Regardless of what the extremists say, getting government assistance is not like finding buried treasure — it’s like digging coins out of the bottom of a sewer.

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From my perspective:

I left him and our two near adult children to live on my own. At the time it seemed right, the kids wanted to stay in the home we only made a mere two years ago and I being a stay at home mom for most of the marriage and child rearing years, felt I couldn’t financially support said children. He could cover the financial aspect, seemed reliable enough to support the children until they became independent, and he could continue working on improving the homestead. Because I work part time, anywhere from 15 to 30 hours a week at a grocery store, my meager stipend for the last six months has been inflated by a college loan, a line of credit from the bank and good credit from an inheritance that evaporated long before the marriage did.

I am one of these people on welfare. Gasp. I ‘get’ a $40 a month food stamp allowance from the government. I eat about $10 a week in food or more, god forbid if I get fruits or vegi’s!! The hoops I had to jump through to get this amount was outstanding. I hate being on food assistance, yet as I went back and forth on filling out the necessary paperwork this week to extend this monthly gift, I thought, why? Why hate it? Because it makes me feel needy? Lowly? Lazy? Gosh… that blank can be filled with so many “kick’n my ass” words.

There are no easy answers when everyday is a financial struggle. I shouldn’t have bought the luxury food stuff I did last night. It filled a want (damn it) and not a need. I hadn’t had sushi in 4 months or better. I had been good about not binge drinking, my favorite get through the week past time when I knew the marriage was dying and in the first months living here on my own felt like hell on earth. I bought sushi, smoked fish dip, wine, decadent mini cakes to share and chocolate. $30 of stuff. Lately my dinners are frozen, or ramen supplemented with whatever green vegi I have on hand. I have developed into a very frugal eater! It helps keep the waist line down for sure. Plus those amazing dinners I enjoyed cooking as a mom and wife are not conducive as a single. I can’t stomach the same (loved) meal 4 nights in a row. I avoid it and it becomes a science experiment lost in the back of the fridge.

I enjoyed my ‘feast’ last night. I even got to share the petite cakes with my friend/significant other. Today, my body is revolting in all ways, not for me to discuss in mixed company. I can’t do this often, in fact maybe twice a year might be my limit. Still, as a human with wants as big as many others around me, I make bad choices with my money and the above purchases can be easily judged to be a bad financial decision while receiving a handout like food stamps.

Never in a million years did I believe I would be on food stamps. I’ve always been careful with the money I made or received. Yet, my circumstances dictate I need help from other sources and this small amount is much needed every month. So I signed up for that offered extension. Let’s see if I get approved for another 6 months of help.

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