DON'T TOUCH THAT! The Resilience Plan
Thank you, to all my loved ones, for all the psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual support, that you have always offered me -and that you continue to offer me. Without all of you, I would not be able to fulfill my mission, as a conduit of messages and healing.
"Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else's survival guide."
-Morgan Harper Nichols
MY EGO'S EULOGY
IN ORDER TO PROPERLY LAY MY EGO ON IT'S "DEATH" BED, AND IN PREPARATION FOR THE TRANSITION TO its PROPER RESTING PLACE, I MUST ALLOW THE EXPRESSION OF MY EGO'S EULOGY -THROUGH THE FOLLOWING TRUE STORY.
THE SHARING OF THIS STORY, IS AN EXERCISE IN FOREVER STAYING OPEN, CURIOUS, FEARLESS, AND TRANSPARENT, AND IN WILLING TO BE, AND LOVE BEING, EXACTLY WHO I AM -THAT IS FROM THE CARD I BOUGHT, TO GIVE TO MYSELF, FROM THE LISA WEEDN COLLECTION. https://www.art.com/gallery/id--a255484/lisa-weedn-posters.htm
MY INTENTION FOR SHARING THIS STORY, IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES (A WARNING), TO INSPIRE AND SUPPORT OTHERS IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS, AND TO SET IN MOTION THE ENERGETIC AND MATERIAL MANIFESTATIONS, THAT I NEED AND DESERVE, IN ORDER TO CREATE AN ALTERNATE REALITY FROM WHICH ALL BEINGS WILL BENEFIT.
DISCLAIMERS: BECAUSE THIS IS THE WORLD WE BUILT
None of my writings, comments, posts, replies and expressed views are in any way to be understood as provision of any legal professional advice and in no way to be regarded as a substitute for a legal professional advice, as well as not designed to promote or endorse any legal professional practice, program, product, processes or procedures. I make no warranty, representation or guaranty as to the content, sequence, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information I post and it is not to be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of legal action, or inaction, for you or any other person. In no event, shall I be liable for any claims, damages, injuries or losses whatsoever, of any kind, whether direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential or punitive, and whether arising from an action, or inaction, in connection to any of my written expression.
All my writing, posts, replies and comments are protected by United States copyright laws. I retain any and all intellectual property rights in my posts here and elsewhere, and require my written permission to copy or duplicate. WARNING. This article contains sexually oriented adult material, intended for individuals 18 years of age or older.
If you are not yet 18, if adult material offends you, or if you are accessing this article from any country or locale where adult material is prohibited by law, do not read this article. Also, there is cussing.
SEPTEMBER 4TH, 2014: "SAIL"
While going through a separation and divorce, my bipolar disorder was triggered by the inordinate stress I was going through, and I developed the common bipolar symptom of hypersexuality. This symptom causes overwhelming sexual urges and excessive sexual behavior, of all sorts. And by excessive, I mean, I was masturbating upwards of 10 times a day. The urge would strike without warning - any time, any place - and so I spent a lot of time inside public restrooms.
One night, AT MIDNIGHT, on the way home from work - the urge struck. I pulled into an empty parking lot (the next one I saw was a Dollar Tree). I drove back into a corner, turned off all the car lights, and was delighted to find one of my all time favorite "masturbation songs" on the radio - "Sail" by AWOLNATION www.awolnationmusic.com. I cranked up the volume, and with my speakers booming, I proceeded to get out my awesome purple vibrator - and start to masturbate. I had no idea a police car had turned into the parking lot, until his blinding spot-light, bounced off my side-view mirror into my eyes. He approached my car, and asked, "What are you doing here?" Pause for a moment: I was a VERY sex positive person, and I always spoke openly, accurately, and matter-of-factly, about my sexuality. This authentic demeanor, was my contribution to changing the country's negative view of the act of creating life...and another common symptom of mania is "skewed judgment"...
I told him I was masturbating. I watched his dramatic head-hanging moment. I was then arrested. I was not booked into jail on the night of my arrest, because the police officer discerned that I was not a flight risk. Instead, I got an arraignment date.
Reading the police report, was quite an enlightening moment. The report stated that I was "leaned back in the driver's seat bouncing up and down". I postulated that the vibratory movement of my side-view mirror, from the booming of my speakers, must have made it appear as if I was bouncing up and down. The report also stated that my "genitals were exposed and she was touching herself with her right hand". It's true, I am right-handed, but it's also true that I had not used my fingers to masturbate in 20 years - THAT was the awesome purple vibrator's job- the same vibrator that had been blocking the view of my "exposed genitals".
After reading the report, I concluded that it was completely understandable as to why the details in the report, had to match the technicalities of the law that I had violated. If I had the responsibility of arresting someone, who had just admitted to a crime, I would have done what it took to protect my livelihood, too. I refused my friends' urgings to "make him take a lie detector test" because, I had concluded, that the police offer and I were both victims -of the same- "cover-your-ass" societal ill.
I paid my lawyer $3,600 to represent me, $100 for court fees, $450 for the court appointed psychologist's analysis, and an additional $500 worth of paper processing (fax, prints, records, etc.), over the course of this ordeal. My arrest also set in motion the, simultaneous juggling, of my legal case, my medical leave from work (for bipolar), and my temporary disability paperwork (thank goodness I signed up for that). I spent at least 4 hours a day on the phone (mostly on hold), for months, to ensure that all of my communications were sent AND received - because there was no room for error. My life literally depended on NOT ONE ball being dropped.
On a side-note: For those who know what an intensely negative reaction I have to leaf-blowers... Even though know one likes the sound of a leaf blower, they act as a PTSD trigger for me, because I heard so many of them while fighting for my life.
On the day of my arraignment, my lawyer automatically plead "not guilty" and there was never even a discussion about it, and in retrospect, I understand why. The arraignment judge, ordered me to book myself into jail by noon. When you first walk into the jail, there is a room you have to wait in, until someone comes to screen you in (pat you down and search your stuff). I had brought a water bottle in with me, and the person who came to check me in/out, was angry about this fact -and was accusatory and in my face about it. I had to apologize to her, to get her to back off, and I did not even know exactly what I was apologizing for. I just new that things were going to go, from bad to worse, if I did not acknowledge her absolute power. It turns out, water bottles are not allowed in the jail -and apparently I missed that memo.
So, this screener person, ended up eavesdropping on my entire booking process - five minutes of which was spent standing, in an empty jail cell, with the doors open. I assume this was some sort of technicality. By the end of the process, she smiled at me and had a much kinder demeanor. I understood that these people dealt with assholes all day, and that she had decided, to protect her own livelihood. The best thing that came of this kind of derogatory treatment was, I no longer assumed people with criminal charges had actually harmed anyone -and suspension of that judgment has served me well.
I was initially perplexed as to how public indecency could occur, without a public being present. It turned out that, the Public Indecency law rests on "the possibility" that someone may have seen my exposed genitals while I was on public property. From the moment of my arrest, I was TREATED as "guilty" by many people - no conviction was necessary. I learned that the letter my personal psychiatrist wrote to the court, explaining how my criminal actions were the symptom of a serious mental illness, would not prevent my conviction. I learned that all the letters my friends sent to my lawyer, about my good character, would not prevent my punishment. And, I declined a $7,000 jury trial because, not only had I admitted to committing a crime, my arrest happened in a conservative town -where I would have been burned at the stake just for masturbating, at all.
On March 26th, 2015, six months after my arrest, I sat next to my lawyer -waiting for the judge to enter the courtroom. While we waited, I composed a long list of all the AMAZING people who I would have never met -had it not been FOR my arrest (including my lawyer). I stared at this list for quite awhile and then stood up and walked over to the court-room window. I stared out at the bay, squinting from the excruciatingly bright noon-day sunlight, glittering and gleaming upon the water. The light was hypnotic.
Gratitude and nature, kept me from collapsing, as I stood in front of the judge and plead "guilty" to the charge of Public Indecency. MY PUNISHMENT I avoided a $6,500 fine and a year in jail, in large part, because I passed the court appointed psychologist's lengthy analysis -proving that I was not a sexual predator. My lawyer, along with my personal psychiatrist, were able to negotiate the parameters of my punishment, and I ended up with two years of bench probation. Bench probation means that I did not have a parole officer, but I did have to periodically check-in with the judge, to make sure that I was on track with my probation requirements.
My general probation requirements were that - I obey all laws, keep the court advised of changes to address/phone number, pay all requested court costs, and follow the probation requirements -per the court appointed psychologist's recommendations. The court appointed psychologist told there was not enough research on female rates of recidivism for my particular crime. Therefore, she had to tie my probation recommendations to the management of my bipolar symptoms, rather than, to my (then alleged) criminal behavior.
I read her recommendations, and I did not find anything the psychologist said to be unreasonable. In fact, everything she recommended I BEGIN doing, I had ALREADY been doing for decades. I had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, 20 years earlier, and had been on prescription mood stabilizers since that point. It is important to note, that you can not reverse the neurological effects of bipolar disorder. So I was fortunate to be able to go on medication before my brain was further damaged. However, there would always be behavioral repercussions from the neurological chaos that had happened up until that point -they would just be more tempered because of the medication.
Also, there was a nature/nurture component at play. Some behavioral reactions came from learned habits from my past - which came to be associated with my sudden change in mood. In time, I learned to discern, which behavioral reactions were due to cognitive associations, and which behavioral reactions, were due to the neurological malfunction of my brain. Identifying the learned behavior component, was key to knowing what I needed to do to alter my environment, in ways that allowed me to optimally function. Over the years, I had regularly seen psychologists, psychiatrists, and attended support groups -from which I learned multiple techniques -that I ACTUALLY APPLIED to the management of my own illness. I did my own homework too, reading books and studies about bipolar disorder, as well as joining bipolar support groups for additional tips. I had already done years of experiments with my own lifestyle, seeing what worked for me and what didn't, and I had already decided -and applied- what I had discovered worked best for me. I did what it took, to take responsibility for my own health, so that I could be a contributing member of society.
And this is what I had learned.
Work: I knew I had to work in one-on-one positions and avoid "public" positions, because wide variances in interactions and processes, were too overstimulating for my brain. I also could not be under direct, physical supervision, because most managers were into micro-managing and that was over-stimulating as well. Later, decreasing interactions with co-workers, became important for the same reason.
Before I was medicated, I had walked out on a handful of jobs due to my bipolar switch getting flipped, from over stimulation. Even after medication, I still ended up getting warnings at work based on (now milder) impulsive behavior -impulsivity being another symptom of bipolar disorder. In time, I became smart enough to be able to tell WHEN I was about to be fired (usually after the first warning), and I would quit before that happened. I would always give a two week notice, but in time, I began to requesting to be immediately dismissed, if possible. They always immediately dismissed me. One time I learned, that, even when you walk out on your shift and call your manager at midnight and scream into their voice mail, "I'm fucking done! I quit!" -you CAN STILL get fired.
Having a termination in my work history, made it more difficult to find employment, and I had to learn to "omit" information. To work around this issue, I began working two (part-time) jobs, so that when one was no longer available (for whatever reason), I would still have steady work history to show. This made potential employers, less likely to search for my omitted employment history. In time, employment laws changed, and previous employers were no longer allowed to give potential future employers, ANY other information, except the employee's first and last, day of work.
Education: It took me 12 years of part-time classes (with only one year off), to obtain my Bachelor of Art Degree in Intercultural Communication and Relations, because full-time classes were too much to handle -especially when working full-time. I wanted to start a business, as my field of study was just beginning to burgeon - I would have taught employees traveling overseas about the non-verbal communication of the culture they were entering into. But, my brain was just not cut out for the monumental task of building a business.
By then, I had worked long enough, to know what kind of work environment would best suit my "special needs". I went back to college to get certified to work with special needs children. How ironic, yet it was perfectly suited work, for my own issues. It was one-on-one work, no direct supervision, and minimal contact with co-workers. It was specialized, in that I only worked with a small handful of children whose issues I was intimately familiar with -because of the incredible amount of detailed information that their occupational, academic, and psycho therapeutic professionals had amassed, about their conditions.
Interestingly, their occasionally erratic, unpredictable, and sometimes volatile behavior, did not trigger me much at all. This was because, not only was I familiar with similar mechanisms in myself, I also felt immense empathy for them -and that alone helped to keep the behavioral parts of my own triggers, in check. Additionally, they all had individual education plans that also contained behavior management plans - that were primarily based on preventing triggers. Tracking their behavior and triggers, helped me fine-tune my own trigger prevention strategies. I also worked as a substitute instructional assistant, in large part, because substitutes were typically paired with the least complex student -so that helped decrease my over stimulation. Eventually, I moved on to work as a live-in caregiver for the elderly and a residential support person, for adults with disabilities. This line of work, was well suited to my particular needs, and as a result - I blossomed within this field.
Personal life: I had chronic musculoskeletal issues that made the research of exercise, nutrition, and medicine, a paramount part of my life. Because there is never anyone cause, of any condition (psychological or physical), I spent a lot time experimenting with various techniques, to find what worked and what didn't. Throughout the years, I finally discerned that trail running, specifically, created the least pain for the most benefit. Over the years, I worked on getting enough sleep, decreasing my pain through exercise, and eating well. During that time, my therapists made it crystal clear, that keeping these areas of my life well balanced, was crucial to the management of my bipolar symptoms.
