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Old 10-13-2018, 01:48 PM   #41
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Great Topic!!!

Yep I am living in poverty and wish I wasn't.

No matter how much I try to pull myself up there has been many barriers in my way leaving me in this poverty trap as I have called it.

I have complex trauma from my childhood. Became disabled 17 yrs ago because of it. With that I got SSDI and useless medicare.

Prior becoming disabled my life was very different. I was middle class and it was really living the dream looking back. I had a good job I was with for 15 yrs, had a nice savings acct, 401k, was very well regarded in my field and by my coworkers. Had the house the car and lost all that when I became disabled just trying to stay afloat waiting for the disability to be approved.

I don't even know that person I used to be seems so distant of where I am today.

If anyone who has been disabled with medicare for mental illness will know back in the early 2000s the co pay's were very high 40% to be exact. To see a therapist it was $300 and 40% co-pay was too much on such limited income. To see the therapist 4x a month at that rate would cost $480.
Little math 800$ a month SSDI (early 2000s) Rent 600 + medicare prem +100 =$700. $100 left for the month. There was no room in this constricting budget to do therapy. So I opted to go the medication route. It was more cost effective I thought initially. $50 4 times a year to see a Psych doc was all I could afford. It was the biggest mistakes of my life going that route. Going to make this part short as I can. As a result of taking many different psych meds it caused me to grind my teeth bad. I would report it back t doc and they switched to another and the grinding continued. In 2007 the damage was beyond repair with my teeth from these meds and I had to have them all removed. I had a charity remove the teeth as I learned Medicare covered no dental and did not qualify for Medicaid. The charity that removed the teeth had me set up with another program for dentures and unfortunately they lost funding so no dentures. This is where I learned there is two sides of being poor. A few dollars separated me from getting medicaid.
that would of helped me immensely. It has all the things medicare lacks!!!!!

**side note 2008 the mental health parity law changed those 40% co-pays to 20% + included Medicare advantage plan - that did not help with the dental nor was it cost effective for therapy copays** Side rant it amazes me the SSA grants a disability and gives a insurance that pays little to no coverage for the disability granted? yet I am the crazy one in their eyes?? IMO those continuing disability reviews need to be more frequent and do more thorough reviews to make sure the people are getting the proper treatments.

Moving forward 2018. Still no teeth. I am the poster child of what poverty looks like with the absence of teeth. I have been the brunt of jokes and dirty looks and it wears at ones self esteem. It is hard going into the world with no teeth. It has made my anxiety worse of how mean people have been. It leaves me very isolated I have no friends (no family - cut ties too toxic yrs ago) I can not get a job. Recently I submitted a resume for a job that was perfect for me. The employer was eager to meet with me. However that fell apart because of the teeth issue. I have not been in a relationship in over 8 yrs hard to date with no teeth. So that need of closeness and connectedness has been absent for so many yrs. It's hard for me to relate to people these days being I am so far pushed to the fringes of society by this poverty. I feel judged by neighbors I see them leave in morning and come home later in the day and I did absolutely nothing with my day. I miss that feeling of being productive, earning my own money and being apart of this society...

In retrospect and being a survivor of abuse and was able to get away from all that of my past.... the biggest abuser TODAY is this damn system. It gripe is tighter on me...I fight everyday (medicare/medicaid/ssa etc) I can not break free from it as badly as I want to be independent as I was so many yrs ago.

imo poverty is another form of trauma
Oh, honey!!! ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((anxiety247)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) I am so sorry to hear about what your life is like. I hear you; poverty is another form of abuse. It is hard enough trying to make it from one month to the next, not to mention the attitude of strangers belittling others.

I can get Medicaid but I would have to pay 235 a month for it. That is nuts. I could get a Medigap policy for less. I have to do without because I can't afford either.

I am so sorry about your teeth. I worry about losing my teeth. I know they are rotting because every so often, I can taste mold in my mouth. And, I know it isn't what I am eating.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:00 PM   #42
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I love this thread! Thank you for starting it!

