More action happened about the dream job. The short version is there is no way I'm getting that job and it's because the district is just blatantly discriminating. I've ceased being amused by the outrageousness of it. I'm hurt. I'm humiliated. I'm angry. I'm discouraged. I know the bit about God having a place for me somewhere, and I'm content to wait on Him to lead me. I am not content to let this district break a federal law and put this child through the kind of education he's been getting and is continuing to get. They don't like his mom because she is a pain in the rear. I don't know whether it's right to file lawsuits as a Christian, but I intend to.
What has been done to me in the process of this interview says a lot about their attitudes about disability in general and about their expectations of blind people, including the one who is their student. I was tons more qualified than the one other applicant, and they didn't even have the decency to tell the school board I was an applicant. The school board liked my resume and had sided with the mother, but they couldn't get the principal and superintendent to back down so voted unanimously to offer the other applicant the job. The last thing the principal pulled out of her little bag was that I would need a person to lead me around. It's totally untrue, just like everything else was untrue. I didn't spend three days last week running around the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta by myself for nothing. I didn't spend nine years getting my BA for nothing. But it feels like that's exactly what I've done.
The pay wasn't that bad, but it translated into $960 a month because of the number of work days and the fact that the checks are spread out through 12 months even though it's only 10 months of work. But I wanted it because I wanted the job. And they had the gall to ask me if I'd be ok being so far from home, as if I'm a little child. I've never been so humiliated in my life!
I've just looked through the entire job bank for the state of Indiana. There are some houseparent jobs available, but they are at the school for the deaf. I don't think that's too appropriate for me. I'm sure I could learn sign language, but I'd run into a lot of issues about how I'd communicate effectively with students, and those would be legitimate issues. The rest of the jobs are beyond my ability or qualifications or way out of my area of interest. Hmmmm... Maybe I could be a semi truck driver? Uh huh. Yeah, that's it!!!
I said I was content to wait on God. I think I meant it. I'm just hurt. I don't understand any of this. I felt so good about the Cincinnati thing. There was just no reason why it shouldn't have worked unless it wasn't what God had in mind. But did I have to get humiliated in the process?
I think that's what hurts the most. I don't care, really, that I didn't get the job. I'm disappointed, but I could have left it all alone if the whole issue hadn't been the blindness stuff. If the other person had had the same or better skills or something, it would have all been ok. If I could just get a plain old, normal rejection, I'd make it through. But all these rejections I've been getting since 1995, and especially this one, have to do with people's ignorance about blindness. I know it's their problem, but it's me whom their problem hurts. It's me they slap in the face, and it's me whom everybody tells that things will be wonderful when I have a degree because all these jobs just require you to have a degree. Well, I'll have the degree in August, and I don't see any jobs popping up or even hiding in the grass--and I'm turning over every blade I can find.
I used to have dreams. I used to be able to see myself doing something. Sometimes they would change when one thing didn't workout. I'd work up some other dream to try for. I've run out of dreams. I'm tired of school. I need to know that I'm capable of finding and keeping a job. I need to see myself do it, not justfor people to tell me I can. Those are empty words, even though I know they're meant and the people believe in me. I don't mean to disregard anybody's encouragement by saying that. It's just that it feels like reality isn't what people tell me it is, and I can'thandle that inconsistency. It feels like I am always working toward something that will never happen. If I go and get a Master's degree, what motivation will I have to work hard if I failed at all the things I wanted to do with my BA. No, it isn't failed. That's not the right word. It's more like I never even had the chance to try.
The people I talked to at the convention were nice. They were supportive and encouraged me to acknowledge how I felt and to take some action and stand up for what I thought was right. That helps. I don't hold out any hope about the job and don't know that I'd take it now if it was offered. I do want some kind of something done that gets a message across about not only discrimination but also the importance of providing appropriate education to blind children. There is no braille teacher hired for the fall yet, and the new aide hasn't even started learning yet. It takes the average adult six months to a year to learn, much less be fluent. I doubt the child will have a very competent aide by August.
I don't know where my life is going. I do care. I want to work so bad I can taste it. I want to see a paycheck that isn't just handed to me by the Social Security Administration because I have a disability. I don't care if that's my right or not. I want a pay check that I worked for. I don't care whether I did the work at home or somewhere else. I want a pay check that I earned and that I can live on. If I'm going to work hard and a lot, then I want to earn what I worked for. I want to know that if I work harder, I'll get paid more or else I can go find another job. As it is, I get a grand total of $6,000 a year, and if I can find a space open I can live in a tiny apartment in the less desirable part of town. I don't want to live in a mansion or even on a six-figure income, but something moderate would be nice. Afour-figure income wasn't what I had in mind for my life, especially after spending all these years hanging in and finishing a degree that should have been finished four or five years ago.
I tried to run away from the pain. I went on my trip in March and had a good time. I went on my trip in June and had fun. I went on my trip last week and had a good time. But it's like substance abuse. When the high wears off, real life is still there, and for me real life is like some void where there is very little substance unless I manage to create it, and that substance never moves. The only dreams I have left to try are writing and singing. Funny... Those are the things I wanted to do in the beginning. And I'm $20,000 in debt and right back to those things. Makes no sense to me. Not that I didn't learn things along the way that I could use. I suppose I have a whole nine years' worth of experiences that I can write about now. I just wonder if it would allow me to get a little place in a safe part of town.
I'll stop now. I'm crying and my eyes hurt. We have doughnuts for breakfast, and breakfast is in a couple of hours. Should I sleep or should I do homework? I don't even know. I'd rather sleep, but I feel very restless and really despise my aloneness right now. I tried to push back the hurt as long as I could. Tried to tell myself it wasn't there. Actually thought it wasn't there. Thought about just dropping the job thing. But then the intimidating principal wins and the ADA is a worthless law. I guess somewhere I feel a little bit obligated to fight this thing. Somewhere I want revenge. Somewhere I feel excruciatingly guilty for wanting that revenge, for wanting to sue for lost wages and emotional damages or whatever else I could sue for. Just let God take care of it. But is God going to make them realize how wrong they've been? They've been hiring unqualified aides for this child for years. One of them had previously only had a job as a beautician!
Um, I said I was stopping, didn't I?