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Spiny

Does anyone else ever suffer from extreme guilt / shame for being on a check?

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Posted (edited)

I originally put "entitlements"  in the title because I think that people are entitled to enough money for housing, healthcare, some treats, etc, but see below for why I changed it.

At least - I think everyone is entitled to those basic rights when it's other people I'm thinking of, and not me.

I have a bachelors and half of an associates. I have the privilege of having always had a relatively quick analytical brain. And, I'm on a check, and food stamps. I feel SO incredibly guilty and ashamed about this - even though I know plenty of people in the same position, and I would never think that they don't deserve their entitlements and disability! It doesn't help that my bio family and lots of former "chosen" family look down on me for it. In my 20s, when I was using a lot of drugs and booze to cover what turned out to be a severe psychiatric problem, I think it seemed to a lot of people like I was on the "up." Then I got sober, and, well... it turned out to not be the case.

Oftentimes, I'm able to talk to my self / selves and remind us that we think that everyone deserves to have their needs covered and that we think housing and healthcare, and honestly guaranteed income, should be basic rights for everyone, and that "we" are part of the "everyone."

Other times, like today... I just feel like such a loser and failure. And also really scared about the future.

I concoct wild ideas to get myself off benefits... and then I realize why it's a bad idea. And then I get mad, like - why should it be considered a "good" thing for me to get off my check? But then I get ashamed again.

I dunno, I'm sick and not really thinking clearly. I just thought I'd ask if anyone can relate.

❤️

 

Edited by Spiny

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Entitlements is a propaganda term used by the rich and their allies in politics to confuse the public. Polls show that people overwhelmingly support taking care of the poor and disabled but when the term welfare is put in the poll, you see a drop in empathy. If you have a mental illness and struggle then your receiving benefits is just a drop in the bucket compared to what the taxpayer pays for corporate welfare. In this country, we have rigid free market capitalism for the common man and nanny state socialism for corporations. You should not feel guilty about getting public assistance if you need it. 

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I relate a lot.  I also get shit from some people about being on benefits, but I got shit from other people from getting a crappy part time job in case it put my benefits in jeopardy.  Someone I know on disability said that he gets paid to take care of himself, and I kind of like that, because it feels like it takes a huge amount of time and effort to take care of myself.  It felt kind of forgiving.  

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Posted (edited)
Quote

"Entitlements is a propaganda term used by the rich and their allies in politics to confuse the public."

Dang it now I wish I could edit and change the title! I'm new here sorry. Thanks for the clarification. I have to say I don't really like "benefits" either. I can't quite put my finger on why, but there's almost something... patronizing about it, maybe? Anyway yeah totally agree re: capitalism. Helped to read, thanks.

EDIT - ha - figured out the edit mechanism!

Quote

"Someone I know on disability said that he gets paid to take care of himself"

That is brilliant, thank you. That actually really helps.

 

Edited by Spiny

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I was really depressed, felt like nothing but a burden, when I had no income. Now,I feel like I am contributing.  
 

I am not sure what will happen with my ssdi next year. I am in a program where you can earn more, but they take out a certain amount.  I am earning a little over sga but less than my ssdi check. I have the permission to work more hours but not the stamina. 

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When I started on SSDI I had paid (employee + employer) into Social Security over $100,000 so yes, I feel entitled to a return on my investment.

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It's good to hear everyone's perspectives, thanks for sharing them.

For me, I think part of the heartache is that I have a degree, and I was supposed to "do so much" with that degree... but what actually happened was a lot of job hopping, criminalized activity, and a couple of attempts to get some businesses off the ground which crashed and burned.

Me not being economically productive is I'm fairly sure one of the reasons my family turned their backs on me, which in my opinion is ableist as all hell but it still hurts.

I somehow feel like I owe society my continued misery even though I know that's ridiculous.

Honestly... I'm pro-guaranteed income anyway, like for everyone below a certain income level, so I try to remember that. It's maddening, the shame. I get that it comes from society politics and the media, but sometimes it's hard to put a finger on "where is this shaming coming from," it just feels so pervasive. It can make me focus on trying to work when I really should not.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Spiny said:

I somehow feel like I owe society my continued misery even though I know that's ridiculous.

it's not ridiculous, it's the message you've taken away from the influences (societal, personal, etc) around you. it sounds like you have been told a lot (directly or indirectly) that your value is determined by the work you can put back into society. and if you can't work, you're worthless, and if you're worthless then you'd better feel bad about it. i think it makes perfect sense that you struggle with feeling this way. that doesn't make it any easier, but don't blame yourself for the shame you feel.

i think the most important contribution you can make to society is doing what you can to make the world a kinder place to be in. your well-being and happiness is a great place to start. you are part of society. taking care of yourself contributes to the well-being of your community.

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Hey, thanks for saying all that. I think the idea that one is supposed to be ashamed for financial assistance from the government / society is one of the most nefarious messages out there for sure.

Quote

taking care of yourself contributes to the well-being of your community.

I'm going to repeat that to myself. Thank you.

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In my book government has several essential duties. Taking care of the citizens is a big one if not the number one. This includes a guaranteed salary or income from a guaranteed job. All medical needs are paid by the government. Basic education through high school and some kind of post high school education. This could be vocationatial, training you for a job. or continuing your academic studies. Finland and some other nordic states run successfully this way. The workforce is different when everyone is guaranteed the same wage and a job comesserite with their skills and talents. Competition is taken out of the system.

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Yeah, this resonates with me. It can be tough to fight those feelings...

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