Thursday, February 28, 2013

Follow up questions.

I have a night off.  YAY!

I don't really have a post in mind of this, but there are some back questions to be asked.  Sometimes, I feel like, between this blog or Freejinger, or just having discussions with people via email, that I've already answered a question.  Then, a reader will point out that I haven't and I feel like I need to respond. 

I guess, some of this will be like an extended cut of "what happened" after my last series entry in "how I left". 

Basically, the day I walked out of that courtroom, I walked out with what woud become my adopted temporary family.   As always, protecting the privacy of everyone involved is important because, as I've said before, I want other people in ATI (and there were a few families and growing, in the area, at last check) community to be able to run where I did without fear.  I want to keep that door open for my sisters or for others who had heard about my leaving. 

I basically lived with another family until I got my bearings under me.  And, since I was such a newb to life "on the outside", it took me a long time to learn things most people take for granted.   Being out alone was truly a scary prospect for me.   From birth to that point, I hadn't been allowed alone in my room, let alone out in a store or in a mall or elsewhere.  Add, to that base fear, the fear that my parents would go rogue and sweep me away to a retraining camp or park me with another ATI family for re-indoctrination and I couldn't go to the supermarket without panic.  Taking off the style of clothes I'd worn for so long took a long, and slow, adjustment period.  Luckily, my temporary family let me lead the way and they never forced me to make a stand.  I wore dresses for a while because they were comfortable and I still had a belief that God wanted women to wear dresses.  The one thing I did, immediately, was stop playing music and I started listening to outside music.  Nothing really exciting to most, but...well, for example, one of the first movies I saw had the song "The Way You Look Tonight" played at a fox trot and I thought, "wow!  How innovative!"  Then, I listened to some country music and that was my gateway to pop music. 

Have I ever considered moving to Nebraska?  Well, maybe.   I mean, the obstacle now is that I barely make enough to function.  Being able to up and move to ANYWHERE seems impossible.  My degree is useless, probably more useless in Wyoming or whereever the oil boom is.  If I can't make it here, where prices are lower than most places, how can I move? 

I think, in order to move forward, I really need to deal with my emotional problems and get that depression under control.  Then, just get a stable base- small apartment or another trailer to operate from.  I'm working on it.  :)

22 comments:

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    1. I take it the other family wasn't ATIA?

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  2. Wow.

    Ruth, to me you sound like kind of an introvert. As an intorvert myself the prospect of never getting to be alone is horrifying. I could see that damaging your mental health as much as some of the crazier stuff.

    This is gross, but what the hell, I'm going to go ahead and say it: if I was never allowed to be alone I'd probably try to give myself diarrhoea all the time just so I could get some alone time in the bathroom.

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  3. Have you thought of applying for a job to teach English somewhere? Many of the programs provide you with everything until you start getting paid. You don't have to speak Japanese to apply with JET http://www.jetprogramme.org/index.html

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    1. There's already a bunch of information on that below a previous entry. ~Rebekah

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  4. The problem with being somewhere cheap is that there isn't really a lot of jobs that pay well either. I live in one of the two most expensive cities in the country, but jobs here pay a lot more. There is public health insurance of a sort. Jobs that don't pay well typically also don't require a college degree of any kind, while jobs that pay even moderately well usually require a college degree of some kind. I know maybe there's no one to help you out, but there are ways to survive with almost little or no money in many places until you can get a start. I don't have a roadmap for you, but honestly I'd save up and move somewhere where there are economic opportunities - Austin, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, etc. There are huge varieties of jobs available in cities with universities and diverse economies. I've seen a posting for free housing even here in San Francisco in exchange for childcare 30 hours a week. I'd say not to give up on moving on up - you have an education, you are young, you are hard-working and you are free.

