Update: Turns out I might lose my SSI/disability benefits if I get married, so the fundraiser will mostly help cover moving expenses. I will have to wait until I can get a suitable job before I tie the knot.
Hello! I'm Alyssa Huber, director of the documentary "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's ," YouTuber and blogger of Life of an Aspie . I am also autistic. I am in need of financial help to get me back to my fiancé (Matt Rhodes, who is also autistic) in Ohio so we can support each other. I have significant functioning problems, and I need Matt as my caregiver to prevent my mental health from declining any further. In turn, I support him emotionally by being present and helping when I can. We function so much better together than we do apart.
Click here to watch how we met. :)
I plan to save up for a few months and move out of my parents' house by mid-summer or fall this year. Considering I only have no savings beyond (approx.) $300 to my name, food stamps were cut, and I have no way of making substantial money on my own, it will take some time and extra help so I can transition.
While I love who I am, my deficits have made it difficult to be financially stable. I am living off government assistance--which barely covers rent and basic necessities--as I am currently unemployed/disabled and not yet ready to work. I try to live minimally, but I have a lot of expenses due to medical bills and student loans.
I find it very challenging to make money on my own since I have executive functioning issues, and I struggle with mental illness and OCD on top of having Asperger's. My current hobbies (YouTube, blogging, etc.) are a great help to my mental health, but provide no financial support.
Being away from my fiancé is very difficult, as we have been in a long-distance relationship for over three years. I've also been living under my parents' roof for a long time, and while they have graciously allowed me to stay and pay rent, at age 26, I am longing to be fully independent. They have their own financial burdens as it is expensive to live where we're at in Illinois. Moving anywhere closeby, or anywhere else by myself in general, is not an option as I cannot afford high rent, and I really need living support (help cooking, cleaning, and emotional regulation), which Matt is experienced in providing for me.
I should note that I CAN work, but only part time, but working is not an option right now due to the urgency of me needing to move out. This urgency is my mental health. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to take care of myself, which in turn is making me more depressed and anxious than ever. There are days where I spend hours in bed, depressed, and only function enough to heat up leftovers in the microwave. There are nights when I can't sleep thanks to intrusive thoughts and compulsions that last hours, accompanied by severe panic attacks.
Am I getting professional help?
I am, currently. I am strongly driven towards self-improvement, and I am constantly looking for ways to cope and do better, but recently my efforts are not enough to combat the severity of my issues. I take natural supplements and herbs, which do help a lot, but they are expensive. I do therputic mental and physical exercises on my own when I'm not in therapy, as I can only see my counselor once a month since I pay for the sessions out of pocket. I really need more sessions , and more intensive therapy in general, but I can't afford it. My insurance covers medication, so I'm looking into it (I've never taken big pharma meds before) and am willing to see how it will work out. But it's not going to be a magic solution that will cure me forever, and it will take time to figure out what works.
In terms of daily functioning assistance, I prefer not to ask my parents for help. I love them, but our relationship is complicated, so I am really not comfortable asking for anything.
Matt is my best option right now as a supporter. When we are together in person, he helps me with my daily needs: making sure I'm fed well on days I can't cook, ensuring I going to bed on time, preventing my OCD compulsions, and being a calm presence to mitigate my anxiety and help me through panic attacks. Matt just being with me does wonders for me emotionally, and provides much-needed relief from the mental torment I face on a daily basis.
Since we want to get married anyway, I don't see any reason for us to be apart any longer. I should also make it clear that while marriage is technically optional, I'd prefer not to cohabitate pre-maritally as it is often frowned upon. I am not asking for a grand wedding, just a marriage certificate and a few nice photos of us.
Why don't I just save up money to move out?
In addition to the urgency to save my mental health, SSI is complicated. I cannot have over $2,000 in assets, meaning as soon as I go over $2,000 in my personal bank account, I will lose my benefits. Whatever income I make will deduct some of my benefits. I am not an expert on the details, and I am working on finding out, but DHS is notoriously difficult to get ahold of. By the time I get ahold of them and actually get a job (it will be slow thanks to the government's slowness + my anxiety), months will have passed and my mental health may be worse by then, possibly making me unfit to work. Prolonging the suffering will make the recovery much harder.
My current workaround is an ABLE account, a government program allowing those with disabilities on SSI/SSDI to save money, and social security cannot count whatever is in it--meaning I can have over $2,000 in that account. I only had recently discovered this, so not enough time has passed yet to allow me to save. This GoFundMe campaign will issue a check to my ABLE account, so any contributions will not affect my SSI. :)
Donations will go towards the following:
- Gas for my car, to get me to Ohio
- U-Haul / moving truck rental costs for moving my belongings
- Rent and utilities
- Food for me and Matt (he doesn't have much money either)
- Basic necessities--i.e. shampoo, toiletries, clothing
- My out-of-pocket medical expenses, bills, and anxiety meds
- House-related things--furniture, appliances if needed
- Marriage license
- Wedding Photographer
Any donation amount helps and is greatly appreciated! My friends, family, and followers: you are dear to me and I am grateful for any support. Please share on social media to spread the word. :)
If you'd rather not donate, but are interested in unique, comfortable, and sensory-friendly jewelry, you can support me by checking out my shop! I make these with my fellow aspies in mind, but they are cozy for anyone to wear. https://www.artsymoonflowers.tk/
No matter what happens or where I am, I love Matt to pieces and I miss him. I can't wait for the day I get to be with him again and we can support each other and feel our best, together.