Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fuck You Very Much! (A Rant about "The Maid")

I'm just going to warn you right now.  This is a rant.  Because someone said something shitty to me, whether or not they realize how shitty it is I'm not sure.  But it was enough to disrupt my brain space and I'm going to let it all out here because we could all use a little reminder to think before we speak (let's NOT talk about my Open-Mouth/Insert-Foot Disorder right now, OK?)  Also....super thanks to my awesome Bloggy Friend, Oooops, I Said Vagina again, for letting me steal the phrase "Fuck you Very Much" from her "BitchFest Series"


Today, someone asked me what I was going to do when I couldn't afford a maid.

My answer?  I can't afford one now, but I don't really have a choice.  If I want my floors mopped I have to deal with the shame and the embarrassment of having to ask someone to come over and do those things for me and I'm fortunate and lucky to have someone who helps me out for very little in return.  I wish I could mop my floors like everyone else but I can't.


SO FUCK YOU VERY MUCH!

I have a back injury.  Apparently, because my injury isn't apparent to everyone, I don't need mobility assistance or look "injured" or "disabled"...I must not need help.  This cannot be farther from the truth.  I need lots of help.  I'd like to be cured, but I can't afford doctors.  Isn't that sad?  I was injured on the job through no fault of my own.  Long story short, after a year of treatments for an incorrect diagnosis my claim was denied by Workman's Comp and I had to quit my job at the employer with the excellent health care because I wanted to pursue my case legally.  You can't bite the hand that feeds you.  My current employer offers the worst insurance ever with even the most basic routine care being expensive; I'm afraid to go and get treated for my current condition. 

It's been nearly 3 years and I've tried alternative therapies...yoga, core strengthening exercises, chiropractic care, decompression therapy, massage, acupuncture and countless others. I've even visited a Shaman (Sha-woman?).   I've paid for everything out of pocket and I could just puke when I think about how much money I've spent just trying to feel better.  And what makes it better?  Not much.  I've taken pills, rubbed on creams, and used enough ice to home a small family of penguins.  Global Warming isn't to blame for shrinking ice caps...my back is.   If I don't do anything...like pick up my nephew for a hug, drive in a car for more than an hour at a time (say, to visit my relatives who live nearly two hours away), carry groceries up the stairs or do anything that might involve lifting over 30 lbs or repetitive bending then I'm OK.  I can't even lay in bed for a full 8 hours of sleep without hurting. 

I experience pain every day.  Sometimes it isn't bad, other times there are shooting pains down my ass and into my leg that hurt so much I can do nothing but sit there helplessly and cry.  Spasms mean I can't sit comfortably through an entire movie.  Sometimes it hurts just to walk. The depression that comes from living in chronic pain, combined with feeling like I can't do anything without "angering" the injury can be crushing.  Thinking about the future only makes it worse... I'm 27 and I have no children, what if I get pregnant or decide I want kids...would it be the most unbearable pregnancy ever because of this injury?   Could I even have kids in spite of not being able to pick them up for fear of not being able to function?  I have no answers and it makes me sad.  It is even more depressing for someone who believes in and wants to try everything once.  I still try to "have a life", and sometimes I pay for it dearly in the days following.  I am ashamed to say that I once considered suicide to escape the pain, because I don't know what the future could hold, because between the pain and the legal paperwork and the inability to get help I've often felt like I was/am losing my fucking mind.  This is no kind of life.

I like to tell people THE SPOON THEORY in an attempt to help people understand.  While I don't have Lupus like the woman in the story, what I can do and how much I can do can be very limited.  That being said...I discovered soon after I was injured that there are things I could not do around my home without pain.  After 8 hours of working, sometimes I have just enough left in me to make dinner and maybe do some laundry before I hit that "too much" point and start to hurt.  Sometimes, one activity can ruin an entire day. 


Living in a mess is depressing

 ...especially when you know that once upon a time you bleached your floors weekly.  What makes it more depressing is trying to deal with the mess day in and day out while you're hurting and never getting anywhere.   I would spend entire weekends cleaning so that I would have time to do it (because I'm not as fast as I used to be), the energy to do it, and then the recovery time to sit on the couch in pain and tears before returning to work on Monday. That didn't leave much room for fun, or a life.  So...I posted a status update on Facebook that I was looking for someone to help out for a decent price for some extra cash.

An old friend from high school messaged me and offered to come over and give me an estimate.  We worked out an agreement and she has been helping me out ever since.  Truth be told...she does way more than we originally agreed upon and I try my best to be grateful.

