Saturday, October 10, 2015

My Back Against the Closet Door Part II

So, as I was saying yesterday, ever since Wednesday, or to be more precise Tuesday night, I have been struggling with difficult memories of my past.  Especially when I'm by myself, they assault me, bombarding me with dark images and negative thoughts, which are difficult to handle.

It all began with a well-meaning lecture from a friend upon the evils of lending money to friends and family. My friend told me that I should never lend money, and if I did I should make the person sign a promissory note and take them to court if they didn't pay up.  I thought whoa, that's kind of over the top!  Whenever I've lent money to people it's been for small amounts and for desperate situations. 99% of the time, the money is paid in full within a reasonable time.   And, if not repaid then I'd simply never lend that person money ever again! I explained to my friend that, generally speaking, I would rather take a chance on someone and lend them money than not and know that they were struggling.

I had hoped that my viewpoint would have been enough for her, but, no, she kept pressuring me to only see things her way.

The last straw, though, was when my friend started making comments about how people on ODSP and welfare had it "so good". I was hurt and upset by this careless statement, as she knew I used to be on ODSP.

I started to cry, and memories of struggling to make ends meet filled my mind. I would sell my cards in all kinds of weather, to stores or just people on the street. People were either cool, or very rude or disrespectful. It was truly humiliating! Sometimes when cards wouldn't sell I would I take books to get money or pawn jewellery.

The lack of money was just one aspect of being on ODSP, it was the humiliation from people who should have known better. ODSP workers would pick through my bank account, looking for any discrepancies and making noises of disapproval.

But being poor in general, especially if you have a disability, also means you have a lack of choices. You can only live in subsidized housing, and, unless you're as fortunate as I am to have direct funding, you don't get a choice in who works for you and assists you with your most personal needs.

So this is what keeps invading my mind and making me cry. Perhaps these memories will settle down and go neatly back into my mind closet soon. I hope so! And yet, in a perverse way I cherish these memories because I came through all that shit and I think I'm a more strong, caring, and generous person for it. And I'm cuter.

No comments: