Advanced Education….Why?

Last year I acquired my Masters Degree, and because of my GPA was invited to join one of the most prestigious associations in the world. This association is by invite only, but by no means free. I scraped the money together in hopes it would help me find a work at home job.

It’s now a year later, and I am still unemployed, and still 6 digits in debt. I honestly expected to get a great job, even working from home with this degree. If I had it to do all over again, I would have never done it. I have found that even if I were to venture out into the world the opportunities are limited. My Masters degree is in Nursing Education. When I decided to get this degree I did check all the stats on projected hiring, project salaries, and even looked at job boards for a few months to see if there were adds for hiring. All looked good. Well….now that I bought the car…..I still am not seeing any like it on the road.

I am also still waiting on a decision about my social security application. I am sure they depend on people starving to death before they make that decision, after all, if your dead that money you paid in is theirs. It doesn’t even go back to your estate. Might as well have gone out back to the burn barrel and burned it. Lawyer says probably another 18 months before I even get a hearing, 28 months total.

So to try and at least not starve I started gardening. My garden was marginally successful last fall, I put up green beans, corn, peas, apples, and made grape juice. it’s a start. I froze all the pullets eggs that were too small to sell, so I have half a freezer of them. I think farming is the way to go for me. I put up a greenhouse last fall from materials I had laying around he place, and was pretty proud of the result. I have to figure out a way to heat it for next winter so I can grow year round in it.

I have been selling eggs but the cost of keeping the chickens has far exceeded what I earn from eggs. Even though farm fresh eggs are better for you you can get commercial eggs at the store for half of what I charge. And yes they do taste different because mine are not fed pesticides either in their food or health maintenance practices. They are not caged in a 3 foot by 3 foot cage all their lives. They have a large run, and in summer a even larger grass yard to roam and eat from.

I have been invited to grow herbs for a local restaurant. I have decided to attempt to meet this challenge. I have never grown herbs before and my learning curve will be short, but I am willing to give it a shot.

I have also acquired some rabbits, given to me by someone who did not want them. I am hoping to turn what comes out after feeding them into sellable fertilizer for other gardens and flower beds.

I have never been afraid of hard work. Matter of fact, it seems I have done nothing but work hard all my life, and have very little to show for it. I think my life time of anxiety and panic has dictated I keep too busy to allow for my brain to do any thinking other than on the task at hand. I wish I could have found a way to take that overactive brain and focused it on great less labor intensive occupations that still supported the bills.

I am grateful to the friends and neighbors that help me by supporting me by bringing the things I need that I can not order online and have delivered to my home. Things like animal feed, hay, building materials and the like. Have a great day.

 

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Still Looking for Work

Despite the humble beginnings of the farm I still need to find a work from home job…that pays. I am no different than anybody else, I have bills. I live in the northeast, 9 months out of the year my heating bill is $250.00 a month alone. I live in New York, my property taxes amount to a third of a middle class families yearly income. I also have to payoff the debt that my husband has accrued in my name, and this is a 6 figure challenge. I need this job to evict him from this household. It’s like a catch 22, I need him out to lower my expenses, but I can not afford to live without his income right now to keep the lights on.

This marriage has been a lesson burned into my soul. It has reinforced my lack of faith in people, my distrust in the opposite sex and my inclination to stay secluded. I am exhausted with putting out fires on myself from countlessly getting burned. And I am, quite frankly tired of praying for help and or guidence. I am believing that if it were coming, the universe has had 50 years to cough it up and has chosen to ignore me.

According to Anita Moorjani when we die we experience a love that we have never known and are made aware of people we have previously known. The first thing out of my mouth will be “take me to your leader” because I will be ripping a asshole into who ever is incharge of this mess we exist in. I have become angry and bitter, and there will be no question of it when I get there.

I am not naive enough to believe I am the only one with problems. To the contrary, many of us have found ourselves in messes we did not ask for, and in some instances in messes trying to do the right thing, or trying to help others. What is the lesson in that? Not to extend the helping hand to others? To ignore the needs of others? I am beginning to believe that this might be true. Perhaps everyone is sent here to be hung out to dry, and helping another out of a jam or challenge only prolongs the agony for everyone involved.

