I had Lil Blue when I was 19. I had to move back in with my mom. Mr. Blue Collar had to rent a room in another borough because there wasn’t enough space at my mom’s. I had to apply for W.I.C. so I could afford formula & such. I got a job working at ground zero when LB was about 2½ months old, working 7 days a week, 12hrs a day. It was tough, but we needed to move into our own place. We got an apartment. Everything was fine for about 3 months. Then I got laid off.
We tried to make it. I got a waitressing job that paid a fraction of what I was making. Mr. Blue Collar was (&still is) a security guard and took as many shifts as he could. Still, we couldn’t afford to pay the $1000 rent and eat. I was too proud to go on public assistance. I was foolish. Pride doesn’t put food in your kid’s belly. Anyway, we had to go to court to fight eviction. We had to promise to make payments to a faceless landlord that we knew we couldn’t make. We got the bright orange sticker placed on our apartment door warning that the marshals were going to come and kick us out. We left like thieves in the night. Where could we go? My mom still didn’t have space. Mr. BC reconcilled his relationship with his father and we went there to stay with him and his girlfriend.
Lil Blue’s crib was set up in the living room & Mr. BC and I slept on couches. I can’t go into details about living there because I don’t want to air Mr. BC’s business. I can say after about 2 months Mr. BC had to go back to renting a room elsewhere. Because our residences were so far apart, we only saw each other on weekends. Though Mr. BC’s father & girlfriend were good to my son, they were less so with me. I was miserable.
That lasted for about a year. One day, my mother told me she’d made an important decision. She was moving down to Florida for a fresh start and was leaving me “the apartment” (my family owns an apartment in an HDFC building). That was the beginning of better days for our little Blue Collar family. We still had and will have tough times ahead of us. But that feeling of debilitating anxiety and impending doom aren’t as bad as they once were.
Why am I telling you all this? Because neither Ann Romney or Hilary Rosen speak for me. They probably don’t speak for you either. How can anyone speak for me if they don’t know my story? And who knows my story better than I do? The only way people will know where you come from, who you are, and what you stand for is if you find a way to speak. Speak up. Speak out. In whatever way you can.
I hope you’ll all join me & women around the country in standing up and speaking out on April 28th at marches and rallies against the war on women.