I overdid everything and my cry for help
This is a letter that I HOPE doesn't go unanswered again. This is a cry for help. I've had it with my life and want to die, but I can't get myself to ever do it, so I live every day in despair brought on by such gut-wrenching misfortune and the injustice of others. I'm deriving what I'm about to say here from a 50 plus page letter that I have typed over the last 4-5 years in order to keep track of my thoughts, feelings, my grief. I actually haven't added to the letter in quite a while, but I need add another thing or two to it because out of desperation, back in 2017, I mailed out the letter as it was then to charitable organizations, millionaires and billionaires-30 different addresses and never heard back from a single person. I have such unrelenting depression that I just don't know what to do anymore.
I originally typed this lengthy 50 plus page letter for myself, to get my thoughts organized and to try to make sense of the predicament I'm facing. However, as I kept expanding and elaborating on my letter, it became apparent to me that I need help and that this has to be shared beyond the confines of my small circle of friends (more like acquaintances). I told myself once I get this all out on paper, that I'm going to do something about it, so here I am, asking you, a complete stranger to read my story, and hopefully, finally, end my suffering. I feel embarrassed—downright mortified—that my situation has lend itself to me reaching out to a complete stranger for financial help. This is totally out of my comfort zone, but sometimes people have to step out of their comfort zone to move forward. I'm at a loss and things can't continue as they are. I'm trying so hard to help myself, but there is only so much I can do. I know you're saying to yourself "What on earth is all this? I'm not reading all this. I'm not in the business to help individuals financially." But I ask you to please have a change of heart. I know that you probably receive thousands of letters a year asking for financial help, and probably find that the great many of the stories you read aren't true. This one IS. I'm putting everything on the line here—telling you everything because I honestly feel that a request of this nature needs all the background information one can give. I promise that every single thing I say in this letter is one hundred percent true and that you can verify any and all this information, ask me for proof. I'm willing to garnish whatever you need to put your mind at ease—transcripts, my diploma, my business plan, etc.—ANYTHING whatsoever. I'll even meet you in person, if needed, talk to you on the phone, whatever it takes. This letter has been a work in progress for several years now. I'm going to continue to keep adding things because every time I feel my letter is complete, more things come to mind or something else arises in my life and then I feel that I just have to expand on/edit my letter. Trust me, keeping everything in a logical sequence became too difficult after page like 20, so the letter may not flow so well at times (I go back and forth, please excuse this). Things are added at different times which made it extremely difficult to keep my thoughts aligned. This letter has been a suicide letter at one point in time, but right now, it's an emotional plea for help. I know that you may very well stop reading here, right now, and throw this letter in the trash, and that's understandable—but I'm asking you to PLEASE not do that. PLEASE read my letter in its entirety and try to understand.
An Emotional Plea for Help
My life was pretty ordinary and uneventful before I started college in the fall of 2012. I had clinical depression throughout my last two years of high school, but nothing could prepare me for what I would face during college and beyond. This is a letter, detailed to the best of my memory and ability, to showcase my past and present despair. This is why I'm so distraught with my life. I'm trying to move forward, but everything I'm about to tell you remains unresolved...
When I look back on my college years...
When I look back on my 4 years of college, I feel utterly devastated. Words cannot describe my emotional pain. All I have is memories, some which were good, turned painful after the people in them abandoned me. College irrevocably ruined me, my psyche is forever changed. Before college, I was just a depressed girl, but had hope for my future. Now I'm a tormented soul forever damaged by my college experiences.
When I think back on those years, I have come to learn that nothing good came from going to college. All those times when I exclaimed, "I love school" were just desperate attempts to hide the pain inside me and make me feel like everything was going to be okay. It wasn't.
I remember being okay my first year of college and falling into a suicidal depression my second year and third year. I felt so hopeless like I did back in high school, and there was no "real reason" other than I suffered from a chemical imbalance. I really couldn't help how I felt, and the pain wouldn't give me a break. I can't even begin to describe how awful I felt for months on end. I couldn't even lift a finger. I was always devastated and thought I must be cursed because I couldn't recall what I did to deserve feeling so down. Now I look back on my college years before I started a business and feel guilty for ever feeling depressed back then. Depression doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter how old you are, what you look like, how wealthy you are, etc. I have a predisposition get depression (it runs in my family). My genetics and the events in my past together play a roll into why my lingering problems are derailing me so much. When you're finished reading my letter, I hope you will be able to say that I'm far from weak minded.
Then I met one of my professors my junior year of college and she put me on a pedestal, making me feel like somebody whom was so valuable and loved, all to have her betray my trust in the most ruthless of ways. To make a long story short, she befriended me and was there for me. She listened to me and made me feel so much better. We were so close. She saved me from myself only to devastate me so severely that I was forced to go to the crisis center, and not allowed to return to school for 5 weeks, which forced me to drop a critical class and delayed me from graduating from my undergraduate Psychology program. It was fall 2015 and I needed to finish my Statistics in Psych class, but with 5 weeks out of school, I fell too far behind and had to drop it. I was supposed to take the capstone class, Research Methods in Psychology, in the spring 2016 and graduate May 2016, but I winded up re-taking the Statistics class in the spring because I needed to take it before the Research class. I took the Research class in the fall of 2013 and graduated in December 2016 with my B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University in Glassboro, NJ. I was pretty devastated that my graduation,
was delayed, especially during my break from school. I remember transferring to Rowan from Gloucester County College (now called Rutgers College at Gloucester County), after earning my Associates in Education and trying to get into Rowan's Education B.A. program for my junior year, which was my plan, but Gloucester County College messed things up.
My adviser there said all my courses would transfer over to Rutgers, but when I got to Rutgers, a lot of them didn't transfer into the Education program. However, all but one transferred into the Psychology program, so I decided on Psychology. I was really devastated about the change, but today not so much because I wouldn't want to become a teacher anyway. I knew I would have to go to graduate school after receiving a B.A. in Psychology, and I was okay with that. Anyway, I can't explain how much I needed this professor then and how she really helped me cope and the depths of despair she sent me to when I became old news to her. I thought I would kill myself then, but I survived. When I look back on this, I think to myself, "How could I be depressed then when so many more demoralizing things happened afterwards?" That trip to the hospital would turn out to be one of a number of trips from school to the hospital that I would take: two for fainting, one for slipping on ice and hitting my head, and two because I was deemed "unstable." I wonder WHY. (To this day, I still get harassed to pay this bill which I cannot ever afford to pay. All these trips to the hospital were against my will. I never wanted to go, and I know that I never needed to go and that eats me up alive in and of itself. Because of these hospital visits, my credit is still ruined.)
I remember coming back from my 5 week removal from school in undergrad and no one in my classes wanting to talk to me. Everyone deliberately ignored me. I knew the professor told people to not pay attention to me. I would be trying to talk to my friends and they would put their hand in my face. There could be no other explanation as to why they treated me this way. It was traumatizing. Everyone came across like I was some type of threat to them. It hurt so badly. When I was in the crisis center, I was treated like a criminal, like I did something horrific to the world. I was just severely depressed, that's all, but everyone treated me like I was dangerous. People don't understand how traumatic it is to go there. They make you strip down and put you in a bare room with bare walls. There was never anything to do but cry and feel so desperate to get out of there. Every time I left the crisis center, I felt much more depressed than I did when I was omitted. Anyway, I never saw or spoke to that professor again and I put what happened in undergrad behind me until I found out last year (2017) that this professor had been harshly mouthing me off when her student boyfriend found me on Facebook. She ruined his life, too, and he told me that she would tell other students our story, call me an f****** *, an attention seeker, and a slew of other hurtful names. It was like pouring salt into an open wound.
Connected to this, and still as an undergraduate, another incident was when the chair of my undergraduate psych program didn't allow me to attend the Psychology Research Conference one year because this professor was going to be there. We were going for math class and I emailed the chair telling her that I have to go for class, and to please not embarrass me in front of my classmates or professor. I was sitting there, and they started the conference when another professor taps me on my shoulder and tells me to "walk out; your math professor needs to talk to you." My professor explains that she received an email from the chair telling her to not allow me to attend the conference. How embarrassed was I? I was mortified. The whole class saw this. I didn't want to go back to class after that. My professor wrote me recommendations for scholarships in the past, but I couldn't have her write me one for graduate school after that. Throughout the rest of undergrad and grad school whenever I saw this professor, I was embarrassed like you wouldn't believe. My professor of 2 classes, who once thought so highly of me, was told by the chair in an email cc'd to me that I'm a behavioral problem. What I was a sensitive depressed girl hurt by the injustices of a professor. The chair also said in an email that she is no longer willing to be my advisor and no one in the department is willing to, either. Wow, I felt like a real reject. That was not even true. I still to this day don't know why I was punished like that. That conference was for educational purposes, but I was barred from it. The chair never said a kind word to me nor addressed me by name.
When I started graduate school that fall, also at Rutgers (with all intentions of starting anew) as a non-matriculated student in the Counseling in Education Settings Master's program (meaning I was taking two courses within the program, but wasn't officially enrolled yet because I was, simultaneously, still also an undergrad (taking my last course) because undergrad graduation was delayed, a former academic advisor cost me a whole year by not telling me I had to take a pre-requisite that semester (fall) to a course only offered in the spring. I told this advisor that I would be officially starting the program next semester, and that I still want to finish within two years, but since I wasn't officially matriculated into the program at the time, he neglected to tell me this pertinent information. I begged for the course, practicum, to be offered in the summer, to know anvil, but what do you know? The following summer they offered it, no use to me anymore. There I was in a 2 year M.A. program, turned 3 years because this idiot couldn't do his job correctly. I was beside myself, totally devastated. Eventually 3 years would turn into 4 years and devastate me more than words can express.
All the while my own professors were treating me unfairly and hurting me almost to my breaking point. In undergrad, a professor accused me of cheating when I didn't, and in graduate school, two professors had it out for me that they would indirectly do things they knew would hurt me. Every time I told someone all these things that were happening, no one took me seriously. So many instances, no one came to my rescue. These professors ultimately didn't grant me an adequate internship within my program, on purpose, I believe, and now I'm stuck with no experience and no stable job. This is the third biggest blow of all and one that I want to elaborate on. After graduating with my Master's, I suffered emotionally for months regarding the internship I was granted. I kept silent and held it in until one day I just had to speak up.
So far you have read about some of the upsetting things that I experienced in college. These things are minor, and don't affect me nearly as much as what follows. What you read up until now is just a drop in the ocean of my emotional pain compared to what's to come. PLEASE continue on—PLEASE read this letter in its entirety. I know right now you're thinking "Okay, where is she going with this? Why does she need money?" You haven't gotten there yet. It will all make sense to you soon.
I graduated from the Counseling in Educational Settings M.A. program at Rutgers University, but there are two tracks within the program—K-12 School Counseling and Student Affairs in Higher Education-- the latter is the track I took. I wanted to work in registrar, be a tutoring center coordinator/ disability resource center coordinator, etc. but I can't find a job in my field. I've been applying to lots of colleges and universities since I graduated, but nothing ever comes my way. I'm just not good enough to get anything. This letter and what follows with explain why I'm stuck substitute teaching, and my job is not permanent. I need a real job, and job security. It's hard to find jobs with Source4Teachers (the substitute teaching staffing company). I rarely ever get a job. I'm lucky if I can get a position one day out of the month. I didn't get an MA to be a substitute teacher! Here is the letter I wrote to the Dean of Students, and others requesting another relevant internship—after I graduated. I don't state names to protect identities:
"Please consider my case. My internship placements were entirely irrelevant to my course of study. It is unjust that I was placed in a non-educational setting for Counseling in Educational Settings internship, while everyone else was placed in a school. I was placed at The Mental Health Association because supposedly no placement at a college or university was available and it was possibly a convenient and a last minute-resort because (the chair of my grad program) knew my supervisor at my internship site.
When I found out my placement, I was very distressed about it, but was reassured by a professor in the program (also a former professor of mine) that it wouldn't affect my job outlook; however, this professor and I had disputes all throughout the time I was in the program: She and I had a grade dispute the first semester I was in the program, and she ignored all my correspondence about it for months until I presented the facts in front of her and then she finally changed my grade. She actually changed one of my grades after the grade had already been clearly established which made a difference in my overall letter grade. After that, the program's chair emailed me by mistake, addressing my former professor, saying he wanted me out of the program. That email was supposed to go to the professor, not to me. I approached my former professor about it, and she turned red in the face and denied it even though I pulled up the email. I didn't even know the program chair at that time. I felt deeply hurt. Also, when I worked for the AIM High Summer Academy (a summer job at the college), this professor would send everyone emails and leave me out, not inviting me on fields trips that all the other employees were invited to. One time it was a dinner and the other employees were invited at the program's expense. When I got word of the outing from a classmate, I told this professor that I would "pay my own way," but she responded that they were at max capacity for the night. I then asked someone after the dinner if it was truly crowed, to which she replied that there were plenty of empty seats. Further, I asked this professor numerous times what my salary was going to be for that position, and she ignored me. She didn't send emails to me this past summer about the academy, but that wasn't the case for everyone else. And there are a number of other times that she treated me unfairly throughout my time in the program.
Please understand my position here. This may or may not be the case, but when I approached this professor early on regarding my dismay with my internship placement, she reassured me that if she or the program chair thought that this wasn't the appropriate placement, I wouldn't have been placed there. But considering our disagreements, I question whether she really had my best interest.
I questioned it then and I question it even more now: How can my internship placement-- which was split between where I was employed at the time, at Brain Balance, a learning center for children with special needs and a non-clinical mental health agency—be beneficial to me at all? I didn't work with adult students, I wasn't assigned any task that would be assigned in higher education settings—in other words, absolutely nothing I did last year in internship had anything even remotely to do with what I was studying—Counseling in Educational Settings-Student Affairs in Higher Education-nothing!
Since I would be working with kids at Brain Balance (where I currently was working), I requested that my time be split between there and some office at a college or university so that I could at least have half my internship where it should be. But my request wasn't granted, instead I was placed at a Mental Health facility, and the professor and program chair reassured me that my employment outlook after graduation would be just fine.
Being the only person in internship class in the Student Affairs in Higher Education track within the program made me feel like the odd one out. While my classmates would discuss how counseling their students was going, I would be speechless because I wasn't counseling anyone in a Counseling in Educational Settings program; I was actually doing very little, if anything, at my internship placements.
It's not just where I was placed; it's the total lack of rigor of these placements. I excelled at my job at Brain Balance because I was employed there for a year prior to it becoming my internship, and I was used to the routine. Nothing changed; nothing new was implemented or introduced when it became part of my internship experience. But I was at least working with people and getting a lot of direct hours. This placement, even though it was working with children instead of adults, actually saved me because the other half of my internship at The Mental Health association comprised of absolute nothingness. My supervisor was so easy-going and unconcerned from day one. He didn't teach me anything, he didn't show me anything, and he didn't ask me to do anything. I just went there, and he had me sit and talk to him for an hour or two about my personal wellness and life challenges. I was supposed to be doing the counseling with clients! There were no clients to counsel. I never saw any clients walk through the door.
My supervisor would tell me about some big upcoming projects he was planning to have me do, but they never came. I would start entering data into a spreadsheet, the most mundane of task, and there was no pressure to finish even that. I would spend most of my time either talking to him in his office or sitting in on employee monthly meetings. If I filed something away, he would make it out to everyone like I am doing an amazing feat. I really cannot express how much he exaggerated everything I did to make it sound like I did some big feat. We would sit and talk about my business plan and the Business Plan Competition for hours on end, and when it came time to write in my log how I "wisely" spent my time, he would have me write things to this effect: "Spent time analyzing internal conflicts to self-improve in order to better understand how to relate to real-world clients."...and he would sign my logs. One time, I was asked to call agencies to double check their contact information and I was told by several staff members that this job, along with every task I was ever given, was busy work just to fill my time because the job I was doing was already completed by a staff member who was absent that day. I would plan to be there for 4 hours most of the time, but after 2 hours of just talking, with nothing to do, I'd leave. He did nothing himself during the time I was there. I honestly got tired of going there to do nothing, so I started putting in more of my time at Brain Balance and eventually, I was spending 90% of my internship at Brain Balance.
I once told the professor for my internship class that I wasn't being at all challenged at The Mental Health Association and she said that she would call my supervisor and have a talk with him. I got scared because I didn't want to upset my internship supervisor, and I felt embarrassed to have him know I felt this way for some reason, too. I told her not to worry about it. From then on, I would only complain to my classmates how things are (not) going at my internship site. I wasn't getting anything out of it. In class, I would just talk about how things are going at Brain Balance. I was afraid to speak up because the program chair and my internship supervisor at The Mental Health Association knew each other, and are perhaps even friends, and I felt a lot of pressure to keep my mouth shut because I didn't want anyone to think I'm "complaining" about something -- even though I had valid reasons to speak up when I was unfairly treated previously. Remember, the program chair put fear in me when he sent that email indicating he wanted me "out," so I didn't want to stir up anything. I didn't want to call the program chair out on who he placed me with. I wanted to be on friendly terms with him and end my time in grad school on a good note. Also, my internship supervisor is such a nice and friendly person that I was embarrassed to mention anything, and I didn't want to make him feel bad. Had the past not have been the past, I would have made a bigger deal of it, but there was just too much tension already between the chair, my former professor and myself to stir the pot once again. I started to feel really depressed because I bottled it all up inside, and when things with the business plan competition (you'll read about later) heated up, and I got overwhelmed with that, and sometimes thought that maybe it isn't too bad that this internship placement is too easy after all.
I had my internship professor observe me at Brain Balance the fall semester (internship was the fall semester of 2013 and spring semester of 2014), but when it was time for her to observe me at The Mental Health Association the spring semester, I panicked, because I hadn't even worked with a client yet, let alone seen one. I convinced my supervisor to allow me to work with a client on my own immediately, and he agreed because we were pressed for time as the school year was coming to a close. I met with this client twice, the second time being when I was observed working with her by my professor. My supervisor met with my professor and myself afterwards and although he told the truth that this was the only client I had worked with, he made it seem like I worked with her a lot longer than I did. I just went with it.
As you can see, it's not just where I was placed—it's much more. I was so thankful for the approval of half of my internship being at Brain Balance because had it not been allowed there is absolutely no way I would have got all my hours in. In fact, I was left seriously scrambling to get hours at the end; so much so that I thought I wouldn't be able to make it—or graduate.
I got all my hours in, but it was all irrelevant hours to student affairs in higher education. I also want to add that although my practicum was at Rowan College at Gloucester County, my supervisor there was also way too chill and easy-going, and I just did observe. He also stretched the truth and there was no challenge whatsoever, either.
As I mentioned in a previous email, all the classes were geared towards the school counselor—everything was about counseling school-aged children. The only thing differentiating the students in the K-12 counseling track and the student affairs in higher ed. track was practicum and internship—and I didn't get the necessary experience in either. I graduated not knowing what I learned that's applicable to my field of study. I actually graduated feeling like I spent 4 years in graduate school and learned nothing. Now I look back and consider my time in that program and total waste and with virtually no experience with adult learners, I cannot find employment in my field.
In the end, I look back knowing that I tried to find myself the appropriate internship placement. I interviewed with Health Campus Incentives, but was rejected because, "I didn't have enough experience working with adult learners." I never really understood that because internship is where you're supposed to gain the experience. Overall, when I think about all the opportunities presented and how I was denied all of them I get very angry and very upset. I was turned down for jobs on campus, grad assistantships, internships, etc. Every time I wanted to gain experience with adult learners, I wasn't good enough. I never got what I needed. I feel cheated, disserved, and hurt knowing I spent all this money and all this time for seemingly nothing. So please understand, it's not me, my resume, my employment approach, my interviewing skills (or lack of)—or anything along these lines—it's the simple fact that I'm lacking in knowledge and experience for what I spent 4 years in school for. Being a college student myself for so many years can only take me so far when it comes to knowing the underpinnings of competency-based secondary education and counseling adults.
I like to add something I just remembered - shortly after the program chair sent that email to me addressed to the professor, he invited me on some type of job interview in James Hall, a room or two down from his office. This was a few years ago and I vaguely remember it, but I was interviewed for some type of data entry job on a computer. I think the woman who interviewed me was of Japanese descent, and I don't recall her telling me her name. The woman was really trying to drive home the point that the chair thinks I'm an amazing student, one of his best which is why I was there. I was awfully confused because I didn't really know the program chair nor was I ever his student. I left the interview dumbfounded and never heard back about that "job." I asked my friends in the program if they went on a similar interview, but none have. Then, 3 years later (last year) there was a formal event The Mental Health Association was having, and being on the board, the chair attended it. I asked my internship supervisor who that lady the chair was with is and he said, "his wife." I hope I'm not mistaken, but that women looked awfully familiar, and it occurred to me that she was, or was the twin of the women who interviewed me more than 3 years earlier. Unless his wife works at the college, I'm confused to this day. I could be thinking too much into this, but this "interview" happened literally 2 or 3 days after I received that email and after I approached the professor about it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I still can't help but think that the interview was set up solely so this woman could boast to me about how admired I am by the program chair, as a means to "offset" that email he sent to me by mistake and to make me either forget about it or think I misunderstood it. It was really fishy.
These situations are exactly why I question why I was placed where I was and if they really looked elsewhere first. I don't think that my placement was made out of spite, but did they really care where I was placed? Did the program chair, knowing my supervisor, know beforehand that I probably wouldn't benefit from the placement? I don't know what to think about any of this, but I knew back then that it all hurt my feelings, and no one did anything about it."
I received an email from the Vice President of Academic Affairs a few days later and it read:
"I have reviewed your correspondence as well as relevant information about the program. I am sorry to hear of your negative perceptions regarding your interactions with faculty while you were in the program. Please understand that I cannot take action on any of these statements unless you file a formal complaint. Let me know if you wish to do so and I will guide you through that process.
The issue at hand concerns the internship experiences. Specifically, you are alleging that the two internships that you completed did not meet your expectations because they were not in student affairs settings and are requesting that the University provide you with an additional internship.
I have reviewed the syllabus for the internship course (see attached), which specifies the objectives of the course, the major course activities to be fulfilled, the methods of instruction, and the criteria for evaluation of students. According to your transcript, you completed two internships as required by the program and earned a final grade of P indicating Pass, which is the grade required to earn credit for the internships. The grade of P signifies that, based on the evaluation criteria, you met all expectations for the course as described in the syllabus. You were certified for graduation and awarded the degree of Master of Arts in Counseling in Educational Settings. This signifies that your internship experiences appropriately met the degree requirements.
You contend that the internship experiences did not constitute experience in the area of student affairs and therefore did not meet your expectations. I note the following statement on the program website:
Student Affairs in Higher Education
For individuals who aspire to careers in Student Affairs at the college and/or university level, this same program offers the Master of Arts degree in Counseling in Educational Settings, with coursework and the Practicum/Internship chosen to reflect career objectives within Student Affairs. Careers in Student Affairs include positions in college counseling centers, career centers, admissions, registrar, student life, resident life and dean of student's offices.
Although this is an interest area that students may pursue, the program does not formally define coursework or internship experiences that "reflect career objectives within Student Affairs" nor does it distinguish requirements for this interest area. It can be inferred from this statement that internships may not necessarily be in a Student Affairs setting but will involve experience with competencies that would be applicable in such a setting. Therefore, when your coursework was evaluated to determine your eligibility to graduate, internship experiences relating directly to student affairs were not required. I note that you accepted and completed the two internship assignments at the time, accepted the grades, and accepted the degree.
I conclude that while the internships may not have met your expectations, they did meet the program requirements. In completing the internships, accepting the grades and associated credits, and accepting the degree, you agreed that the internship objectives and program requirements were met. As such, the program cannot be compelled to arrange and supervise another internship for you.
This decision is final, and the matter is closed. As mentioned, should you wish to pursue any complaints regarding program faculty, which is a separate process."
"The Vice Present of Academic Affairs is incorrect in her interpretation of the syllabus and the situation. I am flabbergasted by how she can come to this conclusion. Just about everything I did and submitted was severely altered from the objectives and requirements that are described. This is because (am I am telling you the honest truth) just about every single experience I had at my internship sites had absolutely nothing to do with any objective, not one iota. In reality I didn't meet, or barely met, any expectations for internship as described in the syllabus.
