April 03, 2015

My Last Resort

I hated to do this, but I'd already exhausted two other options that, at the time, I'd considered my last resort (draining my 401K and borrowing money from both my former boss and my best friend).

I would only do something like this if things had gotten that dire.

And they had.

Here's an excerpt from my story on the fundraising page:
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 still think I did the right thing by speaking up, despite the seven-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. As I've learned, life comes with no guarantees.  
I could use as much help as I can get right now. I know times are tough for everybody, and that most people don't have much to spare. Asking is the absolute last resort. 
I don't know what happens if I don't reach my goal. To be honest, I don't know what will happen when I do reach my goal, and it's still not enough.

But I have to exploit every resource available to me. Everyone tells me, "Don't give up." So this is me not giving up.

Maybe just swallowing my pride.

I'm trying to recover from a lot of things financially, physically, emotionally, and mentally. It's not easy. And I can't do it alone.

Related Posts: 
A Last Resort
It Got Worse
Driving Through the Fear

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