Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Own Circumstance

I decided to get that MA in art history and spent two years saving the money to do it, putting together over $10,000 and paying off all my debts except the car, when I was fired during a company bankruptcy related round of mass firings in 2006.  I went to work quickly with another company making $11,000 less per year and started using my education fund to pay my rent and utilities.  (I went from 42k to 31k and in CT neither of those figures makes an adult fully financially independent.)  Then I got sick and, thanks to a very bad health plan, paid out over $1,000 of my own money just for diagnostics.  

Then I added another $2,000 to that in preparation for school, including a laptop, books, and airfare to London where I earned that degree in one year.  I sold my my car prior to starting school because I could not afford to make payments on it while attending school full time without a job.  I started my degree in September 2007 as the run on UK banks unfolded and the housing crisis became apparent in the states.  I graduated in October 2008 (at age 38) as the financial crisis went full tilt and came home to zero opportunities, even in my old career, which I was willing to re-enter under the circumstances, even if my degree was earned in order to leave that old career.

Now I am  41 and still working the same part time job for the same ten dollars an hour that I got in 2008.  I live in my mother's very small house, sleeping in a 7x5 bedroom.  I recently found out that I am technically defined as homeless but am not counted as such because I am sheltered.  Anyone in this circumstance is said to be the "invisible homeless."  My student loan was just shy of $45,000 when I graduated and, because I haven't been able to afford payments for two and a half years, it is now due at over $58,000.  I cannot qualify for deferments under my loan agreement because some weeks I work over 30 hours and the federal government considers 30 hours full time -- deferments are available to those working part time.  Like most student loan holders, I do not qualify for any kind of debt forgiveness and I know there is nothing available thanks to Rep. Murphy's office researching the case for me.  

As this country has never really addressed ageism in a culturally meaningful way, we middle agers are likely to have the hardest time getting rehired and back to full wages, meaning our futures are more greatly compromised than those 20somethings the news takes great pity on.  Most of us do not have significant savings (I have $5,000 left over from my last loan disbursement that I use periodically to buy groceries for the household or cover an unexpected bill) or investments or any substantial finances to fall back on.  

I am delaying a needed cervical biopsy because I cannot afford to have it done and have not yet heard from the hospital charity if they will cover the expense.  This is almost funny against Jennifer Granholm's recent interviews in which she has cited socialized medicine as one reason US companies take their businesses to other countries.  

Perhaps none of this would be so hard if I had a spouse to share expenses but I am single and child free so I do not qualify for public assistance or even a mention in political rhetoric about the difficulties of the economy.  

So what about me?  What about all those people like me who just wanted to make the second half of our lives better than the first?


  1. if you type your location into Google maps, then type in "free health services" in the search nearby section, several listings come up(I tried to paste the results here but this blog wouldn't allow the length of the comment)...Maybe one of those will be more helpful...Speed is certainly essential with getting health tests...You shouldn't have to wait...Or ask your loan officer for a break so you can pay for tests...That is important...You really should have some sort of health insurance...Something...I know you know that, but I am telling you well...

  2. Sorry, long link...The link is to an herb called Madagascar Periwinkle...(this is where I got mine from in Canada-not sure where you can get it where you are)...It is a green herb which you can make as a tea...The chemical is the same as chemotherapy...But less of course in strength...What this means is that if you have any sort of something in your body that shouldn't be there, caused by progesterone overload, the Mad. Peri. will get rid of it...This is a way of dealing with "cancers" or other icky things that are in that category...Yourself...You can take a little of it as you go & you can stop taking it as you please...The 1/2 pound is far more than you will use at $23.50 I think...It is a way of getting rid of stuff without going through the rigorous testing & whatnot that you will get at hospitals...My father was a doctor, so I took matters into my own hands...But that is not for everyone...It does require research or time...If you have a cervical glitch, this will eradicate the progesterone imbalance & hopefully correct the matter...You don't take too much or of course it is like chemotherapy...Anyways...This is if you can't afford or don't want to go the traditional route...I don't have your email address so I am sorry to write this here...But I thought better than not...My email is if you would like to ask me questions...Sari Grove

  3. Sari, I believe you and I are engaged in another forum which gives us each an email through which you could have contacted me about this.

    In any case, thanks for your concern.

  4. It does seem, however, that you are unfamiliar with my financial circumstance.

  5. Art History is not s lucrative field. Society doesn't owe you $$$$ or that you have a job you love. Not a wise min-career choice.

  6. Congratulations on your astute observation. I never implied anyone owed me anything. But since you bring it up, as I participate fully in my society, my society does owe me full opportunity to pay my own way -- so I am owed a job of a sort. Funny how people in mainline careers like insurance or nursing are never demeaned for their choice of dollar making.