Caring for Sick Parents
—Alamance County, NC, aid recipient—
I was enrolled at GTCC [Guilford Technical College]. I was living in a family home with my parents taking care of them. My father got really bad. He started having seizures, which they thought were strokes. Well, things started going south at that point and because this… I was in my second semester, this semester, for the Spring. And then, in February, he was hospitalized. He had three seizures back-to-back.
Well, when he was hospitalized, my brother-in-law, who has bullied me all my life since I was a kid, he came and put me out. And the next day he put my 18-year-old son out, who would be graduating high school in May. So now, here it is, what? April? (Laughs) So, um, I’ve been homeless since the end of February. My son went to live with his father, which he really doesn’t know because he hasn’t really seen him since fourth grade. So now, my son’s with his father and I’m here. And I lost my whole family, my everything.
I mean I’ve always had money. I mean, my dad worked and he spoiled me like crazy. And I worked and we just… I mean, yeah, we had our financial problems. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a little spoiled rich girl.
I mean, that’s what ended up killing my marriage was the money problems. And then he went and got on drugs, which yeah, that didn’t help the finances all too well, but… I mean he went from being my husband to being in prison. I’m like, “What happened?” It’s like… you know? But I mean it wasn’t for drugs, but he lost his license because of a speeding ticket and then he got … then he hit somebody with, with my car and I’m like, “Okay,” you know? But he wasn’t drunk or do any drugs that morning, but I mean he was going and doing something simple. Going to the grocery store, but he didn’t… he had stopped telling me about the speeding tickets because I would be so mad, you know? Because here, here’s another five to a hundred … I mean $500.00 to $1,000.00 out the window again. And he just didn’t tell me. They took his license. I didn’t know. And then, yeah, when the Burlington police come rolling up at my house, I quickly found out a lot of things. I was like, “Wow, okay.”
I tried everything before I came to this shelter and now I’ve got three months. I’ve got three months to find a job and get out or I won’t have anywhere else to go for like a year from what I understand.
I was without a car for several years because I didn’t really need one, but when I went to… when I got back in school in October because I already had one semester down, but then I went back in October and like I said, my mom seen that as a very bad thing. I don’t know why. I don’t understand that. But right now she says I made some bad decisions and here … you know? I’m like, one bad mistake was, uh, what? Went back to school?
But, uh, when I did that, I took a student loan and got a car because GGCC in Jamestown had the healthcare management technology. Where ACC [Alamance Community College] here in Haw River, Graham or whatever, doesn’t have that. And I wanted, I mean I wanted the double major. I wanted two degrees. I wanted, I wanted the degree because I really want to work (laughs).
And I’m finding I’m not able to you know? With the education I have, I’m not able to find a job you know? There’s no jobs anymore. And I’m like… you see what I’m wearing today? I feel so not put together in this because I’m so used to… but I don’t want to break out my good clothes until I get a job interview….
I’m just not…this is not how I…this is not how I imagined this to be. I did not think I’d be…. I just turned forty back in December. And I just did not think this is how it would be.
Christine was unemployed. She is Caucasian, aged 40, and was interviewed by Elon student Hannah Hyatt, on April 9, 2013.