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Does the universe give you more than you can handle?

I’ve been so scared and stressed out lately I’m not really sure where to turn. I know to really understand why, you all will need a bit of backstory, on me, and my family, or at least those who haven’t been following my blog for quite some time now will.

I have been disabled almost 15 years now. I also suffer from social anxiety disorder and PTSD. Trying to keep myself calm and optimistic isn’t easy even on a good day, but when I’m stressed out like this it’s nearly impossible. Thankfully I have a hubby who is wonderfully understanding when I’m having one of my bad days.

As some of you know my husband is severely hearing impaired, and has been since childhood. He first lost use of one ear, when he was only 12 or 13, but since his late 20s, he has also slowly been losing the use of the second ear also. Now he can only hear a little, and only with the help of a hearing aid, which we presently can’t afford, because the medical insurance we have will not pay for it.

After two years of trying, and waiting a year and a half for an appeal hearing with a disability judge, he was finally approved for SSDI. I wish this were the cause for joy it seemed to be at first, but unfortunately it may actually leave us further behind financially than what we already are.

See…there is thing thing they don’t like to tell people about called the “Marriage Penalty.”

Since he and I chose to get married last August, before our son was born, instead of just continuing to live together, there will be some penalties to our income, separately and collectively.

First of all…

Even though his new income will be lower than the income I was receiving, I will still lose 80% of my disability check, because his income counts against mine dollar for dollar. On top of that insult, we now have to pay $150 a month out of his for medicare as well, which leaves us even further behind than we were before. They also are telling me our benefits will not be high enough for our son to qualify for any dependent benefits of his own. And if that were not enough, we also discovered that any financial help relatives have given us over the last couple of years, to keep us from losing our home, also counts against us as income, which erases most of the back pay we would have received had they not helped us.

Please tell me…how are people supposed to survive all of this?

Basically what all of this means, is unless our circumstances change, my family and I will forever be doomed to a state of complete poverty. I honestly am not sure how to handle all of this, or what to do since I found out all of this. Since the meeting at social security on Friday, it’s all I can do not to cry. It’s hard to sleep because I can’t stop worrying about just what is going to happen to us.

Rent for even a modest one bedroom apartment in a bad part of town is even more than our entire income now. Will we always have to live with roommates? Are we going to be able to give our son all the things he needs now? I’m worrying myself sick here trying to think of what I can do to make it better. We can’t even apply for welfare, because it counts dollar for dollar against what we are already getting.

How is this a hand up? I don’t understand it…

Would it make sense to look into going back to school, when even people with degrees are working at retail jobs? How would it make sense to take out loans for classes I may not be able to get a job good enough to be able to repay? Some people would tell us to just start selling everything, but really we don’t own much. We have a lot of books, and furniture that came from yard sales. I really don’t think we have much anyone would really be interested in buying.

Why am I venting here? Probably because I don’t have anywhere else to vent to.

Every time I read articles about the poor and the disabled, people in the comments section write such cruel things. We are not lazy, we are not faking, we surely aren’t eating gourmet meals, and driving fancy cars. We don’t own a car at all. We don’t use drugs, we don’t drink, we don’t smoke, and we surely don’t waste our money at a casino or strip club. I hate being stereotyped, judged, and made a joke of.

Is it wrong of me to just want to be able to afford a home of my own, and not have to have my husband, son and I sleeping in one room of an over-crowded apartment? Is it wrong of me to want to be able to provide my son what he needs, even if I won’t be able to give him everything he wants? Is it wrong to wish I didn’t have to worry about the future, and what would happen to us if the rent goes up again, or an emergency came up that we have no way of paying for?

Optimism eludes me right now…

Worry just keeps my brain going in the same circles…