Friday, December 28, 2012

I got an interview!

I finally got an interview for one of the jobs I applied for in another state.  I'm thrilled and terrified.  It isn't even one of the jobs that I really want, but it's a job and it's in the city I want so I really want it!  This will be my first interview in a very long time.  Now I've got to figure out how to get there, get some interview clothing, and sound intelligent enough for the job.  I'm so excited that I think I might need to take anxiety meds! 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Some things just are

So much for the "improvement" in my mental health lately.  It's just an illusion.  There is no sanity for me.  I've spent much of the day wishing I was dead.  Crying, thinking about dying, looking at things on the internets, and crying some more.

Another Christmas alone.  I have not verbalized one word to another human being today.  I should be thankful because I have a roof over my head, food, and some outlets for my needs for human interaction, like the internet.  I even have water.  The health department talked to my landlords and had it turned back on the 24th.  But I've spent the whole day sad and missing people. Specific people and ideas of people.

All I want is a family.  Human connection.  The kind of connection where it is not so easy to cut me off and throw me away.  But I will never have that because I'm a disposable human being.  Yesterday's trash.  Tomorrow's trash.  All the therapy and medication in the world will not change that.  I am trash and there is no use in fighting it anymore.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

101 Ways to Get Involved in Foster Care

Reblogged from HERE

Just look for the statement(s) in bold that describe(s) your situation. Above all, I want to emphasize, DO SOMETHING!

A. I have space in my heart and/or home and I’m interested in getting actively involved in foster care now.

1. Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Volunteer
2. Become a Foster Parent
3. Become a Foster Grandparent
4. Provide Respite Foster Care
5. Serve as a Guardian for a Child/Youth in the Foster Care System
6. Become Licensed to Provide Care for a Child/Youth in Your Extended Family who is at Risk of Placement with a Non-Relative
7. Adopt a Child from the Foster Care System
8. Volunteer on a Local Foster Care Review Board
9. Become a “Grand-Friend” to Foster Child/Youth by Attending Their School Activities, Sporting Events, Concerts, Etc.

B. I have reliable transportation and am able to assist with getting around.

10. Transport Children for Sibling Visitations
11. Transport Parents/Children to Visits
12. Transport Families/Children to Court Hearings
13. Transport Families/Children to Medical Appointments
14. Transport Families/Children to Therapy Sessions
15. Transport a Child/Youth in Foster Care to School
16. Offer to Carpool with Foster Parents in Your Neighborhood
17. Transport a Child/Youth in Foster Care to and from Extra-Curricular Activities
18. Provide Transportation to Former Foster Youth in College to/from School

C. I have skills or talents to share with foster children, teens, or families.

19. Provide an Internship Opportunity to a Foster Youth at Your Employment
20. Mentor a Child/Youth in Foster Care
21. Proofread Papers/Help with Homework For a Youth in Foster Care
22. Chaperone/Assist with an Event (Picnic, Sledding) for Foster Families
23. Tutor a Child or Youth in Foster Care
24. Help a Foster Youth Prepare for ACT/College Entrance Exams
25. Teach Financial Literacy to Youth in Foster Care
26. Teach Independent Living Skills (such as Cooking, Shopping, and Using the Laundromat) to Youth in Foster Care
27. Hire and Teach a Foster Youth to do Household Maintenance, Yard Work, Snow Shoveling, etc.
28. Teach a Youth in Foster Care How to Drive

D. My resources are limited but I have time to devote to helping those in foster care.

29. Provide After-School Care for a Foster Family
30. Read to a Child in Foster Care
31. Assist a Foster Parent with Child Care
32. Call Your Local Child Welfare Office to Volunteer to Assist with Administrative Tasks
33. Volunteer to Serve as an Educational Advocate (Sometimes Called Surrogates) for Students Receiving Special Education Services
34. Invite a Foster Child/Youth New in Your Neighborhood to Play Basketball or Soccer, attend a Ball Game, or Other Community Event
35. Assist a Local Shelter or Residential Program By Supervising Outings or Group Activities
36. Ask Your Church or Other Social Organizations to Sponsor a Foster Family
37. Sponsor a Support Group for Foster Parents/Children (provide space, coffee, food, supplies)
38. Talk with Your Local School About Unmet Needs (Time or Resources) of Enrolled Foster Children
39. Encourage a Child/Youth in Foster Care to Participate in Community Events
40. Accompany Foster Child/Youth to Plays, Sports Events, Musical Performances
41. Prepare a Special Meal for a Foster Family

