Yielding to family pressure, I set my sights on the current job market. This is something I have done every couple months, usually when finances are crushing us and I am looking for answers. Today was no different from all the previous attempts. I have lived my life either completely sheltered and outside the realm of working, or I have been treading water in a sea of neurotransmitters gone awry. In the interim I have lived, and breathed horses. I can ride them, train them, adminster aid to them, you name it and I can probably do it. What becomes apparent so very quickly is that I have no experience beyond that. Most people my age worked part time in school, and did internships. The pathway to the workforce is paved that way. The more I wander thru the help wanteds, the more this growing sense of unease starts. With each ad it becomes clear I don’t have the skills I need. Doesn’t matter what it is, whether retail, or sales, or some skilled labor or profession. What I know how to do pays minimum wage. What is left is manual labor. I can clean hotel rooms all night, or go work at McDonald’s.

Where did my life get so far off course? Did I honestly think this is where I’d be when I set sail for Cornell? I had the whole world ahead of me. I’m not even sure what I have now. I feel like a complete and utter failure. There is nothing like reading thru 70 pages of ads to find you may qualify for a handful. How does one possibly avoiding judgements. It is far too easy for me. I know I’m frustrated and overwhelmed, that is a given. With my hands tied here financially the thought of returning to school to train for a job that may not even be available when I finish seems ridiculous. I can’t burn money I don’t have, especially in such a tenuous job market. I can’t help but wonder how different my life would have been had I not fallen on my face at such a critical juncture. I fucking hate even thinking about it. I am awash in what ifs. Not the best thing for my head. My family leans and leans. Finding ways to exert pressure all the time. The differences are vast. Some expect me to find a path and save my life and my property. that is a huge expectation. the rest would rather label me sick and incapable. Pushing for disability. How can that possibly help me? To spend years tied up in a process to determine how sick I am? How useless as viewed by society and our government. I don’t need that process to sense my uselessness. All I need to do is look around and hold on for the descent. I spend each hour of every day questioning myself. I don’t need to look beyond my person to feel useless. I have doubted myself for most of my life, it hasn’t changed. There are a number of things that give an individual purpose. One of those is a sense of mastery, and a feeling of control. What exactly do I have control over at this point in my life? I have control over whether I live another day, or if I fight another battle with my mind. Beyond that it is a toss up. Do I have control over my farm and its survival? That is doubtful at this point. Have I been able to steer this ship and get us to calmer waters?No. Have I been able to have confidence in my future? No. Have I screwed up over and over in my life? Yes. Often it seems those far outweigh the success. Or maybe it is just my head wanting me to buy that. It just seems like a mine field stepping out into a world of expectations and failures. How can I expect a future any different from the one I live now? If I take that manual labor job working 12 hour shifts and walk away from all treatment will I sink? or will I swim? There is always some little voice in my head that says I will always end up face first. It doesn’t matter what I am doing. The farm has allowed me the flexibility to be in treatment, whether it be once a week, or inpatient having my grey matter lit up like a light bulb. It allowed me to wander in a fog for weeks. The horses didn’t care. Somehow I don’t think a job would be forgiving. so, you see it isn’t just wandering thru countless ads that I don’t even begin to have a chance at, it is the fact that I have to leave the safety of this place. I have to accept the risk and move on. But I know the reality. There is no pep talk that can sway me from facing the reality of my not always being well. I am so tired of living this life as if running a gauntlet. Waiting for some invisible blow to land me on my back. Never knowing how long it might take to get upright and strong again. Where do I stand? Am I that sick fragile person that some of my family sees me as, or am I the one that should run headfirst into the job market? and even if I do chose the latter, will I be okay?

so it is pretty obvious why I had a complete and utter meltdown this morning. This isn’t as simple as emailing a resume. This is a complex undertaking that pulls at the seams of my life as I have known it, for all its issues. It draws at the fundamental hurdle I have always shied from – I am not good enough, strong enough, smart enough. No better than my worst moment hanging from a 100yr old tree, or tied down in restraints. How can I find the strength to leave that behind and trust myself enough to forge a new path? How can I pull myself free of a lifetime of doubts and fears and judgements? At the end of the day I can’t, not now at least. Because today I feel useless. No bigger than that piece of horse shit lodged in the tread of my barn boots. It doesn’t matter how fast I run, it is always waiting for me. Sadly, my ability to tackle obstacles and run thru fire doesn’t translate. To try feels hollow and pointless because it doesn’t go past the surface. A surface so roughened and scarred after a lifetime of chaos and suffering. At the end of the day I really don’t have confidence in me. Without it there is no sense of purpose. It becomes so obvious why I am willing to end my life. It means nothing to me because I mean nothing to me.

Who knew a look at the help wanted ads could focus such a concentrated beam on my very being? But as is usually the case, I see nothing coming till it is at the threshold of my soul.


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