The Creative Portfolio of Melissa K. Vassar-Belloso

TOAA Reflections:The Truth of Unemployment and Why You Should Be Kind to Your Children


Please note that this blog contains serious and graphic discussion of abuse and other sensitive topics. Do not read this if you think that’s going to bother you.

“The Truth of Unemployment and Why You Should Be Kind to Your Children”
By Melissa K. Vassar-Belloso

There are a lot of unemployed people in America right now and while some of them are indeed this way by choice, many of them aren’t. It can be very hard for many of us to comprehend what rock bottom looks and feels a like if we’ve never been there or have forgotten being there because we’re doing well. I’m not completely sure what that’s like since life makes great efforts to kick me in the ass anytime I get comfortable and stop looking over my shoulder but I’m sure that’s true for someone.

When it comes to why someone is employed or unemployed, you may think you know why but on a very honest scale I don’t think that’s possible. As people we tend to judge situations based on superficial factors and I admit that I did that myself when I had jobs previously and ran into people on public assistance or otherwise out of work. But when you really think about it, none of us are in a position to make that call. Who am I to say that someone on welfare who seems able to work doesn’t have an invisible condition or is going through the aftermath of psychological abuse? Who are any of us to decide we know a person more than they know themselves?

But life has funny ways of teaching lessons and one of the ways that we can sometimes learn different points of view is being forced to have to use that point of view. To back the cart up just a bit, someone told me earlier today while complaining about how awful it was they had to be burdened to pay for the uninsured that I should just get a job if it bothered me that much. Now in a society where we hang so much on jobs and there are billions of circumstances happening for people, this is a simple but dangerous thing to say.

Let me just be clear here. It is destroying me to not have a job. I grew up defining everything I was by having a job and earning a paycheck and not having one is literally plunging me into depression deep enough that I lay down at night wanting to die. I’m not out of work because I want to be. I’m out of work because I’ve worked my hardest and have nothing left but my disabilities. You don’t know me or what I’ve gone through to this point to tell me to get a job or anything else for that matter. If you think you do you’re a moron. In fact. I know this person is a moron. He appreciates nothing,doesn’t value the people around him, and will probably die alone. I know I’m not going to be there but I hope for his sake at least one person hasn’t been driven off by the awful hateful person that he is. I couldn’t even marginally conceive having any feelings besides hatred for him at this point but I think what is more dangerous is that I don’t hate him. I’ve just stopped caring.

I think in the past I’ve been too afraid to really be open about the sort of relationship I have with my father but I realize more and more that’s the only way for me to start finding some peace. After years of psychological abuse, I really can’t be bothered to try anymore. I’m done waiting for him to want a relationship and I’m sick of walking around with a broken heart. There is no relationship there and he clearly doesn’t give a damn about me in any capacity. I’m honestly fine with that at this point to the level that I don’t care if he drops dead in the next five minutes. I might as well return the favor because I clearly have no value as a person to him. I’m done pouring energy into a relationship that will never truly exist and I’ve honestly decided in my heart this is the last time I’m going to let that man make me cry. We’re done as father and daughter as far as I’m concerned.

Now I think that to some this sounds horrible but you’re likely going to be in one of two camps right now. You either think I’m exaggerating and he deserves a chance because he’s my father or you’ve been there and realize that coming out on the other side of abuse requires difficult and painful calls of judgement.  I want to be very clear about which camp I would throw kerosene on right now.

Being in the role of being a parent isn’t a free pass. Take that to heart no matter what side of the table you’re on. Parents who are abusers aren’t owed anything. If you’re giving them the impression they are it’s part of the problem. If you tell your kids that they “owe” that abusive parent respect and convince them to stand down so more damage can be done,it’s enabling. It wrong and it’s enabling. You are giving your child the idea that people in positions of authority are allowed to treat them like shit and they will carry that through life and into other relationships.  Use that energy to make sure your child understands they matter as a person and have a right to be treated with respect and express their feelings. The payoff is probably a lot better. I realize parenting with an abuser is a tough call but please make the right one and choose to not add to the abuse for the sake of your child and them having a stable future.

No one owes you anything in life. If you don’t want to earn it, you don’t deserve it and that is especially true of respect and trust. But what can we really away with on this reflection,today?

First, stop judging jobless people. I’m making the same turn myself because I realize I’m as guilty as anyone else for not truly understanding what reasons people can have for needing a helping hand sometimes. Before you judge a person’s outward situation,make an effort to understand their inward one. You have no idea what they’ve gone through or may still be going through and you have no idea how easy it is to get there yourself. Think of how you would want someone to treat you if you were in the same boat and try to have a heart. Respect that the person has probably gone through far more than you can gauge from a surface analysis. If you make efforts to love and respect others then that will come back around when you least expect it but if you choose to carry yourself by regularly dehumanizing those around you,that will also come back eventually and it will hit hard.

Second, Be good to your kids if you’re a parent. You’re taking care of them now but the older you get, the more likely the tables will turn on that situation and you will get back every thing you’ve given that child. If you love and respect them they will do the same for you but if you treat them like garbage and abuse them, you will probably find yourself living out your last days as a victim of abuse or neglect. You are one of the key factors in what kind of adult your child grows into. Every single thing your child does from how they treat people to how they solve problems has a root in the home environment you create for them and in the long run you aren’t building that nest solely for them. You’re also building the nest you’re going to eventually retire into.

Third, if you are a person suffering from abuse please get yourself help. Don’t lose quality of life,take your life, or suffer in silence. Recovery is hard and takes a lot of time and determination but it is possible. If you recognize you are being abused, get help and heal yourself regardless of who they are in your life. No one has a right to bully or abuse you and you have every right to be happy and respected. Life can get better.

Lastly, there’s something that may or may not fit here but It’s something I just have to say. If you are that parent trying to love your abused child twice as much because seeing them abused breaks your heart,THANK YOU. It may not seem like you’re doing anything some days and you may still carry a lot of guilt around but know that you are doing your best and that’s enough. Your child may still struggle but in those moments  when they are rocking back and forth and crying, confused about why their father doesn’t love them, they’ll also remember that you do and that might save their life. Thank you so much for loving me despite the difficult person I can be because it makes me realize that for every person that can’t see value in me, the one person that matters does and that gives me the strength to keep trying.

That is all for this reflection but if you enjoy my writing please feel free to shoot me a comment. Also if you like my work  and would like to see more of it or support it I’d love it if you’d check out my Patreon page or follow me on Facebook or Twitter via @themeinav!


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