Autistic Living, Disabled Living, independent living, Invisible Disablity, ptsd, trauma recovery

Coming Out of a Shutdown

Today I have a Doctor’s appointment in the mid-afternoon. Not really looking forward to going outside since the view out my living room window is very dark and grey and wet right now. But, at least it isn’t -46C. So there’s that!

Brighter Side It.

Today I’m feeling a little bit better after the first three days of the week where I did TOOMANYOFTHETHINGS all at once, and right after Trauma Therapy. I finally feel like I’m coming out from under the haze just a little. Like I can muster the energy to do a little walking and do more than stare at the walls. This is a good thing.

Not so great that it took an entire week (after I overdid it Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) but it’s still a good thing I figure.

I actually feel like, if I’m careful with myself, I may actually want to do something with myself. I have new bath bomb moulds that came for Christmas that I haven’t used yet. That is definitely an option.

Also if I make bath bombs, I’ll have bath bombs!
So that’s a plus. *smiles*

I could beat myself up over doing too much right after therapy. I could beat myself up for the fact that I essentially lost a week.
I could.
But I’m not going to.

The fog and repercussions for overdoing it and hurting yourself happen. But I did good things that helped people, and that’s good on me. That’s worth something! And it really only took three days for me to start coming out of the fog afterwards. Two total days, and today is going to be three actually. I know I’m going to have to be kind to myself today and over the weekend so I don’t slide backwards and lose the entire 2 week period between sessions, but I know that. And that means I can be conscious of it. That means I can do it!

It only took two and some days for me to come out of a full and total shutdown. That’s not bad. That’s way shorter than it used to take! And that, I think, is a win.

Gotta Brighter Side It.

It’s the only way you keep going.

Autistic Living, Disabled Living, independent living, Invisible Disablity, ptsd

A Woozy Day

Not feeling my greatest today.

Not sure why. Sometimes it just happens. *shrug*

Feeling weak and woozy. Faint-like. Also not having a great balance day, which isn’t great as a compound issue. You know … not the best combination.

Most of the time when I have a bad balance day, that’s all it is. Equilibrioception is off with no other real side effects. I’m clear headed and feeling good for the most part …. just … it takes three goes to get out of bed. *shrug* But some days? Some days are like today when my balance is off and I’m feeling faint and woozy. Those are not good days.

Those are days when you have to be very careful with yourself. When everything feels like you’re trying to move through water. One foot in front of the other feels like you’re miming Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster in the big, weighted boots. Sometimes it happens because I missed my iron a day or two in a row and my energy and blood pressure have both tanked (I have hypo-tension … yes on top of everything else … one of these days I should do a post where I just list all the things wrong with me lol), but I know I haven’t this time. Is it a side effect of overdoing it the first three days this week? That’s entirely possible, even though I was very careful to take yesterday to be kind to myself. So it might be a cause? It might not. Honestly, some times it just happens because it’s Thursday and my body feels like being an asshole. *wan shrug* Continue reading “A Woozy Day”

Autistic Living, Invisible Disablity, ptsd, self care, trauma recovery

Finally Taking The Time

So on Thursday I had my first trauma therapy session in a month, and my first of 2018. It was a  90 minute session too. First 45 was actual session. Second 45 was talking about what we wanted to work on for the next year. Honestly I feel like I bungled that second half. It’s a problem with delayed processing. I can’t give you a good answer about “what I want” right away. I need hours, or even days, to think it out before I give you a proper and truthful answer.

I’m keeping notes to bring to next session though as my true feelings crystallize and become clear. Hopefully I’ll be able to give a better answer on the 1st. Continue reading “Finally Taking The Time”

Disabled Living, Personal, ptsd

So Many Things I Want to Talk About … But I Can’t

Honestly this may be part of the reason I am having so much trouble coping today. I think it’s the reason I’ve had trouble coping a lot of the days in my life thus far to be perfectly honest.

I want to talk about things.
I want to tell you all stories that I know will be of use. To show the downside of not being diagnosed until you’re older. To show why I am the way I am now. To give context. To explain the WHY behind so many things.

But I don’t dare.

Why Am I In Trauma Therapy?
Can’t talk about it because I am still dependent on some of the people who caused the trauma.

Why Wasn’t I Diagnosed Earlier If I’m “Textbook”?
Can’t talk about it because I am still dependent on some of the people who made it so hard for me to be diagnosed. Also, there’s no statute of limitations on Child Abuse in Canada.

