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Why I will be the first to stand up for the single mom on foodstamps!

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:48 PM
  • 6 Replies

I was a typical girl growing up in a poor Midwest setting.  My father left my mother when I was in kindergarten.  He left her with 2 children, no vehicle and a stack of bills with a zero balance in the bank account.  At the time my mother was jobless since the area I grew up in valued stay at home mothers over those who chose to work outside of the home.  Women were to raise their children in a Godly home with conservative ideals that mirrored generations past.  Sadly this system fell through for my mother, who was blamed when my father left her for another woman.  She was blamed for not being strong enough, not being Christian enough and not doing enough to contribute to the family.  

So my mother turned to the church for help, which shut its doors on her.  Why?  Because divorce is a sin.  Thankfully we lived in a tiny trailer that my grandfather "rented" to my mother.  She took a job at a local nursing home as a nurses assistant.  She worked nights and we spent the night at our grandparents home so that we could get sent off to school in the morning.  Even when she was working it was just minimum wage and with taking care of 2 children on her own and lawyers fees she couldn't make ends meet.  So she did what any woman would do and found as much aid as she could.  She was on food stamps and other welfare programs to help her out as she tried to find better work with hours that would allow her to be home to have dinner with her girls.  Looking back on it now I shake my head because I remember how embarrassed my mom was every time she took out the little paper book of foodstamps that she was given monthly.  I remember the whispers in the line at the checkout counter.  It was horrible for my mom to go through, the judgemental stares and whispers from people that didn't even know the circumstances.

Growing up in the midwest brought many hardships.  I grew up in that little single wide trailer.  I was called trailer trash by the middle and upper class kids in my town who happily toted their parents ideologies in things such as religion and politics.  Their view of the world was narrow for sure, especially considering I only had a graduating class of 32 kids who knew each other since kindergarten.  So I was the outcast, the "welfare kid" who could only afford Walmart clothes. As a teenager I tried to fit in with the views of the people around me.  I tried to be a good Conservative Christian who only voted Republican but things simply didn't fit for me.  I didn't understand why bigotry and hatred was allowed, especially after the events of 9/11.  I didn't agree that all Muslims were stupid "towel heads" that needed to die (yes this was said in a world history class I was taking and the teacher shook his head in agreement and left it at that).

As I grew to understand my views more, which were labeled extreme, I came to find that I was more liberal than those around me.  I agreed with the sentiment that no person should go hungry or cold because they fell on hard times.  I agreed that there should be government plans to help these people.  I agreed that our environment needed to be protected with environmental laws.  All of my views, which I don't have the room to list here, were the polar opposite of what I was raised to believe in my community and even in my own family.  

I did the "right" thing when I was 19 and I married a good Christian man whose family were staunch Republicans.  I fell into the typical role that is desired in my area, that of home maker and the supporter of a man who was going places (he was in the military).  Behind closed doors it was a different story.  After years of abuse I finally worked up the nerve to leave.  From that point on I was ostracized, a complete outcast, to my entire family.  I was the woman who broke up a good marriage to go the "feminist" route and pursue her own dreams and her own career.  I was independent which I was taught was a bad thing since man is the head of the household according to the Bible and a woman needs a man to guide her away from the wickedness of the outside world.  

When I broke free I really came into myself.  I learned what I valued and I what I would not stand for.  No longer was I controlled by the restraints of my families religious and political views.  This is when I made a major decision for myself.  I changed my religion and I changed political views.  

I remember the first time I voted Democrat.  At first I felt like it was wrong, since I had been told all my life that all Democrats are evil and are going to usher in the second coming and the Antichrist.  But when I saw what my elected Congressman did after he was elected I was elated!  THIS was the change I was waiting for and it was a good one!  

From that point on I have been very vocal about my views.  I am a proud Pagan Liberal.  Why?  Because I broke the bonds of sexism, misogyny and bigotry that I was raised with in the Conservative Bible Belt of the Midwest.   I will never turn back.  

If there are any holes in my story or questions feel free to ask.  CM doesn't really allow much space to write a novel.

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by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:48 PM
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Replies (1-6):
blues_pagan
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Bump!

Amberleigh81
by Silver Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:57 PM
I applaud you for taking control of your life.

I am a Christian, but I don't believe in the conservative agenda. I think Jesus was a pretty big liberal! :)

I think that PA should be a way for families to better their lives, and there should be more compassion and less judgement when policies are being developed.

What did your congressperson do that impressed you so much?
blue123244
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Welcome to the dark side!!! lol  good for you!  people don't realize the circumstances that people get into that are not their fault that makes it so that they need assistance - A woman might have been a stay at home mom with a husband and the husband died and she has no work experience and can't get a job, etc, etc, people just don't know - what are we suppose to do let the children die?  I know there are republicans against providing lunch and breakfasts for schools and sometimes that is the only meal these kids have!  anyway best to you!

TigOlBitties
by Platinum Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:09 PM
I'm glad you were able to find yourself despite the expectations that were placed upon you unfairly.

It seems many people are blinded by privilege until the shit hits the fan as it so often tends to do, and then your entire circle of "support, love, fellowship" that you always thought was so strong and righteous turns out to be nothing but a charade! And these were the people molding you to their ways. Brainwashing you into thinking that anyone who valued different things or practiced different religions or lifestyles was evil and beyond hope.

I am thankful that my parents raised us with a liberal mindset and worldview. We always valued being around many different people from many different cultures and backgrounds, and didn't succumb to the stereotypes of "private school kids" or allow the majority mindset among our school friends (hard core southern republican majority - catholic school in the south) to scare us from expressing our own opinions.

It feels good to be comfortable in your beliefs and capable of relating to and empathizing with people unlike yourself.

Sometimes it takes a struggle to truly see what's important in this world and what isn't.

Thanks for sharing.
blues_pagan
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:25 PM
1 mom liked this

The first Democratic Senator I voted in was Bernie Sanders :)  He has done so much good and one of my favorites is going before Congress and naming the top 10 corporations in America that find tax loopholes so that they receive millions back from the government.  He asked Congress why it was ok for those corporations to do that while he taxes the man who makes $30,000/year with few ways to get all of his money back.  Basically showing that the tax system in the US is severely lopsided.

Quoting Amberleigh81:

I applaud you for taking control of your life.

I am a Christian, but I don't believe in the conservative agenda. I think Jesus was a pretty big liberal! :)

I think that PA should be a way for families to better their lives, and there should be more compassion and less judgement when policies are being developed.

What did your congressperson do that impressed you so much?


blues_pagan
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:27 PM

I always read stories in the news and on other groups here in CM that give stories about how certain women did it without assistance.  Sadly, the ones who have made it with assistance are shamed.  

Yes, I was recently on assistance.  I am now off of it for good and am looking at Premed next fall.  I just wish I saw more people willing to talk about this.

Quoting blue123244:

Welcome to the dark side!!! lol  good for you!  people don't realize the circumstances that people get into that are not their fault that makes it so that they need assistance - A woman might have been a stay at home mom with a husband and the husband died and she has no work experience and can't get a job, etc, etc, people just don't know - what are we suppose to do let the children die?  I know there are republicans against providing lunch and breakfasts for schools and sometimes that is the only meal these kids have!  anyway best to you!


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