It’s My Life, My Disability & I’m Unashamed About It!

I’ve been living with a learning disability for over 30 years, now. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a part of me. However, that doesn’t mean it’s been a bed of roses. It’s truly stunning how quickly an estimation is made of someone who learns differently than the average person. There are these ridiculous assumptions on how we as human beings are to be and if we don’t meet them, we are discarded like yesterday’s trash. Forgive me. I don’t mean to come across as bitter. I’m really not. Now I used to be. Wow was I ever! As time goes by, I have come to realize all of that negativity is a complete waste. What can I do to get my naysayers to accept me? Sadly, nothing. Others and I like me are people whom society has decided is not worthy to be here. We should just simply go away, but guess what, as Jennifer Holiday sings “I/We Ain’t Goin” anywhere, NOPE – we are here to stay and as Wendy Williams says…
The Wendy Williams Show – Wendy Williams (How You Doin..)
We have every right to dream and live out the purposes of our life, just as anyone else.
However, despite my “freedom for all” notions, I’ve encountered quite a few people through the years who decided they were going to personally make my life a living hell, all because I had the audacity to believe that I could participate in this thing called LIFE. I never truly understood the depth of the hatred society has for people like me. But without a doubt, it’s there. If they were willing to listen, I would have told them my truth: Yes, I have a learning disability. I can pick up information fairly quickly but being able to maintain it is a different story. Sometimes I can recall without any trouble but there are times when I do have difficulties. There is just no way in knowing. If you are willing to be patient, the information will come back to me. My fine motor skills are affected. I can’t tie my shoes as fast as the average person can. To save time, I wear shoes with Velcro or slip-ons. I can type over 60+ words a minute, I only use the first two or three fingers with the rest laying on the keyboard. There are other ways but overall, I make it work. I am quite independent. I have a job where I can best use the skills God has given me. I pay my bills and my taxes ANDDDD…I maintain my home all without government assistance. People will be people, society is what it is…. but just because that’s so, doesn’t mean that this chic will GO! I’m here to stay..

Do you have a topic that you’d like me to discuss, anything you’d like to know more about me?, Leave me a comment below!

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

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Can I have My Deposit Back – PLEASSSSEEEEE!!

True Story – I mean all my stories are true but you get it =)

In 2007 after living in an apartment with someone with HUGE feet living above me, Oh gosh – the noise and stomping. I can’t even begin to explain the torture, any-who I decided to move out and move into a nice little quaint house on the other side of town. I inquired about it, looked at it and had a sit down with the landlords in which were an elderly couple (names I shall not say), but they were super nice. The only thing they wanted was someone to take care of the place. While the place was really small, it had a load of character in which I loved.

Image credit: pexels

Immediately I began to see where I would put all my furniture and how I was going to make smaller areas, such as my bedroom work. The washer and dryer was going to have to be in the kitchen, a feature I didn’t particularly like, but hey. It had loads of charm and it was well maintained. It had a very nice backyard with a storage building. So any furniture I was not going to be able to fit into the space, could easily go into there.

Another feature I didn’t notice but quickly became annoyed with was the fact that the house was 15 steps from the local AIRPORT!!! Geeshhh, you know how you get so gung ho and excited over something until you forget the MAJOR details! I’m so like that. But, it had loads of charm! A three bedroom 2 full bath, who can beat that and the kitchen was even big enough for me to put in a computer desk for my office. How cool was that!

Immediately with the place, I would say about a week or two in – I seen a huge water bug making it’s way out of the kitchen. Scared the living daylights out of me…but it wasn’t the last one, it seemed like when we moved in – a whole other family moved into the furnishings as well. It was indeed water bug city! I immediately told the couple about this and they suggested I put down sticky traps along the walls and that I did…while it helped some, the kicker was a BIGGER than life one crawling across my TV screen as I watched the news one morning….I was livid! I had a 8 month old and a 1.5 year old at the time and I was so scared one of those suckers was going to bite them or get into my son’s crib or my daughters BED! Needless to say and to make a long story short, after living there for about a year and a half, I decided it was time to go.

The elderly couple that seemed so nice in the beginning turned into monsters in the end!

