Hello, my name is Alexandra and I am recovering from a multitude of complex mental illnesses.
In 2017, I came out as a transgender woman. A senior in college with a degree in Computer Science, I lost nearly all my friends and quickly moved to Ohio. In 2018, I had my first sexual encounter as a transgender woman - unfortunately, I was raped. For months, I let the guilt and shame build up in me as I isolated myself from mostly everyone. This, combined with the mental abuse I suffered throughout life, resulted in my developing severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder.
Since being raped in 2018, I have attempted suicide over 30 times, succeeding once (though I was brought back in the ED). I’ve been to countless psychiatric hospitals, with varying degrees of success in healing and stabilizing myself. Unfortunately, not all psychiatric hospitals are staffed by compassionate people and I have had many experiences of being re-traumatized in the hospital (including one of my sexual assaults which happened on the floor of a psych ward).
In 2019, I was assaulted by hospital staff during a restraint gone wrong. The hospital violated the law and ultimately settled the matter out of court and 4 nurses involved lost their licenses to practice- but I’ll live with the trauma they inflicted upon me for the rest of my life.
Earlier this year, hospital staff at another hospital subjected me to a 6-point restraint and further traumatized me. There was no legal or emergency basis for this and the situation is being reviewed by the Commissioner of the MA Dept of Mental Health. This matter will soon be litigated.
A few months ago, at a local hospital, security attempted to restrain me for not putting a hospital gown on. When I resisted, they essentially tortured me - choked me, twisted my arms and legs, etc. then restrained me in the contorted position. Since this incident, I have not been able to walk long distances or stand for extended periods of time. This matter will soon be litigated.
Recently, my condition has worsened to the point where I have frequent panic attacks and can barely go outside (never alone). Being stuck at home has further exacerbated my condition and worsened my depression to the point where I am self-harming again in an attempt to cope with the pain, stress, and whole mix of emotions that comes with my disorder. This has also begun to put strain on my relationship and resulted in my recent unemployment. After taking a mental inventory and consulting with my social workers, therapist, and my psychiatrist we have determined that I am currently unable to work in any capacity and that my time needs to be dedicated on full-time treatment and recovery.
I want to get a service dog because it will enable me to get my freedom back. It will allow me to go outside alone without the fear of having a severe panic attack (I have them nearly every day). It will also help me with keeping safe with respect to self-harm because such dogs can be trained to interrupt certain harmful behaviors and retrieve medications/aid in an emergency. I also want to get a service dog because it will allow my partner, Nate, to get some of his independence and freedom back rather than constantly needing to monitor me. Instead of having to constantly leave work to take care of me and stay up late when I am having an episode, a service dog will be able to monitor me and ensure my safety in the short-term so that I can seek out long-term treatment and recovery from the immense amount of trauma I have undergone.
If I am able to reach my goal, I will use it to get a dog specifically bred for certain favorable qualities through a verified ethical breeder. I will be withdrawing the funds into a separate savings account from my personal money - this way, every dollar is spent on the work around getting, training, and taking care of my service dog. I will be engaging in owner-training of my service dog using online resources supplemented by an in-person service dog trainer to provide guidance on how to train specific tasks.
Any amount of help is greatly appreciated. I just want to recover and rebuild my life so that I can get my job back and go to school again.