I don’t earn enough to support myself and my family. Some days I can remember that my value exists independent of financial capital. This is not one of those days.
Today I hate myself. I hate my body for being frail and weak and easily exhausted. For needing the bathroom twenty or more times a day. For needing to smoke expensive, socially frowned upon pot to keep food down. For eating, because hey that costs money and I don’t produce enough.
Some days I get self righteous and angry. I can easily defend my human right to have my needs met. But today I just feel like a failure. Thirty-two years old and literally begging to make ends meet. College dropout with medical debt and six years without a real job.
Most days I can brush off the well-intentioned bad advice of people who have never been truly poor. Today I internalize everything. Why don’t I ignore my social anxiety to spend three hours calling various outreach programs trying to get rent assistance? Sure I know the grant money for this month is long gone, but shouldn’t I put in the effort anyway to prove I’m trying?
Most days I think it’s no one’s business how I spend money once it’s mine. Today I want to assure the world that I’m a deserving beggar, that I don’t blow my money on alcohol and lotto tickets, that I just don’t make enough.
I’m trying to be as gentle with myself as I would be with another disabled person, but it is hard. The government imposed poverty of disability feels like something I deserve today. Today is hard.