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Feeling Defeated, Please Help

I have been working since I was ten, 13 I was working twenty hours a week and 16 hours as many as I could finagle and not get in trouble for, sometimes two an three jobs. I have done this my whole life. I was home-schooled by an accredited school, graduating with almost a 4.0 and was ranked at the top of the nations Who's Who. I have obtained two associate degrees and would be a special educator or PRN if life did not seem to always know me down, (I almost lost my life with my first child and was on strict bed rest with my second due to the same medical factors) although I pushed and worked as long as I could.I am now twenty-nine years and am receiving ssi and according to ssi I cannot even call in to change my address, or be my own recipient for my benefits, because I have a brain injury. When someone sees me I may look like a "normal person," but being sick, someone bumping the back of my head or neck, being pushed emotionally, not having enough sleep, having too many people talk to me at one time, not taking my medicine on time, trying to ride a bike(different balancing issues), weather issues and stress can cause me to have cognitive problems that would make you think I was a completely different person.-Please continue reading as I am completely at my whits end, need desperate help as I have tried so hard to help myself and family better our situation on my own with out bothering anyone... We are always the ones to help others.... I am now understanding, that all these years of pride are making our walls crumble and our foundation is shaking.

In November of 2009 I obtained a traumatic brain injury from exercising a horse that would be used for a special needs riding center. A mother of two, wife of an amazing husband, giving twenty plus hours a week to my church, inner-city ministry, fifteen plus hours to this center and working from 3am-7am three days a week and 8am-5pm on call I was flying fast and loving life.

I was 65 pounds heavier and the horse was new, scared and had a few bad habits, catapulted me over her head and I landed ten feet away on my head. Losing forty-five minutes of time and vomiting I was life-lighted to another hospital and spent four days in a trauma unit. At that time close contact to the head was not popular so I was not sent to a brain injury rehabilitation unit.

Back to the injury, I awoke, unable to walk by myself, my brain said go left and I went down. I knew I wanted to answer and I slurred like a drunk. I wanted to eat but I couldn't raise my head and a click, tick, tap, noise would send me twitching into fits.... and I couldn't see a doctor until I was able to dial a phone a slur through the garbage of my words to seek help.

My husband has worked up to three jobs, we have had to file bankruptcy losing everything we have worked for, moving three times. Once we have lived in a camper, often times with an empty fridge, people pointing, laughing and criticizing thinking I am high, drunk or making fun of a "retard" as what they still call me.

I finally have a medical card after fighting for SSI... Working since the age of fourteen from Illinois, I learned that taking off for college and being forced by a doctor to not work while pregnant, (because I would die) my credits were not lined up the way they should be in the later years to be able to get regular disability

I have ministered to the least of these, advocated for the homeless, father-less, helped people addicted and afflicted, loved those that were beaten and abused coming from an alike family. I have gotten A's and B's, worked since the age of ten, paid taxes like a good American, loved all, lived by the Golden rule, my husband is making $580.00 every two weeks, if we do not want to live where meth and crack are being sold we pay $650 a month rent.

My doctor does not want me to work but we do not make enough money for me not to and I do desperately want to help contribute so I did try twice to work.. One place was at my husbands work and all of the bosses know and love me except the supervisor I was working for. He harassed the girls and when he found out that I had a disability he lowered my rank and pay grade pointing out that it was due to the fact that he did not know about my injury and that he can tell when people are medicated and the "look" they have in their eye, not knowing that my husband and I have been running a inner-ministry for at-risk people for years(for free). So I went to the head boss, the supervisor was reprimanded and I was given my job back, I even helped a special needs man that no one else could communicate with, but when the head boss was gone one weekend the supervisor told me I would go back down to what he said or would not work there. When I tried to tell him it was unlawful, he fired me. Not wanting me husband to lose his job, I did nothing.

I tried working again, (we live in a small town). I love to write and take pictures. I was hired as a reporter. I thought it would be great because it is something that would work well with my disability. After being told that I had 7-fourteen days to do 6 stories, I was made to do 4 the first day, three more in two more days and that Monday four more. After not being able to sleep that Monday to do two that I was told were not due for day I came in Tuesday was told they heard I could sell really well and the newspaper desperately needed funds, I told them I really did not want to do that, (it is too fast paced and stressful for me). I was told I had an hour to finish another story I yet again was told there was no need to rush to finish so I had no notes finished on and in five minutes a supervisor came back and told me I could no longer report but I could sell advertising for them.

Telling them I would think about it I went home. Two weeks later and bills piling up I went back reluctantly, the president of the company told me what was expected but offered me bones as of compensation. I needed employment desperately so I folded. Working all night on a project, on my own time I came back the next day for him to chew it to shreds in front of his employees.

I know I was made for more than this. I am a hard worker, have never been fired for anything, but do not deserved to be sexually harassed, have my disability used as an excuse as to not pay me as the rest of the team is when I am being given top priority work and to clean up top employee mistakes, making them look good. These employees are young, never graduating high school, going to college.. Yes, I may need to take more breaks, need to where ear plugs, may need my monitors text size set differently, the bright sun, a storm coming, or other barometric pressure creates huge migraines and there are times I walk like a fool and am unable to drive if it gets to bad or if I have pushed myself but I work hard to avoid this and have help. If someone will work with my needs, (no more than a smoker's break, blind person, anxious person, etc) I am a brilliant asset to any team. I have filled out job application after job application with out success.... Please help.

I am thankful for my ssi benefits and we are not able to feed our children or ourselves without them. I wish they were not lowered each month like they are. Right now our van was repossessed, it is cold out so we are driving our in-laws truck that has no window and the plastic taped still lets in very cold air for our baby's to feel. It takes ten dollars a day to fuel the truck and I do not know how we are going to pay rent this month and the electric, we are having to use cash advances that are a bad, bad whole to climb out of.

I want to work, I want to be independent and exceed in life, finish schooling and be the person I dreamed of as a young girl. I know that God allowed this to happen so I can be a voice for people with special needs that cannot speak every day, or type but are abused, neglected, monies are taken from them and they are left to lie in waste, many times their own. I will not stop until we are treated equally, fairly and with dignity. It should be a hate crime to say the word, "retard."

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I'm not sure what state you're in (Illinois?), but you may find the following link to be a helpful way to see benefits which you may be eligible for :

http://www.benefits.gov/

Bless you.

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration