Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This post has gone viral. This is a placeholder page until I can set something up for people who wanted to be able to reach me. You can leave a message here. Thank you all very much, and I hope you understand that I simply can't quite keep up with the initial interest!


  1. If you're depressed, and your thought processes are self-defeatist, and you operate against your best interest and your children's best interests by making terrible decisions when you're poor, that's not going to change if you have access to more money.

    You'll be the same person making terrible decisions with more money. You'll be the same person teaching your children to make the same terrible decisions and the cycle keeps repeating.

    As mentioned briefly in the comments section of the original post, money doesn't make you happy, it doesn't eliminate struggle, it doesn't eliminate heartbreak, it doesn't eliminate self-esteem issues, it doesn't eliminate disappointment. I've lived in all 3 "worlds", poor, middle, upper...and I've personally found that more money is not something that satisfies me and makes me feel good. It's the service I provide when volunteering, it's the help I provide to teens when I mentor, it's being an ear to listen when a friend needs me, it's being there for my family etc that provides satisfaction and makes me feel good. I've been able to do all of those things regardless of my income.

    These class debates just highlight our money focused cultured...and show how we're focused on the wrong things. This culture of iCan't and iWon't and iNever and the corresponding thought processes are what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. It's all a distraction from developing ourselves in better ways. [I will say that KillerMartinis is in fact helping herself to develop in better ways (despite the irrelevance of the smoking that was berated by commenters) and this is most evident with the drive to receive education and willingness to work hard and engage the public with timely discourse on her personal life.]

    As soon as you adopt those negative ideologies you've already set yourself up for failure.

    The challenge for most people on both sides of the class debate is the time it takes for life to bestow the lessons needed for better and more positive thought processes to emerge.

    Some of us are on the helping side of getting those positive thought processes to emerge and develop in others, while other people are on the hindering side.

    The question is simply, what side are you on? Then we'd have to move forward from there.

    1. Your response makes it painfully clear that you have had ZERO personal experience with poverty. Or at the very least you're missing the point. The point (as I see it) isn't that having money makes you HAPPIER, it's that having money allows you to live a less stressed life, thus resulting in happiness. For example, if you're poor and work a minimum wage job, you're ALWAYS busting your ass to put money in your pocket and thus food on the table/clothes on your back/etc. But once you have the ability to work a higher paying job (which hinges on education/skill/LOOKS/etc.) you are immediately capable of working X% less hard.

      Say you need to make $500/week to support your family. Making $7/hour (and not factoring in taxes because I just can't right now) you have to work 70 hours a week! Making just $3/hour more allows you to work only(!) 50 hours/week.

      So maybe money doesn't make you HAPPIER, but it gives you more time to do other things, thus contributing ultimately to greater happiness.

    2. "The point (as I see it) isn't that having money makes you HAPPIER, it's that having money allows you to live a less stressed life."

      This couldn't be further from the truth and I'm sorry that you've misunderstood my point and invalidated my shared experience. Again though, your response shows that there's this notion that more money equates to less stress and this is simply untrue. I can point you in the direction of so many people who have more money than any of us on this thread will amass in our lifetime and they are some of the most stressed, depressed, hopeless people you'd ever encounter.

      Again, it's not about money. Money is the distraction. The fact that you can even discuss a scenario where you're bringing in income at all is something to be grateful for, not something to complain about. The complaint is wasted energy that can be put to better use by developing yourself in positive ways.

      There are people who can't even make $500 a week, let alone work and put clothes on their backs. However, could you be grateful in you current circumstances with what you have now? Could you have a positive outlook in your current circumstances? Or do you need to make more money in order to be grateful, positive, optimistic, stress-free?

      I've also mentioned that I've lived in all 3 "worlds" so I not only understand poverty through my lived experiences, but I'm also not out of touch with those who identify as low income.

      My point is...that regardless of your circumstances you can choose your outlook. You'd be amazed at what happens when you eliminate the ideologies of iCan't, iWon't, iNever from your mind.

      When I was low income (actually compared to some I still may be) I was grateful for what I had. I, like Killer Martinis, worked to get my education and graduated not once but twice. Working hard towards my goals allowed me to earn more, connect with others, and land gainful employment.

      I don't subscribe to the culture of money. I don't give the abundance of money or lack thereof the power to influence the person I choose to be. I think if we all could break out of that way of thinking, dialogue more like we're doing now, and work on ways to help each other instead of invalidating our lived experiences we'd get so far together.

      In time; I'm optimistic.

    3. Poverty means not being able to get even the most basic needs met. No one is saying that money is the answer to all people's problems but in THIS society, the reality is people NEED a certain amount to meet their basic needs, if you're not even meeting those then of course people experience undue stress. So yes, money is a NECESSITY to meet basic needs to make it through life. No one is talking about abundance. No one is talking about excess. We're talking reality.

    4. The reality is Killer Martinis was able to provide food for herself and her family. She had shelter, clothing, gas for her car, cigarettes for her stress, access to education, and access to the internet. Are we all immune to struggle? Of course not. Could we all use a hand up? Absolutely!

      What we're seeing here is the mentality of a woman who is self and socially aware, developing herself in positive ways regardless of her circumstances, and averse to pity. That's why we're even discussing this, that's why it's so gripping; however the focus is on the lack of money and I get it. We're conditioned to be that way in this capitalist society. I just find it more beneficial to instead focus on the wealth of her character and what she's been able to do despite her circumstances. Her character/drive/will/work ethic- is what propels her forward and will ultimately help her and her family rise above their current situation. Everyone doesn't have those qualities but it's what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

      The fact that she has the drive and will to muster the energy to type her feelings and share them with the world and engage with others is the reason why she's been offered so much support; tangible and intangible.

