Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy 2013! Wow. It has been a strange two weeks. First, and absolutely foremost, I want two, very kind readers. I'm not sure if you want your names out there but you know who you are. Your donation seriously helped me out of a very dark place emotionally. Getting a room for a night and getting a hot shower and a regular bed were a true shot in the arm. It also gave me a worry free night to strategize and figure out what I was doing wrong. I know there have been many questions so I'll do my best to answer them. <b>How did you get homeless? Yes. I lost trailer I was living in. Basically, and some of this was my bad for not really reading the lease agreement that I signed, the owner of the trailer was allowing me to live on the land, in the trailer, because I was keeping an eye on the place in addition to/or in exchange for/ a pretty good reduced rent. Because I was working almost all of the time, I wasn't there when some of his possessions went missing and he felt that that violated the spirit of our agreement and he gave me a week's notice to vacate before he had someone to replace me. I had to get out pretty quick. What I didn't really understand was how hard it would be to afford an apartment or qualify with my almost non-existant credit history. I'm still working on it. For the moment, I've swallowed my pride and opened up a dialogue with a member of Harris' family and she is letting me sublet a room in her rental home. But, for about a month, I was living in my very small car and in shelters. You do what you have to do and while I am not proud of it- it happened and now I won't make the same mistakes. Are you sure you're not cyclically depressed, Mary? I also applied for a program that gives free mental health assistance to low income people. I explained my situation and basically sat in the office during a day off and the lady got tired of me. :) She set me up with a therapist and a volunteer psychiatrist who put me back on an antidepressant. The devil's medication. ;) I guess I need the devil because I'm doing much better in terms of my outlook on life. I'm beginning to understand that I will probably deal with depression and lack of faith in myself my entire life. My new therapist did recommend that I start blogging or journaling more regularly. Her take was different than my initial therapists rationale though. The new therapist (we'll call her Julia) thinks that blogging keeps me "in the world" and gives me feedback that I need (good and bad) to evaluate my progress. She also thinks that I will find self-worth in giving my story to others as a cautionary tale and I do agree with that. What say you, readers? Has my blog helped you or anyone you know parent better or avoid QF/ATI? Do you need financial help or help budgeting? My husband and I had horrible financial problems when we were young. Email me if you need help making a plan. I do need help in all ways financially. I tried having my student loans deferred, but since I'm working two jobs they want their money. I financed all of my education and lifestyle for those long years and I have a huge debt to pay. My payments are over $200 a month. Since my resolution is to be less secretive or ashamed of my issues. I'll share that my bills are as follows: Student loans: $200 New rent: $300 (for one room) Food: $170 Medicine: $68 Car related things: $300 Clothing and things for living: $100 I make about $1400 between two waitressing jobs.

43 comments:

  1. Hi Ruth. I'm glad to hear you're doing better and have somewhere safe to live!! That's the most important thing.

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  2. Ruth, one thing I wanted to point out is that I think you were legally entitled to 30 days notice to move from the trailer, so keep that in mind for any future situations. As far as your finances go, I can't see much for you to cut except possibly the car. But that might be entirely necessary to get to work, etc, it would be in my area. Is your living situation stable or will you have to move sometime soon? Could you find a higher paying waitressing job? It seems like you could make more than 1400, depending what type of restaurant you are at. Are there casinos in your area? Here, the sever jobs at the casino are higher paying than other restaurants. Good luck.

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  3. Hi Ruth,

    My story is different from yours- while I grew up in a cult-like church, my parents left when I was about 12. Despite this, the legacy of that church hurt my family for a long time, and I had a lot of residual hurt and anger about it. Your honesty sharing your struggles really helped me, and also made me more conscious to reach out to some of the other people who'd experienced it who, I think, I've also been able to help, especially as I'm now in a pretty decent place in life. So thank you.

    I'm right at the end of pay period right now (monthly pay is the worst!), but once it's over, expect a little something.

    E

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  4. "My husband and I had horrible financial problems when we were young. "

    What?

