Anyone who says differently is full of shit. By no stretch of the imagination am I suggesting that money is the key to happiness or that one can’t be happy without boatloads of it. What I am saying is that – without it – you’re completely at the w him of those who do have it.
I’ve been unemployed for just over two years and blew through the end of my savings a few months ago. I’m ineligible for unemployment and completely reliant upon those willing to support me. For the last 18 months, it’s been wonderfully supportive friends of mine in Northern VA & North Carolina who have kept me sane and afloat.
I won’t deny for a second that this wasn’t the most comfortable position for me to be in and sure, it was probably hell on my self-esteem, but it’s what I needed. I was in a loving environment, surrounded by slightly demented friends, and I felt supported and ready to get back on my feet after a couple of years of depression.
All the while, my family – my remaining supportive, loving family – did nothing. That’s not entirely true – my grandmother sent money on the couple of occasions that I begged. But the whole time, my aunt pressured me to leave my friends. “It’s not a good environment,” she said. “You should be with your family while you’re going through this,” she cajoled.
So, I did. Starting six months ago, I set the wheels in motion to leave everything familiar and comforting and head south. I told my ridiculously supportive friend that I was moving out and heading to Savannah to be with my aunt. This was all well and good until she told me 4 days beforehand “Uh, yeah, that’s not going to work; I have things going on.” So I waited, on to friend #2, who graciously and without second thought put me up on her couch for the better part of a month while I waited.
Then the friends in North Carolina invited me to stay for awhile, with no more asked of me than to provide baked goods for the crazy, pregnant lady and entertain a slightly crazy three-year-old boxer mix. Still the pressure came. “Move to Savannah…,” but not right now. “You should be with your family…,” but it’s not convenient for me.
Finally, a week ago, I pulled the trigger. I told friends in the area I was coming, I resigned myself to becoming a Georgian, shed a tearful goodbye with my friends, and hopped on the southbound Palmetto to Savannah. “I’ll see you at Green Dress!” I sniffled. “At least Savannah’s a great town,” I sighed.
Last night, less than a week later, my aunt informed me I couldn’t stay. “The job market isn’t very good here,” she wheedled. “You need mental health care that can’t be provided here,” she bemoaned. “Your grandmother can take you in, can’t she?” she pleaded
Let me just put this out there – therapy would do me a boatload of good. Losing both parents, one’s job, house and belongings in a three-year period will put anyone over the edge and I’m certainly no different. I have a tendency to internalize like mad and having someone non-judgmental to talk to would surely do me wonders. I don’t have any judgments about the mental health field or seeking help or any stigmas that may come with it or blah blah blah. Shit happens and life and we all need help getting through it – period.
What boggles my mind – what absolutely gobsmacks me – is that she has the nerve to sit there and tell me that I’m better off with family than friends. That the unconditional love provided by family is far better for me than any friendship. SHE – who can’t get rid of me fast enough. SHE – whose daughter (my first cousin) lives in DC and has seen me TWICE in two years. SHE has the nerve to tell what my friends are and aren’t to me?!?
But again, she has the money, and therefore…
…I’m off to Dayton