In December 2012, John had me convinced in the length of one shift at work that I should quit my job. Leaving that day, had he asked, I would have said, “No way. I need my job, it’s a good job. And we need this money.” I actually did figure out how much I might get from Social Security Disability, because my illness and missing work was causing most of my problems there. But it didn’t seem like enough. So I kept plugging away, treated poorly by my co-workers and administrators, coming home to the children in bed and sad notes from my older daughter about how much she missed me. But that night Sir emailed me and began suggesting that maybe if I removed my substantial retirement, which seemed fairly easy, we could live on that for quite some time with his teacher’s salary. I could take some time off, heal, and look for a new job in the Fall.
And from there everything went completely and totally to shit. I was going to wait to turn in my notice, but circumstances prompted me to do it sooner. Then I learned there is a 90 day wait for your OPERS money once you have had your last day. Then the Sir decided he thought it would be super great, cool, and doable to move to San Francisco. I told him I would do that, if he really thought it was possible. He did. He began to get rid of things in the house. He cleaned out the entire basement, which is where we stored things and we also hung out down there. He hated his teaching job, because he was in a horrible district (and many know how hard it is to be any teacher anywhere in Ohio and much of the country right now), and he resigned. That is when I started to panic. Neither of us was employed, and his health insurance would run out at the end of the summer. He got rid of much of our furniture, much of our lives, in garage sales throughout the summer. He would have gotten rid of the beds and dressers if I’d let him. He needed out of here, and I took him seriously, and was along for the ride.
I got sicker. There was no way I could work anywhere, and he was sending resumes to San Francisco but wasn’t able to follow up with the positive responses he did get. We made one visit there and I was horribly ill the whole time. I was also sick during our entire annual vacation to Cape May for the very first time, barely getting out of bed except to go to the area Emergency Room, twice. The news on selling our house wasn’t good – we had gotten a loan from the City and hadn’t realized that we would owe back the entire thing if we moved now, meaning we’d have to sell our house for a very unrealistic price. Sir worked as a lumberjack for his friend Trey the Tree King, for a while, because a terrible storm came through and Trey needed help, and because we learned his OPERS money would have a long delay as well – that was our money to get us out to San Francisco, supposedly. But as the summer went on it became increasingly clear that we weren’t going anywhere.
I made a decision to get a dog now rather than wait until we moved because I no longer believed we would move. I looked up collies on Petfinder and landed on one, a “smoothie” mix from Athens Ohio, where I’d gone to school. Mom paid the adoption fee for my birthday and the rest was history. You all know how much this dog, Asia, has enhanced my life. We also went to my cousin’s wedding. In August, I stayed sick and SirMigraine and I finally had the talk about not moving. Insurance was going to run out. I was too sick to move house and too sick to get another job. I decided for sure to apply for disability (haven’t yet). Told the kids we weren’t moving, and they began school here. Sir began to try to make money on the internet in some mysterious way which I still don’t understand. Something about SEO (?) and websites, and he did make some websites that are making a little money.
Friday was my lowest point. I bought into a scam that was supposed to get me writing jobs online, yes, mywritingjob.com. Which I will not link because it is BS!! I paid money for basically the same jobs that are listed on Microworkers.com! Why did I think this would work? Sad, sad, I was so sad. And scared. Two unemployed parents, two children and a dog. We were finally able to buy some cheap health insurance after the Cobra benefits on John’s old insurance proved to be too expensive, so we’re covered there. (And by the way, that “insurance” was mostly a scam.)
It is November 10th. SirMigraine’s 33rd birthday is tomorrow and he is celebrating by going back to work for Trey, the lumberjack. I bought him steel toed boots and work pants and work gloves and socks and a warm hat with some of the retirement money that is left. A job is a job, and he will be in the sunshine with people he likes doing physical labor which he likes. And me, I will start the long, arduous, horrible process of applying for disability.
It seems like we made a series of very stupid decisions. I don’t know if we did or not. I know that the idea of neither of us having jobs did make me get more migraines. I didn’t exactly think we’d end up on the street, but I was afraid that we would have to move in with my parents. My parents have always been very supportive and helpful, but we certainly do not want to rely on them more than we have to.
I believe that for now the lumber jacking will keep us alive. I know my application for disability will not be approved the first time or even the second time, and I might have to get a lawyer.
I want us to be happy, and not both working jobs we hated and never seeing our children like before. I guess I finally feel a little safer, which is why I’m comfortable blogging about it now. No unrealistic ideas about moving to the most expensive place in the country, far far from family. No more trying to make enough money to live off of from clicks on websites (we are, though, making about $40 per day on those, just not enough). No more thinking I can write online to help support us. We will not be working from home, after all. John will leave each day and go to a job, and I will be here, taking care of the children, and compiling over 30 years of information about my Migraine Disease to try to convince the government that I am too ill to work, and have been for quite some time.
We will be okay. John will be okay and I will be okay, hopefully, with my wonderful doctor, and the kids will be okay despite all the stress we’ve been under. I hope this is the beginning of the end of that stress. I hope that from here, everything gets easier.
*LadyMigraine with Zo and X on the way to Downtown Trick or Treat*