Tuesday, June 30, 2009

VESID, Kahrmann Workshops, and Hope

Last Thursday I was supposed to have a meeting with the job developer re: my resume. She called that morning several hours before the meeting was to take place having to cancel. These things happen. We re-scheduled for this past Monday. My husband has a co-worker (also an acquaintance of mine who I have known for a number of years) who helps people who have been out of the workforce for awhile with their resumes. Having seen my resume, he offered his help to me. I accepted. That visit was also slated for this past Monday.

First the job developer's meeting with me. She called for me at 1:23 rather than 1:15, citing a telephone call and forgetting that we had an appointment. [But I'm the Unforgettable One, how could she???]. These things happen. She hadn't rearranged my resume [I had sent her a better one, using a book that husband's co-worker had lent me and one other specifically written to help folks like me who have been out of work for awhile]. Last Thursday she found out that the R.C.I.L. fiscal year ends on June 30 and "all these reports" had to be filed by then. These things happen. Unfortunately, her not being able to re-format my resume deemed this particular meeting a waste of my time. She could have sent me the job leads she had given me. But no matter. I told her that I was also having an appointment later that day with husband's co-worker.
Job developer asked me if I want to meet after July 4th as in next week. I looked at her. I told her, "No." I told her she could send me the job postings via e-mail. (Last week, I set up a box specifically for her and VESID. Sigh. 70+ e-mail addys aren't enough I guess.). I told her I was used to doing my own job searches. Job searching is not where I need help. I told her that VESID was supposed to have followed up with my previous employer Running Sores several years ago but never did. I had called myself twice but did not get anywhere. She agreed to advocate for me. Cool.

I went to my semi (unofficial) appointment with husband's co-worker who is also my long-time acquaintance. He looked at the revised resume and said it scans well, that he wouldn't change a thing. Cool. I lent him my book on resumes. We got into the circumstances behind my leaving the last job-- the car accident during lunch hour, the other driver who was high on marijuana allegedly, the immediate effects of my traumatic brain injury (which included a total inability to do paperwork that someone from personnel kept calling me up about during the period of time when I was sleeping 22 hours a day albeit she didn't know how seriously hurt I was and neither did I), the necessity of hiring a lawyer to protect my rights since the "no-fault" automobile insurance company and the workers comp insurance company both thought the other should pay my medical bills, things I think I may be able to do at my old company on a part-time basis with the assistance of a job coach... Acquaintance suggested several areas of job searching that I had not thought about.

Acquaintance also suggested that the VESID supervisor (who used to be my co-worker years ago) call Running Sores rather than the job developer. Acquaintance said it would be harder to brush off the VESID supervisor, especially under the adverse circumstances of my leaving. I went home and fired off an e-mail. Quite frankly, I do not believe that the VESID supervisor will make any such phone call, not even one to give a heads up that the job developer will be calling. I do not believe he will because: (1). it's not his job, and (2). my unfortunate impression is that the higher up the chain of VESID that one goes, the less actual work gets done. I may be wrong about the second, even if not about the first. It would be nice to believe that I am wrong about the second. It doesn't hurt to ask, even if it results in getting me labeled as "having poor boundaries" or "balls of steel" or whatever the current psychobabble is for directness and bluntness.

At first I thought that polishing my resume was an exercise in futility. Much to my surprise, it wasn't. I've got more than fifty publication credits-- and some of those more than once-- plus an appearance in three anthologies. And a ton of a variety of experience in human services. Surely I should be able to find a part-time job-- maybe 10 hours a week to start-- that I can do even with my current difficulties related to brain damage. My visual processing is messed up, double vision in one eye is no fun, I can't multi-task anymore except for driving, my mild expressive aphasia continues to annoy me even though I have learned to work around it really well, 24-hour vertigo sucks balls, and my back is a wreck. I've got some skills still intact along with the stuff that has been wiped. I've got the computer art that I do, internet skills, research skills, computer troubleshooting skills, and a deep desire to physically take computers apart and rebuild them. I've still got my total attention to detail. Oh, and my memory tested out at the 99th percentile, much to my total and utter amazement.

