Friday, November 7, 2014

The Obstacles

There are various obstacles standing in the way of doing anything to help myself. A careful reader might even notice one, in the fact that more than a month passed between my first post and my second. In part, that is due to poor executive function. Just doing the basic things I have to get done each day can be a struggle, and fitting in anything new or difficult is even harder. As I already mentioned, writing on a topic like this is difficult, and more so when no one is reading what I’ve written. And I worry about what to say, how to phrase it so that I’m truthful - and not just factual - and a thousand other details. All those things hold me back, even when I am this desperate.

In addition, various forms of public assistance have their own rules, and most of those rules make it difficult or impossible for anyone who does not pursue an entirely normal path to even imagine getting off that assistance without running into worse trouble. I would be overjoyed to escape the need for such assistance - but it is horribly easy to do something which means I no longer qualify for help while gaining so little that I’m much worse off than when I started. So any attempt to make money is frozen unless I can be sure it will make enough to keep from landing me in an even worse position.

I did have one idea, where I thought instead of just asking for help, I could publish some of my writing and ask for donations from those who thought I had given them something worthwhile. Why haven’t I gone through with that? Aside from my fear of making my situation worse, I can’t make such an appeal. My PayPal account is frozen. They wanted me to verify my identity, which was difficult since I am not in any driver’s license database (I am, after all, legally blind) and have never had credit. So instead they wanted me to submit a number of documents - and the name on each had to be exactly the same. Now, I was for a time a professional genealogist, even if I never made much money at it, and if I had ever found too many records for one person that agreed so exactly, I’d have concluded that identity was faked. A real person just does not have records that match up perfectly. They have exactly the opposite. So to prove I am not a fake, they want me to behave like one. For most of you, that might not be a problem. For an autistic person... my account has been frozen for about four years now.

In addition, I don’t have the knowledge to put together an e-book quickly, or the funds to produce a self published printed book (since Adobe has an absolute monopoly on the software required to produce the file for printing). And with all the stress and anxiety, I would struggle to put anything together. I might barely manage a collection of poems or short stories, but even that might take me longer than I have.

Years of living with furniture designed for people who can see normally, which forces me to bend further over to see things, has left me with a neck which often pains me, making working on anything in too much of a hurry even more difficult. And all the stress and anxiety I am under doesn’t help, either. There may even be other obstacles to getting out of this trap, but those are the biggest and most obvious ones.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Plea

This seems like such a hopeless effort. I do not expect anyone to do anything for me. Those people who might owe me something aren’t the ones who would pay their debts, and those who might be willing to help owe me nothing. But if you are willing to help a stranger, I ask first that you read these posts. Comment if you have the time and can think of something to say. It is very hard to write and post in a void, when no one is reading, or at least there is no sign of it. Any encouragement at all will make my task easier. And share the link with anyone you can think of who might be interested. There is no point to this is only a handful of people read it.

The most important thing I want to accomplish is to start a discussion on all those people who need help and have no way of getting it. There are many of us, people who fall through the cracks. Even if no one is able to - or chooses to - help me, or even if I do find help, all those other, silent people need help, too. I am uncomfortable talking about who “deserves” help. Do I deserve it? Perhaps not. But there are at least some people who do, and they should be able to get it without so much misery and stress and suffering. The solution is not political. Neither party has ever shown any sign of doing anything which will do anything other than slap a bandaid over the wound to hide it from sight. Or perhaps it is partly political, but that is not the whole answer. It can’t be. I’ll discuss how I came to be in this position, the obstacles in my way, and some of the reasons I am convinced the solution must be more than political in later posts. Your questions will be helpful to me in deciding what you most need to know to carry on the discussion.

In spite of my own terror and misery, I am serious about the discussion being the most important part of this struggle. It is so important that I’m about to ask you something which terrifies me even more than my own situation. If you know of a journalist who might be interested in covering my plight as a story, send this on to them. I am a private person - I’m autistic. But more people need to understand how many people suffer silently, right in our own country, while “the government” is assumed to be preventing such things. Do we suffer as much as the people in some of the most poverty or war stricken areas? Probably not. But every person matters.

Since I am human, I am also hoping that someone might have an idea to help me, a solution that is not a complete disaster. If you have suggestions, those are welcome, too. Even if they’re something I have already tried which has failed, or if there is a reason they will not work, all my readers will be able to see more of the process and how it works, or doesn’t work. In a discussion, nothing is wasted. And with enough attention, someone may read this who does have an answer. If that doesn’t happen, it will serve as one more illustration of how hard it can be to get help.