A Very Bad Dream That Could Come True

Last night I had a very bad dream in which my October Social Security Retirement Check did not come. The rent was due, the cupboards nearly empty, and prescriptions needed filling at full price, because of the dounut hole.  My phone calls went in useless circles, and the penalties for late rent payment began to pile up.

Then, still caught in this nightmare of a dream,  came a letter in the mail that informed me that due to the need to help the market stay afloat, there would be no further SS checks for an undermined length of time.   The second letter I opened was from HUD, notifying that all Project based Section 8 housing funds were also needed for the bailout and would end effective immediately.

I need that housing subsidy in order to afford a place to live.

I need that SS check to survive: it is my only income.

It is my only income, because I had to use all my savings long ago while waiting for Social Security Disability to be approved, and then to pay for medical expenses while waiting out the two year period before Medicare would kick in.  Disability caused by a back injury that could only get worse as I aged, and did, until I could no longer work at all anymore by age 55, after 40 years in the work force.  I didn’t have a lot  of savings anyway, because as a single mother widowed at age 29 and raising two kids alone, you just can’t save up a whole lot of money.

It was a tremendous challenge, learning how survive and enjoy life on such a small income in these times. If forced me to reevaluate everything I thought I knew about what is truly the important in life. And I managed it. I managed to create a brand new, extremely fulfilling life.  

The dream wouldn’t stop. In it, I sat frozen in disbelief, facing the end of the road.  After all those years of working so damned hard, raising my kids on my own, paying taxes and being a productive citizen, this is how it will end?

Oh I know my kids wouldn’t allow me to end up on the streets. Somehow, one of them would carve out some small space for me in their very small houses, if it came to that. They wouldn’t  let me starve.  But oh my gawd: they don’t want me to live with them one bit more than I want to live with either of them! No matter how much we love each other, it would be certain disaster.  And who knows how long either of THEM will have jobs houses TO share, as much debt as they are both carrying and with their own savings now at such risk, also.  

Am I really still in America?

Is this really happening?

Please let me wake up.

Please let this all be a very bad dream.    

I woke up. Yes, thankfully, it was a bad dream.  

But after spending an hour on the internet reading about the bailout and the sick, terminally corrupted political system in charge of things, there is no way NOT to know it is very possible that my very bad dream could well be a premonition of what could yet come.

I’ve faced potential homelessness before, but I was still young, fit, and able to protect myself. Now I am old and disabled. Still, I could probably last on the streets for while, because I know where the homeless vets hang out, and I’d go to them with full confidence that they would help protect me as best they could.

If I am destined to be left to die on the streets by this wonderful country of mine, this land of the free and home of the brave, who better to die along side, than these old forgotten soldiers who gave their lives for this country, but just haven’t died yet.

May the force be with us all.      



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  1. … for this heartbreaking and brilliant essay.

    I wish this story could be published throughout the US, to let people know what is really going on.

  2. but the only thing I’d add to your story is that it might be just as likely to happen with or without the bailout. This whole economic system looks to be tanking. And whether or not something can be done to slow the sinking ship so that we have enough time to find the lifeboats is the question of the day for me.  

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