We haven’t had electricity since Thursday when our electric company disreguarded a verbal agreement we had, refused to give us twenty-four hours and shut our power off. They claimed they would turn us back on but first we had to pay them nearly $400.00 and fork out a $1200 deposit. We have never not paid our electric bill, since we moved into the house in March of last year, we have always paid even when the electric company screwed up the billing address and didn’t send us our bill on time, or when they jumped our electric bill from barely $150 a month to well over $600. We weren’t the only people that they have done this to, we’re just the unlucky ones struggling as it is to pay the $150 bill when they dropped new increases on us after the deregulation of electric companies in Virginia.
The weather the past two days has reached below freezing both days and the only thing keeping us warm is the large firepit we dug out front during the spring and the heater in my truck. Though if I’m going to be completely honest, only half of the heater in my truck works. The blower motor for the front of the vehicle doesn’t work so it doesn’t actually blow heat in the front of the truck. We charge our phones and my Chromebook in the truck as well. However when night falls and we have to return inside the darkened house our spirits sink.
This is not how I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with my wife and two children until about three hours ago we didn’t even have a turkey.
I know when this Thursday rolls around I’ll see posts of how everyone on my friend’s list spending time with their family and gourging themselves on food while getting ready to go shopping for Black Friday and my family and I will be gathering wood for a fire, drawing water up from our well and cooking our meal over hot coals from our firepit.
This is the bitter cold truth that I wake up to each and every morning now.
Admist all of this I am still struggling to find doctors that diagnosis ASD in adults, trying to enroll our youngest in public schools, fight for SSI, and deal with depression so bad that I struggle to keep going. The only thing I can tell myself is if I give up, my children and wife will be worse off than they already are.
My wife is disabled and cannot use the chainsaw to drop trees for firewood, or chop wood with an ax. She doesn’t even have a driver’s license, and our oldest son is still too young for his. I am the only one in the family with a license and therefore, the only one able to drive back and forth to the store.
How would they be able to make it if I gave up? If I was selfish and ended my own suffering and left them alone…I can’t do that to them, my pain is nothing compared to what they would be left with.
So I keep going.
It’s really the only thing I can do. I focus on one task at a time; one item on our to do list and keep working towards something better. Though I don’t feel like anything is going to get better anytime soon.
I’m cold and tired all the time now, it’s like the dampness has settled into my bones and will refuse to leave until the spring of next year and warmer weather.
I just have to keep going.