If my family were to find this blog and certain people were to be told, my life would be in danger. That is not hyperbole. That is fact.

I have been thrown away a half dozen times already, and each time things just got worse.  Now they’re bad enough that I have nowhere to go but to the people who put me here? And why do they help me if they were the ones who hurt me? Pride? Vanity? Now that there’s a diagnosis on the books they can’t just throw me away and say I was being difficult. Now they’re not the people throwing out a lazy, troublemaking, unruly child/sibling. Now they’re the people abandoning and abusing a disabled child/sibling.

The metrics on the latter aren’t as easy to skew as the former.

So they help, but grudgingly I feel. And only as much as they absolutely have to.

But I feel like I don’t dare speak my piece. That’s been the story my whole life really. I don’t dare tell people what’s really going on because the consequences are too steep.

And I hate that.
It frustrates me.
And it gets in the way of therapy. In so many ways.

But the roof over my head is dependent on the people who …. on people who …. Yeah I can’t say it. *deep breath*

I like living too much.

But I’ll try to work around it.

Autistic Living, Disabled Living, Personal

Struggling to Human

Some days I’m not great at “human”ing.

Today is one of those days.

I have a list of things I really should do, and I know that I am capable of doing them, but I just feel completely overwhelmed by just the thought of them. To the point where all I find myself doing is just sitting in this chair and staring at the wall until it’s time to feed the cats again. In the end the paralysing overwhelm-ed-ness (don’t judge, it’s a word!) makes the day a wash and just managing to get the basics (feed the cats, take your pills, wash and dress yourself) become the benchmarks to try and hit for the day.

Anything beyond that is gravy.

Lately I’ve been feeling it getting worse.

It has definitely gotten worse since ending up back on EIA-D (by the by, Dad’s hardwoods are going in today so …. I hope they’re worth it?) back in May of 2017.

I’m scared to do anything that might better myself, because as far as my workers are concerned I am not better-able (don’t judge, it’s a word!). If I dare to make any money at all, I will have it clawed back. They will not leave anything be. Holding back 33% of your earnings for taxes? Ha! No. Claw back. Which means I’ll be in a worse state than I was had I done nothing. Not to mention Dad saying “You get hit with another claw back, and we’re done”.

So I feel like I can’t even try to better myself. Can’t even dare to do something that makes me feel fulfilled or capable because all of those things will result in me dead on the street with only myself to blame.

That makes finding the heart to “human” even harder than normal lately.

I mean, I’m not the kind to give up.
If I was I’d have been done and gone a loooong time ago. Sometimes it does feel like tilting at windmills though.

And today is one of those days.

Doesn’t mean I’m not going to try! Doesn’t mean I don’t have a list up on the whiteboard that I want to finish by the end of the day. Just means it’s going to be harder today than normal, and normally it’s quite hard as is. But today it feels exceptionally hard. The ability to “human” isn’t really there today. So today is going to be a struggle and as much as I manage to get done, I need to remind myself it’s good enough.

We’ll try again tomorrow.

Maybe tomorrow we can pull off “human” better than today. *shrug*

Here’s hoping…….

Personal, ptsd, trauma recovery

Can I Learn To Trust Again?

A lot of the time, especially now that I’m a good 18 months into proper therapy for the first time in my life, I wonder on this question. Will I ever be able to learn to trust someone again? Can I ever learn to trust someone else enough to allow them into my life again?

This goes back to a lot of things.

I grew up with a father who was uncomfortable with shows of affection, and a mother who just … disliked me. My Dad (and I love my Dad, please don’t get me wrong about that. I love him and I am eternally grateful for all he does for me) always did everything he could not to say “I love you”, or show me any kind of physical affection. He feels uncomfortable giving or receiving hugs, even now. When it comes to memories of being hugged by my mother, she always disengaged first. She was always the one to slowly push my away after a moment. Gently push me off her lap like I was something icky and a, “That’s enough of that” under her breath. Both of my parents were always easier with the stick than the carrot … when it came to me at least.

The only person I can really remember positive shows of affection from is my Godmother. She was always freely giving me hugs and pressing kisses into the top of my head. There was no safer, happier place for me as a child than the big, body-enveloping, rocking hugs from my Godmother.

As a kid those were really the only time I ever felt safe if I’m going to be honest.
The only time I felt unconditionally loved.

So growing up I didn’t really know what it was to feel safe in a touch. 9 times out of 10 when my parents were making contact with me, it was with a reprimand of one severity or another.

As a teenager I went searching for that elusive good touch full of love and trust. I tried in my painfully awkward Autistic way, to find friend and connect with people. The wrong kind of people saw that opening and …. let’s just say I didn’t find it. I found violence and sadness, desperation and pain and anger, but I didn’t find trust or kindness. Despite all the big words about “we’re your family now“, it was just more promised of carrots with a f*ck-tonne of stick waiting for me. Every time.

With my ex-husband there wasn’t a lot of good touch either. Sure there were caresses and kisses, but once someone tells you the next time you displease them they’re throwing you out into -20C weather and you’ll die on the street ……….. Yeeeeeah. There is never another touch after that moment that doesn’t have a hint of threat to it. You placate and you play your part and you keep them happy as much as you can to keep yourself from dying. There’s really no such thing as a loving or trusting anything after that.

So what do I have to draw from, when it comes to knowing how and who to trust?
My Godmother, basically.

So I worry and I wonder….
Can I learn to trust someone else and allow them into my life again?
Should I even be trusted to choose a person to let into my life (considering so far I’m 0 for All the tries)? Can I trust my own instincts considering I know how badly I suck at reading people and intentions and I take people at their word (again, to disastrous effect)?
Can I learn to trust someone else enough to let them touch me and not flinch? Hold my hand? Push my hair back? Give me a teasing shoulder nudge. Forget all the other stuff. I worry about just having someone exist in the same space as me and not being on guard.

They’re honest questions that I worry about.

It all comes back to a question I’ve asked Dr P. more than once, and she’s never been able to give me a good answer.

If all I’ve ever known is trauma …. if I’ve never felt safe… how on earth do we get me “back there”? How to I get back to a place I’ve never known?

And that’s the main question that’s always in the back of my mind. In therapy. Out of it. Trying to just get from A to B and cover the basics out in the world. It worries me that I’ll never find the answer.

Also I tell myself that in all honesty, it may not be an option anymore. I’m closer to 40 than 30 now. I really don’t know if there’s someone out there for me. If there’s someone out there willing to take it slow enough for me to learn to be okay with them sharing my safe spaces with me. Someone patient enough to help me learn something that most people know from infancy, but I struggle to remember a time I ever did. Except those fleeting hugs from my Godmother.

I honestly don’t know.

Personal, ptsd, trauma recovery

First Session In A Month

Today was my first trauma therapy session of the year, and the first we’ve had in a month because Dr P has a horribly flu last time so we cancelled to give her time to heal and keep me from getting sick.

It was a good session. A lot of catching up, and since it was first session of the year a lot of planning what we wanted to tackle this year.

It was such a good session my neck and shoulders were screaming at me by the time I was on the bus, and I’m having to concentrate on my posture and breathing. Rolling my shoulders a lot. Trying to kill the tension.

So it was a good session.
But intense in a lot of ways.

Sometimes even just looking at the things you’re going to have to unbox and deal with in the year to come is stressful and intense for your system.
Or, you know, one’s system if we’re going to be precise about it.

Now I give myself permission to just spend a couple days to look and and sort everything we touched on today. I give myself permission to fall apart so I can put myself back together properly. I give myself permission to take the time I need to look at everything, itemize and catalogue, and put it away for later.

That means self care. That means forcing myself to be present. That means making sure I eat proper meals, and spend quality time with the kitties, and do things that make me happy and ground me.

The big heavy stuff we can start dealing with next session

autism, Autistic Living, Invisible Disablity, masking, ptsd, self-acceptance

When People Say I’m More Autistic Now (Spoiler: I’m Not)

I get this a lot from my family, sadly. In fact they’re really the only people I get it from. The exasperated sigh and the question of ‘Why I seem more Autistic now than I did before?’

They never explain when ‘before’ was.
They never give data.
But they do make me question myself. A lot.

Sometimes I wonder if they’re just gas-lighting me and it’s more of the same. Blame the victim. Minimize the situation. Make them question their sanity, or in my case my truthfulness. But a lot of the time I DO question myself. I question my sanity. I listen to them and I doubt myself.

AM I more Autistic now? Or is it all an act? Am I faking it? Am I faking so well that I’m fooling everyone including myself?!

