Due to my economic situation, I cannot afford counseling, but have gone in the past.
Just some background on me...
I have been living on my own since the age of 16 (I left an abusive home and was estranged from my family for a few years). In that time, I worked min. wage jobs and managed to get a high school diploma. Because I wanted to do better, I actually worked my way through college (again in min. wage jobs) and graduated with honors. I got my degree in music and English, with the hopes of getting into publishing (poor career guidance, I know). Again, I found myself in retail managerial jobs that paid little or in office jobs that required no degree and paid little. I met my husband (who was a musician) and we struggled together economically. He eventually went back to school to get his teaching degree, and then his Masters, and then an administrative cert. After the birth of my second child, I decided to go back to school to get my teaching degree as well. I graduated with honors again with a Masters. To make a long story short, it has been almost 5 years and I am still searching for a teaching job. I have subbed, worked as an aide, tutored, etc. but never have gotten a real job. (Subbing only pays $70/day in my area - average household salary in my area is $75K.) It has been very hard, esp. since my kids are now getting older. We live in a semi-affluent area (I moved back to be closer to my family since my father died and my mother had a stroke). My mother actuall promised us to get property (she owns quite a bit of land) and we did manage to build on a small lot, so that is why we are kind of stuck here. My husband has a job, but has been denied advancement due to nepotism and falsehoods. So we are stuck.
I have gone to counseling, and was told to simply take any job (I have done housecleaning, retail, and am now trying to get a job in a restaurant), but what I really want is to be able to do what I was trained to do. Personally, I am almost 40, and believe that many times I am denied a teaching job due to my age (all hires that I have seen for positions I applied for have been under the age of 25).
What is so sad is that because I have been underemployed for so long, we have basically gone through our savings. I just recently started to go to the local food pantry to get food for my family since we cannot afford to buy any (but ironically enough, we make $300/a month too much to get food stamps). It is quite humiliating and depressing for me. I have done all the rught things - went to school, studied hard, don't drink, smoke, gamble, had four beautiful kids who are healthy but unhappy because of the pressures of living in this area - and a wonderful husband who is also stuck in his job. The other problem we have is that since my husband is older (50), it would be hard for him to get a job anywhere else. IMO, there is severe age discrimination in my area.
I guess I am just feeling so hopeless...I have no hopes ot get a better job, to get a livable wage, and now have to go to a food pantry and alocal social service agency so I can get food for my kids and clothing for them. I never thought I was going to be living this way - I thought I'd at least have a good job and career that I went to school for. I have no money to return to school and also am afraid that if I do, I won't get a job in that field either. The only reasoin I have to live is for my kids, but I don't know how much longer I can go on.
Thanks for listening...