Tag Archive: Addiction


AAaaaaand……Denied!

 I was rejected for the cosmetology program at Brevard Community College.  If you read my previous posts, you know that it was quite costly to apply.  I have been going through a process that has taken two months and two hundred dollars.  I paid for a background check through Certified BackgoundCheck.com (105.00), application to BCC (30.00), application to cosmeology (25.00) a physical (10.00 through brevard health alliance)and hepatitus B vaccination, first shot (25.00).  That is not including the cost of loading a prepaid visa each time a new fee came into play.

 I called the school ahead of time, and asked one of the administrators in that area many questions reguarding my past, because I was concerned I would be denied when I learned of the requirements for getting accepted.  She listened to my story (and I was brutaly honest), and told me that she didn’t  think it would be a problem.  I told her of my felonies, and she said that I would have to write a letter (which I did) explaining my situation, and would probably have to do the same for the Florida State Board.  NIX!  This was NOT the way it all went down.

After my background check was posted for the powers that be to view, I called the school.  the said they recieved my leter, it was heartfelt and very good, and they would call me when they viewed my background.  Four days later, I recieved a call…

“We have to say no, Michelle you have 7 felonies!  you can’t get licenced in the state of Florida!”

I asked, how is that possible?  I was specifically told it was considered on a case by case basis, and that if I am clean (and have been for several years now) that I would have a chance to be heard by the state board.  The voice on the other end of the line told me that they are not going to even get me in touch with the state board, and that they do not believe I can ever get a cosmetology license.

I would like to remind you, the reader, that I am not a murderer, or a child molester, I never hurt anyone.  This whole thing is based on the fact that I was a drug user for several years who prostituted herself when she was homeless.  I never even stole from anyone.  I sold myself, and that is all.

So, I have been trying to get in touch with the state board of cosmetology on my own.  I have to call back today after 4 pm.  I am going to find out if I can appeal to someone there, instead of the school I applied to.  A local independant school that I contacted said they would gladly take me if I could provide some kind of proof that the state board would be willing to licence me despite my history.  I pursue this because it is a passion for me, I love hair and make up.

Tomorrow, I am going back to BCC and consulting with a course advisor, because I am going to take some classes no matter what the outcome.  I want to learn and explore my interests, and find out what I CAN do with my life despite my felonies.

Covering all my bases, so to speak.

Here’s the KICKER…the thing that really twists my pretzel…when I was in prison, cosmetology was one of the courses provided for inmates who were willing to learn and rehabilitate.  I took that course, and while there, I distinctly recall one fellow classmate who upon release, took her test, passed it, and went on to get a job doing hair.  After that, I never heard of another.  Has the new age of computer backgound checks made the criteria more strict?  Is it really possible that a recovering addict will forever be denied a licence to cut hair because of drug charges? Are women in prison taking this class, only to be denied a licence after all of their hard work?  WHAT IS HAPPENING?

It’s getting out of hand…people make mistakes.  We ALL do.  Some worse than others.  But, if background checks that reveal a history of drug use can stop a recovering addict from getting an education, and rebuilding their life, what hope is there for them?

I have been putting in a lot of applications for jobs, and I hear, over and over…

“yes well, after we complete a backgound check….”

Yes…after you complete a backgound check, I will most likely not be considered for the job, when you have 5 other applicants who DO NOT have a criminal background. I understand.

And so, an education is paramount.  It is important to allow a recovering addict to apply themselves, PROVE themselves able to stay clean, and to learn, so that when the job market is the goal, they may come equipped with a trade and be ready to do the job.  Employers are focusing on backgrounds though, not the individual. Hmmmmmm……

So then, the worst part of all this…many addicts are not really guilty of any kind of felonious act…no crimes against society…just, well, getting high.   Now they are felons.   What percentage of our population is addicted to some kind of substance?  My God…where are we going with this?

 

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okay, brace yourself because this is gonna suck.

Today is my birthday.  I am 42 years old, and I am sitting alone crying my eyes out because, once again, I am in a relationship where the man I am with not only won’t even give me a card or present, but he has decided that since I had the nerve to cry and tell him how that hurt me, he should go ahead and be even more cold and angry for the entire day.  His goal is to make sure I get absolutely no recognition for this day or joy whatsoever.  Since I have no family, and I tend to be a loner, there isn’t one person who will say or do anything nice for me today.  My daughters, whom I love very much, can’t help but not know because we aren’t in close contact.  It’s mostly all my fault and I have to look really closely at the situation.  Yes, it sucks.

This isn’t the first time this has happened.  I have a history of being in relationships with abusive men.  When I say abusive, I have run a the gammet of types of abuse.  And one thing about an abusive man, they HATE your birthday.  They LOVE to make it miserable, and they always have throughout my entire life since the age of 19 when my first live in boyfriend started punching me in the face when I didn’t turn over my tips from stripping fast enough.  On my birthday.

We all make our own choices, I know this.  The question is, why would anyone make choices that always lead to this kind of pain? Ahhhhh yes.  There it is right? I It’s classic, I know. Women who stay in abusive relationships, or get into abusive relationships over and over are doing this for all kinds of reasons, but I think that deep down we are all very similar.  It’s a lack of self respect.

I was verbally and physically abused as a child, not as severely as many, but like all who suffer any type of abuse, my particular situation took it’s toll on my life.

I have been with men who have beat me, thrown food and drinks on me in public places, taken all my money and spent it on hookers, pimped me out, stole my drugs, slept with my friends, kept my things and threw me out on the street, called the cops on me and had me busted, forced me to have all kinds of degrading sex when I didn’t want to, and many, many kinds of mental head games that made want to die many, many times.  Why?  Because I have a lack of self respect combined with a desperate need for love.  THAT is a really, really bad combination.

I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE

I don’t really know what the solution is.  There are ways out, I know because I have gotten out before obviously, but the tricky, tricky part, is not getting back in.  That’s where I keep messing up.

So here I am, feeling like my heart is being torn to little bits because I have this love for a man who doesn’t show love back.  Or does he?

It’s even trickier than you think…

He met me when I was “out there”, and decided he wanted to keep me.  Over the last ten months, we have been through a lot.  My addiction to pills led me to the street more than once, and he got me out of that.  He is the one who helped me get to a doctor to get me off of narcotics, and off of the streets.  And when he did, I changed.

I cleaned up my act, I don’t go out at all, I stay home, keep the garden and the house perfect.  I work on the phone at home, and I do cleaning jobs on the side.  I keep a small amount of income coming in, but it’s something.  He pays for my doc and the meds, and then when I get money, I give it to him.

This is not to say I haven’t done anything for him.  When I met him, there was no furniture here, the place smelled and the yard was a sand lot full of ciggy butts.  Now, this place is furnished (used but decent) alive with plants everywhere inside and out, and it’s clean each and every day.  There is also one major contribution I made to his income, by hooking hin up with a business opportunity he had been looking for and was having no luck.  Now he is doing just fine.  I don’t come without perks.  Of course, he doesn’t see it that way.

So, I have laid it all out.  I am dependant on him, because I have nowhere to go, and can’t support myself.  I do a lot for him, but he refuses to acknowledge any of it because he figures I owe him.  I need him in a lot of ways.  It sucks to need someone.

Oh, and the birthday thing> His birthday is on Christmas, and I had just lost my job and my place to live, I was dead in the water and could give him nothing.  you know why he is doing this today?  I couldn’t give him a present, so he says it’s because I didn’t give him a blowjob on his birthday.

Well, what do I expect, right?

I know.

So there you have it.  I can look at this whole thing and understand it intellectually.  See it for what it really is.  But when it comes to my heart, I can’t change it.  I feel stuck.

A woman who has lived this kind of life, tends to be in damaging relationships.  I have always been this way.  Even when I was in a recovery program and doing group and individual counseling daily, I was on the computer pursuing a love relationship long distance with an old high school flame.  And when he didn’t email or text when he was supposed to?  I LOST IT.  I was constantly distracted by a man because unless I am incarcerated, I seek love relationships.

I am co dependant right? That’s the term for it these days I guess.  Well, my plate is full of a whole bunch of other terms for what I am, some of which I don’t even know yet.  As I try to sort it all out each day, I am in the real world full of people who tend to prey upon people like me.  My weakness and need for love, hell they can smell me before they see me.   Meet a good looking guy who says he loves me and wants to help me, tie that in with my addiction and the fact that I am financially unable to support myself, and have no family to turn to, and yes, you could say this sucks.

I have no intention of leaving.  I have built a life here these last ten months, and I have no where else to go.  besides.  I do love him.

There are times. weeks on end when life is great here with him and I am simply grateful to have him.  But, something changes once in awhile, and when it does, he is like a ticking time bomb.  I never really know what will set him off, but it happens and then I am in hell.

Why am I writing this?  If you are like me, listen to my banter and WISE UP WOMAN!  Stop selling yourself short, get out and find a man to treat you like a queen.  No matter where we have been, we are still God’s creatures and in Him we are perfect.  Every moment of every day we have lived has made us who we are and therefore we are exactly who we are supposed to be.  Having said that, I guess I should say that I am apparently supposed to keep learning, because I am determined to hang in there with this relationship and try to make it better.

Don’t cringe, but I really do love him.

In the words of the divine Mrs Loretta Lynn:

“Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman…”

Today while I was out running just before sunrise, I passed what I instinctively knew to be a woman of the evening so to speak, still out walking as the sun came up. I knew the look on her face. You’ve heard the expression, “the lights are on but no one is home”…well this is more like “the lights are out and I’m hiding in the dark.” So many mornings i can remember, after being up for God knows how many days, just walking, walking, walking, hoping to make that next twenty bucks so I can go back to the dope house and get high in a spot out back they kept reserved for me. Then it’s back out on the street to do it all over again.

