Life: Unemployment and Despair

I’ve been neglecting my blog and I apologize to the few of you that have been following me!

I’m the Senior Bookkeeper for a Non-Profit for a Department of ONE and an organization thriving with so much LIFE and even more transactions than my 90+wpm or 20+ years of Accounting can barely keep up with.  I am fortunate for this position.  It came to me, or me to it, when my children and I were poverty stricken at my LAST month of Unemployment terrorized by the fact that no matter how many resumes and applications I filled out or the few interviews I was lucky enough to be asked to make – I was NOT chosen.

What a BLOW such realities are to our self esteem and very soul!  My unemployment days were filled with counting our change (literally), walking my children through the hills to school, working in the back office computer of the city’s library (thankful that the head Librarian noticed my visits every day trying to snag the hour limit of computer usage allotted and seeing that was not long enough to successfully fill out more than one on line application.)  Once I have visited, read and kept track of every new position and past positions I’ve applied (a few hours later) I ate my piece of bread or crackers and filled my empty water bottle from the drinking fountain stationed in front of the library   I volunteered at the city’s children’s sports programs as well as my children’s elementary school.  I kept busy, I told everyone and their families that I was in desperate need of a job, food and or clothes for my children.

I had a count down… Unemployment sent a letter stating that the President will not extend benefits as many of us has prayed for… My DEADLINE was less than a month.  ONE month was like a ton of bricks on my chest slowly cutting off air to keep my haggard body life.  At this moment a friend emailed me a flyer to a Reality Show that helped people like me – Unemployed and running out of time.  They mentally evaluated and financially counseled as well as groomed these individuals to follow them through the process of rebuilding and attend the interviews the network would line up.

Well, I applied and my story caught the interest of the Network.  Did I find my silver lining on the black cloud hanging over our heads for almost two years?!  My children and I were beyond excited to even think!

After the background checks, mental and physical evaluations and their meetings with the city and school we were set to start recording in less than 14 days.  THEN the most heart breaking news hit:  My Ex-husband refused to sign the release form for our children.  Never mind that he wasn’t paying child support.  Nor worrying about our children living without gas and/or electricity much less the sounds of their growling tummies – OR – their wearing of tattered clothes and in desperate need of shoes!

I was filled with despair and extreme anger that this “man” was the one and ONLY barrier to reaching a better tomorrow for OUR children!  Can’t tell you how full of despair and anguish and YES, anger I felt towards this human.

The Producer, after many phone and in person interviews, came to LOVE us!  She cried with me and wished she could film as planned.  She contacted me a couple of days later to secretly tell me that she had contacted the companies that had originally agreed to interview me and there was one that would like to do so, even though the recording has been scrapped.  I was elated and held on to that tiny rope of life with all my might!

The interview time was set for a Saturday afternoon.   I made sure my children were taken care of and that I had bus money.  I was there at least an hour early as I didn’t dare to not have enough time to rethink a new route in case the bus broke down.

As I sat before a group of 4… I felt empowered.  These people read my resume and WANTED me.  I answered each question and once they were done they asked the usual:
“Do you have any questions?”

I let my spirit come full circle.  The 20+ years of Accounting and Entrepreneurship came at me like a wave and after hearing each question and understanding their personalities from what each said I asked:
“Is this a new position in your organization?  If so, what is the personality and qualities you feel you need of the person that is in it?”

Yup, I came straight out of left field.  There was a couple minutes of silence and they looked at each other with surprise.  I felt more empowered knowing this fact.

What happened next?  Life happened!  They offered me the position and I accepted even though it was part time.  Why?  I was CONFIDENT enough to know that I AM AMAZING…  Every single position I have worked throughout these decades I have easily and quickly advanced.  I knew it was a matter of time… as precious as it was to me… I just knew in my gut this was the turning point.

Within a month we faced homelessness, my health took a turn to the worse (from 2 years of not enough food,) my ex-fiance walked out the week when I started working and he was keeping the apartment.  Yes, I got kicked down just when I was getting down… BUT… I AM a Warrior!  I attended work with a smile and my great work was taken note by the key people in the organization.  I made it to my medical procedure as scheduled – by bus.  I can’t tell you HOW I made it back to the city and to my children’s school on time!  I almost passed out a few times and when I had to walk up an inclined hill to reach the children, I was praying for strength to move each foot in front of the other.  I felt as if I was in a dream…

This same day the heads at work rescheduled a very important meeting.  I had beans and rice at work and gave that to the children for dinner.  This meeting they discussed changing my position to full time starting in 2 months.  I was beyond thankful for such an offer.  As I looked at my children sleeping on the office couch I knew things will be different in 60 days!

I of course accepted and soon had the children up and ready to make our way back home.  I was worried that the bus would stop running so late at night.  We headed out and my main Boss offered to give us a ride.  As we made our way to his car he asked how my fiance, whom he’d met, was doing.  My Son blurted out that he had left “us” the Friday before and that we needed to find a place to live.  My Boss looked at me and asked if I was able to do that?

I can’t tell you how mortified I was that my Boss knew so much about my personal life.  The week I have spent at the office with swollen red eyes and giving the excuse of “allergies” when asked if I was crying finally made sense to him.  He drove us home and offered his guest room if we weren’t able to find a place soon enough.  He also said he would talk to the board and ask if they can fund my position to full time a month earlier.  In addition to his kindness he personally lent me the money to pay out my ex-fiance from the lease and get our utilities running with the “pay it as you can” condition.  Must of known me enough to know that I would starve myself to pay it faster.

I’m happy to say that it’s been over 2 years.  This organization is my family now.  It’s provided the hand my children and I needed when we most needed it.  Slowly but surely I have been back on my feet with happy and healthy children with basic necessities met and exceeded.  I am THANKFUL for all that I have and dare I say that I am where I am suppose to be?  My career has flourished, my confidence and abilities are back in full force.

There is a silver lining and I am proof.  I am at the happiest that I have ever been and my children are growing up to be some AMAZING souls!  What can a Single Mother wish for?!

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