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Disability Grant Money For Bipolar Man With PTSD To Complete Education

by Gregory Gonzalez
(Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA)

I am 31-year-old single man. I have been celibate for 12 years. I am a licensed commercial class A truck driver and chauffeur.

I was raised Roman Catholic. I was baptized, had my first Holy Communion, and was confirmed by the Catholic Church when I was a youth.

I also served as an alter server in Mass until the end of elementary school.

In high school I was on the football team and enjoyed wood shop. I always found it hard to stay awake in school due to being overweight and tired all the time.

I left high school and then went to Job Corps and graduated there. I was also on the softball team.

After I graduated I started working as a veterinarian assistant. I worked cleaning cages and surgical tools, as well as performing a variety of other tasks.

I had other jobs such as a grocery store clerk and as a life guard, which was my first job.

I also worked in a gym keeping the place neat and making sure people did not hurt themselves while exercising.

My final job as a vet tech was very rewarding, but I wanted a higher earning potential and to travel.

I enrolled in MTC Truck Driver School and became a truck driver. I worked for a company out of Morton, Illinois.

It was not long until I was dispatched halfway across the country and then found out the cargo was meant to go to a warehouse only 200 miles away from where I loaded up.

To make a long story short, they wanted me to pay for the tolls and gas. I had no money for those costs, so I dropped off the truck and headed home.

I became a chauffeur in NY/NJ metro area. The recession hit in 2008 and I was laid off.

Disability Issues

In May of 2008, I was struck with several issues related to past emotional trauma in high school. I had a lot of emotional highs and lows dealing with the people around me.

I was asked to go to the hospital. When I went they gave me medication for my situation even though I did not want it.

They diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Other doctors gave me some other terms I did not understand, yet I kept taking the medication anyway.

My experience in the hospital was not pleasant because most of the people were always yelling, fighting, and screaming. This frustrated me greatly.

Years later, I still think of this and I get upset. It makes me angry at them for putting me in there.

It was not until I got out that I had an issue and developed suicidal tendencies. I kept receiving threats to be put back in the hospital when I would speak out about my issues.

My anger about being hospitalized surfaced again. I thought about being stuck there with all the people screaming and the hospital staff waking me up by flashing a light in my eye.

The doctors told me I was not getting enough sleep and that I needed more medication.

I think this was just a way to label me with crazy illnesses and make my word not credible to anyone.

I tried suicide many times and did not achieve it.

On May 26, 2008, I was contemplating my life while on top of my roof. I jumped off to hopefully end my life. I did not want to relive the experience in the hospital.

I wound up shattering my foot and pancaking my L-5 vertebrae. I cracked open my chest and my skull.

I had to get reconstructive surgery on my foot and back. I am not able to work as a transporter any more, or have any job requiring heavy lifting.

Financial Hardship

I am on Social Security Disability and I receive only $743 a month. My rent is $500.

I get $113 in food benefits and I make up the rest of the food by going to the food pantry or asking my family.

After I got out of the hospital and the cast was taken off, I started to build up muscle from the atrophy in my right leg.

I went to DeVry University in 2009 and made the Dean’s list. All of a sudden, one of the loan agents cut my loans and I was not able to attend classes.

I had no choice but to try another school. I attended an online psychology program at Argosy University to try and make sense of mental illness and the law behind it.

I was doing well until one day when I was studying for a class.

The police came into my house and asked me to come upstairs and talk. As soon as I did I saw 20 officers in tactical SWAT gear with assault rifles.

One of them attacked me and put me in handcuffs. They asked me to sit down and asked what I was doing. I told them I was studying for school.

They kept asking to put me in a harness but I refused. They took me in a squad car to the hospital, where I stayed for three weeks against my will.

When I got out I tried desperately to make up the work I missed, but they would not help me and I failed two courses. The other teachers gave me some leniency.

After this I forgot about college and started a business trying to sell incense in 2011.

I kept pushing at this, trying to make some money. I went from retailer to retailer.

One day I came home from prospecting and was just getting out of the shower.

Again police came to my door and we went through the same thing over again. This time I just went right to the hospital and I knew I would be leaving and not coming back.

I called my sister to find me a place out of my parents’ home. They are NAMI advocates and teach courses in mental illness.

I moved down to Florida and never had a hospitalization after I left New Jersey back in August of 2011.

Income Efforts

I tried to go back to work at Home Depot. Things were okay for a while but my PTSD acted up.

I could not focus on the present. I was working early shifts at 5am and I could not get enough sleep.

I was getting tense and angry, which I had to diffuse with Hatha Yoga. Eventually I just stopped going to work.

I earned an online yoga certification and moved back to New Jersey. I wanted to teach yoga and be healthy while also making money.

I figured being in a more populated area would help me find more clients.

I was about to start teaching yoga when the friend I was staying with asked me to move. I had to come back down to Florida.

Though yoga has given me some of my life back, I have not been able to find clients.

I tried to post on Craigslist but someone flagged my post. I was going to teach based on donation, so I do not see why I was flagged.

I started to make wire wrapped jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones. I used some of my SSD benefits in order to buy supplies.

I would like to sell my products online to make some extra cash, but so far I have had no sales.

Armans Armour (www.etsy.com/shop/ArmansArmour) is my personal shop and I can make custom made quality jewelry.

I also made another attempt to go back to college to finish my education.

DeVry will not release my transcripts to Indian River State College because I owe them money from the loan that was canceled.

This is why I am here trying to get grant money to pay them so I can continue with my education.

Hopefully I will graduate and make a good living in Electronic and Computer Software Engineering.

Specific Needs

I am writing this because I need a grant to pay the $4,201.51 owed to DeVry so they will release my transcripts.

I also hope for some Pell grant money to go back to college. The cost is only $103 per credit for Florida residents.

I would like to have a service dog as a companion. I live alone and I am good with animals being that I was a vet tech.

I do not have any transportation, which is needed in Florida. I have no means to pay for a car or the insurance or gas.

It would help me greatly to obtain transportation.

Business Idea

I operate an Etsy shop called Armans Armour where I sell wire wrapped jewelry.

I have 16 items listed so far and I am looking to add more next month and in subsequent months. If I had more money I could invest in silver and gold wire.

If I had some money I could afford the metalsmithing tools used to forge rings and make gold chain.

I also plan to buy rosary pieces. I would like to have a Catholic gift section and forge nativity sets, statues, and crucifixes.

I can also make chainmail, bracelets, and other types of jewelry from wire. I just do not have the money for it.

I have resources to get cheap computer parts so I can build computers for less and sell them at a competitive price. I have taken apart desktop and laptop computers and refurbished them.

I am trying to get back into college so I can add computer servicing and sales to my list of trades.

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