E. My time is limited but I have financial and other resources to share.

42. Buy Back-to-School Clothes for a Foster Child/Youth
43. Buy Back-to-School Supplies for a Foster Child/Youth
44. Pay Extra-Curricular Fees for a Child/Youth in Foster Care
45. Support a Local Angel Tree Program During the Holidays
46. Provide Prom Dress or Tuxedo for Foster Youth
47. Sponsor a Foster Child to Attend Pre-school or a Day Care Program
48. Sponsor a Foster Child/Youth to Take Part in a Community Summer Program
49. Pay Fees/Provide Spending Money for a Senior Trip/Vacation for a Youth in Foster Care
50. Donate New or Used Clothing in Good Condition to a Clothes Closet for Foster Care Providers
51. Donate New or Used Bicycles, Skateboards, and Other Recreational Equipment to a Foster Care Program
52. Donate Musical Instruments to Children/Youth in Foster Care
53. Donate to Local Foster Care Programs
54. Donate to Organizations Providing Advocacy for Children/Youth in Foster Care
55. Give a Baby Bed or Other Furniture to a New Foster Parent
56. Purchase Diapers, Formula, or Baby Food For a New Foster Parent
57. Provide Uniform to Foster Youth for Sports, Band, or Other Activities
58. Sponsor a Child/Youth to Attend Summer Camp
59. Buy Art Supplies for Children/Youth in Foster Care
60. Provide Membership Fees to Local YMCA/YWCA or Rec Center
61. Provide Membership to Local Museums, Zoos, Etc.
62. Buy Bus/Public Transit Passes for Foster Families

F. My interest is in helping young adults with career preparation and transitioning to independence.

63. Donate Your Used Computer to a Foster Youth Attending College
64. Assist Former Foster Youth with Resume/Portfolio for Job Applications
65. Purchase an Interview Outfit for a Former Foster Youth
66. Provide a Cell Phone for a Former Foster Youth
67. Organize a Holiday Break Housing Program for Former Foster Youth
68. Buy Textbooks for a Former Foster Youth Attending College
69. Provide Lodging to a Former Foster Youth During College Holiday Breaks
70. Buy Restaurant Gift Cards for Former Foster Youth
71. Offer Apprenticeship to Former Foster Youth
72. Assist Youth Leaving Foster Care with Securing Housing, Managing Their Budget
73. Donate Furniture to Former Foster Youth
74. Hire Foster Youth for Summer Jobs
75. Buy Bus/Public Transit Passes for Youth Who Have Aged Out of Foster Care

G. I want to assist Biological Families who just need a helping hand to keep their family stable, safe, and secure.

76. Mentor a Struggling Biological Parent
77. Offer to Provide Respite Care to a Biological Parent Who Has Reunified with their Children
78. Provide Holiday Meal to Recently Reunified Family
79. Assist Biological Parents with Attending Necessary Support Groups (AA, NA, etc.)
80. Engage Biological Parents in Community Events and Activities
81. Mentor a New Parent Who is At-risk (Teen Parent, Former Foster Youth, Person with Limited Support System)
82. Help a Struggling Biological Parent with Meals, Household Tasks, etc.
83. Reach Out and Provide Encouragement to a Biological Parent
84. Assist a Biological Parent with Job Seeking/Success Skills
85. Assist a Biological Parent with Transportation to Appointments, Work, etc.

