I’m sitting here, trying to gather my thoughts and figure out where everything started.. How I’ve gotten to the point where I am right now; rock bottom.
Two years ago, it was pouring rain in mid-August. There was a lightning storm. I got into a minor collision with a person that was driving in front of me. She was an older lady, she said she’d never been in an accident before, she told me that she was going to call the police because that’s what her insurance company had suggested she do, even though there was no damage to her car. All I remember happening was looking down, momentarily, then looking up and seeing her brake lights and slamming onto mine and bumping her at maybe 2 miles per hour.
Police showed up.
They asked for my license, registration, and proof of insurance. I spent about 10 minutes trying to get my phone to get a signal so that I could pull up my insurance from my email in it and show it to them. The weather was interfering with everything, that day. The police officer told me that I can just go home and print it out and bring it over to the police station. He didn’t write me any tickets, he let me go, I got home and printed it out and then walked acrossed the street to turn it in. Still no tickets, he had left for the day according to the receptionist. I figured that everything was fine.
Later in August, I lost my place to live, I began couch-surfing and trying to find a new job and trying to get my life back on track.
Fast-forward one year. It’s my daughter’s 9th birthday. I took her to get Mexican food. On our way home, it was getting dark. I flipped on my headlights. I had one out. I was driving down the road about 5 blocks from the restaurant that we had just left and I got pulled over for that headlight. The officer asked for my license, registration, proof of insurance. I gave it all to her. She knocked on my hood to see if she could get my headlight to turn on.. She came back with a stuffed pony for my daughter and asked me to step out of the car. Upon stepping out, she explained that she didn’t want to upset my daughter but that I needed to call someone to come get me, my daughter, and my car because my license had be suspended. I had no idea why my license was suspended.
The officer pulled up the tickets that had rendered me without a license. They dated back to the day of the collision. Even the officer remarked how it was odd that I had received two tickets for essentially the same thing “Driving too fast for road conditions” and “going 10 miles over the speed limit”. Both things that, had I known I was going to be cited for, I would’ve fought against.. but I didn’t have the slightest idea.
I called my dad. He came and got my daughter and I, we picked my mother up from work, and then we got my car.
I spent a month without driving, working and paying off fines in order to get my license back. I got the license re-instated, got a payment plan set-up for the tickets, I thought that I was in the clear. I thought everything would be fine, that I could continue to drive. So, I got into that seat that was always the most comfortable seat, behind the wheel and continued on with my life without a second thought to it.
Fast-forward to January. I got pulled over for having expired tabs. The police officer told me that I had 15 minutes to get two licensed drivers in one car to get me and my car. My license was suspended, again. Upon later researching why it was suspended, I found out that I had received no notice that it would be suspended or anything. In fact, I received notice that it would be if I didn’t continue payments within a period of time that was listed, and technically at the point when I had been pulled over that time hadn’t been reached yet.. and I had already paid all of the fines to have my tabs renewed, to get my payment plan re-instated (I had been between jobs) and to carry on with my life like nothing had happened. At the court date for that moment, they had dropped the charges down and expunged them, told me that I had a period of time to pay the greatly reduced price, and that everything should be good to go.
Now, exactly one year after the first date of being pulled over… I get pulled over for having a license plate light out. Of all things. Only, this time, the officer explains to me that I can’t have someone who isn’t on the registration come get me and my car. The only other person that’s on the registration is someone that I haven’t seen in about 4 years, and when they tried to call him they didn’t get an answer… Which is to be expected, considering it was 2am and we were just leaving Denny’s.
So, my car got impounded. The only security blanket that I had left after losing my place to live, the thing that got me barely from point A to B on a regular basis was ripped from my fingers. On top of that, I lost my job last month because I had been hospitalized for a week. I lost my medical insurance so I had no way of being able to get a doctor to fill out a form that would have ensured that I could keep my job… and I’m still homeless.
For the past year, I have been drowning in debt. I have been unable to make a significant dent. I have been working tirelessly to try and just get by with the recurring bills that I have, my phone.. my storage unit.. gas to get to and from work.. and now, here I am without a car. Without a way to get to and from work if I even had a job. Without a way to find a new job. I’m stranded. Homeless, carless, in a huge amount of debt, and they have a 30 day hold on my car. If I don’t come up with $675 in five days, my car will be auctioned off. If I don’t come up with an additional $680 by the end of the 30 days, plus additional fees (taxes, towing, etc), I will have my car auctioned off. So, I essentially need to come up with $1500 to get my little car with the cracked engine block that was running purely on good luck out of impound.. and I’m jobless, hopeless, and fucking lost.
A friend of mine told me that I can only move up from here. I am writing this because this has always been my therapy.. Writing is what has helped me maintain some kind of form of sanity through all of the ups and downs and crazy that I’ve tirelessly managed to hurdle across my entire life; but right now, I’m feeling like not even that is happening. It’s hard to remember what good can come out of this.
I thought that I had hit rock-bottom when I had lost my place to live two years ago, but I was mistaken. At that point in time, at least I had my car to get me to and from work, to sleep in if need be, to give me at least a shred of piece of mind. Now, I’ve truly experienced it. Now, I’ve really got nothing. No car to get me to see my kids, no job, no money… Just nothing.