Prostituting Myself

After some successful Black Friday shopping, Tyler and I headed to Marc’s to do our weekly shopping.  Marc’s is, to me an Ohio wonder as their groceries are about 50% less than the local Giant Eagle’s and a third of the prices that I paid back in New Jersey.

You do get what you pay for.  The aisles are cramped, the lines are long and there appears to be some sort of anarchy at work there.  But mostly no one minds because their either love the bargains they are getting or cannot afford to shop anywhere else.

It is another rough month for our family, trying to make our money last until I get my disability award.  It has been difficult with both of our cats absolutely needing veterinary care and Tyler and I having to buy clothes and snow boots for a Cleveland winter.

Before shopping, I estimated the price of what was on my grocery list and thought I had enough money.  Marc’s only accepts cash or check, which doesn’t really matter as I only have cash.

As the cashier was ringing up my purchases, I started getting worried that I would not have enough.  I tried to get her to stop ringing but she didn’t.  We were next to one of those claw games where you can win an Angry Bird, and Tyler was begging me to let him try.  The total came up to $63.99.  I gave her sixty dollars.  It was time to turn to the change I had.  Would I have $3.99 in change?  I nervously started counting my quarters, Tyler continued to beg me to let him try the claw machine.  I came up with $3.00 in change, the other .99 looked doubtful.

From behind me I heard, “Vy?”

“Excuse me?,” I said.

“Vy don’t you do this at home?  That’s all I want to know, Vy you don’t do this before you come here?”

I turned full around to him.  I faced him.  I said, “Why don’t I do this at home?  Because I am homeless, bankrupt and uninsured, okay?  I am not counting my pennies for fun, I am counting them because these are all I have!”

I turned back to counting.  The cashier was helping me.

“I am sorry”, he said.

“That’s fine”, I said. “Perhaps next time you will think before you speak.”

I took away a Gatorade. (I somehow feel the need to justify my purchase to you.  Grant and I need Gatorade because our mouths are extremely dry from our medications and Gatorade seems to be the only thing that works for us.)

“Here, now I have enough money to pay.”  This seemed to confound the cashier and I had to explain to her why I now had enough.  She fumbled with taking the item off and coming up with the new total and I feared the manager would have to be called.  I was so angry, all I wanted to do was leave.  Meanwhile Tyler was still screaming for an Angry Bird and I can barely tell him “no” or “maybe another time”.   I didn’t have the time to be able to explain to him how these games are almost impossible to win and that they mostly waste your money.

The cashier finally got it right and then I heard, “Here, take this.”  I turned around and the man was holding out a $10 check.  I could not understand him fully but he said something like I am sorry, I hope this helps or this may not be too much, just a little something for you.

I looked at this sweaty, slimy bastard and I took the check and said thank you.

Nothing would have pleased me more to tell him where he could put his check but the truth is $10 means I can get Tyler the game he wants for Christmas.  I took it for him.

I am tired of constantly having to prostitute myself for my family.  I will keep doing it because I need to but it does take a toll on me.  Every time I swallow my pride or get treated poorly on a daily basis because I am uninsured, homeless and sick, part of me does die.

I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I received a fully favorable decision on my disability case in the middle of October but as it stands I have heard nothing back, and indeed was told not to even bother them for at least 30 to 45 days.  November 29th will be the 30 day mark and I will be calling.  Where is my money?  I have been waiting three years to be to be told that yes, the government now believes I am disabled and I continue to wait, a prisoner of their whim, as to when they decide to pay me.

“Lovely Ladies”, courtesy of


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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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One Response to Prostituting Myself

  1. Tricia says:

    I read your blog as I stumbled upon it bleary eyed at 3 am after crying for the 1,000 day in a row. I too suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, LUPUS, fibromyalgia, migraines chronic, permanent nerve damage in my left side from a caR accident in 1998 while pregnant, and a myriad of other chronic things such as IBS, Reflux and kidney stones to name a few. Being in my thirties in NJ and trying to gain disability that no one want s but needs has been the most demoralizing, degrading process of my life. I have three children, one was very ill and I hold my breath that it doesn’t return but it happened during our uninsured days so I will owe money for my whole life, I too am a college graduate, a nurse who has worked since I was twelve always having two jobs because my single mom could barely make ends meet. All I ever wanted was a quiet life with a husband who made enough money to make our bills and left over to be comfortably not stressed out like my childhood. My dad is a raging alcoholic who verbally and physically abused both my sibling and I and my mother. Vivid memories of sleeping with a crow bar under the bed come to mind. Having dealt with all that in my t evens and twenties with therapy and placing it where it belongs in my past i. Faced the future with a positive outlook. I would. Find a quiet no drinking man to love settle down with an: have a family. We would have a moderaTe house nothing flashy, live in a nice town and raise a family in a calm household: with day to day stressors but niThing over the top. Well wrong three months into marriage I got pregnant ha: a car accident that left me immobile until delivery. My husband has had 10 jobs in 15 years of marriage I got sick six years ago making working impossible and since he is a chef long hours crappy pay no benefits I had the job with benefits. I could no longer work Two jobs now we had to move. In with my mother who. Hiks my husband is a bum and they fight everyday. She thinks my kids should be immaculate and never leave a atoy at Lunda or they are told how lazy and ungrateful they are and I live at the m evry of t he government
    T disability. I never wanted life is doctors and prescription drugs fo r every ailment. I’m sorry I just wanted to say I like you am nit typical if there is such a thing welfare mom. We are educated and want to wor
    K. I’m nit. Looking for a handout more of a hand up. I wish you all t he be st and keep r ugh ting you inspire me nit to give up .

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