Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kicked to the Curb

I expected it to happen. Even so it stung when it did. Today at long last I have been notified (per my specific request) that-- in so many words-- Running Sores does not want me back. Budget cuts was the excuse given to the job developer. Sure as shit, Running Sores' website lists several job titles, some of them part-time. No matter. I've been kicked to the curb once again because of my traumatic brain injury which came unbidden into my life five and a half years ago. The real killer is that Running Sores has an outstanding reputation in part due to their innovative acquired brain injury day treatment program.

Business is business, my dad's wise counsel. That is the way of it. I do not have to attach judgment to this one. It is what it is, Nathaniel Branden's wise counsel. I have to deal with things the way they are and not the way I wish them to be.

I had lunch with a good friend the other day. She began talking about BOCES and how her kids would not have made it through school otherwise. The professors are wonderful, she said. I'm pretty good with computers-- troubleshooting, removing nasty viruses and spyware and all of that. I've never actually taken one apart but I know I have untapped mechanical ability. That's what the armed forces test said in high school. And another test recently. I want to take computers apart, blow out the dust, fix the insides, add and subtract and put them back together again.

I have a direction, several directions, several unexplored options. That keeps me from total despair. It takes courage to dream new dreams. It takes guts to be who I am in a world that places more value on business sense than on human beings.

sapphoq healing tbi

Saturday, July 04, 2009

VESID and teamwork

As I had suspected, the fellow who was a co-worker years ago and is now a big-wig at VESID was not interested in making a phone call to Running Sores. At least he bothered to answer my e-mail. It was civil enough. No problem.

The job handler had forwarded to me part of an e-mail from the VESID counselor noting that since "we" [VESID counselor and job handler] are the ones "working with her" [her would be me] ergo any contacts should be made by them.
I wrote back to them a reminder that this is my life, my limitations with which I am intimately familiar with because after all I do live with them daily, and that I hope that this thing does not degenerate into non-cooperation with other agencies and individuals. This caused a response from the VESID counselor in terms of a phone call on Wednesday.

The VESID counselor wanted to know what accomodations I will need if I get a carved out part-time job as a per diem investigator of serious incidents with Running Sores. This conversation became immediately difficult for me as it was obvious to me that the VESID counselor does not have a clear handle on what investigating using O.M.R.D.D. regs entails. It was also difficult because I cannot decide what accomodations I will need for a job that I do not have yet and most likely will not get. The fact that the job is carved out, part-time, and per diem is in itself an accomodation. From there we got on to other things. One of the things that I endeavored to explain is that I am not an advocate and not a team player. I am a maverick, an independent worker, a researcher, an investigator. Different set of subskills from advocacy. My past advocacy skills did not survive my brain injury. My investigative skills did. Her immediate response was, "Oh, I believe in teamwork." I said to her that teamwork is fine in terms of me seeking help, however in terms of my work environment I am more of a maverick. I realized that the VESID counselor was not responding to what I was telling her about myself. So I terminated the conversation.

I do not do well with being micro-managed. I am far too independent for that. I don't need help doing job searches. I am accustomed to doing my own. That is not why I require VESID services. The orginal plan proposed by the neuropsych who did my cognitive testing was that Running Sores would re-assign me and that VESID would provide a job coach. VESID (several years ago) was supposed to call Running Sores to advocate for my return. To the best of my knowledge, in spite of my requests, this never happened. I called twice on my own and did not get anywhere with it. I got blown off. If it is not possible to return to Running Sores, then I deserve to know that.

If VESID is unwilling or unable to advocate for me with my former employer, then individuals should stop promising that and say that to me up front.

I went down to the Advocacy and Life Growth workshops again today (we meet every Saturday) and was very glad I went. Peter Kahrmann is a wonderful human being. The group itself is based upon the premise of providing a safe, respectful, honest, and non-judgmental space for us. I like the people in the group. I am also learning how to be less critical in my dealings with others. I value the folks in the group there. Peter has a blog at and information about the Life Growth program is located at

sapphoq healing t.b.i.