For so many. Take my friend in California who is living this: "My ex decided to not pay my car so now is going to be repossed... he has ripped me off of everything. I'm homeless, without my kids, dishoners my visitation with my daughter and has my car taken away soon. I just owe 5000 and the car would be paid off. Yes, I'm upset. But I will make it." She is a pillar of strength, and I am amazed at her courage; Happy to hear she's found some work through temp agency this week.
I hurt quite a lot, for different reasons at different times; mostly self-inflicted emotional hurt, mostly brought on by fact that I'm unable to provide for my children. But, one incident that has constantly prodded me since it occurred kinda broke my heart - I was presumed a liar by a perfect stranger. It was a Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Safeway managers were setting up a special table promoting Colorado state lottery. We walked past it after making last minute Thanksgiving meal purchases, and it caught my eye and curiosity. I wished I could win the lottery, I thought.
Before we reached the store exit, I found myself turning around and returning to the table... just to ask a question or two. You see, I don't play the lottery - I don't have that kind of luck. So I asked how much tickets cost... $1, $5, $10 and up; What you had to do to play... buy a ticket, scratch off, win a prize (or nothing), or choose numbers (or have them automatically chosen for you) and hope come announcement day that the numbers you have match the ones revealed by the state lottery commission. AND CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE A WINNER... of millions and millions of dollars.
Anyway, back to the hurt. The store manager has the nerve, after sizing me up, to say, "Oh, I don't believe that. You don't look like someone who can't afford to buy lottery tickets." after I mentioned I didn't have that kind of money ($1) to spare. In my head, I thought, "WHAT?!?" I walked away in shame. You see, my son, who at the time was working part-time earning minimum wage, was the one purchasing our groceries. He still does. That's where his money goes... to feed his family. He selflessly, generously, puts food on the table without once ever complaining about it.
Might have only felt slightly worse that time some attorney's office called on behalf of *insert credit card company, health provider, etc, here* demanding payment for balance on delinquent account. After spewing out our financial circumstances - through sobs, standing in front porch so as to spare my kids overhearing me this way - law-office-girl offers this tidbit, "to earn some much needed cash" as a solution: "You should try to sell your blood at the blood bank." Yup, selling my blood would put food on the table. I was furious. That was around the time my cousins rallied around us and paid a month's worth utilities and friends sent grocery store gift cards.
More than anything I should feel proud and honored to have such a loving child anytime he and I exit a store with bags of food... I do, actually. But for some reason I can't let the shame I felt from that Thanksgiving eve comment by the Safeway manager go - which explains my finding it increasingly difficult to go in stores lately. Must work on that.