Anyway, on with the job hunt……

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Feet stuck in mud

As the days go by and one seems to turn into another the anxiety continues, the physical sensations continue.  It just never seems to end. I am living in a disturbed domestic situation which is both embarrassing and stifling. Some days I feel that I am better than what I have allowed to happen to me, other days I wonder if I have not done something along the way to deserve being treated so badly, lied to and left for stupid.

No matter what I try, whether it is occupational related, health related, life change related I am met with defeat. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but it seems to just keep sucking more of the life out of me. I am now penniless, and have been totally left broke by my other and his family. Most everything I had when he got here is either broken or useless. I have never been so destroyed by anyone. I am now looking at having to sell my home (which I bought and paid for years ago) before they take it from me.

I have been spending every waking moment trying to find a job I can do from home to try and save myself and my home but I do not seem to fit in anywhere. Perhaps homelessness is the next place I am headed and where I am supposed to be.  I am open to suggestions if anyone has any.

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Other strategies

I have tried the exterminating fears suggestion. It honestly is not working for me. It only seems to make me think too hard and question most everything I have experienced over the years. I am not so sure dredging up all that crap is really in my best interest.

I have spent the last few weeks preserving food from the garden for winter. My chest freezer is about full of green beans, corn, eggs, peas, apples, tomatoes and the like. I have a stand up freezer I hope to fill with basic meats. In earlier years I was not so much of a meat fan. I really ate very little of it. After the pulmonary embolism though it was brought to my attention that I should eat more and cut down on the veggies and fruits so I have. I eat red meat about once a week, white meat a few time a week and as much fish as I can tolerate each week.

As I wait the 2 years for a approval of my social security I am hoping the preservation and garden skills I learned as a kid will keep me from at least not starving to death while I wait.

I think I will be elaborating more on my farm activities going forward and the struggle it is to do these things most of the rest of the population takes for granted. I think the average person just does not understand the struggles of persons that struggle to live with anxiety, panic and PTSD. If you have never experienced these things it really is impossible for you to understand the struggle, but perhaps empathy can be extended if one understands the struggle.

 

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Writers block

Have you ever been so emotionally exhausted and paralyzed that no words come to mind to write?

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Examining fears, number 2-Illness

I participated in an exercise that revolved around physically writing down fears, then looking at each and searching for their story. When did that fear start? Why did it start? who, what where was involved?

The second fear I listed was illness. Feeling ill scares the bejesus out of me. This means that I am in a heightened state of fear 24/7. On a daily basis I experience horrid sudden states of dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea. Muscle pain, aches and odd sensations in places on my body that I never realized were there before. I experience reactions to heat that leave me fuzzy in the head, disoriented, or at the very least…passed out in my yard.

When did this start? I would have to say in my early 20’s. I was in the military and found myself being examined regularly for blood pressure due to the dizzyness. Shipmates would report to my superior officers I appeared to be unsteady on my feet, almost staggering at times. This lead of course to a drug and alcohol test, which never came back positive so they would go searching for the cause. I think after a while I had to accept that people saw me differently, in that I never realized I was staggering, or swaying while I walked…rather I was trying to stay upright through the dizziness, light headedness and nausea and assumed I was faking everyone out about it…joke was on me.Sometimes it would go away totally, sometime for months or even years, then suddenly, usually at the lousiest moment it would return. This time it has lasted almost nine years now. Day after day of relentless hell.

In the first few years this time I have had many CAT scans, blood tests, EKG’s, neuro exams, eye exams, MRI’s, x-rays, even a cardiac-cath and an electroencephalogram (EEG). Yet, despite all this testing nothing nothing has been found other than the stroke that they assumed happened when I had the PE. I suffer non stop sinus infections and chest congestion. If something were to happen where I could not be here all my animals would die. The last time I was hospitalized several kittens I was hand feeding died.

I feel like a person who is undependable and unreliable. It is hard to look in the mirror and tell myself that I am well, as the mirror and things on the wall appear to be moving around, or, when I see two or three of each and can not tell which one to grab for. Could sinus inflamation be the root of all evil here? I lived on Sinutab as a kid. Took so much of it that I am now allergic to pseudoephedrine. I have been given things like Claritin, but nothing seemed to make a difference and got to add the side effects of these drugs to my long list of miseries.

