Illness and Domestic Violence
—Alamance County, aid recipient—
I wasn’t able to work. With me, what was going on, I wasn’t able to work, with my health and transportation and other things set me back.
And I had a personal… I was living with someone. I had a bad relationship problem too, and I lost everything I had. My little Avon business, where I was living with a man in Greenville, and oh boy, that was the worst five years of my life [she shakes head]. First two was fine, and then… And I mean he caused a lot of my dilemma too, how I was living in this relationship. I am trapped. And it wasn’t good. And I mean he done something to me mentally and physically, you know, I was asking the Lord, “Please, get me out of this.” But it cost me everything I had. I mean, I lost a house, stuff in storage. He right there with me but he didn’t care. Here I am. All I wanted was to work and come back, and everything in the book except myself. At one point where it got physical that I decided to fight back the best way I could. But you know, I was going through something. And it got to the point, where finally, at Alliance One, which took my processing. It was dust and smoke and something. That’s how, that was part of that place, gave me bronchitis. It was just a job. And that’s something…there is no cure.
Working Towards Recovery
Well, at one point in the past I lost a home, I did not have a car, I did not have a job, and again I started just walking to First Baptist and I lived on unemployment for a previous job in Greenville NC and until that ran out, that’s how I was taking care of the house. And until then, then I lost everything; I got to the point, was at the point whereas I could not pay the rent anymore, did not have lights, heated by kerosene for a whole winter, and it was my puppy and I at that time so during my struggles or living with kerosene and candles. I was still starting to attend the church, visiting and trying to get Christ in my life. And as things progressed and I made the decision that that’s what I wanted to do, I dedicated my self to life and Jesus.
We have a great congregation. They helped me get my car on the road. I did get my driver’s license! And you know within this congregation…it was a little struggle an inch at a time, but each step paid off and here I am today with everything that I really need, really.
And so after I left that house I had to go to the shelter ‘cause I didn’t have a choice, and I stayed at a shelter for about a month but meanwhile the few things that I did have left in the household the church stored in the church for me, as far as my belongings was stored in the church until I was, you know, got out of the boarding house. I was there for about… over on Davis Street… it was less than a year. And then through Alamance transit authorities, we have affiliates there, one of my members is a director there, that was my transportation to get to and from the doctor’s and places I needed to go here in Alamance. I finally did land a job.
Well, right now like I said I work at Central Carolina Products. You’re not really learning anything or going anywhere, but it’s a job. It has been rough (laughs) but I still have to look back and say, Lord I thank you. It’s not a whole lot of money and no benefits. And health-wise it was good to have some job and have some income coming in. And health-wise I have progressed. I was able to I have enough income now. The church helped me land the house that I’m in now. I have my own house and now the income that I do have helps pay my bills, and keep me going. I’m not satisfied. (laughs) I’m still working. I’m still working on it’s time to move on, now.
Lilly is employed doing factory work. She is African-American, in her late forties, and was interviewed by Elon student Jamie Albright, Nov. 9, 2012.