Monday, May 30, 2011

The Silver Unemployment Line(ing)?

A pet peeve of mine?

When you’re really upset over something legitimately crappy and someone gives you that patronizing sigh and says:

Well, It COULD be WORSE*, you know...

Trust me, I’m fully aware of that thank you, but could you give me a freaking minute??

(Worse still? “Blessing in Disguise…” Makes me see RED.)

My Husband was laid off last Monday.

He had to repeat it to me at least 5 times before the words even started making sense…

He’s been with them for almost 4 years.

When the owner was still operating out of his dad’s house.

Huz was instrumental in getting their office up and running.
He WAS that damn office for the first year and a half.
Organizing/Cataloging their inventory.
Training the other employees.
Making connections with vendors and customers alike.
Helping to BUILD.

And his boss just walked in last Monday afternoon, after he’d worked almost a full day, handed him unemployment paperwork and said:

“We’re Sorry.”

With that, he had to pack up his shit, hand over his key and vacate the premises.

No explanation.
Not even two weeks pay.

The other two employees in the office?
The ones MY Husband trained?
Still have their jobs.

We were completely floored.
Yes, it was tiny company.
Yes, business was slow.
But they kept saying that his job was fine.
We naively assumed that he would be the LAST person to go.

Not that I wish for anyone else to be unemployed, but it’s pretty sad when loyalty/hard work means NOTHING.

We haven’t got any savings or any real money in our bank account.
We are now a zero-income family.
With a child and $2000 a month in bills to cover.

[With about a $100,000 in debt from student loans/medical bills/car loan that we're trying to repay, the bulk of which can't be declared in Bankruptcy, so that option is out]

Fucking HELL.

I am panicked.
My husband is panicked. He just represses it better.
I spent the last 3 days vomiting; I’m pretty sure due to stress.

No, we will not go homeless or hungry, thanks to the in-laws, and that is HUGE…

But it’s hard to breathe a sigh of relief when there are all these bills hanging over our heads….

[and we all know the domino effect that begins when those bills don't get paid on time or ya know, AT ALL....]

I don’t know what the fuck we’re going to do.

I paid the car insurance
The car payment
The phone bill
And bought diapers/wipes for the month.

That’s ALL, folks. We are tapped.

I had a melt-down this afternoon when I realized we were out of milk for O and had no money for groceries…Of Course the ILs got the milk, but just the realization of being that tapped sent me to a dark place...

Spouseface applied for unemployment, and we’ve applied for Medi-Cal…hopefully we’ll be approved and both will start soon, but UE is barely gonna make a dent.

Huz needs to find a job ASAP.  Like yesterday.

Did I mention the $5000 ER bills we got in the mail? With the notification that more are probably on their way?

It’s a party over here, people.

I’m giving out panic attacks and the nervous shits as party favors.


Help is on its way, right?



Suuuuure. Why not!


*My heart goes out to all of the families out there struggling like we are, but ESPECIALLY to those families who are victims of natural disasters. I DO know that it could be truly worse, and that I am lucky in my own way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am a Survivor who is still trying to Survive.

 May is Mental Health Month.

Mental Health Issues are often treated like dirty secrets.
Something that happens to "others."
People turn the other way.
"Mental Health" does not apply to them. They are not affected.

It affects us all. 
Directly or Indirectly.
Sometimes? Hourly.

I am a Woman
I am a Wife
I am a Mother
 I am a Sister
I am a Daughter
I am a Friend
I am a Human Being
I am someone you know.

 My Name is Jayne.

I am the face of Depression. Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Of PTSD.

I am a survivor of Physical/Emotional/Sexual Abuse.
Of Rape.
 Of Miscarriages.
Of Chronic Illness.

I work everyday to keep on surviving.

Link up with  Band Back Together today and share your Story.
Show your support.

Do not be ashamed--do not hide. Do not turn away.

We need to lift up those in need and make EVERYONE AWARE.

Mental Health Blog Party Badge

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oldy Oldenstein.

I am 30.

That is NOT old in the grand scheme of life, but I definitely have my moments where I feel ancient.

Examples, you say?