When you feel like dirt for this long your imagination can run wild with all the possibilities and it is nearly impossible to convince yourself that you’re not nearing your end days. To that end all I can do is do what I can each day, and rest for the rest.

Once again for the next few days my job is to find evidence that refutes the fear. Evidence that I am indeed healthy, that I am not as ill as I believe. Wish me luck.

And so it is.

 

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Examining fears, number 1-death

I participated in an exercise that revolved around physically writing down fears, then looking at each and searching for their story. When did that fear start? Why did it start? who, what where was involved?

Although I have been doing this (asking why) for quite some time I have not broken it down this way. What I have been doing is asking why I am like this now. What happened? What caused this? In looking at my fears list I have come to realize that it’s been a little more complicated than that. There is not one, but many fears acting  together, and against each other to put me in the turmoil I now find myself in. About all these things have in common is they all developed about the same time with the exception of one or two.

I think the most pronounced on my list is the fear of death. When you are a chronic panic disorder sufferer the intense anxiety produces a constant feeling of impending doom. What could bring you closer to the thought of death than your intuition telling you your death is imminent dozens times a day?

So what’s my death fear story? I think this one has been with me since I was a kid. My first panic attack that I remember was around the age of nine. I cannot recall what brought it on, but I remember laying on the couch as my hands went into tetany deforming uncontrollably as the muscles consorted my fingers in directions that nature had not intended and the tingling of my face around my nose and mouth as well as my arms and hands. At the same time I began to experience tunnel vision, the tunnel closing in to a pinpoint before I passed out totally for a few minutes. I remember feeling terrified. I did not understand what was happening to me as my parents sat beside me trying to reassure me…as their voices faded off to me. My next memory is laying in the back seat of the car (in the days before seat belts were even part of a car’s interior) as my mother drove me to the doctor over 20 miles away. By the time we got there I was feeling better. Old Doc Smith checked me over, gave me a small envelope of “pills” other wise known as M&M’s and sent us on our way.

Since then I have gone through phases where I challenged death to take me and other times when I have been running from it. Challenges included walking on a four inch wide rail of a bridge near my childhood home as a early teen, crossing a gully 150 plus deep, an act alone looking back on it was nothing short of a suicide attempt masquerading as a challenge. Everytime I walk over that bridge today I remember that and it seems like a totally different person did that, and how truly stupid it was.

The agoraphobia I know today is the act of running from it. As a nurse and a highly sensitive person over the years I have signed many death certificates as the witness to such events. The reality that none of us are getting out of this alive was beaten into my consciousness as part of the occupation. I have to say too that in all the years I never witnessed a person passing in any other form than peaceful. But for some reason that was never comforting. What penetrated my inner soul was the finiteness of it all. There was no going back, no changing one’s mind, perminateness. I began to ask what the point was from the start? You’re born to work your ass off, still be poor, suffer the situations of life only to die anyway despite any steps you take to live a good healthy life. The concept that this person would never return; their family would never know or see them again. Especially difficult were the deaths of the young. Young mothers leaving their babies behind, babies leaving their mothers behind, teenagers leaving behind a family and the possibilities of a long life. As a society I believe we have accepted the fact that the elderly will die, and in a weird way we expect it, but to that end these are people that have been there for us all our lives. We become accustomed to them always being there, and then….they are not.

The next step in this process is to spend a few days looking to change the focus. I need to find evidence of the opposite. I need to look for evidence that I am not dieing. Evidence of life. I guess the mear fact that after many years of all this I am still alive. I see no decline in the number of bills I am getting to support living..you know, like the electric bill, gas bill, grocery bill…..And despite the hundreds of medical tests I have endured over the years they have never found any organic issues (other than the stroke after the pulmonary embolism).

I have however had some pretty serious medical conditions that by all rights should have been the end for me such as the pulmonary embolism, the stroke, the bout with Mirizzi syndrome, and pneumonia.  I feel like a cat running out of lives. I think the agoraphobia is the only way I can crawl in a hole to protect my back, see something coming from only one direction, and have half a chance of fighting it off. It has become a coping mechanism.

And so it is.

 

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