It was mid September. We had only been in Delaware for three weeks. The kids were doing their best to adjust to new schools. I worried every day that Syd went to school. She wasn’t as verbal as she is now. Her aggression was worse with the move.
Harrison’s only wish was to attend catholic school. I enrolled him in Holy Cross. It wasn’t St. Hugo. But at least he could pray and attend mass weekly with his class.
Then there’s me. I was in shock, bitter, depressed, and anxious. Thank God that we had a roof over our head. I needed a few months to process everything and pull myself together. Or at least I would fake it.
I’ve always worked. So being at home during the day was great for a few weeks. I knew that I needed to look for a job. Their dad called me and told me he no longer had health insurance. Yeah, that is usually what happens when you get a divorce. By the way, remember you need auto insurance too.
Reality set in and I realized our insurance would expire soon. I started applying for substitute teaching jobs. Even if I got hired. I still wouldn’t have health coverage. But I had to get back into a school district full-time as a teacher.
One day I walked into the Social Service office. It was the most humiliating day of my life. I was embarrassed. I felt like a failure. I even questioned my divorce and moving to Delaware.
I went into the office with my case worker. She was mean. Like Satan mean. She kept rolling her eyes at me. I smiled and told her I needed to apply for Medicaid for my children until I could get a full-time job. I didn’t care about myself, only my kids.
Finally, I had to ask the lady why was she being so mean to me. I went to get my things and leave. And then it clicked. I asked her nicely if she had a problem with my 14-year-old UGG boots. Or was it my 10-year-old NorthFace jacket that I bought at the Salvation Army. Would she have preferred that I walk in with my purple satin cap on my head still wearing my pajamas?
I was doing my best not to cry and still hold my head up. But that hurt. I sat in my car and literally cried for an hour. I cried out to God. I needed God to show up and show out! And that is exactly what he did. He heard my cry and answered my prayers, within months I would have a full-time job as a teacher.
That day almost broke me. I have never shared that story with anyone until now.