      When it's all said and done, that's all that matters. There are people who have none of what Killer Martinis has at this moment; no food, no education, no clothes, no shelter, no car, no internet, no stress relievers, but like her, they're able to keep going.

      They don't focus on what they don't have, they focus on what they do have and succeed. These are the people who rise above their circumstances. These are the people who go on to do great things. If only people could recognize this.

    5. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

      ― Nelson Mandela

    6. I've been well off, and I've been poor. Money certainly doesn't buy happiness, but it's still necessary: sometimes it is the difference between barely getting by and abject misery. In my case, I nearly died last year because I lacked the money to pay for desperately-needed medical treatment (of an abscessed tooth) that wasn't covered under Medi-Cal. I was lucky: a friend (also poor, but less poor than myself) dragged me to a surgeon and paid for it. l was told afterwards that I had been perhaps hours from the infection reaching my brain and then--pfft!

    7. I'm sorry Kristal, but KillerMartinis is NOT talking about poor. - something you may have experienced and therefore have some personal insight into - she is talking about POVERTY. You may have time available for voluntary work - let me tell you that KillerMatinis and others in the 'working but poverty-trapped anyways' group don't. The difference is not the fault of some 'money focused culture.' If I don't have food AND gas for the stove AND electricity to see by AND time to cook all at one and the same time, I may very well be depressed but is it the depression which leads me to the cheapest take-out that I can find?

  2. Attempting to access Google to leave comment. Came from GroupThink.

  3. I'm hoping that if I leave a comment here, I'll be updated if it becomes possible to send a few bucks to the student who wasn't eating sandwiches on the other post.

  4. Thank you for that post. It had me in tears, because I could have written it a few years ago (other than not having children). Thank you for helping others to understand. I did get out - not without a LOT of luck - but I remember the days where it was a choice between cigarettes and food. (Luckily, I *was* a server, so I could nab food while everyone else turned a blind eye.) My best to you and yours.

  5. KM, wishing you all the best over here. Delete this post if want but:

    Anyone who shows up here, please be aware a fund has been set up at to donate for dental care.

  6. Thank you for that post. I know that anxiety, that depression, that total lack-of-cope or even time-to-get-more-cope. I'm doing better now- not well-off but doing just fine, and I'd really love to help someone worse off than me with a few bucks. Please let me know if anyone needs a good meal or an evening of childcare paid for.

  7. Hi,
    I loved your post. I am including it in my writing class at Erie Community College in the Buffalo, NY area. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Dear KillerMartinis,

    First and foremost, I wanted to thank you for your fantastic piece of writing. I wanted to say how thought provoking and powerful it was to hear from a person who has endured such hardship. Then, to read through the comments and discussion happening at your original post and see how calmly and rationally you were able to approach those people filled with such hate. It was sobering and heartwarming and heartbreaking and enlightening all at once.

    I honestly don't know what else I can say, and in fact I've been contemplating my reply for well over an hour now. I suppose that I should just leave with a parting remark, so that I don't take too much more of your time:

    Far too often in the world, words and ideals are bandied about by those that do not understand. Even I am sometimes guilty of this. Thank you for bringing greater understanding to the world.

  9. Thank you for writing this KM, seriously.
    I'm often angry at myself, sometimes the state of the world around me, and it's misdirected rage. There is no actual place for my anger to go in the situation that I'm in. I made a few bad decisions when I was younger and as a 26 year old I'm paying for them.

    I'm fortunate, however. I'm fortunate to live in a city where public transit is an abundant thing, that I can afford an apartment with my girlfriend in a neighborhood where I don't always have to worry about getting mugged or my girlfriend's car being broken into. I'm fortunate that in poverty I learned how to be just ruthless enough to hang on. I learned how to hang on to people I generally could care less about for the sake of having an inside man at one job or another.

    You told one user on Gawker to hold onto their anger, that it would get them through, I couldn't agree more. Once I learned that I could only beat myself up so much, that I could only hate "The Man" for so long, I learned that it's a much better fuel for getting other shit done, for getting MY shit done. We get foodstamps, we just barely qualify, and I deny myself things in lieu of other pleasures. I also smoke, and in this city it's expensive as fuck, but I ration them. I can make a pack of 100s last me a week if I distract myself properly. I'm by no means comparing our situations by the way, just relating. I know what that 5 minutes of nicotine-induced meditation can do for a person. I would recommend, whenever you have the ability and if it's cost-effective, to invest in an e-cig however. I got one as a gift a few years back and not coughing up bile in the morning (possible chronic bronchitis, no dough to get a proper diagnosis lol) is a great feeling.

    I'd like to add, to the previous statement about anger as a fuel source, positive thinking goes a long way. I'm not saying people in/near our situations should always be super-duper positive about everything. More that when you have those small moments, where you can experience even the smallest level of joy, take stock of it, bathe in it regardless of how small that moment is, it's a huge weight off your shoulders.

    Keep surviving, and don't ever let the world you live in turn you into something you're not. Again, thank you for writing this, because some of us are just hairs away from the situation you're in, and having that reminder and that perspective while enraging, makes for great fuel to ensure we don't slip. I hope your fortunes change soon.

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  11. KillerMartinis, do you need a website? I'd love to build one for you, which would in turn give you the opportunity to potentially reach a larger audience and eventually (maybe?) promote a book with your fantastic writing. I don't have money to give, but I do have time for someone so thoughtful, well-spoken and kind-hearted.

    Regardless if you take me up on the website idea, I'm glad you've been able to receive donations, and I hope they give you a chance to get a step up in whatever way you deem necessary. Best of luck to you!

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  13. Great job on RT!!! Loved the interview.