Safe places.....

I am sure that there are people who read this, however I believe it is few and far it feels like a safe place to put it all out there. It isn't like I haven't put it all out there public....starting a Go Fund Me account and advertising it on my Facebook page...and recently my Instagram (which is strictly my happy and drama free place). How did I get here you ask? I am going to "tell" this story one more, then I am moving on from it. Since others may read this, I will spare some details that may hurt others. This has been my "story".

My story begins as a child, feeling as if I was never worthy of love. I have no idea how that was my internal message. Something pre-verbal? However that came to be, it has been my cross to bear. I am slightly socially awkward due to this. I am happy to stay home alone....although I also long to go out and have friends.  I have many acquaintances , many special people....none of which I would ask for a ride, or much of anything else. Not because they wouldn't do it, mainly because I (subconsciously) feel I am not worthy. saying that....please understand that in my 56 years of living, I have made significant progress with my internal message. This means that logically I know it is not true that I "am not worthy". It remains something that I must tell myself, remind myself, and change the self talk.

Knowing the above helps understand some of the other things that are to come.

I am a fighter and I have always kept moving forward. I don't sit and wallow and feel sorry for myself. I just have done what it takes to make things happen. I was divorced from the father of my children when the three of them were all under the age of 5 years old. I had no marketable skills. I worked doing whatever I could do. I then put myself through nursing school and became a nurse. I rose quickly in those ranks. I think the "fake it till you make it" philosophy applied. This of course gave me pause as to why I was being promoted.....they made some mistake.....I wasn't really that good.  I had gotten an associates degree, so I went back to school and completed my bachelors in nursing. As I did that, I thought how much I loved to learn and applied to the University of Michigan School of Nursing to complete a BSN to PhD program. It would take 5 years. I quit my job and sold my house in the small town I was born and raised in and moved myself to Ann Arbor. My youngest was 20 years old by then, so no harm no foul right? I was given funding, including a stipend. I had $50K in my retirement fund and life was looking pretty sweet. One week before classes began I received a letter stating the NIH grant ,that my funding was coming out of, was now funding was gone. I scrambled. I took out a student loan and accessed my retirement fund to live on.

I wrote the above the last day of July 2017. It is now nearly the last day of August 2017. I thought somehow telling it all (which I have not finished) would be my releasing of it all. It seems daunting to tell it all. what if I miss an important piece of the story? Will I want to go back and add to it? GAH....

So. Moving on. I used my entire $50,000 retirement fund and racked up $250K in student loans. Yes, you earned that correctly. Salt in the wound......I have no advanced degree as a result of all of that money. I completed 3 years of course work in the PhD program, including a master's thesis. I had no effective or meaningful mentor. I was her "first" PhD student. It was wrong how I was handled as a student. After I finished my course work I just needed to complete prelims and my dissertation. I however, was tired of being poor and got a full time job - incorrectly thinking I could do both. Continuous enrollment at the University of Michigan.....for 8 years......when May of 2015 rolled around and I had to withdraw. Instantly I began working on at least getting a masters degree from this horrible situation. In the meantime - I was hired to begin teaching at the School of Nursing - at a clinical instructor...for Fall 2015. My dream come true...even though I have no advanced degree.....teaching is my heart.

Fast forward. May 2017. In the course of the 2 years since I withdrew, the School of Nursing realized they were amiss in my situation. They developed a Masters of Science degree for students such as myself. I was told I would be confered this degree. The regents approved it...etc, etc. Now....I am told...only current students can be awarded this degree. NOT ME. NOT. ME.

Forget that I have spent over $300K, including my retirement, that my student loan payments are more than my rent.....that I had to sell my house because of them, credit score will never again be high.....or even medium...due to the debt load of the loans. Forget that.......I am not claiming that I PAID for a masters degree......I am stating a fact that I have earned it....EARNED it. 3 years of course work and a master's thesis....truly......I have earned it. continuous fight with a university that is also my employer, for a job that is my dream.
There are many things that I can say....but this tells you what my soul the face of being told NO.....more than you possibly could imagine..........."Throw me to the wolves and I will come back.....Leading the pack".

There is so much more. I think I have set the ground work though. This is.....the story of my fight to be whole.


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