Socially, I had a handful of close, long-term friends, who were extremely supportive of me - and who cumulatively fulfilled my social interaction needs. I could turn to them for support, at any time for any reason, and I did. Within these circles, I had a very active social life, and I was also the one who threw the most parties. I had also been married, from age 24 to age 42, to an amazingly supportive husband who happily provided for my needs in multiple ways. He was a kind, caring, gentle person, who had always been my number one advocate. I was fortunate, because my support systems were vast, and comprehensive.
BECAUSE OF ALL THE HARD WORK I HAD DONE TO STABILIZE MY LIFE, I INITIALLY DID NOT REALIZE, THAT THE COURT PSYCHOLOGIST'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF MY MENTAL ILLNESS SYMPTOMS, WERE TECHNICALLY MY PUNISHMENT FOR THE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR THAT MY MENTAL ILLNESS HAD CAUSED.
REQUIREMENT: Continue my psychiatric treatment and medication regiment.
Because of my arrest, I lost my job and my health insurance. But violation of my probation would have made potential future expungement, impossible. So, I made sure to pay for my own personal health insurance. At that time, I could not apply for financial assistance, because my divorce was not yet finalized - and so I was still tied to my ex-husband's high income. So, I had no choice but to pay $330 A MONTH, in order to keep my amazing psychiatrist - who wrote the court a letter, explaining why bipolar disorder was the culprit of my criminal behavior. Psychiatrists are extremely difficult to find, let alone good ones. Also, without insurance, I would not have been able to afford my prescription mood stabilizers (for bipolar) and subsequent anti-anxiety medication (for panic attacks from the arrest) - which would have cost about $600/month without insurance. Fortunately, my (now) ex-husband let me stay, in our former home rent-free (a 250 sq ft. space on a sailboat)- so that helped offset these costs.
REQUIREMENT: Find stable employment and build financial security. The arrest cut my employ ability by 80% - and that was BEFORE MY CONVICTION.
I had spent a decade working with special needs children, the elderly, adults with disabilities, AmeriCorps, and an internship through International World Affairs Council. I had also been involved in a lot of volunteers work, my favorite being, "Start Making A Reader Today" (reading to grade-school children) -and I had also been a foster parent. All of that ended upon my arrest.
It turns out, that the decision to hire/fire employees, within direct-care fields, was under the control of the Department of Human Services (ran by the state) -NOT the employer. So, though my employer was willing to let me go on medical leave to get my bipolar under control, then resume my active work status, the Department of Human Services required they immediately fire me- even though at that point, the arrest was still "unresolved".
I was also exempt from all city, county, state, and federal government jobs - and they were actually EVEN MORE prohibitive than DHS. For example, getting a Parks and Recreation job, just working in A FOREST WITH PLANTS, was not possible, because....??? Apparently, they thought I might SNAP, AND MASTURBATE, on the invasive species that I was pulling out of the ground. I even tried going back to doing, paid art modeling, but the arts center where about 70% of my assignments came from, was unfortunately run by the city, so that was also out. Needless to say... I was at my wits end by this point.
So, I started applying for jobs, whose industries I had not worked in, for over 20 years - cashiering, witnessing, etc., because they were less likely to do criminal background checks. But of course, competition with people who had more recent experience, made that impossible too. I was desperate at this point, so I started looking at simple positions that I had ZERO experience in. But, I quickly found out how many times had changed in 20 years, when, I tried to get a job handing out samples in stores and another one as a dog groomer - only to find out they both required background checks. And, with my particular charge (PUBLIC INDECENCY), even if I was honest about the details, people automatically assume that there were victim(s) and there is just NO WAY around that stereotype -ESPECIALLY in this culture and current political climate.
So then I turned to the "gigs" section of Craigslist, where I FINALLY got a data-entry job as an independent contractor, with variable, part-time work assignments (a few hours a week). But then, one day, they just stopped giving me assignments and stopped interacting with me, without explanation... I had some experience with content writing, so I tried applying for those types of jobs, but they all required WordPress experience - which I did not have. And, by that point in time, learning something new was out of the question, because my concentration had significantly disintegrated from all the stress I had been enduring.
I knew it was time to call it "quits" when I found myself lying to people about how much experience I had. I was a great employee, but a slow learner, so even if I had been hired - they would have fired me, anyway. Plus, starting a new job always makes people anxious, and my "anxiety baseline" was already too high. I also tried to take advantage of employment programs for criminals - but they really only catered to felonies.
REQUIREMENT: Exercise regularly, join a gym.
I had actually been a trail runner at the time of my arrest. I was also president of the Oregon Chapter of the Barefoot Runner's Society and had just captained a Hood to Coast team. I had chronic musculoskeletal issues, and it had taken me well over a decade of experimentation with multiple exercise modalities, to determine that trail running was THE ONLY kind of affordable exercise, that kept my chronic pain in check and did not further aggravate it, unlike other exercises did. I literally considered this discovery, a miracle! I also used trail running, to stabilize my mood, decrease depression, improve sleep quality, increase libido, and maintain a healthy weight and cardiovascular system. For people with bipolar disorder, regular exercise is especially important. It's important to understand, that trail running requires a lot of gradual training and build up -so not being able to do it REGULARLY actually increases potential injuries. Once I had to sell my car (so I could afford to eat) the idea of a four mile walk, up a windy, shoulder-less, blind-curved road -to trail run "regularly" - lost its appeal. Losing my ability to interact with the peaceful, healing of nature - was equally devastating.
REQUIREMENT: Expand network of friends for social support
Until I lost my car, I had been regularly attending healthy, healing social events, at a time when I needed it most. I had been one of the most social people anyone had ever met, and I was the "party planner" of my social circles, and so it was not unusual for me to attend back-to-back social events -from sun-up, to sun-down.
Because I lived in a smaller city, I was pretty dismayed to learn that the closest bus stop to me (at that time), was a 4-hour, round-trip walk. Unfortunately, I could not ride a bike, because it significantly increased my chronic pain from my musculoskeletal issues. I was equally dismayed, to discover that it would cost $12/day, round-trip, plus an additional $5/day for the inner city bus. This was further compounded by the fact that, most bathrooms in the city, were locked. And though I knew where there were free ones, they were so scarce, that it was not unusual for me to end up paying, up to $10/day -just to be able to use the bathrooms.
I lived far enough outside of the city, that it was a reasonable inconvenience for most people to come out to see me, so I never asked anyone to do so. Losing my car, was the worst thing that could have happened to my social life, at the time I needed it most. Eventually it dawned on me to ask people for rides into town, and fortunately my neighbor was able to do that for awhile, until she retired. She was also able to give me rides to the store, so I would not have to carry all the groceries home, which I had been doing on my own (a 1.5 hour round-trip walk). I was not used to asking people for help with, really anything, as I had always done my best to take care of my own needs.
REQUIREMENT: Do not get arrested again.
