In the past two posts I shared examples of how I kept falling through the system. As I said, I am not unique. Others fall through the system. I am still falling through the system, the housing program I am in is corrupt and my mental and physical health got worse since I moved here. I am not the only one. There are children and adults falling through the system, have fallen through the system, and still struggling.
I also want to add that the excellent college where I couldn’t get financial aid to (see 1/22/15 post) may have been my ruin, had I attended.I have spoken to an artist who went to that school about 4 years before I would have enrolled. She told me that there were a lot of drugs in that “liberal” setting. Because of my early life* experiences and how I was dealing with them in my early adolescence, I may have ended up “slick”, narcissistic, with the baddest boy on campus or in a nearby town, and though I think that i do not have an addictive personality, I could have ended up in more of a mess than I am now.
I have been taken advantage of because of my willingness to work and refusal to conform. I would get the most tables to wait on and get cheated when the tips were pooled; I refused to go out to drinks after work because I was always studying and practicing art. In jobs that took physical strength, men were amused by my physical strength, and often left me doing hard work while they went on cigarette breaks or socialized. In retrospect, I was martyring myself because I wanted my hard work to be noticed, and very much did not want to be like my parents. Because I did not know how to put up boundaries, I was oppressed and exploited in many ways. I am learning about boundaries; I also used this experience of working harder and with pride, to my advantage.
2. I became an artist. I am a professional artist. I make money from my work. I do not make enough to make a living, but I work for professional rates/fees/prices. I have made money from my art. My photo or name has appeared in national papers and magazines (no review yet, but blurbs and notices.) I studied and trained seriously, sacrificing parties, dinners, bar gatherings, movies, shopping, etc. I have been taking a break since March 2014 for many reasons including not having a home. I have been meeting friends because of this; in the past I never had time. My life prepared me to not have friends, being left out, living with less money, and doing things on my own. I stopped doing drugs at about 23 years old. When I was 19 years old people aged my age to 21 years old died due to overdose; a friend of mine became a heroin addict and started to sell her parent’s Television and other electronics to feed her addiction. I recall that some of these people were more intelligent than me; they had talent and charm that I admired. When people died, I started to take discipline and technique seriously, and wanted to do good work.
I go to a movie theater twice or thee times a year, maybe once in some years. I never had cable television, except for the 8 months I lived in a room in a SRO that was an illegal conversion with my schizotypal boyfriend. I never had a video game console, smart phone, hobby, nor was in a club. I worked and made art. My growing up having nothing, not allowed to have friends, or watching television worked to my advantage. When you grow up with nothing, having a little more than nothing is not so bad. **
This is half the post. I will post the rest. I am still weak from the flu that started a week and a half ago.
* I never say “upbringing” or “I was raised” because neither would be true
** Having PTSD and anxiety disorders is bad.
*** My parents later told me that they did not want to get caught about how my home life was, and that having friends would have distracted me from excelling academically so I can be a lawyer or a doctor.