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Bipolar Disabled Single Woman Seeks Grant Money To Create A Normal Life

by Neathel Cloinger
(Roseburg, OR, USA)

My name is Neathel Cloinger and I am a 39-year-old single female. I grew up in a very abusive home until I was 12 years of age.

My oldest brother adopted me when I was 13 years old. He and his wife were young and in the Air Force.

Twenty years ago I got the nerve to tell them I was gay; they did not talk to me for a very long time. Even to this day we still don't really talk.

As I was growing up, I always knew that something was wrong with me but my brother doesn't believe in mental disorders.

So he would never let me go to see a counselor. I finally broke down and explained to my primary doctor how I had been feeling and thinking in 2002. She sent me to see a psychologist.

After a few months of talking with him, he diagnosed me with schizoaffective bipolar disorder.

My primary doctor at the time helped me file for Social Security then in 2002. I was awarded Social Security Disability in 2004.

Since then I have not been able to live in a place by myself and a Social Security expert told me (at my hearing) that because of my disability I would never be able to hold a job.

The bipolar part is considered to be a manic depressive disorder, and schizoaffective is similar to schizophrenia, in the aspect that you still have delusions such as hearing voices.

However, with schizoaffective bipolar disorder you are more prone to suicide.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had problems with controlling my emotions and hearing voices but I was just told to toughen up and quit being stupid.

Once I left home, I tried to live a normal life - getting a job, having my own place, etc. - but failed every time.

Once I explained to my doctor about what had been going on all my life, I have seen many counselors and have been on many different medications.

Few have worked and some have not. Unfortunately, the few that did work I had to come off of because I had severe reactions to them.

So, 10 years later my doctors are still trying to find the right dose, combination and correct medication for me.

Since I was put on Social Security Disability, I only bring in $694 a month. I am on the Oregon Health Plan (State Health Insurance) and Medicare but I still have co-pays on my medication.

With the way the economy is, I can't afford to live alone so, I live with friends. I have had an apartment of my own but was unable to make ends meet.

Since living with friends, I still find it hard to make ends meet when I have rent, electricity, phone, cable, Internet and car insurance coming out of that $694 every month.

I do get food stamps ($172) every month, which does not buy a lot these days.

I would like to get a better car because the one I have, fortunately, was given to me but I always have to work on it and put money I don't have into it just so I have some sort of transportation.

I have applied again for State Housing help and I was told that it would be a two-year wait.

Even though living with friends (we all get along), sometimes I feel like I am a burden on them, mainly because they are always making sure that I take my medication or that I make it to my appointments on time.

I also feel like sometimes they even want me to be able to have a place of my own just by some of the things they say.

Since I have been on Social Security Disability I have been unable to find a part-time job.

Most places and people are honest with me and tell me that they can't hire me due to the fact that I can only work 20 hours a week or that they don't have time to train me.

Some just say that I'm not qualified and some are even as bold to say that they don't hire people with mood disorders.

About every three months or so I go down to a place here in town called UCAN and get help paying for either rent or electricity or sometimes both.

I also go there sometimes to get food boxes because with the price of food going up my food stamps don't really buy a lot sometimes.

I am also always having to asking my friends to borrow money just for basic needs - like gas for my car, personal items, and etc.

I guess what I am really looking for is help to pay for college, get out of debt and find a decent car.

The reason I want to go back to school is I don't really have any skills to obtain a job that could turn into a career.

Plus, I am tired of not being able to do anything for lack of money and being told that I can't do anything because of my disability.

Besides, I want to be able to completely support myself without help from others.

I know I will always be on medication but I don't always have to be on Social Security Disability.

I want to be able to afford to make payments to get myself out of debt and buy a decent car with good insurance.

If that means getting grants from the government or even help from the State of Oregon, I am open to anything.

I am planning to move from where I live now to a town north of here because I want to transfer what college credits I have up there to a better school.

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