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.
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.