    I'm glad you have a safe place to live, but this post doesn't quite read like you. Are you sure they got the meds right? Sometimes it takes time. And I do not understand that sentence--please clarify.

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    1. She is answering questions from readers. The format got a little jumbled with bold text, making all of it appear to be Ruth's words. A reader offered her experience with financial problems and offered help to make a plan.

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  5. OK, that makes more sense. This whole thing sounded kind of manic! I was worried about her medicine dosing. ;-)

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  6. The way you keep taking it on the chin and still keep that chin up leaves me in awe. There is NOTHING in this post to be ashamed of: you've been brave, you've asked for help, you've honored your debts, you're doing everything humanly possible to move forward. If what you've written in your blog doesn't inspire everyone who reads it, I don't know what will.

    Things are tight with my budget since it's post-holidays, but I've put something in your tip jar. Hope it helps make your day a bit easier.

    Take care!!!

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  7. ((hugs)) A dear friend once told me that, however many years you are in a situation, that is how long it takes to fully get over it. Strange enough it has played out to be true in my life. It took me 18 years to fully get over and feel free from my parents unhealthy behavior. Keep going sweetie! I know you can overcome and move on to a healthy,stable, happy life.

    About a year ago, a homeschooling friend told me about ATI/Gothard. At first I thought it might be a good program to add to our homeschooling curriculum. Was I in for a shocker! After listening to Gothard speak I start googling. Through another site I found your blog. You are helping others not to fall into this cult. I highly encourage you to keep using your voice and this blog to tell your story.

    An idea ... have you tried to gain employment through a nanny agency? Often times part of the payment/agreement is room and board. Then you might be able to go back to school ( even taking a few online classes) and defer your student loans for now.

    Best wishes in the New Year for you!

    ~ Jamie

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  9. Does your alma matter have a career center? They might be able to help you with a job hunt geared toward your degree.

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  10. You can ask for a hardship deferral. It just takes talking to the right person. Also, did you know about the option to put your loans into a program that asks for 10% of your pay as the minimum?

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  11. Also, look into your meds being covered by the drug company under the NeedyMeds program.

    Did you apply for foodstamps?

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  12. Hi,

    Check into hardship deferral or income-based repayment for your loans. The government is usually willing to work with people to lower payments. Have you checked for food pantries in your area? Hang in there.

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  13. If you can contact Sallie Mae (or what the lender is) they can and will drop your payments. I owe buckets to them and am paying less than 75$ a month. I have a fixed income, it's basically what I pay my rent with. My husband's been unemployed since August so theoretically I could call them and say we're in a financial pit right now. I'm not sure where you are in CA, but as said above, if there is a casino near by, they pay pretty well for servers.
    Hugs for a better 2013.

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  14. Ruth, try this company: http://www.direct.ed.gov/ They have a program where they buy all of your loans, and then let you pay them back. They also let you pay them back on an income contingent basis (at the very beginning I was only sending about $30.oo a month...because of interest not even enough to put a hole in my loan, but it kept both other loan companies and creditors off of my back...the more I made, the more I then increased my payment..all my loans are paid off now)..it was a real life saver for me (I wasn't in a homeless situation, but I was in a situation of having been ill/not very employable for a long long time). Also, if there is a church/other charity in your area that has a soup kitchen or something, don't feel ashamed to take advantage of that. And coattailing on what others have said, I'd also look into section 8 housing for now...(doesn't mean you have to be there forever).

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    1. Love, Rebekah (someone said once it's cowardly to be anonymous on a blog..although I'M not putting me as unknown...google keeps doing that..

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    2. *an anonymous commenter ..I understand why YOU remained anonymous Ruth (Mary).....for a long time I thought your real name might be Rose Mary (cause you said one on free jinger Mary was your middle name)...now I wonder if you're Mary Ruth.....I know razing ruth basically meant to destroy raising up their hands though, so maybe Ruth isn't in your name at all. For those who don't know, R.U.T.H. was one of Gothard's subprograms..