I haven't read through all of the posts yet, but I'm so glad to see this thread. I just need to vent a little...or alot lol.

I know for a FACT that living in poverty has really been a struggle for me. When I was little I didn't know that we lived in poverty (my aunt's Ramen noodles was always a delicacy to me lol), but as kids pick up on things, I just knew that that money was a big issue in our family (I realize now that I had some MAJOR confusion as a kid because (among other confusing things) I was poor and black from the "hood," and my elementary school years were spent at an affluent predominantly white Catholic school. Oh how I'm teased to this day because I "act white" etc). I remember when my mom was alive. When I was about twelve I asked her if I could borrow some money because I understood that money was a big deal, and I wanted to be able to pay her back. She actually had to tell me that I was her daughter and I didn't need to "borrow" money. I ask for it and she gives it end of story. That really blew my mind lol.

Then cut to my early adulthood and I"m a young poor black woman surrounded by affluent friends. Somewhere in my head I didn't get that my friends and I were different because of the wealth gaps between us (I'm sure for many reasons I didn't understand and due to trauma I'm only just now starting to understand myself better). I lived with a friend who's dad was a doctor and they took me in because my home was terrible. I guess somewhere along the line I started to believe that the "American Dream" was for me too. I have no idea. But I had champagne dreams on a beer budget lol. It took me a VERY long time to accept that hey...I'm poor...and I don't know if any amount of pulling myself up by the boot straps is going to help that lol.

Cut to my early twenties and my brief stint in community college. I REALLY struggled with being in poverty (especially since after I moved in with my friend with the doctor dad who was ironically enough living paycheck to paycheck albeit in a different way than my family, I never had a reliable living situation. I moved once a year for about five years. I was always on edge waiting for my current living situation to be over...having no idea how to be a responsible adult.) I was trying to work and go to school, which was enormously stressful. I had no money which was enormously stressful. I mean I was emotionally torn because that was the first time I considered government assistance and was thinking about applying for food stamps. Talk about embarrassed!!!

Here I was a young black woman having to go on food stamps. I did NOT want to be a statistic (and it didn't help that one of my college teachers said it looked like I could be on welfare in class one day. It was a communications class and he was talking about the judgments we make about people. Ouch).

Then with everything that was going on in my early twenties I landed smack in the middle of a mental breakdown that I'm still recovering from. I've watched people I've known before buy houses, marry, have kids...and here I was. Living with my grandma on government assistance and mentally ill.

Thank Yah that I'm no longer living with my grandma, and I'm out of a very dysfunctional and abusive family dynamic...but I'm still broke as a joke lol. Everything I get is because of government assistance (which is scary because laws change and I could lose everything. not even considering the fact that you have to stay pretty much broke to receive assistance).

I'm on SSDI, food stamps, Medicare (I had Medicaid before they said my income was too high...and I REALLY don't get that much from my disability check), in subsidized housing, almost all of my new clothes came from the free store or thrift store (which I don't mind I love thrifting) or someone bought it or it was a donation made to the building I live in. My monthly grocery trips include going on my usual food pantry stops. I have nothing really. No savings, property, nothing.

But you know what surprises me the most? I'm as snug as a bug in a rug! I couldn't be MORE grateful that I have what I have. I'm finally safe and have time to heal. I'm learning about myself in ways I never knew, and I'm SO blessed!

Maybe, although I do get a little anxious about being poor, I'm so content because I've never had money? I don't know. A family friend jokes that black people have never really had anything in this country (she's in her 70's and grew up poor in Arkansas) so when the economy crashes we just keep on doing what we always did lol). I have no idea.

But it's just so nice to be able to talk about it and know that I"m not the only one struggling in poverty. I know the poverty struggle can feel crippling (as someone mentioned it's not just material poverty either), but I know I'm not alone. I think I lost my train of thought a bit with this post lol...I was just so happy to see this thread. Thanks for starting it HappyCrafter!
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:11 PM   #43
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Hi, LonelyChemist,

Your Yeehaw mood makes me smile and laugh. You know, I am not worried which is good because I can think clearer that way. I am looking into ways to generate income through my writing because I can't work a ft or pt job because of my health issues.