It turned out criminal charges can morph into other types of criminal charges, should you violate probation. If, for example, I had been arrested for public indecency again -while on probation- I would have had to REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER -EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NOT A VICTIM. Then my public indecency charge would have been converted to a SEX CRIME - and would also no longer by expunge able. This is how, needing to pee in the woods while out on long hikes, became fodder for panic attacks - and a contributing factor in my subsequent need for anti-anxiety medication.
It's important to clarify that panic attacks are actually debilitating. On day of my appointment with the court appointed psychologist (to prove I was not a sexual predator), I was almost T-boned by another driver at what I later learned was, an "uncontrolled intersection", which means there are no stop signs coming from any direction. Yes, they are legal in small towns. I was already on edge because of my appointment, then I got to see my life flash before my eyes at the intersection. Though neither of us were injured or killed - what happened next was HELL ON EARTH.
The police were called. However, they were not called because of the near-miss, nor the fact that my car ended up on the side-walk. They were called, because of the non-stop, blood-curdling screams that were erupting FROM ME. A pedestrian had stopped to ask if I needed help, and I opened my mouth, but nothing that came out of my mouth made any sense. I sounded -and felt- like I was having a stroke. Interestingly, I was always that person who would be the calmest in emergencies, as I had experienced many in my former occupation - and had dealt with a handful outside of work. Safety was paramount to me, and so my first thought, before the onset of the panic attack, was, "My God! I have to call the police to let them know there are no stop signs at this intersection -before more people get hurt!!!" I tried to convey this to the pedestrian too, even trying to write it down on a piece of paper, but that also failed. That day, was the last day, I would ever be the "calmest person" in any emergency.
By some miracle, even while alternating between screaming and sobbing, I remembered I had, as-needed anti-anxiety medication, and I was able to take it almost immediately. Though I was shaking so hard, that I could not open the lid, and I had to smash the bottle to get them out. My most vivid memory of that entire experience, was of them, FINALLY flying out of the bottle and into the air...and it was as if time warped...and they were momentarily in suspended animation. Fortunately, they were beginning to kick in by the time the police arrived (FOUR cars) -because this was the first encounter with the police, since my arrest. When I was out and about, I could not even look at them without distinct anxiety. When they began to ask me the usual questions -trying to confirm my identity- I screamed something to the effect of "Don't you fucking pretend not to know who I am!" And then there was about 5-10 minutes of my babbling about my arrest, and everything I'd lost because of it, and about the appointment I was about to be late for, and how I'd probably end up in jail if I missed it... As I spoke, I could see the misery and empathy in their eyes and on their faces. They asked what they could do to help. I asked them to call the court appointed psychologist, and let her know I was going to be late, and why - because missing that appointment or appearing like I was irresponsible, was not an option either. They called her, which was very kind of them.
So THAT is an example, of what panic attacks are actually like - I've had quite a few, but that one was by far the worst one I have had, to date. That one took a total of 45 minutes, from the trigger, to the "barely functional" recovery point. I finally tried to drive away, but almost immediately had to pull over, and sob for another 10 minutes. I don't remember the hour-long, subsequent drive. But, when I got to the psychologist's office (an hour late) she was very bitchy, and thought (wrongly) I had been pulled over for "just" a traffic violation. I don't take well to bitchy, and it showed. She then tried to tell me she could not do an adequate assessment, because of my "state". And, I told her, to give me a few minutes to go to the restroom and take a breather and calm down. Thanks to my inherent acting talents, and the fact I was extremely dissociated by that point, I was able to convince her that I could do the assessment. And, for next couple of hours, I proceeded to review the history of my entire life, then take a 1,000 question test to prove I was not a sexual predator - and I had to pay $450 to do so.
The judge actually offered to let me off a year early, but the district attorney wanted to know if I had already completed my probation requirements - per the court appointed psychologist's recommendations. Mind you, this is the same district attorney, who never once returned my lawyer's calls - and who would only speak with him a few minutes before appointed meetings. Though, I must add, this county had significant budget issues and so it was understandable why masturbation cases were of lesser concern -than other more dangerous threats to society.
Despite my lawyer's inquiries, the courts never defined the specific parameters of, "financial stability" (nor any other probation requirement), and so I had no way to know if I had technically fulfilled the probation requirements. So, even though the judge offered to let me off a year early, I could not do so because of this lack of specific definitions - because I was not going to get in trouble for saying I had completed something, that I may (unknowingly) NOT have actually completed. AND without a paper-trail...NO WAY.
Ironically, they did not request this information upon the "supposed" completion of my probation. I say "supposed" because, despite my law office's requests, the courts would not send any written confirmation that I had fulfilled my probation requirements. I was therefore unable to verify if the court had upheld their end of the probation fulfillment negotiations -that being, changing my conviction to a violation (on paper). This all seemed COMPLETELY absurd, considering how paper-work laden this entire process had been, up until the moment -THAT IT MATTERED TO ME. So as usual, I began researching this issue, and again -to my horror- I discovered that this treatment was COMMONPLACE.
I was informed that I would have to wait for three years, after conviction, to be eligible for expungement. It will cost $450 just to find out if, I completed my probation requirements, if the court's upheld their end of the bargain, and to make sure that no further laws have changed at the last moment - that may make my crime ineligible for expungement. I am not holding my breath that the courts upheld their end of the bargain, though subsequent research has indicated that, having my misdemeanor changed to a violation, would not increase my employability. Then after the verification part of expungement, I then have to pay $550 to have the second part done, which is a 3-part process: arrest removal, conviction removal, and then they work to remove your data from hundred's of third-party public databases.
As time went on, in addition to my employability being severely diminished, I discovered all the other things I could not do because of my arrest (with OR WITHOUT a conviction): Rent an apartment/house, obtain loans (business/mortgage/auto), advance my education, get licensed, rent some AirBnBs, even some vehicle rentals, and traveling outside of the United States. Fortunately, I had only attended massage therapy school a short time, before I completely stopped sleeping from mania and dropped out - because I would not have been able to get licensed, anyway.
Even after all my failed employment attempts, I still would not give up searching. I FINALLY got a gig working -as a dominatrix. Fortunately, I had a kinky personal life, and enjoyed the endorphin highs of BDSM activities, myself, so this was a minimal psychological stretch for me. But I sure feel for people who are not as, sex and kink positive, as I am - and who may feel traumatized by their decision to "resort" to adult industry work.
Because of my probation, I was exceptionally afraid of the "legal gray area" of my work. So, I spent $375 for a 30-minute consultation, with a lawyer who specialized in adult industry legal issues - just to find out how to protect myself from further criminal charges AND from CIVIL liability. When I told the lawyer, what specific services I offered, he chuckled and told me that I was, what people in his field called- "a soft-core Domme". I laughed, because it basically sounded like an insult, which made it even funnier. The lawyer made it clear, that my best protection from these gray areas, was to come up with the right pre-screening questions, such as... "Is there anything in your past, or present, that may elicit a PTSD trigger during our session?" And, "Are on any medication that may not respond well to impact?"
