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« Food Stamps: Let's Talk About Them | Main | In which a single blog post changes EVERYTHING, maybe even the world. »

August 23, 2011


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Don't know if you realize this...but your PayPal account is still listed with your married name :-(

Lots of love from the top of the state!


Oh, friend...this SUCKS.


Money on the way. I can't sit back and do nothing. It isn't much but I hope it helps. Check paypal. Sending you all the best wishes.


3 friends of mine have quoted JEWEL tonight - "in the end, only kindness matters.
Thank you for keeping it real!


So sorry for what you are going through. I wish I had a way to help but we are just making ends meet here it is so hard. I just keep it in perspective my kids, husband, and I are healthy and we all have each other no matter what. You have Joel and the 3 beautiful children no matter what happens no one can take away the love the 5 of you have.


Oh dear, I wish I could help. But as I am an unemployed, essentially homeless single mom, I can only send positive, money finding thoughts to you. I don't pray, but I will keep you and yours (and your Internet service) in my thoughts!


I know you said that your bf was paying your rent, but is it time to consider moving back in with your mother - does she live close? Typically one's rent / mortgage is the single biggest expense. Moving in with your mother will let you get out from under your biggest bill and the utilities - maybe she even has internet? I don't know if you can ever get back on your feet with the bills mounting up and the cancellation penalties the utility companies charge = robbery.


I've been scared about money before, but not as scared as you are now. To say it sucks is too much of an understatement. Wedding rings. Car. Do you plan to *gulp* not have a car at all? All this hard stuff makes for painful life lessons, but you are going to come out of all this a shiny new penny. It's just that right now, you're getting the harshest vinegar bath ever. Wish I could rinse you off all by myself. See you all soon.


I completely understand what you are facing. Our internet got shut off... as did the cable. We have no landlines, and the only reason I have internet access is because my computer has wireless thru the cell phone company we have our phones thru. It too is paid for the next few weeks so we'll see what happens. I have 4 kids and one on the way. My husband is disabled and the dad of the first 4 kids likes to play fast and loose with child support... quitting a job as soon as support services can get a garnishment... so I can't collect. I lost my job when I was 6 weeks pregnant and while I got unemployment for a few months it was on an old UI claim that has now expired. I have no idea when the next check will show up or how/if we will be able to pay our rent for September.... I have to find $55 in the next 7 days or we will also have no electricity... Oh, and I have $2 to my name... the bank account is overdrawn and I am completely overwhelmed. Food Stamps has denied us twice because I guess the deductions they allow when you are on unemployment/disability are not the same as if you work... so even though our income is low enough we don't get help. I don't understand it but that's what I'm told.


SO much wish it could be more, cause you've earned more than that from me, and I'm ashamed I haven't paid you sooner, for all the insight and laughter you've given me. I know how you feel, though its not that close to the bone, but I'm hanging on until financial aid kicks in!

Kirsten Medhurst

You are an inspiration in a thousand ways. Thank you for speaking your truth every step of the way--it is helping me to speak my own. Sending you hugs (and a little PayPal action).

Dale Woodruff

hey... don't bother approving my comment, just let me know how i can help. I had no idea you were in dire straights, i'm sorry for not paying enough attention. give me a text tomorrow... i'll do what i can.


Oh Elissa, my heart is breaking for you right now. I'm in a similar situation as Amanda, but the pickle you're in makes my stresses seem so trivial. I'm sure you're not looking for pity, maybe a little understanding...I wish I was in a position to help...And I hope things start looking up sooner rather than later!

Amanda- in a couple of weeks you will officially be a vagina stylist!! And after the wax you gave me, I know you will do great! You have a way of making people comfortable in what could be a very uncomfortable situation (just like Val and Anna). You will make a great addition to the Bare Down There team! Love you!


Amanda - happy to help. I can't wait to hear the stories of how you pay it forward, whenever that may be.


Also - check this out.


In the same boat over here. And it really does suck. Balls. I moved to Portland for school in March and haven't found a job yet (interviewed today in Vancouver though!), ran out of financial aid money, don't have enough money left for rent, and have no childcare for my daughter when school starts back up for me in a few weeks. I still owe for her daycare from June. I too am on the verge of selling my car but I can't if I get a job in Vancouver, but I'm licensed in WA not OR so...
It's a nasty cycle being beyond broke and trying to get your feet back under you but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Personally, I'm going to have to break down and ask my parents to cover my rent but I'm holding out hope that my finacial aid coming in Oct (ugh 6 weeks!) will be enough to pay them back, and the bills, and have some left over. If not... well I can hope for money back on my taxes at the beginning of the year.

Oh, and potlucks are your friend! Plan a potluck and people bring food and leave you the left overs! I did it for my kiddo's birthday 2 weeks ago and I was able to make veggie lasagna from a veggie tray, I still have hummus, ate turkey sandwiches for lunch and had jello for a week. And the pastries! Someone brought high end pastries and they didn't get touched at all during the party. That was my breakfast for 4 days!

I'm rambling. I'm just trying to convey the message of 'stay positive' and hopefully things will improve.


