Saturday, June 13, 2015

Trying to Decide To Stay Or Move?

                                   [picture source]

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?". 


  1. Its bad your walker got stolen. The many times I was stolen from I had a hard time shaking the feeling of violation, that someone would take something that belonged to me.

    I can see you wanting to move. We can live in pure isolation being surrounded by people. It can get so lonely. And the people can be so mean. I have tried and tried so much in my life, I'm darn proud of it! Let someone else try what I tried to survive, it is a miracle to even be here.

    I suppose there is nothing else to do but pray. These are hard times, but I hope you can find that small town and good people with the medical care you need.

  2. Yes I am not happy about it. I worry about the next one being stolen and being unable to walk. It is very violating.

    Thanks for understanding why I want to move. I have felt "wrong" since the day I got here. I felt torn out of my last community and never wanted to leave and then when it collapsed just acouple years while I was out, that made it harder. The people here never seemed to have understanding for my grief, or the connections I lost. It is hard to explain. While I could be poor and happy in the old town--well we weren't as poor there, my self esteem has suffered immensely here. Yes it was isolation surrounded by people. A lot of shame I didn't want unloaded on me anyhow. Mean people and cold ones too. People I couldn't really talk to and when I did they wanted to censor me. The positivity cult is more rife among the upper classes. Even talking about positive things they'd shut me out because my life didn't match theirs at all. I am praying now about what to do or go. Yes these are hard times. Thanks Joan. :)

  3. I am so sorry to hear about everything Peep...someone stole your walker!?! Are you kidding me????? Sigghhhhhhhhh.....I lift you and your husband up before God right now...may He give you the clearest of direction at this time in your life...I pray you receive a strong, vibrant, easy to comprehend witness in your spirit as to the path to take right now, and I pray for peace for your soul and heart my dearest friend.....JB...

    1. Yes someone stole my walker, it was based on our mistake, but it is still pretty pathetic. I did file a police report. I wonder if I will come across it somewhere. Please pray that God gives me some direction or changes something here.

  4. I feel it's imperative for your home to FEEL LIKE home, especially when you spend a lot of time there. Yes, there are a lot of trade-offs between urban and rural living and health care may be one of them depending on how far you can travel. This area would be horrible for you, Peep; winters are too long, too remote, no public transportation, no major medical center. Ex: The scanner technology comes to us on a tractor trailer once a week. So something like this woud never work for you. It is beautiful though.
    Here there is a fair amount of 401k housing. Disabled people are primarily housed around elderly people and low income young families with kids have their own areas. It works out a bit better for everyone. And the housing is a lot nicer than many of the places I've lived and a lot more reasonably priced. If you're going to look into housing for disabled, I'd do it ASAP as the Waiting Lists are pretty long everywhere. You can always get on the list and then make the decision when the time comes. And it may not come for a long time.
    I'm so very sorry your walker was stolen. Such a violation. I've also had my possessions stolen, had a couple burglaries-the last one about a decade ago when a guy cut the screens in the back of a house where I was living and came in and burglarized the place while I was sleeping. It was horribly hot, I had just moved in, was exhausted and had fans running all over the place. I just lost it the next morning...Anyway, he was caught and has not managed to stay out of prison since then. I got some of my stuff back, but not my late DH's wedding ring.
    Again, I know you haven't been happy where you are, Peep. It's so hard to explain to able bodied people the vulnerability you experience when you're disabled. Maybe getting on a housing list will help you feel you are actively exploring options. Sometimes, it's hard to believe you actually have any.

    1. I regret not going back to my old town. No where is perfect but at least I felt like a human being there instead of a human worm. Things declined there where many medical doctors left, my church closed and several friends died. One thing I never wrote about on this blog, is years ago I almost left my husband to go back "home", hoping he would follow but a disabled woman has a hard time conducting a move on her own. We are getting poorer and poorer, it seems the high way underpass is approaching if I am not careful. That one boss here in 2007 who fired him destroyed my life by hiring him and then firing him within three months. I think about my unlived life all the time and the giant regrets. The abuse from the family even worsened when he lost that job.

      Your area does sound too remote. The housing does sound good though. yes I've done the waiting lists before and could be looking at a year but having been on lists before when we decided to keep this apartment I can time it out. There is even one down the road that is not too bad, but I have tons of considerations to make. It does feel heavy on me, in making the decision to go or not and making a right decision. I need a place where there is more diversity in income, where it's not just me, and people looking down their noses at me. Its like the re-ripping of a scab over and over. The classism I have faced here, beyond the big body issues has been hell on earth.

      We are going to have to do something, because we are on a fast financial decline that is growing worse. I can't carry a rent that is 2-3rds of my check. When we lose the car, life is going to become hell. I have to admit I am tired, very tired.

      You are right TW, I have not been happy for a long time. I TRIED. It's like losing hope, you stop having anything to look forward to. . Even with that horrible ex-friend, the way she treated me for "not getting happier" fast enough for her. I can't even explain how poverty can basically shred a person. Where life is always on the edge and you can't even relax ever. Where the pity of others and shame are like a vise that is going to squeeze all your guts out. I even just want people to talk to again, maybe some who can relate a LITTLE BIT to hardships, I meet them online. I'm tired of "perfect" people with money and their giant families.


    2. IRL, I seem to meet nothing but the same series of soulless spoiled suburbanites with abusive Republican mentalities. [There are a some nice people I've met here, here and there, but they are oppressed and lonely here too] One woman said to me point blank..."There's no community here!" "This place is strange!" What does that say. Some say maybe you have been meeting the wrong people and you need to meet others. Maybe they are right. I am even troubled by all the possible work and my own limitations. Yes I have to weigh urban vs. rural. While here, I will try to find other social places. Its true, I feel like I have no options. I get the feeling that two middle aged people who live like two impoverished 20 somethings with no partying and the rest and did not "make it" are under horrible judgment.

      What is sad is the infrastructure here is very good--great medical care, even a free dentist, if I stay out of the bad side of town.Socially well.......

      Yes the walker being stolen was so nasty. The place is small enough I could run into my walker. It is SPECIAL and not the same size of others. If I do, I'm taking it right back.

      I am sorry you got burgalarized too. I had no insurance back then either could not afford it when my boarding house got ripped off. I saw the guy running out the window when I came in.

      Heat and open windows do make you more vulnerable. So sorry that happened to you. One does not feel as safe after happenings like that.

      Sorry you lost the wedding ring, they probably pawned it off.

      I do feel very vulnerable. For once too, I would like something to LOOK FORWARD too. Too many disappointments have piled up. It is sad, how I had to hide so many feelings among the judgmental and now I think who cares? I had enough of that for long enough.

      I definitely have to explore options and housing lists. Thanks TW.