  I can see it for miles.

I love you awful and always will.