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My first memory of domestic violence is at 7 years of age and I realized I was moderately depressed at 10. I am a Mexican immigrant Femme, who manages multiple disabilities. When COVID-19 began, I experienced compounding trauma because I survived developmental trauma as well as sexual molestations when I was a child.51696088_1601931542825782_r.jpeg

The global pandemic makes daily functioning difficult for me as an adult. Also, in March of 2020, I needed to change jobs because the one I had was very demanding and high stress so  my mind and body were not able to cope with the demands. So, I added extra stress and I left my job and started a new one. The stress of starting a new job, losing almost 50% of my income, and Covid triggered me and I started to use a substance again to cope with the compounded trauma and just made it difficult for me to be able to use therapy and life skills to manage life on my own.51696088_1601931443799841_r.jpeg

I was in an intensive outpatient therapy program at the time and it was ending so there was not much my therapist could suggest I do. All these moving parts culminated in a mental health relapse that precipitated an intense desire to die by suicide. Those types of thoughts I have had for years and they were so intense at that time, that my family worried and offered their help so that I find treatment. I accepted the help. I started researching what options I had- because of Covid, most treatment programs are virtual which makes it very difficult to maximize therapy as you do not see the therapist face to face.               
Since there’s some trauma processing that needs to be done, it was gonna be better to find a treatment program that’s residential. 51696088_1601931231169451_r.jpeg
I also researched what me being gone from work to do a residential treatment program would look like and I found out that my job is not unionized so I have absolutely no paid leave policy. I have very little paid time off because I’ve been sick so much because of my disabilities. I didn’t sign up for short-term disability because I didn’t understand what that meant when I signed up for benefits and my job doesn’t give you the opportunity to sign up for it later. I have not received my stimulus check and have zero hopes of getting the second one, if they send one out. So, as of now, my only option is to lose out on income the whole time I’m right here in residential treatment.
I want you to own one of my pieces of writing! I am a funny, creative, deep, reflective, sarcastic, curious, non-traditional writer! I came to the US speaking no English as an undocumented immigrant in 1992 and by 2002, I was admitted to a top 10 school in California- SO YOU KNOW I CAN FUCK UP SOME WRITING! I did graduate from UCSD- it is one of the best universities in California. 51696088_1601931180489427_r.jpeg
So, if you want me to, you know, write a review for a shitty product or for a good one, write a love letter or an insult. If you want me to write jokes, sarcasm, inspirational nonsense. Or if you want me to write about living in Jalisco, Baja, California or Oregon, I can do that! You wanna laugh?! I’ll write about some of the things I’ve heard kids say and do over the years I’ve worked with them.
51696088_1601931113309018_r.jpegIf a generous donation is in your heart, I will be deeply grateful ❤️ I know these are hard times for everyone so if you choose to share with me, I’ll thank you in my first language- Muchísimas gracias.


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Ariana Barajas 
Beaverton, OR
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