My Unemployed Life: The Forgotten Woman, But Now Not Alone

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873 days unemployed, and 7 days since my story was first published via AOL SEED, I have more hope for the future than just a week ago.

While still traversing the tight rope, I have renewed faith that I may be closer to the other side, closer then I could see for myself. Now freelance writing for five media studios, with 86 publications, earning me $300.31 to date, I have managed to pay enough on each bill, little by little, to retain water, electric and communications, for now.

When I first wrote my story for AOL Jobs [The Forgotten Woman], I toiled for quite some time before submitting it for publication. Type A's like I am never like to admit defeat, we are fighters by nature. And no one wants to be naked and vulnerable in front of an audience of strangers, or worse, to admit that their worst fears were realized, that the world they loved so large turned and left them behind. At the same time, 29 months have passed, and still no official job offer. Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results would be futile on my part.

I received approximately 100 contacts via AOL in the week following the publication of my story. To say I am overwhelmed would be a serious understatement. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that from where I stand on this American jobless battlefield, I now know that I do not stand alone. What the government and some media may not want you to realize is that apparently my story tells the story of many valuable, but brokenhearted unemployed Americans. At least 40 percent of the messages I received were from people who are wearing my same shoes. This situation is critical, and the time for brotherly love, for America to stand tall, together, and say as one country, "we will not leave any man behind," is now. We are still many in number, I am sad to report.

I can't begin to express my gratitude for so many heartfelt notes of support, and particularly for the ten business owners who reached out to me, giving me the opportunity to apply for work. Those wheels are in motion. For the first time in two-and-a-half years, I feel like I am moving forward, and that my time on the hard, lonely bench of unemployment may finally be coming to a close. I know that America is still a country of loving, caring people, because those people reached out to me. This country clearly still has a heartbeat.

One note in particular, however, broke the dam in my heart and caused the pain to flood in. A gentleman, ostensibly offering his support, came off judgmental, in his attempt to encourage me to take lesser jobs, to lower my standards, do anything for the sake of survival. I implore you not to fall into that trap of judging me from the story I submitted. For I did not reveal all in that article. During the course of the last two years, I pulled weeds and worked on a lawn crew four days to earn $260. For $10 an hour, I attended to a dying elderly man, including assisting with diaper changes, whom I later discovered had a highly contagious disease (which I fortunately did not contract). I made sandwiches for a halfway house, and ran an industrial dishwasher, also for $10 an hour. With the exception of doing anything illegal, if the opportunity was there to earn a few bucks, I took it – as I will continue to do.

I honestly did not come this far to give up, and my story should in no way be interpreted as such. With new doors open, I have new hope, now my new-found team is searching for me, too. While my future still looks uncertain, I am more confident that my story will truly have a storybook ending.

-- Read Mollee's original post

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