Can you afford to be ‘poor’?
SUMMARY & MOVING TO THE FUTURE
As you know, well, if you didn’t, you will know now, that I will stop at nothing if I believe in something,
I have every expectation that I will be able to pursue this further, writing more about the consequences of struggling through the ‘system’ and the misconceptions and lack of knowledge of what some people endure when trying to live with (or without) the very basics.
The tremendous price (both monetarily and emotionally) has not been addressed in the media.
Very few people have any idea that a utility bill, if left unpaid, can increase from $286 to $800 (water)…All extra charges payable to the utility company for their ‘time’, not because of consumption
Most people have no idea that electricity is shut off because of an inability to pay extraordinary high deposits, even though consumption charges are up to date) resulting in room temperatures that cause 30 gallon fish tanks to freeze inside a house.
Children have to live in these conditions. with no phone, no transport and no money there is no alternative but to endure these circumstances.
I know…I have been there.
I lived without water for nearly two years, remembering a moment when I mentioned about the cat’s water and my son, without thinking, saying ‘Water? Where?”
We relied on an ex boyfriend stopping by with a bag of food…no other means of getting any when you live in the country.
I was helped by one of John Baird’s (when Energy minister) assistants who phoned the head office of hydro to try to have my electricity reconnected and they still would not consider his pleas on my behalf.
He kept in contact with me often, to try to help ( I could hear the ‘bells’ ringing at Queens park as he took time out from parliamentary matters).
I had not been disconnected originally, but after paying an overdue bill of $1400 (a farmhouse using electric heat) I was required to pay $700 deposit, which added to my monthly bill was beyond my ability but enough (even though consumption charges were up to date) to cause disconnection.
As far as they were concerned, when I spoke to a ‘woman’ in head office…”If you buy a loaf of bread you have to pay for it and electricity is no different’
We were literally freezing and it did not warrant any consideration.
It was -15c in the house….
The fish had frozen in the tank.
At the weekends the kids stayed with their friends….I stayed under two thick comforters (shared by the cats)….grateful that the kids had relief from this.
I don’t know whether this could be considered in any way to help others to cope, but I have made up my mind that the less fortunate need a voice and maybe I can be that voice.
Not through the usual political channels, but by major media.
The ‘system’ is made up of people that truly care but are limited by protocol.
My goal is not to highlight my experiences by looking for ‘sympathy’ because that is so far from the truth.
I consider myself fortunate to have experienced the adversity, enabling me to appreciate life in a way that very few others can comprehend.
I have two wonderful (grown) children that regardless of anything, never made me feel guilty for not providing the essentials and have an appreciation for life that few their age would understand.
Once I get my ‘words’ into some form of appropriate format, I will be approaching the media…and I will continue to look for all outlets…not to directly pinpoint the disgraceful way that those of us that are less fortunate financially are trodden on by major utility companies, but mostly to educate the ‘public’ about issues they have no concept would exist.
Hopefully there are a lot of people that would be inspired to know that it is possible to cope with circumstances that seem beyond normal possibilities and to be validated for some of the reasons they arrived in that position in the first place.
I also want to have the opportunity to recognise how wonderful most people are when they know these situations exist. Many people love the opportunity to help but are not approached because of ‘shame’ on the part of the people in the predicament.
I have no shame, and have been overwhelmed, not always by how much people ‘give’ but by how much they care.
I used to get a chuckle standing in line at the foodbank thinking it gives a new concept to ‘Going to the ‘bank’!
I have so much more to tell…and I know that now is the time for me to share it.
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