I have BEEN THERE, and in the not-so-distant past, too. I don't get paid until Friday, but I'll try to donate something then. In the meantime, is there something you need besides cold hard cash? In absence of anything else, I send positive thoughts, hugs and love.


OK, this is over the top even for you. What sort of "financial planner" doesn't demand the title of the car after it's been awarded to you? Really SO much of your situation is your own doing. You're already complaining about the waxing job indirectly, so I imagine that's next to go. You've already made an excuse to quit by "trying" to sell your car, which, especially if you have kids, is a ridiculous idea.

melissa g

Like many others, I wish I could help more but I am more than happy to help in the little way I could. I am in a very similar position but your story made me realize that while things are not optimal, they are not nearly as bad. Thank you for sharing..your story and yourself.

cindy w

Gave what I could. It's not much, but I hope it helps. Good luck. I really don't envy the position you're in right now.

Valerie Willman

Thanks so much for sharing, Amanda. I'd invite you to Eugene to commiserate (I've got $14 in my bank account, and four days to come up with $70 for my medication, car's out of gas, bike's in the shop -- $15 to get it out -- and I don't get paid until the 31st), but without car or gas, the drive from Portland to Eugene is sorta impossible.

So, instead, I send crazy, funny, eat olives and cheese and cupcakes til you pop vibes from my 'divorce support group.' Miraculously I have found five awesome 37-year olds who are in the middle of a divorce and we get together once or twice a month and laugh and tell stories and soak up the support. Wish you could come to one.

Kisses and hugs.
Chin up,
and keep laughing (and crying).



I'm getting up every morning going to this crappy ass office, working for 12 bucks an hour, Monday through Friday. My husband is a maintenance man doing the same thing, 8-6 Monday through Friday. I assure you this is not our dream job or Dream life to have to work so hard. Last night we got home at 10:30 because i helped him with a side-job to pay for our daughters high school ROTC fees. (That same daughter watched our son, fed him, bathed him and put him to bed for us while we were gone) It fucking sucks. It seems like we are always broke, we barely make ends meet, hell, we haven't had internet at home for years. My travel miles to work and gas cost barely make it worth it. We dont qualify for food stamps.

We just HAVE to do this, mind you, not WANT, but HAVE to. We hope and know and pray for "light at the end of the tunnel" and one day maybe we wont have to work so hard. I could also tell you about other couples we know that are college educated making only a dollar or two more than me an hour that are busting thier ass as well.

I guess your posts just make me a bit jealous. I wish i could handle the mental side of not fulfilling my financial obligations, not knowing when and if the bills are going to get paid, if i'm going to have what i need or what the kids need......knowing all along that i've made the choice to not work a shitty job because it's not what i want to do. I would just be a train wreck and i know you say your train wreck over the financial situation and that basically (Basically, not verbatum) your in transition right now but i'm still jealous. I've never had the opportunity to collect food stamps, live my dream, go to beauty school, (Of which i've looked into to being a stylist) and just kinda fly by the seat of my pants.

I just dont know how your able to do that. I'm not being a smart ass but you are stronger than i am in more ways than one. I'm living the rat race so i dont have to be a sleep-deprived, mental basket case worried about meeting my responsibilities.

And at the end of the day, after a long hectic day at a shitty job, when my husband comes home from work filthy and the kids are bouncin around, i just feel like we have something to be proud of. Because we work hard.


I thought all night about your car situation. I just don't think selling is a good idea. You don't have car payments now and if you get rid of it you'll eventually have to have a car payment when you get a different one once you are back on your feet. I think you just ride it out (no pun intended) even if that means not driving it because you don't have gas. You'll be glad you have it once you are back on your feet so you aren't stuck with a car bill.


Hey I really have benefited from your posts over at Beliefnet. I've been in your spot before, but this week I can afford to help. It's not much, but I hope it will buy a tank of gas or something. Take care, and in a few months, this tough time won't even be a blip on the radar!


Like so many of the other commenters, I feel your pain. Thom hasn't had any contracts come in so he's trying to scrape together freelance and it is by the grace of God that so far nothing has been shut off and the mortgage has been paid. I currently have about $14 in checking, nothing in savings. My tank is mostly full and my pantry is stocked. Payday isn't for another 11 days. I'm praying we make it through.

I hope you don't have to sell your car. From what I've heard Joel's car is not ideal. Or that if you do sell yours you can buy a smaller, more fuel efficient one and have some cash leftover to get caught up.

It's scary always wondering how you're gonna pay the bills. I can see now areas where I went wrong. Spent too much, gave in to credit cards, bought a new car instead of driving my paid off one till it died.

It's hard to see the light at the end of my tunnel. I wonder if I'll ever get to live a debt free life.

I'm just thankful that while I'm not working my dream job, that I at least have this job and they are good to me.

I know that what you're going through is temporary. And I look forward to the day when you're posts showcase how you're able to pay it forward or back or however it works out. And hopefully I'll get to write some of those myself.

Your friend in the poorhouse, C.

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