I have always given 1000% of what I have had. I came from a great family! My parents always supported me and told me how great I was and how I could be anything I wanted to be. My brothers were brothers I remember both bickering with them and laughing till it hurt. My extended family was even great. I looked up to (and still do) all of my Aunts and Uncles. Point here, I can’t blame my family for my life.

In my first sentence I said I have always given 1000% of what I have had. Those last 5 words is what I am going to focus on right now. I have never truly felt that I have had much to give. Despite, the repeated praises for things I had done and the cuddling with Mom while I cried and she reassured me that I would be okay I never felt that anyone was really proud of me that I could ever live up to the expectations that people had for me. Let me add here that it isn’t like anyone was pushing me to be President, a surgeon or a lawyer, they just wanted me to be the best me I could be, and that was it. But, I always felt that I was miles behind where I was supposed to be.

I was 18 when I got pregnant with my oldest daughter and 19 when I had her. She was and has been (along with her siblings) the light of my life! I remember, staunchly correcting someone when they asked if she was a mistake, saying ?You will never refer to her as a mistake she is a wonderful little child made by God and he doesn’t make mistakes.”

In 2000, I married a man I didn’t really love. I think I convinced myself that I did because I thought that no one would ever want a wife with a child (remember I was young). Regardless of why I married him I should of known when things started flying around rooms when he was upset to back out. I truly believed in marriage at the time and that I wouldn’t ever get a divorce. I was very proud all of my life that I was one of the few of my friends that still had both parents in the home and that were happy that way.  I wanted my kids to have that same pride.

I tried to make things better but I am very stubborn, apparently he was stubborn and physical. I can’t count the number of times I would be hiding in a corner somewhere praying he would calm down before he found me or that I could get to the phone, praying that it would stop.

I had two children with him, and as far as I see it. They are the reason I married him and I am blessed to have them. I was already planning my escape when my Aunt found bruises on my oldest daughter. I cried so hard that night and begged her to be strong for just another week promising she would visit my Aunt as much as possible until I could manage to get out of that house with all three of my children.

I had tried to leave in the middle of the night before, and it ended with me being hit as I held my youngest and choked against the wall with his forearm before I could reach the door. I did finally get my plan in motion and was out June 11, 2004. If you know me at all you should know what importance this had on me for I am the most horrible person with dates. The divorce was final in March 2005. I did get custody of all three children despite his begging to keep my son (I want you to notice here he only wanted to keep my son!)

By the next year I actually believed in Love, A friend of mine introduced me to a friend of her husband’s and we hit it off we were great together. Or at least I thought so, apparently he didn’t he left me and I cried and begged him not to or to at least tell me why. He didn’t and I found out later that his ex-wife was pregnant with his child. It took a very, very, very long time to get over that hurt, because he didn’t seem like he would ever hurt me.

So, off I was again to raise my three children on my own. Now, I say on my own because I didn’t want help from anyone. I didn’t get wonderful help from my family and my friends all along this process. Even though I was working I was not able to cover bills and food for my children and I. As I said my family and friends helped me A LOT! Now, my burden was as much theirs as it was mine. They knew I was working I was trying to do on my own but without help I would fail, lose my children because I could not afford them a decent life and who knows what else.

I went to public assistance.

I leave the previous sentence as it is alone for a reason. I have not had work since a Bush was in office. This is not for my lack of trying. I have walked across town (when I didn’t have enough money for gas), spent hours filling out applications and putting out resumes both in person and online. Trust me it is not like I was applying to be a CEO,  I am talking Walmart, Target, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Laundry Mats, and Grocery Stores. I was able to get a temp job once in a blue moon that never went permanent, because they were seasonal.

Then my daughter was hit by a car while trick or treating and was in a cast for 8 months.  I also have to admit the the last part of my Aunts life I didn’t try to get a job instead I took care of her. She was barely able to move even before she lost use of her legs. She couldn’t even go to the restroom without help.

After she died, my depression became unmanageable, I know this is hard for people to imagine but it literally rendered me immobile at times. No, matter what I say here there will be people that will say to just snap out of it because they don’t understand mental illness  That is fine, if that pertains to you, you might as well stop reading now. I will not try to convince you, look into some medical research. I discovered that I have been suffering from depression most of my life, and that losing someone so very close to me was my breaking point.

I made a promise to my cousin that I would go and be seen for it. I received my medication and a few weeks I felt …. hopeful, promising, okay and like a person. I hadn’t felt any of those in so long I didn’t even recognize these feelings. I was able to keep taking my medicine for about 6 months. I was working and doing well, it all seems like a dream now. And it was time to renew my medical assistance. For some reason I was not renewed (at least the kids were). So, not only can I not afford my medication I can’t afford to go to the doctor. I am afraid that I will die, from some simple illness, or worse become a vegetable and create more bills for my family.

Just so you know I am in training for a job now that should start in January.

I just want someone to hear the story of one of those lazy bums that just sits on their asses and expects the rest of the country to pay for everything. But, I have asked for public assistance and I will as long as it is needed to take care of my children.



About Tami

Visit my store at www.yourAVON.com/TamaraCartwright

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