An old friend of mine sent me this message yesterday. We haven’t seen each other for years, so we don’t truly know each others stories any longer. I asked if I could share hers here, in the hope that others would share it, so we can continue breaking down the misconception that poverty is an us vs them situation.
I didn’t want to write this publicly, but I wanted to say I really admire you and what you’re doing. Three years ago I was working for at a job making 50-60K a year. When I had my first child I had to quit. I got pregnant again when she was only 4 months old. I was in a tumultuous relationship, which left me single many times throughout, and with finality a few months later. I had taken my maternity leave early because I couldn’t continue with a big belly in such an industrial environment. That being said, I finally came to the point when I no longer had an income.
I cashed out 12,000 worth of RRSPs to get by at first, and then when that was gone to my mortgage and bills, my family helped me out for a few months, until I was forced to swallow my pride and seek assistance. It was the hardest time of my life. My pride was gone, as was the sense of self sufficiency I had always known.
I have always been so judgmental towards some things I shouldn’t have been in life. Like our social services, and thinking people took advantage. Not understanding how people could be homeless etc. If it wasn’t for my family it could have been me. Obviously, I have made it through, with the help of family and resources, I have never been so grateful to have. I have such a better understanding of poverty now.
I have a plan for my future to gain complete independence again, but props to you for bringing attention to people who didn’t have the support I did.
Take care. ♡
*Story has been edited to maintain anonymity