I'd like to get the ball rolling here.

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    • #1884
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 3,529

      Some time ago – a member asked me to be admin for this new group on JPR 2.0.  I was proud to do so.  There were a lot of excellent posts to read and some really good conversations.  Plus some complaining, mostly by me.

      So, firstly… thank you, Dragonfli, my brother.  Much of society holds people like you and I in contempt, or prefers to ignore our existence.  So long as we do not forget each other, we are making progress.

      The intent behind this group was to really discuss all the ins and outside, the suffering, the shame, the passion and compassion – everything and anything as it relates to poverty and or disability.  To get the ball rolling, I will share my story.  This will be long.  I am writing it on my phone, so bare with me through the errors and such please.

      I share this to welcome others to do the same – so that we might come to know and appreciate each other as human beings in a mad world….


      I wasnt born poor.  In a small town and county, struggling with the beginnings of an economic downturn, I was born in a tiny city in northern Maine, both of my parents worked (and still work) at the hospital I was born in.  Solid working middle class.

      I wont give you my whole life in every detail – I shared the above forbade reference point.  Also to point out how things can change… anyhow..

      To make a smaller detail of a long, awful part of my history, I was abused by a couple of neighbors from the age of 5 to 12.  They were pedophiles – particularly sadistic ones.  This is probably what led to many of my problems early in life.

      I was a problem child.  Hated school, was always filled with anxiety, shy to the point of being very quiet.  I was the sort of kid that blushed when others looked at him.  Naturally, I got bullied quite a bit – mostly, I now understand – by kids who had their own issues at home.

      I had fun some times, played games, had a few friends, but was generally an outcast and social pariah.  Even teachers liked to make fun of me, for some reason.

      That’s not self pity – I have long since forgiven all of those bullying kids and immature educators.

      So, stage is set…

      At 13, my mother’s father passed on and my family of six (one now grown and on her own – three sisters) inherited – and moved to his house on the lake.  I got to go to a smaller school, where no one knew me.  Became almost popular for a while, went on a date with a pretty girl, to my everlasting shock.

      Perhaps that was what enabled me, that year, to finally tell my parents what had been happening to me.  The story of abuse came out at last.  This began therapy, medication and such that has continued even to now, 21 years later.

      Needless to say, I was never what you would call normal, more like neurotic and weird.  That used to bug me, but now it’s a badge of pride.

      I dropped out of high school at 14.  Got into some trouble, did my community service – and otherwise kept to myself and my computer for the next several years.  Eventually my father convinced me to go to job corps (I was seventeen) to make something of myself.  Got a GED.

      Met a girl (online), did the usual sort of thing, she had a four year old girl – and, we had an infant son shortly after my 18th birthday.  Did the best we could, started renting a place together, working… jobs up here, for the 17-18 year old me were limited to telemarketing or dish washing.  I did both.

      Minimum wage in Maine back then was 5.45 an hour.  So, naturally, we struggled with money and all that entailed.  For me, who had previously been used to the comfort of a middle class home and family… this was especially difficult.

      Over time, for a variety of reasons, I became severely depressed, began to have severe anxiety and regular (daily) panic attacks.

      By the time I turned 20, we had split up, another family broken by poverty and youthful immaturity.  I had also been admitted to a crisis center and a psych ward.

      Thus began some of the loneliest, hardest years of my life.  She and the kids were living with her parents in South Dakota, I went back to my parents in Maine, intending to get a real job, become a real man and responsible father.

      Now… my therapist tells me i am too hard on myself – but i failed.  I tried my damndest for the next eleven years or so.  Went from one job to another, always with low pay and little to no benefits.  Spent ten years without health insurance.  Even living with my parents and working full time, my money was usually gone just after I made it.

      My best year of working I made about 14.5k altogether.

      Those are the details of my past.  At 31 (I think, it could have been 32) I hurt my back.  Was working as a part time bartender in a local (the only local) restaurant.  Boss eventually politely let me go, as I couldn’t do the work anymore.

      My mental state deteriorated.  I stopped going anywhere, or even giving much of a damn.  My therapist convinced me to apply for Medicaid, food stamps – and disability.

      I could go over the endless paperwork, long hours of therapy, contempt I was shown by professionals, regular people, old friends and even some family… but I wont, other than to mention that it happened.

      During what was the worst year of my life, I made a post on JPR, entitled “I am broken.”

      It was long and dramatic – and probably better written than this one.  Manny, on reading it, reached out to me, offering to meet up to help me out.  He even got a fund raiser going for me, so I could pay some medical expenses.

      The compassion and empathy I was shown by so many… the wonderfully caring people of JPR really reached out to me.  People who barely knew me, but had huge hearts and courage, shared their hard earned money.  Just because someone was in need.

      That, more than anything else, saved my soul and my faith in humanity.  Thank you, all of you.  You know who you are – and will always have my deepest affection and gratitude.

      I have finally won my case for disability – my life is moving forward, at last, in a positive way.  JPR members kept me out of an institution – or from resorting to leaving this world.

      So, once more… thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.  I am proud to be JPRs gnome.  The dude that never shuts up.  That rants/babbles endlessly.  Here I feel at home.  2.0, 3.0, whatever.  I belong here – as do some of the very best people it has ever been my pleasure to know.

      The struggle continues – but I am still in it – as are all of you.  God, Goddess, universe, all powers that may be bless you and keep you in the light.

      One day, it is those like us here that will bring an end to poverty.  That will lift humanity to places we have only ever dreamed of.  I truly believe that.

      Love to all.


      David – your crazy JPR gnome

    • #1912
      • Total Posts: 1,073

      I read almost all your posts, though I rarely comment. (I’m introverted even online, apparently. ) But I saw no other comments and I thought this deserved one. So thank you for getting the ball rolling, and thank you for all the time you put into sharing your thoughts, memories, opinions here. I’m so glad that your disability was approved and that, hopefully, the future will be a vast improvement on the past.

      "The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them." -Julius Nyerere, First President of Tanzania

      • #1942
        David the Gnome
        • Total Posts: 3,529

        I figure people are still busy checking out all the new stuff.  I like babbling here – it is heart warming to know that some people enjoy reading my babble.  Thank you very much.

    • #2857
      Joe Shlabotnik
      • Total Posts: 1,611

      I’ve read you posts fairly often, and people like yourself and Dragonfli’s personal expressions of sincerity and openness  often represent the soul and conscience of this site.  You keep it pretty real for a crazy gnome.

      ~ All good things are Wild and Free ~

    • #18005
      • Total Posts: 377

      Wanted to say nice post,  good to see, section of JPR carried over from other site. Know I was dealing with some major issues my own, crazy injuries, one after another caught up with put me in a bad spot. Forget how much I mentioned, don’t remember how much detail went into on the last site, or even if made sense at the time.  Btw, it not by much and limited, somehow someway, got into a better spot (not much and limited but from where I was, wow), amazes when look back but thanks for the carry over

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