Saturday, February 18, 2017
Happier Poor People
We live such a strange life. Well today we went and got this breakfast at a local church, it was really good with eggs and Bob Evan's sausage. They even gave me ketchup for my eggs. I enjoyed that meal and the fact that winter has vanished and it is in the 60s. Even though we are poor we have to try and enjoy life the best we can. Yesterday I sat down outside by our big lake on a bench and people watched and went and go more library books including Joyce Carol Oates latest book. I've read everything she has written. So yesterday I was more mellow. Today I have to rest due to being swollen and doing stuff so I am glad I got the breakfast and spent some time outdoors already today.
Our phone got shut off by one of the major monopolies this week, they didn't send us a shut off notice. Years ago when the phone got shut off I used to cry and cry, maybe I have progressed but I have my Obama phone to at least call 911 if I get sick and need to go to the hospital. My husband deals with the phone bill and I told him, "They are doubling dipping us!". He doesn't seem to believe me but when he is supposed to constantly pay 79.00 over and over, something is wrong. He says it's snowballing from last month. He just paid them Feb 4th so I am confused. I swear all the calls are sent overseas and are outsourced too, making the "punishment" even worse. We talked to some guy who had absolutely no mercy on us. My shouting near the end, "You get your money every month", didn't help convince him.
My husband told me to calm down. He would get money for the bill and he did do this and paid it today. Hopefully it will be turned back on soon. I need to not get so bent out of shape. I have two rules, keep rent and electricity paid and I can survive, but I do wish the constant bills were not such a grind.
My husband transcribes even thinking of food we need the next day. Someone yesterday gave me information on cheaper internet, so that was nice to find out. People think poor people are all lazy, around here, while I am disabled, we are constantly discussing how do we pay this bill or sell this or get this done? I have something like 6 payment plans going at the same time on a variety of medical bills. This stuff takes thought and work.
I did talk the maintenance man into recaulking my tub. I told him, "Look I scrubbed at this thing with Tilex and it's not working! It could be my low muscle strength!" Sometimes us ACONS were taught no life skills. I'm in my late 40s and still figuring things out that should have been figured out decades ago. This could be Aspergers leaving me confused about daily life but I am trying.
He came in and used some cleaner that worked on all the tile grout and recaulked it and put this primer on it to keep dirt and mold out. I've lived in this apartment for 10 years and have to keep it from crumbling, so I was happier, my tub looked better, and he gave me a number to a house cleaner that charges realistic working class people prices, not insane ones. My tub isn't gross in there anymore.
At times, I've been upset at God sometimes for allowing my husband to be constantly tortured via bills, and health problems. I was feeling happier this week and more relaxed and got into a good place, and it's like my bubble got popped. When the phone got shut off I was irritated. I always feel like I am "doing something wrong". There bible verses in there that warn about the "oppression of the poor". I need to pay more attention to those bible verses and what they say to do but I encounter people all the time who told me they stopped believing in God because it seemed like He did not care and I find myself wondering "Does God really send people to the hot place who just got tired?" I worry for those people. There is one bible verse that talks about people ranting at God. That would probably be me
So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Good Christian friends have told me they have gone through these things. I have told my husband if we ever do go back to a church, we need to find one that is far poorer, and living our lifestyle. We need fellow poor and working class people who will not judge us.
I have asked myself questions about being happier in the world and not always bent out of shape over money and being a more mellow person. There are better days then others.
This article claims rich people see the world differently.
It even claims that empathy is less among the rich. I believe it. There are some kind and good rich people too but there is truth in this study. There is a reason that Jesus in the Bible said a rich man would have less chance of heaven then a camel through the eye of a needle. What happens to people? It looks like science is getting in on this.
"The results “show that people who are higher in socioeconomic status have diminished neural responses to others’ pain,” the authors write. “These findings suggest that empathy, at least some early component of it, is reduced among those who are higher in status.” And unlike self-reports, brain imaging sidesteps “social desirability bias,” where people want to give replies that make them look good or more empathic. “If you’re looking at pictures of people in pain or not in pain, it’s pretty unlikely that you know how to enhance those brain responses,” Varnum tells Science of Us. Moreover, in a 2016 study, Varnum and colleagues found evidence suggesting that people from lower social classes have a more sensitive mirror neuron system — which is thought to simulate the things you see others experience — when watching a video of hand movements. “Our cognitive systems, the degree to which they’re attuned to other people in the environment, is affected by our own social class,” he says."
