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My friends would say that I have a great sense of humor, and I like to think that I do. I’m one of those “ease the tension with a funny line” kind of people. But lately I’m just so jealous and angry and ugly inside – I feel like even my blood and organs have rotted to black.

I am deeply blessed to have a wonderful husband and healthy child. After long bouts of unemployment, my husband and I both have jobs. That should be all I ever want. But dammit if life isn’t harder than I can take sometimes! We have piles of debt, and I hold my breath and pray when I check our bank account balance online. Last week, we were $500 in the hole until payday on Friday. We are under-employed and under-paid, and every purchase, even necessities, requires deliberation.

Yet we’re surrounded by friends who can afford things like vacations, Christmas gifts, babysitters and second children – all things we would love to have, but we can’t. Our friends have successful careers and gym memberships and freaking disposable income – things that we thought we would have too, being smart, college-educated, hard working people.

So I’m jealous. Deep, ugly-cry, Wicked Witch of the West jealous. I find out about one person’s TV appearance or another’s forthcoming baby, and my first reaction is to wince and roll my eyes. I hate myself so much for that. Nobody wants to be around that person, not even me.

I hate that when I count my blessings, I feel like I got shafted. I think I’m pissing off God, setting myself up for something awful to happen because I’m ungrateful, even though logically I know better. I’m just so tired of economic struggles. People say that money doesn’t solve all your problems, but it damn sure solves the problem of not having any f-ing money!

I feel hopeless and furious and also guilty as hell. It’s an awful cycle that I can’t figure out how to end. Is praying for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow worse than any other idea?