It's a pretty harsh title I've chosen for this post, but if you're a single childless woman, you know how it is. I swear, if I ever win the lottery, or my writing takes off, or I become incredibly successful, I'm going to start an organization called Single Women in Need, or something like that. And it's going to be geared towards women who are single and childless. Because if you've tried to get help from any sort of agency at all, you've probably been turned down.
I had to have surgery. The hospital called shortly after I got home to see if I was eligible for Medicaid. Of course I wasn't. I don't have kids. I have a small 401K. If you're single, what sort of bills do you have? You aren't spending money on kids, you must be rich!
I resent that sort of thinking. I work three jobs. Eventually, I just want to have one good paying job, but for now, I live a sort of piecemeal existence, relying on the scheduling of my retail job to get me enough hours to get through the summer. I have to hope that enrollment is up, so that I can have at least two classes to teach this fall semester. But hospital bills will probably eat up any disposable income that I have. I'll have to work out some sort of payment plan. I have no choice.
But when I tried to ward off disaster by being proactive, I was told nothing could be done. I thought I wouldn't have any disability income, so I called various agencies and the trustee's office. The agencies didn't return my call, and the trustee said they do emergency cases. It turns out I didn't need help anyway, as I had a couple more checks from work than I anticipated, and I did get disability after all (I had signed up for it through my insurance). Plus, I stayed home a lot. You don't use gas when you don't go anywhere.
This is another tough lesson I've learned. If you don't have money saved, you're screwed. For circumstances I don't want to go into right now, I've not been able to save any money. So, I'm screwed.
It's not the first time I've needed help in my life, but what I was reminded of a month or so ago holds true today. If you are single and childless, society and the government don't care about you. If you don't have a strong support network of family and friends, you will scrape by in whatever situation you are dealing with. It makes me furious that because I made a responsible decision years ago, I am worth nothing in society's eyes because I never had children. If you have kids, help is on the way. But if you don't have kids, forget it. You aren't worth helping.
I'm not saying being a mom is a piece of cake, but because I didn't make the choice to have kids, why am I being punished in times of need? My history with men and my reproductive issues pretty much dictated that I would never have kids. I never had a career, or a decent paying full time job. While my mother would probably have adored any child of mine, I wanted to do as least as good of a job raising my child as my parents did. And I didn't want to be a single mother. Since the men I've met have been lazy, cruel or out and out assholes, I figured the world didn't need another single mom. Because of that, I'm not eligible for government help, and at tax time, I don't get any breaks.
But I want to secure a future where I have enough money saved, so if I have to take time off for surgery, I won't have to call ANYONE for help. And if I ever do get super-successful, I'm starting an organization to help women like me when they need it. I'd like them to know that even though they choose not to have kids, they are not worthless.