I am asking for help because the past four years have been trying for me. I am a proud athletic trainer and do everything in my power to help others and guide them towards being their best selves.
It started in fall 2015 – I had just graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with my Bachelor’s in Athletic Training and been accepted into the Master’s Athletic Training program at Ohio University. I was part of a new cohort based in Columbus and the clinical site for my graduate assistantship was a division III university just outside of Columbus, OH. It was not long before I became overwhelmed.
My first supervisor suffered a brain tumor that caused rapid and frequent mood swings. Typically he was verbally abusive to me and the student-athletes. My dream was to work as an athletic trainer for a division I or professional football team. He frequently told me that I would never be able to achieve my dream because I was a woman; that while I was strong clinically I was not a good person and was too sensitive. I spent many hours crying in a back closet due to what he would say at me. Due to the brain tumor he also suffered from seizures and I kept close watch on him at work to ensure he was safe.
With the help of my academic advisor I was able to have my supervisor switched to a different staff member at the university. I admired my new supervisor as he was an amazing clinician and truly cared about the student-athletes. He suffered from bipolar I disorder and during the summer of 2016 chose to stop taking his medication. Things changed very quickly. He stopped coming to work leaving me as the sole healthcare provider for the football team, women’s field hockey team, and the men’s and women’s track and field team. I had no guidance but did the best I could to provide high quality healthcare to these student athletes. I worked nearly 70 hours a week and worked to maintain my 3.6 GPA as well. Once my supervisor had entered a manic state he was taken to a psychiatric hospital which he promptly broke out of. He reached out to me. I listened on the phone as he bought drugs off the street and told me of his suicide plan. I was able to track him down and watched as this person I so respected was arrested and taken back to the psych ward. I knew this was best for him which is why I took the opportunity to help him.
Once released he disappeared for two weeks prior to telling a friend he had acquired an illegal firearm and had plans to kill the people who caused him pain and suffering. At 25 years old, I was removed from my clinical site as I was the #2 on his hit list for getting him put back in the psychiatric hospital. I persisted and graduated with a 3.6 GPA and my Master’s Degree. Due to what had happened in Ohio I moved back across the country to Colorado to live with my mother. A few months later I was given the opportunity to work at a division II university in Colorado. I moved again for this job without any moving cost assistance for my new position.
Once again I had a verbally abusive boss who offered no support. I did all I could to treat and rehabilitate the student-athletes so they could achieve their dreams. I was given no guidance from my supervisor who eventually stopped talking to me and would only talk to me through another coworker, even when we were in the same room. I lost my job because he felt that “it didn’t work out”. I again moved home with my mother.
I was awarded the opportunity to work at UNLV and moved to Nevada to continue to pursue my dream and help others achieve theirs. I now work 70 hours a week doing what I love on a salary that does not cover cost of living in Las Vegas, NV. The moving back and forth across the country ran up my credit card. In May of 2019 I was rearended while driving for ride share to earn extra money, totaling my car. I was able to get a new car but I am struggling to keep up my credit card payments and car payments while trying to support myself and take care of my dog. The car and credit card total close to $30,000.
Any help to get my head above water is appreciated more than words can possibly express. I work hard everyday but just need some help to get my head above water.