Those who knew me back in NYC witnessed the derailing of my life in 2008, when my successful job went sour: I was sexually harrassed, and was retaliated against when I reported it. I had to quit the job I once loved, and leave all my friends behind.
Soon thereafter I was diagnosed with PTSD, a condition that probably stemmed from my traumatic childhood and then was triggered by a new trauma.
Things haven't been the same since then. I filled in for someone's maternity leave for 3 months at another company, where I also had to report an occurrence of sexual harrassment. They had planned to keep me on longer, but once I spoke up, I was relieved of my duties earlier than expected. Why did this keep happening to me?
I've done a pretty good job of scraping by since quitting my VP position in 2009, with a handful of consulting projects and freelance work. I even found an employer who created a position for me and moved me from NYC to LA - only to lay me off after only 3 months in early 2011, far from my friends and loved ones.
A year ago, in April 2014, the same exact thing happened with a different LA company, again after only 3 months.
Two weeks later, I was rearended by a driver with a suspended license, causing $13,000 worth of damage on my car, and giving me whiplash, head trauma, and more PTSD. The resulting cognitive issues and flare-up of my preexisting fibromyalgia made it hard to do any freelance work I'd managed to get, and even harder to interview for fulltime jobs. A year later, the lawyers are still fighting it out with the insurance companies, and although some money might be coming, I can't wait any longer for it.
I've exploited every government and social resource available to me. Despite struggling with three disabilities, I'm working at least 5 different part-time jobs at any one time. But I'm severely underearning, and it's not enough.
I've drained my savings and 401k. I've borrowed money from friends and a former boss. I've asked people to repay the loans I once gave them. There's nothing left
I still think I did the right thing by speaking up, despite the 7 year financial crisis that it brought on. I wanted to be a good example for other women in the workplace. I wanted my employers to know that this kind of behavior would not be tolerated because it was not OK.
But now, I don't know what's going to happen to me. It's going to take a miracle for me to dig myself out of the crunch that I'm in, between credit card debt and back taxes. Just to survive - to pay my rent and minimum payments on my bills - I need about $3000/mo. $6000 would buy me another two months, which maybe would give me enough time for my car accident settlement to come in, or for me to find a job that pays me enough to live.
But I don't really know. As I've learned, life comes with no guarantees. I could use as much help as I can get right now.
If each of my Facebook friends and followers donated only $1 each, I would have enough to pay rent.
If you've ever offered to buy me a beer, please put that $6 in this fund. If you've ever wanted to take me to lunch, please throw the money in here instead.
If you have more to give, $20 will give me a half tank of gas. $40 will allow me get my gray hair colored at a hair styling school. $115 will cover my monthly cell phone bill.
I know times are tough for everybody, and that most people don't have much to spare. Asking is the absolute last resort.
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