The Story of an Independent Woman

Facing Hunger in Manhattan, Kansas

I have always considered myself to be an independent woman. I don’t like to have to depend on nobody. I may ask for something and if you don’t want to give it to me then I’m not going to debate about it. I have always prided myself upon being an independent working woman, but sometimes life throws you curve balls.

Most days I wake up in pain. I have arthritis all over my body and that makes getting around extremely difficult. It also makes me feel tired. Life has made me tired. I gave my time. I got my first job when I was only 14 years old. I have worked ever since that point. At some points I was even working three jobs at a time because I had six kids to provide for and raise. I worked my whole life until I reached the point where I physically couldn’t work. I did my time.

Sometimes people treat me like I am stupid or dumb because I am hungry. But I did my time. I sometimes hear people say, “Why should I help you?” If I could help myself I wouldn’t ask others. I did my time. I am a stubbornly independent woman and don’t want to have to depend on others, but right now I do. I would much rather help myself. But right now I can’t. I can’t provide all of the things I need.

If I only had to think about taking care of me I might be fine, but I have an eight-year-old adopted daughter who needs much more. She is just a child who doesn’t deserve to be hungry. This is why I ask for help. You see, I did my time. I worked my whole life but in the end it wasn’t good enough. So I will continue to ask for help so that eight-year-old girl has enough food to live. I will continue because I am still doing my time, and this is life. Life is hard, but you have to learn to make the best of what you get.

As told to Autumn Snesrud

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