The answer is No, I’m not.

I’m not faking. I’m not lying. I’m not putting on a show.
What I am doing though is teaching myself – for the first time in my life – that it’s okay not to mask. Those lessons have taken some time. The programming and the conditioning is strong and it’s taken a long time to get myself to the point where I can let myself relax and feel safe enough to just be myself.

Flapping my hands isn’t going to result in my mother’s nails digging crescents into my wrists as she slams my arms down by my sides and yells at me. It’s okay to physically stim.

Playing the same song on repeat isn’t going to result in my ex yelling at me and getting ‘punchy’, even when I do it with earbuds in. It’s okay to listen to something on repeat (auditory stim).

Talking to myself or the cats in my own pidgin, and singing or saying the same sounds or words over and over isn’t going to get my mouth washed out with soap or get my face a smack. It’s okay to give in to the echolalia.

Giving myself the time to come down from an intense sensory situation like going to the mall or on a bus isn’t going to get me yelled at, or accused of being “delicate” or forced to keep doing it until I go into meltdown Stuffing a towel under the door and blocking out the window isn’t going to get me punished. It’s okay to be cognizant of sensory stimuli and do a little self care after something overwhelms me (in fact, it’s vital!). It’s okay to leave the situation and regroup (sensory overload).

It’s okay to chew. Chewing on safe things isn’t going to get your mouth smacked, or washed out with soap. It isn’t going to get you grounded. It isn’t going to get all your things taken away from you. It isn’t going to have you called out – for decades – and mocked for doing it. It’s okay to chew (oral stimming and oral self soothing).

When people say I’m ‘more Autistic now‘ they are usually questioning the validity of my diagnosis. Which means they’re questioning the validity of ME. Questioning the validity of my struggle. Questioning the validity of my worth. Making me feel like I have to prove myself, only they’re not looking for proof. They’ve made a decision already.

I used to try to bring these things up with all of them. My sisters and both my parents. I’d ask them if they remembered when I did this, and this, and this. My sisters always say they don’t remember our childhoods very well but they don’t remember any of that so it didn’t happen and they only know that I’ve always been a problem and very dramatic and they have no reason to believe me now. My parents either get sad, or angry and defensive. I honestly prefer the latter. That at least shows that there has been an “Ah-ha …. oh shit” moment. It all stings though.

‘You can either be disabled or capable‘, my sister said the last time I spoke  to her, ‘You can’t expect me to believe both‘.

But here’s the thing.

I was always Autistic.

My doctors – a group with over 50 years combined education and experience – all say  I am freaking text book and wonder how on  earth it took so long for me to get diagnosed.

And then I put the mask on and they go “Ahh”.

Over decades I taught myself, out of self preservation, to hide it. To mask. To keep it to myself and grit my teeth and ‘fake normal’. ‘Normal’ got you left alone. ‘Normal’ didn’t get you punished. Being ME, being Autistic, did. And it’s only been in the last 5-6 years that I’ve, slowly, taught myself that it’s okay to do those things that make surviving the world with this particular set of wiring doable and livable. I’m still learning to be okay with my limitations (which is hard to do when you don’t have a lot of support in the matter), and feel safe in being the Me that was always there. The Me that I used to only let out when I was alone in my bedroom and away from judging eyes.

So no, I’m not more Autistic than I used to be. I’m just as actually.

I’m just not hiding it anymore.

Disabled Living, Invisible Disablity

The Absence of Pain

I feel really good today.

Which in and of itself feels really weird. I got up late. Intense vivid dreams that included The Doctor and a widow’s walk, a girl named Amy Eire who looked like Ashley Clements, and a bunch of other stuff. It was bright and colourful and exhausted me. Thank goodness for my bite guard, because my jaw was actually sore from gritting my teeth while I dreamed. Luckily (thank you bite guard!) my teeth were spared.

Finally got out of bed, but didn’t actually notice that it was more of a hop than a careful push until after the fact. Fed the cats. Had a shower. Got dressed. Got things set up for my work today (I know I’m not allowed to work but I’m doing some stuff for a friend to help them save a butt tonne of money). Then I realized I still needed to take my pills and needed breakfast. Wee little bit of money left so I went down to Subway for my favourite. Made coffee here first though because it was after 11:00 and I wasn’t going to pay extra for coffee (also, no offence to Lisa and the Gang, but I make better coffee).