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  15. sorry for the link fail...I'll try again..http://www2.ed.gov/programs/wdffdl/index.html

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    1. Well I still can't seem to make a link, but you can copy and past, or google WIlliam D. Ford, Direct Loan program.

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  16. I am glad the $$$ could help if even for a short time. I don't have a lot of advice financially except that I have been there and keep working it and things WILL get better. If you could pick up another job/income source that may be enough to get you over the hump, even $50 a week could be a big help.

    I have one last thought, I worked a resort job for 4 years after college. I went from Nantucket in the summer to Colorado in the winter. I learned to cook and eventually became a professional chef. You work hard at these jobs for long hours but most of the time they include living expenses and when you work that hard you have no time to spend money. They always need restaurant help as well as chambermaids and nannies. This is a great time of year to start thinking about a change. You just go there and you work and you put money in the bank and then you work some more, you don't need a car in most resort towns. Just let me know if you wold like to be pointed in the right direction for this type of work, I still have a few connections.

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  17. Am an australian, so i don't know if this will be an option, but i've had some friendswho did some supervisory work at a boarding school in return for food and board

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  18. Based on your disclosed income and expenses, you're in the black currently which is a fantastic start.

    As lot as you're getting ahead, however pitifully slowly, you'll get to where you're headed. I'm glad things are turning around for you.

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  19. Be sure to check out RXdrugcard.com for your meds. This is what I used when I didn't have medical insurance, and made too much for state insurance. This is a discount drug program, and it brought one of my meds down from $150 a month to $9. I think the cost for it is $3 a month.

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  20. Dear Ruth,

    I wanted to write and thank you.

    My dad kicked my 17 year old sister out of the house on Sunday night. She is the 5th of 6 of us. All of us have left home on bad terms, her being the second to get the boot.

    The reason she was kicked out?
    Because she told my dad that when she turned 18, she would wear jeans to church.
    Remove his name from her checking account.
    And she called him on the fact that he is harrasing my 2 adult brothers about their sex lives.

    Oh, and she refused to be spanked for her "rebellion".

    Over the last week, I have finally realized that my dad is an abuser. That none of us kids were truely rebellious, and that my sister did NOTHING to deserve the 2 slaps in the face she received before the spanking threat. Its been a horrific week emotionally.

    Someone recommended your blog to me, and even though we were not Gothard followers, so much of your upbringing reminded me of mine.

    I know my comment might seem out of place in reply to this post.

    I am truly sorry that you are struggling mental health wise, and financially. But I wanted to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for sharing yourself here. I wanted to thank you for leaving. Your story is helping people who are learning to confront the abuse. I am 23, and I left home at 18, and I am just getting to the point where I realize that "abuse" is the right word for it.

    I think my sister will give into my Dad's demands for unquestioning subjugation and go back home. I am praying it won't happen, but I think it will. I can imagine your pain when Rachel went back.

    I am praying for you. I pray that God will bless you and bring you peace. I just wanted to post and let you know that reading your blog has brought tears, and some healing to my heart, and I pray that God continues to do that for you too.

    ~Willow

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    1. @ Willow: Spanking a 17-year-old isn't just physical abuse, it's sexual abuse. This may be hard to hear, but you should call child protective services. Your sister will be in danger if she goes back home, and your youngest sibling is probably in danger as well.

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    2. I concur you need to call Child Protective Services IMMEDIATELY!!! They need to deal with your dad and help your sister that is sexual abuse and slapping your sister int he face is assault and battery. For your sisters sake stand up for her and call CPS.

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    3. This is Willow, even though I am not signed in. My sister is out!! She has thought about going back, but she is out!!!

      CPS was called and did nothing. It breaks my heart. My dad has a blog, and has been spouting off crazy talk all over the place-though subtly enough so no one *gets* how insane he is. :(

      After reading here and on recoveringgrace.org, I have realized that my Dad's doctrine and Gothards are nearly identical. She is 18 now, and still has no access go her money.. She has 3K in the bank, but can't get to it, because Dad is the legal owner to the account. Thankfully as soon as she turned 18 last week, she started her own account.

