1995 called. They want their government shutdown back.
I wasn’t planning on staying up until midnight. I had Hulu Plus on while getting my list of bills ready to make payments. I was very excited because I have started working again. Commission is starting to trickle in, and I could see my goal of finally getting off of social security benefits. My work was beginning to show results.
Lately, I have been refraining from watching live coverage of what I perceived as another attempt by certain elected officials as something to angry up the blood of their base, and keep them happy. A so called filibuster of a law that passed three years ago seemed like a dog and pony show. Boy, was I wrong.
My organization in front of the TV took me past the midnight hour. I was excited to get my bills paid, so I logged onto my bank account to get the ball rolling. I found it at a negative balance. Then, I checked the news. I spouted obscenities on Facebook and Twitter and had a glass of wine (actually, half- but don’t tell my docs).
Luckily, my sedatives have begun to kick in and I can finally stop spouting expletives. Not because the sedatives are working, but because I am tired and I am going to see my son tomorrow. Luckily, I have a full tank of gas, food in my pantry and a roof over my head. But there are disabled veterans and senior citizens who don’t have it as good as I do.
My point is, I hear people thank me for my service frequently. Every time I do, I feel it is an empty wish. I did nothing heroic. I got two autoimmune diseases from doing body work on boats without proper safety equipment because there was not equipment small enough for me back in the day. (Everything was made for men, even in the 90’s) Luckily, the Veteran’s Administration took responsibility by providing life saving healthcare to me and my son. I was given monthly veterans financial benefits because I have two debilitating diseases. I feel so happy that I am returning to work. My Veterans benefits allow me to work at a pace that can allow few hours because my health does make it difficult, but I am getting stronger because I am allowed this grace. This grace of easing back to work and living life on my terms.
I am in a position of starting over again and damn grateful to be here. What I do wonder about is people not as lucky as I. Yes, I am living check to check, but there are many struggling to feed themselves and their own families. Today, our federal government did not pay its disabled veterans because a few people were mad about a law that passed in 2010, causing our government to shut down. This does’t effect those in government who don’t count on benefits to pay rent and buy food. No, this trickles down to the veterans they use as props. They claim they support this country’s veterans. Their actions show their words to be untrue. They claim to be Christian, yet the first group of citizens they throw under the bus are veterans, the elderly, the sick and the poor.
I’m going to sleep now. I hope when I wake up, this will have been some bad dream. But I am pretty sure that those who forced and encouraged this shutdown, are home in their beds sleeping. They sleep because they have no conscious. They will set out this morning but not to the buildings to do their job and govern. I bet the -$113.00 in my bank account, their first stop will be to the morning talk shows, to blame Obama for what they have created. And continue to “thank” our county’s veterans by continuing to hold us hostage.
Forgive me for not editing. I’m too tired. I post this urgently because I hope that someone reads it and understands we need to move forward to work together. To understand that compromise does not mean, “My way or the highway.” I hope that this post can inspire someone who can stop this madness, and work in the interest of the people they are supposed to represent. This is a message to elected officials who can stop this, from those of us who don’t have car services, assistants or lobbying firms to speak for us. Please release we the hostages, so that we may go back to being we the people.
Edited for correction October 1, 2013, 8am
This morning, I woke up and checked my bank account at 7:30. It was still in the negative. I had a glass of water, took my dog for a walk, returned and checked my bank account again. My Veteran’s benefits had been paid! I’m not sure what happened. I have been paid my veteran’s benefits by 12:01am since 1996. Not sure what the delay was. Somedays, it’s great to find out that there was a delay and not a complete non-payment. I have no idea what happened. Maybe it was a glitch in my account. Maybe they paid everyone late. My biggest hope is that somehow, this drama stops and we can get back to the business of governing.