Archive for the ‘attack’ Category

Fear is a gust of wind the rattles my bones. Fear is a gray cloud that stops the quickens my heart. Fear is a click, creak and groan of a settling house. It’s an unexpected flash of light. Fear is a ghost that haunts me day and night. I am forever at the ready for the fear to be realized.

During the day I watch the sky and judge the wind. I check weather.com like it’s the next Twitter.  I look for reasons to leave the house. I don’t want to be here. Something bad might happen. Something I can’t protect my family against.

At night I stay up late, whether I am tired or not. I’m on the computer with The Weather Channel map open at all times. I peek out windows and check and recheck the locks. I make sure my keys and sneakers are readily available. I check for the dial tone. I go over in head how to load and hold the shotgun. Then I remember that if I ever had to shoot it, My kids would probably be in the line of fire. So I keep the phone in my pocket and wish I had a baseball bat.

When I finally go to bed, I lie there and think. In between lock and weather check, that is. I wonder, is tonight the night we get another tornado? Is this the night some one is going to break in?  Or is this place just going to go up in flames. If so, we’re all screwed.

We’re so far from help, calling wouldn’t matter. It would be over before they got halfway here. So I am always waiting to be called into action. I fear that moment when I have to stop being mom and  be the hero.

And I want it to stop.

I can’t live this way. My family shouldn’t have to put up with Edgy Mommy. Or Exhausted Mommy. It’s not fair to any of us.

So I’ve been looking for a new place to live. Tom has a new, better paying job so we can afford more. But it still is not enough. Rent prices have skyrocketed since the high volume gas well fracking has moved into the area. And once again, we are priced out of the market. The safe ones anyway.

That hasn’t stopped me. Everyday, several times a day, I have been scouring Craigslist and the local newspapers online for something that will work. I’ve even had Tom applying for mortgages while I talk to real estate agents. And for the past 3 months nothing has panned out. We are wither too late, they won’t take the cat ( that Tom won’t part with) or they want 1st, last and 2 months security. That can total over 4 grand.

Until today.

Today I found a 3 bedroom duplex in a nice area that is going to be available in September.  It’s in a great school district and they accept cats. It’s a situation that would alleviate my fears to some degree. It’s in a more populated area, mere minutes from the state troopers and a fire department. The neighborhood (all owned by the same company) look well maintained. And it has a BASEMENT. It’s like Manna  from Heaven. Just one, not so small catch. The rent is more than half of Tom’s paycheck and it would take more than $2k to move in.

If we paid nothing but food gas and insurance, we could get it done in about a month. Maybe a month and a half.

But to what end.

Sure, it has just about everything we want. It’s safe (looking), clean, cared for and convenient. I wouldn’t burst into tears and speed my kids up to my moms at the first clap of thunder and wind gust of 10 MPH.  I wouldn’t spend the night wondering if I should sleep in the hall outside my kids door, just in case.

I would, however, spend my night wondering how we were going to pay the heat, electric, insurance and food bills. And what about when the kids out grow the clothes and shoes they have. I can’t even fathom Christmas and Birthdays.

Oh, wait. I can.

I just stopped doing that shit a couple months ago. I don’t want to go back.

We can afford to pay our bills and live just a little now. It hurts my heart to think of going back to barely scraping by and counting pennies. Going nowhere and not buying things we need just so we can have a roof over our heads and all the very basics that go with it.

But then again, it hurts my heart to be terrified of my home. It hurts even more when Kieran wants to get in the truck and leave at the first raindrop. It takes everything I have to soothe him and tell him it’s okay when in reality, I want to get in the truck too.

So I’m left with this question-

How much a month is my sense of security worth? How much is my kids sense of security worth?

I get inspired to write all the time. I write the most wonderful posts in my head while I’m driving*, cleaning up or changing a diaper. Some times their so funny I nearly piss my pants. Other times their eye watering, poignant. Either way each one is fan-friggen-tastic.

I can’t wait to get on the computer and pound one out**.  I’m practically salivating at the idea of expressing myself as some one other than Mom, Queen of Time Outs and Sippy Cups.

Then shit hits the fan. Literally in some cases.  One second I’m fantasizing about living up to my potential and then some and the next I’m chasing Kieran around with Perry under my arm, a diaper in my hand, the phone pinned between my shoulder and ear and Amanda chasing me, whining requesting yet another outfit change.

Brilliant thoughts? Vanished.