      Thank you for the support. I didn't mean to leave it sounding like I had left her there to fend for herself. While I was not the one who called CPS I would have. The pastor that my sister is working with totally gets how abusive, unhealthy and unbiblical this all is and has called him on his horrible abusiveness. She has amazing support who is taking care of her, helping her graduate, and getting her counseling.

      God is good. <3 thank you all for your prayers.

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  21. Molly/Willow-
    Please call protective services for your 17 year old sister. It sounds like a bad situation. No one should be spanking a 17 year old. It is hopeful, however, that your sister already has a checking account- does that mean she's working and has access to the outside world? A lot of fundamentalist families isolate their children to an extent where a bank account wouldn't even be an option.

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    1. I replied above. CPS was called, but I guess they don't do much for the first call. :(

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  22. Please remember Ruth, you are not alone. The economy is bad. We are at the tail end of a jobless recovery. You didn't do anything wrong and it is perfectly normal to feel defeated when you work your patoot off and can't afford to have a roof over your head. There is nothing morally wrong with being poor.

    Also, you are a really good writer, you deserve to make money off of your writing. It is a sale-able skill but it does take courage to stand up to the little voice in your head that says "I'm not worthy." You are worthy, the voice is wrong, just saying.

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  23. Thanks for wishing new year, i'm sorry for being late to wish you new year. 2012 was the best year and specially it's ending. I attended a new year party at 31 DEC 2012 night, that was held in our town. This party was in open-sided marquee and fully decorated with lightning, it was the best ending of 2012.
    ----------------
    Marquee Hire Prices Manchester

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  24. Hi Ruth, I've been reading your blog for a while and would love to make a donation to you. If I click on the Donate button is that money going to swagbucks or to a paypal account where you can get cash? I prefer for you to have cash so that you can do what you need to with it.

    Thanks kindly

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  25. I am so glad you are back...I need blogs like yours.

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  26. One thing I don't quite get...If FIVE of the ten(or is it eleven counting Blessing)...have left the whole ATIA/QF/Gothard thing, why don't those five help each other out?

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  27. Ruth,
    I am so sorry about your living situation kudos to you for reaching out to Harris's family that took alot of courage. A couple of ideas for you that you may not have thought of. Student Loan forgiveness if you teach (and I know that is not your degree but sometimes they will take you anyways) in a low income at risk area your loans will be forgiven at a certain percentage google student loan forgiveness. I heart applying places based on your having a college degree, check with hospitals and see what they are hiring for receptionist positions, salary is good and benefits are great. Sometimes I wonder if they have a school for QF/fundie dads to attend to learn to be as spiritually and emotionally abusive as possible my dad would have done exactly the same kind of thing just see it as an effort to emotionally blackmail and abuse. Apply now for section 8 housing it takes a while to get. Apply for and use food stamps and whatever other government aid you apply for thats why I pay taxes!

    Find out if there are other avenues for using a degree in library studies (can't think of the darned degree name right now) that you hadn't considered I know this sounds strange but you might be surprised what you find something outside of a librarian. Really do look into the low income teaching thing though or any other job that will gain you forgiven student loans a better salary and some experience.

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    1. Also consider looking into non profits some might be very interested in your degree you never know!

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  29. Ruth,
    thought you might find this article interesting.
    http://infospace.ischool.syr.edu/2012/03/07/is-a-masters-degree-in-library-science-a-poor-investment-a-counter-perspective-to-forbes-magazine/

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  30. In a previous post you said that you had bought your trailer with cash. Now there is an owner and a lease agreement?

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    1. I think the lease part was for the property itself? That she owned the trailer but had nowhere to take it?

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    2. I'm kind of confused. I've been reading this blog for a couple of days, and there seem to be a few inconsistencies. I'm just not sure how she could have ended up homeless if she owned a trailer.

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