I went to St. Vinnie’s last week after I received my natural gas heating bill I now owe on. Stressed out and heart-sore, I nervously went in. There’s a certain embarrassment and maybe even underlying shame asking for help. I even took my paperwork, bank statements prepared for full disclosure. (I really hate that part of asking for help because your privacy gets invaded by strangers and it’s a really weird feeling!)
The people there I’ve dealt with thus far are very sweet, and seem to even have an understanding or at least knowledge of Brain Injury. The last gentleman mentioned his wife has Alzheimer’s so he wrote the information down on a piece of paper for me. And this gal, I tried to show my paperwork to and she said she didn’t need that!
I gave her my story and asked if they could help, she read it and asked if I’d ever served in the military. I am glad the word is getting out about military suffering from TBI in hopes of there being greater support.
They are out of funds, she said they’d have some next month, but didn’t know when. I’m getting too close to desolation, and it’s a fierce struggle.
She was very gracious and kind, understanding what it is to get to the end of one’s resources and the end of trying everything you can to keep from losing your home. There seems to be resources for those who lose everything, and that’s what I’m fighting so hard to stay away from.
It does seem that is the system is either self-support fully or government support fully. I guess I feel I’ve lost so much already, I’m trying to hang on to the my last frontier!
She said unfortunately they can’t help me, but they do have food. She suggested I get the story out, sending it to Oprah, etc., which I said already have done.
As a last comment, she asked if she could keep my letter, and maybe pass it around, I said yes, thank you. She said she has strong faith and said she can give me a hug. I told her she was very sweet and she rocks! I appreciated her heart.
In retrospect, I’d have to say this whole experience has tested my faith, in God, church, and in humanity. I think I have strong faith, or had strong faith, but people still lose their homes, get taken advantage of, etc.
I guess these big tests in life challenge everything we’ve learned along the way, and, what we thought was the truth.
Today I’m going to try to get some letters addressed to be mailed to area churches and service organizations, I’ve been wanting to do this for several days, but am exhausted before I’ve even begun, so we’ll see how far I get.
I’d run out of envelopes and prayed St. Vinnie’s Thrift Shop would have some, and they did, 100 for $.45, I can afford that. Thank you, Lord!
The challenge I face remains the same: keep my heart open no matter what.
There is a tremendous amount of loss and heartbreak that happens, and it’s tough to heal because it’s like an ongoing process of accepting and trying to deal with bad news on my own.