I thank you for your kind feedback and encouragement!
I'm so happy that you have your writing...I've always wanted to be a writer, but I think I like the idea of being an ARTISTE rather than actually producing work lol. Though, I sometimes wonder if I just have arrested developments towards creativity because of trauma.

Do you find technological advancements helpful for generating income for your writing? When I was going through my latest "trying to find a career" phase lol I saw so many online resources for writers.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:26 PM   #44
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HappyCrafter, VERY well said and well written!!! I am very sorry you had the experience you had in your childhood. I cannot fathom not remembering and having that sort of abuse in my life. I'm very sorry. However, you are making your story into writing, and you are helping others who need it, and that is something to be VERY proud of. I can certainly relate to having low self esteem. I would love to heal mine. You have inspired me.

In regards to poverty, and living in poverty, I would like to point out something. I think it is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful, that you are working so hard, and have employment and quality of life goals you want to achieve. Because of this, I think you will go far. What I want to point out. Is that it is not all about the person in poverty and what they're going through. In the USA, at least, the system is messed up. It's not all your fault that you are in poverty or that it is hard to get out of. There is a system at play in this, and as my friend says: that system is "****ed UP." I say this, because while it sounds like you are not being hard on yourself, and I'm glad, I hope that if you are ever hard on yourself, you can know that it is not your fault. You may even already know this.

Yes. I do live in poverty. I don't feel the stigma. Because I have resources, maybe. I don't know. A car. A financial cushion. I know I wrote about that some in my posts to you in the feedback forum. I DO think though, that mentality can play a part in our situations. Whether we caused it, or someone else did. I noticed, that I have been thinking of myself as "mentally ill / a mental patient," for a long time. It is so unhelpful. What if I thought of myself as "a professional"? "reliable." "hard working and reaping the rewards of my hard work" "someone with strong work ethic." I think these words would help me a lot more that the first I put. I also want to get off of disability, SSI, and live a more independent life. While the reality is that my drug of choice is avoidance, I try everyday. I do my best. My best is not always great. It's not always facing what makes me anxious. But I am doing my best. Edit: I DO feel the stigma of unemployment. Very much, at times. It's hard, but I don't think the entire world and their mom is judgmental and non-understanding. But I have a hard time with that, sometimes.

I take medication that costs a LOT of money. And if I went off medicaid, I don't know what I'd do if I lost that medication. Die maybe? I've been on it for years. So that is a scary thought. That's part of what I mean when I say our system is ****ed up. Who would allow this? Big pharma. The United States Govt. I really have to research how to get my medication if I start working. It's a huge concern of mine.

Ending on a positive note, well done, on writing this post, HC. And thank you.
Thank you for mentioning that it's not always the person in poverty and what they're going through. I used to be really ashamed of being in poverty. Like I mentioned in my previous post I never wanted to be a "statistic" (that portrayal of the poor black woman on welfare and food stamps etc.) I really blamed myself for not being able to get myself together and have a job, nice place, car, and all that kind of stuff. Sometimes I get really confused on how people can afford to do anything. But I think you're right a lot of it is just that the system is messed up.

For instance, the government wants to see people go back to work. But in my situation I live in subsidized housing and can't go to school while I'm doing so. So, I can't really get an education to hopefully get better work to get out of poverty. Also, if you start to somehow get any extra money your rent goes up or you could lose benefits. It's certainly difficult to get ahead under such conditions.

(Sigh) Yeah, the inner dialogue bit is tough huh? One of my biggest struggles is not seeing myself as an invalid because I'm "mentally ill." I'm not really sure how to believe the doctors who say mental illness isn't a death sentence but I've got a disease for life and could have multiple hospital stays...but I've got to keep fighting.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:29 PM   #45
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Other people tell me I live in poverty. Others that I know work and they have everything new. I don't care about old stuff as long as it works. I think it has more character. People complain my furniture isn't nice. But I like it, I don't like theirs but I don't say that out loud. I have a whole world in my head. Do they? I enjoy nature, the seasons, the sky, and that is free.