As he talked to me, it became obvious, that if you work in the adult industry -you have to learn how to legally protect yourself EVEN THOUGH you are NOT engaging in illegal activity. When I had entered his office, I had walked across a door mat that said, "Come Back With A Warrant" -and it had made me chuckle. When I left his office, and walked across that doormat again, I had new knowledge that imminent to survival...EVERYONE was now a potential enemy.
After my short-term disability payments and unemployment payments ran out, my friends and family had been financially supporting me while I searched for work. I was SO grateful to FINALLY have income! I HAPPILY made that 4-hour long, round-trip walk to/from the bus -and I HAPPILY made the 2 hour round-trip bus ride to/from my workplace - and I HAPPILY paid $17 a day in transportation costs - and I HAPPILY paid $10/day to use bathrooms - and I HAPPILY carried around 7 lbs of belongings, even with, a bad back. It was really rough in the beginning, though, because my no-show rate was about 50%, and so it was not unusual to go into town -for no reason- and then be down $27 for the day. I also did not charge very much, and unlike my colleagues, I would not require deposits from my clients, because I could not afford to miss out on potential clients -many of whom, were spooked by such a requirement.
BIRTHING A BUSINESS
In time, I noticed that I got a lot of requests for "disciplinarian" sessions. Basically, my client's enjoyed being scolded, then bent over my lap and spanked. I began to look further into "fetish" role-plays, and I was drawn to the performing arts aspect, as that was one of my strongest attributes. But, the NUMBER ONE reason I was drawn to this particular fetish, was because it required minimal physical involvement - which helped decrease potential "gray area" issues. I quickly became a "role-play specialist" -and I was inundated with requests - the majority of which I had to turn down because they were requesting illegal activities. Then something even more bizarre happened. I noticed that most client's were requesting to be disciplined for real life transgressions, in accordance with the client's every day goals! And thanks to one of my clients, a reputable, nationally renowned, business professional -who almost became my business partner- I was compelled to begin researching disciplinarians across the country...and...my mind was completely blown as I discovered dozens of disciplinarians who were also, vanilla-world life coaches!
In my previous occupation, I had regularly utilized behavior management techniques, and assisted individuals in following custom-made, incentive/disincentive plans - so I was now doing the kinky version of my former occupation. So, I began working with clients to co-create, monitored plans of action, that utilized their preference for being spanked, as the incentive/disincentive that they needed, to alter their habits. I had people see me for weight loss, procrastination, smoking/drinking, spending money, and my all time favorite, was when I worked on a program that was designed to create a 10 minute/a day, meditation habit. Unfortunately, that got derailed by him getting a girlfriend, because...well...it's difficult to explain why it is you - as a grown man- have hand prints on your ass cheeks. Generally speaking, "Because I am trying to work toward attaining Nirvana" is not explanation enough... I enjoyed being able to help other people in such a theatrical manner - and get paid for it!
And unbeknownst to me, I had started down the path of what would eventually become my business - and divine purpose! And this was how my idea for my future business, "Life Coaching With A Twist" began.
I offered three different role-plays, that I advertised through Backpage and Fetlife. I eventually learned that, though the activities themselves were technically legal, ADVERTISING for certain legal activities, was ITSELF, illegal. I subsequently learned, that every ad ever published on Backpage, was obtained by third-party directory/review sites, so those ads were not retractable and would "live" forever. My paranoia over this was excruciating and I could not function for a while, because these issues were re-triggering my PTSD from my arrest. After a few weeks of cognitive paralysis, I finally decided that it would be best to take out paid advertising. By then, I had read through enough industry "terms of service" to discern which organizations had the legal counsel necessary, to stay on top of advertising and mass communication laws. I could tell by the content of the information, as well as how they worded the information. I was using their knowledge and resources, to help legally protect myself.
Over the next year, I spent around $2,000, taking out ads in, The Mercury, Dan Savage's online column, Fetlife, Kink-E-Magazine, and even Kinkiest. But, it did not prove significantly beneficial, and after a short while, I could not afford it anymore. In retrospect, I believe the poor quality of my ads was the primary problem with my lack of response, as I could not afford any photo-editing software -and "paint" is not exactly a user friendly program. There were plenty of "free" online photo-editing services, but that was not an option, because the free internet connection where I lived, was unstable, and I could not afford a service provider - and "online" is where most "free" programs are typically housed. I was also running out of hard-drive space on my computer, due to forced updates by Microsoft, and unfortunately my computer's hard-drive was not upgradable -and I could not afford a new computer. Fortunately, one of my good friends gave me one of her older computers, and that helped quite a bit -at least for hard-drive space.
So, I worked with paint, and I spent HUNDREDS of hours learning (mostly by trial and error) how to create - clear, decent quality, correctly-sized, eye-catching, carefully worded (so as not to go to jail) advertisements. But, the inability to produce high-quality advertisements, made paid advertising futile.
When I decided to declare my business, I named it, "Life Coaching With A Twist".
Because I could not afford, legal, CPA, website design services, etc., I spent HUNDREDS of hours researching the websites of professional disciplinarians AND life coaches, in order to figure out what legal documents and website functionality I needed, to protect myself from any potential legal ramifications. I also taught myself how to build my own website, and given the significant evolution of my business, I have now put THOUSANDS of hours of work into it. My favorite asinine discovery, was finding out that I had to put a "cookie warning" on my website, so that I don't get fined by the European Union for not warning people that my website host is tracking their interaction with my website -this law applies to any business whose services are view able to anyone within the European union. And the icing on the "cookie" was that it took around TEN HOURS, to figure out WHY I even needed it and HOW to get it on my website - because clear, accurate instructions for this particular matter, were difficult to find.
I spoke with my colleagues to find out the rest of what I needed to know, and that was extremely useful -for example, the "age 18 website entry confirmation" law and the "yes I have a right to publish these photos" law and the "no I am not a healthcare professional and do not diagnose" disclaimer, and of course, the "no I am not a prostitute and all sexual requests will be denied and no second chances will be given" disclaimer. I laughed and laughed and laughed, the time I ran across a Domme's website, who (humorously - yet seriously) dedicated the entire first page of her website to explaining how, no matter what weasley tactic potential clients may attempt, to try to obtain sexual services, THEY WOULD STILL NOT OBTAIN ANY SEXUAL SERVICES - complete with flashing neon graphics and everything! I, myself, got tired of hearing client's say to me, "Well OTHER Dominatrices do it..." or my favorite (which I saw MANY Dommes specifically note), "ORAL sex, is STILL considered SEX, and is therefore, ALSO ILLEGAL."
