- Posted July 1, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Economy Tracker: Your stories
oil crisis affects a single mother just starting her buisness.
My name is Samantha . i am a single mother of 4. I moved from Michigan to Louisiana 3 years ago to provide more opportunity for my children and I. My recently divorced mother and I left at the same time. She went back to her hometown in Illinois and brought my children with her so that I could get things set up and go to school for massage therapy.I had been working afternoons and midnights in Michigan and wasnt able to see my children much less raise them and our whole family was emotionally bankrupt. We had to do something drastic to change our lives.
I moved here with three suitcases no car and just enough money in my pocket to pay one months rent, and I knew one person.
Two months shy of graduating my children had to come here. I had been waiting tables and saving money and had just found a big enough house to rent, but had to quit school.
Over the next year I found a day job but was working 50 hours a week and could barely hold everything together. My children have a lot of emotional issues stemming from things that we have been through in the past. I have always been forced to put finantial survival in front of emotional well being and it has taken a toll on us.
Things wernt working and last summer my children went to my mothers for the summer and I threw my hands up, said a prayer and quit my job so that I could go back to finish my last trimester of school. I had no plan, was terrified, but I knew that I had to do this.
Somehow I have made it through. I have had alot of blessings and alot of support. I was licenced in dec 2009 and used my income tax refund to open my own studio at my home( I have a little building in my yard that works perfectly).
My oldest two came home last august but my younger children are still with my mother in Illinois. My Oldest daughter is 13 and has been in and out of phyciatric hospitals since she came home. I couldn't have maintained employment because of her problems. Iwould have been undependable, so was forced to open my own buisness(which isn't a bad thing) And timming seemed perfect.
In april I put my sign at the road and started getting phone calls. It was unbelievable the response I was getting. My family is going through intense counseling and my youngest to were about to come home, I was finally getting to a point where I could balance everything. My clients were happy and things were looking up.
Then the oil spill happened. In the last month buisness has slowed down dramaticcally. One of my clients even stopped by and said I havn't forgotten about you I have just been so slow at work (he drives for the oil company, delivers equiptment and tools).
I am terrified. I love this area. Nowhere else on earth does a community have so much pride. I had been telling my mother and my friends back home in michigan(some can't even find jobs at mcdonalds) how much opportunity there is here. Durring this whole recession this area's economy has remained strong.
I have said before when decribing the ecconomic situation in Michigan to people here. the same impact would happen if the the oil company shut down here.And now its happened.
I don't know what to do. My mother just moved back in with her mother and barely makes above minimum wage. Nearly half of her check goes to pay her health insurance. I can't move there because the economy won't support a massage therapist. I can't get a job because of the problems my children are having. I have to put my familly first at this point but it is the first and rent is due on monday and I have nothing.
I have worked so hard to get to this point and now the economy tanks. My youngest two children are begging to come home and there isn't any money to go and get them.
At the beginging of last month I was looking forward to catching up on bills and whatnot and starting to put money in the bank during this month and now I am even more behind.
Bp will reimburse oil workers although not enough to equal thier regular pay. I have watched buisnesses close in the last month. But I can't even show losses because I am just starting and only have potential growth to show. I'm scared and don't know what is going to happen to us. I work hard, have always worked hard, so has my mother. If I loose my home and my buisness I will end up in a homeless shelter and my children possibly in foster care. This was my lifeline this was my last chance. I have put everything into being able to work from home and healing my familly.
I am praying that the moratorium is lifted at least long enough so that people can figure out what to do and how to weather this storm.