On the walk to Subway, my parka wrapped tightly around me because I was too lazy to zip it up in the elevator, I realized I was walking fast for me. Straight for me too. With a bit of a bounce in my step. All of which is weird, and in the length of the two buildings and the back alley between my door and theirs I did a mindfulness mental check. Why was I walking so fast? So straight? So bright eyed and clear minded?

Because there wasn’t any pain.

That is odd for me.
I’m in constant pain. If not from my senses being bombarded with TOO. MUCH. … EVERYTHING, then from the physical pain I feel on a daily basis. The last calling card of my ex-husband and his temper.

Yeah the mark that man left on me wasn’t just the PTSD. I walk with a limp now (and work damn hard to cover it up) and he is the reason I can’t bear to wear jewellery anymore. Anything binding or even close to my wrists or my throat sets off a panic attack.

Hopefully, one day, Trauma Therapy will help me find a way past that.

But today that’s not the point.
The point is that today, there was no pain! None in my ankle. None in my back. The soreness in my jaw worked its way out under the hot shower. I was walking straight. No hitch in my step. No zig-zagging as I tried to unconsciously course correct for the hitch. No pain stabbing my eyes from the sunlight getting through the low cloud cover.

You don’t realize the pain sometimes, especially when you feel it all the time, until you notice the absence of it.

Which is a WEIRD feeling.

But I’ll admit, today I’m in a good mood because of the lack of pain. I have more spoons today. I can already tell that. I have it in me to go pick up my prescriptions 5 blocks away at Portage Place, which is usually enough to take ALLTHESPOONS on an average day. I might even pop into the Bay to see about some Cruelty Free foundation going for less than I pay for Marcelle. *hrm face* I have a butt-load of work to do today. A massive laundry list of things to tweak and fix and polish. But I’m totally up to it.

Because today there is no pain.

Is this what normal, fully able-bodied people who don’t have broken bodies or other disabilities feel like all the time?! Geez. Nice work if you can get it, eh?

But if I’ve got it today, I’ll take it. I’ll use it! I don’t know if it’s even going to last the day, and I certainly don’t know if it’s going to still be here tomorrow. So I’ve got it, and I’ll take it and I’ll do as much as I can with it.

Because I have no idea how long it’s going to be until I wake up not in pain again.

Autistic Living, Growth & Healing, Personal

I Have Worth

My sister’s words cut me to the bone.

Well how do you think he feels? A grown child, almost 40, who can’t take care of themself? Of course he’s frustrated! It’s embarrassing.

Well,” she said later in the call, as we talked about how long I was going to be able to keep an apartment that is well below market, safe, warm, and has given me an enormous amount of autonomy since I moved here, “Enjoy it while you can …. You’re going to end up in a group home anyway“.

This is how my family sees me. And yeah, it hurts a lot.

It used to sting before my diagnosis when I just thought they were all right and I was just a f*ck up. They were right of course, I thought…. back then. What the heck was wrong with me? Why was I such a loser? Why couldn’t I get my sh*t together?

Now? Now that they know about my diagnosis? Now that they know that I am just built differently? Now that they can look back and see the tell-tale signs for what they were? Now that they know what to call it? Now that all the information about those statistics for people on the spectrum are out there and only a Google search away for them? Now that – I hope at least – they can empathize?

But I never see that. The sense I get from what they say and what they do is, no, they don’t. And it really stings (even more than before) and gives what self esteem I do have a beating.

As far as they’re concerned (as my sister put it in that last phone call), “You can either be disabled, or you can be capable. You can’t expect me to believe both“. And what they all choose to “believe”, to see, is disabled. They haven’t actually changed their view on me at all. It used to be worthless f-up. Now it’s worthless r-word.

A dead albatross around their necks.
A damper on their lives.
A suck on their share of the inheritance one day.

But I’m not worthless. I’m not useless. I’m not just disabled. I’m not the r-word.

I have worth.

I am kind.
I am smart.
I am creative.
And contrary to what I was told my whole life I actually am pretty, and I am talented at all sorts of things!

