Having my walker stolen the other day was the tip of the iceberg. This is a community that is very affluent next to a teeming ghetto where you take your life in your hands to enter it. Yes it is as bombed out as Ferguson is probably looking now and it has burned out buildings all over the place. I live in the richer part but may soon get priced out since our rent goes up higher every year. The cheaper grocery store is actually outside the border of the ghetto area but close enough to be sketchy. I learned how sketchy it was, when some ingrates and slime decided to steal a woman's old walker instead of giving it to the store to hold on for me to get it back. It makes no sense why steal something like that? It is old and beaten up. They probably can't even get 50 bucks for it. Add them to the stupid criminal files.
One thing I learned living and working in the inner city, is make one mistake, and there is no forgiveness in such a place. We made an error, and Whoosh the walker was gone. No one talks about what it is like to deal with a place like that. Some wealthy liberals will scream at you for not being politically correct for even admitting that life is cheap in some places, and some wealthy conservatives will scream at you for being a "loser" that didn't get a high paying enough job. I even avoided going to that grocery store for years because the neighborhood it was next to gave me flashbacks to some of my worse days working and living in the inner city but cheap food and being able to feed two people on 60 bucks a week, got me to go over there.
Living here for 8 years has been hard. It's like life went to hell after we moved here for husband to have a job as a copy ad writer for an advertising agency and they threw him out after three months. We are considering moving but for now, I have not made the decision YES or NO. I want to make a rational decision. I may consider disabled housing and have to research where the "best" is in my state and there is even one here that may work. Paying two-thirds of my check for expensive rent is tough. Sometimes I think I need to move to feel hope again, and yes I know the dangers of thinking geographical cures will "fix everything". However when I escaped a big city for my small rural town, I got some happier years so sometimes they do work.
This community is a strange place. It does have it's positives. It offers a lot of good medical care--I even have a charity dentist, the hospital is highly rated, good scenic views and nice libraries but socially it has been hellish for me. Culturally as a poor disabled woman I do not fit in with either side of the divide here.
I am open to befriending anyone but neighborhoods that give me flashbacks are not cool. The crime rate is skyrocketing. Things are looking grotty as hell outside of the rich areas, empty store fronts proliferating even in middle class areas. American is going down the crapper, some of us are seeing it right in front of our eyes. The prices are very high here, though I know of other places that are even more expensive. Of course that probably can't be escaped anywhere.
I want to escape back to rural America or a very small town for safety and to feel COMMUNITY and AT HOME again but then what do you do when you need a variety of medical specialists? The hospital here looked like a set of Star Trek compared to my old rural town's hospital. When you are poor, even an hour commute to a doctor may not be doable. In small places there is no work, or far less of it for husband. Some of his free-lance is locally based. We'd have to replace some of that.
My walker being stolen is not the only thing that has happened to me here. I got followed at a sketchy gas station once when I was alone, I had this guy jump off the bus and start screaming at me and tried to attack me where I went running into a store to escape him. If we lose our car, I will be forced into the dangerous side of town here, for shopping and transportation.
There are places I am afraid to go to and wisely. On the other side, the rich yuppies have tortured me and not helped my self esteem with their constant emphasis on achievement and "goals" and judging me in "not progressing" or "moving on". Their view of a woman who has been sans career outside of some volunteer work and personal art projects and blog writing is very low. We tried to make it work many times and did have some good experiences but it seems everything folds down. We don't relate to each other's lives. Many people here have lived here since they were born and have huge family networks. The immediate community does have a reputation for snobbery. We even had one friend move here to be closer to a job who left, saying he couldn't take how the people were. I regretted our move here, in the very first month and almost ended up leaving my husband to go back to my old town a few years in. My hope back then was to get him to move to where I was. Yes I know my family history and other problems made that move far more painful, and in some ways I never got over it.
Many people are kind but then you remain in the "pitied" category you are not viewed as an equal or potential friend or you end up with a project friend. They all seem to live in giant fancy suburban houses, where everything is new and neat and I can't even imagine how they got their jobs or money, since it seems the work-world is run like the Lotto, and no one is ever going to offer my husband a real job that would pay the bills. He makes equal to minimum wage already working at home but you know with a college education and being a past assistant editor at a small town newspaper shouldn't there be something more out there for him? This is economic in nature too. As I have written the worse thing about poverty isn't the going without, but the stigma, the cutting off, the isolation. I know things went worse with my family because of it too.
We don't have money to move and I physically don't have the stamina to pull it off. Sometimes we do have fun here, I hang out at the nature center, go to museums and do find fun things to do in the area, that are cheap when the weather is good, but you sometimes do think "Did I move to the wrong place?", "Why is it so hard to make friends here?" It's always hard for an Aspie, but some places are harder. Here too I ask is it me getting older and with less stamina?
One thing I have always written here, is I always have moved too much. We made a grand error trying to vie for the middle class in coming here. You get old and don't want to keep starting over, but we worry because finding friends here is so hard. Growing old and feeling lonelier sucks. We do feel isolated. In my case I do not agree with their outlooks on life which can be find for people who can disagree with friends but not with people who seem to want to shove you into their mold and find you wanting if you fail. I even miss what seemed to me, to be the FREER conversation in my old small town. People would talk to one another. I know that sounds odd. Consider too how fat I am and how that can be a detrimental "class marker" among the second vacation home and new car every year set.
It's good I and my husband have each other, but one thing I have always wanted is a place to belong to. A place where someone knows my name. These feelings even tie in with my decision to depart from the church where I felt I couldn't be me and was stuck talking about the weather for the past year, feeling like the most mild comments would bring outrage. At least in my old small town while there were a few yuppy types, there were others who faced economic challenges who didn't judge you for them. My husband doesn't want to move back there. The town did die, many friends died, and other things closed. Medically they couldn't give me the degree of care I need but you do find yourself thinking, "Where is home?" and "How did I miss out on that too"? I felt like that place was "home" but this one I'm not feeling it. I still have to think this one out. I don't know what we are going to do yet. Right now I may have to sit and rest and ponder things. I don't want to make drastic decisions and have a lease to honor for now but will be making some decisions soon. At least the apartment is nice and quiet. However you do confront your life and think "What do I do now?".