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  5. I looked into the teaching English idea, South Korea didn't sound like such a good idea to me, especially for you Ruth, because they might try to take advantage and not pay on time, etc, and I don't think you need to deal with that. The JET program sounded a lot better. I've also read that there is a program for China, my insurance agent (of all people) sent an email that they are facilitators for that. What about being an Au Pair? I'm not sure how old you are, I know there are age limits on that. It could give you time to get your bearings. And the Au Pair agency is there to back you up if the family tried to take advantage.

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    1. There are some bad employers in South Korea, yes, but that's going to be the same anywhere in the world where you teach English. If you use a reputable agency with good references, make sure you go through your contract carefully and also ask the school you're thinking of

      Of everyone I knew in S Korea, only two have had bad experiences - my friend's school shut down after six months because it went bankrupt, and my other friend's employer made ridiculous demands. But two out of everyone I knew (I'd say maybe 70 people) is hardly that bad. Plus, if you have a shitty employer you can leave and get a new job - you just have to overcome some beauracracy (and possibly take a boat trip to Japan).

      Korea is the best bet. It's much more difficult to save money in Japan and no guarantess that you won't have a crappy experience either. The cost of living might be incredibly low in China but wages in China are much lower and in no way comparable to wages in western countries or Korea, so you save go back to your country of origin with much less. There are so many Americans and native English speakers in Korea there will aways be people to help you, especially if you join a network like Couchsurfing.

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    2. I have a friend whose sister taught in the JET Program and had a very good experience. Although she was fluent in Japanese before she went there, she was the exception to the rule as most teachers do not (and this is not considered to be a problem).

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    3. I did JET and it is amazing. I honestly have never had that kind of disposable since, as my rent was covered.
      I spoke no Japanese when I started and ended up fine.

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  7. I've never commented here before, but I had a couple ideas for you as well.

    I worked a summer at this camp in New York. They will pay for your travel. http://www.ramapoforchildren.org/summer-jobs . It's a camp for at-risk children and kids with autism etc. It's hard but rewarding work, and you'd walk away with some money saved and somewhere to live for free for the summer. You don't need to have experience in the field.They are hiring now.

    Also, there are lots of spring-summer-early fall jobs in Northern Michigan (Mackinac Island). It's a very seasonal industry and they bring in workers from all over. I would think some of them would pay for your transportation. The businesses provide housing as well. They are hiring now.
    http://www.mackinacisland.org/jobs/

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  8. The oil boom is in North Dakota -- Williston, Watford City, and some other bits in a generally really remote area. From what I've read, they're hiring for everything. The downside is that it's overwhelmingly male, which might be kind of unnerving for a lone woman, and there's a severe housing shortage. (The upside of the housing shortage is that no one would think anything of you living in your car. Though you wouldn't want to do that until spring.)

    Some of these jobs undoubtedly pay relocation benefits. However, I don't know which, nor do I know what your degree is in and what you'd most like to do.

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    1. I live in North Dakota. You do not, I repeat do NOT, come out here before you have a job lined up. The cost of living in the oil fields is very high. They have cracked down on where people can sleep in their cars. They need lots of help in service industries and pay well, you just need to find housing. One of the most desperate areas is in child care - there are tons of openings. You just need to find somewhere to live.

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  9. Will I ever be able to read FJ again? I've lurked for years, but never logged on. I did create one at one point and could log on, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable now, privacy wise.

    I hope you're able to get on your feet soon. I think you're doing quite well for the hand you've been dealt. I know it's tough, but post-college is tough for a lot of people, especially today, and most of those people have family to fall back on.

    Best of luck.

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  10. Ruth,
    I have mentioned before that you may want to look into working in a resort area and I still think that could help you. You can apply for a job that provides housing and may even pay your travel up front. You probably wouldn't need a vehicle (small towns/resorts). Some work would/could include landscaping, painting, nanny, housekeeper, front desk, museum and restaurant work. I met so many people and was offered some great opportunities doing this kind of work.

    Some thoughts would be National Parks, Alaska, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard,Block Island....I know there are others and some definitely pay more than others. Places like Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard may even have library/history jobs.

    I had nothing but the clothes on my back when I left for my first job ( I was 26) and ate potatoes for weeks but found a restaurant job and that supplemented the potatoes. I then met some friends and moved on to the next location. Eventually I went back to college got a degree and a job.

    I can email you with more information if you would like.

    Stacy

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  11. I also suggest ESL teaching in S. Korea.
    Please check into (online, accredited ESL teacher certification program) teflonline.com (I teach there, so I'm not unbiased--but I do really feel you'd do well. I have tons of students who are hired for various teaching jobs in S.K. before even finishing the program.)
    I've taught there for over 8 years, and have had hundreds of students, from retirees to new college graduates. Most have gone to S.K. or Chile or Japan, and most just love it. It's an internationally accredited course, and you can complete it in just a couple of months if you're a native speaker.
    You wouldn't necessarily have me as a teacher, of course, but I think you might really find it a great experience, particularly to get abroad. (Since I have a Masters in ESL, I have friends teaching English all over the world, and most of them don't want to do anything else.)

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  12. Hi Ruth. I love your blog and I have been reading it for years. But, I'm not/never have been ATI (Thank God) I was raised in a true Christian home that understood that Jesus Is Lord but as Christians we still sin and Jesus died for those sins past,present, and future. Conviction. Not guilt. I feel so horrible for you and all the others who grew up in a home of Legalistic false Christianity. :(

    I'm so sorry reading that your sister went back. And, that you lost your home. I'll be praying that your sister will get her courage up to leave again. For good. And, that you find a good place to live. :)

    *hugs*

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  13. I've never commented before, but I also had some ideas for you. Libby and Stacy are right. Resort/vacation town for the summer would be a fantastic opportunity for you.

    I was going to suggest Door County, WI for the same reasons. It's all Chicago money in the summer. As teens we would show up in mid-may and get hired by the first restaurant we walked into. Double shifts often meant walking away with $90-150 in cash a day, even at places with moderately priced menus. Temporary housing there must exist because we often have servers from all over, other countries, even. The restaurants will feed you, too. :)

    There are a ton of those touristy locations that rev up for the summer months that will take anyone willing to work hard and put up with a lot of crap from vacationers. The seasons usually run May-October. It might give you some cash and time to reflect on things in a new environment. Wisconsin, Michigan, upstate New York... all far enough from the big cities to be a vacation but close enough to draw from those cities and their money. :)

    There are also nanny-type opportunities in those vacation towns, if you'd rather do that than wait tables. Or any number of hotel/recreation/etc. type jobs. Hate dealing with people face to face? Get a job as a maid or a cook or a dishwasher. Stock shelves at Costco or Target. But you need to live somewhere with a Costco or a Target. I agree with the person who said that a more populated area is going to have more jobs and pay more. Just do your research first, make sure they have demand for the type of job you want.

    Ruth, you need to understand that what you are used to and what other people are used to are different. You've lived in a trailer. You've lived in a car. Looking for housing when you are picky? Going to be expensive. So when people say a place isn't affordable, do your own research. It might just not be affordable for the nicest condo in the best school district, but a studio apartment 2 towns over might be perfectly fine. Look into a big college town (lots of cheap apartments, generally safe) or a touristy type town that has lots of outside money. Those might be your best bets!

    Good luck! I've followed your story forever and wish you all the luck in the world. You deserve it.

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  14. Hey, Ruth. I hope you're well and that life's treating you a little better these days.

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  15. I have fallen off the wagon and haven't followed much lately. You were looking at moving to Nebraska I understand? Send me an email if you do...I could probably connect you to some resources back there. I grew up near Lincoln and it's a great small-ish city to live in. Lots of arts, unemployment rate is low and it's relatively prosperous. Plus housing is pretty cheap and you wouldn't need a car right off the bat as they have a bus system.

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