Thursday, May 19, 2016

I Never Thought I'd Be Here Today

Less than one year ago I was homeless, unemployed, and considering suicide. I felt absolutely worthless and like everyone would be better off if I wasn't here to burden them. Obviously, I didn't go through with it. I didn't even attempt it. But the real reason I'm sharing this is because today, May 19, 2016, less than a year later, I'm glad I'm alive.

I have seen many "it gets better" stories online. People talking about how they turned their lives around and did a 180. I never thought it would apply to me. Two years ago I was just passing my 4 year anniversary at a job I hated, but made decent money at. I was making $13.65 an hour and living with my sister (Amanda). The job was terrible, I had to deal with the biggest assholes day in and day out, and that wasn't just the customers. But again, the money was good.

Then in October 2014 I got sick and was admitted to the hospital for a week with cellulitis in my right leg. When I came back to work, I couldn't log in to the system. I explained that to my supervisor who said she'd "fix it" and was told to wait. I talked to her again and she said she was working on it. By the end of the day, it still hadn't been fixed. I asked her what to do the next day and she, finally, told me I could log into our operating system and just email her my punches and she would fix the time clock. So that's what I did the next day, Wednesday.

Thursday I got the opportunity to interview for the company Amanda was working for, the one I'm currently at. I called out of work, claiming an issue with my leg. I went to the interview, bombed it, and didn't get the job. When I walked in on Friday I knew it was a bad sign that there were two managers there. Half the time I was the first person in the office, so to have two managers meant I was being written up or suspended. My suspicions were confirmed when I was brought into the office and given a suspension "pending investigation."

Long story short, my supervisor lied to save her own ass. I got fired and that's when life started going downhill. Fast. I was awarded unemployment, and for the first few months it was fine. I was planning on moving to Florida with one of my other sisters in February, when she got her tribal check. Instead, we went to South Dakota to re-register her car. (That's a long, convoluted story that barely even makes sense to me to be honest.) Then in March she had a heart attack and decided not to move.

She moved her new boyfriend in in April and that's when things got really rocky. When I first moved in with her, she took the bedroom her son had been in and I took her old room. Then she gave her bedroom to a friend of hers (without consulting me) and started sleeping on the sofa in the living room. When her boyfriend moved in he started getting pissy that I had a room and wasn't paying rent, because I didn't have money, and they were stuck in the living room.

They started being verbally abusive and eventually things culminated in her kicking me out while I was in the hospital, again with a cellulitis flare up, and when I got home there was a huge blow up. At this point I was working at Dunkin Donuts but only a few hours a week and I wasn't making enough money to pay for gas and insurance, let alone rent. They antagonized my cat, Lucy, until one day she lashed out and attacked the niece of my sisters boyfriend. They kicked Lucy, and threatened to kill her. I knew she wasn't safe there, so I moved her to my moms apartment next door. They called animal control and tried to make it seem like she was a menace and needed to be put down.

In June I was officially kicked out, and homeless. I was sleeping in my moms bed because I didn't have any other choice. My sister and her boyfriend physically attacked me and it wasn't until they noticed Amanda was recording the entire interaction that they stopped. I moved back in with Amanda when she moved to the place we're at now. Life settled down, but work was still a problem.

The job was terrible. I will never talk down about someone working in fast food and will always stand up for them when others are putting them down. Fast food isn't an easy job. Especially not when you are morbidly obese and have a hard time standing all day and doing everything by yourself. My manager was a rude woman that didn't like me, and kept cutting my hours. I was being scheduled one four hour shift a week, making $9.20 an hour. I couldn't keep doing it, I wasn't even making enough money to cover gas. I quit in September.

Two days later I got a call back at the hotel I work at now and got that job. It wasn't the best, but it was much better. It was more hours, a higher pay rate, and an easier job. I get paid $10 an hour to sit and answer the phone. It's great. I talked about getting my second job in January, which also started at a higher pay rate.

I started here making $11.25 an hour. Then I got a 60¢ raise because I work the night shift. Then about two weeks ago I was offered to join the team, still as a temp, but officially working for the company instead of the temp agency. That came with another raise. I was starting with a base rate of $11.95, but I still get the 60¢ shift differential. So I make $12.55 an hour. But I also just completed my cross-training into customer service, so that came with a 50¢ raise. I now make $13.05 an hour. I've been here for four months and I'm already almost back to what I was making two years ago.

That on top of the $143 after taxes that I get paid from my other job means I'm taking home over $500 a week. In less than a year I have gone from being unemployed with no income and homeless with an abusive group of people making my life hell, to where I am now. I'm no longer surrounded by abusive people. I've cut my sister out of my life. I am not homeless, I am not unemployed. I have two amazing jobs with a very good income. Lucy and I are both happy and relatively healthy.

If I can turn my situation around so much in such a short time, I truly believe anyone else can as well. It wasn't easy. I had to go through a lot, and I had to deal with a lot of shit. But I'm here. And I'm glad I am here today.

It truly does get better. Don't ever think that your lowest point is the best you'll ever have. I promise, you can get through this. And if you ever need to talk, I'm here. You can contact me on any of my social media accounts, or you can email me directly.

If you are feeling suicidal I encourage you to call this number if you are in the US 1 (800) 273-8255. If you don't want to, or don't feel comfortable calling, go to this website.

I promise: it does get better.


  1. Wow, thank you for sharing this. I can't even imagine everything you went through, but you came out of it so strong. I'm so glad things are working out better now. :)

    1. Thank you. I was nervous posting it, but if I can help even just one person stay here, it will be worth it. I never really had anything like this when I was at my lowest, so I'm hoping it can help anyone that needs it right now :)

  2. So happy to hear your situation is better now. Here's to happier times.

    Corinne x

    1. Thank you :) It's been a crazy ride, and it's far from over, but I'm glad I'm here to ride it out

  3. Kaitlynn, thank you for sharing your journey. This is so inspirational and a sincere reminder that even in our lowest points, life does get better. I am so incredibly happy for you that life has taken such a great turn--and I bet it will get even better. Your strength, perseverance, and courage are something to be so proud of.

    1. You can't know how much it meant when I saw this comment. Thank you, Lexi, I really appreciate it :)