Yes I know I have not posted my yoga and psychopharmaceuticals entry yet. I want to put this up first, Thank you very much for visiting, I am always happy to see that people are visiting here.
Sorry that this post has taken so long. I am almost completely recovered from the flu.
I have heard “Why didn’t you overcome adversities?” or something to that effect. “I know someone who experienced _____ as a child and then they _____ and now they are doing great. It usually is uttered to me when they find out I collect disability. I was on SSDI since the middle of 2007. I was on shelter welfare (no money in my pocket the shelter gets paid) for 6 months in 2011 and 4 months in 2014. Social security does not cover rent so I worked part time since I started receiving benefits. I have to stay under a certain income to stay on disability; I tried to few times to build on my teaching artist career to become independent. At the 5 year point of being on disability I was reviewed and was homeless (couch surfing at this point, not on the streets). As soon as I had an address I went to a vocational rehabilitation program. The people in the offices lost pape work, sent papers to the wrong address, lost my phone number, and mixed up my case. My therapist called them and advocated for me, but I was never called back when I tried to reach them. It took 1 year and 5 months to get me an appointment for a week long vocational testing. They couldn’t “fit” me with secretarial training. I scored top 1 percent in the I.Q. test (i recognized the questions as such), and was given a harder I.Q. test after I had panic attacks during 2 hour filing or arithmetic with a calculator tests. The vocational testing specialist refused to tell me my I.Q. test results, and berated me loudly in front of the rest of the testing group, and had the vocational rehabilitation program close the case and to tell me to not reapply for another 1 or 2 years. My friends still tell me to go back to work. I am guessing that those who judge me so have lower I.Q.’s than me, and were born into privilege, and never went hungry, was forced to eat garbage or cockaroaches, not had heard voices at night, nor had been sexually harassed at work.
Before collecting “benefits”, I have tried to better my life in many ways. I was brainwashed by my parents to believe in them, I had an inkling that things were not right. I was born with my eyes wide open with a full head of hair.*
I went to an academically competitive public high school, by standardized testing, the same ones that has been criticized for being racist and classist. So I am a person of color and from a poor family** . I dropped out because I had to work full time and live on my own, as I was constantly getting kicked out of the house; the school would get a call after a week later from my parents to tell me to go home. My parents didn’t get over the fact that they could not sell me at age 12 so “they won’t have to worry about money again”; trading up from Jack Daniels to Johnny Walker. I am guessing this because I grew up in an apartment where an empty Johnny Walker Red box was displayed as if it was a prized heirloom next to two clay Bols bottles, which I ironically have the opinion that the texture, color and the shape are beautiful.
Anyways, I dropped out of school at sixteen years of age, lived with a man/boy, it didn’t work out; lived with roommates, couchsurfed between apartments, and took the PSAT and scored pretty high for a person who was cutting school since her psychiatric ward hospitalization at age 15. I waitressed since i was 15 years old until I was about 30 with different jobs between. I did get out of my house early to better my life. I worked, unlike my parents. I trained in art with whatever money I could scrape together, so that is one of the ways I stayed out of addiction and getting sucked into going out every night after work. I did better my life, if you consider what I came from.
I thought of being a stripper or porn actress when I was 18 years old. I liked sex, had no problem with nudidity and was in great shape, why not? My boyfriend at that time was a semi criminal, 10 years older than me, much more experienced in sex, drugs, and the unmainstream. I was told by him that stripping is controlled by the mob, that its not just dancing, and that girls get dugged and trafficked. Porn is controlled by the mob, you get drugged, and snuff films are for real. I don’t know if he wanted to keep me for himself, or if he really cared about my safety. I was snorting uncut cocaine because he always had pure coke from busts. He was working with a police officer to sell cocaine that was not found at a dealer’s apartment. That is another reason I didn’t become an addict, after snorting the best stuff, I tried street cocaine. I broke up with that boyfriend after 1.5 years of drama, and finally, because his best friend wanted to have sex with me after he already had. It was their idea, one man in his late 20’s and another in his early 30’s who met at juvie, who thought it was a good idea to share me one night. That was my first and last threesome. It was their idea to be free spirited, and I guess, “sex positive” (though that term wasn’t as popular then as it is now) and two best friends from reform school became enemies. So there are some ideas to better my life that were shot down by well meaning/not so well meaning people, and I am fortunate for that.
I almost got a scholarship/financial aid/work study package at a really good school. My friends were going there when I was 19 years old. One was from my geek school, two others, from a private geek school, whom I met through mutual friends. In my highschool years, we would spend summer nights walking around in the park, listening to new wave music (it was the 80’s), writing newsletters with short stories, poems, and propaganda as to how the student government should be overthrown, and writing songs and radio show scripts to record on casette. I was a geek.
So when I visited their college the 3 young men took me to the school’s financial aid office to see if I can get a scholarship and financial aid according to my situation; from the inner city, didn’t do well in high school because of social economic reasons, high SAT score ***, and my interesting art, which I had snapshots (photos on paper) in an envelope of. Somehow I charmed the room of 3 undergrads and the financial aid officer, because the officer made a call on the phone. “Sorry, your parents are making too much”
“I haven’t been living with them, nor was I their dependent for 4 years”
“They have been claiming you, probably for tax reasons”
My friends, 3 very sweet young men started to say that I should sue my parents. I was still Stockholmed, and said that that shouldn’t be. I was outraged that my parents got Green Cards after I was independent and got jobs. I was angry that they claimed me, who was working restaurant jobs where the bosses and managers would sexually harass me and take my tips for themselves, while they did not work while I was growing up, and then claiming me. I did not find a lawyer. I was 19 years old, and believed that I was strong and smart, and that I could overcome anything.
I almost charmed myself into a very good school but my parents were engaging in illegal practices to save themselves a couple of thousand dollars a year.
Here are a few examples in which I tried to better my life. I feel like this post is not finished, but I will publish now and I will be back soon.
*See my 12/30/14 post “The Ballad of the Childbeater Pervert”
** On my 12/30 post I state that my father did not work, and my grandparents sent them checks, but the conversion rate of my parent’s mother country to U.S. dollars, plus my father’s addiction and selfishness made the family poor. I still do not understand how the rent was paid and my father was able to drink every night.
*** I took them when I was 19 years old. I had been cutting school since 2nd year of high school, and was partying the night before the SAT’s and almost got there too late to be admitted, and scored high. Not as high as my geek school friends, but I did retty well.