On it!

1. Trying to do my hair and thinking, will I be "that lady" if I rock low mini-pigtails?

2. Thinking that a 10:45pm showing on a SATURDAY night is way too fucking late.

3. Admiring the hotness of a 19-year-old and grossing myself out because he is a FETUS.

4. Telling a group of teens that they need to watch their language!!! (Hypocrite much?)

5. Not seeing the fun of going out to the bar. AT ALL.

6. Realizing that my only vice is baked goods.

7. Scheduling sex.

8. Making weekly trips to Target for groceries and wet wipes.

9. Dressing up just means no stains.

10. Wanting to be hit on by a random stranger just so you don't feel so invisible, rather than avoiding them like the plague.


I used to be hot(ish).
I used to stay out til 3am.
Men used to hit on me fairly frequently.


Men hit me with food and laundry and blocks.


I'm not old!

I'm just a Parent.

Take that, TIME.

I'm still a spring chicken, bitches!

(Who's really ready for bed. Ahem.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Could have been...No, I AM.

Mother's Day has always been tough for me....

As a kid, I always hoped that Mother's day would be the day that my mom would see how much I loved her, and then she would like me.

Sometimes, briefly, I seemed to be successful, but it never lasted.

It was never enough.

As soon as I came of the age where I saw children in my future, Mother's Day was filled with anticipation...
Someday, I will be a mother.
Someday, I will treasure mementos of my own.
Someday, my children will know I like them.

After my first miscarriage, Mother's Day was just a reminder of nightmares.

I never really talked about it, because it was something that for a long time, I didn't share...
 Alone in grief that even those closest to me didn't understand. 

In 2006, when I had another miscarriage, I lost hope.

I could have been a mother, but I never would be.

The following Mother's Days were filled with tears and feeling of uselessness.

A mother without children, that was me.

When I got pregnant with O, I was terrified.  At my first ultrasound, I was told that the pregnancy would probably not be viable.

Bereft didn't begin to cover it....

But I KNEW he was there.
We were going to have this baby.
I would not lose another...
(as if I have that kind of control, but hormones make you cuhraaaazzzy)

Two weeks later, at a follow-up appt., he showed up as strong as could be!

Mother's Day 2009 was amazing.
My husband showered me with gifts and affection.
Friends sent notes...
My Mother's Days had finally began!

Then someone laughed at me and said:

You're not a Mother yet! Next year, you can celebrate Mother's Day!

An unintentionally cruel blow...
Not a mother? But I've waited so long!

I found myself thinking about that comment as I woke up this last Sunday to celebrate with my boys...

It found myself all unsettled by that comment once again.
Why should it EVEN MATTER now?


I was a Mother, thank you.

There was a child growing in my belly that I loved more than life itself.
I was that child's Mother.
I would learn to be a Parent, but was already a Mother.

Which made me realize that all of the years I had spent passing each M Day, mourning my miscarriages, saying:

I could have been a Mother...

I already was.

Each pregnancy, to me, was a child I lost.
Even though our time together was short,

There were children growing in my belly that I loved more than life itself.
I was each child's Mother.
I never got to be their parent, but I was already their Mother.

That has helped me.
Helped me to feel less weak and foolish in my grief.

It has made the Mother's Days with my son all the more meaningful.

I've had two Mother's Days with my beautiful son.
And six others, with the children I lost before that.

Those days matter.
I was a mother.
I am a Mother.

I hope all my fellow Mamas got the love, support and Respect they so deserved this Mother's Day.

My day was lovely.

My beautiful Bubu!

How CUTE is the Huz?

He said NAY! to smiling...

Happy-faced Mama.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Inside Outed

My first instinct is to hide.

[I only let it out at night.]

Put a smile on my face and find something to do.

The busy will give me something to hide behind.

It will give me a purpose that will allow me to ignore the ebbing emotions that keep threatening to come out.

I will not give in, I will not let it fuck me up.....I will not let it fuck my family up

A familiar refrain.

I reorganize and schedule.
I try to see all the good in my life and hang on to that.
I try to keep on keepin' on so that I look "normal."
Hiding undercover as a happy person.


