Despite the gorgeous sunrise and freshly fall weather gracing the coast, this week seems to be quite dark in the events that are coming up. Back in May, my landlady who I lived with at the time had a very unsavory man living with her. In 6 months, he had not paid rent so she had me – of all people – serve him his eviction notice. Eventually, the police had to come and remove him the hard way. The next day, my brake lines were mysteriously cut. She had a restraining order against him but despite numerous violations against it, he continued to stalk and harass her. Most recently, she found her two outdoor cats had been killed and left in a bag on her front lawn. This is the type of person we are dealing with. On his first violation of the night he was thrown out, she and I were sitting on the front porch and saw him come back onto the property. We called the police and filled out witness reports. Stupid, stupid move on my part. This week, I have to go testify against him in court as a witness even though I have been telling the prosecuting attorney for months that my life is in danger from this man. He is not sane, he is not to be trusted. A text from his ex wife to my landlady early on said it plainly: “You don’t know what he’s capable of.” This single chilling text has stuck in my mind ever since and on many occasions, he has indeed proven what he is capable of. Now even though I no longer live at her address, he can just as easily find out where I live if I go testify against him. What happens next? I’m afraid to find out. Just pray that he does land in jail for a substantial amount of time finally without bail or that if he does manage to go free that he doesn’t find me. Ever.
Disclaimer: If you’re one of those sensitive types who get all uppity about people who bitch about their government benefits (likely because you’ve never been in the position to need them yourself) then turn back now because this is about to get ugly.
As a statistical introduction, I will say that I am a single mother with shared custody of my child. Due to 5 years of swindling and dishonesty on the other side, I am the one who ended up having to pay child support to my ex (who enjoys a new house, two new vehicles and all the home amenities one could want). I lost my job of almost 7 years when my boss passed away on December 28th, 2012 and the company subsequently closed as of January 1st, 2013. Before this time, I had only required assistance for about 4 months out of my life when I first relocated to this area and was looking for work. When I lost my job this year, I immediately applied for unemployment and food stamps and started looking for a new job. My unemployment and food stamps were approved and even though it is hard to feed myself plus a growing pre-teen on $200 a month, I was making it work.
Once my unemployment benefits kicked in (roughly 50% of my usual salary), Child Support decided they were going to take an additional 40% of that. Pardon my cadence, but that is fucking criminal. I was already struggling on a normal salary, but to cut my half salary further in almost half? Bullshit. My food stamps for February were late and I was out of food. Upon calling 72 hours after they were supposed to hit, I get a message that due to “increased income,” my benefits will be cut from $200 to $16 effective March 1, 2013. WTF? Increased income? Try decreased! I look on my card this morning expecting to see $200 on there and they’ve only deposited $16. What… the fuck. To add insult to injury today I get a letter in the mail confirming that my benefits will be cut from $200/month to $16/month – again – in writing – EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 2013. *looks at calendar* Gee, this is still February. Where the %^&* are my food stamps that I need to feed a frikken pre-teen 4 days a week until I find work again??
The State of Florida is trying to fuck me sideways and I am NOT going to stand for it. Tomorrow morning warrants a very nasty call to these “ACCESS” people to get this crap straightened out immediately. $84 over the course of a month for food is nothing to most people but when you’re in my situation, it’s the difference between a family going hungry or not. Try to cheat me? You WILL get bitchslapped. Screw Florida. Time to take action.