MESQUITE, Texas — With the government shutdown entering week three, more than 800,000 federal workers are heavily concerned about their future.
And that statement goes a long way for Shellita Garrett, who is a full-time administrative assistant with the Environmental Protection Agency but also a part-time Tarot card reader.
"It's been a lot of chaos," Garrett said. "I help a lot of people see their future, but I'm now on the other side of the table thinking 'what about my future?'"
The government was officially shut down on December 22, 2018.
It all surrounds President Donald Trump's campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexico border.
Trump wanted more than $5 billion to start construction of the wall, but Democrats wouldn't budge. Day 21 has almost passed, and no compromise is on the horizon.
Thousands of families living paycheck to paycheck are now faced with tough decisions.
Garrett, who is known to many in the psychic world as the 'Creole Lady', said she saw the shutdown coming--but didn't think it would last this long.
"I thought maybe it would be 3 to 5 days," Garrett said. "But I kept getting cards that say, 'decrease in income' or cards referring to new opportunities."
Dozens of EPA workers protested the shutdown in downtown Dallas at the EPA's office Thursday, Garrett was one of them.
The EPA was funded for five days beyond the government shutdown.
On Friday, many of its employees received a final check, but it was only half of what they normally get. After this check, if the government doesn't reopen, no more will come.
Garrett said her bills are at the forefront of her mind. "It's not enough to pay everything," Garrett said. And some of those bills carry extreme importance.
Her son, Omarr, is a sophomore at Eastfield College in Mesquite. Garrett's upcoming paychecks were supposed to pay for his tuition this semester.
"It's been very hard on him," Garrett said. "It's been very stressful. I have him depending on me. You always try to think about your family first, and you try to make sure that things are lining up for them."
Garrett also has medications to pay for. In 2011, shortly after evacuating New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina, she was diagnosed with rare blood cancer.
She got a lot of medical appointments out of the way, while she still had a paycheck. "You can look at me and see me smile, and they don't understand the pain that's internal," Garrett said. "Add the stress of losing your job? It makes it very difficult."
"You have to depreciate your savings, and you're going to have nothing left."
Garrett said she finds herself looking at her cards more than usual, wondering when the shutdown will end.
Her prediction? She said give it at least one more week. But she added that it all depends on lawmakers and if they want to put America's future first.
"Worrying about a border or not, they have other things that are bigger than that," Garrett said.
"Just stop playing games...start thinking of the country and everyone else."