I’ve taken to writing an idea down when I get one. In fact I have a short list sitting on top of my computer right now.

I have no idea where I was heading with those strikes of lightning. They’ll stay right where they are until I get around to throwing them out. Who knows, maybe I’ll remember what I was thinking some time between now and then. 6 months from now if I’m lucky.

PS- Thanks for the inspiration Amy. Your writer’s block was not for naught***.

PPS- While previewing this post. Flock, my browser crashed. Twice.

*When my truck isn’t being possessed by an evil demon that causes the fuel pump to go catatonic with fear.

**Yeah, that sounded dirty to me too.

***Say it with me now, ” Oooh, fancy word”.

I do my big grocery shopping once a month, preferably without kids. I shop for an entire months worth of shelf-stable and freezer items. I prep for at least three days. 1 for coupons, 1 for cleaning fridge and vacuuming the cabinets and 1 for defrosting the freezer. I could spread that out over a couple of weeks but I’m a lazy procrastinator. That and it would all just get dirty and frosty again so why bother.

This month was no different in the basics. What was different however was that I took two cart with me through the store. I figured that I could have one for heavy stuff like cans and juice and one for the more fragile items. I got quite a few strange looks but I didn’t really give it much thought.

I was almost done and in the frozen food department grabbing some veggies when a woman who was giving me a strange look in produce a couple hours earlier asked if all that was for me. She was very nice, especially after I explained to her that I do most of my shopping once a month because taking 3 kids under 4 to the store every week is just insane. Moments later another woman asked basically the same question and got the same answer.

They both nodded and agreed that taking little kids to the store was tough. They both had kids, now teenagers though. They knew that you did what you had to do.

I was in a great mood even after I got my total. The $75 I saved in coupons and shopper club discounts really helped with that. Hell, I was practically giddy because of that.

I dropped my receipt in the lobby and when I bent down to pick it up I heard a voice.

“I bet that’s taxpayer money.”

I stood up and looked straight into the eyes of an 70-80 year old man walking past me. He was talk to me! I was in total shock. He kept staring as he walked by and muttered something under his breathe as he went.


So many thing ran through my mind in those few seconds, I couldn’t even respond to him. I almost called out to him or ran after him but he was lost in the crowd by then. I went and load up my truck instead. 

I was insulted and angry. I waited for him to come out so I could rip him up. or run him over. I sat there for a little bit before I decided to move on before I lost a ton of food to the heat. I cranked “Bleed It Out”  and sped across the parking lot. 

Then I saw him. I was pointed right at the piss ant when I stopped at the stop sign. Once again I just stared but for a different reason. This time I knew just what to do. I wanted to feel the thump of his body hitting my bumper at a high velocity and see his shocked face as his carcass gets thrown. If my foot had touched the gas pedal, I wouldn’t be here to write this. I’d be in court pleading insanity.

I’m not normally an angry person and Linkin Park only comes out when I need a release for my frustrations. So why did this old douchebag get to me so bad?

Because it’s true.

 Yes, my family receives public assistance in the form of foodstamps and medicaid for the kids. It’s not some thing I’m proud of and I would certainly choose to work outside the house if it would actually help. I’ve done the math, it would make us worse off than we are now. If I worked we would need this to survive-
375 a week for daycare
100 gas
150 health coverage
150 groceries and formula
775 just to cover what we would lose and the cost of going to work. 400 if I work a schedule opposite Tom and ask family to babysit for free.

I only have a couple of semesters of college and live in a rural community with a lot of other people out of work. Jobs that pay that well are not only scarce, they’re unheard of. Tom is a CNC machinist and doesn’t even get paid half of that. Sad, considering that the average pay for that job is 37,000. Tom makes $10,000 than the federal poverty guideline for a family of 5. And yes, 400 a week is very rare around here.

It seemed for a long time that every time we would start to do okay, the birth control would fail and Tom would get laid off. The companies he worked for would run out of work and in one case they ended up closing for good. So we applied and qualified for assistance. 
We did this for the kids. It’s not their fault that we live in an economically depressed area . It’s not their fault the housing market took a crap and people stop building new homes. 

We’ve looked at it from every angle. Alternating schedules, asking family to help, moving, me working from home. There is always a fatal flaw in the plan that makes it not workable.

I have to sit and bide my time until it is financially feasible for me to work. Feeling like a schmuck because I am physically capable just so deep into The Brokeness that we would be homeless if I did work.