But what people need to understand is this: I don't fucking have a "maid".  I don't live in the lap of Luxury and this damn sure isn't a luxury I can afford.  I pay her 10% less per hour than what I make to come over and clean.  And for the record, I don't make much.  I've had to tell her not to come over and clean because I can't afford to pay her; not only does my inability to pay mean that I have to live in a mess, but then she also doesn't get that extra income.  I've gone without because having her come over was more important.  I don't have a maid, what I have someone who is kind enough to come and help me out for a small fee because I cannot physically do what needs to be done around my home.  While I pay considerably less for her services than what normal people pay for a "maid", I also provide her with all of her supplies, feed her dinner and usually clean side-by-side with her doing what I can do.  

Having a maid might be a really nice thing for some people, but having a "house helper" out of necessity isn't really nice and not just for financial reasons.  The first time she came...I cleaned for days because I was so embarrassed about the condition of my home. The anxiety and depression was crushing.  It might sound like a dream to not HAVE to mop and I wish that was my situation; I can't even begin to explain what it is like to not be ABLE to do something that is so routine, normal and necessary.  It's a complete 180.  Having to ask someone to come in and clean up after you because you can't is embarrassing.  The fact that my home, without her, deteriorates into a sticky, grimy mess and there isn't much I can do about it is humiliating.   I've explored alternative options like steam mops, Swiffers, and Swivel Sweepers.  I've spent lots of money on that crap too. Sure, I can do all kinds of preventative things like never spilling on the floor, wiping up small spills when they happen, taking a little time out of every day to clean up the messes that happen in life....but sooner or later you have to do the job the right way with a good old fashioned mop. 

People have asked me why I don't have my family help me.  And you know what?  The other members of my family have their own stresses, pains and lives...not to mention they have their own households to clean.  If I called my mom to come over and help, she would be there in a second.  But somehow through all of this I still have some kind of semblance of silly pride that says "I'm a fucking adult and I'm not going to ask my mommy to come clean up after me".  My siblings are working and going to school, or raising children and taking care of their own homes.  I refuse to be a burden.  Perhaps my pride is silly, but at least I can say I worked hard and paid someone to come over and do this shit...I didn't just sit there and demand or rely on the goodwill of others.


So...to the person who said that to me: 
Fuck you Very Much!  

While I'm sure it looks like I must have it easy because I have someone to "come over and clean", please keep in mind that I still work in order to pay her to come over and do all of the shit I physically cannot do-that's money out of my pocket making my budget tighter and I'm not making it YOUR problem, so fuck you very much.  Fuck you very much for your snide ass tone like I'm too fucking lazy to take care of my responsibilities and I have my priorities wrong.  Fuck you very much for making me feel even shittier about the fact that I can't do something as simple as mop my floor without being useless the rest of the night.  Fuck you very  much for treating me like finding a solution to a problem is an act of laziness, would you prefer it if I just went on disability and let your tax dollars and the state pay for someone to come in?  Fuck you very much for being physically able enough to sit around and judge people without fucking knowing what it's like to not be able to clean up your own messes in your own goddamn home.  Fuck You Very Much for being able to mop your floor and not have it lead to sitting there and wanting to die rather than deal with the pain anymore just because you wanted a clean kitchen floor.  Fuck you Very Much for opening your trap about things that don't involve, concern, effect or impact you in any way...I hope you NEVER have to know what it feels like to be in chronic pain, unable to do one of the most simple activities of daily living and have someone say something shitty to you like you did to me. 


2 comments:

  1. That is a big ball of suck. I hope you can ignore that person and read and re-read this and KNOW that we all have to do what is right for us in our life. Living with pain is something you don't understand until you actually DO it for more than a day or so. There's a reason people say it changes you, duh it changes everything.
    I am not good at comforting people, but one of the few sayings I repeat to myself very often is from the very wise, very funny Charles Barkley, who said "Who cares what people think? People are stupid."
    Words to live by! :) I know, some days that is easier said than done, and you've done the right thing here, venting. It's good to clean that junk out! I hope it made you feel better, lightened your soul load a little. (Soul load? Shutup Joy.) Anyway, you're doing what's best for you, sounds more than reasonable, and you're not giving up or just sitting on your couch, and letting Depression pile up and pile up. So GOOD FOR YOU!
    I hate cleaning with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, but if I were closer I would help you. My kids would probably make MORE of a mess, but hey, we would have a good laugh!
    Take care, do what YOU need to do, and as a pad of paper my dad got from work said: "Don't let the turkeys get you down!"

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    1. Thanks darlin. I needed your wisdom today. Thanks for reading and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

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