Please help a Black, Indigenous or homeless person first!
I'm a 37-year-old, white, nonbinary queer person with debilitating ADHD that leaves me unable to do most work. I would consider myself able to do manual labour in a farm setting, or to work with animals. I'd like to get to a place where I have the spoons to pursue that, but right now my home life is extremely stressful and is draining those spoons.
I don't know if I can call my situation abusive, but it is causing a CPTSD-like response in me. I've always been a people-pleaser and am trying to grow some boundaries, but it's hard when I have to walk on eggshells to keep people happy, terrified of the feeling that surges up in me when I'm screamed at. I have never been physically harmed, but holes have been kicked in walls around me. It's draining my will to love or care for these people, but they are also the ones who support me financially.
My plan is to get a van and travel to somewhere where I can work in a community garden, on a small farm, or doing some other needed project for food and board. I've found a 1995 Dodge Ram sleeper conversion near me for $7,500, and I have about $1k in savings. The nice thing about this van is it has a built-in CRT and VCR, which will allow me to keep working on my VHS glitch art projects, which I may be able to sell. If I can't get this van I will try and get one for a similar price, and use any remaining money for fuel and food.
I'm hoping that if I can get a van it will allow me the personal freedom and safety to let my shoulders come down from around my ears. To quote a Captain Awkward column, I want to be able to send this note to my past self:
“In the future, there is a small, quiet room that is just yours, where you are safe and you are free. In that room your shoulders will finally start to come down from around your ears. Nobody can come into that room unless you let them. In that clean quiet place, you will work and you will study. You will love and you will heal. I know this is true because I am there with you. We are there together because you saved us. You saved us because you were brave and because you never stopped believing in that room.
See you there,
Your Future Self”
Even a small donation will help get me towards that small, quiet room of my own. Thank you.
A note about ADHD:
If you've never had severe ADHD and can't understand how this could affect the ability to work... believe me, I didn't either until recently. I thought I was just being lazy and work-shy. The simple fact is that my brain severely lacks dopamine, which is the "reward chemical" that we all need to motivate us to get anything done. If your brain doesn't produce enough dopamine, you live in a brainfogged state where things are easily forgotten. Trying to actually focus on a project, even one you enjoy, can feel like trying to push yourself to walk over hot coals.
For me this is particularly true of desk jobs and anything that requires me to sit indoors and focus on thinking. I do much better when I can be in nature, and work on manual tasks.