I'm wealthy for being a world citizen. I have clean water, hot water, plumbing, food every day, a lock on my door, clothes, food for my cats, my cats and a computer and an Internet connection.

I have friends, especially one close friend.

I feel like I have EVERYTHING.

I don't even have a bike in a biking nation, less a car. But my friend sometimes drives me, we do have buses and trains and I am good at walking. I don't have extras like Netflix or a Spotify account. I recently found money enough to buy home insurance...

I use public legal streaming services for talk radio, movies and TV-series. Big Youtube fan.

They can try to shame me all they want. I still don't wanna switch places.
I so get what you're saying here! I know I look poor to the world, but I feel like I live in lap of luxury most of the time lol. I'm so blessed.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:35 PM   #46
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Hmm...sad but true. The only times I really saw nice things growing up (and now) was because the men in the family were drug dealers.

My grandmother did work her way through college though gaining a Master's degree. Sadly, due to many reasons I'm sure, she has no more savings.

I must say though that though we were poor when I was growing up I always had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my stomach. Even if I was lacking in love, support, and encouragement.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:45 PM   #47
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Wow, Happy Crafter, what a well-written post! It honestly makes more sense than your first thread.

You seem like a nice person, so I'll give you an insight of my experience.

I didn't know I lived in poverty until middle school. My parents worked SO HARD to give my brother and I the best life possible, more often than not sacrificing their own needs. My parents later would tell the story of how all they could afford for Christmas was one jacket, and it was during the coldest winter "in history" where they lived, and after Christmas the weather quickly warmed up, so they spent most of winter freezing just to say they had something to give each other for Christmas. And I don't remember the entire conversation, but my Dad was dropping me off at school, maybe I asked him for some money, I don't remember, but I remember him sadly telling me "I'm sorry, we can't, we're poor". Up until that moment I NEVER knew there were ever financial struggles in our family. I never knew how much my parents struggled until that moment and even then it wasn't until after high school when my parents opened up about how hard it was to support us. They worked so hard to make sure that my brother and I never felt poor, and we never did, we always thought we had the absolute best possible childhood.

Money as an adult is something I've always struggled with, especially during manic phases. I could save up hundreds, sometimes thousands of money for months, and blow it all in a week on a whim without even a second thought as to my end goal. Yes, that I can definitely blame on my bipolar, but I've done exceptionally well at overcoming this. The past three years I've worked so hard on correcting this behavior, it seems like I'm getting a handle on it. You should have seen me this year, I tried so, so hard to be diligent about saving. Every paycheck I set money aside. I had weak moments, but nothing so drastic that I screwed up my plans entirely. It wasn't easy, and it was on a step above minimum wage salary, but I saved up enough money to take a few months off of work.

I think I experience more stigma for my mental illness than I do for my poverty. I don't consider myself in poverty anymore, just a lot of struggling because I don't have an education and never had a passion. I've found my passion and plan to go to school so I can follow my dreams.

Your post was very inspiring. I'm very interested in what more you have to say.
Thank you for sharing your story! I'm so happy that you found your passion. It's encouraging that some people find a passion after not having one.

It's been a huge struggle for me that, for many reasons maybe, I just don't have a passion/can't decide on a career or job. Severe depression caused me to drop out of high school. I did eventually get a G.E.D. There was a brief stint in community college, and I've probably thought I was "passionate" about almost every career known to man lol.

Now, I have no idea. I don't really want to go back to school. If I did I don't know what I'd study anyway. I'm like lost when it comes right down to it. I'm told that I'm smart, but I don't think I'm cut out for school. I don't know.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:08 AM   #48
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Great Topic!!!

Yep I am living in poverty and wish I wasn't.

