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Disabled Woman Seeks Grant To Fund A Journey To Hope And Healing

by Elisa
(Westerville, Ohio, USA)

Raising two boys who suffer from mental illness is not an easy task.

Like other hard working Americans, I have found myself challenged by barriers in accessing mental health care.

I feel hopeless in an impossible situation, having to raise my boys in an atmosphere of domestic emotional and psychological violence. My ability to cope is decaying.

I've exhausted all private and community resources; counseling, seeking providers as dictated by my insurance.

Lack of treatment options we've been left with has led to a dead end road, financial burden and a huge rift in my family stability and mental injury.

My eldest son, who's bipolar, fails to see the beauty of his soul, that he's intelligent and has much to offer the world.

It was very hard for me, but I have had to sacrifice my feelings and let him go. It was necessary to send him to a residential program.

To make this happen I have resigned to relinquish custody to Children's and family services, with the sole purpose of gaining access to intensive mental health care.

Current state policy mandates that this is the only way due to how grants are funded

I can intimately remember a child's perspective of feeling alone in a state of un-hope as I spent my former years in foster homes, group homes and treatment programs.

I exquisitely know the pain, both past and now, of being failed by a system that is supposed to be supportive; fighting for survival while dealing with self stigma and stigma from the community and from people who are supposed to unconditionally accept you, the stigma towards mental illness.

I was diagnosed with a personality disorder with schizotypal, borderline features at the age of 12. I currently suffer from Chronic Post Traumatic Stress disorder, Personality disorder with schizotypal, paranoid, and borderline features, and severe mood disorder not otherwise specified.

My physical health is an anomaly all in its self. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with undifferentiated connective tissue disease, osteoporosis, DDD, severe spinal arthritis.

In May of 2001 I was diagnosed with a benign neoplasm of the cerebral meninges, and in August with narcolepsy. Needless to say, I am a hot mess.

My journey to physical healing has also contributed to much of my health decline as I have encountered many physicians who are guided by their egos and opinions, thus posing a great barrier to healing and well being within the scope of patient care.

With that being said, I contend that we usually see the doctor, more often than not, because we don't feel good and we want to get better.

The only expectation of my health care providers is to understand that the complexity of my personality, that my physical symptoms, some odd, some rare, doesn't mean that I'm not still a human being.

I spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and more recently lost in the vast darkness of depression.

I'm still me; I still have feelings – and I am stuck inside of this body. The effort involved not being miserable is exhausting. The chronic pain wreaks havoc on the body and the mind.

I lost my job September 20th, 2010 with several factors involved. I fractured my spine in 2010, and the primary reason for my termination was that I was moving too slow.

My employer knew I was injured. I also feel the interruptions at work due to family issues overshadowed my strong work ethic, also playing a factor in my involuntary separation.

Shortly after this, I became very ill and I applied for Social Security, got denied twice, recently had an SSDI hearing, and I am awaiting the final outcome.

I seek a grant or funding source that can assist in my gaining independence from my abusive marriage, start my life over and start a non-profit advocacy program.

I aspire to continue my journey of hope and healing to help open doors for others geared specifically toward family advocacy that reaches across all systems of care, providing tools to promote self-sustainability, self-advocacy and empowerment.

As well as having required educational backgrounds, effective advocates must have had a number of years of such experience.

In terms of experience and education, I very seriously in a joking way will tell people that I have a PhD, with honors, in life experience, at the college of hard knocks.

As cliché as it sounds, the brutal truth is I did survive the harsh realities of my youth. I am a living testament that evidence-based and community-based services can work

The most important aspects of advocating for me are the values and beliefs that are based on respecting individuals and their rights.

My philosophy and approach towards people and youth carries a genuine system of beliefs that the voice of all people, old and young, all economic statuses and walks of life, should not only be heard but also considered.

I believe individuals should have the right to be involved and encouraged to participate in the decisions being made about them.

I truly believe my calling in life is advocacy. I believe in sticking up for issues and people I believe in and for fighting for the rights of others.

I'm a problem-solver. I enjoy the inner satisfaction that comes with helping people learn to find ways in solving their problems in whatever context that it happens.

My personal goals and professional goals are to live life completely, honestly, and compassionately, and never quit learning, while making a positive impact on those around me and to make a difference in people's lives through personal empowerment, and compassion.

I believe there is power in each and every one of us to make a positive difference in each other's lives.

Even if we make the smallest contribution to making a positive impact, this adds up to making a "BIG" in the life of another.

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