I am at once humbled and overwhelmed.

My parents have come through for me... again. Without my asking. Just... giving, because they love me.

I broke down to C last night, after he pulled the blankets off of my head and revealed that I was crying. The man just won't leave me alone when I'm going into crisis! (Which is a good thing, one of the reasons he's so good for me... he can deal with the waves that come up in my ocean.) I had been crying and praying under the covers, and then I was crying and explaining to C.

I felt trapped. So very trapped, financially. This last physical breakdown has/had me very discouraged, because it's not like I'm not honestly trying to be a normal, productive citizen, you know? But the kind of schedule demanded by the combined expectations and requirements of school and work together are just too much for my system to take, much to my utter dismay and chagrin. (And horror. And detestation. And... shall I continue?)

I have no savings. I have no income. I am living off of my credit card. Creditors are calling me because I have counseling and medical bills past due that I can't pay, and I need counseling and medical attention that I cannot afford. I had to drop a class because I can't handle full-time school, and financial aid didn't entirely cover my tuition costs. I still owe SOULS a few hundred dollars (that one can actually wait, it's not urgent, thank goodness).

And on top of that, I'm planning the wedding, looking at things and realizing, "I can't afford this. I can't afford even the most basic of these things. Why bother even planning if I can't do anything about it?!"

And then there's the HJ. That letter to E that I wrote. I'm going to re-write it. It's too snarky, to rant-y. I still feel like a "confrontation" is necessary, but not like that. In a different way. A loving way. (I'm SO glad I have this blog to blow out all my hot air before I do the real deal!)

There's the fact that I think I might take a hiatus from HJ. The fact that E will feel like I'm betraying her, the comment her husband M made when I was planning on going away to school about how that was "selfish", and how that will easily be applied to this situation... especially when she's already stressed to the max with me there to help her.

God, it makes me sick just thinking about how things have become with the HJ. Stress. Obligation. Not just me, her too. We really, really need to step back, regroup, build sure and firm, then continue.

I was talking to Mom about it, and likened it to a game of Jenga. You know the one... You start out with the tower of blocks all stacked together firm and snug. As time goes on, though, and the tower grows higher and higher, gaps start to appear. The foundation gets shaky. The higher you try to pile the blocks, the more delicate your infrastructure, until BAM! Everything falls down, and you lose.

That's how the HJ feels to me right now. We've done so much work, built this tower so high... and that's not a bad thing! The game is moving forward. But if we don't want our stack of blocks to collapse, we need to take some time to breathe, fill in the holes, and then get back to stacking blocks.

R is putting money in my bank account, enough to pay off the credit card and my bills, enough for a few more counseling sessions, and $200 extra for food. Apparently, he hates the idea that I'm trying to survive off of $20 here and $40 there. And he absolutely despises the idea of my living off of a credit card. (As do I!)

And I applied for 3 part time jobs that I think I can do without making myself sick.

I was searching the internet yesterday and last night to see if I qualify for disability, emergency financial aid, anything. Nope. Nothing. It's like I need to have cancer to get help... because you have to be practically dying before they'll take you seriously with an "invisible illness". (Or three, in my case...)

I don't even know where my health is at anymore, because I haven't seen a doctor about it in so long. I just get my maintenance dosage of meds from the doc up in Montana and call it good, because I can't afford to do anything else at this point. I'd like to get better, I sure would... I just don't have the money for it. Kinda funny how that turns out... like a catch-22. In order to get better, I need money. But in order to make money, I need to get better. Hah! I love life, sometimes :)

Seriously, though... this gift from my parents is a God-send. I was so stressed. I felt like my back was up against a wall. I literally did not know what I was going to do. I may joke about selling my body on the streets, but I will never, ever literally even consider that. I can't go down to the plasma center and make some money by donating blood and plasma because of my illnesses. I can't do school and most jobs at the same time... and even in the job market, I'm limited because I can't work around food at all.

So I am blessed. I was thinking and praying last night about how everything is supposed to have a reason for happening... or good comes out of it somehow... and I kinda committed to myself as I was hunting desperately for help with my health/work issues that when I am steady and stable and on my feet again (again? more like for the first time!), that I will somehow find a way to help people that are in a situation like I am. People who can't really work but who tough it out enough to not be considered disabled. People who need counseling but can't afford it. People with insurance that can't afford the co-pays, so they may as well not have insurance at all. People who fall between the cracks. People like me.

...People who crawl into a dark corner and curl up in despair because they don't have parents like I do, and there is literally nowhere to turn.

I know the bitter, chalky taste of exhausted hopelessness all too well. I want to help at least one less person not have to feel the panic and despair that I felt last night... that I've felt these last few weeks.

P.S.-- I'm back on solid food again! I had a rattatouille-esque dish for lunch, and it has caused only minor discomfort so far. What joy :)

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