Please, someone needs to go to the room where the program chair keeps our internship binder and seriously sit down and read my submissions and see where they mesh in with the course objectives and requirements—they do not. Everything I submitted was so far from standard or was an alternate submission altogether because of one thing—virtually nothing I did at my internship sites was applicable to the expectations of the course. Anything I submitted and didn't do at my sites was A-Okay with my professor. If my internship professor would note this and then look back at my submissions, she would come to the realization that in hindsight, I couldn't be more right.
Why this was is simple. My internship professor made it clear to me that she had nothing at all to do with my placement, and that she could not rule over the program chair and therefore, my internship sites had to somehow "work" and everything I submitted, as long as it was completed, was "fine." If the CACREP representatives were to pick up my internship binder off the shelf in the office where the program chair is housing it now, the program would be in big trouble.
I was so bogged down by my business and the Business Plan Competition last year and I feared to press the issue last year because of all that happened between the program staff and me. Now I just want the experience that I should have rightfully received. I feel I didn't earn this degree, and that's the sad truth. I feel like I cheated my way through internship when really I was trapped in this placement with no way out.
Please go get my binder and look through my binder to see where the completed Field Experience Evaluation Forms are. There are 3 choices that are provided for my internship supervisors to rank me for each category and they are: EE (exceeds expectations), ME (meets expectations) or DN (does not meet expectations). These forms were completed by both my internship supervisor’s mid-year and at the end of the year so there are 4 completed forms total. Look what the majority of my ratings are...N/A (not applicable), and not a choice that's supposed to be marked. This is because I didn't do much of anything at my internship sites that related to these objectives and where I have EE's or ME's are often for statements that were barely applicable. Was my internship professor supposed to penalize me for it? No, because it's not my fault where I was placed and it's not her fault, either, so, how could it count against me? It couldn't! Please take a look through my binder, read my major action research report, read it all....did you read about me really counseling clients, the main objective of internship? At Brain Balance, I tutored kids, and if a kid cried, I had to make it sound like I was "counseling" them. I actually counseled one person for a little over an hour in a counseling internship all year long; imagine how embarrassing it is to say this. I'm disgusted.
My internship experiences did not meet the courses expectations, not just mine. I contend that the Vice President for Academic Affairs is incorrect. She states that because my internship experience did not constitute an area in student affairs, that MY expectations weren't meet. In actuality, not only did my internship:
1) Not constitute an area in student affairs
2) It did not meet objectives/requirements for the course/program outlined in the syllabus:
1) See the description: "With coursework and the Practicum/ Internship chosen to reflect career objectives within Student Affairs."...and then some examples of placements are provided.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs states that, "Although this is an interest area that students may pursue, the program does not formally define coursework or internship experience that "reflect career objectives within Student Affairs" nor does it distinguish requirements for this interest area. It can be inferred from this statement that internships may not necessarily be in a Student Affairs setting but will involve experience with competencies that would be applicable in such a setting...internship experiences relating directly to student affairs were not required. I note that you accepted and completed the two internship assignments at the time, accepted the grades, and accepted the degree."
What does she mean by coursework or internship experiences that "reflect career objectives within Student Affairs" not being formally defined? As for coursework, more of a formal definition cannot be provided for coursework in student affairs. Remember, this is both a k-12 and student affairs counseling program and note that no specificity is provided between the two to differentiate objectives of each. This is a MAJOR program shortcoming and I discussed this at length in previous emails. Remember, I learned solely the underpinnings of counseling students in k-12 in all my classes. It is not only me, but others have mentioned the ambiguity of the student affairs track in this program. I heard a rumor that in the near future the two tracks may become separated more, with different classes for students in each track, and that there will be more rigidity for students in the student affairs track. Student Affairs encompasses counseling, but it's not all just counseling. There is so much more to it so why and how it's part of just a counseling program is beyond me. Why is no formal coursework is defined?...because this track shouldn't exist in this program. It's as simple as that. Because the classes are a mixture of students from both the k-12 track and the student affairs track. So how do you define coursework for students in a classroom, most wanting to be guidance counselors and few wanting to work somewhere in higher education? What was defined was for students in the k-12 counseling program, and counseling skills in general, and specificity of student affairs was overlooked. There is a master's in higher education degree for those students, but I was one semester in the Counseling in Educational Settings Program before I decided I didn't want to do k-12 school counseling, so I stayed in the program and just switched tracks because I didn't want to waste the two courses I already took. In conclusion, there is no coursework formally defined because there can't be but that doesn't mean that anything goes! Obtaining general counseling skills is the primary goal, but I didn't learn any skills in my placements. Regarding internship experiences being formally defined, I don't know what she means. It is defined by staying that internship experiences are supposed to "reflect interest in Student Affairs." It doesn't distinguish requirements for student affairs because there are so many areas within student affairs.
And it cannot be inferred that internship may not be in a student affairs setting; rather, it CAN be inferred that internship MUST be in a student affairs setting. Everything is school this, school that. Even if one infers that internship doesn't have to be in a student affairs setting, my internship experience did not involve any competencies that would be applicable in such a setting, and I explained this thoroughly. Further, I did not have a choice but to accept my placement as I was told there were no other options. Am I supposed to say, "No don't give me that "A" and no, I don't want those credits, either.”? I'm not following?
2) I didn't appropriately meet degree requirements. I discussed this already.
Let's break the syllabus down and see where my experiences/submissions fit in:
-Under Catalog description, it states, "Emphasis is placed upon active participation in all phases of school counseling services."
This goes to show you just how much this program is geared towards the k-12 counseling candidate.
-Under Purpose of the Couse, it states, "Internship in Educational Settings is intended to provide the counseling student practical "hands-on" experiences in settings where counseling services are offered."
Problem: No counseling services were offered at my internships.
Under Course Objectives, it states "At the conclusion of Internship in Counseling in Educational Settings, student-interns should have the opportunity to learned and/or be able to demonstrate the following dispositions, knowledge, skills, and attitudes as stipulated by CACREP" ...
1) Receive practical experience in providing comprehensive, developmental counseling services in culturally diverse school settings to support all students' holistic development.
Problem: Again, I wasn't placed in a school and I provided very little counseling services.
2) Develop their personal counseling theory that guides their professional
Problem: How can I do that if I'm not counseling?
3) Observe and participate in the systemic processes of a school setting, while learning how to effectively function within the educational system.
Problem: Couldn't be accomplished because I wasn't in a school setting!
4) Learn the needs of exceptional children and children with other special needs.
This I did do.
5) Experience and analyze ethical dilemmas that arise in schools and act within professional and institutional ethical standards.
Problem: There were no ethical dilemmas at my sites!
6) Analyze and improve communicate skills (An understanding of essential interviewing and counseling skills so that the student is able to develop a therapeutic relationship, establish appropriate counseling goals, design intervention strategies, evaluate client outcome, and successfully terminate the counselor-client relationship)
Problem: Very little of this occurred.
7) Consult with parents, guardians, teachers, and other school personnel to facilitate the construction of an educational environment best matching students' academic, emotional, social, and vocational needs
Problem: Didn't happen
Receive practical experience developing and leading a counseling group
Problem: What counseling group?
9) Receive practical experience developing, coordinating and leading appropriate classroom guidance (psychoeducational) group(s)/activities
Problem: What classroom guidance?
10) Work as a liaison to establish and develop a referral and support system between students, parents/guardians, school personnel, and other outside agencies
Problem: There was no way for this to happen!
11) Develop computer technology skills in the school setting while constructing a technology portfolio to assist in meeting state mandated computer competencies required for licensure
12) Develop professional school counseling program plans based on student needs that include goals, objectives, resources, and timelines.
Problem: How could I?
13) Receive practical experience supporting students' career identity development
Problem: Students? What students?
Etc. etc. etc....
-Under Relation to Mission and Conceptual Framework, it states, "The Internship in Counseling in Educational Settings (CES) emulates the mission and conceptual framework of the University in a variety of ways. In striving to enhance the professional growth of its graduate students, the Internship focus is on the development of learning communities, within the classroom and with participating school districts. Students' performance and projects involving research, incorporating current and innovative practices, is consistent with the community of scholars' concept. Refining one's personal philosophy as a school counseling professional is similarly based on the life-long scholarship concept in the conceptual framework."
Problem: Where do I fit in here?
-Under Course Requirements:
1. Weekly supervision is to be scheduled with your On-Site Supervisor. On-Site Supervisors must provide one (1) hour of supervision for each 10 hours of direct client contact completed by the intern. On-Site Supervisors may choose to meet with the intern more often.
Problem: At Brain Balance, I met with my supervisor maybe twice the whole year and at The Mental Health Association, all I did was meet with my supervisor to talk about whatever, myself, my business, etc.
2. Students in the professional school counseling internship must complete 600 clock hours (minimum of 240 direct client contact hours). Direct services work includes individual, small group, and family counseling, as well as consultation services with teachers, administrators and parents/guardians/families.
Problem: I met with one client all year long, twice at The Mental Health Association, and at Brain Balance, I just tutored kids.
3. Students are required to log their internship hours. On-site supervisor and university internship instructors will sign off on the log at the end of each semester.
Problem: I told you how far-fetched and greatly exaggerated my logs were. My internship supervisor at The Mental Health Association would have me write and sign off on logs that stated I was learning how to counsel when really he and I were just talking about whatever.
Under Student Evaluation Criteria:
1. Grading, it states: Completion of Clinical Hours
a. [CACREP School D] For the School Counseling Program, the 600 clock hour internship (Standard III.H) occurs in a school counseling setting, under the supervision of a site supervisor as defined by Section III, Standard C.1-2. The requirement includes a minimum of 240 direct service clock hours.
It says "a school counseling setting"...does it not?
......Read my case study, read my Major Action Research Report...see how everything doesn't relate to the requirements. I wrote a completely different Action Research Paper than what was expected. I had an alternate approach to every assignment because I wasn't counseling like everyone else.
I can go on and on and on, but you should clearly see my argument now.
I can't keep arguing anymore. I feel I'm being discarded, and nothing will be done because it's too much work. I'm feeling angry that no one understands and confused on why no one can see what I'm saying.
This is a real concern and a real issue. No one wants to do the right thing here. There were about 3-4 employees at my internship who if asked what was offered to me there would say "nothing." I'm sure they would say what they told me the whole time, that nothing happened there for me. They would say to me all the time that I'm not getting what I need. They know the truth. I don't know why I haven't involved my prof. with this. I just emailed her, wishing her a happy new year and told her in one line that I gained nothing from my internships last year. I'm sure she suspected that nothing was happening as well. This affects my future. This is not to be taken lightly. Experience is everything when applying for jobs, and I've applied to over 200 positions at colleges and universities and nothing has come through. It's like I'm blacklisted at Rowan. I can't say that I have experience in my field, and that's a big deal. A huge deal."
After the Vice President for Academic Affairs told me that the issue is closed, I stated:
"You have done no investigation into this matter other than to state the obvious which is that I accepted the credits and the degree, but you do not take into account that I was silenced from saying anything. The syllabus clearly details the requirements of internship and my internship did not meet those requirements. How can the case be closed before it's investigated? You did not speak to my professor, look at my internship binder that the chair keeps, speak to my internship supervisor or any other staff member that would tell you that nothing happened for me at my internship site. You did none of these things and I feel the case was closed unjustly. I am not being taken seriously here. This was 4 years of my education and my whole future. Requesting some type of experience related to my field of study is a reasonable request. It's not fair that I wasn't granted an adequate internship like everyone else was. I will take this complaint to court. I want an appropriate internship or my money back."
After being ignored for months on this issue, I couldn't take it any more I emailed the Vice President of Rowan and of course, he speaks to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (same person I dealt with that did nothing) and he said that she dealt with the issue appropriately. I emailed him:
"It's apparent that the Vice President for Academic Affairs has coerced everyone who reads about my complaint to ignore the reality of it. "There is no denying that I accomplished nothing at my internship sites (we all know that but many are afraid to admit it-- my internship supervisor knows it, the other staff at the site know it, my professor always suspected it) and to claim that she dealt with the issue appropriately is completely ludicrous because she did not investigate the issue other than to go online and get the description of the Student Affairs in Higher Education Track from the Counseling in Educational Settings web page. She did not actually look at the syllabus, talk to anyone was directly involved, examine my course submissions, or consider the extenuating circumstances. Your initial inclination to discuss the matter with (the Vice President for Academic Affairs) is understandable, but regrettable. I emailed you because I was asking YOU to approach the issue within the confines of your office. The complaint was supposed to be examined thoroughly by a new set of eyes, and by people who have not previously dealt with me in order to refrain from a discretionary judgement being passed. However, the damage is done, your view/opinion of me is already tainted. "
I'm just so curious as to how sitting around and doing nothing all year long but talk about my personal problems, the business plan competition and my business plan to my supervisor meets to requirements of any course. Again, the Vice President for Academic Affairs didn't even look at the syllabus. I broke the syllabus down piece by piece and detailed how doing nothing doesn't meet any requirement. The Vice President for Academic Affairs also didn't see a problem a few summers back when I approached her about a professor canceling class half the time. Her approach to both that problem and this one is the same: "You are accepting/accepted the credits" and in this case "you also accepted the degree," --she looks at this one fact and wholly ignores all other facts regarding the issue at hand. This is the easy way out, of course. Why take action when inaction is so much simpler. This case is yet another example of an administrative shortcoming. The administration is always right, and the student is always wrong is the default position. Nothing has been taking into account. The fact that I had no power to change the internship site and that my internship professor had no choice but to accept my placement and assignments -- that doesn't matter, right? By the VP of Rowan and the VP of Academic Affairs agreeing they both are alighting that I shouldn't have accepted the credits or degree when these circumstances were at no fault of my own. So, I shouldn't have allowed myself to graduate because other people provided me an inadequate internship? Stop and think about this for a second. Does that statement make any sense to you? Maybe the VP for Academic Affairs hadn't coerced the VP of Rowan, but she sure has influenced him simply by consulting her. Had he not consulted her on the matter, he would have come to his own conclusion. It just so happens that the administration always agrees with each other and that the 10 or so other people not affiliated with the school that I had read the same letter all see where I'm coming from. What a strange coincidence. It boils down to them all not wanting to do anything about it just because things are easier for them that way. I'm made to feel like I have no grounds to claim anything. I just can't fathom how I can be treated this way.
In mid-November of 2014, I read in Rowan's Student Daily Mail the following:
"Interested in higher education?
This spring semester (2015) Rowan University is offering an internship to students interested in the field of higher education. The internship will allow students to work in different administrative offices on Rowan University's Glassboro campus, giving students a sampling of what a career in higher education is all about."
So here, again, and won't be the last time something at this university is implemented a year too late for me. The school can offer and accommodate several students in this internship, in different administrative offices, but couldn't find me a place in a single office last year? Real fair.
I suspect that someone informed my internship supervisor at the Mental Health Association that I complained because I just went to visit him and the look on his face was like a deer caught in headlights. He knows these are not unfounded accusations. He knows the truth and there is no way he can explain it away. I don't have a problem with him knowing that I complained. I have a problem knowing administration got in contact with him without informing me.
You will read later that I plan to continue my education in the fall of 2015 in Rutgers Certificate of Advanced Study in Mental Health Counseling Program. I have no choice but to go back to school and continue my education now given the circumstances. If I was provided the right training, I could have landed a job in higher education, but I wasn't so now I have to go back to school and you will read shortly the FIRST reason why I need your help. I strongly feel I have an argument here and that a fair resolution to the problem has not been proposed. Since an appropriate internship couldn't be provided to me, I asked for a refund of the course to help pay for me to go back to school—to no avail. I'm done fighting for the internship I should have received and cannot afford to volunteer anywhere without pay for a whole year to get the training I should have received. I need more credentials to get a job now—I need to go back to school. I must. I need your help. PLEASE hang in there, and read on, carefully. You are going to now read background information on a business I started and from this business, my problems mount due to losing all my money. It gets complicated, and overwhelming, but please try to picture what I'm about to tell you...
If that isn't upsetting enough, a bunch of people let me down, and throw me out of their lives like garbage. My therapists at Rutgers, saved me from hurting myself, but proved to have no feelings for me in the end. I was given no heads up, just thrown out, not permitted to return for counseling all of my last year of college because I either went there too long, or they just found me a handful and too annoying. I was made to feel valuable through counseling, just as my undergraduate professor made me feel, but just like that, again, those closest to me turned their backs on me in a flash. The same thing happened in high school. I was dependent on the student assistance counselor and just like that, 4 months before graduating, after seeing her twice weekly for two years, she kicks me out of her life permanently. This always happens, always. People ALWAYS screw me over. Bill, who you will read A LOT about later on in this later describes me as the "sweetest nicest most sincere person." He doesn't understand why people don't see in me what he sees in me. If my life has any meaning to them, why did they shun me like that? I can never get close to anyone ever again. This was the second biggest blow of all.
The BIGGEST blow of all is my business, deemed a complete and utter "failure" that cost me an extra year, a 4th year in grad school. I took a year off to work on this dream of mine. I spent COUNTLESS hours creating a huge business, from bottom to top for my school because, honestly, I wanted to be someone there. I wanted to make a name for myself. I wanted to be recognized and something good at Rutgers to happen for me. I was blindsided. I struggled so bad to make it happen, worked harder than you can image, spent thousands and thousands of dollars, and for what? My last year of college is marked by an obscene amount of work preparing for the 2014 Rorher College of Business—Business Plan Competition (BPC) at Rutgers—finally; I would end my time at Rutgers with a noteworthy accomplishment, or so I thought. No. At the expense of fighting for the internship I rightfully deserved, I was overtaken by this competition and my failure in it. There I was, again, back in the crisis center, wanting to die, this time more than ever. The Dean of Students hurt me here more than anyone. He didn't see what this meant to me, and how much I sacrificed for this. I was taken as just a 'sore loser' and this loss was compared to when I would lose at the school's bingo. This was a whole different ball game. This was much bigger than that. This was the accumulation of years of trial and error, years of trying to branch out and do something different, years of tremendous pain, highs and lows, ups and downs.
All those days when I would be in the Chamberlain Student Center selling, desperately trying to make a buck, and coming up shorthanded, feeling so utterly hopeless. I would overdraft my account because of all my business expenses. It was $15 a day to have a table. One day I made just $16 selling one hat and the Student Center Director came to me after being there for 6 hours with her hand out, requesting my $15 table fee. I cried that that's all I made today and asked if I can please be excused from the fee today as I have no other money and want to get something to eat with this money. She said "No"! I was unable to hold myself together. There were other times when I made no money at all and had to give a product or two away to the food service employees so that I can get a lunch and drink. The staff didn't treat me so well. I was scheduled to sell one day during finals week, so I went there to set up my table and some lady, I'm not sure who she was, came up to me and told me to "get out now" and said that I'm not permitted a table today. I said that I was given the okay to sell today and she walked away, verified it, and came back to me with an attitude "okay" no, "I'm sorry" or anything. About half of the days I sold, the student organizations would take the wrong table because no one manned the vending tables. No one labeled the tables like they were supposed to. I always booked one of the two tables closest to the door, but a good amount of the time a club or student organization mistakenly or deliberately took my table. I would go up to the information desk and tell them, but no one ever came down to tell those students to move so I was stuck with a table in a less desirable location. It wasn't fair. Even more, on the website where you schedule vendor tables, the good tables by the door were hard to get, and were often booked, but more than 50% of the time, no one would show up to the table they reserved so the tables were left empty when someone else who wanted to have a table that day didn't because they thought all the tables were reserved. No one controlled the vendor operation at Rutgers University. It was a big joke.
When I sold, people gave me looks, and didn't realize this was MY business. Just the sheer labor involved with setting up and breaking down is enough to frustrate anyone. It would take me almost an hour to set up and break down. Hauling everything was such a pain. That was my life, day in and day out, all for nothing. Later, I would tell my parents that I made a lot more money than I did selling that day because G-d forbid I tell them the truth. I devoted everything to this, everything! There was an elderly man nicknamed "Tie Dye Dan" that sold in the student center before the policy changed to no outside venders. He sold Bahas and blankets and all tie-dye stuff he purchased from Guatemala for dirt cheap and resold at colleges and vendor fairs. He would walk away with $600 or more in one day while I was lucky to make a dime. This hurt me so much because this man didn't make his products or have a website or put 1/1000 into his "business" like I did. I just couldn't understand how this was possible.
As far as the Business Plan Competition goes, no one understood that was it for me. The other competitors in the competition didn't even start their businesses. They had one product and one idea, but I had hundreds. They were all men, business majors, working with a partner or in a group, too. I didn't have the advantage and had to work harder to understand all this business and financial terminology. It was so challenging and frustrating for me to grasp. I was by far the most nervous competitor in this history of this competition! My hopes for my business, dashed. I wasn't allowed counseling. I remember being so excited prior to the competition that I desperately wanted to show off all the hard work I put into constructing my business plan to my former therapist at Rutgers, but they refused to read it. That hurt so badly. If it would make me happy, why couldn't they just read it or just say they read it? I had nobody; I just wanted important people to see what I've done.
I know that you're overwhelmed with what you just read, and probably confused, but please continue to read. It WILL start to all come together. Right now, I'm just giving an overview of everything...
A quarter product were on consignment in the store Forever Young Emporium on Rutgers Boulevard starting in September 2017. I submitted about a quarter of my products to them, and I went back in the beginning of November and they paid me 50% for the products that sold in September and October, (it wasn't horrible, but wasn't great, either), but when I contacted them in early January to get what's due to me for November and December, they said that they would calculate it and get back to me shortly, and also added that my products aren't selling well and that they may soon turn them back to me. I left voice messages and emails for months. They never got back to me so early on last month (April 2015), I called again and demanded a check. They hadn't paid me for 5 months. The store owner gets angry with me for demanding he pay me after he didn't return my calls for months and end and now tells me he took my products off the floor two months ago because they didn't have the space and that I need to come and get them right away. He had an attitude with me when I had the right to demand he pay me what I'm owed after 5 months when our agreement was he pay me at the end of every month. He had the nerve to remove my products from the floor without telling me! My worst fears came true: I went there and picked up what was left, which was the great majority of what I had given to them.
Since this is the BIGGEST blow of all, I need to elaborate. My business REALLY ruined my life in every aspect imaginable and I will never recover unless someone steps in and helps me. What follows give you A LOT of detail, which I feel is needed for you to really understand what I've been through and why I'm requesting help. Please, continue...
Here's my story: In 2011, I launched a business, I transformed blank products into uniquely embellished novelty products under exclusive license with Rutgers University. It specializes in the creation, application, and sale of Rutgers University's logos (including Rutgers Alumni & Cooper Medical School of Rutgers University) and programming in rhinestones or glitter. Rutgers logos and programming—or self-created Rutgers University designs in various decorating materials, and font options for customization—can be featured on a variety of products or can be turned into a decal and adhere to almost anything! Please see the rest of my bio . (I'm reading this letter in July 2018 now and I'm noting here that I took down my website shortly after typing this letter because I was paying for a website, keeping it up with hope, but wasting my money because nothing came out of it. Please see look up my now former business name on Facebook so you can get a better idea of what my business was about). The only article that was published regarding Business Plan Competition (prior to the competition) can be found here: h
There aren't words to adequately express just how hard I worked on my business and how much I sacrificed for it. Like you read previously, I took a year off of graduate school to work on it and didn't fight for the internship I rightfully deserved the following year because I was so sidetracked and stressed out by my business and the Business Plan Competition. So much labor and the detailed work went into this... the hang tags, the plastic bags with my business info on them, the displays, the signs...I went all out for this... learning the software and hardware, everything. There were so many times when I would call the software company, Digital Arts Solutions, in tears because I didn't understand how to do certain things on the rhinestone program and I was having trouble transforming the Rutgers logos into a rhinestone pattern. For months, this huge investment would frustrate me to no end, and I was so beside myself that I would throw up constantly, even while on the phone with the company. I spent all this money on hardware and software that I just NEEDED to make it work, but I didn't realize at the time how much I would lose when all was said and done.