Around this time, I found myself also becoming worried about my colleagues, who were unaware of some of these legal issues (because they had no reason to obsessively study such issues). I had become good friends with a couple of them, and they were great human beings, who definitely did not deserve to be abused by the legal system -especially since I knew first-had that "ignorance of the law" would not save them from punishment. So, each time I found out something that I thought they might need to know, I would email them my discoveries. This was also the beginning of the formation of a network of collaborators (colleagues AND clients), who would later, become exceptionally important to my survival.
Now, mind you, despite the fact that the intentions behind the services offered, were not sexual, almost all clients got hard-ons and usually requested "release" in my presence - meaning they wanted to masturbate. So, upon researching the details of prostitution laws AGAIN (just to double-check that this was not also illegal), I eventually discovered -TO MY COMPLETE AND UTTER HORROR- that, at least in Oregon at that time, just THE PRESENCE of a hard-on during an in-person service for monetary exchange - WAS CONSIDERED PROSTITUTION. That's right, PHYSICAL INTERACTION WAS NOT EVEN REQUIRED, TO HAVE CRIMINAL CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST YOU, FOR PROSTITUTION. Within 24 hours of that discovery, while at a work meeting, one of my co-workers just happened to mention that a friend of hers had been arrested for prostitution BASED ON THAT EXACT SCENARIO.
That information and confirmation, immediately catapulted me into a SEVERE, PTSD-inducing tail-spin, that cognitively and emotionally debilitated me to the point that I developed, EXTREME PARANOIA that EVERYTHING I was doing (professionally AND personally) was illegal. I went through three weeks of an extreme depression, the worst I'd had in decades, and I thought about suicide on more than one occasion -and I had not been suicidal in over 20 years.
Fortunately, cannabis became legal in my state around that time because, my anti-anxiety medication was no longer enough. I needed to be able to heavily sedate myself as needed, for long periods of time, and cannabis brought more comprehensive relief than my prescription medications did. And, with different strains, I was also able to laugh at all - AND profusely. There had been little laughter in my life, for the past few years. Cannabis LITERALLY saved me, and to this day, I use it to continue staying alive. The timing of this discovery was critical to my survival, because shortly after I began utilizing cannabis, my #1 advertiser got suspended by the government for a lengthy investigation (which has now ended in, seizure), followed by losing my business rental space (where I had a great deal), and the repetitious movements used in my role-plays, was taking its toll on my already aggravated body.
But by then, I was too sedated to care about anything other than obtaining the pleasurable feelings that had been absent in my life, for far too long. This is also when my masturbation habits, began to increase substantially, but not because of mania this time - but because feelings of pleasure gave me the continued WILL TO SURVIVE.
Fortunately, during the last couple months before the down-fall of my real-time services, I had began delving into phone-sex-operator work. I was a very sexually open, authentic, and a great conversationalist, and this job was perfect - because I did not have to worry about transportation issues. But "just talking about sex" was not popular enough, so I had to start doing web-camming. However, that posed a new problem, because I did not have a stable Internet (I could not afford to go through a service provider), and it also included repetitious movements. I finally figured out, that phones could be used as hot-spots ($10/2GB), but then, also discovered that my particular phone did not have hotspot capability -so then I had no choice but to buy a new phone (borrowing money, once again, from my loved ones). I also obsessed over the "prohibited content" list of the place through which I worked - surprise! As I further researched the "no-nos", I discovered that not only were there government legalities to conform to, but additional constraints from VISA/MASTERCARD! For example, you could not advertise that you were a vampire, and you could not speak about squishing bugs. I SHIT YOU NOT.
Since the time I had started doing, real-time disciplinarian-style, vanilla-world life coaching, I had started writing about my observations of my client's life experiences- as they related to their fetish interests. And, my "pattern oriented brain" locked onto a lot of very intriguing information. In time, I recognized that power-play exchanges, are actually a method of re-balancing our masculine/feminine (yin/yang) energies. This work, actually utilized role-play and sensation-play as a form of ENERGETIC HEALING. So I began offering additional services, based on my theories, to help client's figure out why they were so drawn to particular fetishes, why these needs were important to fulfill, and how best to fulfill those energetic needs -utilizing the fetish world AND their vanilla world. This additional service had been rather well-received, from the few consultations I had done, before my #1 advertiser was shut down. So, I decided I would post these services on my phone-line listings, and see what happened. Then I re-read the prohibited content, only to discover I COULD NOT TALK ABOUT 1/3 OF MY OWN WORK. So I did what I could, and learned to talk about things -without really talking about them.
I soon discovered that it was necessary, to pay to feature my listings, on the first page of the site - or I would simply not get any calls. The listing costs were based on a bidding system, part of which, included your feedback ratings. I was surprised by the number of callers who had NOT read my listing before calling, so were angry I was not role-playing with them (I offered advice), and would hang-up without comment - and sometimes leave bad reviews. Initially, I had to put up with an IMMENSE amount of verbal abuse from these clients and I had to "get used to" being called a fucking bitch, cunt, greedy, fake, liar, etc., on my reviews -AND through my email. The worst, was when the first caller of the day would hang up on me, because then I had to sit in fear, waiting for the bad review to come. There were some days, when I had to turn my availability off, just because I could not stop crying.
We did have the option to block clients, so for a while I did. But, I eventually noticed that blocked clients were still allowed to leave feedback, and this was verified by the administrators. So, I stopped blocking them, because if they found out you blocked them, they would leave even more vicious reviews -that would then drive up the costs of my featured ads. Blocked customers were also allowed to "re-favorite" you, which would cause you to inadvertently email them again, with offers for free minutes...so that they could once again, be disappointed, and lash out at you. So when clients got upset about call quality -or really anything- I would immediately tell them that I would refund their money. I did not want to inconvenience the client further so, instead of directing them to place a refund request with the administrators, I would ask the administrators to return it for them - which also meant it came out of my money.
You see, phone-sex-operators were replaceable, therefore, the clients were "always right" -AND WERE ALSO- given the bonus of a tool (one-sided feedback) that some chose to use as a weapon. In time, their phone system connection issues, got worse and worse, and there were days when almost every call dropped. I found it strange that callers rarely called back when that happened, since it was usually obvious, that we had been abruptly cut off. But, I found out later, that some phone-sex-operators would hang-up on purpose, and then raise their rates so that the person calling back would have to pay more money. They apparently assumed I was doing the same.
Dealing with angry clients was definitely an exercise in compassion. In time, I was able to stop predicting the worst - even when I heard anger in their voice. I definitely knew what it was like to feel angry. I had demolished my entire bathroom, one day, in an epic meltdown of horrific rage, triggered by needing to call my lawyer, to speak about the further destruction of my life -by a legal system that was SUPPOSED to protect me. I still have splatters of Pepto-Bismol on my ceiling. I leave it there, as a reminder, that the only difference between my client's anger, and mine - is our targets.
