Rejection – Shame and Self-Loathing
By Patty L. Fletcher
Tears of embarrassment and shame rolled down my face as I put away the groceries brought to me by my kind and ever caring apartment supervisor. Though I’d asked for the supplies and was more than a little grateful to have a food pantry at my disposal when needed, what I wanted more than anything else on earth was to find a job.
Over the past months, I’d filled out more job applications than ever before in my adult life. I’ve prided myself in the fact, that no matter what I’d always been able to earn my way in one way or another but lately, all I seemed to get were rejections.
Either no one wanted or needed my services, or they simply didn’t believe I was up for the task.
I wasn’t looking for a big high paying job, I only wanted to find a way to earn the things I needed to live. In fact, I’d offered more than one community services center my volunteer services in trade, but it was as if all the time I’d put in with and for the United Way didn’t exist because I wasn’t even getting responses to my queries anymore.
Moving into the senior disability community I’d chosen last September was supposed to have improved my situation and, in some ways, it had but in others, I was finding it was only a trap.
When the grant came which paid our rent for a year, the state immediately cut my food stamps to the bone, leaving me with only 20 dollars each month for food and though I had the money from my rent payment available to use, somehow things were in ways harder than ever.
Our system makes no sense to me. It is not set up so people can succeed. There’s no way to get ahead. If I do suddenly come across a job, I will immediately need to report this income to the housing department, food stamps department and Social Security. When I do, my disability check will go down, my rent will go up and food stamps, well, they’ll just be gone.
Factor in transportation cost clothing for work and other work expenses like lunches, Etc. and one must wonder if it will be an act of pure futility.
I’m not looking for a handout, I’m looking for a hand up. I’ve worked in one way or another since I was 11 years old. I got my first job through the work program set up by the Lions Club and our Tennessee School for the Blind where I was living and going to school and I was proud as could be when I signed my first paycheck and then went to town to buy my own shampoo and other little things a young girl wants that were hard to come by.
Don’t get me wrong, my parents made sure I had what I needed but being 11 years old meant there were certain things I wanted, and my mother had to think about not only me but my two sisters, so I was pleased to be making my own way.
Later, when I turned 18, I rented my very first apartment and got hired on at the Volunteer Blind Industries factory in Morris Town Tennessee and there I happily worked until the doctor told me the hot environment, I was working in which could at times reach 95 degrees inside the building was unsafe for my unborn baby.
Yes, I was pregnant out of wedlock but continued to want to make my own way.
I’ve worked in factories set up for the blind, making clothing for the military. I’ve worked as a telemarketer for insurance companies, as an AmeriCorps Vista and even as a volunteer coordinator but now, I cannot even manage to get a job at the Good Will folding or hanging clothes.
I tried to get hired on as a grocery bagger but was told I needed to be able to work stock too and because I’m unable to do that they cannot give me a job.
I know, I’ve made many mistakes over these long years of my life, but it takes my breath away and nearly brings me to my knees with self-loathing to see where I’ve ended up.
Again, don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad place to live it’s just not where I saw myself at 54 years old.
I won’t give up; I won’t back down. I’ll keep trying. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and I will find a way.
I know that Mother Father God must have some plan for me, and I will keep on walking the path they set before me.
I may get down I may feel as though I am the most worthless thing on this earth but somehow, I will overcome, and succeed.
Today, it’s a little overwhelming but it won’t last. I’ve always been able to pick myself up and move on and this will be no different.
Someone somewhere will need what I am able to provide, and I will once again head off to work.
In the meantime, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and wait to see what’s around the next bend.
If you’ve read this far, I say thank you.
May harmony find you, and blessid may you be.
About Patty L. Fletcher
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.
To learn more visit: https://pattysworlds.com/