So as I was out running, I was so gratful to be just out running for my health, and not out all night and still out walking to my spiritual death. I ran for about 45 minutes, and then turned around to head homeward, and about half way there, I passed her again. Poor girl.

I know, why feel sorry for her right? I’m sure most of us at least at some point in out lives have walked or rode by these girls and said a little “tsk,tsk” and shook our heads at her blatent display of degredation.

I tell you from the point of view that began with the “tsk,tsk” head shaking of one who looks down on these poor reprobates, and ended up becoming one, that you have no idea how desperate and empty and done with life you have to be, to just walk right out into public and tell the world that you are for sale for the next hit. It’s the saddest thing I can imagine besides maybe the suffering of a child or the death of a loved one. It’s so sad that it makes my heart hurt as I sit here and write.

To live like that you have to abandon all hope. To abandon all hope, you have to loose your own soul. Once you do that, God save you from yourself. I can honestly say that there were times when I had a razor blade to my jugular, and the only thing that kept me from a quick flick of the wrist to oblivion was the hit I knew I had in my pocket. It was only the next hit that kept me alive, many, many times. To keep the hits coming, I had to do things most people couldn’t even imagine, and having been there, I could easily imagine what this girls’ daily life must be like. It makes me shudder to know I’ve been there, and so many countless others still are.

I read today something that hit me hard, it said there are three types of people, patriots, citizens, and parasites, and to know that I have been a parasite on this society is a tough bite to swallow, and it was as if God punctuated what I read, with my passing that girl, not once but twice.

I am no longer a parasite, I work (although not as much as I would like) and I pay taxes when I do. I am still not much of a citizen however. I haven’t taken strides to regain my right to vote, and I could probably try harder to find more work, so that I can participate more in the economic circle of life.

I guess maybe there is one more category KC, and that would be those in limbo, a purgatory perhaps that lies on the road to being whole. I feel like I am somewhere in between, and it’s a tough road out of this place. I wonder if I am truly motivated enough to keep moving forward out of it, or if I will stay here, with one toe out the door, one step away from taking that walk.

On the subject of the road out, I am making progress on my book. The problem I am running into now, is how to flow the story line of my childhood, with describing my parents and myself, without it all sounding full of bitterness, whining and complaining. There are so many painful events though, and to tell the story, well, it just sounds bitter and I’m not sure what to do about it.

I think, no, I KNOW I am goinng to piss a lot of people off with this book. People that idolize my mom, for instance, will be mortified at what I have to say. I was told ver recently “oh my God YOUR Gerda’s daughter? I didn’t even know she had a daughter. Your mother was like a saint. Saint Gert.”

I think that says it all.

Then there’s my ex husband. There are a lot of things I did back then that he doesn’t know about. I don’t think he’s ready to find out either! Maybe he won’t buy the book, but I doubt it.

All in all this morning, I am so greatful to be typing this while I am looking out into my garden on a beautiful summer morning. I’m no where close to where I could be, and I may never get there, who knows. At least I’m not out there and that’s a miracle all by itself.

Writing is interesting.  There are alot of things I hadn’t considered.  I thought that because I had this amazing and dramatic and complicated story, with twists and turns that make even my own head spin, that I could just write and it would be good enough.

It’s not.

It’s not just me that I have to think about here.  What I have done in my life didn’t just affect me.  My bad choices affected everyone who loves me.  My ex’s, my daughters, my mother and step father, the list goes on.  I am reminded of many peole who have tried to help me and I blew it. So many things in my story that it’s not all just about me.  So my quandry as I write is basically, what will they think?

I have great hopes and plans for this book.  I am pouring my heart out onto the keyboard, my fingers flying but not as fast as my memories.  However, I started thinking this afternoon while editing and re writing part of it, that there will be consequences for putting the truth out there like this, not only for me, but for my daughters.

I love my daughters but have little contact with them right now.  My oldest is a beautiful, artistic and amazingly understanding intelligent young woman of 17.  Her birthday is coming up too.  She is online alot and I worry that if I say too much she might suffer somehow.  Does this all make sense?

The choices we make always affect more than just ourselves.  I have alot to offer by sharing my experience with others like me, but I don’t want my truth to affect my daughters, my greatest prayer being that they will never be like me.

As I proofread I am tempted to delete.

I have not.  I don’t think I will.  I will be limiting my exposure on things like facebook, as I want to focus on this project and get it right.  Although I’m not really sure what right is at this point.

Just like everything else, enthusiasm is at a hightened level when something is new. I am feeling like this might be the thing that I was meant for, to offer my misadventures for the greater good.

There is a definite conflict between the goal I am trying to achieve and the path that I’m on, the difference now, is that I care.  I really care.  I care about the fact that I’m not totally sober.  I care that I may be affecting others and I question my every move.  I think often of the chances I’ve been given and the squandered opportunities.  I pray that my motives are sincere and I’m not just fooling myself.

Is this all I have learned?  The only progress I have made from all these years of agony out there….to just give a damn, but not enough for a total transfomation?

It’s a hellava ride out here folks.  I’m hanging on. 🙂