From this experience, I eventually learned to give every caller the benefit of the doubt, have referrals ready to provide (in case they had not read my listing), and use more effective pre-screen questions. And most importantly, I practiced becoming a better listener. Though auditory learning had always been my least effective mode of learning, I was proof that "energetic neuroplasticity" is real, because auditory learning is now my most effective mode of learning. Being a careful listener, allowed me to continuously fine-tune my listings, and I FINALLY began to get really amazing reviews! I managed to obtain, and maintain, a steady 95th percentile (or higher) position, for both drawing in new clients and maintaining them. I began creating videos and articles, based on my theories, and people actually bought them and I got good feedback on those as well.
My most memorable review:
"I am very thankful that I came across your site. You are a wonderful lady. I really do not know how too express my appreciation. I honestly believe that no one else would have given me the help that you have. I know that what you say on your site, is the God honest truth. I was alone and because you actually realized that - I don't feel alone. Thank You & Take Care."
Despite my percentiles being as high as they could get, I could not get more than a couple hours of calls a day, and my analytics pointed to my limited advertising abilities. During this time, I had joined a free business mentoring place, that had really good free seminars (because their real-time mentors did not work in my field), where I learned more about social media marketing. I spent a lot of time researching the marketing and advertising functions and strategies of each social platform...only to eventually discover, I was not allowed to use the ones that had the largest audience reach. No Facebook ads, no Google ads, no SEO services, no blogspot ads. So...instead I spent hundreds of hours finding adult, business-related directories and complimentary related-services, to cross advertise with. I also started doing interviews and podcasts for free advertising purposes. I also bought a small package of marketing tweets from an adult industry, social media marketing company. I also worked extra hard to keep up with my client notes, and engage in proactive outreach. Four hours, of every day, was spent doing these activities.
I eventually began to draw the attention of colleagues and I even offered services to those looking to enter into my line of work - based on what I had learned "the hard way". I was even approached by someone who was interested in being my business partner (he had a PhD in behavioral psychology) - but we were not a good match at that particular point, in the evolution of my business. My network of collaborators began to grow, and is continuing to grow, expanding more and more into related VANILLA WORLD professions, including: behavioral psychologists, psycho dramatists, life coaches, educators, hypnotherapists, energy workers, performing artists, even military specialists. Additionally, I have further fine-tuned my services to offer life coaching consultations to individuals and couples, who are interested in transitioning to an "alternate-relationship" dynamic. I also did my first public presentation last year, and am currently working on an ebook about my work theories, and I plan to find a way to get professional videos made. BUT, I STILL CAN'T GET MORE THAN A COUPLE HOURS OF CALLS A DAY.
Because I was unable to PREPARE, to pay quarterly business taxes, I was already one tax-year behind from the start. The second year, is the same, except I owe twice as many taxes as the previous tax year (my income increased from18k to 23k). And I will soon be behind, on my first quarterly tax payments, for the current tax-year. As I found out last year, there are "special procedures" for small businesses to follow, for setting up payment plans. So special, that you have to call, to find out what they are - AFTER they send you your first bill. Last year, I spent hours on hold, to find out I was eligible for a 4 month payment plan. Fortunately, I was able to pay it off, however, I will not be so fortunate this year...
Every night, I can hear the "Penalties Monster" dragging one, lone claw, insidiously across the outside of my door. I can also hear the distant, morbid wailing, of the "Interest Banshee" as she scuttles about the hills. In my dreams, I watch them clattering their fine-dining sporks, as they seize their rightful spots at the Last Supper. In unison, they peer sincerely into my submissive soul, and ask, "Do you come with a side of Grey Poupon?"
Fortunately, I rent a 250 sq ft. space and I have no assets, nor any physical property or investments...so my consumption will be plain, dry, and devoid of their desired, "gourmet" mustard.
At the beginning of my ordeal, I had purchased a used filing folder to keep my MANY papers organized, and was amused by the tab titles that the previous owner had used. "Compassion" "Counseling/Wisdom" "Servanthood" "Encouragement" "Joy" "The Holy Spirit" "Submission".
I decided to leave them there and I sorted my paperwork accordingly:
Compassion -Employment paperwork. My human resource person had been amazingly supportive during my work-related processes and was very sympathetic. Once I realized her hands were tied when it came to retaining my employment, our conversations became more personal -as we shared the stories of our own trials and tribulations.
Counseling/Wisdom - Medical paperwork. I was "in-between" psychiatrists at the beginning of my ordeal, and I had obtained a psychiatrist, by "luck" - as she just happened to have a cancellation the very day I called her. She ended up being the best psychiatrist that I had ever worked with. She also wrote the courts a letter, explaining how the bipolar symptom of hypersexuality, was the culprit of my criminal behavior. I also saw two social workers during that time, who were equally helpful.
Servanthood - legal representation. My lawyer had been very supportive and sympathetic regarding my experiences. His insight made me realize that I was not alone, though that did not make it any easier to bear, emotionally. More often than not, our consultation calls would result in tears, on my part. And, I remember one discussion in particular, where our appointment just happened to occur, right after I had just had an epic, emotional melt-down. Almost that entire call, was him listening and responding to, my expressions of trauma, anger and grief. That was the day that made me realize, the stereotype that defense lawyers primarily defended guilty criminals, was, in my opinion, far from the truth. My experiences and observations, suggested that defense lawyers primarily defended INNOCENT "CRIMINALS" -from the very system that was supposed to protect them.
I chose my particular law office because they stated on their website that they helped "good people" and that was a seemingly simplistic statement. They primarily dealt with DUI cases, and when I called the secretary the first time, she almost screened me out because my case was out of their norm. I then asked if she could obtain a referral from them, but made it clear, that the referred firm needed to believe in their same philosophy -supporting the integrity of "good people". She put me on hold for a few moments, and came back to tell me that they would take my case, pending an interview with the head attorney. He interviewed everyone, before deciding to take their case, and his interview with me was very QUALITATIVE. He wanted to know who I was -AS A PERSON- and there was very little discussion about my alleged crime. He decided to take my case.
My review, summarizes, their best qualities:
"Your entire staff are very professional, efficient, and also compassionate. The reason I approached your firm is that you stated on your site that you represent people who have integrity and who are truly interested in improving themselves. Also, you believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. Thank you so much for having faith in other people and for encouraging them to recognize that they have what it takes to learn from their "mistakes" and rise above them. It is wonderful that you have dedicated your career to helping others. Thank you so much for your COMPASSION!"
Encouragement - Letters of Character. Not only did my friends and family support me emotionally and physically, they also wrote letters to the court expressing how, despite my struggles with mental illness, I was a great person with a lot of integrity and the capacity to be a constructive member of society -WITH THE RIGHT SUPPORT. I submitted my own letter of character to my lawyer, on my birthday.