H. My time and resources are limited right now but I have lots of space in my heart for kids in foster care.

86. Talk to Your Kids About Reaching Out to Children/Youth in Foster Care at School/Neighborhood
87. Watch Programs like Home for the Holiday with Your Family and Encourage Friends and Family to Join You
88. Gather Information and Educate Yourself, Family, Co-workers and Friends About the Needs of Kids in Foster Care
89. Read Books  About Foster Care (Like “I Beat the Odds” by Michael Oher) to Become Better Informed
90. Support Programs and the Work of Persons That Highlight Successes or Advocate on Behalf of Children/Youth in Foster Care (for example, Jimmy Wayne and Wayne Dyer, and by Watching Movies/Television Programs About Children/Youth/Families and Their Achievements After Foster Care)
91. Boycott Movies and Television Programs That Provide Negative Stereotypes or Vilify Children/Youth in Foster Care (Unfortunately, there have been a few…)
92. Write to Movie/Television Producers Asking Them to Stop Harming Children/Youth in Care by Promoting Negative Stereotypes
93. Ask Your Employer to Support Foster Care Through Employee/Company Donations of Time and/or Money
94. Belong to a Civic Organization? Invite a Youth in Foster Care to Share Their Experiences
95. Talk With Your Children About Foster Care, Empathy, and Bullying (kids in foster care are often ostracized by both kids and parents)
96. Learn About Pending Legislation Affecting Children/Youth in Foster Care at the State and National Level
97. Call or Write Your Elected Representatives to Encourage Their Support of Child Welfare Legislation
98. Vote for Candidates Who Have Demonstrated Leadership in Improving the Foster Care System (such as Senator Landrieu, Congressman McDermott)
99. Write “Letters to the Editor” Advocating for Children/Youth in Foster Care
100. Use Social Media and Blog/Tweet/Post To Engage and Inform Others About Foster Care
101. Share Information About Programs Doing Great Work in Foster Care

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What am I supposed to do?

  • I can't afford health insurance anymore.  This is my last month.  I no longer have unemployment so I cannot pay the 700 to cobra anymore.
  • I need abdominal surgery but can't have it done before the end of this month unless I go to the ER and they decide to admit me.  I'm in a lot of pain and feel sick all the time.
  • I have no one to help me recover from surgery if I have it.
  • I don't know where I am going to live starting Feb. 1st or how I will pay rent.
  • Four at of the 9 jobs I applied for in another state have sent me rejection letters.  I haven't heard from the other ones, or any of the hundreds I've applied for here.  It is so disheartening to be searching for a job as hard as I am and not be able to find one.  I even applied at Starbucks.  I haven't heard back even though I was a barista for two years in the past.  
  •  I am worried about this skin thing on my dog.  I need to take her to the vet to make sure it's not serious.
  • A tree in my yard cracked in half and it's sitting on wires (telephone lines?  cable?  not sure).  My landlords will not return our calls and the tree is too heavy to move myself.  
  • The right side of my jaw is killing me, but I can't afford to go to the dentist, financially or emotionally.  I called a dentist and they told me to have my regular doctor refer me to a specialist for temporomandibular joint problems which confuses me because don't you see the dentist about that? 
  • There is something wrong with the wiring in my 1996 Toyota.  The lights and stereo keep flickering on and off.  The wheels squeal when I make turns.  The seat belt no longer retracts. 
  •  The water has been turned off in my apartment but it has nothing to do with us.  It's the huge dramatic thing between the front house and our landlords.  So we probably won't have any water for a while.   
  • I hate the holidays and I'm so freaking sad about it all the time.
  • I'm so stressed out and starting to feel so freaking hopeless.   
  • I wish I had a family, any kind of family.  I have nothing.  Nobody.  There are some days where I don't have any kind of interaction with other human beings, other than Facebook.  I have no family.  No human connections.  
Vicodin makes me super emotional and I've had a lot of it today, plus three doses of 800 mg Ibuprofen, and cold medicine for this congestion that won't go away.

I want a mom, or a dad, or grandparent, or a cousin or stable sibling right now.  I a need a mom so bad right now.  Nobody wants to stick around in my life for very long.  No one wants me.  Not families, not employers.  No one.

I need to take some more pain killers and go to sleep.



Monday, December 17, 2012

Paper and Tape

Wrapping gifts for someone you love very much but can't have in your life hurts.  But the thought of them thinking that you forgot about them hurts even more.  
 




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Anxious

Dr. K wants me to breathe in a mantra that I've actually already forgotten.  I guess I should have written it down.  It was: Self acceptance, forgiveness, and something I can't remember.  I'm sure it will come to me later.

I have been struggling with extreme anxiety this past week because I have to do stuff with new people.  I am so frustrated with my anxiety.  It is irrational and totally unwelcome.  It's an uninvited guest who won't leave!

I don't cry much with Dr. K, mostly because we just talk about using skills and not about anything too deep, but I burst into tears when she started asking me about my anxiety and what my fears are about meeting these people.  She then points out that I'm going to be evaluated and judged a lot more when I get a new job.  Well, I know that, but I hadn't thought about it too much, and now I'm feeling anxious about that too!  I burst into tears, and then got pissed off that I couldn't stop them. 

