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And so the cycle of abject poverty continues... No main page.

My younger sister has a friend who she went to high school with who I love deeply. We'll call her Alex. Alex and my sis have been attached at the hip since they met. They have the kind of friendship that we can all only hope for; they are always there for each other as much as possible. Alex doesn't exactly have the most stable life. Not at all. I'm so sad for her right now, so bear with me if I ramble.

Alex is a single mom of 4 beautiful children. She had her first in high school when he birth control failed as a result of the meds she was on after getting her wisdom teeth out. He's seven now. During this time, Alex's mom was always incredibly judgmental and generally a terrible person. She was insufferable and was openly hostile to Alex, but she didn't kick her out, so that was good. Alex busted her ass, graduated on time, and started community college; she is incredibly smart, but with the baby she didn't have another choice. She had to drop out after her second pregnancy (it must be known that she was using some method of bc for 3 of her 4 kids — the pill for the first, shot for the second and IUD for the 4th. The girl can't catch a break.).


After Alex got pregnant a second time, her mom kicked her out. My family let her stay with us. I always loved Alex, so even though space was a little short when I cam home for breaks from school, I knew Alex, her son and her unborn were all safe. She stayed with my family for about a year, maybe a little less. The whole time she was actively looking for work. My parents never made her pay rent. She helped clean up, and since she was receiving some WIC, she would buy groceries and contribute in that way. Not long after her second son was born, things started to look up; the grandmother of her youngest three had an up-down duplex. Alex moved upstairs with the kids. Michael, Alex's kids' dad (the father of her oldest is a piece of shit who's not in the picture) was at least pretending to be helpful - giving her money and groceries on occasion, but they were on and off. Things became hairy when Michael just kind of... stopped. Stopped being present, acted like he resented both boys, and was generally an ass. Meanwhile, he's feeding his mother bullshit about Alex. Things came to a head; Alex moved out.

Around this same time, Alex's mom divorced her husband, Alex's stepdad. He is an amazing man who always cared about Alex and her kids. To this day he helps her any way he can. After Alex's mom divorced him, shit got weird. She was in a relationship with a toxic man, who I don't even know if she deals with today. And then there were those handful of times she kidnapped Alex's kids. Yes, you read that correctly. Alex's mom on 2 occasions had the kids for the weekend and then fled with them to another city. This is while she's filing for custody of the children and suing Alex for child support. Because of the pending case filed with the state against Alex, she lost her WIC. An ugly court battle ensued; somewhere in there Alex's third child — a daughter — was born. The case dragged on; restraining orders were filed and Alex's mom could only see the kids under supervised visits or something like that. It was a shit show.


Things seemed to be okay for a time. Still a huge struggle, but things were working. The youngest - another boy - was born. She considered adoption but changed her mind at the last minute. Things with Michael were cordial, but not productive. He spent cash frivolously and magically didn't have shit when the kids needed something. He lied about all kinds of things happening in his life, he painted Alex to be this... crazy bitch monster of sorts. I know it sounds awful. That's because it was.

This past year has been a rough one for Alex. She finally settled into a job and had semi-stable housing. Then a few months ago a contractor was working at her house. The two middle kids got out; the adults hadn't noticed right away and the oldest didn't say anything. Alex called the police and the kids were at a nearby gas station. When they returned the kids to her, they asked her why she didn't know they'd left; they berated her. They charged her with child endangerment and locked her up for a couple of days. My sis called her job, acting as her mother saying a medical emergency would have her out of work for a little bit; she was able to hold on to the job through the weekend she was locked up. Alex had an interview at another job not long after, but then her phone was off. My sis and mom bought her another one so she wouldn't be cut off from the world and possible job prospects. She got the job, she found a day care.


And then things went back to shit. Daycare was too expensive, so she needed a sitter. Now my sis just texted me to tell me Alex and the kids have to go to a shelter. She lost her job. The sitter kept bailing, and she couldn't find another one.
I'm so sad for her. I love Alex like a sister; she busts her ass for her kids. She's been dealt such a shitty hand, and she somehow makes it through each day. She's missed meals so her kids wouldn't have to. We've bought her groceries, phones, helped in any way we could. My family doesn't have much of anything, but for Alex, we make shit happen as best we can. And this poor girl can't catch a break. My sis texted me and I just cried. I came here to vent, but I can't really discuss this with anyone else.

I wish I could do more. So please send hugs. I could use them. And so could Alex.

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