I was a wreak and an emotional roller coaster a thousand times over with this business. I lost thousands of dollars in just mistakes alone. At least 6 thousand of the 30 thousand + (I told my parents I lost 15 grand, but I really lost more than double that) was thrown in the trash from purchasing rhinestones and glitter and when these raw materials arrived, seeing that they weren't the right shade of Rutgers gold and/or brown, but these materials cost me thousands of dollars so I would start making the logos with these materials, but eventually I couldn't live with the finished products because the colors were too "off" to me. There was a time period were I absolutely obsessed over the Rutgers colors. I would take these raw materials to the campus Barnes and Noble bookstore and spend hours in there trying to convince myself that these colors were acceptable by comparing them to the logos on apparel in the bookstore. I would compare at certain angels, in certain light... First, it was these rhinestones I purchased—they were not the Rutgers gold (which to me looks like deep yellow) but were actually the color of real gold. I made many logos in these rhinestones and the university and their licensing company, Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA) approved all 10 university logos, but I couldn't live with it. I didn't like it. Then, later on when I started making the logos in glitter, the brown glitter from China was too light of a brown to me but they wouldn't allow returns and I wouldn't find anyone to buy so much raw material in one particular color—so I started making the logos in glitter with this brown, but eventually couldn't live with that, either. The materials would turn out different than they looked in an online picture, and I even purchased a sample of the glitter after the first mishap with the rhinestones—but something went amiss. These were some of the times during the course of creating my business that I totally lost it. I spent thousands of dollars on raw material and had to wait months in order to save enough to re-purchase the "right" colors all over again. During those times I would be fraught with anxiety because I wanted to move forward with my business, but it was standstill. It was such an uncomfortable feeling knowing I could have these trademarks made by now, but without the right colored material, I'm losing more time and money. I was so devastated that I wasted a lot of money each time. I had a problem and I knew it—I would obsess over the Rutgers gold and brown so much so that wherever I went my eyes would automatically compare the golds and brown I saw to the Rutgersowan colors in my head. My eyes would zone in on things in my natural environment that had those colors in it. I lie awake at night and obsess over these colors. They were all I saw when I closed my eyes to go to sleep. I would try to, in any way I could, fit these raw materials with the brown and golds I saw on campus. This became an obsession for months because the rhinestones and the glitter mishaps happened at different times...I SHOULD have just forgot about my business after the first major waste of money, but I have obsessive compulsive disorder and I'm a perfectionist, so I had to fix this wrong and make it right. I also re-purchased business cards 4 times within a month's time because I couldn't get them right, either. First, I used black and pink on them and then realized how dumb that was because I need to use the school's colors. Then I used Rutgers official trademark on them and realized that I can't do that and that I need to create my own logo, and then I had a spelling mistake, etc. Now I have thousands of business cards left that say my business is still operating in the Student Center ... another waste. Also, just outsourcing all my raw material was an enormous heartache in and of itself. It is so difficult to work with venders from oversees because of the language barrier and sometimes shipping took months—just image.
Making sure everything was covered was so painstaking and no one acknowledges me or what I've accomplished. Just because it "failed", doesn't mean I didn't do it at all! I'd be in my basement day in and day out for years, hours at a time, working on my projects. My G-d, I did more work for this than most people do in a lifetime! Nothing has happened. I would have never in a million years went through with the work this competition took if I considered for a second that I wouldn't place at least 3rd in the BPC. I substitute taught for a lot the year that I took off, and all that money is now gone. The summer prior to the year I took off, I worked 3 jobs—my camp job, Brain Balance, and a job at Rutgers—and all that money is now gone, too.
Once you visit my business website, Try Google Chrome if with Internet Explorer, the images don't load. If that fails, you may have to click on the pictures to view them) you will see the sheer magnitude of this business (again, it's not up anymore). I worked day in and day out for 4 years to get my business in order, but you would never know because NO ONE APPRECIATED OR GAVE MY BUSINESS A SECOND LOOK. I created the whole thing from the ground up. I did more work for this business than I did on schoolwork in my whole college career.
As I stated previously, I spent countless hours in the school's student center trying to sell my products, and not doing well. I was so distraught every time that I would explode with emotion right there while selling. I wanted this to work out SO badly. Just to re-do my website took my whole winter break last year. I paid a student big bucks, $800, to help me create my website and no one ever visits it. I tried, and I tried hard for my business. After years of trying and making about $3,000 back on my over $30,000 business investment (all the money I ever earned, got from selling other things online, not borrowed money. I tried to take out a loan for my business, but was denied), I entered my school's annual business plan competition—the 2014 Rorher College of Business's Business Plan Competition. This was my last semester of eight years of college and I wanted to end it with a bang. I put aside my thesis and worked relentlessly on my 50 plus page business plan. This was my last chance. This was going to seal the deal. Finally, my business would get the recognition it deserves, so I thought. With over 60 teams competing in the competition, I thought I had no chance, but to my surprise, I made it to the top 5 and eventually went on to present my business plan in front of a panel of judges at the 2014 Business Plan Competition in early March 2014. We were competing for $10,000 total, with the winner taking $5,000. I needed to win, or at least come in second place to get recognition. I had big dreams of my business being in the school newspaper and the like. I would have visions of me making it big. My confidence was boosted in the preliminary rounds when mock judges made the following comments about my business plan:
Judge One- "This is an excellent plan that took a lot of hard work. I have been judging business plans for several years, and this is the most well written and professional plan that I have seen." This is an excellent plan for a scalable business."
Judge Two- "Overall, the business plan for does an excellent job of explaining its product and what its plans to accomplish over the next 5 years. Its strengths are as follows: 1. It gives thorough explanation of its product, its current target market, and its price points. 2. It explains the experience of her team that will work on growing the product and its marketing base. 3. It gives potential barriers to expansion, such as China being a threat, since it can create the product at a lower price. 4. The plan gives a 5 year projection of its revenues and expenses as well as potential profits. 5. It discusses expanding its customer base to other colleges and universities in the area." With the exception of the contingency plan, this is one of the most thorough business plans that I've read since being a judge. I can see this product being successful at Rutgers and other area colleges and universities. This a job well done, and you should be very proud!! The company clearly describes its competitive advantages and landscape. The company clearly understands what sales channels are available as well as who the competition is. The plan does a really good job of explaining its execution risk, from the credentials of the management team to its growth strategy."
Judge Three- "Very well written and organized plan."
Judge Four- "The concept is unique and a niche market. Has started the business and has done a good job on getting idea on campus. It was well thought out and professional."
Judge Five- "This was a very well written business plan. The format and flow of the plan was well organized as was the content. This plan and its content are reflective of the time and effort put in by its presenter. Good luck!"
...I used these comments to enhance my business plan and PowerPoint presentation to perfection to prepare for the big day, the Business Plan Competition, March 8th, 2017. I was so excited (and nervous) that morning, but nothing would go according to plan. I winded up not in the top 3, but rather, just getting an "honorable mention" and would be granted a lousy $500 for all my painstaking efforts—and I waited 4 months to see that money, 4 months of not knowing if I was going to ever see it while the other contestants received their prize money within a month. I almost didn't want to see that $500 because that would validate everything, and it would be the real end. I hoped and prayed that more than a $500 prize would come, yeah right. I spent more on purchasing business plan templates than I won in the competition! Omg, I worked ENDLESS hours for month on constructing my business plan and PowerPoint presentation and practicing. After the competition, I sliced my left wrist in the school's bathroom and sat there hoping to bleed out but knowing I wouldn't because I didn't do it right because I was scared to and today I have 5 horizontal self-harm scars to remind me of the trauma that I endured during this time in my life. I can never escape the pain because I have these scars as constant reminder and they are too old to do anything about. I've paid $400 to try to get them removed with laser treatment, but it didn't do a damn thing to reduce their appearance and no, I did not get a refund. It's so embarrassing because these are obviously self-harm scars. I was beside myself and sent immediately to the crisis center right from school where the competition was held. I couldn't stop crying. To me, my life was over. I even said that I was going to kill myself to everyone who would listen. All I could think about was ending the emotional pain I felt. If they didn't make me go to the crisis center, I would have jumped off the roof of the building because I wasn't bleeding enough to kill me by cutting. I needed to die now right now. My thoughts were consumed with how I'm going to end my life once I get out of the crisis center. I visualized crashing my car into a tree at a high rate of speed, jumping off a bridge, jumping off an overpass and getting hit my cars, and every way you can commit suicide that would be relatively quick and easy.
I strongly feel that the judges made a HUGE lapse in judgment. Never in a million years did I think I would place anything but 2nd or 1st. I couldn't stand for an "honorable mention." I broke my plaque in half. I felt so insulted. People just don't understand that my whole business was created by hand. I didn't just purchase things in bulk and re-sold them for a profit. The loss is so much more traumatic than for instance, a business selling cell phone covers purchased in bulk from China or even an invention or idea of a single product. This was an EXTREMLY complex and labor-intensive business that I created. There is just no comparison.
I emailed a letter to the judges the next day, somehow I sweet talked my way out of the hospital. They probably released me because I've been there so many times and I was like the girl who cried wolf, never followed through on my suicide threats. Suicidal as all hell, and it read:
"Dear Judges of the BCP,
I feel so strongly you made a lapse in judgment yesterday, as does many people. I am so distraught by this that I was sick to my stomach and went immediately to the crisis center yesterday. I was so positive that I would place in 1st or 2nd. I am not being a sore loser, please hear me out: I already have market validation, I already have gross profit for 21 direct selling days (7 hour days), and I already have well over 3,000 products in inventory. We are not talking about 1 product I perfected; I have tons of products, the intricacy of a business like this...image. How can such a unique operational business such as mine be an "honorable mention?" I can't even comprehend how this can be. I didn't understand the question the judge asked about why my competitors would want my products in the bookstore—the answer is obvious—because I would sell to them at wholesale and they would market it up and thus, get a percent profit on my products, the same concept as other brands who sell to the bookstore. Why I didn't say this is because this is a given and I didn't understand what other answer I should have given.
What was the major concern that placed me 4th? Was its scalability? I stated that I have become extremely proficient with producing my trademarks and designs. There is a huge misunderstanding here that cost me. It seems like you all were under the assumption and even said "seems" labor intensive. The only labor intensive part is creating the designs in my rhinestone program, but once the designs are created, a template is made, and I can brush stones into template holes and create a large logo in 5 minutes. That's right, it takes me 5 minutes tops (for the biggest transfer) to brush in stones template by template and pick them up with transfer tape to create a transfer. And the template can be re-used a zillion time. I even cut out 2 design templates at a time and knock out two designs at a time sometimes. I have over 3 thousand products in inventory (2,200 of which are trademarks or designs) and if my process was that labor intensive, this wouldn't be the case because I did all the work myself. Perhaps the process "seems" labor intensive, and it's hard for someone who doesn't understand it to follow it and make sense of it. You were unaware and were misinformed. My mistake is something I hadn't seriously considered it until yesterday: If I were to get a very large order or when I scale to other schools, there is the option of outsourcing the trademarks and designs (transfers) from overseas. China is largely into the rhinestone industry and they have large manufacturing facilities that mass produce rhinestone transfers. However, I never seriously considered this because transfers are very delicate, and stones can easily shift in shipping if they aren't packaged tightly and securely. I think this crossed my mind once or twice, but with the risk of damage and shipping cost, I never thought it may be cost effective for me to outsource. I don't know though. What I think can be a problem with stones shifting and shipping cost may not be as big of a problem or a problem at all as long as the transfers are securely packages. I will have the trademarks massed produced when I expand to other schools. I like the handmade aspect to my products, the fact that I can say they are handcrafted by me, but when I scale to other schools, I will outsource.
My website is currently while it's being built but will be transferred tosoon (again, not up anymore). I am making finishing touches such as uploading new pictures. I don't sell transfers separately. They must be heat pressed onto a blank item for sale, so there won't be the problem of shifting stones. I honestly think that once you see my new website (about to upload clearer pictures) you will realize you made an error in judgment. If you knew my business story, and what I've been through to get to where my business is today, you would have placed me higher. I have left no stone unturned, literally. I cannot describe the endless struggle I endured for my business to get where it is today.
Please, understand: I have built my business from the bottom up. I have no formal education or training in business. My nearly every waking moment since the formation of my company in 2011 has been devoted to pushing myself to get the visions in my head to become a reality. I have put so much into this. Look at the number of products I have—many of which you will not found at all in the bookstore—making all those network connections and getting everything in place to sell was such a daunting task. I sacrificed everything for my business. I really wanted this. I put so much money, time, and effort into this business. I cannot even begin to explain. I took all last year off of school to devote to it, delayed graduating. I spent my whole summer networking with vendors, building inventory, and getting my business organized and to the point where I feel it's complete—has all the products I envisioned and enough in stock. There were periods of time where I could not move forward for months because I ran out of money to do so. I invested all my money at the expense of moving out. I put my whole life on the line for my business. I just wish you would have known. No one knows the long hours, the sleepless nights, the dream I dreamt for this. I have so much to offer. I feel as if you didn't even look at my products. Look at the potential here! I also stated there is the possibility for me to license my manufacturing process to big companies, and/or embellish or add my designs onto existing merchandise. I feel you did not show appreciation or admiration for my business yesterday.
My competitors all have great ideas, but I'm 1,000 steps ahead of them in so many ways. An honorable mention is completely unjustified. My company IS very much scalable, and all I need is more money to advertise and to add a few more sales and marketing managers to write the final chapter of my story. I have this—but you didn't see it. This is a real shock to me. Like I said, 4th place was out of the question. I'm shaken to my core, distraught beyond words. This was to be my big break—my currently Rutgers based business to be on the homepage, to get incubator space for my inventory. I was counting on this. I put everything on hold for months to perfect my business plan and my presentation. I am now on the verge of not graduating because I am so greatly behind on my internship hours and the second half of my thesis is due Friday and I didn't even start. This meant the world to me. I can't type this without breaking down. I'm so emotionally distraught that I had to email my professors and tell them I can't lift a finger to get my internship hours or write my paper. I gave up over 10 selling days to devote to this competition. I desperately worked on my new website, trying to get it completed prior to the competition—I am almost there. I hired an art student to take new photos for my website and I also hired a talented PR/advertising major to lay out a product brochure for me with style. Once I disseminate it widely across campus and beyond—and people get one in their hands they will see my unique products and will hop right on my website to order.
Did you take a good look at my products yesterday in person—the tote bag, the cosmetic case—did you see the quality and craftsmanship that went into those products? When people see my products, they are speechless. I have a whole slew of non-affinity products coming out as well. Did you not see the boots I had on display yesterday? Please go on. I have had over 20 orders for them and I haven't even started selling them yet. I need money to purchase the plain boots in bulk so that I can decorate them. There is massive potential here. Please explain to me what you didn't see or understand.
Please, I seriously, SERIOUSLY stopped my life for this dream. There have been points where I was spending so much money that I wondered what am I doing? I can't even conceive what happened yesterday. I just went to the back and started to throw up after I found out where my business placed ....(I didn't tell them that I cut my wrist).
Yesterday was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. I never worked so hard for something and instead I winded up beside myself in the crisis center. It wasn't the worst day of my life; it was the worst past 5 months of my life. It was all for nothing. I lost easily over $1,000 in direct sale days to this, and even didn't go to work Friday night. I lost everything from this and gained nothing but indescribable pain. I have had immense lows, financial losses from mistakes in testing, waiting on end for raw material, waiting for my next paycheck to come in so I can buy more supplies—but nothing compares to this agony. I told a professor early on that this competition meant life or death to me. It has destroyed me. I was supposed to end my eight years here at Rutgers with a bang...and now I'm struggling to fight through my emotions. I can't get up to do anything. Please re-consider, please offer me something because I seriously feel my placement of 4th is a mistake.
Emotional, I know...but there is more. Please continue to read my story...
I never thought to write out the steps to the licensing process in my 50 something page business plan, but still added it after the competition was over. The judges were probably under the assumption that I apply and get licensure easily. This is so not the case. The process was very involved and took months. I needed to submit a real sample of each one of my products to Rutgers licensing company, SMA, and submit a photo and describe my products via approvals on demand. Every product has to be improved and is inspected for quality and high standards by both the licensing company and the university. I have to pay 8 percent royalty to Rutgers and had to have insurance, too. This is not a simple-anyone can do type of thing. This was a long drawn out painstaking process, given I have almost 400 products. It didn't occur to me to spell this out in my business plan prior to the competition, but maybe I should have.
I gained absolutely nothing from this competition; I lost EVERYTHING and now I'm going NOWHERE in life as a result of my business. I needed to win or at least place 2nd, I so deserved at least 2nd. I have nothing. I reinvested all I profited back into my business. They didn't even appreciate my products. Did they not see the creativity? Did they not see that more than half the products I sell don't even exist in the bookstore?
On another note, to make matters worse, I spoke with one of the judges after the competition and she did say had they known it's not awfully labor intensive, that the results may have been different. She also said that the other judges were looking at this from an investment standpoint, and the other teams stated that they needed more financing than me, so they came out on top because of that? With a 50 page business plan (everyone else's was 16 pages—the actual "limit") and they were still ill-informed. My phone dropped the call after a minute on the phone with her and when I called her back the next day, no answer. I never heard from her again. This judge asked ME to call her to help me feel better after she read my letter to her. I was going to get help, and have someone listen to me, but she must have turned on me and ignored me from then on.
No one helped me cope, the professors who organized the BPC, the judges, everyone ignored me after the competition. I worked closely with two entrepreneurship professors to prepare for this competition, and like everyone else in my life, they let me rot afterwards. All I wanted was for someone to understand, not necessarily agree, just to understand. They never reached out to me even though they knew I was suffering. They saw the pain I endured immediately following the competition. My emotional pain was so great that I felt as if I was in deep mourning. I more than once I hit rock bottom with this. I perceive this all to boil down to: I'm no good to you and therefore, my life isn't valuable enough for them to even say, I understand why you feel this way. I know that this hurt." Just validate my feelings, that's ALL I ask! Don't ignore me like I am defective, not worth supporting ....because it's making me sick. All I had was debt to show for my business. My business debt now is now roughly $4,000. I owe Bill Me Later, a PayPal company, $4,000 for business expenses I incurred a long time ago. I can and will never pay it. That's my only actual business debt. Collection agencies call me non-stop, all day, every day and remind me how destroyed my life is. I never answer. My credit is already ruined and it's all expenses I incurred (unpaid hospital bills), mostly in one way or another, due to my business.
Everyone was shocked at the results, even the entrepreneurship professors I worked with were surprised and they told me that they would find out why I placed 4th, but did they? No. They told me I surely would get 1st or 2nd. One of them even told me "there are people here that want to give you money" when I was balling out afterwards... sure! I was too beside myself to go talk to those people. Perhaps I missed an opportunity or two, I will never know and that weighs so heavily on me until this very day. I was ignored and treated like an outcast. I struggle to find the good in people now. I project what they did (or didn't do) to me onto all people, and feel that everyone would do the same, and that people are generally bad. I find it difficult to believe that anyone would do differently because I thought these people helping me with the competition were such kind hearted people. I can't trust anyone, and I feel irrevocably damaged.
I don't even want my business anymore. I wish I never started this business in the worst way now. My whole life is ruined and over. I put everything on the line for this and it amounted to nothing. This was my last hope for something to happen. A whole year later and I still couldn't be more beside myself. After the competition, it was all over for me. I got no sales whatsoever from the publicity of this competition. There were no articles published, nothing at all happened. Since I graduated, I can't sell in the student center anymore (a year ago, anyone could sell in the student center-student or not, but the policy recently changed, and not even alumni can sell now) and my products in Forever Young Emporium didn't sell well because the word hadn't gotten out and I was barred from doing anything about it because no one wanted to lend a hand (read on). The store took very little of my massive inventory and now it's all again just sitting in my garage.
I tried to get my products into the Barnes and Noble bookstore on campus, but they didn't want to be bothered for no good reason. I was supposed to hear back within 6 to 8 weeks from Barnes and Noble Corporate. After submitting samples of my products, a pricing list, brochure, and an introduction and waiting 7 months to hear back from corporate, calling, leaving messages, desperate to hear back, I finally got "We are not looking for your products. We already have products like it." No, they do not! I was just there the other day. I go to the bookstore every so often to check if they got anything blingy in...they have no rhinestone or embellished collegiate apparel in their store! My heart sank once again. I spent so much time sending them a package with what was required—samples, everything, and I didn't get anything back.
I think they really wanted products that could cater to various universities. This is where I messed up. If only I created like 3 logos in rhinestones, and maybe 2 of my own artistic abstract designs for several schools, maybe things would have worked out, but I screwed up and went overboard crating everything for one school, my school, Rutgers. I go into depth about this later. I still don't understand why they couldn't take some of my products, even one, anything would have helped. I wanted to expand my product line to other schools and thought I eventually would be able to do so. It was wishful thinking that I could get my products in the bookstore. If only they would want to give me the time of day... Let's face it though, this business caused me tremendous agony and has taken years off my life from day one. It has cost me more distress than 10 people combine face in a lifetime.
There is no easy solution for my business now, but the emotional trauma and toll it has had and continues to have on me can become a thing of the past with your help. When you finish reading this letter you will understand why I absolutely need your help. I need money desperately for several reasons now, all stemming from such a huge financial blow, and all of which will become very clear to you as you continue to read.
I lived at home with my parents at the time and they were angry. Their anger stemmed from my business, all I spent on it, all the space it's taken up, and the very little I got in return. I had too much riding on this business needing to work out. I could be moved out on my own if I didn't start this business. Financially things have spiraled out of control for me as a result of this business. You have to look at the big picture. I lost more than just 30 grands. I lost all the money I could have earned instead of working on my business for 4 years, and I'm losing money now because I'm unable to work due to my mental state. I wanted to sell my business, but no one wants it. I've tried to liquidate it, but it's such a niche market that even that didn't work. Please understand that this is not business that can easily liquidate—such as selling baby quilts—for instance, my market is very specific and there are no other avenues to take to get my business off my hands. If I "failed" with it, then why would anyone want to take it off my hands even for dirt cheap? I put "failed" in quotes because you will read later that my business doesn't necessarily qualify as a real failure. I'm depressed 24/7 because things could be so much better if I never started this business.
I remember the day before commencement how my dad berated me over my business, "What the hell were you thinking?", etc. etc. I was questioned on every move I made and made to feel like the biggest failure and idiot ever. My father always talked down to me, and everyone else, and this was his opportunity to give me real hell. I went outside the norm, and tried to do something different, but it didn't work out, so I get no credit whatsoever for it. My mom and I sat down that day and together we tried to talk to him, but he wasn't having any of it. I BEGGED and PLEADED for financial help and my mom and I were both balling out. He screamed at my mom and kept saying that this whole thing was all her fault because she told me to do it. He was saying that it was all her idea. How was this HER idea and how is saying that going to help me? This wasn't my mom's idea and I wasn't influenced at all from my mom. This was solely MY idea, my vision, and there were times when people on campus, in particular an entrepreneurship professor, influenced me and pushed me to work harder to create my business. This professor, who was also one of the two entrepreneurship professors who helped organize the BPC, showed me the ropes as far as registering my business, and business basics from the early days of my business. He thought the idea was fantastic and taught me how to become a legal business entity, an LLC. He referred to me as an entrepreneur. Every now and then I would get a "wow" from a student or staff member and that would also drive me forward and convince me that I'm on the right path and that I'm good to keep putting money into this and coming out with new products. The dean of students in particular helped increase my confidence surrounding my business. I made several rhinestone t-shirts for him. He really seemed to take a liking to my products but in the end, when I didn't place in the top 3 in the BPC, he showed no empathy and in fact, he told me that I cannot contact anyone who was involved in the competition any longer. I was feeling such unrelenting grief but was blocked from seeking help. I truly felt that no one but those involved could calm my feelings.
The entrepreneurship professor didn't tell me to keep track of my business finances. I didn't and that just goes to show you how I had no idea on how to run a business: none whatsoever. I combined all of my personal expenses and business expenses under the same checking account: ENORMOUS mistake! I just didn't know any better. In the first two or three months of purchasing stuff for my business, I wrote my expenses down, but my spending quickly got out of hand and I couldn't keep up and stopped keeping track. With this type of business, hundreds of different things were purchased—I mean hundreds. Keeping track would have been a full time job. I wasn't even aware that I really needed to keep track of my expenses for tax purposes. Things just got overwhelming real fast. Not until last year did I realize I'm spending too much money, but I don't really know how much because I hadn't been keeping track. I agonized and agonized over this for months until I told myself that I need to find out. I spent almost every single day of a whole month going back into my bank records and PayPal transactions and trying to match the PayPal transactions to the bank transactions for the last 4 + years...It was an gigantic, frustrating, and painstaking task, I cannot even begin to explain...and when I added up all my business transactions on a spread sheet, my heart SANK, $30 grand and change, BUT there is an extremely good chance that I overlooked a few transactions, and there were a few that dated back too far and I couldn't tell if they were for my business or were a personal expense so I didn't factor them in. Also, although I used my debit card for about 90 percent of my business purchases, I paid cash for the other 10 percent and never saved those receipts and I never wrote down exactly how much I paid students on campus to help me build my website, help me design my hangtags, plastic bags, business cards (several different students at different times), etc. I'm not counting any of this. I think I paid the guy who created my website around $800, but I suspect all in all, I paid him more in several cash payments. Once I lost track, it was too late to fix the overwhelming mistake. For all I know there could be an additional 5 grand or more I spent on this business. There is no way I'll ever know the exact amount. It's over 30 grands, but I can't account for what I don't have record of.
I DID market research, and I had students and staff fill out surveys once I made the first t-shirt, as described in my business plan. I got a resounding "Yes!," I would purchase this t-shirt and other products like it from the great majority of people. You just have to read my business plan to really see all I put into this! I'll send it to you as well. My mom and I were both begging my dad for any financial help he can provide so that I can recover, and he finally said that there is a join Vanguard account that his and my name is on and that I can have that money. It was only 4 thousand and some odd dollars. It wasn't enough, but I said that I would take it. I never saw that money and I never will. One day this past summer when I went to get some stuff from home in the middle of my move (you will read shortly about this), he threatened that he was going to take my name off that account and that I would never see that money if I moved out with some guy. He had no plans to give me that money anyway. That day before commencement we were all in emotional upheaval over my business and my dad really tore me apart. He questioned everything I ever done and talked down to me like I was dirt underneath his finger nails. I was belittled like never before. There, I was beyond desperate for help, and not holding back. I couldn't help but keep saying I was going to commit suicide because I WAS. My mom was in tears, while telling me that she doesn't know what to do and that if she had any money whatsoever that she would help me. My mom said she would give me 100 thousand dollars if she had it, but my mom doesn't work and hasn't worked since we were born. My father kept yelling, "What about my retirement? This is going to cut into my retirement! NO, NO, NO! Don't ask me again!" My mom is helpless to help me and my dad won't help me because "I brought this all on myself" and we didn't get along well before I ever started this business. He has no empathy or compassion nor does he give me any credit for what I've done. At least other people give me credit for trying, but he has a skewed way of looking at everything. He claimed they told me not to do this, but I don't remember ANYONE telling me not to do this! I've issued ultimatums to my parents in this letter, but I've since deleted them. I once wanted to keep this letter within my family. I said things like I was going to run away and that my family will never see me again unless they help me at a time when I felt so desperate. This letter is still a work in progress.
Please understand that I've TRIED to reach out to my family first, but besides my father, there is NO ONE ELSE. I have very little family. I wracked my brains out over who can possibly help me, believe me...
During and after commencement all I could think about is how I need to run away and commit suicide. I WAS going to commit suicide. I suffered in silence that day. What stopped me from killing myself was my fear of death and of the unknown. I longed to get attention, revenge, and a reaction from others and I couldn't live with my emotional pain any longer, especially that day in particular. That day was supposed to be one of celebration, but I was fraught with anxiety about my future and devastation that my college years were over and ended in such a horrific way. During commencement, I didn't hear anyone speak. I was lost in my own head on how I have to kill myself, I just have to! To my parents I'm dysfunctional. I was warned not to talk to anyone about my problems. My parents were paranoid that I would not graduate. My mom would cry, "Why can't you just be normal?" I lost so much and I'm supposed to be just fine. To my parents the police coming to do a wellness check is just as bad as if they were coming to arrest me for a crime. I am a major screw up to them. If only I didn't start this business I'd be happy, maybe even at peace. "This is your entire fault!" "You didn't need to start this business!" "You didn't need to enter this competition!" ...this is the compassionate help I get from my parents. My mom says that I blame them for my business, and that infuriates me. I blame them for how they responded to it, but not for it. They just exacerbated my problems. They made me feel guilty about everything that was eating me up alive. My business "failed" and I lost a lot of money and instead of supporting me they indirectly indicated that I'm a complete and utter screwed up, and asked me, "What the hell were you thinking?" too many times to count. Everything I felt bad for was brought to the surface by my parents. I was made to feel like a total failure. My father threatened to throw my huge inventory in the trash numerous times. I can't even talk more about them, I'm so sick. When the ceremony was over, my dad had the nerve to say that he "wanted to sit next to the graduate" at the dinner that followed and patted me on the back. He was always overly touchy and feely with me. For as long as I can remember, he would walk by me and touch my arm or my back, just anything to get my attention and I would just explode with anger inside. I was at a loss, talking didn't work so I would hit is hand to try to get him to understand that I don't want him to lay a hand on me. When I reacted to him in any which was he would loudly say, "ouch, why did you hit me?" etc. and make a big to do of it when my mom was around as if he was trying to impress on her that I'm the problem. I found him so unbelievably immature and my mom would agree to this as well. This wasn't a game to me. I didn't want to be touched and I wanted my space, but he would always deliberately go out of his way to irritate and annoy me. He also had this thing where whenever I would express my feelings to him, all he would say is "We're friends. You and I are very good friends" like my problems with him was a joke! That's not normal. He has no regards for anyone and cannot talk and work out a problem with anyone like a man if his life depended on it. He just cannot express his emotions the right way and he shuts down when anyone else expresses their emotions.
I had a pretty normal childhood except for some things that stick out in my mind. I remember struggling to learn in school when I was younger and being put into transitional first grade along with my sister because we had some problems learning and comprehending as a result of being premature triplets. I also had speech therapy. We are my parent's only children. I needed extra help all throughout elementary, middle and some of high school and had an IEP. Through all of elementary and middle school and some of high school, I had in-class support or was placed in special education classes, often with my sister. I can go into detail about how severe my struggle to learn and comprehend was, but there is no need to. Just know that I had processing and reasoning difficulties among a myriad of other learning problems and that I was academically, 1.5 to 2 years behind my normally developing peers throughout my schooling. I know for a fact that I still struggle to understand lots of things and that I'm slow at things, but not many people throughout my college career believed me because I would earn all A's. Only I know I had to work much harder than I should have to earn A's. Even though it's easier to express myself in writing, expressing myself in this letter is still difficult because I often am at a loss of words or I feel as though I don't know how to adequately express my feelings. I could never give anything but a short answer in school because I can't think on my feet quickly enough. In grad school, I felt like everyone else could verbally express an open ended question or topic for a several minutes. I feel as if I have a mental block in my brain. Today, my mom jokingly says that I was the "R" word back then—that I had more learning defects that my sister. When I was a kid, my mom would always patiently work with me despite my challenges. If you asked her today, she would tell you that she worked endlessly helping my sister and I with our homework, tutoring us, and going to IEP meetings. I give the most credit to her because my dad was away on business trips a lot as we were growing up. My dad would help me with my homework and tutor me when he was home, especially in math, but he wasn't very patient with me. When I didn't know something or made a mistake, he would yell at me and make me feel so stupid. One day during my junior year of high school I over-heard; clear as day, my dad say to my mom, "That Jessie is so f****** stupid. She'll never get through college." I went to school the next day crying my eyes out and I told all my teachers. He would always be whispering stuff about me to mom, belittling me or trying to pry into my business, and when I would confront my mom about it, she would deny it. He was always up in my business, needed to know how much money I had in the bank, what I was doing all the time and even would snoop through my drawers, during high school and beyond. Just last night I went home for dinner and there was a piece of mail there for me and that nosey bastard picked up the mail addressed to me and started to read it. I said, "that's mine" and 10 minutes later, he was looking at it again... I was fuming! He tried to ask me the same old questions to butt in my business: "Working? How much you are making?" I ignored him. What makes him think I would tell him anything! He always would be a two-faced mean bastard and then the next minute he would say, "We're friends." Something is wrong with him! He's DEAD to me!
My dad would also hit me with shoes and belts as a kid. I remember some instances where he really beat me up for no good reason. When he didn't know who was to blame for a spill or something, it always seemed to be me he picked to beat on. There were no such things as accidents to him. He would yell, "Who did it?" like one of us 3 were going to raise our hand. I always got the brunt of it. For instance, when we were 7 or 8 we were traveling and our cousin broke my brother's arm. My brother started with me, but of course, since his arm was broken, my dad stopped on the side of the highway and beat me up pretty good. I remember crying and throwing up. I remember getting my head banged against the kitchen table as a young teenager and being kicked while down while my mom begging my dad to stop because I have some heart conditions. When I slept, I would have dreams about him chasing me and me jumping the fence in my backyard and running away. In sophomore year of high school, my dad beat my sister unconscious and when my sister came to, she dialed 911. The cops took my dad away in handcuffs. I'll never ever forget the look on his face when he felt like he wasn't in charge anymore. We had to go to court, but the case was eventually dropped because my sister didn't want to press charges. I couldn't control my tears. My mom reported exactly what happened, and for the next few months my dad made my sister's and mom's life a living hell. The tension in our house was so unbearable. The court officers even came to my H.S. and interrogated us.
I kept all my papers and reports from high school and college (and even some middle school papers) and I finally went through them all and cleaned them out, and a lot of the stuff I wrote about myself in school as a little girl brings tears to my eyes in light of what I'm facing now. I talked about loving animals, wanting to be a veterinarian (but now I realize I wouldn't be able to deal with sick or dying animals, let alone, put them down after working in a high-kill animal shelter), ...wanting to live a long a happy life, to love my career, to travel a lot, to find the husband of my dreams, to live in a warm and happy place, to take care of my parents one day, to be well known and loved by many people, to live my life to the fullest and never look back...these are all plans I had for myself in middle school. I was so naïve that things don't always work out back then. Here I am, looking back, because the past is affecting my future and I can't help but look back to try to fix mistakes in order to move forward. I described myself with all positive characteristics as a little girl, and now I'm trying to hold back tears because it's like I'm mourning the loss of myself. Going through all my work also made me realize just how hard I've work. Every assignment was completed in its entirety, perfectly, and more often than not, overdone. I kept all my essays and reports. Reading them brings back memories of my excitement as a kid, and when I had hope. Gosh, I worked way too hard, was too much of an outstanding student, to be in this predicament. None of my high school teachers would imagine me here. A lot of students voted me most likely to succeed. My high school teachers saw a lot of potential in me. I guess I let everyone down. I was the biggest teacher's pet in history and the principle told my mom when I graduated that he never had a student struggle this much with having to graduate high school. I was a mess.
I remember getting teased and picked on severely in school as a kid because I was slower than the average kid of my age and for many other reasons, from my frizzy hair to my raspy voice to my severe acne in high school. I also remember a whole lot of fighting taking place in my house. There was so much tension and arguing that I remember the neighbors would say they can hear us from across the street. We never seemed like a family unit because it seemed no one ever got along. I remember my mom and dad getting into a lot of yelling matches when I was really young and things being so bad at times that my mom would say that she is going to divorce my dad but she never had the guts to. I remember my mom telling me that she felt pressure to marry my dad from her family because my dad is also Jewish. When it was time for dinner, my anti-social father would always eat in the other room. Even though things were not always looking up, everything excited me as a kid, and I remember being full or childhood wonder and a big baby well into my teenage years. I was excited about life and looked forward to everything, especially the many, many vacations my parents took us on. I find myself today trying to very desperately hold onto the good memories that I had as a kind, but I'm remembering less and less every day. I sometimes try to search for good memories, and I day dream about them all the time. We vacationed a lot, and we went on probably many more vacations than other kids did. Only on our vacations was my dad a different person. I went on so many nice and long vacations that my parents now hold over my head by saying, "How could you do this? ...We treated you well! We took you on so many nice vacations!" Yes, I went on some lavish vacations, including cruises, but I wasn't always treated so well. My mom texted me the other day "We (meaning her and my dad) aren't to blame if you're unhappy. That is a direct result of your actions, not ours." UGH, stop, just stop. I am not saying they are to blame. When she says this, it has another effect on me: It makes me feel guilty and bad about myself! My mom just doesn't get it. She is so very narrow minded. She always says things that hurt me so badly without realizing it. When I went to visit her soon after I moved out, she would ask me if I was still upset about my business...that doesn't help! That makes me feel worse. I'm done with her, too!
My dad is the child of Holocaust survivor. My grandfather barely survived the Holocaust, and at least seven of his brothers and sisters, including multiples, as well as his parents (my great-grandparents) perished in the Holocaust. My grandfather died when I was very young, but I know from my dad and grandmother (who is now also departed from this world) that my grandfather was abusive. My dad grew up in an extremely poor all black community where the majority of children were considered "at risk." He came from a turbulent upbringing and my uncle is mentally retarded and my aunt has all types of mental problems. She lives with my uncle now and probably still beats him up like she used to. My dad had another brother who abandoned the family. Growing up, supposedly, my dad was bullied and had to pick up the slack and care for his dysfunctional family. He joined the Coast Guard after high school and put himself through college and eventually become an Electrical Engineer for the Philly Navy Yard. This past April, April 2018, he retired after working 35 years in his career. He came from nothing so I do give him a lot of credit because he has no support whatsoever. In spite of this, I loathed my father from a very young age. He always and still does have a tyrant anti-social personality, maybe or maybe not as a result of his upbringing, and I despise him more than I will say here. He never laughed, never had manners, was always quick-tempered and is extremely overbearing, annoying and so arrogant. Like my mom, he is uptight, high strung, paranoid, pessimistic, and all in my business to a fault, but he is the true meaning of the word "a-hole." He would also watch * right in front of me when I was a kid which really angered me and made me think less of him. My parents bought a beautiful house in Virginia last year and will be moving there within the next year or so when my dad retires (Update, it's July 2018 and was stated previously my dad has retired already but they still fully didn't move to Virginia. Now my dad comes over (I live with my sister) as he please, unannounced and I feel like prisoner in my own home because I have to stay in my room or leave the house if I know in advance that he's coming)... and even though I can't wait for them to get the hell away, it bothers me tremendously that my mom's life is set because my dad makes a good living. He always provided for us, and in some ways, I feel that my mom is deserving of everything my dad can provide her because she's done so much for her children. In other ways, however, it eats at me that she hasn't worked since we were born, but yet she is getting everything handed to her while I'm here struggling after working so damn hard. Before I got out of my house my dad would boast and brag about this new house and how he is better than everyone and constantly says, "look what I can afford". I went over there for Yum Kippur on 9/23/15 and again he keeps talking about him making X and Y and Z when he retires in 2.5 years with this superior attitude...I just want to punch him right in the face. All I could think about is how much I just hope he dies. He makes me sick! So, my dad always put food in our mouths and a roof over our heads, and that's all my mom looks at. That's not all it takes to be a good dad! He is not worth my energy!
I have no one else to turn to...
The last year of my life at home was fraught with tension and desperation to get out of there at all cost. Deep down, my business bothered my dad, but he wouldn't express this fully until the day before commencement. Instead, he's actions and words to me spoke to his disgust and disappointment for a long time. He always treated me like I'm a real retard, by questioning and telling me things I already knew, as did my overbearing mother, but the months prior to me moving out were hell and mom was so brainwashed and oblivious as to how he would interact with me and put me down. Still to this day, she questions, "What did your father ever do to you?" and "Why do you hate him so much?" I have trouble expressing it in words because I don't understand his effed up personality myself. She doesn't get it: Someone doesn't have to make you black and blue to be an a-hole to you. Sometimes it's not that obvious! He just always had this screwed up attitude and when I tried to converse with him, he treated me with no respect. This was the way it was for YEARS and YEARS. I tried everything!!! I wrote him a letter in nice terms explaining how he talks to me and how I feel about it and he ripped it up. I wrote list of things I dislike that he says or does. Nothing ever worked. He never paid it any mind. He is so set in his ways. He only would want to talk to me and question me about 10 or so things, and they were all things I don't want to think about...like all my student debt, how much money I have in the bank, when I'm going to graduate, etc. He just had to keep reminding me of things I didn't want to think about! Things that collectively made me suicidal. *On a side note, I know I am very repetitive and I'm sorry for this. It's just that this letter is an ongoing process over a long period of time and I cannot always remember if I wrote this or that and doing keyword searches every time I want to add something would take too much time. Because of this, my thoughts are not always in a sequential logical order. After writing only a few pages, this letter became overwhelming and unmanageable to read like a story. I'm all over the place because I'm desperately trying to type my thoughts anywhere before they go out of my head. THIS IS IMPORTANT-PLEASE NOTE ITS JULY 24TH, 2018 NOW AND I'M TRYING TO UPDATE THIS LETTER TO ADD WHAT'S HAPPENED OVER THE PAST LIKE 3 YEARS. I HADN'T ADDED ANYTHING DURING THIS LONG TIME FRAME. I WROTE THINGS DOWN THAT I WANTED TO ADD TO THIS LETTER, KEY WORDS WITH THE HOPE OF ADDING THEM ONE DAY, BUT LIFE GOT IN THE WAY AND I'M OVERWHELMED AND WORRIED THAT I'LL MISS SOMETHING BIG I WANTED TO SAY SO I'M NOT GOING TO SAY MUCH AT ALL ABOUT THE LAST FEW YEARS. IN SUM, I'M NOW MOVED OUT WITH MY SISTER. I KNOW LATER ON IN THE LETTER YOU WILL READ ABOUT BILL AND HOW I'M STUCK WITH LIVING WITH HIM AND ALL THAT ENTAILS, AND I'M NOT DELETING ANYTHING THAT HAS CHANGED BECAUSE YOU NEED TO KNOW MY STATE OF MIND AT THAT TIME TO GET THE WHOLE PICTURE. YES, I MOVED OUT, LIVING WITH MY SISTER, NOT ABLE TO PAY MY HALF FOR THE MORTGAGE FOR MOST MONTHS BECAUSE I'M NO FURTHER IN MY "CAREER" THEN I WAS IN 2015. I WORKED IN A MIDDLE SCHOOL AS A 1:1 AIDE THIS PAST ACADEMIC YEAR, AND I'M GETTING LIKE NO CASES FOR MY IN HOME THERAPY JOB. I'M STILL STUCK IN A RUT, AND I DON'T RECALL IF THIS IS IN THIS LETTER LATER ON OR NOT, BUT I'VE BEEN ONLY ALLOWED TO MAKE $16,000 OR LESS FOR THE LAST ALMOST THREE YEARS BECAUSE ONCE I GRADUATED GRAD SCHOOL, I OBVIOUSLY WAS UNABLE TO WORK DUE TO MY DETERIORATING MENTAL HEALTH AND MY PSYCHIATRIST AT THE TIME, TOLD ME ABOUT THIS PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY PROGRAM WERE I WOULD BE ABLE TO GET MY 50 THOUSAND PLUS DOLLARS IN STUDENT LOANS COMPLETELY FORGIVEN, BUT THE CATCH IS I WOULD BE UNDER A THREE YEAR POST MONITORING PERIOD, WHERE I AM ONLY ALLOWED TO MAKE $16,000 A YEAR, WHICH IS THE POVERTY GUIDELINE FOR TWO PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF NJ. IF I GO A PENNY OVER, I HAVE TO START PAYING BACK MY STUDENT LOANS. AT THE TIME, I JUMPED ON THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE ALL MY STUDENT LOANS FORGIVEN. I WAS BROKE, ALREADY GETTING HOUNDED TO START PAYING MY STUDENT LOANS BACK, AND I JUSTIFIED THIS FURTHER WITH THE BELIEF THAT I GOT CHEATED IN MY EDUCATION AND WASN'T ELOQUENTLY PREPARED FOR WORK IN MY FIELD...SO I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY FOR THAT. WELL, IT'S ALMOST THREE YEARS, OCTOBER 19TH, 2018 WILL MARK THE THIRD AND FINAL YEAR OF MAKING * MONEY. AFTER THAT DATE, I'M FREE TO MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS I WANT. I TELL MY DAD THAT I CANNOT PAY MY MORTGAGE BECAUSE OF THIS FACT, BUT IN TRUTH, EVEN IF I WASN'T LIMITED TO HOW MUCH MONEY I COULD MAKE, I WOULDN'T BE MAKING THAT MUCH MORE IF ANY MORE MONEY THAN I'M MAKING NOW BECAUSE MY MASTER'S DEGREE HAS PROVEN UTTERLY USELESS TO ME. IN ORDER TO HAVE A CAREER I NEED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL TO ADVANCE MY EDUCATION OR CHANGE MY DIRECTION COMPLETELY AND STUDY ANOTHER FIELD. I HAVE SO MANY IDEAS OF WHAT I WANT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL FOR, BUT THE PROBLEM IS I HAVE NO MONEY TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE OUT ANY STUDENT LOANS WHILE YOU'RE IN THIS FORGIVENESS PROGRAM AS WELL. HERE AGAIN, I'M STUCK. SO, I'VE BEEN USING THE FACT THAT I CAN'T MAKE BARELY ANY MONEY AS AN EXCUSE, REALLY. IN A WAY IT'S TRUE, I CAN'T, BUT I ALSO DON'T SEE MYSELF MAKING MONEY EVEN IF I COULD. I THINK I CAN TAKE OUT STUDENT LOANS AFTER THIS MONITORING PERIOD IS UP, I THINK, BUT I'M NOT SURE. MY LIFE IS AT A COMPLETE STANDSTILL, SEEMS TO BE THIS WAY MORE OFTEN THAN NOT. ONCE I MOVED OUT OF BILL'S HOUSE IN NOVEMBER 2016, WHICH YOU WILL READ ABOUT SHORTLY, I STARTED TRYING TO DATE THROUGH ONLINE DATING APPS, BUT I HAVEN'T HAD ANY LUCK BECAUSE ALL THESE GUYS I TALK TO SEEM TO WANT JUST *, OR THEY HAVE A DEAL BREAKER OR SEVERAL- THEY ARE BROKE LIKE ME, LIVING AT HOME, CHEAP, FAT, UGLY OR A COMBINATION OR ALL OF THESE THINGS. I JUST TURNED 31 AND YOU WILL READ LATER ABOUT HOW DESPERATE I AM TO FIND SOMEONE, SETTLE DOWN, AND RAISE A FAMILY. I MOVED OUT OF BILLS HOUSE AND I THOUGHT THAT WOULD MAKE IT EASY TO DATE, NOPE. HE IS GETTING IN THE WAY. HE IS HOLDING PEPI, OUR DOG, OVER MY HEAD AS A MEANS TO MAKE IT SO I CANNOT FULLY SEPARATE MYSELF FROM HIM. I NEED MY PEPI, AND SO DOES HE, HE IS AN EMOTIONAL WREAK TOO, BUT I HAVE A BETTER HOME FOR PEPI AND TAKE BETTER CARE OF HIM. WHEN PEPI IS WITH ME, HE HAS TO SEE HIM, AND WHEN PEPI IS WITH HIM, I HAVE TO SEE PEPI AND THEREFORE, SEE BILL WHOM BTW, MAKES COMMENTS LIKE "PEPI HAS TO GET USED TO NOT SEEING YOU" AND "TELL THIS NEW GUY I SAY "HI". PEPI HAS BEEN LIVING AT BOTH OF OUR HOUSES, BUT MINE FOR THE MOST PART. AS OF NOW THOUGH, BILL HAS HIM, AND I AM AT MY WITS END. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I'M GOING TO GET RID OF BILL WHEN WE BOTH NEED PEPI AND WON'T GIVE PEPI UP. IF IT WASN'T FOR PEPI, BILL WOULD BE A DISTANT MEMORY. I HAVE TO SEE BILL FOR PEPI'S SHAKE, AND HE USES PEPI AS A MEANS TO REEL ME IN AND BACK TO HIM BECAUSE HE'S OBSESSED WITH ME AND CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT ME. HE KNOWS MY WEAKNESS IS NOT SEEING MY BABY, MY SON, AND HE USES THAT AS LEVERAGE AND SO FAR IT'S BEEN WORKING. THREE YEARS LATER AND MY LIFE AS DESCRIBED IN THIS LETTER IS NOT MUCH BETTER THAN IT WAS BACK IN 2015. I'M RELIEVED TO NOT HAVE TO LIVE UNDER THE SAME ROOF AS BILL, BUT IT HAS BECOME BLATANTLY OBVIOUS THAT THERE IS NO EASY SOLUTION HERE. I'M TRYING TO PULL AWAY FROM BILL AT THE EXPENSE OF SACRIFICING TIME WITH PEPI AND DEEP DOWN, I'M FALLING APART. I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I'M STILL SO SUICDAL.
I MUST ADD THAT SINCE I MOVED HERE, MY DAD CAME OVER THIS NOVEMBER 2017 AND SNATCHED MY TURTLE, TILLY, WHOM I CARED FOR OVER THE PAST 2.5 YEARS A RELEASED HER WITHOUT TELLING ME. WHY? YOU GUESSED IT, BECAUSE THE SAGA CONTINUTES, HE'S STILL AN * AND ALWAYS WILL BE. AFTER LIVING IN CAPTIVITY, TURTLES CANNOT SURVIVE ON THEIR OWN IN THE WILD. I KNOW MY PRECIOUS TURTLE WHOM I LOVED SO VERY DEARLY IS DEAD. THIS DEVISTATES ME. THIS TIME MY MOM UNDERSTOOD AND SIDED WITH ME. SHE WAS PISSED AT MY DAD, AND CALLED HIM MENTALLY ILL. FINALLY, SHE AGREES WITH ME ON SOMETHING. AND THREE WEEKS AGO, I COLORED MY HAIR AND LOST A TON OF HAIR. NOW I HAVE BALD SPOTS, NEEDED TO PAY $200 FOR EXTENSIONS, AND THE HAIR COLOR COMPANY IS NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY SO I'M GETTING ANNORNEY. I AM BEYOND DEVISTATED ABOUT MY HAIR. HERE I AM AGAIN DEEP GRIEF, ANOTHER TRAMATIC EXPERIENCE, A HUGE LOSS, PUSHING ME OVER THE EDGE. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TYPE OF PURPOSE I COULD POSSIBLY HAVE TO SERVE ON THIS EARTH. SO FAR, I'VE LIVED THROUGH MOSTLY HEARTACHE AND PAIN. Anyway, I called my dad all types of names because he is everything under the sun. I swear, there is no one, no one in this whole wide world that would irk me, or anyone, more! He has one really screwed up personality! He got under my skin so badly, so badly that I would sleep with a knife by my bed. He was so ungodly rude. No matter how old I was, he would simply open my bedroom door without knocking when he wanted to come in and talk about nothing I wanted to hear with me. Sometimes he would even walk in on me getting dressed. There were several times where he would invade my privacy, talk badly about me behind my back or say something that would make anyone's blood boil that I would chase him with a knife to get him to back away or shut up. He had me fuming 24/7. I don't have an anger problem. I'm not at all an angry person. I'm actually quite the opposite, but he knew exactly how to push my buttons. It wasn't just me either— everyone in the family, even my mom, had problems with his mouth at times. He is not a friendly person. He never got along with my mom's side of the family and for no good reason. He could never laugh with anyone. He's very antisocial and belittles everyone! He has no concept of how to have proper social interactions with others. He never complimented anyone or said anything positive. He has a comment for everything. When my family went out to dinner with my 4 (and only other family members I ever see) on my mom's side, he would never like his meal and he would make such a scene that he would embarrass my mom and reduce her to tears. He would complain to the waitress like it's her fault that he doesn't know the difference between marinara sauce and Alfredo sauce or the difference between the types of noodles there are. He would always order some pasta dish and had a * about the sauce and the noodles because he thought it was something else when the menu clearly stated what the dish was comprised of and this happened no matter how many times he ordered the same dish. When it came time to pay the bill, forget it, my mom was mortified. My uncle would whisper to me, "your dad is a real *." There is something so very wrong with him. My mom would say, "Well, if you would treat him better, maybe he would be nicer to you!" No, Noooooo—he has a personality that's so beyond description, so hard to define, that he MUST have a serious personality disorder. I would lash out at my mom for not understanding and she was always caught in the middle. Home = hell on earth. He has a smart comment for everything. He never laughed, ever, and has no manners. If he wants you out of the way it's "move".
My mom would cry, "You let everything get to you. You're too sensitive." No, I have respect for myself, and she doesn't—that's the problem. She claims that I blow everything out of proportion. She is just so naive and so accustomed to his ways— he talks down to her, too, and she is just so used to it that she doesn't realize it. I lost respect for her because of this. I see her as dependent on this a-hole, and too weak to confront him. No one can possibly understand how irritating he is unless you know him personally. Explaining this is a lost cause! This guy is so not friendly! I just cannot...cannot put how much he makes my blood boil into words. There aren't any. It disgusts me that he's my father. He thinks he is BETTER than everyone. He thinks he is G-d because he has money and is moving into a nice big house in a nice gated community in a nice area. He talks down about other family members, while saying in the same breath, "Look what I can afford!" and, "It's all about how much money you got in the bank." My brother owed him some money and I remember him saying, "That's right, give me all your money so I can live out my retirement!" When I would hear him boost and brag about moving and how happy he is about it, I would just EXPLODE inside because there I was, contemplating suicide because he wouldn't help me financially (oh, I tried SO hard to get any help I could from him whatsoever...not a dime), suffering so severely, unable to lift a finger and he knew it yet he's sticking it in my face.
I would hear him go into my bothers room and have a normal conversation with my brother, telling my brother how proud he is of him for getting a really good paying job as an industrial engineer with the postal service. To my parents' dismay, my bother got his B.A. in Business, but eventually went to grad school for Industrial Engineering and my father exclaims, "It all paid off for you, man." I'm listening in from my adjacent bedroom thinking to myself: he never carried on a conversation like that with me and that he favors my brother and oh, I really can't stand him anymore. I hope he dies! I felt so inadequate and hurt. Nothing I ever did was good enough. He would tell me at times, "I'm proud, but...." There was always some "but" afterwards. Also, women are all whores to him. When a pageant was on he would blurt out, "They are all whores." When a commercial is on, asking for donations to victims in third world countries or victims of natural disasters, he would say, "They deserve it those f******......!" If you're black, you are without question the "N" word, and if you're gay, you're an effing faggot to him. If you're not like him, you're crap as far as he is concerned. It bothers me so, so much because I have regard for other people. Oh, I considered asking my brother for money, my cousin who was a lawyer making over 150 grand a year and is now on disability, never having to work again and making 70% of his salary...I feel bad for saying this because as I'm re-reading this now in July 2018, my cousin has since passed away as the result of unintentionally overdosing on pain meds as a result of painful injuries he sustained from a fall. I thought of everyone and everything...but I'm not close with anyone in my family...ANYONE, and quite frankly, my brother and I don't get along. He laughed in my face when I would talk about all the money I lost. I'm totally dead to him, might as well not even exist. July 2018, and I haven't spoken to my brother in years. I asked an uncle...I'm at a total loss. No one in my family will ever help me!
Throughout the years, my mom started to assimilate to my father's ways without realizing it. When I express how I feel about my dad to my mom she cries that she can't take it anymore, she really can't take it anymore! Sometimes I get her so upset that she says that she is going to kill herself. She is paranoid, so worried about what other people think that it makes me sick! "Don't tell anyone how you feel, OMG. Don't you bad mouth us to anyone." "You need to lose weight." "You're getting fat." "You look pregnant." "You need to get your hair cut. You look like a mop head." "You need to wear some makeup." She is always overly concerned about what the family is going to think while putting me down. I went over my old house the other day to get my bike and when I looked at my father, after not seeing him in months, I felt such intense rage. I wanted to strangle him with my own two hands right then and there. I texted my mom how much I hate his guts and she says that I need to stop this, "Stop it. Stop this. I can't take it anymore. I'm not well. You moved out and you haven't talked to him in months." Does that somehow erase the hurt especially when I'm still stuck in the same dilemmas?....Another text, "I have breast cancer." Today, 4/27/15, 2:22 P.M, I learned that my mom has cancer. What am I to do now? I'm in crisis and my mom is sick so now all my hopes to share all this with her are shattered. I can't talk to her anyway. She doesn't get it! She never understands things from my perspective! This is all I need now. My dad had leukemia twice and has been through Chemotherapy. My mom says that there are other things going on that I don't even know about. OH BTW, MY MOM DIDN'T HAVE BREAST CANCER, SHE TOLD ME SHE LIED. SHE TOLD ME THAT SHE DID THAT ONE DAY JUST SO I WOULD LEAVE HER ALONE AND STOP BITCHING ABOUT MY FATHER TO HER. WHO THE * DOES THAT? TELLS THEIR DAUGHTER THAT THEY HAVE BREAST CANCER WHEN THEY DON'T? SO BETWEEN MY MOM TELLING ME SHE HAD BREAST CANCER, AND NOW, JULY 2018, I WENT FOR MY ANNUAL CHECK UP AT THE GYNECOLOGIST...THIS WAS SHORTLY AFTER MY MOM TOLD ME SHE WAS DIGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER AND WHEN THE DOCTOR ASKED ME MY FAMILY HISTORY, I BROKE DOWN AND SAID THAT I JUST LEARNED THAT MY MOM HAS BREAST CANCER...THEN THE FOLLOWING YEAR, THEY ARE REVIEWING MY CHARTS WITH ME "OH YOU'RE MOM HAS BREAST CANCER?" ...I SAID "OH, I MUST HAVE BEEN MISTAKEN BECAUSE SHE DOES NOT."
My sister, Rachel, is a whole another story. If I had to describe her in one word and one word only, it would be selfish. Please don't get me wrong, please. I know that she lend me money so that I can complete my master’s degree—you will read about that shortly (albeit made my life a living hell because I couldn't pay her back right away), but that's the ONLY thing she ever did for me. I bent over backwards for my sister too many times to count, because she acted helpless to do anything herself— but she wouldn't do the simplest favor for me—or anyone else for that matter. I'm appreciate and thanked her for lending me that money, don't get me wrong...but other than that, I kept doing and doing and running for her but when I asked a simple favor in return, she would moan and groan. Everything was all about her, and my mom would say this all the time: My sister, like my aunt (mom's sister, although my mom wouldn't admit that) are selfish people. I'm saying this as a side note, stream-of-consciousness thought, but what I'm about to talk about is what really matters most. For years before I moved out, my sister was depressed but instead of holding it in like I was, she would walk around saying that she was going to kill herself. She was always on edge. I feel for my sister. She had some VERY unfortunate situations happen to her as well and for all I know she can have a letter this long, too. She was the most miserable person, screamed all the time, fought with mom all the time, and everyone else suffered because of her misery. She was pushing me to the edge without knowing it. I was suicidal myself and kept hearing how she is going to kill herself...It was all too, too much to deal with. I HAD to get out of my house. But, BUT—at the same time, I'm conflicted on how to feel about my sister because, man, she has been through some seemly insurmountable things herself as far as her college education goes, as well. I cannot go into detail, because I don't know the full story, and I haven't lived it, but I remember when I just arrived at Rutgers, for my junior year of college, after transferring from then Gloucester County College and one day, after a LONG drawn out ordeal, my parents meeting with officials at the Nursing school she was attending—Helen Fuld School of Nursing—in Camden County—and letters being mailed to our house—My sister, also a straight A student, extremely hard worker, was KICKED out of nursing school with one semester left until graduation because she was deemed "mentally unstable." I don't recall exactly what transpired, and again, I cannot speak for my sister—but it's my understanding that this school pushed my sister to her breaking point and conspired to get her thrown out because she was depressed...Not only was this the worst times in my sister's life, my whole family was affected greatly. This school kept threating to kick her out, numerous times, until finally she couldn't take it anymore and she emailed someone at the school, I don't know who, telling them that she just overdosed on pills—and she wasn't lying. My triplet sister had taken an overdose of pills, anti-depressants and who knows what else, and my mom rushed her to the hospital. I remember before she was rushed to the hospital, my sister telling me, in emotional upheaval, "I'm going to die. I'm going to die...I just overdosed." There aren't adequate words to describe just how terrified I was for my sister's life. The doctor said had she drank with it, she would have died. At the time, we didn't know if she would have any physical or psychological effects from it. All my dad had to say is, "She Fu**** up." Forget that she almost died, she screwed up. That's how he viewed it. He has the wrong take on everything. Thankfully, she's okay. Again, it's July 2018, and she's been sent to the crisis center several times, since, most recently she was omitted for a week, this time she also took pills in attempts to kill herself.
I know my sister has (an) eating disorder(s). For years I would hear her gage herself in the shower and she would pressure me to buy her laxatives at one point in time. She was always way overly concerned about her body image. She sees fat where there is none. Right now, she's 110 lbs. and is 5' 4" and I'm 150 lbs. at 5'1". I'm a little chubby and can afford to lose 10-15lbs (this is 2015 probably that I wrote this, at one point I was up to 174 lbs., but as of now, in July 2018, I'm down to 133 lbs.) This is how it's been for at least 10-8 years now, but up until about age 14, it was the exact opposite: I was a stick and she was the chubby one. For the last couple of years, she's been suffering with a slew of aches and aliments, everything from needing her tear ducts cauterized for extremely dry eyes, toe pain, serious problems with her teeth and tooth aches, problems with her nose to degenerative disc disease, early onset Crohn's disease, severe constipation, severe migraines...the list goes on. Every time I'm on FB, she's posting yet another medical problem she has. Before I moved out she would do nothing but complain about this and that and pop pain pills constantly. Today she probably still does this, plus she now smokes weed and pops Xanxs all the damn time. I can't say that I have any complaints like this about my health. I have a few relatively minor heart problems, but I'm not in physical pain like she is.
A month ago, she posted on FB that she may not be alive after Wednesday. I don't know the complete story. All I know is that my sister was out socially drinking with some friends and got a DUI. She had the BAC of 0.08%, the legal limit. I believe her when she says that she drank 2 drinks, didn't feel at all intoxicated, and drinks socially once every 5-6 months. She is the absolute furthest thing from an alcoholic. We both have clean driving records and are responsible citizens. Neither one of us ever were in any type of trouble. This couldn't happen to more of a goody two shoes type of person. What's worse is that she evaded the police for a little bit because she was scared to pull over because she saw a show the night before about a girl who was pulled over by a criminal, who posed as an officer, was abducted, and murdered. My sister's car got towed and she was and is still completely beside herself. The court date got pushed back, and she can't afford a lawyer. I'm afraid that she will lose her license and get bombarded with thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. This will go on her record and she will be looked upon as an irresponsible alcoholic when she couldn't be further from. Whenever we went out with family, she never ordered an alcoholic beverage. With friends, she probably felt some peer pressure to drink. I feel SO bad for my sister. Whether you get caught is a complete game of chance and this was very unfortunate for her. She has enough problems. She doesn't deserve anything to happen as a result of this, and I'm sure she will know better for next time. I felt so bad and so desperate to make her feel better that I told her that I would give her any money she incurs from this. Here I am, barely making it by, lost all my money and I'm continuing to lose money but yet I promised to pay my sister's way out of this. There aren't words to adequately describe how overwhelmed I am with my life. If my sister doesn't get out of this, I fear for her life....A YEAR LATER HER CHARGES GOT DROPPED. THIS WAS ALL FOR NOTHING.
One day about 2 years ago (LIKE 5 YEARS AGO NOW) my sister came home saying she was going to kill herself because she let someone who she thought was her friend "borrow" money and the person never paid her back. It was $800 and something. She was a total mess because after a while, she realized that this person wasn't planning to pay her back. For weeks my sister was threatening to kill herself over this, and all I wanted to do was scream on the top of my lungs because I lost way more money than that. I just couldn't deal with my sister. My loss was so much more devastating so her misery was too much strain on me on top of what I was dealing with myself. Her baggage leaks onto me!
During my freshman year of college, my mom had open heart surgery to remove a benign tumor the size of a lemon—doctors’ words—from her heart. My mom was a cruise in the summer and a nurse onboard commented that she needed to get her heart checked—her ankles were swollen. Turns out, my mom had a huge tumor in her heart. That fall, she went under the knife for extremely risky surgery and there was no guarantee she was going to come out of it. G-d, I was panic stricken. How and why the tumor develop and grew in her heart is a mystery and the doctor said that it isn't hereditary, however, he also said that it was the biggest tumor probably on record removed from a heart. The doctors removed her heart and had to rebuild it—using cow skin—and the recovery my mom endured was a long and painful one. During that time, we all had to chip in and care for her. In the hospital room after the surgery was the first time I say my dad cry. I wanted to talk to my mom, but she was uncomfortable and had a breathing tube and couldn't talk. I broke down seeing mommy like this. When my mom had her surgery and when our Sunny (our late Labrador) died were the only times I ever saw my dad cry. I'm immensely insightful, and I know this. You just don't know what a person's going through. I believe we all fight our own great war.
Back to my sister...so I witnessed my sister almost die when she overdosed on pills that day. People just don't understand how shaken up that made me. I reached out to that professor I talked about earlier, and she was the person who first contacted the counseling center for me at Rutgers. I was too afraid to go there on my own. The nursing school my sister went to later shut its door and went out of business for reasons I'm not aware of—maybe someone sued them, who knows. I never understood why she and my parents didn't sue the school because it's against the law to expel someone from school for mental health reasons. My sister was never a threat to anyone. She didn't pursue nursing, but rather went on to get either a certification or an associate degree—I'm not sure—in Health Information Technology. I believe that took her two years and she took a test and become certified but graduated unable to obtain a position in that field. I do not know the reasons why, but several years after graduating she gave up looking and is now at another community college, with enough credits to already have her bachelor’s degree—pursuing a Bachelor's in Psychology—like I did. (SHE SINCE GOT HER MASTER'S). My sister never and still doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. She perused nursing school because in high school, my parent’s kind of pushed nursing school on us. I even took the SAT's because I thought I was going to nursing school, but winded up not needing to take them because I went to a community college first. I knew being a nurse wasn't what I wanted to do, but I think that my sister just didn't know what she wanted to major in so she just went with nursing. I'm helpless to help her. I tried to give her advice so many times. I personally think at this point that she should pursue a 2 year degree in a specialized field, perhaps a medical field, if she wants to be out in the work field making money any time soon, but she insist on needing to get her Bachelors' for some reason, I'm not sure, but she is dead set on needing a Bachelor's degree...and I told her that with a B.A. in Psych, she won't get anywhere unless she goes to grad school, but nope...she doesn't listen. She doesn't know if she will go to grad school and if so, what for (WELL, SHE DID). My mom and I think she is making another mistake that she can't afford to make because she is SOOOO beyond devastated about all this, similar to how I feel about my business—both losses keenly felt, both gut-wrenching in their own ways. This is yet another reason why I HAD to get out of that house...I couldn't deal with how I was feeling and her moping around saying that she's going to kill herself over this and everything else (and me thinking it's a real possibility because she has tried before)...Can you blame me?
Now back to me...
This business ruined virtually every aspect of my life. I'm stuck in a rut and will never recover. Because of my "failed" business, obviously, I'm in financial ruin. I worked part time while going to school and I spent 8 years in college. I have absolutely nothing to show for it but diplomas hanging on the wall. It all was a waste of time and is amounting to nothing. I worked my butt off, have a nearly perfect undergrad and graduate GPA, graduated summa cum laude, but for what? I should have just gone for a 2-year degree in respiratory therapy or radiology or I should have gone for my master's in occupational therapy. As you've read in my letter, I had trouble learning, was held back in school, struggled so bad to comprehend and learn normally like my peers growing up! But look...I have a master’s degree and I'm devastated. This isn't right. This isn't fair. This shouldn't be this way!
I want to go back to school, for Rutgers’s The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Mental Health Counseling...in order to become an LPC (License Professional Counselor). This certificate program is meant for people who already hold a master’s degree in a Counseling field, and that's me. I want to help people better cope with life stressors. I need one more year, 4 courses, but since it's a certificate program, financial aid is not granted and I cannot pay for it. SINCE I TYPED THIS I DID TAKE 1 OF THE 4 REQUIRED COURSES. I don't know why, but this new policy that courses within certificate programs can't receive financial aid went into effect about 2 years ago. I cannot take out a private loan either, now that my credit is ruined and I'm in this PTD loan forgiveness thing. I tried. I actually enrolled in one of the four required courses without matriculating (being accepted into the certificate program) in the spring semester of 2014 (while I was finishing up the last two courses of my master’s degree: Internship which I've discussed previously and Research Methods in Counseling in Educational Settings, which went hand and hand with the Internship course. Both of these courses were two-semester courses, 3 credits each, so I was enrolled in them in the fall of 2013 and the spring of 2014. However, I was unaware that during the spring semester that these courses would become 1.5 credits each, 3 credits total. I was getting financial aid during the fall semester because I had the minimum of 6 graduate credits, but during the spring semester, I wasn't eligible for financial aid with just 3 graduate credits so I decided to pick up one of the required courses within the certificate program because that way I could still receive financial aid because in order to receive aid, you have to be a matriculated student taking at least 6 credits (for grad students) and I was matriculated into my Master's program so I was good. However, after attending the first class meeting for this course needed for the certificate program, I dropped the class. The professor was throwing so much at us and I was overwhelmed with finishing my master’s degree (finishing my thesis and obtaining my internship hours) AND preparing to present my business in the upcoming Business Plan Competition to be held in March. I wasn't exactly sure if I was going to continue on and take the other 3 courses needed for this certificate program. I didn't realize at the time that the inadequate training I was receiving in internship would lend itself to me needing to pursue this certificate. But, I dropped the course mainly because of the time I knew I was going to need to devote to prepare for the Business Plan Competition. Dropping the course is yet ANOTHER sacrifice I made for this useless competition, my business—and yet ANOTHER regret I have. Not only did I not get this course under my belt (when financial aid could cover it), but because I dropped it at the expense of preparing for this BPC, the final three credits I needed in order to graduate didn't qualify for aid. This put me in a REAL tough predicament. Research and Internship were a continuation from the previous semester: same professor, same students, and I was right in the middle of my internship, and there I was on verge of withdrawing my final semester because I HAD NO WAY TO PAY for Internship and Research out of pocket because I lost all my money. The financial aid office was putting pressure on me to pay for the course and I was emailing my professors and telling them: "I'm sorry, but I have no way to finish these last 3 credits and graduate because I can't afford to."
The ONLY solution I had was to ask my sister, who worked at Walmart at the time, and has very little money herself, for the money to pay for me to finish my master’s degree—$2,700—something for 3 credits. I couldn't ask my dad because, at the time, my parents thought I graduated at the end of last semester (fall 2013) because I was LYING to them all along about when I would graduate because I told my parents that I took just the fall semester off the year before to devote to my business, not both the fall and the spring semester because my rotten father was hounding and tormenting me about when I'm going to graduate. "When are you going to graduate already?" "How much money can you expect to make?" "What are your job prospects?" "Come on, are you looking?" ...that was ALL he would ask. The pressure was just TOO much. He wouldn't leave me the hell alone about anything! He wouldn't pay for my final course anyway.
My sister DID come through and lend me the money to finish school, but this came with more aggravation and threats than I could handle. It was January 2014, and I told my sister, "Don't worry. After the BPC in March, I'll have enough money or most of the money to pay you back." That's what I thought because I expected to win first place and win $5,000 or get in second place and win $2,500—Even with this promise, my sister was on me about it all semester long. The day after the BPC, after I "won" that lousy $500 (not to mention, I didn't see the money for months), and after being released from the crisis center for just a few hours prior—I woke up to my demanding sister banging on my bedroom wall, screaming, "Where is the $2,700+ you owe me? Give it to me NOW." There I was, in the deepest mourning over my loss in the competition, on the verge of killing myself any minute, my sister was hounding me for that money. I cried out, "I don't have it. I'll have it soon. I promise. Please, I don't feel well now." ...and SHE screams at the top of her lungs and carries on to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore and I screamed back, "I'm going to kill myself if you don't leave me alone about it."... and with that she picks up the phone, dials 911, and tells them that I'm going to kill myself. I hear this all. I was trying to get some sleep, and trying to remain calm, and she starts with ME. I knew that the police were going to come to the house and take me back to the crisis center and that's the last place I wanted to go because they make me so much worse there. I started crying uncontrollably and my a-hole father pushes me to the ground and starts beating on ME like I did something wrong. He was telling me that I'M "out of control." I HAD it. I ran out of the house with my PJ's still on and took off towards the woods near my house and hid there until the police came searching for me and found me there, dirty and all cut up. They put me in the back of the police car, and it felt like the whole neighborhood was watching. Again, people saw and probably thought that I was a criminal. I threw up in the back of the police car. I was just trying to get some sleep and trying to manage the best way I could, silently, but my sister put me back in the hospital, after just leaving there. SHE was the one that needed to go to crisis. SHE was out of control, not me. I told myself that once I get out of here (the hospital) I'm going to kill myself. I'm not going to agonize over it anymore. I'm just going to do it. I had to. The devastation and grief over my life was too much to handle. Luckily, I was only there a few hours and released. My mom came to get me. I had a verbal confrontation with her right there in front of everyone. I broke down, and yelled at her, telling her that the strain, stress, and pressure her and my dad put me through surrounding my misfortunes and my graduation etc. is the reason I'm so beside myself. My mom was a mess. I just lost it. It was that, it was the BPC, it was my sister, it was EVERYTHING all tumbling down on me at once. The physiatrist said, "You still live at home so you need to still follow your parents' rules." I wanted to be struck with lightening right at that moment because I still lived in that hell hole because I lost all my money, not by my own initiative. I was made to feel defective and treated like a helpless imbecile, especially by my dad, for needing to "depend" on him. I wanted nothing to do with him! I don't want to be tied to such an a-hole. Would you? Who would? Deep down, not even my mom wants to be! The fact that I would have been longed moved out if I didn't lose all my money was weighing on me far too heavily. No one took that into account though...I was just a "dependent." I couldn't live with that! I couldn't live there other minute! At that moment, I wanted to kill everyone, EVERYONE. The psychiatrist was a nice lady, but she just didn't know my circumstances, no one did, and even by reading this letter, 2 or 3 times over, still no one can possibly understand the suffering, the emotional pain endured.
The psychiatrist also informed my mom and I that I needed to follow up with New Point Intensive Outpatient Therapy program immediately and called over there herself. I'm sure that she probably never seen someone in so much emotional agony as I was in. However, I could NOT follow through with New Point at the time. Due to all the time I spent preparing for this BPC, I was greatly behind on my waste-of-time good-for-nothing-internship hours, and with graduation 2 months away, I had to scramble to get hours. This intensive outpatient therapy at New Point was a big time commitment: 3 days a week, a few hours smack dab in the middle of the day. I wouldn't be able to do it then—and knew this—although I told the psychiatrist at the hospital that I would call right away and schedule my first appointment—an intake evaluation. I also knew that after I graduated, I would be working my summer job at JCC Camps in Medford, for the second year, as an advocate for special needs children so going for intensive outpatient therapy during the summer wouldn't work with my schedule, either, because that job is full time. Of course, all the money I made last summer at my camp job went to my sister to pay her back for my last 3 credits. I talk much more about my sister later in this letter. I'm going back to my camp job the end of June...
Take a deep breath and carry on...please.
As it turns out, this past fall (fall 2014), I applied and was accepted into the certificate program, and had all intensions of taking those classes this academic year, but once I found out that I can't get aid for it, I couldn't go through with it. I declined the invitation for me to matriculate into the program at the time and told admissions that I'll be starting the program in September 2015 instead. It's May 2015, and I am still scratching my head on how I'm going to pay to go back to school in the fall. I don't know what to do. I even tried to see if unemployment could help and tried to find these courses—or another school—where I can get this certificate and financial aid—but to no avail. I have almost 50 grands in student loans, just a waste of time and money. My life story is one of a waste of time and money. I'll never be able to pay anything back on my loans. Right now, my loans are in deferment, collecting interest. Maybe none of this would have happened if I didn't go to Rutgers. I'd be settled now with money saved. All the money I ever earned is gone, over 30K. Plus, and this is yet another pressing issue all tied into my business... THIS LETTER IS PROBABLY REALLY CONFUSING TO YOU BECAUSE I STATE THINGS AS IF THEY ARE THAT WAY RIGHT NOW, BUT THINGS CHANGED, LIKE MY LOANS ARE NOT IN DEFERMENT ANYMORE, ...
I ABSOUTELY NEEDED TO MOVE OUT. I was feeling every type of negative emotion one can feel living there. I was trapped and then along came Bill...a guy I met through a friend of a friend.
So here I am 27 years old and living with a guy named Bill, who is 46 years old and who wants to marry me because he claims I'm the only person that makes him happy and he talks about us having kids. I couldn't live at home anymore and moved out this past summer because I was going to kill my family and then myself if I didn't get away from them. But I find Bill so impossible to please and so impossible to get along with that it's no wonder why he hasn't had any relationships that worked out. He is severely nit-picky and hates everyone. He has some serious problems accepting people's ways of thinking and doing things. There is no pleasing him. Everything seems to get his goat. I'm constantly getting yelled at. He is the most miserable person on earth with the most explosive and unpredictable personality. I have grown to absolutely loath him.
I can't live with myself any longer. I just can't. When I moved in with Bill in August 2014, it was because I NEEDED to. I had no other alternative. I hate what I've done and I can't cope with it. Bill keeps asking me, "What is wrong?" in a pissed off attitude because he's frustrated and should be. Holding it in isn't helping either of us. He also says, "If I were you, I'd be happy." He loathes his job, complains about it all the time so I should be happy? He has no idea what I'm dealing with. He doesn't understand. He keeps asking me how he can help me, but he first needs to understand exactly what's wrong. This is why, when he asks me what he can do to make me happy, I have no answer. This is what's wrong: This whole time I knew that he and I would never be a thing. About a month after I moved in with him, Bill promised that he would eventually pay me back the 30 grands, but after 10 months of living here he only gave me 3 grand and "owes" me nearly 6 grands. I've been paying all the bills except rent. We live paycheck to paycheck, and often time Pepe eats when we don't. There is never anything in the fringe. In fact, when I moved here, he was behind on his electricity bill and I had to pay past due bills in order for the electricity to stay on. He has nothing saved himself, absolutely nothing. To Bill: I have feelings for you, and care deeply about you, and wish the best for you. You tell me all the time, "I wish you see in you what I see in you." You make me feel special and loved. I'm so, SO sorry. It's not so much you in particular as it is you in general. I can't live with myself knowing what I've done to you. I know you know the truth. So many times, you would hit the nail on the head and tell/question me exactly what I'm thinking and feeling, "You really don't want to be with me. You just wanted to get out of your parent's house right?" You read me like a book. I'm suffering—know this. Billy asks me if I'm embarrassed to be seen with him and I say "no" but the truth is—yes I am—not only is he old enough to be my father, but he looks older than 46, like in his 50's and towers over me. Yes, I am embarrassed—Yes I am ashamed, mom,—the person who keeps asking me how I can be seen with him. Billy, you see it and you question my intentions. I haven't been straightforward with you because I'm scared to death. Those few times when I indicated that I don't want this, you broke down in tears and I simply cannot cope with what I've done. You would say, "Am I just a means to an end?" "You ruined me for all other women." "I lost one shot to get back with my ex for you." "Did I waste this whole year for you?" "You're going to break my heart, I just know it." OH G-D, I am so terrified and remorseful and feel so guilty. I set myself up for failure and him, heart break. I had no other recourse. I was initially so relieved to move out of my parent's house, and was okay the first few months here, but I can't live a lie anymore. We got close; this first year we built/established a life like we are going to be together forever...I fixed up the house inside and out, put a lot of money into building a Hawaiian themed basement...what else was I to do? Live here but not fix/change it to my liking? I needed things to be normal. I have no one else so I had to force myself to get close to you because I need someone in my life so that I don't feel so alone and lonely all the time.
Please understand what I'm about to say: It's not just the age gap. I find you often to be very miserable, irritable, easily frustrated and angry. The only time you are not miserable is when you are out with your friends drinking and smoking weed—then you become obnoxious. Now things are getting out of hand. I can't go to my mom's house, go to a social event without you, walk to the dog...do anything without you questioning where I'm going and getting pissed off and claiming I put everyone else and everything else before you. I'm on my phone and my lap top a lot and that just eats at you. We spend so much time together and I'm dependent on my phone and computer to write down my thoughts and search for a job and so much more. This is the generation gap again and you're trying to control me! You're seriously insecure and the jealous type you're one heck of a miserable misanthrope and I'm tired of the childish accusations. You run hot and cold, and it takes, nothing, literally NOTHING to set you off! I know your work is stressful, but you come home and the stress makes you angry and it spills into our relationship. Sometimes you treat me really badly and talk down to me like my dad does. You think we get along, but you say and do things that get to me, and in some ways, remind me of my father. I hold it in because you are extremely prissy and irritable all the time and minor inconveniences set you off. You need anger management so badly. You scare me sometimes. You have intermitted explosive disorder and oppositional defiant disorder and you know it, but you refuse professional help. Honestly, I hate you most of the time for the way you are. You are like my father in so many ways. Stop calling me non-stop, stop asking me how I'm doing...that's what my dad does. The other day when an old man on his cell phone almost ran into us, and you followed him honking your horn like a mad man, and confronted him, that scared me. Yet you text while driving. You have road rage. You shouldn't even be driving: you don't have a license. You said you paid a lawyer $500 to get your license back instead of getting me a birthday present (I just turned 28 and am adding this now). That a lie. That money went up in smoke too. You have warrants out for your arrest. You're unpredictable. Your anger is out of control. You have no patience at all and this reminds me of my miserable whiny sister. When you know that I'm upset, you'll be kinder, more tolerant of me, but it doesn't last for long. You don't help me do any housework! When I said the other day that I'll go where you want to go with you if you do the dishes, you said, ""**** you" to me! I don't appreciate you talking to me that way and when I express this, you always say, "It's a free country. I'll say what I damn well please." Not to mention, you have other problems that I'm not going to disclose and you know how I feel about them. I'm not even going to go into details, but it bothers me and when you get in my business, I feel like you're my dad. I know you're just trying to help, but ....I want out of this so that bothers me. I'm living a lie and it's killing me. I don't want to be with someone almost two decades older than me, but I have nowhere else to go. I cannot under any circumstance go back home and I can't live on my own now that I lost all my money. When you try to snuggle with me, or touch me, especially after doing these things, I want to jump out of my skin. I wish I could avoid it, but we share a bed. Your lack of hygiene is repulsive and disgusting to me. You take a shower sometimes once a week and you never brush your teeth before bed. No wonder why I turn away from you.
I can't leave him, either, because he loves me and it will break his heart and destroy him. He begs, pleads and cries with me to stay when he fight, and it eats me up alive because I care for him in some regards, but it can never be. I feel so guilty for this. I'm just going through the motions here but am dying to find a guy my age that will take me in and become my boyfriend. I'm being held back by living here. I'm getting nowhere. I want to have a family one day, and that's not going to happen with him. Billy, the fact that you know I'm hiding this from you but yet we continue on like everything is all fine and dandy is too much for me to take. You're frustrated suspecting this, doubting me, and that lends itself to you being quick-tempered with me and then I get upset and yell back at you and it's a vicious cycle, just like it is with my dad. I can't stay here any longer. It's tearing me apart.
Last night, like several times in the past, I hinted that I don't want to be here anymore and he starts to sob uncontrollably saying that "he was just the chosen idiot to get me out of my parents' house"... "I'm a sucker" ...."Please don't make a fool out of me"...."I love you more than anything in the world baby"... "I'll do anything, anything in the world for you"..."I'll take care of you forever, I promise just give me a chance" ..."Please don't leave me. I need you"... "I'll wind up back in the gutter"..."I'll shoot myself if you leave me"..."You're all I have"..."I'm so scared"...and in the same breath, ..."I'm ruining you/messing things up for you/look at how miserable you are" ... He is, and at no real fault of his own. This relationship is toxic to both of us and is wreaking havoc on my already deteriorating mental health and well-being. We're using each other. He is using me, too, because he can't see himself living without me and tells himself he wouldn't be able to live without me. I give him a sense of worth and hope. This is what I'm talking about, every time I try to break this to him, he reacts so desperately with such grief that it pulls at my heart strings because it's obvious that he really loves me, but I can't get past the 18 year age gap. He's in denial. We don't have much of a connection, and the generation gap is the main reason for this. We don't get along most of the time. We always argue and fight. He knows deep down that I'm not right for him! I can never tell him the whole truth because when he gets this way I feel so awful for what I've caused. It's gut wrenching for me to see him like this and I wind up saying "It's fine" and "I want to be with you" ...UGH. I'll never ever be able to leave him. I'm stuck. I'm truly stuck. I convince myself that I'm comfortable here and that there isn't the chaos here that there is at mom's house so here I am...I'm essentially being held against my will here but at the same time, there is nowhere else for me to go.
When I say that my business ruined EVERY single aspect of my life, this is what I mean. I would have never met Bill. I was so desperate to get out of my parent's house long before I met him that I would have moved out on my own if I didn't lose all my money with this business. I can't go back home, I can't date while I'm here. I can't do anything! I played Billy like a fool because I had no recourse and no one deserves that. I can't live with what I've done. I rather tell the truth and be judged for my mistakes then be living a lie...but I can't do it. What am I going to do? Please help me!
My parents can't believe I'm living here, with my 46 year old "BF". Here I am, once again, a major screw up to them. I'm upsetting them to no end, yet again. My mom is utterly distraught over me being here, and over the thought that I'm with Bill. They ask me "Why, what are you doing?" ...little do they know I don't want to be here just as much as they don't want me here. I rarely talk to my mom anymore, but when I do she tells me that she lies awake at night unable to sleep because of me. I'm embarrassed and upset. My mom tells me that I need to get out of here, I'm being held back, ruining my life, etc. and I get so furious inside but just ignore her. She texts me all the time out of the blue, "Are you really happy being with Bill? Is it just a matter of convenience? Be true to yourself. Is this what you want? You deserve so much better. The longer you are there, the more time you are wasting. Rachel (my sister) is dating and is very particular and I wish that for you (yeah right, Rachel is not serious about dating, that's a fact). Don't you want to go out with and maybe someday marry a man your age and be happy to be seen with and maybe someday have a family?" "You're not really happy there are you?" She texted me hundreds of texts along these lines since I moved here and when I read then, I want to just die. How can I blame her? I agree with her 100 percent, but I can't tell her that. I feel EXACTLY the way that she does but I can't answer to her because she will tell Bill how I feel and I can't be kicked out of here. She just reinforces how I feel and it kills me. I never got along with my immediate family and I don't have an extended family to turn to. I can could on my fingers the people on my mom's side of the family and there is no one on my dad's side. When we have family gatherings there same 4 people come, that's it. I'm not close with anyone. I might as well have no family. Many times, I wished this was the case. I have no one close to me to turn to except Billy's best friend who understand my situation completely but who genuinely can't financially help me. This will never work out in a million years. Like I've said, sometimes Bill will allude that he suspects I feel this way, but I get scared and anxious and deny it because I fear he will kick me out. My mom just got Bill's number about 3 months ago and he was the one to first tell her that we're in a relationship. Bill thinks that I was telling her this all along, but whenever I would go over there and she would ask me the status of Bill's and my relationship, I would change the conversation or refuse to answer. I don't even know if my mom knows that I know that Bill confirmed with her our "status." She heard it from him first ...I can't cope with any of this anymore. I'm destroying lives here, including my own and I feel sick to my stomach over it. I'm trapped. I can't get out of my life as it is without someone's help.
I'm living my own prison sentence for starting a business. What did I do to deserve this? Everything, I mean EVERYTHING I mention in this letter that pertains to me is in some way or another connected to my business. Bill, I wish you would cheat on me, something, so this all doesn't have to fall on me and I wouldn't have to leave by my own initiative. I need a real good reason to leave. I won't ever be able to rest easy again if I leave on my own free will. I can't do this to you. We can't be just friends while I live here. I've never gotten out of my internal hell. Sorry that you cannot save me, Billy. I have feelings for you, care deeply for you, but I can't get past the age gap. I just can't and it's not because my mom hounds me about it! Sorry that you cannot take care of me for the rest of my life like you say you want to!
As of February, Bill and I rescued a pit bull, named Price By-Tor and he is the love of my life and is helping me cope, but now I'm worried when we split, who is going to take him? I can't and won't live without my son. By-Tor helps his mama. He is so special, so perfect for me. He is the best boy to me, so sweet and therapeutic and has his own FB page. That's yet another thing I have to worry about. I'm just delaying the inevitable by staying here and the inevitable is going to be a total disaster. By-Tor, guinea pigs, and the turtle need to be taken care of. My pets need to be cared for and loved, and not become victims and suffer as a result of whatever happens in the end. They aren't at fault. They didn't do anything wrong. I'm worried because I once worked at a high kill shelter. I would be playing with a sweet precious pooch one day and the next, I would find out he/she was put down...for the most minor things such as a limp. It tore me to pieces. I quit. Dear G-d, please don't let them suffer! Please give someone strength in light of whatever happens to care for them!
You know what? I AM going to disclose everything about Bill. I just realized how big of a problem his problem is this past Friday night, May 8th, and now I have to add something else to this never ending letter: Bill is a drug addict. He is addicted to cocaine. I suspected this, but never really paid it any mind until just recently. With what I know now, the full extent of his addiction and the implications it has for both of us is surfacing. He has a LONG history of using and I didn't know this when I moved in with him. I mean, he wasted thousands, $50,000 or more thousand dollars on getting high in the course of his life time, he lost his home, ruined his life over drugs, etc. etc. ...what I'm trying to get at is that I came from a bad situation living at home and unbeknownst to me, moved into what becoming a much worse situation. I didn't see signs before. I was naïve because I never known or associated with anyone who did drugs—that's how innocent I am. I didn't know I had to look out for this. He claims that he's only gotten high 3 times since we've been together, and spent $1,150 max, the last time being on May 8th. He was supposed to come home from work and that night he, his best friend, and I had plans to just chill at home. To make a long story short, he goes to Camden and blows $500 on his addiction and tells me the most outlandish story about his where-a-bouts when it's obvious to me that he's been using. I could tell the whole story, but all you need to know is that this is what he means when he says if I leave him, he's going to wind up in the gutter again...the gutter meaning a full blown addict again...and he owed me that $500. I lost 30 plus thousand on my business and now I'm losing even more money. I pay for much more than my fair share. He pays for just rent, but sometimes I even chip in on that, too. I pay ALL the bills—even his bills (cell phone) and all of our shared bills (car insurance, electricity, etc.)—and he owes me thousands, almost 6 thousand now, and the amount just keeps adding up. I pay for gas and car insurance for "his' car that he shouldn't even be driving (he has no license and the car and insurance are under my name and if he gets pulled over, he's going to have a 10 day stay in jail), our food, and he has such serious anger issues that he broke his hand when we got into an argument by punching the wall and I had to front a good chunk of money for that too because his insurance didn't cover his medical bills nearly enough. He's been paying me back little by little, but he can't keep up. I'm still paying off his outstanding electricity bills that he incurred before I even moved in. He here is, blowing money getting high while I'm struggling to pay our bills with the very little money that I have coming in. Now I know where all the money has been going. He is lying about how much he is spending on drugs. I know this for a fact. On May 8th, over $200 went unaccounted for. He couldn't explain it. I trust him and have faith in him that he will pay me back, but on the other hand, I'm all shaken up about what I now know has been going on. This is all I need right now. I am livid and so upset. It's dawning on me that my word is crashing down around me a little bit more each day and I'm helpless to change things without intervention of some kind. He has had the nerve to claim that I'm spending too much money and that I don't spend enough time with him—just look at what he's been up to! I went from a desperate situation living at home to this...I can't deal with this. Then he claims that he resorted back to his old habits because he suspects things are falling apart between us, and in turn, I feel utterly desperate to keep peace between us. He says if I'm in it for the long haul, he won't get high anymore, and my position is that I can't be in it for the long haul if he's going to get high. Words cannot express the turmoil I'm feeling. I don't even feel safe here anymore. I know that in the past he had drug debts and that a person or people came to the house and held a gun to his head. Not that I think this will happen again, but I just don't know the full extent of this addiction his hiding from me. Maybe he still has drug debts. Ugh, I just cannot talk about this anymore.
I'm going nowhere in life, nowhere whatsoever. I feel that if I didn't start this business that I would have dated, been married, had kids, who knows, but now I can't get passed the money I lost to be happy and settle down with someone until I get my money back. I sound selfish but the only thing that is possible for me to recover is money. I'm upset knowing that next year will be 10 years since I graduate H.S. and I don't' have a career, a family or children like many people I graduated with have. I know my mom is upset that none of her children are in serious relationships or are married. I know she wants grandchildren and I want to settle down with someone.10 years since I graduated H.S. and what have I really accomplished? I did a lot, but it seems I actually accomplished very little in the eyes of others. Am I too hard on myself? Everyone says I am, but I think I'm realistic.
I have worked very little in the past five months and this is yet another lie I've been living—my mom thinks I'm working every day. I'm sitting home depressed, collecting unemployment, unable to find a real job with my degree. I have trouble concentrating on work when I do work. One day, at a middle school I worked, I couldn't focus on my job. I would freeze with fear right in the middle of working because thoughts on how I'm trapped would surface. The anxiety I face as the result of my life now because of my business is too much for anyone to handle. I have thousands of dollars of inventory in the garage just sitting there collecting dust. All the work I put into it and it's all just sitting there, weighing so heavily on me. I want out of my current situation. I want to find someone my own age, but I feel stuck because I have nowhere to go and have no money. I feel that I have a lot to offer a potential life partner if he just works with me and helps me get me through all of this, but who wants to enter a relationship with someone with so much baggage? No one is that patient and understanding. Bill pays the rent and I can't go back home. I can't look for someone else while I'm here, either. I had the opportunity to go on some dates, but when guys find out that I'm living with another guy, they turn me down. When I told an interested guy, who wanted to go on a date with me a vague description of what I'm facing he said, "You were dealing with the same problems two months ago, never mind." ...but I'm not talking months, I'm talking YEARS now.
I'm a screw up beyond tremendous proportions to my parents and even more so now since I'm living with my 46 year old "BF". I want out of my life. I'll never find a job with my master's degree now, and I'll never move past what could have been. My life is ruined all because of this business that seemed such a spectacular idea once to even my mom, and occupied my every thought, turned so horribly wrong and negatively influenced and infected every aspect of my being. I used to care about people and I always gave to people in need, but now, I hate everyone! What makes me most sick are the many people out there at con and scam people and steal money from people. I'm not going to get into detail, but you hear it on the news all the time: people do these things and make easy money and didn't do anything to deserve it. Some are caught, but a great many aren't or get away with it for so long. There is of course, just the opposite going on, too. I know of plenty of people in jobs that pay fairly well with little or no education behind them, too. So many people are happily making good money and do not have an advanced degree, or any degree at all. Naturally, I get upset knowing people who are happy with their work while I'm sitting here with 8 years of schooling under my belt and no job in sight. I know a number of Rutgers employees that either have a BA degree or no degree and they landed a position at the school. It upsets me to no end. I hate that happy people make me feel angry and upset.
I'm TRYING HARD. I know this is exhausting. Please continue...
I recently was invited to take the USPS Exam 473 for Rural Carrier for Sicklerville and Sewell. I prepared for and took the exam and scored an 80.3. You need a passing score of a 70 or higher to remain eligible for the position. I don't know how many applicants tested for this position and what their scores were, but when testing is completed for this position, the top 3 highest scorers will have the opportunity to interview. Although my score is considered slightly higher than average, I'm not confident that I will be in the top 3 especially due to the fact that veterans get as much as 10 points added to their exam score. I'm not confident that this job will come through for me, at least not this time around. The soonest I can retest is in late August 2015. I have a lot to lose by not getting this job because nothing else seems to ever come through for me so I was overly anxious and nervous while taking the test and I know my anxiety negatively impacted my score. I know I blew almost all of the 36 questions on the 4th and final section, the memory section. I know that I'm capable of scoring in the high 80's low 90's, but my head hasn't been clear for months. I'm not pessimistic, I'm realistic. I won't be getting this position and there are no other job prospects open to me for the fall that I know of. When you're stuck in a rut like me and know that scoring high on a test can turn your world around, you tend to not be able to focus too well....and what do you know? I didn't get the job.
I can't relive this all without bursting into tears. My whole last year was ruined, my business, my life shattered to pieces. This is a MAJOR CRISIS for me and for anyone who put in the work I did and who had so much at stake. I had way too high expectations...dreams that this BPC was going to help me promote my business. YEAH RIGHT. I wasted my WHOLE YEAR, FELL BEHIND IN SCHOOL, lost tons of selling days for this effing useless contest. It's just that I didn't make the top 3.. it's EVERYTHING that stems from it. It's that I needed the publicity; I needed my dream to be realized. I needed the acknowledgement. It was like the competition didn't even happen. I did all that for nothing! No one congratulated me. I never saw an article written about it! Nothing happened for me.
I was beyond desperate; I really wanted my business featured on Rutger's homepage. I tried to get it featured in the Student Daily Mail, in the Whit (the student newspaper) tried to distribute brochures, tried to get incubator space in the tech park for my inventory all during my time at Rutger, but I hit a roadblock with everything. I was denied everything I requested. No one wanted to see me succeed.
Now I'm going to talk about where I messed up and what I should have done. Half of the battle is that I know where I went wrong and what to do and not to do next time, if I get another chance to start anew:
I created WAY too many logos in rhinestones (transfers not yet heat pressed onto anything) for all 10 Rutger University trademarks. I have 70 or more transfers in rhinestones AND glitter of each of the 10 Rutger University trademarks. It was a big mistake to create so many of each in advance and to not limit myself to like 3 different trademarks in rhinestones, should have forgo glitter altogether. I also have several abstract Rutger or Rutger University designs in rhinestones and/or glitter as transfers, but not as many of each already made. The idea to create my own Rutger designs came to mind much later after I already made and created so many trademark transfers. Not only do I have an abundance of transfer logos/designs, I started making each design into decals, too. I realize I went INFIDENTLY overboard with Rutger. There are too many varieties and options for everything and it's so overwhelming and hard for me to keep track of. I keep losing count of my inventory. No matter how many times I count each item, I have to keep re-counting. These are not like "bedazzling." I know bedazzling came out like 10 years ago. This is a way more complex, and advanced system.
Had I created like 5 transfers total for several universities (i.e. 3 different trademarks all in rhinestones—the university's official trademark, the university's mascot name, and the university's alumni trademark, and 2 different abstract designs—same design for each school, in school's name and colors, obviously), I would have been better off and could have created the same amount of transfers for at least 3-4 schools by now by adding another universities onto my license. 1-5 schools is a license fee of $100, so I could have created products for 4 other schools for the same fee. Forget the decals, the glitter university trademarks....and stick with ONLY t-shirts (only round neck glitter black and grey...I saw these at a tradeshow and they stood out), sweatshirts (only glitter black and grey...also at a tradeshow), hats (2-3 color choices), and bags, and maybe blinging out grad caps. People would ask me all the time "Why just Rutger?" or "why are you limiting yourself to just Rutger?" ...and I cannot even express how upset I would get because I agree I should have made things simple with few varieties of transfers and products for several universities.
I just had to do winter beanies in several different colors, 2 different types of keychains, lanyards, cosmetic case pouches, and a whole jewelry line all for Rutger, alphabet letters to add on, the Greek alphabet, etc. etc....WAY, WAY, WAY TOO MUCH for a start-up business. I wasn't making money before I expanded. I seriously went overboard with variety, color options, styles, etc....just every single option available to me, I took, hence, the over 400 products! I have OCD. I kept coming up with new ideas and I just HAD TO implement these ideas. I couldn't help it. I did it. I OVERDID EVERYTHING I EVER DID IN MY LIFE. If a paper had to be 10 pages long, I make it 100 pages, no exaggeration. If a question on a final had to be one paragraph, I'd write a book. I was always the last one done everything. My writings were so excessively long that I would get points taken off or the teacher/professor would tell me they couldn't finish reading it all. I wrote WAY over the allotted page limit for everything I submitted. I would spend days and weeks on projects in school while everyone else spent a night. Everything I ever worked on and submitted was WAY overdone. My teachers kept all my projects. This has been my downfall in almost everything. I worked so hard in my life and this is where I'm at. I never had much of a social life because I was constantly working myself to death, or with my head stuck in a textbook. An "A" wasn't good enough; I had to "wow" everyone. Nothing could ever meet expectations. Everything had to surpass expectations.
When I was in the midst of creating this business, idea after idea would come to mind and I didn't realize how big and unmanageable my business got until it was too late. When I look back on my business now, a part of me believes that nothing could have prevented me from getting carried away with it. No amount of advice, nothing...I had to learn on my own, the hard way, and I HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY. I speak more to this later in this letter...the fact that I even started this business is because of some deep rooted internal conflict. Just graduating and getting a "normal" job wasn't good enough. I had to stand out, prove a point, and fill a void in my soul. I just had to write a 50+ page business plan when the limit was 16 pages. My business was destined to turn out this way, but this can also turn out to be the biggest lesson in my life and help me get my priorities straight IF I get funding to start anew: limit, limit, limit! my products! I have had and continue to have other obsessive compulsive tendencies in my life, from obsessively writing list/taking notes to checking places over and over again to make sure I didn't leave my possessions behind to having germaphobia... This is an epiphany...my "defect of character" catered itself to me being predestined to fail the first time around, it's been a long time coming. It's all about control. I had an agenda and I needed to see it through.
This is EXACTLY why I placed where I did in the Business Plan Competition...SCALABILITY, the ability of my products to expand to other university's was the TOP concern. If I would have just made it simpler and created a few products for a couple schools instead of an overwhelming number of products for just one school, I would have ranked higher—maybe even in first. This is why I can't cope with what I did. I have too many regrets eating at me. I just couldn't see outside the box, outside of the confines of Rutger and when the judges saw the plethora of just Rutger products on display and read about them in my business plan their first thought was, "This girl, all by herself will never be able to scale such a massive business to other universities."...despite addressing in my business plan just how I would simplify my product line for other schools...BIGGEST REGRET OF ALL. I never talked in my business plan (added only after the competition) about how I would outsource completed rhinestone trademark transfers from China when I expanded my products to other schools. I wrote all of this in that letter to the judges after the competition...but it's all too late now, no more money left. My business could have very well worked out and quite well actually had I not screwed so many things up.
Again, I made one too many mistakes. I not only have too many unused transfers, but products in general. I purchased way too many colors of t-shirt, and in both v neck and round neck, in 6 different sizes each. I should have never got into Rutger jewelry. I would spend full days just counting and organizing my massive variety of inventory. I could never keep up and found myself re-counting, all for nothing, constantly. Perhaps the biggest mistake that came from purchasing way too many colors and two types of t-shirts AND sweatshirts and way too many varieties of transfers is: I heat pressed all the transfers on one big display because I couldn't press them on the t-shirts and sweatshirts in advance because there were too many combinations for t-shirt or sweatshirt and chosen transfer to apply to the article. With almost 30 transfers and... talking just t-shirts alone...like 15 different types each in like 6 sizes...it was IMPOSSIBLE to pre-apply the transfer onto the t-shirt so once the customer choose a t-shirt and size, they paid half upfront and half upon pick up. This is EACTLY WHY the clothing didn't sell: Everyone would see the display but no pre-made t-shirts and they wouldn't make the connection that the transfers are to be heat pressed onto the t-shirts! The shirts needed to be ready for sale, and they weren't: HUGE MISTAKE!
I hope you understand my situation and subsequent emotional turmoil. Please carry on...
I was watching Shark Tank the other night and I couldn't believe what I saw—a bunch of college kids who operate a business called "Gameday Couture." The only thing that is the same about their business vs. mine is their market is also geared towards female college students because they sell college sport team images binged out on apparel and accessories, but that's where our similarity ends. They sell binged out apparel and accessories for university sport teams and they have licenses for 37 + big name college sport teams. They have way more manpower and put in way more capital than I did. I am not marketing to the college sport market; I'm marketing to universities in general—with the focus on university logos. But so far, their business has been pretty successful—which tells me that my business, that's along the same lines as theirs, can also thrive if done right.
Everything has gone downhill because of this. I feel given all I sacrificed, all the effort and money I put into this business that ANYONE would be completely devastated. How I am acting is totally justified. No one but G-d knows how hard I worked for this. No one. I'm so ashamed. I have nothing. I'm in debt and have collection agencies blowing up my phone every single day. I'm so embarrassed. I am so stuck in this hell and what's worse is that I'm made out to be mentally ill when who wouldn't be destroyed from all this? I know for a fact that I would be so happy had things not go so awry. I'm left with no one to reach out to and left to wallow in my despair, all the while being labeled as "mentally ill."
Now you see why I am so emotionally despondent. Again, I know this is so repetitive, but I ask you to please put yourself in my shoes, at least try to imagine pinning your hopes and dreams on something, something that you felt was going to advance your business, which you poured your heart and soul into,...you stop selling, you put your thesis on hold, and fall behind on your internship hours...all because ...well, in September and October of 2013, when I was selling, I wasn't doing well. Some days I would break down because I MADE NO MONEY AT ALL. Once a Rutger employee saw me crying and came over to me and told me that I have a good product, but that no one said this was going to be easy. I never thought it would be easy, but I never imagined it coming to this. I sat there for hours and students would pass me and not even acknowledge me, few actually took interest and gave me any credit... "I have no money" 99 percent of people would say ...and then I remembered, the BPC that March, and felt IT WAS MY LAST HOPE SO I KILLED MYSELF FOR THIS. I STAYED UP NIGHT AND DAY, OBSESSED OVER MY BUSINESS PLAN, worked myself to death ... and then I became a finalist and was so excited ...and my hopes and dreams are all now down the drain. This goes back from day one of this business...I have NOTHING. :*( I'm not yelling at you. I'm just trying, so desperately to get my point across.
...Could of, should of, would of...runs through my mind 24/7. Sometimes, I regretted my business so badly that I wish I never started it, but then I would think to myself, it's my baby, my true passion, and I love it and am excited about showing it off...there was always that back and forth, highs and lows... This competition was to be the start of something big for my business...but not a single positive outcome has happened. How can this be? How would you feel? This to me was my last ditch-effort. Had I won, the bookstore would maybe listen to me...
There can absolutely be nothing more devastating to me than this. I am not the same person anymore. I'm changed for the worse. No one cares how I feel. I need to "just move on" right? No one has been in my shoes and in my head when it comes to this business. How I feel and how I am responding to this is totally justified. No one followed up with me, no one knows or cares. How, how am I going to get better if no one that had stakes in this talk to me? I'm getting worse. People are too quick to judge. No matter how many times I rehash my story, there are still people who downplay my problems or suggest that I just "shake it off", "move on" or "accept what's happened." I ruminated over how to rid my life of these messes and accept my predicament over and over and over again. It takes money to move on, money to get out of the messes I'm in...messes...I can throw all my inventory in the trash, but that won't solve the problems that stemmed from its creation. I need help financially no matter what course of action I take. If I am going to do something with my inventory, I need money to start back up to try to sell my inventory off and it takes people willing to work with me, too. There are limited options to sell off my inventory, and no matter what I do, I need to shell out more money. It's just that simple. I haven't had any sales in quite a while. Things need to be altered, purchased, and simplified (I got into detail about this later) and people need to be both willing and supportive in order for me to make any progress here. I have a thousand regrets, a thousand things I would have done differently, a thousand new ideas, a thousand reasons to be beside myself. This has amounted to a series of losses with no light at the end of the tunnel for any of them. I so could accept what's happened if what happened didn't affect my future so much, but nothing is in place for me to "move on" so am I just supposed to be "stuck" in so many regards and "accept" things as they are? If I "accept" everything, then what's the driving force to propel me forward? How does accepting any of this help me accomplish anything? I can't deny that I'm not "stuck," either. I really don't think that I'm catastrophizing. I would like to think of my predicament as just a temporary 'bump" in the road, but every day, I'm starting to remember less and less about what life was life before my business. This all seems to have defined me, and my life overall. If I make it to 80 years old, hopefully, this will be a distant memory. I don't think it will be forever. I do think that it's already beyond "temporary" though. To me, "temporary" isn't years with still not resolution in sight. I do think that I can and will get out of this, with help.
I went to this year's business plan competition at Rutger on April 18th, 2015. I should have never gone! It was like reliving it all over again. I'm more distressed now because I expected people associated with the competition who saw my presentation and/or helped me prepare for its last year to approach me and ask me how I'm doing and how my business is going, but they seemed to deliberately avoid me. This hurts me so much. And they increased the total prize amount this year so the student in first place took home $2,500 more than last year and in the previous years ($5,000 to $7,500) and the student in 4th place (where I placed) took home $500 more than I did. The prize I received last year was doubled for the same exact competition, same exact expectations and requirements, and this year the competitors were given an extra month to prepare. This pains me too because even though it's just $500 more, that's $500 more than I won for the same placement. Two girls stopped me at the competition and said they love my shirt and bag and many, many times people have stopped me on campus and asked me where I got this or that from. When I least expect it, people take a general liking to my products. I STILL after all this, STILL think if only I had the help and money to market my products that they would sell. Many people over the years expressed that my products are creative and unique. I have a neat idea and I know it, but no one is willing to lend a hand to help me re-launch my business. How can anyone really say their business failed if no one even knows it exist?
I have borderline personality disorder, or at least a psychiatrist diagnosed me with it after meeting with him one time for 10 minutes during my 5 week absence from school as an undergraduate. I needed to see him because I needed a note stating that I was stable enough to go back to school and all of a sudden, I have borderline personality disorder. Never before this visit or after did anyone else suggest or diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder. Regardless, I do everything for the purposes of getting recognition and praise. I feel that nothing I do well means a damn thing unless there is a response to it, and that's what hurts the most. I look outside myself for validation. I never can pat myself on the back and say, "good job." It's like I worked so hard for this competition and I was thrown under the bus. I became a nobody from this. The result from it is the same as when I started with high hopes, so happy and eager to show everyone my accomplishment-nothing. ABSOTELY NOTHING! I seriously thought this would really get things up and running for me. This is how I'm going to remember my 8 years of college-my last year, a waste and the most depressing year of all. I didn't start this business because I thought I would become rich. No, I started this to feel like I am someone special because I honestly felt that unless I do something grand at Rutger, but I am a no one to everyone there. I did this in other words, so people can complement me on my products and thus, increase my self-worth. I wanted to be important there. This should put things into perspective for you. Now you should realize just how traumatic this is for me.
This is not all of it, either. There are many more instances that pained me at Rutger. I still never received counseling. I'm on "waiting lists". Very little places accept my insurance. I may be starting intensive outpatient therapy at New point Behavioral Health soon, but no amount of talking or learning how to better manage my depression is going to help me. Even if I'm offered the opportunity to speak to someone, I won't be able to go through with it. I can't face the pain again. For the last 2.5 months, I was in an investigational study for depression and taking an investigational medication. I didn't receive counseling. I just went there to get my medication, answer a phone survey, and was questioned to ensure that I'm not getting worse on the medication. I lied slightly on the phone surveys to make it sound like I'm not feeling as bad as I really am so that I can stay in the study because I needed the $75 I get paid for participating every week. I'm so desperate for money that I risked my life by taking this medication. I just went to my week 8 visit, today 4/28/2015, and the study ended because the medication isn't helping enough, or at all. Today for the first time I gave the psychiatrist a very brief synopsis of what I'm dealing with, told him in 2 minutes time and he says to me, "You have a master's degree, but you're underperforming here and we need to change that." That upsets me and that is exactly what I feared people would think. I'M underperforming? How can he say that? I've tried SO hard day in and day out to help myself, and I'm being viewed as someone not trying hard enough. All the work I put into my business is worth millions to me. I would pay myself a million + dollars for what I've done and I'm working hard and looking every day for a job, too. It's not me that's underperforming; it's a mixture of bad luck, not being educated in starting a business, not being aware of possible outcomes, and people screwing me over. What I'm facing is on my mind 24/7. I can't shake the massive regret I have about ever starting this business. I'm too devastated knowing that had I not started this business, I wouldn't have a letter to write. None of this would have happened. What have I done? These thoughts won't go away. No medication and no amount of counseling can help me.
I can't remember any good at Rutgers. Any good is all overshadowed by trauma.
I desperately wanted another idea of mine to launch. I want to forget my Rutger business and start anew with this idea on Kickstarter. However, my campaign recently ended after 40 something days. I was asking for $7,500, but I got 3 people to back my project and chip in just $503. Since I didn't reach my funding goal, my project didn't receive any funds. I don't understand. There are a lot of stupid useless projects on there that are getting funding, so why didn't I get the support I needed? People say it's a good idea, but they can't donate a $1? I emailed a lot of people and one person responded. I also applied the other week for this new thing Rutgers has to fund business called the "Innovation Venture Fund", but the process to get funded is so long and so complicated and requires long presentations again. I just cannot go through with this again and risk nothing coming out of it. I'll never see this new dream realized because I lost 30K due to my Rutger Business and will never recover. I can't get the time back; I can't reverse the results of the BPC, etc. All I want is the money I once had back, that's all I want and I will then be okay. I also have another business idea that has something to do with rhinestone decoration (that I haven't yet seen anyone else do) that I won't disclose in this letter, but that too, will fall by the wayside because I have no money to get it started. I plan to re-launch my boot project with another video that does my boots justice, and if my boots don't get funded this time around after asking for less ($5,000). I know that I have SO much talent with creating rhinestone designs and rhinestone decoration in general. It took months to learn the rhinestone software and I have the patience and the eye for detail needed to transform any picture or design into rhinestones or decorate anything in rhinestones. I honestly feel that very few people are as gifted as I am in this business, but sadly, I need money for new material and so much more if I were to start over again with something else. First and foremost, I need money to move out on my own and go back to school. Education and independence are more important to me right now.
I'm just real depressed and anxious about my future, and for good reason, but I'm being taken for crazy. No one wants to associate with me! "Why do you feel this way?" WHY WHYYYYY. Boy, I wonder WHY. I hate when people ask me why as if they are confused. If only they knew. If only they walked in my shoes. It's been a year since I competed in the Business Plan Competition, and every single day since I wake up crippled by despair. I'm racked with guilt, regret, rage, and grief over the money and life I lost. During the most trying time of my life, everyone shunned me. I called my old therapist at Rutger the other month after not seeing or speaking to him in over a year, he has the audacity to call the police and lie to them by telling them that I called him, said I was going to commit suicide, and hung up. That is NOT at all what happened. I called him totally devastated and needing to talk to someone desperately and we talked for a half hour and I told him a plan of action on how I was going to keep myself safe that night and moving forward. I thought he understood I was going to be okay. He calls and lies to the police and 4 cop cars pull up to the house and make a huge scene, embarrass me and make it appear that I'm bad...seriously? They policemen told me that I called there and said that and hung up. WHY lie? Why not just tell the police you were concerned? My therapist lied to the police to put a scare into me and to make me not want call there again, and that's fine. I won't. I am never stepping foot the crisis center. Ever. Again. This is not the live I imaged. I had so much potential to do much more and so much better. Not everything is possible if you work hard and put your mind to it. Not in this case, not in the least bit.
I don't want to burden anyone anymore. Mom, I'm sorry for all the pain I've caused you. Billy, you too. I don't want anyone to be upset. Billy, I can't lead you on anymore. I'm a victim of circumstance. You don't deserve this. I just hope you can understand how this came to be. I tried to make a name for myself, but it blew up in my face. I didn't ask for any of this! My parents and Billy have not, and probably will never read this letter. They aren't in any condition to do so. Please forgive my fault and help me. I'm not a coward. I'm a survivor. There is only so much I can take! Going to the crisis center will do NOTHING to help me. If I ever go back there again, I'll make sure I don't last. I need help financially. My dad won't help me pay rent for somewhere for at least the first few months. Andy (my brother) lived on campus and I'm sure my dad paid towards his room and board. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Words don't do my pain justice. If I had children in this predicament, I would help them if I could. I rather have physical pain over this emotional pain any day. Please raise money for physical problems, such as money for cancer treatment, etc. but when it comes to entrapment like this and emotional pain, forget it, no one wants to hear about it or bother with it.
In conclusion, this is NOT a suicide letter and I'm not going to kill myself despite how much I feel I need to, but the truth is I've been suicidal for YEARS now, and some days are worse than others. I've been on a downward spiral since I competed in the BCP in March 2014. On some days, I am occupied with other things, but these feelings never ever go fully away. I am always aware of how I feel because my whole life has been affected. Ever since the business plan competition ended, and I fully realized all hope for my business is lost, I've wanted to die or go to sleep and not wake up. My problems continue to mount as a result of this business. Everything I shared with you in this letter is in some way or the other connected to my business. As a result of starting this business, all these other problems stemmed from it. I am not just depressed from all this; I'm panic-stricken. I can't think about anything but all this. This is my life now and every now and then it will really hit me that I'm stuck between a rock and hard place and there is no escaping this nightmare. I am full of regret and remorse and anxiety because I honestly feel like I'm being forced to die. I don't want to end my life in the worst way imaginable (and won't), but at the same time, I can't go on living in grief and agony. I can never fully enjoy anything I do because there is always a dark cloud hanging over my head. I don't want to go away (and won't), but the circumstances make me feel like there are no options. It's like someone is holding a gun to my head. The problem is I've been feeling this exact way for years now! When I moved in with Bill, after the initial relief of getting away from my parents wore, off, I thought about jumping in front of the train that goes by twice a day across the street. I've been so afraid of my thoughts. I haven't attempted suicide so when I tell people that I'm suicidal they freak out and think that I'm in immediate danger of hurting or killing myself but the truth is, there have been times when I've been much more suicidal than I am at this present moment and there have been times when I've been much less suicidal, too. These feelings always wax and wane and I never know when I'm going to feel more desperate than I am now, but I honestly don't think I can feel more suicidal than I have at some points in the past. I've felt as desperate and distraught as one can be in the past few years, but I didn't kill myself then.
I keep holding out hope and hanging in there because how I feel is a result of an accumulation of many things that happened at different times throughout my college career that's all starting to really come into focus just now. I dealt with these problems at different times and continue to do so now but I have persevered for years now, waking up nearly every morning wishing I was dead...so what makes me more prone to end my life now? Nothing, not even typing this letter makes me more likely to end things now because I'm going to keep on holding out and adding to this letter. I never want to finish this letter because when I do and people read it and it sits for a while, then I'm in trouble if no one helps me. I'll live to see another day because I keep telling myself that I don't know what tomorrow will bring. Maybe you will help me as result of reading this letter; maybe I'll win the lottery or finally land a career or meet the right man who will take me in and love me unconditionally. I just don't know what's in store for me and that's what keeps me holding on. This is why people never understand me. I feel so awful and the only way to impress on them the magnitude of how awful I feel is to say I'm going to kill myself, but am I really in immediate danger of doing so? No! I never actually tried to kill myself. I cut myself, but that was just for attention, a cry for help. What will actually push me to my breaking point of no return? I just don't know. Things can't be any worse. I just wish when I say these things that people would stop freaking out and actually try to understand why. When I say I'm going to kill myself, I'm immediately looked at as a mental case, but people can only take so much.
This may be hard for people to understand, but by tying this letter and getting this all out, I feel somewhat relieved, like a little weight has been lifted off my chest. If I didn't have documentation of all this, I would be overwhelmed with emotion and my life would feel even more out of control. By putting it on paper, I can kind of push it aside and focus on other things, albeit still with difficulty. I ask myself constantly, "Why me?" and "What did I do that was so bad to deserve this suffering for so long?" I don't know. I just don't understand. I think I'm a good person. People say nothing happens on G-d green earth without a reason, and I used to believe that, too, but what's the reason this happened to me? What's the special lesson I'm supposed to learn? What's the silver lining in all of this? I tried to let it go of my will and follow G-d's will. People also say that I'm too young to feel this way, and I agree. Right now, I should be happy and prosperous and have direction in life. Young adulthood should be a time of some stress but also tremendous growth, but I'm facing hardship that no one can claim to understand unless they've walked in my shoes. It's one thing to have nothing from the get-go, but it's another thing to have worked so hard and have nothing to show for it! I also can't image dying now because I feel like I left no mark on this world and that I won't be missed. This upsets me more than anything because I don't want to be remembered as someone who accomplished little or a failure when I tried so much harder in my short life than most people do in a lifetime. When I was taking a pre-test to the postal exam, there was a question on there that got me thinking. It asked something to the effect of, "To what degree do you feel you accomplished things in comparison to other people your age?" ...and there were a few answer choices. I honestly didn't know what choice to choose. I'm distraught that I can't say I accomplished much in the past few years because I put all my energy and time into something that didn't work out at the expense of involving myself in many other things that would have possibly resulted in a number of good outcomes for me. I feel like my 20's flew by and I was cheated out of time. I'm worried that because no one can say anything really remarkable about me as a result of my seriously bad luck, I won't be remembered. I spent all my energy on my business and a lot of time alone withdrawn from people and I continue to keep to myself. I don't have friends and I don't have much of a social life now because I'm just too depressed and too distracted by my own grief. I'm worried that if and when I do marry that I won't have people to invite to my wedding. Again, I mourn the loss of my own creativity and what I could have contributed to the world. I mourn the loss of myself and am devastated that the world missed out on someone with a lot of potential to be someone great. I'm more than capable to do a job I quality for but I'm not being given a chance.
Its beautiful outside right now, summer is approaching and I know that had I not started this business, I wouldn't have a letter to type. Instead, I would be out and about, happy and in my prime. I want people to understand that it's not characteristic of me to be miserable and to be a sourpuss. I don't want to be this way. I want to be happy and spread joy, but I'm always fighting back tears. Some people get annoyed and tired of hearing my sob stories and I'm viewed as a "chronic" complainer when I know deep down in me that I would be happy and carefree if I didn't start this business. No one will ever know get to know the real me unless a miracle happens.
They say money can't buy happiness, but in my case, it can and it will. $30,000 + can save me from constant and agonizing grief and possibly save my life but no one understands, cares enough, or can genuinely afford to help me. More people I'm associated with don't know the extent of my pain or don't know anything I'm facing at all. The more I share this letter, the more people I push away and that scares me. When people fall on hard times, they become desperate. I've handwritten 7 or 8 page letters to lottery winners and spent over $100 to mail this letter out to 28 philanthropist, millionaires, or billionaires...but I had no luck. Only the Virgin Unite Foundation in London, England, replied to me saying that they cannot help and stated, "We are inundated with people asking for help and we have to concentrate our efforts on our current partners to really make a difference to their work." It's like my life doesn't matter. I want to make a difference, too, but I need help in order to do so. I paid to obtain the address of millionaires and billionaires. I'm not certain if the addresses I paid for are correct or up-to-date. I'm assuming most of them are since I only received 3 letters back that were marked "could not be delivered." I'm so embarrassed to be doing this, but equally as desperate. I put in way too much time and money printing all these letters, doing research on who is most likely to help me, and personally addressing and signing each letter. I even looked local and here is the response I received: I have reviewed your application and the 50 pages attached. However, after completing the review it is impossible to tell exactly what it is that you are requesting. People for People's mission is to help with basic needs for individuals and families in Gloucester County who are self-sufficient and due to an unexpected situation need some minimal assistance to get through the minor short term setback. The minimal assistance is one time only if the applicant qualifies. People for People does not have certified therapists or counselors on staff to address more in depth situations such as yours appears to be."...I can and would be self-sufficient, I do need assistance, minimal, whatever, any help would be better than nothing but no one will help me! When you're at work, working with children and you can't function to do your job because you're frozen in fear because you're living an unimaginable nightmare, you get desperate. It's debilitating. My problems now, all business related, are so complicated, so multifaceted, and interconnected that I'm too overwhelmed to function. This is REAL. This isn't just in my head. I'm not dramatizing anything. It just doesn't go away, ever. People continue to read this letter and try to offer me suggestions or advice, but they don't understand their help isn't realistic. I can't just move out on my own, I can't go back home, etc. It's not that easy. They all say, "You're young, so you can always start something new." HOW?...with what resources? There are so many factors involved here, but only money can fix all my problems. My mom tells me that I need to find a job in my field...DUH DUH.... I'm looking what else do you want from me? I can't put a gun to someone's head and beg them to hire me! Stop picking on me! She didn't go to college. She has no room to talk. Even if I'm offered that postal job tomorrow, it will take months if not years to get on my own two feet and just how many years will it take to erase my memory of the $30,000 + I lost...there is no telling. Today, 4/27/15, I just received a call to interview for an in-home therapy position that I applied for through ASAPP Healthcare, but how, HOW will I be able to help others when I can't help myself? Even if I do get the job, it's per diem work where I will be a self-employed independent contractor. There is no telling if I'll get consistent work, or work at all....I got this job, worked there for a year...but eventually Bill's action would lead to my firing here and at the Postal Service, read on, I explain more on this soon...
I understand that people lose loved ones all the time and that they face tremendous grief, and that people lose everything at no fault of their own, and life deals people a bad hand all the time and that there are people much less fortune than myself, etc. I understand all these things and I feel for these people when I hear news stories of struggles and tremendous blows people face. I'm not trying to allude that I'm the only person struggling, or that I'm the only person in such a bad predicament. I can only speak for myself when I say that this is living hell for me and that I can't image anything much worse than this. Yes, lots of people lose money, I know this, but the two major problems I addressed in this letter (no job after so many years of college and a "failed" business) is just too hard to overcome when you're young and have nothing to fall back on. I lost a big chunk of my life before it even started. If I was older, settled in a career, with money saved then something like this wouldn't be as debilitating. Lots of people that lose a lot of money have a lot of money that they can afford to lose. They gamble because they can afford to without much risk. I, on the other hand, could only focus on my dream business becoming big and didn't see any of this coming. I'm not blaming it on anyone else but myself. I never took a business course, and simply wasn't aware of what I was getting myself into. No one advised me on this business except one professor who helped me develop my business. This was all my own venture. No one sat down with me and weighed out the options. I simply didn't know. I just didn't foresee such a huge loss, or any loss at all. I was too caught up in all these creative ideas and the details of how I was going to carry all this out to see so far in advance. Businesses fail all the time, this I know, too, but not many under such devastating circumstance. I know everyone handles things differently and that a seemingly insurmountable problem to one person might not seem all that horrific to another. Just like no one but me can speak for what I've been through and how I feel, I can't speak for anyone else. I can only tell you how I'm fairing without losing sight or making light of the rest of the world's pain and suffering.
I'm keenly aware I'm not alone here; people suffer all the time. I'm saying all this because I know some people will read this letter and say to themselves, "It's all about you, right?" I never once said the world revolves around me in this letter. I understand that you yourself may be hurting and that you may be unable to focus your attention on my pain. I don't know what you're going through, you haven't told me, and I'm not assuming it's less excruciating than my own pain because I don't know and I can't know just like you can think to yourself, "Wow, I feel bad for this girl. This sounds awful!" ...no words can really express the feelings and thoughts I've had surrounding these problems for the past couple of years. Please, I didn't type this letter for nothing. I didn't do something for nothing yet again!
UPDATE-It's 9/24/15 and I'm now 28 as of July 5th. I've been adding to this letter for months off and on, maybe even a year now. I don't know. I seriously can't keep things in order anymore. I should have started off writing journal entries. I haven't added to this later since I turned 28. I have so much to update you on. First of all, I can't live a lie ANYMORE. I'm hopeless and feel empty inside. I saw my "family"—mom, dad, brother, grandpop, aunt, and uncle last night for Yum Kippur. This was the first time I came to a family gather in many months. My sister didn't attend because she was in class. Of course, everyone wanted to pry into my business and find out what I'm up to. I don't want to talk about it. I hate answering questions about myself. No one cares, no one is interested. Everyone is nosy, that's all. My mom must have told my aunt and uncle that I live with my "boyfriend" because they asked, "how's things with your boyfriend." I avoided answering. They both also asked to see a picture of him. I honestly do not have a picture of him-anywhere-and I honestly told them that. My grandpop asks, "How are things with the business?" I said I don't want to talk about it. Open up an old wound why don't you? I failed at my business to everyone. I'm nothing but a * failure and stupid for starting it. Sometimes I will bump into people that I used to talk to about my business and they will ask how it's going. I want to die on the spot. My grandpop also asked what I'm doing now-I lied and said that I work for USPS....REMEMBER WHEN I MENTIONED WAY BACK IN THIS LETTER ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF ME GETTING A JOB AT THE POSTAL SERVICE???? WELL, I WAS HIRED AND FIRED 3 AND A HALF WEEKS LATER. YOU WILL READ ALL ABOUT THAT NEXT. ALSO, I DID GET THAT JOB WITH ASAPP (THAT I ALSO MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY IN THIS LETTER) AS AN INDEPENDING CONTRACTOR PROVIDING IN-HOME IN-COMMUNITY THERAPY TO KIDS. I STARTED THAT JOB IN THE BEGINNING OF JUNE, BUT IT'S NOT FULLFILLING ENOUGH. SOMETHING IS STILL MISSING IN MY WORK LIFE. I ONLY WORK PART-TIME AND SO FAR, I'VE PUT OUT MORE MONEY WITH MILAGE, PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE, BUYING ACTIVITIES, ETC. ETC. THAN I MADE. I don't want to go to kids houses for the rest of my life. I don't want to do that full time. It's a good part-time gig, but I don't feel appreciated or valued doing this work because no one sees what I'm doing, no one is really in charge of me. I just feel like a nobody again. I just mentioned to everyone that I work at the post office in Stratford, NJ and that I do in-home therapy with children, too and before I said another word, my judgmental grandfather opens his big * mouth and sighs, "all that education!" meaning "all that education for nothing." That's IT. I had it. It's not good enough. I'm not good enough. Nothing is ever good enough. That bastard didn't even hear the details of my in-home therapy job, all he heard is "post office" and that was it. He should eat his words. I know he is 83, but he could never get straight what I went to school for...teaching? No. How many times did I tell him over the years that I didn't go for teaching? TONS! No one knows what I went to school for, not even my mom. They have an idea, but they can't remember. Later on, last night I was talking about all that I do in my in-home therapy job and my grandfather and aunt acted like morons..."how do you deal with people like that?" etc. Ugh. I can never hold an intelligent conversation with any of them. No one gets anything.
So, I lied to all of them about me presently working for the postal service. I WAS 2 weeks ago until I got TERMINATED. Why? Oh, it's an oolong story. After such a long and complicated application process, I finally got the job, and I was excited. I went to the orientations and started work as a PSE at the Stratford Post Office. I worked there for 3.5 weeks and while I was there I friended and flirted with 2 other employees. To make a long story short, one night, I went over one of their houses (the shop steward/union rep) and slept with the guy and the irony is that he didn't have Facebook, but on my Facebook massager, I was flirting with the other employee (not the one I messed around with-ever). That night, nosy Bill opens my lap top and sees the messages between me and this other employee-he goes to the post office that morning and waits for me to arrive. I was coming straight from the union reps house. I pull up and there he is holding his cell phone up with a picture of the employee on the screen. He confronts me about the messages. I don't deny it. He is screaming out me in the employee parking lot when the Postmaster comes out. He tells the postmaster that he is my "boyfriend" and that "this" guy on his phone is sending his girlfriend sexually explicit messages. Before that happened, before I even arrived at the post office he made a scene, banging on the doors and acting like a mad-man. He called me a * whore in the employee parking lot right in front of the postmaster. He also called this guy and threatened him. I went in the building after he left 5 minutes later to start my work and felt like I was going to burst into tears. Things were going well for me during the 3 weeks I was there. I worked hard to understand the sequence to do everything and to memorize the scheme and I just started working on my own without my trainer. I felt confident and comfortable in the position. I was working from 6-10am and would eventually get windowed trained and get more hours. After a year, I could have got health insurance and became a career employee. I was on a 90 day probation and could get fired for any reason. I just told the postmaster that I'm sorry and that it won't happen again. I felt like it was my fault because my phone was dead and had my phone been on maybe Bill wouldn't have went to my work. This was mid-week and I finished off that week, ending on Sunday. The postmaster acted like nothing was wrong and told me not to worry about it. He even gave me a date to work on a Sunday 2 weeks later. I thought I was going to be okay, but after I was finished my shift on Sunday, I was called into the postmaster's office and terminated. His reason was understandable: He can't have someone connected to me coming to my work, threatening other employees and such. I get that, but I GOT FIRED FOR BILL BEING UNABLE TO CONTROL HIS TEMPER. The union rep/shop steward was on vacation during this time. I went to the guy that flirted on FB with me (it was mutual) and that's when I found out that Bill called him prior to him arriving at work that morning. He told me that Bill said that he throw all my stuff out of the house. I never been so anxious and here I was upset again...but it didn't matter. I thought I would have to die that day. I called the union rep/ shop steward and told him that I was fired. I lied to him that night I slept with him and said I didn't have a boyfriend. This story is a little bit more complicated them I'm letting on, but since I was fired, no one and I mean NO ONE will talk to me from there. I had communication with these two guys but no more. Both of them and I talked every single day. I formed connections there in the few weeks that I was there but that's all down the drain now. Although on a much smaller scale, again, I'm backstabbed. These guys aren't talking to me like I did something wrong. It seems like every connection I make in life eventually is lost. The postmaster was the nicest guy in the world and I couldn't believe I got fired. I'm furious with Bill, but my family is right: I didn't go to school for 8 years to work at the post office. Lots of people there wondered why I was there with an advanced degree. It wasn't rewording at all. It was easy, but tedious and somewhat strenuous work. Being there at 6 pm 6 days a week was difficult. I was working there for 3 weeks and working with 2 youths with my in-home therapy job but since I was fired from the post office, I picked up 3 more youths. With the post office, I could have made more money in the long run and saved money. I don't want to make a career out of what I went to school for so for a while there I thought that the post office was going to be where I stayed. It was ALL for nothing, just like everything else. Everything in my life amounts to nothing. I should have got paid 2 times already, both weeks ago, and never saw a check. I'm still waiting to get paid for working so hard during those 3.5 weeks. After I got home from work that Saturday, I couldn't get in the house. Bill switched the locks on the doors and was at work. I went to his work and was balling out—this was my chance to tell him the honest truth-THAT I DON'T WANT TO BE WITH HIM-I SAID it over and over and over again, we both were crying hysterically. I told him to let me Goonoo. He took something and cut his wrist right then and there and pleaded with me to stay. BTW, I quit my summer camp job mid-way through the camp season (well, I gave 2 weeks’ notice) to start work at the postal service and they weren't happy about it. I am not being invited back next summer because of it. That job was no career by any means, but I look at my firing at the postal service as my firing both there and at my summer camp job.
A day or two later, I had to youths to see. I had about 10 minutes in between seeing each youth to spare, so I went home and Bill left me a suicide note and had a dozen bottles of pills lined up-my medicine, his, and the dogs. He was at the vet with Pepi. He knew I wouldn't be there when he came home and he wasn't planning on me stopping by between seeing youths. I wasn't planning to come home either, but something made me. He told me earlier to go to my mom's that night. I called the police and they went to the vet and I did too. They confronted him with the suicide letter and he denied being suicidal. They didn't bother taking him to crisis. About a day later I mentioned again that I need to get out and he bagged his head against the wall and made a hole in the wall. He begs, pled, cries, acts totally desperate, "Please give me 6 more months. I'll lose weight. I'll do anything. I need you, Jessie, I love you. I can't be without you." Words don't do justice to how tense these situations become. He shakes and says he's scared to death and that he had the chance to go back with his ex but lost the opportunity to over me. I never say okay, but I go about my life and things become "normal" again to him between us. "I've tried so hard" he says. I know he's trying. It's not him. I don't want to be with a 46 year old man. Point. Blank. Period. I'm being secretive about this and my whole life to my family. I'm being misunderstood. What I'm doing, why...no one knows. I live under the radar. I just want to find someone closer to my age, that's Jewish, that I'm not embarrassed to be seen with. He will ask, "Are you ashamed of me?" I say no, but YES I am. He constantly says he loves me but I don't reciprocate. He is in denial. He would have died if I didn't intervene and call the police. He was going to commit suicide. I could have been free.
I have NO genuine connection to anyone. I know that I have a greater purpose in life. I want to desperately to get married and have a family and be happy. Bill keeps asking me every day if I'm happy and I just say, "yeah" under my breath. I told him that I referred to him at dinner with my family as my boyfriend. He puts so much pressure on me to let people know we are a couple. I can't stand it. I can't go on.
I see a therapist now and I don't like her. She has an attitude and hasn't helped me. She just says, "you can move out, but you choose not to." I hate that response, especially coming from a therapist. She is on her way to becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)...that's what I was going to go back to school to take those 4 courses to do and to get internship hours, but she says the pay is shitty for someone with a master's degree. I was honestly thinking about going back to school, but then I got the job at the post office and I got fired after the semester started. I don't want to bother with that route now. I first wished to get another master's in occupational therapy, but my true love is forensic...I want to be a polygraph examiner and a dog massager. I want to look into these jobs now. My degree is in Counseling, Student Affairs in Higher Education, but I'll never get a job at a college or university. I've given up on that.
If you only knew what goes on in my head, who I really am, and could see firsthand what I've done and how hard I've worked, maybe you will help me. Please consider helping me. Saying any help would be appreciated is an understatement. You can change the course of my life, turn my world back around for me, end my unrelenting despair and grief, help me become the person I always wanted to be, help me live out my potential, give me back to the world, get me own my own two feet, help me move out, help me pay to go back to school, help me pay off my debt, help me re-launch my business (the right way this time) or the other ideas I spoke of, etc.. etc....and perhaps, save my life. YOU have the capabilities do change a life. I hope my letter spoke volumes to you and that you understand. This is the hard part—I'm ashamed: $50,000, $60,000 would be life-altering to me, but I'll take any help you can provide me. If you don't help me, thank you for reading my letter. Thank you for caring. If you do help me, ... THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, TRULY.
Again, what I'm facing is excruciating pain and is torturing me, but this is not a suicide letter and I have no plans to end my life. Parts of this letter talk about suicide ideation, and read like a suicide letter, but in actuality, this is an emotional plea for help.
I have a legitimate need. Again, his is all true and I can prove it in any way you need me to. I know that you probably receive tons of heartfelt letters for assistance. I just hope my story speaks to you. Thank you so much for your time and understanding. I hope you reach out to me.
The latest-12/9/2018- I'm so overwhelmed right with this letter, it's gotten out of hand. I don't know how to shorten it, edit it so that you can easily read it. I just need help PLEASE. I don't want to die. I keep hanging on. I can't hang on anymore. I want to add some recent events that rocked my world again. I'm 31 years old now, still living with my sister. My sister gets a lot of packages delivered to our house so she mentioned to my mom and I that she wants to get a security camera up because of her packages have gone missing. I tell my mom that I'm going to get a camera and set it up myself, as I don't trust my effing father to do so. She insists that my dad buy the NEST and install it. Being broke and not knowing how to install it, I agree under the one condition that my parents have no access to the camera. My mom promises that they wouldn't. The NEXT was installed about 2 months ago. A few weeks later, my mom calls me to tell me that she's disappointed with something she saw outside our house, and questions it. I ask how she knows and she lies and says she just happened to be driving by. Being my mom, I take her word for it even though I didn't see her driving by and I have my doubts that she saw it on the camera. Almost every night, I have a male friend come and tuck me in at night because I'm so depressed and have no one else to talk to. He's just a friend, a good friend, and our relationship is between us because he's African American and my parents are racist as hell. He's been coming for a while now at night to tuck me in and I don't care if this sounds weird, I have no one. I just talk with him about my day and he goes on his way. It helps me to get some things off my chest. He's retired military, a teacher and an upstanding person. Just a really good person, but he can't help me financially, all he can do it help me by lending an ear. Last week, my mom came over unannounced when I was out and cleaned my shower, didn't ask her to do that. She was still here when I arrived home. She leaves for the day and in the meanwhile, I invite my friend over. A minute after he arrives, she comes back to the house I live in with my sister and bangs on the door, saying she wants to ask me something. I open the door and she demands to know who the man that I have downstairs is and demands to meet him. I tell her no and she pushes me to try to go down the stairs, I try to block her entrance at the basement door. She's persistent that she meets him now, doesn't know who he is—he might be a danger to my sister. My sister says she's not even worried right then and there. My mom won't let up, so I push her back and slam and lock the door. My friend leaves through the slide in door down the basement where I reside and out the backyard and takes off. Meanwhile, the police show up and knock on our door. They come in saying my dad called them saying a black man entered the house followed by a lot of commotion. The commotion was my argument with my mom and he knew this. He was trying to get the police to catch my friend. He neglected to tell the police that my mom came in. My mom was caught in a lie---so they were spying on us for weeks after all when she promised they had no access to the camera. She completely and utterly betrayed my trust. 31 years old and she did this. Apparently she doesn't trust me and thinks I would invite a threatening person into the house. The whole situation blew up with the police there. Their bust was pre-planned. My mom came over, went in her car as if she was leaving, went around the corner and my dad watching on his phone from their home told my mom when he saw my friend show up so my mom went back into my house pretending that she left something and that she had a question for me. I can't shake this. I can't. I can't live here anymore. I need to move out, but have no money, $35.00 to my name. I want to die.
Meanwhile, my sister had a suicide attempt in June and then again in September 2018, both times took pills, the second time almost needed a kidney dialysis. I don't remember if I already talked about this or not, she was getting tams treatments, it didn't work, go now she's getting ECT treatments and has a good deal of short term memory loss so I'm dealing with how I feel and have to deal with her as well. I can't do this anymore.
I'm 31 as I stated, single never married, no children. I can't find anyone. I'm trying to date but no guy is being serious and I'm losing hope quickly not to mention, I'm too depressed to really give it my all.
What pushed me to really send this to others now happened just yesterday 12/8/2018—for the 3rd time, in the last 3 years, I went to an ugly Christmas sweater content, attended in my ugly horse sweater for a shot at $500.00-again lost where I clearly had the ugliest sweater there, no one even came close, not by a long shot. It was the Suds and Ugly Sweater's Party at Spring Mountain...if you were wearing an ugly sweater, you had a chance to compete in the ugly sweater competition. They handed out cards to the top 10 people to compete. The loudest crowd cheers narrowed the top 10 down to 3....my sweater was up there in cheers. I thought it was definitely in the top 3, if not 4. The person who won was a guy with a vest, blue jeans and sneakers on, and a harry chest and beard with glitter on it... I wish I took a picture of him...he won just because he knew a lot of people...but he wasn't wearing a sweater, and this wasn't a hairy chest competition. They broke their own rules. I should have one. Had he not taken my spot in the top 3, I would have won. Nobody's sweater came close to mine, one person was in a distant second. I had this, but no injustice was served to me once again. I threw up outside after. I am now an emotional wreak, and I don't want to get out of bed today. I emailed to complain. Says right in the rules, ugly sweater, no nudity. I can't believe this happened to me again. Wasted my whole day yesterday. The other three times, at the Landmark in Glassboro, NJ right next to Rutger University. Lost to a store bought sweater last year, nothing added on it, bought from Macy's. The year before, a girl had a plan sweater and a fake boob, something took 5 minutes to make and she won. Both times, I emailed my grief, was beside myself, thought I try another contest elsewhere---cannot believe this happened again. I seriously want to die. I have $35 to my name. I can't cope anymore. I don't know what I want to do with my life. I don't want to work with people anymore. I can't stand people anymore. I want to work with animals. I need to completely change my direction, but I can't do anything. I have no money. I have so many overwhelming depressing aspects of my life that I am at a loss on how to move forward. Please help me please.