Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Worst Week of My Life

I just want to quickly apologize for not posting to the blog for nearly a week.  As you know from my previous posts, I have been dealing with a lot of terrible things in my life right now.  Things have continued to spiral out of control in my life, so much so, that I have had multiple nervous breakdowns since last week Wednesday.  I have still not gotten paid by my employer, despite the union's involvement in fixing all the issues related to my work's retaliation against me.  After talking to corporate last week, I discovered that the HR department had wrongfully input my information into the computer so that it looks like I have a full-time, benefited job in a higher paid department.... my current job is part-time and non-benefited. I originally had a full-time benefited job, but was replaced while on medical leave by someone with higher seniority.  My work stating that I am full-time legally gave them the right to seize all money to pay for benefits I no longer have.  I originally did have benefits through my work, but was unable to pay for them due to the ongoing suspension of short term disability benefits while on medical leave (also related to my work giving wrongful information to Metlife).  Due to non-payment, my insurance coverage was terminated November 1st. Upon my return to work, I owed $408.98 to my medical insurance for unpaid premiums.  My work has currently taken $1003.86 from my part-time earnings so far. 

Although the union has been of some help to me in stopping the harassment I have undergone by HR and management, my paychecks continue to be stripped of money.  The worst part? Last week Thursday, the union president contacted me and told me that my employer is not legally obligated to pay me the entire $594.88 they overtook from my paychecks for insurance.  Due to the HR department's job coding error (done on purpose mind you), they will have to pay me back $185.90 along with any other money taken from here on out.  I will never see the remaining $408.98 I overpaid.  Why would the company purposely state that I am full-time and benefited at a higher rate of pay you ask?  To nail me for unemployment fraud.... the reduction in hours and pay would allow me to collect unemployment benefits.  Due to the wrongful job coding, I found out my higher hourly pay prevents me from obtaining any money from unemployment despite drop in hours.  The worst part of all of this? I still will most likely not get a check again this week from work.  It will also be a long time before I see that $185.90 coming to me.  And despite all of this, the two women in the HR department along with the head managers at my work will see no punishment for their actions against me.

What happens when you do not get paid anything over the course of two months?  I was unable to pay my rent for November.  My rent was $500 this month.  Due to late fees and other fees associated with non-payment, I have to pay $685 by November 30th to stay in my apartment. Next week this price will go up to $720.  Where will I come up with this kind of money in two weeks?  Is work going to compensate me by paying me the extra $220 they cost me for rent? NOPE! Not only have I not paid my rent, but I have not paid any of my utilities either.  Forget about buying food.... I eat at work and starve the rest of the time.  I do get to utilize a food pantry once a month, but my gross income is too high for state benefits like healthcare or food stamps.

This financial strain has also lead to the non-payment of a court ordered payment arrangement.  Today, on my day off of work, I was served court papers for seizure of property.  I don't even have property to seize.  I don't have a car, a license, a home, or even furniture.  Even when I was working full-time I did not have the income to pay for the luxuries of life. The furniture currently in my possession are my boyfriend's parents furniture because we were using white plastic lawn furniture as living room seating.  Even my Christmas tree this year was borrowed to me by my older brother so that I could bring some hope and holiday spirit in my home.  Everything I owned that had any value had been sold off to pawn shops and on craigslist months ago when my short-term disability was denied and suspended.  I literally only have the clothes on my back, and there are people in this world trying to strip those from me as well.  

Besides all of the financial headaches, my boyfriend is also sick and back in the hospital for chronic pancreatitis and malnutrition. A man who once weighed 240 lbs. now is lucky if he weighs 130. His type one diabetes and other chronic health conditions have done a number on his body. He was going to be rushed to Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee today to have his pancreas and a portion of his small intestines removed, but instead the doctor decided to hold off and give him a permanent feeding tube instead.  I don't know where I will come up with the money to buy his nutrition for his feeding tube as you can't get this at a food pantry.  He also has a pic line to ensure IV nutrition for those times he cannot eat. The doctors are doing their best to keep him alive and prevent his body from starving to death, but there are only so many things they can do.  The doctors have him on 32 medications right now to help him cope with the pain and all the symptoms he is dealing with.  Although the medications help, they are also destroying his kidneys and liver. A year ago he was dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol; .... today he is dieing. It is only a matter of time before the rest of his organs begin to fail.  I am hoping to be able to help him on this journey, but I cannot afford to.  

The only positive in my life besides my family, is the fact that my foot is getting stronger and stronger everyday.  I am fortunate to have found a surgeon willing to fix my necrotic ankle earlier this year. I am thankful to the Mayo Clinic for everything they have done for me.  Most people take walking for granted, but I don't.  I am thrilled that I am mostly off the crutches and able to stand more at work. There are days when the weather is cold and my ankle throbs, but I can walk due to the ankle fusion I was lucky enough to receive. Despite the success of the surgery, I wish I never would have had it.  I would not be facing all of the hardships I am dealing with now if I would have just kept working and left my ankle to rot. Yeah, I would have most definitely lost my leg in the end, but I am not sure that the anxiety, depression, possible eviction, work retaliation, loss of assets, dieing boyfriend, and $60,000 of debt was worth it.

I know that this blog post is heavy and totally unrelated to art, but this is my life at the moment.  I will be posting again tonight with a printable Christmas card freebie, so keep an eye out for that.  Thank you so much for visiting my blog today.  Please be thankful for your friends, family, and everything you have. Your life can change in an instant... you never know what life has in store for you.  Take care and have a good evening. ❤ Tia - Copper Blossom Paperie ❤