Monday, August 15, 2011

Dark Night of the Soul or A Walk Trough the Abyss

We all have them. Long dark times when we can barely hang on. Times when loss compounds loss. Or when we are so beaten down by circumstances we can't raise our heads to the sunrise. I'm there. I've been there for a quite a while this year. I stood at a counter today, writing a check for a payday loan so I could drive an over priced rental car for another week and pray for miracles. When I wrote the wrong month on the date line, the clerk gently corrected me and requested a new check. I had been smiling a few minutes before. Suddenly, without reason or sense, tears poured and I ducked my head in shame while my partner attempted to cover my inexplicable behavior with social chitchat and to keep the clerk engaged. Hopelessness in wet courses on my cheeks, as I fed the corporate greed machine another promise.

And I've many of those hopeless promises dogging my stepping and binding me in this nonwage garnishment state. Cell phones are a wonderful thing. Mine has a function that lets me program debt collectors to go immediately to voice mail. Eight years ago I arrived in SC barely holding my own and staying one step in front of the collection agencies. Now I can't move out of state until I pay untold compound interest fees off those desperate credit card debts of my past. The first charge I ever made was for a pair of shoes. I was 29 and in college when I got the credit card offer. The sole of my tennis shoes was cracked all the way across and when I walked to school from my little school owned trailer, my feet stayed wet. Years and debt later, after every divorce, and there were several, left me even more in debt. I paid the $20,000 debt down to less than $5,000 several times until the next lay off caused me to loose control again. I've been widowed once. Add three divorces and four layoffs. I'm sure you can do the math.

And let's talk student loans. I was a noncustodial mom determined to spend Fri-Sa-Su with my children every weekend. I borrowed to stay in school and keep a home that would give the boys a place in my life. I joked that I borrowed against the future to keep my family together, and that instead of saving up for my family I would spend the rest of my life paying it off. It's no joke now. My interest payments exceed my income. I've sold my soul to the company store. I live more desperately, in worse circumstances than I did thirty years ago. Don't mind the soft spot on the floor in front of the shower. Don't mind the patches to the trailer on the outside the last time the county condemned it. Don't mind the 14 year old car I drive.

A year ago my partner and I started a roller coaster ride and bought a foreign currency that is about to reevaluate. I started educating myself on the middle east, on history, on finance. The more I learn, the more scary it gets. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I do understand what happened when we through out unions, allowed business to be deregulated and sent our factories overseas. I do understand what happens with layoffs, loss of income and hopelessness. I make what I made working for IBM in 1997. Back then I lived in a modest condo and drove a 1997 Ford. I drove that Ford to the salvage yard two years ago and they gave me $89 for my trouble.

Today I came across a video that I'm still thinking about. I'm going to share it here. It's rather long, so take some time for it. I suspect those who find this blog and watch this video have already woken up and will recognize many of the truths. I have been reading about World Bank, the IMF, and the histories and nothing I have found that I judge credible contradicts what I find here.


  1. Cameron, Grace's partner here. This comment is long enough to not post in its entirety, and I feel it's important, so I am posting it in a series of comments.
    I was with her when she drove that 1997 car to the scrap yard and was awarded $89.00 dollars for her pains. I know her past story, and have lived part of it with her, as a friendship begun in 1999, and as my partner and wife since 2003. I saw the final financial collapse of her home and family and gave her space to live with me in the wake of the crash. When my own crash came and I lost everything - house, car, etc, she took me in and we never looked back. We both have worked insane jobs and insane hours our whole lives, with very little to show for it now, financially. Our wealth is in our love, our spirituality, and our inner strengths. In that sense we are wealthy beyond belief. Right now we have no vehicles as hers is totaled, and mine died, food is low in the refrigerator, and there is very little in the bank account. Money certainly cannot buy happiness or love, but the stresses of survival without even the barest means to live are stressing and damaging beyond belief. (And no, the internet connection is not a luxury - I'm in graduate school! 0.o)