I cleaned the place to the best of my ability and mind you, as with moving you will have a load of stuff to throw away and I made sure it was placed neatly in front of the house so the garbage people can pick it up. I left the house in good standing. No rips or tears anywhere and it was clean….so now I awaited my 500 dollar deposit to come into the mail. A deposit that I never received.

What I did receive was a letter from the couple citing that I had lost and/or misplaced a couple things of theirs and they charged the heck out of me for it:

  • Missing curtains that were hung up to the window when they showed the place that were no longer there. Now I don’t know if these curtains were new, but they charged me store prices for all 4 curtains!
  • Missing stove and AC unit manuals that were not in the drawer when I left.
  • Burners for the stove that were not replaced
  • The trash that was left out front – Yeah, they charged me for that too.
  • The clear shower curtains that were not on the shower rods and they charged me for the rods as well.
  • Painting and a whole lot of other stuff that I can’t even name or was unaware of and they tacked on the charges majorly….like those manuals? Yeah, they called the company and found out how much it would cost to get another one and it wasn’t cheap!

By the time they got done calculating and adding things up that didn’t make a lick of sense, I not only wasn’t getting my deposit back but I had owed them money, money in which they put me on a payment plan to pay back $25.00 a month until the balance of 200.00 was paid in full, this was two hundred after the five hundred I didn’t receive. I was SOOOOOOOOOOO (excuse my language) PISSED! I called them both RAGING in fury, crying and cursing them out to the top of my lungs and then I hung the phone up in their faces.

Image Credit: Moose Photos/Pexels

Now, I’m not proud of my actions as they were elderly and I should’ve showed them respect, no matter how they acted – but I wanted my deposit back!!!!!!! Hence the move, I ended up back at my parents house and was looking forward to that money to help alleviate some irons I had in the fire – owing someone was NOT what I was expecting, BUT it happened.

Recently, I just moved and since that move. I got my full deposit back. While that issue with the elderly couple was a tragic one, it was also an eye-opening one that taught me a valuable lesson going forward and I want to share a couple of tips with you in regards to it!

FIRST THOUGH…..

Image credit: Bing/livingwordmontrose.com

Every landlord is NOT created equal. People say private owners are better but I’ve had both and each had their own set of rules and regulations. Private owners are a little more relaxed but you have to make sure – you get all your “I’s” and “T’s” crossed! and please by ALL means, if you don’t understand something – ASK QUESTIONS and read the lease thoroughly (especially the move out section), because the information that’s contained in it, can come back to haunt you later.

NOW FOR THE TIPS….

Image credit: Bing/steinbachapartments.com

1. Do a complete walk thru of the place before you move in. Make sure you look for anything that may not look right to you. Bulbs, sockets, paint, previous holes that may be in the wall, under the sinks, the toilets – I mean everything and make a list of those findings and give it to the landlord, this ensures that you are not charged with anything that was previously there prior to moving in.

2. Be careful of the pictures you hang on the wall. I know in my earlier years of renting, I was a landlords nightmare! because I absolutely love decorating. I would hang big art on the walls and some of it would be heavy, causing me to use an anchor or a heavier nail or screw. And trust me, I got dinged for my creativeness when it came down to getting back that deposit. While landlords cannot take away your deposit due to normal wear and tear of a property, such as (paint, carpet and etc – depending on how long you’re there) They can deduct if the walls are damaged from either hanging pics that are too big or major holes caused by you. Make sure you get those patched up before leaving.

3. Are there things in the apartment or house prior to you moving in? As I stated above in my own story. The landlords had put up curtains and shower curtains and rods and so forth to make the place look nice. If there is anything of the such hanging up prior to your move in, ask the landlord are those your items to keep or would they like them back. Another thing you could do is take them all down and place them in a box labeled “Decorative items prior to move in” so you can make sure those items go right back up when you leave. It sounds petty but….as you seen with my story, it was a SERIOUS thing!

Image credit: Bing/Trulia

4. It’s wise if you do a walk-through of your place prior to leaving. Check everything and determine what you need to do to either fix it or call a professional to get it prepared. And if you can, try and replace the things that may have gotten damaged prior to you staying there, especially if it was in good condition before you moved in.

