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Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977
Page 27
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Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977 - Page 27. November 20 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 23, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/663/show/656.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(November 20 1977). Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977 - Page 27. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/663/show/656

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977 - Page 27, November 20 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 23, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/663/show/656.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Daily Breakthrough, November 20, 1977
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date November 20 1977
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 27
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_535az.jpg
Transcript Continued from page 24 At times in the past few years Carol had thought it would be nice to do something for herself. Go back to school, take a job, anything to feel a little stimulated mentally. The yearly moves and the children's need for stability had precluded this in the past. "But now," she thought, "Now, if this is truly that last move, I'll be able to do some of the things I've always wanted to do." Two nights before Tom and Carol were to leave on their trip, the door bell rang at suppertime. The postman had a special delivery letter in his hand". Carol took the letter, noticed that the^postmark said "Dallas" and absently wondered who, locally, could be writing her. She knew no one in Dallas yet. They'd only been there three weeks. The neatly typed message was short. It simply said, "Carol, I'm sorry but I've got to get away for awhile. Please understand how confused I am. Tom." The initials TH/js were under the signature. Her cheeks flamed with humiliation when she realized that someone besides Tom had seen and typed this message. Less than a month later, a stricken and dazed Carol stood before the bench in a crowded courtroom. Without money she had to knock on many doors to retain an attorney to represent and defend her in a divorce action. This was the preliminary hearing. She could not understand what was happening to her. She felt as though she were standing apart watching a play. Tom's attorney was telling the judge that his client was petitioning for divorce because the marriage had become "insupportable," and that his client wanted custody of his children. Carol kept shaking her head, trying to clear her mind. The legalese everyone spoke was foreign to her, and these men—her attorney, Tom, his attorney and the judge-were all foreigners, all strangers to her, too. Several months later, Carol was divorced. She was still in a state of shock. She couldn't eat, she couldn't sleep, she couldn't think, and sh(> we*rt through her days in a trance-like silence. Her attorney advised her to adjust to the idea of being divorced and told her repeatedly, "There is no alimony available to women in Texas. It's prohibited by our state constitution." Carol learned that child support awards are minimal and, if unpaid, are not enforce- able-at least without money. Tom had taken his earning capacity and his career potential with him when he left. She learned that she had. no credit worthiness, that she had no marketable job skills, and that she was considered unemployable because she had had no recent paid work experience. She was considered unstable because she was in the throes of a divorce and was discriminated against because of age and sex. Carol has no unemployment insurance, nor hospitalization, nor pension benefits available to her. Because she* and Tom were married just under 20 years she is not entitled to his Social Security pension (at 62 or 65) upon his death or retirement. The three children over 14 in her family have opted to live with their father. The two younger children are hurt, grief- stricken, angry and confused, and they are taking out their frustration on Carol. Whenever she tries to discipline them they threaten to go live with their father, too. Often Carol secretly feels that the only thing she can do is to let them live with Tom and his new wife. Yet without the two younger children, she feels she would have nothing left. Carol is alone and terribly frightened. She has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. After 18 moves in 19 years, where, after all, is home? Carol is a displaced homemaker. The Radio Paging System used by the Daily Breakthrough Conference News Staff has been provided by CtMAUU&V XMAC OF HOUSTON a woman owned business • CALL FORWARDING • RADIO PAGING • LIVE ANSWERING SERVICE ft central office 4215 Graustark northeast office 4215 Graustark southwest office 3221 Fondren northwest office 12345 Kingsride 524-3985 691-2088 781-3413 467-2111 petty is 38 years old, lives in Denver, has a son in his first year of medical school and a husband bedridden with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He had been a husky man, a machinist and an outdoorsman. As she shifts his wasting body in the hospital bed she has installed in the guest bedroom, she carries on a cheerful chatter with him. Underneath, however, she is trying to force back her mounting fear. The pile of bills on the kitchen table grows larger daily, the demands for payment increasingly urgent. Her monthly income of slightly more than $600 in disability benefits is less than half of what she must have to keep him alive, their son in college, and the house note current. She must earn a supplemental income, but how can she leave him alone all day? Even an LVN would cost nearly $40 a day, far more than she could earn. Their son had been home this weekend and she had taken him into the living room where his father could not hear them and explained their situation to David. "Do you want me to quit school and come home, Mom?" "You may have to next semester," she said. "I think we can hold out for right now. If your father knew you had to come home and go to work because of his illness, it would break his heart. I think that in time you may have to, but I'm going to see what I can work out, at least for one more semester." She had gone over the figures with him, hating to burden him with her fear, yet knowing that it would be something they would both have to face sooner or later. Finally David said, "Do you think you can sell the camper?" When Betty and David had asked Hal what he wanted for his 40th birthday, he had admitted to really wanting only one thing. From a back corner of his wallet he had taken the folded and refolded photo of a camping trailer. Two years ago the three ot tnem had spent several weekends looking for just the right one. After talking to David, she contacted an old friend in the used car business. "Don't come and get it until Hal's asleep," she told their friend. "I don't want him to hear it go." And he had waited andl taken it away quietly. Betty banked the $2,000 left after his commission. She borrowed on her life insurance policy. She went to Denver University and asked for a career evaluation. She was very honest with them. "I have no skills beyond being a good housekeeper; I can't even type." Her evaluation showed that she would make a good nurse, but both she and the counselor knew that it was too late for her to start; she was too old. She could, however, become an LVN in two years. The bank agreed that Betty could arrange a second mortgage, and David received a limited scholarship. It will take him another year to complete his degree because he must work at the clinic part- time. Betty pays a woman to come in and take care of Hal. He no longer questions her as he once did. He is ashamed that she has to go to work. When Betty completes her training she will come home and take over Hal's nursing needs. With the money from the second mortgage she will be able to meet the minimal needs and give him a modest funeral-if, indeed, he lives that long. And after that, she will work the rest of her life. Betty is a displaced homemaker. Conclusion of story on following page ROBERTA K. TILUNGHAST, PRESIDENT Houston • Galveston • San Antonio • Corpus Christi ©Southwestern Bell An equal opportunity employer. PAGE 26 NOVEMBER 20, 1977 DAILY BREAKTHROUGH