Many days I'm able to just mask my feelings and brush off the reality of where my life is sitting at, but on the days I can't close my eyes, I re-read this and try to convince myself, "You're not less of a person for needing help. People will understand & won't judge you."
I was brought up in a dysfunctional family when I was younger, sometimes fearing for my life and those of my mother & sister. I ended up adapting and growing up very quickly. As soon as I was able to be on my own for college - out I went, trying to remove the toxic that had surrounded me from my younger years. Little did I realize, I would be reliving aspects of those years a handful more times in my adult life.
I was always on my own, luckily able to survive by taking on 2-3 jobs at a time. Anytime things got a bit rough, I moved away thinking the problems wouldn't follow. I struggled constantly at the need to be alone & independent, yet also needing a companion; someone that would be there that cared for me back. You know those people that repeat their mistakes or the mistakes of their family/friends who keep getting stuck in terrible, unhealthy relationships? That was me from the time I left home until about a year ago. Abusive relationship after relationship, I finally said I was going to change my life for the better and in 2006, I enlisted in the United States Air Force.
At no point of my time in the service did my work ever tire or bore me. It was the people that got to me, breaking my spirit, weakening my mind, and wounding my heart. With no support from superiors, and little from my ex-husband, who was not wanting to be involved to protect his way of life at work (similar careers/same base/unit), I was pretty much forced to deal with it alone as professional help did next to nothing.
Due to the nature of my work, I also ended up developing a pinched nerve in my foot that would be operated on 2 years into my time in service. Being stationed in Japan, specialists were on a rotation of visiting the medical facilities of the bases. I eventually had my first surgery from a Navy surgeon that under corrected the bones that were broken/moved to correct the problem. A year later, at my 2nd station in the United Kingdom, the nerve seemed to have been fixed, but parts of my bones were dying and I was in constant pain when walking.
Unsure why, but not being able to address it, I was sent out on the economy to a British surgeon to undergo a second surgery to correct the first. Oppsies! He didn't do the agreed upon surgery, instead just taking away more bone and replacing hardware. I sit here to this day without a correction as I refused to let them touch me again. I was told by my last specialist, eventually it will get to the point I will need another surgery and most likely they will need to remove more bone and replace it with some from my hip. Hell if I was going to let another military/military suggested doctor touch me again. I will learn to deal with the pain as it comes until it affects me to the point I can't.
After the 3 years of surgeries and recovering the best I could, I was found unfit for duty because I had remained on a Physical Training profile that prevented me from running for a year, so I was flagged. I fought my medical discharge up until the point where I would need to address the Secretary of the Air Force.
I was scared, but more than anything I was just...tired. So very tired of fighting. I signed my medical discharge and remained in the United Kingdom with my ex-husband, unable to work due to not having a Visa. Over the years the military had definitely changed me as a person. These changes had a great impact on my former marriage, causing us both to become angry and abusive toward each other. I tried my best to just live through it. I had stuck it out for four years, but finally I couldn't take it anymore and stuck to my guns about leaving.
I arrived back in the U.S. March of last year (2013). I was unable to collect unemployment, not working in the states within the last year & was denied cash, medical and food assistance by my state. After fighting with the state for the better part of a year, I am at least now, as of Feb 2014 receiving help with food. I have not been lucky in locating work in or out of state for the entity of the time I've been back.
I've put in hundreds of resumes, attended job fairs, and participated in Veteran job related activities and yet there seems to be no light at the end of this tunnel. I'm being denied left and right by even places such as mall stores, Starbucks, and fast food establishments. The closest I have to a job is my video producing and live streaming, both of which I can't even come close to living on.
I've sold most of my stocks and furniture, used all my savings and maxed out my two credit cards just to pay bills in this last year. I'm lucky that my grandmother has given me a room to stay in while I continue to struggle and locate work. I've come to the realization that there is nothing here for me in this state. No help, no job, no future. I will of course keep looking, but moving out of state to where there is work will probably be my only way out of all this. I haven't been able to gain interest in a company that offers relocation assistance unfortunately.
All of this, in it's entirety was hard to write, but this is the most difficult part of it all; asking for help. I am at the point now where I am months behind on certain payments with absolutely no way of recovering on my own. I ask, if there was a way, if I started trying to raise some funds for myself - would you please help me?