Hey everybody! I am a 24 year old singer/songwriter and my name is Diana. I am currently living on my own, and I have dwindled down to the last of my savings. I have been searching for a full-time job for the last 4 months, since I lost my job back in October. I used to work in a pretty decent paying job, but I received a lot of emotional distress from dealing with racism and sexual harassment for over 2 years there. I always tried to establish my boundaries and made formal complaints to upper management, only to be made to seem like I was a trouble making employee. Through out this time I was working on recording some music to release it, and had been using all my free time and money to put into the project. Music has always been the thing that fuels my life, and makes it easier to get through all the struggles in the day. I was also doing part time pin-up modeling for photographers, which never really paid but I was able to get more views on my social media accounts so that was always a bonus!
A little over 1 1/2 years ago at the age of 22, I got a back injury at my job. This lead to sciatica pain, and I was having to go to physical therapy. The pain would leave me in tears since I had to stand on my feet for 8 hours a day. This was a job that was a 30 minute walk from my house, and since I could no longer do that, I had to start taking an uber or Lyft. The final straw was when I told the doctor that my pain wasn’t getting better, and if I could have restrictions put so I can occasionally sit down to do my job. That was refused. So I dealt with it for a bit, taking my pain meds and would cry later in the day because the pain would get so bad. I ended up getting a lawyer for the incident, and didn’t exactly know how it would turn out. But once the lawyer got involved, I was finally able to get time off and start seeing a chiropractor. It turns out that when I had the back injury, my muscles became inflamed and my body was kind of adjusting my posture to “protect” certain sides that felt more pain. It turns out that the sciatica pain was able to be relieved once I started taking muscle relaxers, going to chirotherapy, and I switched over to taking curcumin because I didn’t want to keep taking pain medication. I started strength training at home with resistant bands and with an indoor cycling bike, and I started to feel better. My pain is still occasionally there, and I don’t think it will ever truly leave but I’m doing my best.
Then came the settlement. In October 2020 I received the news that I would get a settlement of $15,000 but I would have to resign. My lawyer agreed that was the best course of action, so I ended up taking it, having to pay my lawyer about 4k. The money I had was spent on paying rent for the last 6 months, groceries (I shop at the 99cent store), going to the doctor for check ups on my back, and Ubering to job interviews. Some went to recording my music and some was given to my mom for her rent.
That music situation didn’t turn out well, because I had spent over $2,000 on studio time only for the producer I was working with to refuse to give me the stems to my music because I refused to be in a romantic/sexual relationship with him. This was someone I knew for over 6 years and I only trusted him with my music because I have dealt with producers in the past trying to “help” me if I “help” them. He claimed he was different and would never ask that of me. It only came up finally when I had asked to have the stems for final mixing and mastering, and he said he couldn’t just “give” me the stems, he wanted to see what we could “figure out” first. And I decided to cut my losses and ties because I refuse to be in a position like that. I admit that when I was younger and more naive I used to think that things were going to be easy once I started living on my own and not living under my emotionally/physically abusive father’s roof, but the harder things get the more it strengthens my resolve. I won’t give up on my dream and I won’t jeopardize my emotional/physical well being to try to get somewhere in the industry.
I have been currently applying for jobs in my field, and there are 2 big companies that have both told me that my background check doesn’t pass. I believe it’s from the worker’s comp case, because I have never had any tickets or arrests or anything that would set off red flags in my background record. At the moment, I’m down to my last $1k which I will use to pay rent, since I don’t need to buy groceries because I still have a box of ramen noodles, and I will have to figure it out from there. But this is honestly my last hope at the moment, until I find a job.
I haven’t been able to go to my family for help because the dynamic in my family was very abusive both physically and mentally. The last time I lived with my parents, I was 19 years old and the physical abuse started again when my father got drunk and began berating my mother who is hard of hearing and wears a hearing aide. I got in the middle of it and told him to leave my mom alone, when he got in my face and started hitting me, leaving bruises on my face, which I had to cover up due to having to work the next day. My mom is a very sweet and caring, 4’9 woman, and she tried to get in between but she couldn’t because he is 5’10 and he easily overpowered both of us. The level of abuse we have had to endure over the years has left my mom, my siblings, and I traumatized. During my childhood, I remember asking her to leave, and the few times she did, he would find us and threaten to kill us all. I have asked her multiple times to come live with me, but she has refused time and time again. I occasionally try to visit but every time I visit he always ends up drunk and accusing me of not loving my family. I have tried to ask him to go to therapy because he can’t come to terms that he has abused all of my family both mentally and physically. I have been receiving therapy because I have struggled with the aftermath of the abuse. My therapy is through a non profit counseling, which helps people who suffer from mental illness that cannot afford therapy. Both of my siblings have been diagnosed with BPD and PTSD. And they are both moving forward into their lives as best as they can, but are in no position to help me at the moment. I have not received any other diagnoses other than depression, anxiety, but my therapist says I have symptoms of CPTSD. My goal in life is to release my music, pay my bills, and to give my mom a better life. Because even though I used to beg her to leave him as a child, and may have resented the life we lived, I know now that he had already traumatized her to the point of thinking it would be safer for us to stay.
Honestly, anything helps and I haven’t been the best at opening up in the past. So this was a lot for me to write out, and I admit I don’t feel good writing about my past. But this is the best I can do for the time being.
My goal is $5,000 but anything helps really. Thank you for taking the time to read this!
This is a picture of when I finally got my glasses :)