Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guess who got a job?

Me.  That's who!

My background check was finally fixed and the transitional living program offered me a job.  It will be a night job that doesn't pay enough to survive, but IT'S A JOB! and it's mine.

I still have to:  Get finger printed, get a physical, a drug test, my transcripts, and other papers, but if all of that checks out fine, I will start May 13th. 


Monday, April 22, 2013

I have really great friends

This hasn't always been the case, but right now I have really great friends.  I really do.  I may not be blessed with family, but I have been very blessed with friendships.  I don't know if it is because I am learning to let myself need and trust people more.  Or if I am learning to let people see and know more of me and my history.  I'm being more open.  I am feeling less ashamed of some of it and more okay if people know.  Maybe I am learning to judge people better, or I'm just finding better people.  Maybe it's a huge combination of all of those things.  I don't know, but right now I am feeling very blessed to have the people I have in my life.

The friends I am staying with are amazing people.  It is just so easy and comfortable being with them.  It's a lot of fun too.  We laugh a lot.  I was talking with them about this really amazing apartment complex in a very nice part of town, that is built to blend in with the other pricey apartments in the area, but it's made for low income people.  One of my friends said she wanted me to move into the studio (where I have been staying) and stay here.  It was so sweet.  It tugged at my heart a little bit.  I felt wanted and I never feel wanted.

Right now I am going through a lot, but you know what?  I am feel relatively stable and content.  I am out of all of my meds.  I slowly tapered myself off of my Lexapro because I had to.  I am still having some withdrawal issues, and I was falling apart when I first started going off of them, but other than the withdrawal stuff, I am feeling pretty content.  I feel more able to manage and calm myself.  I will admit that my anxiety is pretty bad.  I wish I had some klonopin and a sleeping medication because both my anxiety and my sleep are not so great, but I am feeling much better and more stable than I have in a very long time.  And I am feeling this way despite everything that has happened this year thus far.  It makes me wonder if the medication has really ever helped me at all.  I honestly think I felt worse on the meds.  But maybe it's living in my new state?  I like it here a lot.  I miss the sunshine and my friends in LA, but I really want to stay here.  I hope I can find a way to support myself here and make it my forever home.  It just feels like a good match for me.  The greenery, the quirkiness, the friendliness, the community, the vegans, the weirdos...  It all makes me happy.

Just some pics I feel like uploading.

These are two of my friends' six very spoiled cats

It's just so pretty here!

One day there were rainbows exploding all over town!

I volunteered at an animal sanctuary with my friends last week.  Look at some of the friends I made!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Foster care and trauma did not create me

Sometimes well meaning people say the strangest things.  I know they say them with good intentions, but it just makes me feel icky.  A friend said something like this to me today when she was asking me about foster care.  She's very curious about it lately for some reason.  I told her about what foster care was like and what it's still like for kids in care and she said, "I'm sorry that happened to you but it has made you who you are today and who you are is a really great person."  I've also heard this in the past, "What happened to you has made you a strong/er person."  These statements are in the same family of "Everything happens for a reason."  Don't get me started on that fucked up statement. 

No.  Foster care did not make me a great person.  I am not a great person because of foster care, or my severe childhood abuse, or any of the other awful things that happened to me.  What if I am just a really great person?  Because I just am?  What if I am a really great, strong person DESPITE what I went through?  Would I be a pitiful weak asshole if I had a normal life?

Foster care and severe childhood trauma did not make me who I am today.  They did not make me a strong person.  I am who I am, because that's just who I am.  Foster care did not create me.  Foster care does not define me.  I am who I am DESPITE the horrible things that happened to me before, during, and after foster care.  Foster care and child abuse hurt me, and made me weaker in some areas.  I struggle today because of foster care.  I suffer in ways I shouldn't because of foster care.  And what about those people who are not doing as well as me?  Why didn't foster care and abuse make them stronger?  What about all those former foster kids and child abuse survivors that make up those horrifying statics?  Foster care and trauma did not make me strong.  I survived because I am strong, not the other way around.

Foster care and my abuse history are definitely part of me and my life, but they are not who I am as a person.  They don't get to take credit for the good things that I am and do in life.  I am the one who makes those choices and does those things.  My traumas did not create me.  I made and continue to create myself.  Foster care and my abuse history often makes it difficult for me to be myself.  I have to make the choices to fight to survive everyday.  Foster care and childhood abuse don't do that for me.  I do that for me.  Foster care and my childhood abuse did not create me.  I am not those awful things.  I am a whole person, independent of them.  I am everything I am, good, bad, funny, sweet, annoying, etc... because of ME.  I make me.  Just like you make you.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Getting a background check

I had a second interview for a job working with young adults in transition from foster care and those with mental health issues.  I got invited back for a third interview on Thursday at the group home.  They called me on Friday and told me that they are moving ahead to background and reference checking.  So... I don't want to get too excited, but unless there is something on my record I'm not aware of, I have a job. 

I will be working twice a much as I did at UCLA, and I will be making $1100 a month less (or over $13,000 a year less), but it's better than nothing.  It is an over night job so I will be able to find a second job and go to grad school once I am a resident of this state.  Sorry I haven't updated in a while.  I've been putting all my energy into finding a job and figuring out a place to live. 

I've been helping my sister a lot.  We've talked about sharing an apartment.  I have some major reservations about that.  I told her we can talk about it, but there would be some big rules if we did that like she would have to be on medication and go to therapy.  She would also have to have some kind of structured activity like school or a volunteer job.  I don't know what to do about that.  There are major pros and MAJOR cons to that idea.  Right now I am leaning towards no, but she is also going back to the middle east for five or six months, so it would really only be a temporary situation.
 Physically I've been doing pretty well.  Still having some digestive issues, but the supplements I am taking are helping a little.  It has only been three weeks since I had surgery so I need to be more patient.  Mentally I've been feeling a little depressed.  I think part of that is the weather here.  I need to invest in one of those "happy lights" or go to a tanning bed.  Part of it is just about finding a job and the difficulty I am having with that.  It's depressing to be applying for jobs that pay half of what I used to make, especially when I didn't use to make that much money in the first place.  I think the amount I will get paid at this new job will qualify me for food benefits, sadly.  Part of it is sadness because I miss my friends and the usual sadness about the friends who choose not to be an active part in my life anymore.  It's hard to constantly go through that, may fault or not.  I miss my friend, S, a lot.  We chat at night a lot on facebook and through text, but I used to see her almost everyday and it's been months now.  I can't wait until I have my own apartment and she can come visit and I can persuade her to move here. 

This job that I may be getting offers benefits, but after 90 days.  So I am not sure how to get my meds until then.  I am sure I will figure something out.  Dr. K wrote me a letter so that Cooper is now my service dog.  This helps quiet my fears that someone will take him away from me.  Cooper is officially my PTSD service dog, which means he doesn't count as a pet in apartments.  It really doesn't make any difference since I have another dog and a cat, but it helps me feel better knowing that no one can take him away, no matter how irrational that fear may be. 

One thing I am excited about is getting an apartment and then finally getting my dogs and my kitty back!  I miss them so much.  

A new friend sent this to me the other day.  I think it's pretty sad and hilarious at the same time.  Fits my situation perfectly: