To begin, thank you for even being a person willing to consider donating to another person’s cause. Though I’ve had more than my fair share of having to deal with unkind people, I continue to be an eternal optimist and to hold onto hope that there is goodness in the world.
Last May, my partner of more than five years died. This came on the heels of my own month long bout with coronavirus, for which I’m still struggling with insane long hauler symptoms. At the time, she was the primary breadwinner and I was in school, meaning I’ve been unable to receive any assistance other than sporadic stimulus checks. Because we had a domestic partnership only (we’d planned to marry in Hawaii in November 2020) my children and I are not able to receive survivor’s benefits. After her death, my ex husband started a battle for custody of my two boys. This included accusations of dangerous, illicit drug use (psychedelics are all I use, and I’m quite open about it) and accusations of inability to effectively parent my teenage children. They were withheld from me for 5 weeks, with no one talking to them about their dead step mother.
I finally got them back. Then, in October, I landed in the hospital with an anoxic brain injury; for which I spent a month in the hospital relearning how to walk, balance, and coordinate basic functions. This was likely a result of my previous coronavirus illness, combined with a new kind of blood pressure medication my doctor prescribed, though my neurologist says that we won’t know for sure, unless or until it happens again and can be studied more appropriately. I continue to struggle with severe fatigue, loss of vocabulary and difficulty with balance and coordination. While this is incredibly frustrating, my neurologist told me he didn’t think I’d ever walk again, so I’m intensely grateful that those are my only lingering effects. Prior to the accurate diagnosis of an anoxic brain injury, this was reported by the hospital staff to CPS as a drug overdose, so I was once again not allowed to see my children, for three months, while I was investigated. I was cleared, but then my ex husband was granted temporary full custody until July, when we will have a trial. I’m requesting pro bono assistance, as my ex husband and his lawyer are ruthless, and my children are suffering.
So, I’ve exhausted all my savings paying lawyers and staying afloat now that I can’t work. I’ve applied for disability but who knows what will happen there. My dead partner’s parents are fighting for her estate and to be her next of kin. The car we bought was only in her name, as she bought it while I was home on quarantine with Covid, and then she died before my name could be added to the title. Her father moved the loan account into his name, instituted security including password protection and a one name list of persona(s) non grata (me!), and a couple weeks ago it was repossessed, as last summer, when I tried to pay it off, was told I was not allowed to access the account.
This week, I found out my landlord is considering selling my house. It’s an amazing home, with an amazing yard, in a district with a performing arts high school. Both my boys are musicians, so it’s ideal. I don’t have the ability to even try to get a loan for it. I was awarded CARES money to catch up my rent until the end of April, which should hold off a sale for now *fingers crossed*.
I’m currently trying to return to school. As my previous student loan went into default, rehabilitation will be required, which requires six months of payments, before a FAFSA can even be completed. No FAFSA means no grants, loans, or scholarships will be available to me. This means that, on top of the year I’ve already lost in my schooling, another two semesters will be lost. I’m studying psychology and social justice, and my plan is to study experimental psychology, specifically the benefits of psychedelics in mental health care.
I’m looking for total assistance of $50,000. This includes rent ($14,000) and utility payments ($4,000) for May through December, tuition, fees, and books for the summer ($4,000) and fall ($8,000) semesters, vehicle purchase ($15,000), insurance, tax, and registration ($5,000).
Any amount will be so helpful and so appreciated. I know in these troubling times, we are all struggling, so I’m incredibly grateful to all of you who even take the time to consider this request.
Much love and here’s hoping things improve for all of us this year!