Amazing news! My stay at the hotel for Alternatives is covered! now just airfare and extra cash

Hey everyone,

I have to give a shout out to my Uncle David on my Grammy’s Side. Last night he donated generously $200! Which brings my total up to $704!

I’m absolutely off the wall excited!

It means the hotel is covered! I’m going!

Now we just need the airfare and some extra money. Airfare we’ve estimated based on Jonathan’s looking a few weeks back, to be about $400. We would like about $100 for extra cash, for food and anything else we might need on the trip.

So have been able to lower my goal on the fundraising site to $500 and I’m hopeful about donations.

I believe my grandparents might donate for the airfare but am not sure how much and don’t want to pin everything on that.

I’m absolutely like I have no words! Except OMG I’m really going!

The rollercoaster will continue of course with lots of anxiety.

Below are my links which I’d still love it if you’d share with your friends or anyone you know.

Paypal direct donations are best



Book Review: Who Will Love me Now? by Maggie Hartley

I just finished listening to (yay Maggie is on audio!) Maggie Hartley’s latest foster care memoir Who Will Love me Now?

Maggie and her long term foster daughter Louisa only expect to have Ten year old Kristy as a respite placement. She’s brought to them after witnessing her foster mom have a heart attack that day.

She is meant to only stay with Maggie and their family for a few days. At first Maggie thinks that’s a good thing. Kirsty is hyperactive, constantly chatters, wants her way all the time and throws tantrums like a toddler.

She throws things down the stairs, a tv and other things, slams doors and is very bossy.

She needs constant attention and so does Maggie’s other foster child a ten month old baby. Of course Kristy is very jealous of him for needing Maggie’s attention.

As a week turns into two Maggie learns the truth about this family that agreed to foster Kirsty long term and who she has come to know as her mom and dad, after being neglected by her birth mother.

With nowhere to turn Kirsty’s behavior gets worse. To the point of disrupting the placement of the other child in her home.

Maggie chooses to put all her energy and emotions into working with Kirsty to learn to express her feelings, change her deeply held beliefs about herself and others and generally be able to fit better into a family. Maggie does amazing creative therapeutic work with her, saying she’s done this kind of emotion based work with other kids before. Kirsty’s placement at a therapeutic school, rather than the mainstream school where she was constantly disruptive, does wonders for her self-esteem. She is in an environment where she is nurtured and able to express herself/ get support emotionally but not able to get away with anything around being controlling and bossy or hurting others.

The positive turn Kirsty’s life takes is as shocking as it is just the right fit for both she and the family that reaches out to her. Maggie does an amazing job with this very challenging and deeply wounded little girl. Kirsty leaves Maggie’s house nine months later with a new sense of self, calmer and knowing that she is loved.


Three year anniversary of our double room!

Three years in our double room OMG yay!!

Three years ago today Mr. J had the crazy idea to put two cutters, the first active cutters I think they ever had here or at least in years, in the same room by themselves! It was the best idea he ever had! Well actually his best idea was my harm reduction care plan.

But anyway you have no idea the anxiety of both being in a room with three other people, or the 26 observation room made me and Jess feel. So many episodes happened with us because of noise in the hall, roommates coming and going and just other stuff. Once he figured out we’re the only compatible roommates for each other, that’s when he decided on the room.

It’s been a tough year for Jess. When she’s been in a crisis they’ve taken her out of the room and to the observation room. And I know why they do it because of stupid protocol mostly, but I always worry that she won’t be able to come back here. But she always has. I haven’t scratched since November 2015!

In other good news I have $484 yay!!


Good session with Jonathan about prep for trip

So had a good Jonathan meeting!

He’ll be taking me to get my new phone hopefully in the next few days.

I told him about some of the things I had been thinking about emotionally. Around the trip. So we talked about that. About how hard it will be for my family to see me doing well, in a way, especially my mom because she’ll feel guilty that I couldn’t do well in her care so to speak. Of course she wouldn’t admit to it but instead would unconsciously make snappy comments to try and get in my way. Which describes her perfectly. I kept saying how intense my mom is and how she reads into any little detail of facial expression, tearing up everything and will go at that and say you’re being too emotional or argumentative or whatever.

He said there’s a lot that will hit me walking in the door. Two out of the three pets gone, house packed up just all sorts of memories and feelings.

He said to try to approach anything I’m feeling by just telling my parents how I’m feeling instead of bursting out with why did you do this or that like I hated you packed up my stuff! Just say it makes me mad or whatever. With my mom’s intensity around people expressing emotions, even if you say it nicely she’s still not ok with it this might not work and still might be too much for her but it’s worth a shot.

He basically said that he would be trying to prepare my mom too like asking her what her questions or fears are and him saying his thoughts on working with me. She really does trust him after all the stuff he’s done for me and how clearly I’ve done so well with him. Another thing about my mom is she has a huge need to appear to be like the best mom ever. So in front of Jess and perhaps knowing Jonathan is “watching” she’ll hopefully have her mask on and not be her totally volatile self. Jonathan said we would want someone looking in to roll their eyes and say they don’t know why I have a problem with my mom!

Hoping all these factors will help. I know it will be an ongoing process of continuing to talk about feelings as feelings come up. We talked about scratching and he reminded me that it’s not about the scratching it’s about what’s behind it. And at times he respects it as a coping mechanism. If I feel like I can’t do anything but scratch when emotional at my house, that’s fine. So I feel a bit better about that.

Now just hope I can get the money to get to actually go!

Haven’t got any donations since Sunday.


To prospective donors

To prospective Donors

I am writing to encourage you to donate to a fundraising project I have created. I am a totally blind and mentally ill young adult who has a BS in counseling psychology. I am extremely passionate about the areas of advocacy, personal growth, and access to peer support in mental healthcare from a holistic and creativity arts perspective. I am currently living in a situation where all of my income goes to my residence. Due to this I can not afford to attend the alternatives 2017 conference run by the National empowerment center.

They graciously have waived the fees for those who register as volunteers so I will not be charged for the conference itself. I will have to gather the funds to pay for hotel and airfare. The total cost of which is around a thousand dollars. The hotel is $646, and plane fare around $500. I currently have raised $475 in the past few weeks so am 200 short of the goal for the hotel costs.

Should I attend this conference I will greatly expand my knowledge around peer support in mental healthcare on a personal and professional level. The workshops include such topics as intentional peer support, aproaches to creating wellness tools, holistic care in inpatient settings, conflict resolution, peer respites,trauma informed group healing, youth peer leadership, intentional peer support and more. There will also be many chances to network with other participants and make friends and perhaps future connections for employment/ colaboration will grow from that.

It’s unfortunate that I’m in a situation where I do not have access to any of my personal finances. I’m hoping this conference will personally help me gain confidence and practical support from others to perhaps leave my current living situation and therefore have more financial and personal independence.

Please consider donating whatever you feel comfortable with. I have a goal of a thousand dollars to cover hotel costs, cost of transportation and other little expenses. I am currently at $475 which is about 200 dollars away from the hotel fee for the conference! If I could raise that money in the next week it would really increase my chances of being able to know for sure that I can attend.

Thank you. My paypal is below

Youcaring page (due to paypal donations does not reflect full amount received!)


Floor nurse we have had for two years is leaving

Hi everyone,

Just found out that the floor nurse we’ve had for two years is leaving. He gave his two week notice today. He was good enough to tell us so we have that warning. Lots of staff don’t and you find out the day they’re leaving or after, and I think that’s pretty unprofessional to do that to residents and even other staff! Sometimes staff in their own department don’t know other coworkers have left or are leaving which really confuses and saddens me but I don’t know work culture.

Anyway I know it will be chaotic with a new nurse. The nurse will have to be trained by a long term nurse, and often it’s the nurse that’s leaving if there’s the ability as in the timing is right. At this point he has school to go to and he doesn’t seem to care whether a new nurse comes while he’s still here. Which is fine we’ll have to see. I just hope they’re good. You get all your meds from your nurse, any incidents that happen, like the slightest scrape get reported to the nurse, if you’re in emotional crisis the nurse knows about it. So the nurses like it or not are a big part of life around here.

This transition is nothing new and I’m used to it. I know the routine of how all this works so well. And know it’s similar in other residential settings. I wish it weren’t that way but people do need to move on.


No phone progress so far and no Mr. J meeting but doing well fundraising!

Hey everyone,

So it’s been a mixed couple days. Told you Sunday night my phone died. Yesterday my mom was gonna talk with Verizon but then ended up signing papers on the house which is really intense and sad. So she didn’t have time.

Today I was supposed to have my weekly Jonathan meeting. Was gonna likely talk about why I backed out last week feels like such a long time ago! Over the uncertainity killing me, and how things have been going and stuff. Plus talk phone and money and everything. But we asked front desk to call him and they said he said no to meeting. I reminded him like I did last week that we needed to meet every week up til the trip.

Hopefully he will see me later in the week.

In other news I’m up to $380! About halfway to the hotel goal.

I am very touched beyond words by the people who have donated and shared my stuff. My video has 30 views in only a couple days.

Please keep up the good work.

I’m finding paypal donations are the best

So please share:

Thanks everyone!


My phone died!

I got my phone in 2009 This was so you know, my second phone ever! My first phone I got in 2004 while insisting I didn’t need a cell phone! At the time I hardly had anyone to call.

I’m glued to my laptop more than my phone. But when I do get talking to people I talk for like an hour at a time.

I’m on a family plan and must not be killing the minutes because no one’s complained about it. We can get free government phones. Not sure they have voice stuff though for the blind. Good thing Jess has hers.

Anyway for like the past um at least six months mom and I have been like you need a new phone how are we gonna get you a new phone?

Kinda complicated when the phone store she uses, with the nice staff she has worked with for years is across the country.

But mom had a sort of plan that I wasn’t thinking too much about until now. For the past couple months at least the phone has been doing awesome tricks like randomly shutting off, making weird noises and just being temperamental. Had a regular long call with mom yesterday. I will always tease Kat, my deafy chatterbox that she wore out my phone LOL! Because she was calling it today while it was charging.

But whenever Jess walked by usually she sees it charging up. Either it was making noise like it was dying or doing nothing. So after dinner we took a close look. Jess blew the dust off, we took out the battery and put it back in. Plugged and unplugged stuff. Nothing.

Mr. J did get a battery a few months back I think in December or something. But I think the whole thing just died.

So mom’s plan is to take these flip phones she’s had that haven’t been used, and see if they can activate it and then send to me. Then Mr. J and I take a field trip to Verizon around here and they put everything in the phone.

Hopefully this will take like a week or less because we have way more issues to worry about! Not that this isn’t top of the list now.

But to think all afternoon all I was thinking about was I haven’t gotten money today for my fundraiser and how to like fundraise better. Now I have real problems LOL!

But I have a theory. I think Toby killed my phone just to say hi. He’s probably bored just settling into being dead and so thought well I never got to say goodbye in person but she’ll notice this!

So we’ll have to see. I always feel a bit safer with my cell on me like even in my room because I’d rather call the front desk than pull the call light I just don’t like doing it never have.

But it’s only for a couple of days.

Just do not get me a smart phone!


unexpected great conversation with mom! Who’s totally on board with the vacation

Hey everyone,

Had a really good day.

This shows how you never know how my mom is gonna react to anything.

So I hadn’t actually talked to her for a few weeks. Because she works, and she was really busy with Toby and her back and everything.

So we talked today and she was so depressed obviously. Because of Toby. And I guess she/ the vet especially thought that he was gonna live another six months to a year. Which I didn’t know at all and was kinda surprised by. He sounded pretty bad every time I talked to people about him, and when I told other lab owners and his barking over anxiety was really not good.

But I can see how it really hit her if she was expecting a year.

So she took down his cage and just everything. She was sitting home alone. So we talked about that for awhile. Talked about her back which I guess she’s keeping getting her tests done. And I guess she can call the hospital in boston and be put on the cancelation list.

She was saying for the third time how much she missed me. So I took a breath and said I’ll just totally forget this if it’s gonna make you upset but…

And I told her about my new friends. The conference, the waived fees. The chance to see them and do something awesome! The fundraising our plan for how many days we’d like to be there.

She loved it! She’s like that doesn’t make me depressed that makes me happy! Now I have something to focus on!

And she said that we’ll be able to stay at the house, that no one knows when it will sell but it’s a day at a time thing, meanwhile let’s hope for the best and really try and do this. So yeah!

We can take the nonconference days off the bill for the hotel room which really makes me happy! Though it’s still gonna be high I can’t believe they literally have a $20 fee for like checking in! I’m gonna call and ask if there are other fees for stuff. It is a boston hotel that’s amazingly low priced. Hey Jess and I totally deserve a luxury vacation!

But the best part will be seeing the house. Was sitting at dinner totally mentally walking through the house, more like running! I used to run up and down the stairs, never held the railing. Scared first time sighted people paranoid about blind people falling! I was also mentally feeling the car pull into our driveway and being like I’m home!! I’m home! Sammy Squeal!!!

But I also know things will not be the same. No toby. No simon. Probably lots of stuff taken down/ put away. I’m hoping they’ll put some stuff back in my room so it looks somewhat like my room. I had this beg desk where I had my desktop computer, Braille blazer printer (ugh that thing was such a pain!) and everything. They took that all out. I know the desk was very annoying though because it squeaks and lucky would use it like a trampoline to make noise in the morning. Not that his meow isn’t loud enough. My mom put it on speaker.

So yeah I’m just like I could go through the ceeling excited!!

I’m sure I’ll come back to wearth when money issues happen or some anxiety happens or Jonathan throws some “we need to be prepared for everything so am gonna ask you a question” topic at me.

But for now hearing my mom is actually happy about this like makes my month!

Literally, I could have called her thinking she’d love it and she woulda gone off so loud you could all hear her through my cell! Which by the way I need to get a new phone. Hoping for a flip phone will not get any kinda high tech iphone just no!

So yeah. Very exciting news of the day

Here’s my paypal again just in case people didn’t see it earlier LOL

And I added a video to my fundraiser page. Which I’ve gotten $295 yay!!


planning the trip is back on! hotel room reserved!

Hey everyone,

So as you know from my post the other day, I was sure I could not do the trip. Just was overcome with anxiety around whether my parents could pay or not.

And how long we would have to wait without paying anything or have to pay something and then get charged or something!

But since Toby died it just compelled me to find a way. When Anna of all people, heard about everything she really wanted me to reconsider. Tell them I made a mistake and go back to planning.

Worried they’d think I was really weird I contacted them and explained everything. This lady was awesome! She said for the hotel and conference we have up to forty eight hours before to cancel and won’t be charged.

So that’s a huge relief. And we don’t have to pay when we book and can cancel nights we book if needed so we did.

We booked it that Thursday through Wednesday. And it’s a relief to have done.

I told my dad it’s on again but told him all the positive stuff about how we can cancel almost right up to the day and that I have $246 and that I’m happily fundraising. He called me meathead.

He’ll have fun talking to my absolutely stressed to the max mom as they’re still literally not sure when the house will sell. Dad said it’s not likely they’ll be just gone in august but it’s possible if they get a good offer. Which really amuses me because they have no idea where they’re gonna live.

But anyway now I just have to keep fundraising.

So please please share my paypal link as donations to there are the full amount instead of youcaring processing the payment and taking some out

Just share share away like you’ve never shared something before! Pretend your mom sent it to you and if you don’t share it you’ll get grounded LOL