Yeah, it’s been a while.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to sit down and write anything. I have a life, somehow; somehow I keep getting busy. I’ve been focusing on my art lately instead of writing. I need a lot of practice in both areas but I certainly see more potential in my art. Drawing, painting, sketching, they don’t make me as tired as writing does. Anyway, I’m not here for that. I’m to vent about how much I’m trying not to freak out.
My family does not receive TANF; although, it’s like the only government program we’re not on, or receiving funds from. We live in, whatever, public housing, but is going through some RAD conversion thingy– which translates [to me] that it’s basically turning into Section 8. Do I mind? There’s the more liberal side of me that’s rooted in being against the private sector controlling anything that helps “the poor” because of the potential pull-out and its damaging effect on people like myself, or worse off. But, we got a new fence…? They took away everything, but hey, we got new fences.
What do I mean by everything?
- the ability to grill on your patio
- scooters (electric and traditional)
- mini motor bikes
- sidewalk chalk
- pogo sticks (not seriously a big deal)
- the play park
- smoking (you have to be like 10 ft from any building but I don’t smoke anyway, so…)
- and I feel like I’m missing something but maybe not
Seriously though, all the fencing here is falling apart with rusty nails poking out everywhere. Ours had a ditch under it from a cheap plumber who failed to fill it in properly. Possums would always be on our patio at night because they could just slip through the huge gaps, but not anymore!
The real plus that makes me hush the weak liberal in me all too easily is that the conversion caused the property value to lower (not sure if it would have happened eventually, or if they maybe had to switch some sort of appraisal title?[I seriously don’t know anything about that stuff]). Anyway, the total rent was reduced by about $400-$600. The real kicker? Even if we no longer qualify for housing, we don’t have to leave the property–the only way we’d no longer qualify is because we’d actually afford the rent of this place without assistance. Now, here’s the real plus, plus. We live in a three bedroom apartment that actually fits us. It has central heating/air. Water, gas, and garbage are all included. Aaaaaannnnddd….rent’s still like $600-$700 cheaper than the average 3-bd apartment in this city. Maybe there was a shooting last month in retaliation for the murder the month before. Maybe there was a hostage situation that I got to watch live from my front porch. They didn’t even bring his mother, they put her on a phone then put the phone up to a speaker. He didn’t listen but he went down easy, no shots fired. So it’s fine, totally fine; the rent absolutely makes risking my children’s safety worth it.
SNAP on QMB, cue the PPaACA
I’m not gonna lie: I’m a supporter of Obamacare but I’ve always been grateful to be disabled and poor enough to qualify for Medicaid with my Medicare (I also live in a state with no expansion so we would’ve otherwise been exempt). Before I could get Medicare, I relied on the county indigent program once my prenatal Medicaid (which covered my pregnancy and stroke) turned to postnatal, and then nothing. Everything from doctor visits, to therapies, to medications, costs only $5…and I couldn’t afford it! So I waited 2 years for Medicare/QMB to kick in before I returned to physical therapy, paying only for meds and doctor visits like my neurologist who helped me find the right anticonvulsants dosage, and anti-spasticity meds. Now I pay nothing; and yeah, it’s been a sort of “bliss” but never without a sense of impending doom. I won’t be disabled forever. Eventually, I’ll get better enough for Kasper to work full-time; eventually, he’ll get a raise and our benefits will drop low, or altogether. Eventually, I’ll start working again, and I do hope to soon.
Eventually happened this summer. Kasper got a $2 raise (up to $12), and he’s working like crazy lately because of a management issue, and it’s summer. So far, we are managing. Our annual housing evaluation brought us just $200 shy of full rent. The reported hour change (that I reported voluntarily) cut $140 off our SNAP benefits. I then reported the wage increase and now we get $18 (lol). It’s going to hurt when we get the rent increase from the wage raise. But, I did just report the rent increase from the evaluation to HHS so, hopefully SNAP will go up a few bucks in a few months (usually takes about 3 months).
We would be totally fine, or close to it, if this wasn’t the summer. He won’t pull these hours all year, but the rent changes will remain. It wouldn’t be a big deal if…I have no idea if his raise will kick us entirely off housing. I will pay full rent when we can afford it, it’s obviously what is expected of any, and everyone within a functioning society. But, we are on the cusp of a transition with some of the worst possible timing. Maybe that’s exaggerating, but nonetheless, it could be terrible for my struggling family. If his raise kicks us off of the voucher program before he can re-stabilize his work hours enough for me to report the changes, then when we can’t afford the rent, we’ll have to get back in line and start from the beginning, possibly losing our apartment first. I like to think that wouldn’t happen, that worst come to worst, maybe my in-laws would help their son fill that gap? I mean…?? Hopefully we can just afford whatever hits us.
Another thing that frightens me is losing my Medicaid. What would I do? I can’t afford the premiums and deductibles of Medicare. I’m freaking out over it. What if he makes so much we have to get insurance because our kids no longer qualify for Medicaid? I’ll tell you the first thing I would do is apply for Disability for JJ. He now requires 2 leg braces. I really need to update my blog. His cerebral palsy hasn’t worsened but now that he’s growing taller and his gait is becoming more defined, it’s clearer that it’s not just the one side affected by CP. There’s no way we could afford his neuro, physio, both braces as well as just the ortho visits themselves, and anything else we’ll face in the future, without Medicaid, or some other entity (like Medicare) paying the bulk of his treatment and care. I have no idea how “normal” parents do it. I just don’t know. I’m literally clueless. So yeah, I’m scared of something I support (Obamacare); why I still support it is for another post. I just want to keep my Medicaid so I can continue therapy and seeing my doctors. I’d never see a doctor again without Medicaid, unless it was necessary for prescription refills. I can’t even bear to think of the cost of my meds without Medicaid or the other assistance I still qualify for. I really don’t want to think about it. It makes my head foggy and I need to go cook dinner so I must be somewhat alert here [haha].
I’m not quite ready
I think in the end, we’ll be fine. I’m scared but not totally shitless, yet. I’m going to need a job soon. I want one. I’m getting restless in many ways. I’m doing more in public, though not socially. I feel like some part of me has become, I don’t know, I don’t want to be offensive. People scare me. Socializing is awkward. I can do it with a professional in a professional setting but the second a person tries getting friendly on a more informal level I feel lost, and confused, and overwhelmed, and like they’re lying, or like I’m lying; like everything is unreal but not surreal. I don’t like it. I don’t like people joking with me because I don’t know if they’re joking or being serious and when I ask “was that a joke?” they look offended, or like maybe I’m offended and I’m not, I’m just confused by your tone, and your face, and your words, and it doesn’t make sense to me so I feel dumb. And the only way to not feel dumb is to ask for clarification, an answer. I’m not ready to be…out there. I’m just scared and no one understands.
Isn’t it amazing that I didn’t mention Trump once? Like, this transition we’re facing is what everyone faces while trying to re-enter working society as a functioning individual without any assistance. Imagine if Trump &co passed any actual legislation, how overwhelming that would be to live with and through? I’m just seriously trying to focus on the now issues of “what-ifs” and not the other hypothetical, hypothetical “what-ifs.” It’s all just too much