I am exceptionally hard working.
I am industrious.
I am handy. I am really good at fixing things and jury-rigging things I need together.
I am really talented on the computer. Programming. Graphics. Web Development. SEO. You name it, I’ve been doing it for 20 years now and I’m good.
I am really good at fixing and building them too.
I am a solid photographer, though I need to go out and take more photos (crippling anxiety is the one thing that really gets in my way there … right now).
I am good at creating systems and bringing chaos to heel.
I am a really good baker.
I am a fantastic cook too!
I used to be a really good artist, and I’m working on getting back there again.
I make amazing soap.

I don’t give up.
I don’t lie down.
I am tenacious.
I will always find a way to get back up and try again.
Or at least, despite the horrors I’ve survived, I haven’t lain down and given up yet!

I am giving. Sometimes more than I can afford to be.
I am a good friend. Or so people tell me. I try to be at least?
I try to look after the people I care about, in whatever little ways I can.
I am a really good and loving Cat Momma.
I am loyal.
I am patient.
I love people unconditionally. Even when they don’t deserve it. That last part is a problem but I’d rather have a heart full of love than a life empty of it.
I am forgiving. Probably more than I should be according to my Psychologist.
I have faith in people. Though sometimes too much.

I love making people happy. Sometimes the wrong people, sure, but if they hurt me or use me I have to think that’s on them, and not me. One bad person doesn’t stop me from trying to bring happiness into the life of the next person though.

And I have worth.

I have to remind myself of that a lot of the time. When people say things like my sister does to me. Because sometimes the things you can’t do and the things you can’t be are all people bother to see. And when all they bring up is the fact that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and you’re in your 30s and their still waiting for grandkids, and you can’t hold down a basic entry level job, and you’re such a loser…. you’ll end up in a group home anyway …. it tears you down. It makes it that much harder for you to succeed at even the things you can. It makes it harder for you to see that those things even exist.

All you end up seeing is the things they  mention. The things you can’t be and can’t do. The things that causes long pauses in conversations. The things they hold against you. That make you “less than” in their minds. The f-up. The r-word. And you don’t see your worth. I’m trying to learn to see beyond that with Dr P, but I’ll be the first to admit it’s hard.

In the end though, I want to prove that I can be a success. Insofar as what a success for me is. Success for me can’t be holding down a 60 hour a week job and climbing up the ranks to the corner office. It can’t be turning Hazel & Crocus into a multi-million dollar cosmetics company that I can sell to L’Oreal and retire from. It can’t be getting married again and have a passel of kids before I get too old.

These aren’t successes for me, and yet they often feel like they’re the bar I’m expected to try and pass. If people hold me to these dreams and expectations I’ll never have worth in their eyes. I’ll always fail. If I hold myself to these standards, I’ll never have any worth in my own either.

Success has to be something different for me. I’m still trying to hammer that one into my head to be honest. The programming is strong and hard to, but I’m trying to find what worth, and success, mean to me.

Success for me is having a day where I don’t fall into a wall, or cut myself.
Success for me is being able to make those phone calls I know I need to, without turning into a shivering mess by the end.
Success for me is making a kick-ass batch of soap, or even a dozen bath bombs, and being really proud of the final product.
Success for me is writing something great, or drawing something that I’m proud of.
Success for me is remembering to feed the cats 3 times, myself at least two proper square meals, and taking my pills. Bonus if I also have a shower and put my face on.
Success for me is working through the constant physical pain I’m in thanks to my physical limitations and doing my 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Success for me  is going out and interacting with people, successfully.
Success for me is doing everything on the white board, everything on my to-do list, and staying on schedule.
Success for me is getting most of the things on that list done, and not beating myself up for the things I wasn’t able to do (there’s always tomorrow!).
Success for me is having a spanner thrown in the works of my schedule, and STILL being able to find my footing afterwards and recover instead of losing days because of it.
Success for me is catching a meltdown or a slip into dissociation and stopping it before it hits. Or catching it and reeling myself back in quickly, without losing days to it.

Success for me is getting off EIA-D and finding a way to make enough. Not for a fancy life, or even a comfortable one; but just enough.
Success for me is not ending up homeless, again.

The trick, I’m trying to teach myself, is to find the success and the worth in the things I actually can do. One day,  and one day at a time. With help and support. Because I can do those things. I have the guts and the heart and the brains and the work ethic to do them. I have what it takes, and I am worthy of it!

I just need a little extra time. A little extra support. I need them to believe I can do it. To believe I’m worth it. And that, I think, is the biggest hurdle.

But I can do it.
With proper support.
Just give me a chance.