It isn’t real. (Trigger Warning)

I borrowed money to pay my rent. I have no way to ever pay my friend back, but, he said it is a gift. Itis a gift that brings me to tears because I cannot pay him back and I have pride.

I spent time today thinking about being poor. I was not poor for two years, and that was it. I have been poor with a lack of love, I have been poor with a lack of food. I am tired of being poor.

I am tired of hunger. I look at my cabinet and I see the food I have and it has to last a month. The food I can afford to eat is a luxury. Why? Why is it luxury for me to not be poisoned? I cannot afford bread, because wheat will kill me. I cannot afford vegetables for the same reason.

I used to dumpster dive when I was a child, we’d go to the grocery store and I would climb into the dumpster and I would salvage food. This poorness haunts me.

One of the tactics that abusers use? Blame. The abuse is your fault. My ex blamed me for buying new clothing. I looked in the mirror and I saw myself in too tight clothing that was older than myself. I could see the holes, the wearing at the seams. The newer things I purchased at a thrift store. I saw nothing of value.

I didn’t want to live that way. Today I am wearing one of the new outfits, it has ruffles and is very feminine. I am uncertain what it means to wear this. It makes me uncomfortable on many levels, but I feel pretty. I shouldn’t. If I were meant to feel pretty wouldn’t I be accepted anywhere? This statement ignores the treatment that I get because of my disability. I am automatically inferior.

Being poor means that forever I am aware of my value in society, and that diminishes daily. Society prizes, more so as the economy receeds, the privilege of the able bodied. The privilege of the male. Being a poor woman means that I am fighting for my survival with no help.

No one returns my calls, I have no way of knowing if I can make it to the hearing that may or may not be set for my restraining order. I cannot pay the rent. There is a waiting list for every single accessible apartment in the city. This should be proof that there is a need for such things correct? A need for accessibility. It isn’t enough. I am looking at being trapped again. Wherever i go I am just trapped.

I am trapped because the wheelchair I have is not the wheelchair I need, but I have four more years to wait before I can get the one that I NEED. I need to get Sprite the service cat the vet but, if I have no shelter then I lose William too. I need to eat, but, I can’t afford enough. I lie when I am asked if I have eaten sometimes to save food. Just once a week, and I skip a lot of breakfasts.

I consider stealing every day to get what I need. I try to ignore the things that I have wanted, because wanting them now feels almost pornographic. It feels wrong to even mention a desire. I feel guilty for having some of the things I do. Beng poor means I shouldn’t have my computer.

I feel like I am a bad friend because I haven’t called some of the people I respect and care for, because I do not want to risk them giving my Ex this number. I feel guilty for paying for the phone that I can dial instead of the phone that was cheapest.

I feel bad for saying Shut the (curseword) up or get out, when people tell me I have to be making my abuse up. I feel bad for it, but I shouldn’t. I should not have to face guilt for any of this. This is not how the world should be.

All I want is a roof over my head, a one bedroom so I can have company, I want food I can eat, three meals a day with a grain that won;’t make me sick, some dairy, a bit of fruit, and meat. I want to go outside. I miss it. I see the light through the curtains but outside is danger. I want to be safe.

It’s not real. It being safety. I will never be safe enough. I will never have enough to eat. I can’t afford it and there is no government subsidy past just enough by someone else’s standards. There is never enough quiet, never enough time with people, never enough alone.

There is no balance. Balance is not real. There is depression, there is hunger, and there is the real fear that my cat is dying without medical care. My service animal could be dead and it’s all my fault.

There is no love. There is nothing. I can dream all I want but I am never getting out of this hole. I am never going to be anyone at all. How dare I even try?

I am just trash, broken humanity that should’ve died instead of fighting to survive. I should give up. Giving up will make everyone else happy. It’s never been about me. I’ve been the responsible adult for 22 years now. I am about to be 25.

I am tired. I am so very tired of making everyone else’s dreams a reality, and now mine are too far away. I will never dance again. I will never sing outside of my home. I will never succeed at anything without six times the effort of other people.

It isn’t real. It is hope. Hope is for people who can afford it. Hope is for people who believe the cops will take less than an hour to respond to a call for help, Hope is for people who don’t have to pray that nothing else goes wrong because their soul can’t afford anymore.

Hope is for people who don’t have crack dealers knocking on their doors. Hope is for people who don’t have to pray that answering their door is still safe. I can’t afford hope. Can you?



  1. Dear Kateryna,

    Your words are sometimes difficult to read, but they are worthwhile. I am sure that I’m not the only person who believes that your words have value, that your struggles have value, that your life has value.

    Womanist Musings and Shakesville both have links for donations. I don’t know if donations would hurt you financially by cutting into what aid you currently are eligible for, but if you had a link for donations, people would pay to read your words. There is no shame in asking people to pay to read your work. Your work is worthwhile.

    Good fortune,

  2. Is there a way for you to put a donate button on this blog? I don’t always have extra money but I would donate now and then, and I have been poor for a large chunk of my own life so I know that when you’re poor, every dollar counts.

    I hope your housing situation improves soon!

  3. I don’t know. I am honored that you would even think to share with me. I am not sure I can put a donate button on, I have to check with the WordPress people, so I will do that and if I can I will.

    Thank you. I am truly, truly honored Tapati.

  4. Denise,

    Thank you. I will look into it, I do want to make sure everything is on the up and up, and I am honored that you find value in what I have to say. It isn’t always easy to share with the strangers I may never meet, but I appreciate even the idea.

    Thank you.

  5. Another wordpress blog has one:

    In fact she has two ways, via paypal (which also lets you use a credit card) and via Amazon, which many people already have a relationship with. (I guest blog for her.)

    Your writing deserves compensation!

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