This is what you see
What you see.
For the first time ever I utilized a community resource for help with a bill, one single bill. I have struggled for years and never asked for help. I work full time, I raise my kids and yes we live paycheck to paycheck. Over the last year I have had several surgeries and have not used disability or any other assistance program. I took a few days to recover as best I could and went back to work. To be honest I cant afford to be on disability. But missing 3 days of work here and there over the last year had caused some bills to slowly accumulate as I could not pay them in full. There is a reason it got so bad, so far behind before I reached out. I was simply afraid of being judges and this is why.
What you see, is me getting out of my truck that looks pretty nice, to walk into an assistance office and you think “ wow if she can afford that truck she shouldn’t be asking for help”. What you don’t see… my truck is over 10 years old, it looks nice because I take care of it, and when the bus or walking is an option I choose that. I choose that because gas is a luxury, I choose to not sell the truck because you don’t see the mechanical problems that I have learned to tinker with to keep it running, it looks nice, but its not worth much to anyone but me. To me being able to handle emergencies with me or my kids is priceless.
What you see, my clothes are nice, I even have some brand name clothing. What you don’t see is that almost all of my clothing is hand me downs from friends or family who can afford nice stuff. I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, if there is still wear in those jeans I will happily take them and wear them.
What you see, my cell phone ( an iphone7) What you don’t see is that it’s a company phone that I am grateful to be allowed to use for personal use. Paid for 100% by my company. Without that I don’t know what I would do as we don’t have a home phone line currently.
What you might see, my nails might be done (they are not) because I got a gift certificate for Christmas for a nail set, I chose to not use that because my daughter birthday is coming up and that’s an easy gift to give her. But if my nails were done, it might not mean that I had the money to get them done.
What you see, my children and I are happy and healthy and clean. What you don’t see is that I make sure my kids get 3 meals a day but that often means I skip meals so they don’t ever go without. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink and I do not use any kid of drugs at all. But you don’t see that, you see me, and I don’t fit your image of what someone who “needs help” looks like. And so i go without, because I am afraid of all the people who think they know me, know my type. Its so easy to judge everyone these days. I go without because we can survive and we do, not easily but we do, and maybe someone else that needs help even more than we do will know they are not alone in being afraid to reach out and they will get help they really need, despite what they look like.
I know people abuse the system, but what I want you to know is that many are afraid to reach out because they will be judged based on their appearance alone and appearances can be deceiving.