Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living.

–Douglas Mallach

Chapter 8. When my firstborn left home, trimming the mouths to feed

When my firstborn left home, trimming the mouths I had to feed from eight to seven, I cut back from four cups of rice to two. We ate rice nearly every night for years. Sometimes with beans, sometimes with a scrambled meat dish. Lots of casseroles, too. Times were hard. Hello. My name is Peggy. I have known many, but the burden bringing me to this meeting is not unlike many of yours. My father and my husband are alcoholics. Drinking is not only the most poisonous activity of their lives, it is the only meaningful emotion of their lives, and they believe life is exactly as they see it. I am powerless over their habitual drunkenness. I tried for years to fight the obvious anger, alienation, loneliness, trauma. I tried to change the results. Nothing changed. Misery compounded misery.

Riverdaughter writes, “When money is tied up in some illiquid 401K that you can’t get to without undergoing a hemorrhage, the only people it benefits are some testosterone poisoned fund managers and their bonus loving banks. Funny how the Obama administration and Congress are so willing to cut a break on the payroll tax but not the excise tax for withdrawing 401K benefits. It almost sounds like they were trying to undermine social security while forcing people to stay in a 401K where there is no guarantee of a return and much, much more risk, tying up those funds for decades to come.”

I left Florida for the weakening Indiana suburbs of Chicago thirty days after graduating high school. I needed money. I needed big money. Minimum wage was $1.65. After preliminary hurdles, I could make much much more in the union gestated steel mills hugging the shores of Lake Michigan, even though it didn’t take a weatherman to know the steel industry that built American itself was crumbling on harsh grounds.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email is never shared.Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.