Tag Archive: prostitution


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?

 

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.