  2. For me, I grew up in modest middle America. In the 70's my dad made about 20 - 30 thousand and was part owner of his own business. We had for many years 3 weeks in a row on vacation, in a beach front rental house, and when costs began to climb, we still managed a week at the beach in a beach front house. My dad was able to cover my college costs in 1980 - 1984 out of money he had saved. We lived in a large house that my Grandparents built in the 20's. Dad, in a set of circumstances that allowed him to do so, took early retirement in his 50's. Reaganomics was hitting its booming stride, greed was good on Wall Street. America was opportunity personified, and each generation would be wealthier and stronger. Not since the 1950's, had such optimism flooded the country. Indeed, the Reagan years modeled much of its rhetoric on the 1950's. My college dreams were shattered back then by personal circumstances that are being discussed slowly on my own blog, so skip that here for now. I came out of college dirt poor, and finally scrabbled my way into a factory job that at its height, earned me 17,000 a year. That is barely a little half more of what my Father made. In 2003 the factory closed, and I am a talented experienced artist. I launched a small art and mural painting business that was initially very successful, and lasted less than a year, before the sliding economy ended its profitability. I have not held a "job" since, due to health and other reasons, and am currently seeking my masters at almost age 50, to get another career launched. Both Grace and I have educational backgrounds, intelligence and critical thinking skills that simply do not match the poverty and struggle we live in.

  3. My return to school is an attempt at getting us back on track. It will give me some earning power, and hopefully level us out. However, the field we are investing in, therapy and psychology as Marriage and Family Therapy is also a career field in crisis, affected by the downward spiral of the local, national and international economic crisis that none can now ignore. One after another of Grace's graduating class have crashed and burned since graduating. Most will never work in the field they hold degrees in - those of us that do, will never have the modest economic level of success that our parents had.
    I watched the above video at Grace's urging and it has left me with A LOT of food for thought. Some things in it are very questionable. The Illuminati theories have been pretty thoroughly debunked, nor am I sure I buy into a ruling line governing the world since ancient Egypt. Grace agrees with me on this - she's going to blog more on that later. We may do a little research of our own.

    (keep reading, folks!)

  4. Just because part of a complex theory is questionable, does not mean that everything in it is off base. The world banking and flow of power and money is all too obvious these days for anyone to totally dismiss the concept that it has become a global entity with its own agenda. It is fascinating that since the founding of the UN with the idea of preventing global wars, we have had more global conflict then at any other time in the history of mankind, and that is unfortunately truth. The CIA has long been a source of conspiracy theories, and if the Nazi connection there is provable, I think I am going to throw up. Believe I will be checking that one out. Its scarily plausible.

    The fact that the Mujahideen and Osama Bin Laden were trained by America in Afganistan is also truth and easily confirmed. We created that one. I am not sure I buy into the Alpha waves on the TV, as a deliberate brainwashing device, but I don't for a minute doubt that the mass culture fostered by TV and the Ad industries today is destroying critical thinking. The Codex Alimentarius is dead on and absolutely real and problematical - 5 seconds on the internet proves that one for anybody. I had already heard about it and been alarmed about it, before I saw Igan's video, and just went and looked it up again for myself to be sure. So...

  5. Which part of this video is real and which is not? Does Igan really believe his ancient Egypt and Illuminati connection that he touts or is this part a red herring? Is this his smoke screen to keep the powers that be from taking him seriously enough to turn negative attention to him while he expounds other truths? And even if he does have some odd beliefs that don't hold water, does that mean that everything he raises is wrong, farfetched and out there? I think that he is right on the money about enough things to take most of what he says, with or without a grain of salt, as having some credibility.
    What is profoundly true is his solution - turn off the damn TV, think for yourself, read and self educate, learn how to live simply and look beyond yourself. Whether or not there is some world global spanning rising conspiracy - and it really does look like there might be for even the most skeptical of us in this era - there is no doubt that our government is betraying us in the name of a corporate greed so monstrous and so openly out there it cannot be ignored. Getting free of propaganda and thinking critically, and living simply and wholesomely in a way that honors the inherent worth of all people and the sacredness of the earth is surely our moral responsibility even if the Illuminati are nothing more than a worn out conspiracy theory fueling books and computer games. Critical thinking by the way does mean activism and voting. (Now...if only we had some decent candidates to vote for...)Getting near the end here - final thoughts coming up.

  6. Yes, we are working on some investments and dreams to get out of this crushing poverty, and we believe our moral imperative, if we make it, is to pay it forward, as we have been helped. To be awake and aware, to think. To honor all that is sacred. To make our lives count without succumbing to consumerism and shallow lifestyles. And even if we do continue to have to work our way out slowly, we will always so live. We have long believed that this is how we must live. And that is what gives this video its final credibility. For its final advocacy is that we should all personally, ethically and morally live our lives as they should be lived. And that indeed is the final salvation of the earth.

  7. I'm sorry to hear that times are so very, very tough. I'm praying that the Goddess Laxshmi will touch you both with Her divine grace.

  8. Your prayers for us are precious! Thanks so much, Debra!