Thursday, July 24, 2014

The end of a chapter

I feel like this blog was written by someone else, maybe a long lost friend or a half sister.  The girl who wrote this blog was in a very dark place.  She was terrified and downing while everyone around her analyzed and critiqued her swimming techniques while she struggled to find a way to keep breathing.  The professionals who were supposed to help her anchored weights to her ankles and the people who were supposed to love her walked away when she was being pulled to the bottom and needed them to hold on to her hand the most.

I'm not this girl anymore.  Those weights fell off when she was ran over by a boat called Homelessness.  She slowly floated to the top and began to walk on dry land for the first time in a long time, gulping air and life into her body.  And although she's deeply devastated by what happened, she keeps walking, picking up what's salvageable and trying to rebuild a flood-proof foundation.

In other words, I went through fucking hell physically and psychically for the better half of my 20s and my entire childhood.  Many people let me down.  Many people walked away.  And the professionals in my life unintentionally caused me a great deal of harm.  But here I am.  Getting rid of psych meds and harmful therapeutic treatments gave me the ability to fight for my own life again.  The darkness isn't as dark anymore.  I don't ever think about ending my life anymore, but I so obsessed with it while on medication that I was thinking about ways I could die even when I was laughing and telling jokes.  Losing my job, my housing, my insurance, and pretty much everything in my life saved me.  My life got better while I was homeless last year.  It got better because I could no longer afford to take my medications or continue therapy with professionals who were doing more damage than good.  I had a therapist who made me feel like she was going to dump me at any moment for years, completely recreating the destructive dynamic of my childhood in 42 homes in foster care.  I mean, UCLA's ER literally tied me to a bed and stripped my clothes off to "help" me, but I digress.

It's funny because I am more alone than I have ever been since the day I aged out of foster care to homelessness.  In some ways I am even more alone than I was then.  At least in all the ways that matter, but I feel so much stronger, determined, and capable than I did a few years ago when I was surrounded by people who said they loved me and called me family.  That's the difference between me and everyone else.  When people call me family, they don't truly mean it.  Not really.  Most people can fall apart and need help and not lose their ENTIRE world while doing it.  That's what family does.  They have to stick with you even when you're a fucking lunatic for a while.  But me?  I have people who throw those words around, make big professions and promises, but they are always empty.  I am not like other people.  The people who "love me" never even talk to me to let me know that they are having issues with me or give me an opportunity to fix things.  They never communicate with me.  You know...  the basic foundation to any healthy relationship.  They just dump me because they can.  That's the difference between "real" family and this "friends as family" mantra people keep spitting at me.  I guess the biggest difference in me now is that I know I don't deserve that and I never have.  The people in my life--those who said they loved me and called me family, all those people that have abandoned me when I was most in need should have held on to me when I was slipping away.  They should have protected me from predators.  They should not have put my mother's parental rights over my human rights.  They should not have protected a grown man over a little girl.  They should not have just stood there when 7 people held me down and unnecessarily ripped off my clothes in the name of mental health care in the ER.  Nor should they have abandoned me when I was clearly very fragile and so in need of someone to show me that I mattered and that I truly was family.  That they WERE different.  That they DID mean it.  But they didn't.  I own up to my complete insanity and bad behavior these past few years, but I have never deserved to be tortured, abused, or abandoned so much in my life.  No one does.  Seems like a simple thought, but it's not one I've ever truly believed before. 

I'm not sure where I was going with this anymore.  I went a little too deep with the analogies.  Basically right now I'm trying to put my life together, go to graduate school, find a way to not ever be homeless again and hopefully have some sense of safety and fulfillment in my world.  I'm not sure how to merge this person I am now with the person I was in this blog.  Is it even possible?  Should I try?  Is it even healthy?  Part of me really misses blogging--having virtual support, witnesses, and comrades validate my experiences and mental civil war.  But this blog has also done a great deal of damage in my real life.  It gave some people a peek into my inner world and scared them away.  Part of me wonders if it was healthy for me to have done this blogging thing in the first place.  Is it possible to continue in a healthier way?  Should I continue this because this was part of me not that long ago?  Should I abandon this and start new somewhere else?  Should I abandon this altogether?  I don't know.  But I do think about it often and definitely miss having a place to verbally vomit all of my feelings and feel less alone in the world.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How do I do it?

I am so stressed out about this graduate school stuff.  I have to figure out where to go and I have to do it very soon.  It was between 3 states, but based on some friend's advice I can no longer go to school in Colorado. 

So now I have to figure out if I want to go back to Los Angeles or if I want to go to Seattle for school.  The school in Los Angeles said that it's not really possible to work and complete the Masters of Occupational Therapy program because the course load is very full.  They say that in their FAQ about the program.  Both programs are 2.5 years long (including summers) and six months of that is full time field work.  If I choose to go to the school in LA, I have to go back very soon or I lose my residency and have to wait TWO YEARS to get it back.  My lease here is not up until July, but the deadline to apply to the school in LA is September.  If I take classes here, I will lose my residency in CA.  

I don't really know what to do. 

How am I supposed to support myself in Los Angeles without a job?  Or Seattle, or in Colorado?  I refuse to give up my dogs.  They are the only family I have.  So how do I house and feed myself, two giant dogs, and a cat without a job while going to school full time.  I can get loans for school.  That's fine.  But I'm worried about food and shelter and basic human needs. 

I can't continue on the aimless path I am on now because it will kill me.  I feel the depression and anxiety lurking close and closer in the background these days.  But I have no idea how to better my life.  I really want to be an occupational therapist, but how?  I'm okay with struggling and living in poverty.  That's not what I am afraid of.  I'm afraid of not being able to support myself at all.  The cheapest rent I could feasibly get in the LA area (outskirts too) with two giant dogs is about 850 a month.  If I somehow get lucky and find a roommate, it would still cost about this much. 

I asked a friend about it and she was like, "Just live with your parents.  That's what I did."  I politely said I couldn't, but in my head I was screaming FUCK YOU. 

I'm tired of life being so hard financially and otherwise.  Another friend in Canada said he gets to go to graduate school for free since he was a foster kid.  I'm happy for him, but fuck.  That sucks too!  I already have 38k in student loans I can't pay back.  I know I'll have to add about 30k to that for tuition and fees for graduate schools.  If I take out loans for living expenses, I'll be in debt for the rest of my freaking life.  Lets not forget my amazing medical bills I can't pay off either. 

My anxiety about this decision is eating me alive.  I can't sleep or concentrate on anything else. 

My poor 8 year old dog has developed what I think is arthritis in on of his legs and I can't afford to take him to the vet right now.  What happens if he gets really sick while I am in graduate school without a job?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The answer is No.

Sometimes life just really isn't worth it and all I want to do is crawl in a hole and sleep forever.