Question Marks

My life has too many question marks right now.  Will I get to keep my unemployment benefits?  What’s going to happen with my claim of discrimination against my former employer?  What kind of training/education will I receive through vocational rehabilitation?  What type of job will I end up getting after I go through the training via voc rehab and how long will this process take?  Am I still eligible for unemployment benefits while receiving services from voc rehab?  

I had my first meeting with my vocational rehabilitation case manager today.  You’re probably wondering what vocational rehabilitation is, right?  They are a federal-state program that helps people with mental or physical disabilities find and maintain employment.  Upon being terminated from my last job I had to sign up with Florida’s reemployment assistance program to receive financial assistance.  When my employment specialist found out that I have a mental disability (yes, major depressive disorder IS considered a disability, this was a revelation for me) I was referred to voc rehab.  

My voc rehab case manager doesn’t know if working with vocational rehabilitation makes me ineligible for unemployment benefits or not.  Seems pointless to apply for five jobs a week when I will be getting trained for job placement by vocational rehabilitation.  Yet voc rehab doesn’t help monetarily so while I would love to get away from the unemployment process it would not be financially beneficial.  Speaking of financial benefits, however, I am still waiting to find out the date of my third hearing to determine whether I get to keep my unemployment benefits, as they are being contested by my former employers.  The first two hearings have been postponed, which is completely ludicrous.  Both times my anxiety was sky-high with anticipation for said hearings and both times the hearing was delayed because my former employer wasn’t prepared.  How this has not turned out in my favor and been entirely dismissed I will never understand.

The Florida Commission on Human Relations is still investigating my claim of discrimination against my former employer – another loose end flying in the wind.  I want my former employers to be reprimanded for breaking the law because nobody deserves to be treated the way they treated me and they think they can get away with it.  Too many cases like mine are ignored.  I don’t want to be ignored, and not just for me.  I want to be able to write about my case and show people the little person can win.  I have no idea how long this could take or if it will end up in court.  All I want is justice.  Is that too much to ask?

The last day I worked was March 18th and I am starting to go crazy.  I definitely needed a break, I needed to get my mental health in check and adjust medications – no doubt.  Now I feel like I am just wasting time, wasting my life.

I thought I would use this time off to write endlessly, HA!  Ok yes, I have written some but not nearly as much as I intended, not even on a regular schedule of any kind.  I certainly haven’t improved on my writing or spread my creative wings.  I’m not being hard on myself, just realistic about what I wanted to accomplish and what I’ve actually done.  It’s that whole ‘time management’ thing, which goes into that whole ‘adulting’ thing and I’m simply not good at either one of those things.

Question-Marks

Admitting you have a problem is always the first step, amiright?

I like lists.  Maybe I should put ‘write’ on a to-do list every day, see if that makes it happen.  At least that’s actionable, it’s something to try – albeit kind of silly.  I used to like going to our local bookstore to write, it got me out of the house.  And then they closed our only free-standing bookstore.  That’s right, we don’t have a Barnes & Noble or anything of the sort.  We now have a bookstore inside the mall with nowhere to sit down and no coffee shop within it.  The nearest B&N is an hour away which is just too far to travel each way.

What I need to do is go to the library and find out if they have a writing group I could join.  The only problem with that is my anxiety and slight tendencies towards being introverted.  Am I capable of making such a commitment?  Will I connect with these people and feel comfortable sharing my writing with them?  Of course, I will never know if I don’t check it out.

I just feel STUCK.  Stuck applying for five jobs a week that I wouldn’t want to actually work, only to receive wages that are barely enough to put food on our table.  Stuck waiting to see if my case for discrimination plays out.  Stuck waiting to see what kind of training I might receive through voc rehab that will hopefully, someday result in a job I would want to be employed in.  Stuck in a house with air conditioning that can’t keep up with the heat outside and so I feel like I am drowning in thick, humid air inside.  Day after day, week after week, month after month of the same.

I haven’t given up.  I won’t give up.  Discriminatory former employers won’t stop me, mental illness won’t stop me, unbearable heat won’t stop me.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have days like THIS – days where I feel overwhelmed and frustrated.  Getting through days like this are what make me stronger, they are what make me strong enough to fight these obstacles.  However, I wouldn’t recommend getting in my way today.

 

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12 thoughts on “Question Marks

  1. No way would I want to get in your way today. Waiting on other people and institutions tends to majorly suck. As for writing, don’t forget, you did write this and that counts. I know you men a different level, but it still counts. It sound as though there may be a Catch 22 hole between Unemployment and Voc Rehab – Yuck! Anyway as far as waiting as just waiting goes, there is a piece I did on that somewhere far down the scroll on my blog with a more meditative take on it. I hope at least some of the questions get resolved for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. See, I’m ornery and I’d get RIGHT in your way and all up in your face and do something ridiculous like tickle you and try to make you smile, or else I’d let you pick a fight and we’d have it out 🙂 Or tea. I might just bring you tea and fruit and suggest we hang out. BUT, believe me, I wouldn’t be keeping away.

    I’m sorry you have so many question marks and it’s SO frustrating that none of them (bar the writers group) are ones you can do anything about. I hope they all get resolved soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel your pain. I haven’t worked in over 13 years now….and no other benefits due to severe GAD and PTSD. My husband has combat related PTSD and the other day there was a huge lunch to wish a coworker farewell for their retirement. He didn’t go because of the crowds, noise, etc. His boss comes to his desk and snidely says ‘Didn’t see you at lunch. Why?’
    Husband ‘I don’t like crowds’
    Bossman ‘nice excuse’
    What the actual f&$k!!! I was livid. Upon his hiring he made it clear he was a vet, has PTSD. I wanted to punch his boss.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those kinds of days – boy I hear you! *hugs*

    Not much longer though, I’m sure, until you are no longer stuck waiting. In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t had a job since the beginning of my marriage almost 14 years ago. When my husband and I got married we both decided that he’d work and I’d stay home if at all possible. He saw how me and jobs just don’t mix while we were dating. I only had that brief job at the beginning of our marriage because someone in power in the church we used to belong to pushed me to do it. It didn’t last long. We’ve been lucky that my husband has been able to find jobs that pay enough to support both of us throughout the years and we choose to go without certain things rather than risk my mental health for a paycheck that could pay for a “nicer” lifestyle. I could probably try to get disability payments since my various mental health issues prevent me from holding down a job, but I’ve never felt like it was worth it to fight for them.
    I really hope that your claim of discrimination against your last employer goes in your favor, and that you’ll get answers to all your other questions soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Everyone needs a t shirt that warns people not to mess with them on certain days, right?! It always seems like life goes through these times of feeling like nothing is fitting into place and all the strings are fraying, then times where you feel like you have your shit together. It’s the roller coaster game of life! As for writing, maybe just try going to the library to write like you did at B&N. If they do have a group, you can always sit in a few times to see if they’re a good match. Good luck with everything!!

    Liked by 1 person

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