There are many reasons that this blog will have long spaces of inactivity. Also the reason why I won’t be writing any Great American novels any time soon. I’ve had to reset my priorities.
#1 is my own personal health and medical issues. Since my stroke back in November 2008 whenever I get annual leave time off I use a portion of it to go to see my various doctors for a myriad of ailments. Unlike others who take vacations and actually go away somewhere that is no longer possible for me. I take medical vacations. Due to the time restrictions of my job it is almost impossible to get doctor’s appointments because they clash with what days I can take off. You tell the doctors I’m off Fridays/Saturdays and they want to give you an appointment for a Wednesday or Thursday. Well I’m a Working Woman. I’ve got rent and bills to pay and those obligations cannot be met if I take days off from my job. Or doctors want you to go to offices far from where you live. Now due to vision problems I cannot drive. Every so often I ask a cousin who is a healthy retired man of leisure to drive me somewhere but he never does. Well If I cannot get anyone to accompany me for various medicals tests or appointments then I can’t go. Plain and simple. I have no alternatives.
Also my job requires me to work long hours. There is no getting around that. This job is what pays my rent, my bills plus feeds and clothes me. This blog does not do any of that so it is about to become a footnote in my life.
Budget cuts and the low pay of Direct Care workers means that I must take on more responsibility for my brother Stephen. My brother Stephen Vincent Palmer is #1 in my Life. Nothing and nobody comes before him. My Love for him overrides anything else that’s going on in my life.
If you think that the current sitting president immigration policies will not have a detrimentally affect on disabled populations well think again. Who do you think does those jobs involving feeding, bathing, toileting, cleaning, cooking and other low paid work for folks like my brother Stephen? That’s right! You guessed it!! Immigrants!! Think about all the people who care for the elderly in nursing homes, provide home care, child care, restaurant work, pick our vegetables and fruits for our dinner table…again the answer is immigrants. And all of those essential jobs are extremely low paid.
However immigrants like those of us born in America need a decent paycheck with benefits. Heck like I’ve said before I don’t make much being a Museum Security Guard. As a result I’ve gone through eviction and bankruptcy. And yes I was not only born and raised here but I am a college graduate and a U.S. Army Veteran. If things are bad for me it is even worse for those who come to this country seeking a better life. But I digress. Back to Autism and Direct Service Provider issues.
The United States government has money for war, guns, weapons, bullets, big business, the rich and wealthy but No money for our developmentally disabled population? Direct Care Workers Need to make a living wage. Rent for apartments in New York is well over $1200 a month. You cannot survive on $10 an hour and live. Housing for the working class is almost nonexistent.
Even with the coming Paid Family Leave law which will take effect Jan. 2018 I still won’t be able to take off to care for Stephen because the stipulations of the law say that I will only get a portion of my paycheck not the entire paycheck. Therefore I cannot survive on portions I need the entire amount.
Basically I’ve had to make some tough decisions. There were other factors also. I’m tired of dealing with racists, bigots, trump supporters, trolls and flamers. Race brings out folks true evil nature. I’ve seen them hide behind Bible scripture verses and Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes all well knowing that the discrimination against the disabled, the working poor, people of color especially women of color won’t ever intrude upon their lives.
But I know that I must pick my battles. Truthfully I’m getting older and I cannot do the things I used to do therefore all my priorities and energies must shift to vital areas. As for the future when I retire and I do plan to retire when I’m not spending 16 hour days at work then I can begin to think about other projects, dreams, goals and plans. Until then I must deal with my current reality.
For those of you who live in the United States and wish to take action Please call, write, email, or visit your Elected Officials to advocate for our most vulnerable populations including the elderly, Women, Veterans, children, animals, the developmentally disabled and immigrants.