Hi Everybody!

Well, it would appear that I will NOT be attending school just yet.  I will probably continue to write the state board of cosmetology to appeal the rejection I recieved from BCC, and get some kind of approval to take the course.  The fact is, unfortunately, with the new age of backgroung checks, my chances of getting into any kind of program that requires a licence by the state of FL are slim to none.  I could work on an AA degree, but I am going to finish my book before I take on something that big.

  You can look at any of the statistics and posts offered  by my blogging guru, The Gateless Gate Zen Center (KC), and you will see that this state wants to convict and incarcerate as many drug addicts as they can. Prisons are money making machines.  I have stated before that nowadays these convictions on your background can stop you from being able to get a licence for any type of profession.  I was told that it was considered on a case by case basis, but I was denied even though I have no violent or robbery type charges.  Just small drug posession and prostitution. 

This may seem like a really broad statement, blanketing a very touchy and contreversial subject.  I am here to tell you that it is not.  It looks like it doesn’t really matter anymore what your charges are, if the state can find a reason to stop you from getting an occupational licence, they will.

 I have explained before, that I was a homeless junkie, selling her body and soul for a fix.  The police knew me on site.  Sometimes, when they couldn’t charge me with a crime, they would follow me as I walked from place to place, knowing full well I had nowhere to go.  They would laugh at me when they stopped me several times a night, and tell me to et off THEIR streets.  They knew I was homeless.  Sometimes, I would find a place to hide, and lay down, exhausted in some bushes or in an abandoned car.  If they found me, they would charge me with another misdemeanor, trespassing.  It went on and on, but NO ONE offered me any help.  What I DID get, was a record a mile long.  Trespassing and paraphenalia, prostitution and on the occasion that they found a pill or crack crumb, felony drug charges.  Charges piled up during that stage of my life, and there are 18 pages of shame for me to explain every time I submit to a background check.  Our system is slowly taking everyone down, charge by charge, who is addicted.  It even appears now after some research, that I cant even get licenced to be a drug counselor, because I have so many charges.

All those charges incurred court costs and fines, which adds up to a figue I can’t even hope to pay in my lifetime.  Especially when you take into consideration what I am about to explain next.

Ok, so years later, I am one of the  ones who have made it out of that life.   The obstacles are obvious, place to live, find a job, get some kind of education even if I can’t get a certificate or a licence.   There is one huge factor that I have not mentioned before, and that is child support.  After you get back on your feet in the free world, all of you financial obligations come after you. This one is the worst, because you can’t put it off, and you can’t get a decent paycheck.

The thing about child suport, is that once you start working your humble just got released job, it isn’t long before the state begins to garnish your wages.  It doesn’t matter how much you make, a certain percent will be taken out of you each day.  For me, I made minimum wage, working for day labor, which is all I could find.  Being female for me means you can’t do some of the work the larger men can do, so minimum wage was all I could get.  When I was provided a job assignment, which was sometimes all week, and sometimes as little as once every two weeks, 40 percent of my pay went to the two men who have my daughters. After working an 8 hour day, I recieve 24 dollars.  Both of these men have houses they live in (which is why my daughters are with them in the first place), they have a driver’s licence and and a car.  They have good jobs, making more than I could even dream of at this point.  Yet, my only means of survival is reaped to give to them, reguardless if it leaves me enough to survive.   I called child support enforcement, and was told no matter what, 40npercent of my pay is gone, there is no sliding scale based on how little I make.

For me, I have so many fines and court costs that have added up during my years of addiction and incarceration, and so much back child support that there is very little chance I will be able to get a drivers licence.  When I am able to work, the 24 dollars a day I make is not enough to survive, much less start paying on fines.

It is hard not to be bitter and angry.  I try to focus on what makes me happy.  God, my writing, my beautiful girls and my hopes that one day I will somehow get out from under all of this. Makeup and art thrills me, as well as music, so I let myself go in these things and try to forget…

I stay with my boyfriend despite the abuse, in between his crazy mood swings, I recieve the love I have craved for so long and he provides a good home, and a place for me to try and move ahead.  nI tell myself this to get by.  The truth is, I would have left by now if I could.  But, I know I probably would have went back, or found another relationship right away.  I don’t know how to get out of needing to be loved.  Maybe I even need to be abused…I don’t know the answer to that, but I think it’s a weakness, lack of self respect thing.

So this is just another aspect of getting out, and my story.  I am not nearly as strong as some of my sisters and brothers who have been released and done so well.  I know I have a lot of deeper problems that I have yet to get a handle on, and I hope that sharing all this will help those who still still struggle as I do.

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