There was a funny moment in therapy though.  Today I was feeling really anxious, like a 9 on a 10 point scale, so I decided to wear these socks that Melody gave me while I was in the hospital.  They say, "I'm too sexy to be 60." Cracks me up.  I crossed my legs which revealed the socks and Dr. K read them.  I blushed and told her that Melody bought them for me as a joke.  Dr. K said, "Well I need a pair of those!"  I laughed pretty hard. 

I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed and stressed out about everything that needs to happen in my life right now.  I have come up with somewhat of a plan.  Take care of the commitment, have surgery, then pray I get a job interview.  I have to find a way to lower my anxiety level because I'm so physically exhausted and feel sick to my stomach all the time.  I am not sure my stomach pain and nausea are because of my anxiety or related to the problem that requires surgery. 

My diary cards have actually been looking really good lately.  For the last two weeks I have had ZERO self harm impulses and ZERO suicidal ideation.  I'm doing pretty well on that end.  I'd share a picture of my diary card, but Dr. K kept it.  Dr. K is always really cute about it and does this strange little celebratory dance about it.  Kind of weird, but sweet. 

I have been feeling really sad lately.  I'm sad about the holidays.  Sad about my relationship ending, about being totally alone for the holidays again, like I was in college except this time I won't be living in my car, so that's a plus.  I'm sad about losing one of my cats in the "divorce."  There are a lot of triggers for me right now.  Maybe it's just this time of year. 

Sometimes I wonder if blogging is good for me.  The negative comments hurt a lot and often cause lots of tears.  The people who disappear from my blog after months or years of a constant presence is triggering for me also.  Blogging is a lot like foster care in that way.  So many strangers come into your life, some supportive, some abusive, some with an agenda or high expectations.  And then you're afraid to make too much of a connection with these strangers because you don't know when or why they take off when they do.  I'm always left wondering what I did or said, why they decided they don't like me anymore.  I recognize that these are just strangers behind a computer and not people I really know, but when you think about it, sometimes those are the most honest types of interactions you have with people.  It's a lot easier to be who you really are when no one is looking.  The blogosphere is a confusing place sometimes.   

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Searching for home

Returning to LA left me feeling pretty displaced which feels odd to say because I am not sure I've ever felt "placed."  I've never felt "home."  I woke up feeling anxious and sad.  Sad to leave, anxious to return to California.  I want to leave this city.  I need to leave this city.  Los Angeles is not my home and I've wasted so much of my life here for someone else.  And now I need to leave for me.  I'm not a huge city type girl.  The place I have ever felt peace was in nature, away from the busy streets, city sounds, smog, technology, obligation, people.  I need that back in my life.  It's time for me to start taking care of myself, building a future and letting go of the past, at least as much as I am able.  I have worked hard this year and I have made progress.  Progress that even I feel and notice.  But at the same time, it's exhausting.  I am constantly working, using "skills," pushing things away.  My brain is always busy, working, analyzing, forcing myself to make the best choice, which is always hard.  I feel exhausted most of the time, physically, emotionally.  I sometimes wonder if this is really progress.  I wonder if I can really sustain this long term.  I wonder if it will ever get any easier.  I wonder if the flashbacks, the nightmares, the extreme longing for love and family, the foreboding, the shame, the self hatred, and everything else will ever go away.  Will there always be this raging battle in my head?  Will I always be searching for home?

I'm really sad to be back in Los Angeles.  Lots of tears.  I feel trapped.  Like I'm running up a fast moving escalator.  I'm putting in a lot of effort, but not making any progress.  I can see where I need to go.  What's at the top.  But I can't reach it.  It's really frustrating and discouraging because the only thing that is keeping me here is money.  I need money to find a job, money to find a place to live, money to move.  I don't have any money to move, but I don't have any money to stay here either.  I need a job.  I want a job.  Please, somebody hire me soon.

I'm feeling overwhelmed with everything I know I have to do.

  • A time consuming obligation
  • Finding a job
  • Figuring out how to go to interviews if I'm ever called for any.
  • finding a new therapist
  • Finding housing
  • Figuring out how to move my stuff, my animals, and myself
  • Have surgery
  • figuring out how recover after the surgery.  Not an easy task when you don't have any family.
  • Figuring out how to find a job and have surgery.
  • Creating a life in a new part of the country.
It's easier to just stay here.