I have noticed for those who have helped me the most, it was fellow poor people or those in better situations who had experienced poverty in their past. It seemed those who never were poor, had far less understanding for it. One thing I have noted among the poor is there seems to be more openness, people are not as closed mouth. Now I know I am generalizing here and there's exceptions all over the place both ways, but this article made me think about that.
It is true they do. It is interesting to me how the article stresses the social networks of the poor being much stronger. When you are poor you need others. I believe that things can be especially rough for the poor ACON out of a rich narcissistic family because you lose those social contacts and connections and even daily help, that families share. I have noted unlike good humble families of lower means I have known, my family didn't care for each other. It was every man for himself which is why you got people like my Aunt Scapegoat living in dirt poor poverty and others who made 6 figures. There is no such thing as some guy spending $5,000 on Christmas gifts while his sister is down getting a turkey roaster from the food pantry. Good families work together and this doesn't mean being mooches but people coming together for real support.
I went to this Valentine's meet up at our apartment's office, and this one lady came to talk to me. She was friendly. She lived in a neighboring building. She told me how she was living in an apartment here as she was looking for a new house. I sat there and smiled as she talked about trips to Hawaii, and nice 4 bedroom homes and her professional job. This apartment I have lived in for years is only a temporary landing spot for her. She was nice enough and I kept it light but had fleeting thoughts about the life I was supposed to have since she was a teacher. I did not see her as a bad person or evil, she was just sharing her life, but it is true the worlds of different socioeconomic classes is very different.
I think this article is right that people of different classes have different cultures. I don't understand the culture of the middle class/upper middle class and above anymore. Sometimes now when they come and talk to me, I have nothing to talk about or I end up talking about my few years in the teaching professions when I was in my 20s and aspiring to those worlds.
Our problem is, we slid between both of the worlds. My husband was professionally educated, he had semi-professional jobs, even the work he does now for low paid work, takes brain-power and the ability to proof read and write. I was professionally educated as well. I was raised to expect the suburban house, the vacations, and a certain mode of life. I think in some ways this is far worse for people. You are taught to be a proper person, you are supposed to live a certain way and be able to pay all your bills. Getting one's phone shut off is something Queen Spider would shame people for while for normal poor people getting one's phone shut off is normal business. You suck it up, and either get the money or go without and later get another phone.
You are taught to hold certain expectations. They say thwarted expectations can be a rock-bed of depression. It's something I've thought about in seeking happiness for both of us in life. If you slide down the ladder, it's like you lose your place in life. To survive this people have to deal with way things are, not hold out for some future "rich" life. Live the one you got now.
I go to enough food pantries and other places where I run into the fellow poor, and they more often then not have close family and friend networks. I have noticed they don't seem as depressed and upset. They have people around them sharing in their lot, who don't consider them bad people or failures. Maybe they didn't feel put down by those around them. This has told me, I have to do a better job of finding people in my boat who can relate to me. Don't try to be someone you are not. Queen Spider's constant social climbing had a bad influence on me. I never treated anyone like a snob, but I was living in fantasy land about the social prospects of two poor people among middle class and above people.
We met this one friendly older man at last week's food pantry while picking up some hamburger and canned food, who told us, he had 10 people in his household and several people are unemployed including some of his children with kids. We felt sorry for that guy but my husband later said, "He's taking it all in stride and seemed to still be a happy person". I said, "How does he do it?" and then gave my husband my theory, "He's always been poor and his family is too ". People who always have been poor are better off mentally then those who have fallen down the ladder like us. His family loves each other and they are in it together for the long haul. Notice he did not refer to his adult kids living at home with him as being losers, they are poor people who know the real deal and how the system truly operates. Those are far better values, then cruel cold wealthier narcissists who treat adult children who fall down the ladder like worms, that's the kind of guy to be respected."
Genteel Poverty Peep: Walking Away From False Shame