I have renewed my attendance at Peter Kahrmann's Life Growth/traumatic brain injury support group workshops on Saturdays. The first hour is devoted to working around obstacles that prevent us from being who we wish to be. The second is devoted to talking about brain function and how the damage shows up in our lives. I am now also going to the advocacy instructional workshop before the Life Growth ones. Although I am not counting on any ability to do advocacy work, that workshop has been a refresher in some of the regs I used to know like the back of my hand. And my being there with Peter and other folks gives me hope for my future. It may not be what I was aiming for perhaps. Still, I believe now that I can dream new dreams.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Uber-Failth Healing and so forth

I don't know what the stats say. My own informal observation has been that the majority of folks that I have met who have survived traumatic brain injuries are of the fundamentalist christian religious variety. Or perhaps the most outspoken I do not really know. What I am about to write about may upset some of my readers-- too bad.

When I was younger, one of my (now dead) aunts had multiple sclerosis. In fact, she had it up til her death and died of complications from the m.s. This was in spite of her being a faithful watcher of the faith-healer ( http://www.mcwe.com/ ) Morris Cerullo. Those of you who are unfamiliar with this dude-- you have been spared. I remember Morris Cerullo saying, "Expect a Miracle Today." He even had a booklet out by that name. My aunt had it. She was a faithful contributor as well as faithful fan of this feckless "faith" healer. She had lots of faith. Far more than I did even at my most pious stage of my life. If an yone should have gotten her miracle, it should have been that aunt. But she never did.

Morris Cerullo ( check out http://www.cephas-library.com/evangelists/evangelist_morris_cerullo_fraud.html if you wish to) lives in a freaking mansion which back in the year 2000 was reported to be worth a cool 12 million good ol american dollars. (here's a few more if you wish:


http://www.charlotteobserver.com/408/story/741812.html )

Okay, now obviously my aunt was a grown woman, competent to decide how to spend her money.
I cannot claim that she or any other folks who give their money up to Morris Cerullo and folks like him are guileless. The problem lies in the truthfulness or deception of the message. Morris Cerullo (who has no doctorate degree on record so he does not deserve the designation of "Dr.")
claims that if people give to his ministry (money) they will in turn receive blessings of wealth and health. There is at least one report of someone dieing after believing that Morris Cerullo's god healed up her epilepsy. No one told her to quit taking the medicine. She believed what she wanted to believe, just like my aunt wanted to believe that Morris Cerullo's god would cure her multiple sclerosis up until the day she died in the hospital of respiratory failure. Morris is not the only preacher walking around these days touting miracles. But I pick on him because my aunt had (by her own competent choice yes) helped support his opulent lifestyle while waiting for her expect-a-miracle-today to show up on her doorstep.

The problem with faith healing as I see it and as Sam Harris sees it is that the god of healing hates amputees ( see: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/ for his site if you wish and also for some other spirited discussions:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1678103/the_ironic_bankruptcy_of_the_atheistic.html <-- there are four pages to this article and all of it ought to be read).

Or, if the god of healing does not hate amputees, we have no records of amputated limbs growing back during or as a result of revivals, faith healing services of Morris Cerullo (or Benny Hinn or any other conductor of faith-healing services). Yet there are folks who leap out of their wheelchairs (whether or not they remain able to walk afterwards is another question), throw away their crutches, claim that their god has healed them of cancers and diabetes and epilepsy and so forth.

Why is it that we never get to see amputees regrowing their limbs?

The argument is tiring to some believers I am sure. And I am also sure that some believers are sick of being called stupid or other insulting words because of their beliefs. And I am equally sure that some degree of those who fall into the atheist or non-theist end of things are angry and/or sound angry over things that believers have done or have been alleged to have done.

But you see, this whole thing is a stumbling block to me. Find me one amputee that is a true verifiable amputee who now has a regrown functional limb due to faith healing and perhaps I will reconsider.

Til then, I will just figure that supernatural cures due to intercessory prayer just don't happen in this day and age.

And t.b.i., survivors. You can claim that your god healed you if you wish to. And I may even listen to you respectfully. However, I don't believe you. And no, I won't be sending any of my money to those who conduct faith-healing services. You can do so if you wish. You can even pray for me. Meanwhile, I will continue to be in charge of my own rehab.

sapphoq healing tbi