No matter how much I try to pull myself up there has been many barriers in my way leaving me in this poverty trap as I have called it.

I have complex trauma from my childhood. Became disabled 17 yrs ago because of it. With that I got SSDI and useless medicare.

Prior becoming disabled my life was very different. I was middle class and it was really living the dream looking back. I had a good job I was with for 15 yrs, had a nice savings acct, 401k, was very well regarded in my field and by my coworkers. Had the house the car and lost all that when I became disabled just trying to stay afloat waiting for the disability to be approved.

I don't even know that person I used to be seems so distant of where I am today.

If anyone who has been disabled with medicare for mental illness will know back in the early 2000s the co pay's were very high 40% to be exact. To see a therapist it was $300 and 40% co-pay was too much on such limited income. To see the therapist 4x a month at that rate would cost $480.
Little math 800$ a month SSDI (early 2000s) Rent 600 + medicare prem +100 =$700. $100 left for the month. There was no room in this constricting budget to do therapy. So I opted to go the medication route. It was more cost effective I thought initially. $50 4 times a year to see a Psych doc was all I could afford. It was the biggest mistakes of my life going that route. Going to make this part short as I can. As a result of taking many different psych meds it caused me to grind my teeth bad. I would report it back t doc and they switched to another and the grinding continued. In 2007 the damage was beyond repair with my teeth from these meds and I had to have them all removed. I had a charity remove the teeth as I learned Medicare covered no dental and did not qualify for Medicaid. The charity that removed the teeth had me set up with another program for dentures and unfortunately they lost funding so no dentures. This is where I learned there is two sides of being poor. A few dollars separated me from getting medicaid.
that would of helped me immensely. It has all the things medicare lacks!!!!!

**side note 2008 the mental health parity law changed those 40% co-pays to 20% + included Medicare advantage plan - that did not help with the dental nor was it cost effective for therapy copays** Side rant it amazes me the SSA grants a disability and gives a insurance that pays little to no coverage for the disability granted? yet I am the crazy one in their eyes?? IMO those continuing disability reviews need to be more frequent and do more thorough reviews to make sure the people are getting the proper treatments.

Moving forward 2018. Still no teeth. I am the poster child of what poverty looks like with the absence of teeth. I have been the brunt of jokes and dirty looks and it wears at ones self esteem. It is hard going into the world with no teeth. It has made my anxiety worse of how mean people have been. It leaves me very isolated I have no friends (no family - cut ties too toxic yrs ago) I can not get a job. Recently I submitted a resume for a job that was perfect for me. The employer was eager to meet with me. However that fell apart because of the teeth issue. I have not been in a relationship in over 8 yrs hard to date with no teeth. So that need of closeness and connectedness has been absent for so many yrs. It's hard for me to relate to people these days being I am so far pushed to the fringes of society by this poverty. I feel judged by neighbors I see them leave in morning and come home later in the day and I did absolutely nothing with my day. I miss that feeling of being productive, earning my own money and being apart of this society...

In retrospect and being a survivor of abuse and was able to get away from all that of my past.... the biggest abuser TODAY is this damn system. It gripe is tighter on me...I fight everyday (medicare/medicaid/ssa etc) I can not break free from it as badly as I want to be independent as I was so many yrs ago.

imo poverty is another form of trauma
My heart goes out to you so much, and I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. I can relate in some ways.

I know that the strain of poverty was just another reason for my breakdown. Traumatic it is indeed.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:24 AM   #49
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I love this thread! Thank you for starting it!

I haven't read through all of the posts yet, but I'm so glad to see this thread. I just need to vent a little...or alot lol.

I know for a FACT that living in poverty has really been a struggle for me. When I was little I didn't know that we lived in poverty (my aunt's Ramen noodles was always a delicacy to me lol), but as kids pick up on things, I just knew that that money was a big issue in our family (I realize now that I had some MAJOR confusion as a kid because (among other confusing things) I was poor and black from the "hood," and my elementary school years were spent at an affluent predominantly white Catholic school. Oh how I'm teased to this day because I "act white" etc). I remember when my mom was alive. When I was about twelve I asked her if I could borrow some money because I understood that money was a big deal, and I wanted to be able to pay her back. She actually had to tell me that I was her daughter and I didn't need to "borrow" money. I ask for it and she gives it end of story. That really blew my mind lol.

Then cut to my early adulthood and I"m a young poor black woman surrounded by affluent friends. Somewhere in my head I didn't get that my friends and I were different because of the wealth gaps between us (I'm sure for many reasons I didn't understand and due to trauma I'm only just now starting to understand myself better). I lived with a friend who's dad was a doctor and they took me in because my home was terrible. I guess somewhere along the line I started to believe that the "American Dream" was for me too. I have no idea. But I had champagne dreams on a beer budget lol. It took me a VERY long time to accept that hey...I'm poor...and I don't know if any amount of pulling myself up by the boot straps is going to help that lol.

Cut to my early twenties and my brief stint in community college. I REALLY struggled with being in poverty (especially since after I moved in with my friend with the doctor dad who was ironically enough living paycheck to paycheck albeit in a different way than my family, I never had a reliable living situation. I moved once a year for about five years. I was always on edge waiting for my current living situation to be over...having no idea how to be a responsible adult.) I was trying to work and go to school, which was enormously stressful. I had no money which was enormously stressful. I mean I was emotionally torn because that was the first time I considered government assistance and was thinking about applying for food stamps. Talk about embarrassed!!!

Here I was a young black woman having to go on food stamps. I did NOT want to be a statistic (and it didn't help that one of my college teachers said it looked like I could be on welfare in class one day. It was a communications class and he was talking about the judgments we make about people. Ouch).

Then with everything that was going on in my early twenties I landed smack in the middle of a mental breakdown that I'm still recovering from. I've watched people I've known before buy houses, marry, have kids...and here I was. Living with my grandma on government assistance and mentally ill.

Thank Yah that I'm no longer living with my grandma, and I'm out of a very dysfunctional and abusive family dynamic...but I'm still broke as a joke lol. Everything I get is because of government assistance (which is scary because laws change and I could lose everything. not even considering the fact that you have to stay pretty much broke to receive assistance).

I'm on SSDI, food stamps, Medicare (I had Medicaid before they said my income was too high...and I REALLY don't get that much from my disability check), in subsidized housing, almost all of my new clothes came from the free store or thrift store (which I don't mind I love thrifting) or someone bought it or it was a donation made to the building I live in. My monthly grocery trips include going on my usual food pantry stops. I have nothing really. No savings, property, nothing.

But you know what surprises me the most? I'm as snug as a bug in a rug! I couldn't be MORE grateful that I have what I have. I'm finally safe and have time to heal. I'm learning about myself in ways I never knew, and I'm SO blessed!

Maybe, although I do get a little anxious about being poor, I'm so content because I've never had money? I don't know. A family friend jokes that black people have never really had anything in this country (she's in her 70's and grew up poor in Arkansas) so when the economy crashes we just keep on doing what we always did lol). I have no idea.

But it's just so nice to be able to talk about it and know that I"m not the only one struggling in poverty. I know the poverty struggle can feel crippling (as someone mentioned it's not just material poverty either), but I know I'm not alone. I think I lost my train of thought a bit with this post lol...I was just so happy to see this thread. Thanks for starting it HappyCrafter!
Oh, honey! I can learn so much from you! I thank you for sharing about your life. BIG warn hug to you!! xoxox
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:12 PM   #50
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Default Re: I Live in Poverty. Do you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCrafter View Post
Oh, honey! I can learn so much from you! I thank you for sharing about your life. BIG warn hug to you!! xoxox


That's another reason why I'm so happy you started this thread! I think we can all learn a little from each other...gotta love this forum.

BIG warm hug to you!!!
cptsdwhoa is offline   Reply With Quote
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