Even the strangers who witnessed my public meltdowns, were very kind, and encouraging. One day, in the middle of downtown Portland, my grief overwhelmed me and I sank to the sidewalk, and for 30 minutes, I sobbed - tears, snot and saliva- draining from my face. Many concerned people asked if they could help me in any way - I would just shake my head. Eventually, some city workers noticed me, and tried to engage me to see what they could do to help me. I still couldn't talk. They dug into their bags, and offered me kindness -in the form of hand warmers. I still have those hand warmers. I also had friends who were business owners, who helped me immensely, with the building my business and most importantly - improving my client outreach and retention.
Joy - Because I no longer had to work a night shift, I was actually able to fulfill my dream of doing theater! And, I met one of my most wonderful partner's during the first performance that I did! He introduced me to his vast community, as he was the "one who knew everyone". Within this community, I went on to meet my other two amazing partners, and MANY friends and colleagues with whom I shared MANY wonderful, healing experiences - with a common undercurrent of energetic healing.
The Holy Spirit - As my life spiraled out of control, I began to receive more and more spiritual messages - from my spirit guides. I would have never survived without their messages of hope. So, imagine my glee when I discovered the following... I had to re-read the details of my arrest, for this article, and I found a business envelope that had the reprinted number "69" on it - which was circled with a big sharpie along with the word "SAVE". I remember seeing that envelope shortly after my termination. From the beginning, one of the key ways that my spirit guides communicated with me, was through the use of numerology. So when I found this, I knew to look up the number.
And this is what it said - from Joanne Scribes: sacredscribesangelnumbers.blogspot.com
"Angel Number 69 also suggests that an important phase or cycle is ending in your life, and this is happening for very karmic reasons. These necessary endings and closures will lead you to find your true life path and purpose which you are prompted to fully undertake. Your angels encourage you to get to work on your Divine life purpose and soul mission safe in the knowledge that all of your monetary and material needs will be met along the way. As you focus on and spend your time energy and efforts on your spiritual interests and passions, the Universe will provide for your needs. Give any fears or concerns to your angels for healing and transmutation and be prepared to live your spiritual truths. "
It is interesting they mentioned "karma" because the realization that, sooner or later, everyone must "pay the karmic piper" for their transgressions, was part of a mantra that I used throughout this time. But the second part of my mantra, was that - sooner-or-later, the karmic piper would be back to PAY ME for all my goodness. My abilities to perceive spiritual messages, grew immensely over my ordeal and I am now an adept channeler. I use my ability to translate spiritual information to others, and assist them with energetic healing. And, I am contemplating a spin-off of my current business - "The Shamanist Twist".
Submission - I eventually came to terms with the fact that there is not a feasible way to "fight the system". What I mean by "feasible" is that, all the money in the world could never compensate for the energetic damage created by, using the system AT ALL, let alone trying to fight it. One of the ways in which I initially, attempted to "fight the system" was by going public with my experience -via my first debut as a professional storyteller. My friends and family thought I was crazy, but, I was already a year into this process and I had learned that my number one advocate - was me.
Plus, left to its own devices...the collective "rumor mill" would only end up paralleling the popular adolescent game of "telephone." You know, the one where your friends sit in a circle and you whisper a sentence into the next person's ear -then the last person in the circle gets to say the sentence out loud, to see how the information had changed... And of course, the more distorted the information, the funnier it is. However, the more distorted the information, the more likely it is that someone in that circle, purposefully, "bent" the truth. Given the nature of my crime, and the fact that I had been the recipient of "bent truth" from the night of my arrest, I knew I had to do what it took to protect myself, from the 325.7 million person national version, of "telephone".
The other issue with the system, was, because the processes were so slow, experiencing long bouts of the "unknown" gave ample opportunity for my human nature to "anticipate the worst". In time, I came to recognize these two habits, as an opportunity to work on "re-assigning" my ego to a more constructive role". Because the ego wants "to know" the "unknown" so strongly, it utilizes our inaccurate predictions to induce fear about the unknown. The ego's goal, is to motivate us to obtain information, in a timely manner - in order to reduce or eliminate our fear. But, because the legal process is so slow, the ego then utilizes the "unknown" as a weapon with which to produce, self-inflicted mind-fuckings.
So whenever I run across other people who are dealing with similar legal issues, I help them disengage their ego -so that they can more easily accept their punishment and move forward with their life. If I had known on the night of my arrest, what I know now, I could have told him to book me into jail and plead guilty in front of the judge the next day -then paid the $6,500 fine and/or year in jail, so that I would not have had to suffer longer than necessary -and I would have been 6 months closer to expungement as a result.
Right after my arrest (and before I had any idea what the next 3 years would be like) I created a new email account, named "Resilience1818". I used "resilience", so that every time I used my email, I would be reminded of my own resilience. The 1818 was arbitrarily chosen, but, unbeknownst to me -2018 would become the year I am eligible for expungement.
I was unable, to prepare, to build this business. But, I DID IT ANYWAY. I could not obtain a business loan, because of my business's association with the adult industry. So, I was MY OWN legal adviser, marketer, advertiser, networker, manager, human resource person and CPA (I spent 40 hours doing my taxes the first time, reading every instruction, to make sure I did not do anything illegal). Despite, all these obstacles, I made 18k the first year, and 23k the second year. My sample-size informs me, that I could easily make a minimum of $75,000/year, if it were not for advertising restrictions.
If I have learned nothing else from this experience, I have learned that my RESILIENCE, KNOW NO BOUNDS!
My unorgasmed clitoris has thus far cost me an estimated $20,000 -and that was JUST in lost income - AND THERE WASN'T EVEN A VICTIM. And, in another dimension, I am proceeding with a civil lawsuit, designed to obtain $1,000,000 in emotional damages -from my OWN CLITORIS! JENNIFER'S 20K CLITORIS VS. OURSELVES...WHO'S WITH ME???
"You may take my livelihood, but you will never take my words. My words will live-on, forever, in their many splendored forms."
-Channeled, Emma Goldman, deceased anarchist/writer/philosopher.
I AM NO LONGER ALLOWING, MY EGO, TO OBSTRUCT MY OWN PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PATH. I AM DOING SO, BY PROACTIVELY REACHING OUT TO MY MULTIPLE COMMUNITIES, TO OFFER. AND OBTAIN, THE SUPPORT NECESSARY, TO REMOVE THE LEGAL, PURITANICAL, AND CAPITALIST EFFECTS, THAT ARE INTERFERING WITH THE FULFILLMENT OF MY DIVINE CALLING.
I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE READERS, TO CONTACT ME IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SHARING MY STORY, FOR PERSONAL AND/OR PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES.
CONTACT EMAIL: Jennifer@lifecoachingwithatwist.com