Special Needs Parenting: Powerless and in the dark

This is a post designed purely for the purpose of venting. It also simply part of the reality that we live in and therefore part of our story. Having said that,  I’m also sharing this because it’s a real life problem for many people,  and not just the Lost and Tired family. 

Lizze,  Emmett and I arrived home from some errands to find that our power had been shut off. This is how I know that things aren’t going as well as they could be.  I’m trying to see the silver lining or at least find some humor but it a bit difficult because I’m getting frustrated.
The Lost and Tired family has been essentially living on a bubble for awhile now. What that basically means is that we have been able to meet our expenses but just barely. Like many other special needs families,  this is not due to irresponsibility. It’s due to the fact that financial demand of raising a child with special needs -let alone three- is significantly higher in many cases than the typical child.

This can often mean that families,  like mine,  are not in a position to absorb the unexpected expenses that always seem to pop up.

For the Lost and Tired family,  the winter months are typically a slow time for business and so we essentially live off of our tax return for a few months.  That’s honestly how we have survived the winters for the past 5 or 6 years,  since I was working as a full time paramedic.

This year was no different,  with one giant exception, our van was stolen.  So instead of having that nest egg to survive on,  almost every dime of our tax return had to go towards the purchase of a new vehicle.  That singular event has had a domino affect on our lives.

For example, last month we had our gas shut off for about 24 hours because I was behind on the bill.   That was,  I believe the very first or maybe the second time we have ever had a major utility shut off.  While we were always behind,  we managed to remain current enough to keep from getting disconnected.  However,  this was just one of the dominos to fall since we had to replace the van.

Utility companies don’t really care either.  There isn’t a lot of room for them to help and they charge an outrageous amount to reconnect.

I’m fully aware that this my fault in the sense that the bills are my responsibility. However, it’s not my fault that someone decided to steal and then completely total my family’s only means of transportation.  It would be nice to call a utility company and explain what’s going on and have them show mercy,  if you will. 

I know that’s unrealistic of me to want that,  however,  how many of us out there could use the break?  I bet quite a few. I know we could certainly use the break.

Thankfully,  I was able to trade some things in for cash and pay the bill.  Now we just have to wait for it to be turned back on.  So honestly,  it could be much worse.  I’m grateful I still had some things that I could sell but at the same time it sucks to have to resort to that.

Am I proud of this?  Absolutely not. In fact,  to be completely honest,  I personally feel like a failure when things like this happen. It’s one of those things that a father feels when he can’t adequately provide for his family,  even if it’s not his fault and he’s trying desperately to make things better.  At least that’s how I feel anyway.

I want you to know that they aren’t the only ones experiencing something like this.  Perhaps,  as this blog gets more and more popular,  someone,  somewhere will see this and maybe be in a position to make a change to how things being done.  Maybe not.  Either way,  at least you know you aren’t alone.   🙂

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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Posted from WordPress for Android so please forgive any typos as auto-correct and I don’t see eye to eye. 🙂

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Megan Kitchen

There are a few things you can try, being on that bubble myself, I have found a few sources to help us out. Our local Community action center has some cash to deal with emergency power and gas shutoffs (if you cant find yours, try the folks that run the closest food bank). Our power company also actively solicits extra cash to help families in need with their bills, its usually a dollar or two that you can add to your bill each month. Contact your power company BEFORE shutoff and try to talk to them, sometimes mine can make a deal (or use that emergency money they have, if its a one time thing). Honestly, sometimes they are useless, but there is enough helpful folks there to make it worth at least trying.

Bonnie Stewart

Well I'm impressed. You found a way to pay the bill. What a dad!

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