But there is always something that tips the scale in Depression's favor....and I am made.

Every single time.

By Tuesday's post, I could feel myself losing the stranglehold.

The thought of the ER bill was hanging over me like a sentence, and I just couldn't shake an overwhelming sense of hopelessness....

Wednesday afternoon, my husband left work early so that he could take me to my appointment with the gastro-specialist.

I knew going in, that it would probably not be a very productive visit.

[Which was hard to swallow given that the Huz was losing out on 2 hours of pay and the visit was $200 up front.]

After filling out paperwork and talking to his physician's assistant for 15 minutes, it was clear that they felt that nothing discernible was wrong with me.

When the doctor actually came in, I was basically making my way out the door.

He offered to re-run previous tests, but felt that based on the scans and blood work  from the ER that I was perfectly fine:

Maybe I just needed to start taking an over-the-counter antacid.....

I almost lost it right there in his office.

Thankfully, I salvaged some dignity and was able to pay my $200 and leave with out sobbing.

While I don't want to be sick, knowing that we will have to pay ER fees that will basically put us back another 3-5 years debt-wise doesn't make me want to celebrate my supposed healthiness.

But, as I kept telling myself in the car:

I knew this was going to happen.

I hadn't wanted to go to the ER in the first place.
Something was wrong with me, yes, but it was not wrong enough.

A lifetime without stable health care (or any at all) teaches you these things.

But my husband worries... and my guilt over making him worry or possibly being irresponsible about my health, forces my hand and forced me into an ER....

Finally back home, I could feel my panic and anger rising.

How the fuck were we going to pay for this?
And secondarily, I still feel like shit and it is pretty clear that THAT isn't really anybody's problem but mine.

By bedtime, I was crying, and I could feel it flooding my whole body.

The fear
the worry
the stress
the pain
the exhaustion
but most of all,
the helplessness.

Forever stuck in a cycle of a rock and a hard place.

Surrounded by well-meaning people who say things like:

It could be worse! 
Someday it will turn around! 
Just keep on doing the best you can and you'll see how good life can be!
You have so much to be grateful for! 
 (Yes, I do. But gratefulness does not take away chronic pain or clinical depression)
You'll figure it out!

And usually?

Those people don't have a fucking clue as to what your going through, and have never really been in a situation even remotely close to yours.

Not that it's their fault, nor would I wish it upon them, but I do wish that they could recognize that they have no idea what it's like and keep their reality-deflecting platitudes to themselves.

 I have said it BEFORE and I will say it AGAIN:

Sometimes life is an unfair shitfest.
Respect those moments and let us grieve them, please.

By 3am, I had awoken in a cold sweat and started crying.
The crying pretty much continued until about 2pm Thursday afternoon.
Not my finest moment, and the FIRST time I have ever let that happen in front of my son....

But I just couldn't pull myself back together.

I am a fucking mess.

My hubs, rightfully alarmed,demanded I call my doctor and schedule an appointment all the blood work the Doc wants me to have done before he'll put me back on meds and to do further blood tests to hopefully wrap up our (and now his) suspicions of Fibromyalgia.

And I did.

I don't know how we're going to pay for it ($200 per office visit + whatever the lab work costs, not to mention the meds), on top of everything else, but I've got to do something.

My depression is not the sum total of all of my health issues, but letting it run wild isn't doing anyone any good.

I've been too stubborn for too long, trying to control it, HIDE it,  by myself.

And if Fibromyalgia is indeed an issue, maybe I can finally get some answers and solutions to the chronic pain.

I promised myself I would get all of this done at the 1st of the year, and now we're into May, so I guess I need to get on it.....

It's just so terrifying to know that while you may need it, you haven't got the resources for it.


Everything is about money.
We don't have enough to get me (or us) the help I (we) need, but make "too much" to qualify for help.

People like me with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied for health insurance, but the type of insurance I qualify for is astronomical and won't cover my basic health needs anyway.

To know that every step you try to take forward to make yourself feel better, only pushes your family back five steps, and down further into the mire of debt.

It's crushing.

Especially when you live in such an affluent area, as we happen to, and you constantly watch people take so much for granted.

Dismissing you and your "problems" because they don't want to have to actually be confronted with how hard life can be and lucky they really are.

I have to remind myself of how lucky we are all the time.

So I spend most of my time trying to hide.
Trying to stay busy.
And crying in the bathroom at 3 am, so I won't disturb anyone.

No way to live, and I'm trying to claw my way out, but it's tough... 

So far, I am on a losing streak.

Please send me all the good vibes, chants, prayers, luck, you can.

I hate to ask, but I need all the help I can get.

Because at this moment, I am drowning.
Even in the day time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Here we go AGAIN.

For the last 2 weeks, I've been having what I thought was abdominal pain...

by this last weekend the pain was shooting up into my back into what felt like my kidneys...full force.


As an uninsured individual, I don't go to the doctor unless there is copious amounts of blood, vomit/fever, and/or pain involved.

Well, the pain was bad.  It had BEEN bad and wasn't really getting better.

AND, my in-laws are leaving for almost 2 weeks tomorrow....

I figured I should get my ass to the ER.

There goes thousands of $$$ we don't have...woot.

I get to the ER and they're relatively empty.
When they lead me back, still pretty quiet.

I take this as a good sign. Maybe they will actually give me some answers.

But alas....

They draw blood, take urine samples and give me fluids.
Then they run a CT scan.

A couple hours later, someone comes back to tell me that I'm not pregnant.

No? Really? Arrrrgh. Because that's what I'm here for....

That was the most definitive answer I got all damn day.

Later another nurse comes to tell me that I need to give them another urine sample because the previous showed that I had a UTI.

Okay...will I be getting antibiotics?

No I will not, not until they no for sure....


Give them another sample.


Nurse come back:

We need to catheterize you because your samples keep coming back contaminated.

Ummm, what?

Apparently, while the samples were showing signs of a  UTI, they were concerned that I wasn't giving them a clean sample...
...or you know, I could just have a UTI, there's always that....

So they finally get their precious clean sample...

I'm told I'll have results in a week.


Then, the practitioner comes in.
[He's not the doctor listed on my chart, but I'm sire I'll be charged for the mythical doctor anyway....]
He tells me that the CT scans showed kidney stones....

Ohhhh! So THAT'S what's wrong with me! 

Nope. The stones are not the problem. They could become a problem, but aren't an issue right now.

What are they going to do about the them?


But there is something else.

Swelling around my pancreas.  Which I am quickly informed is NOT pancreatitis.

They don't know what it is.

Can I see a doctor who would know while I am here?


I have to go to a specialist.

What will he do?

Run tests.

You mean like the ones you guys ran today?

That was met with withering condescension...

The practitioner left, and yet another one comes in.

Can someone tell me about my blood/urine results?

Apparently, they must be normal because someone would have informed me if there was a problem.

Well, if that's not fucking reassuring, I don't know what is.

It becomes clear that I won't be getting any answers when they start talking about discharging me.

Ummmm, what about my pain?
I'm still in pain.
Am I going to get any meds?

They ask me:

Meds for what? (like I'm an idiot)

PAIN, my friends. I am in PAINNNNN.

This was news to them.


I finally get some pain meds.

Then they start booting me out the door.

There's nothing they can do for me. I'll have to go to the specialist.

Six hours. No antibiotics, no answers, and I had to FIGHT for a script for pain meds.

Needless to say, it was an awesome day.

I cannot wait for the bill.
In that nauseous, hyperventilating, panic attack kinda way.
[donations are now being accepted as of now, ha!]

I see a gastroenterologist tomorrow.

He will look over the ER results and schedule me for more tests.

For $200.

I'm not feeling hopeful that there will be any answers tomorrow, either.


I just saw a gastro six months ago.

Other than possible IBS, he said I was fine.

I've already been scoped down the throat, up the ass and scanned up down and sideways.

What is left?

I do not have the money for this nonsense.

But I'm tired of being in pain, and now I'm worried that it could be serious.

Hopefully not.

Wish  me luck, guys!