5. Take a video and or pictures of the place prior to moving out and keep receipts of everything that you might have replaced or gotten fixed. This covers you should you have a slumlord that thinks he’s keeping your deposit. Speaking of which and every state is different. Make sure you check with your state to see the time-frame a landlord has to return your deposit. For NC it’s 30 days, some landlords will give it back to you sooner than that, while others will stretch it out. Knowing this information will help you know when to expect it.

Bonus Tip: Be clear in the beginning about what your deposit will be used for. Either the last month’s rent or the deposit in which you’re expected to get back, should the place be in good standing. Talk with your landlord about this as most people confuse the deposit to be the last month’s rent and unless your landlord has told you differently. Then know that it’s clearly a deposit only.

I have one last tip and that’s How to Properly decorate your new “rental” space! Sometimes we can go a little overboard. That’s next week, so stay tuned!

Finally Letting Go In Order to Move On…

I’ve been living with a learning disability for most of my life.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also lived with the fact of having many medical professionals tell my parents – that unfortunately, I wasn’t going to amount up to anything.

Because of this stigma, I’ve felt the pain and agony of school bullying and harassment. After graduation, I joined a local job employment program for the disabled where I got my first experience of just how unacceptable society can be.

And trust me, just because I had a disability – employers didn’t waste time making me feel worse than what I already had been feeling, each looked down on me as if I was a complete waste of time, almost as if they “had” to hire me because they didn’t want a lawsuit. My heart went out to the other members in the program who had more severe disabilities. Lord knows what they must have been going through!

After several years of nothing but frustration over the discrimination and rejection, I decided to quit the job search.

Being 23 at the time, most people my age were already living on their own with good paying jobs and there I was, still living at home without a job prospect in sight. I remember volunteering at the local senior citizen center just to get out the house.

I began to feel bad for my parents whom were still having to support me. Thinking of that the job search and the remnants of school bullying and taunting began to make me one bitter person, it was like a plague that seemed to latch on to me daily.

However, I could go on and on about how angry I was at being disabled. The bitterness, resentment and grudges I felt from others judging me because of it which led me to carry some big chips on my shoulders – towards everyone!

Oh my, years of holding all that hurt affected me in all areas of my life. So much so, I began to live with worry, fear and anxiety. It all started in junior high when I created the habit of picking my skin to the point of scars and my nails to the point of nubs. I soon developed an eating disorder.

I had major trust issues. I didn’t have any friends outside of my volunteer work. I didn’t date. This lasted for years.

When I was 34, my maternal grandmother died from esophageal cancer. She was my last surviving grandparent. Losing her finally opened my eyes, it’s sad that it takes a tragedy for us to really see ourselves. I decided that I could no longer live this way and I had to do something about it.

It took me several years of self help programs and books but I have finally found peace. Now that’s not to say I haven’t made some pretty big whoppers. I mean, I am still human and do make mistakes, but I’m a much better ME, a me that I finally approve of!

I’ve been on this earth for nearly 42 years and have done an extensive amount of soul searching. In that discovery, I’ve learned quite a few things about myself as well as my environment and that’s this:

  • Not everyone is going to accept you.
  • People are going to hurt you because they’re hurting themselves and get a “high” off of causing others pain.
  • If you allow haters to rule your life, you’re slowly killing yourself.

I know because I spent well over 30 years accepting and doing just that. Don’t waste your life over how others perceive you. How God perceives you is what matters. He sent His son to die for you. All of your sins, all of your mistakes have been forgiven.

You are fearfully, wonderfully and beautifully made.

And don’t you EVER forget that!

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Challenge: Can you put your phone down for 2 hours – A Day?

I tried it! Did I pass or fail? Well, you gotta keep reading. Hey you, no scrolling to the good stuff. Keep reading…lol..

You know, I was sitting in around one Saturday, looking at my phone. I was scrolling Gmail, Facebook messenger, Whats App, YouTube and texting. ALL at the same time, it’s like I was multi-tasking going back and forward and let’s not even discuss those FB notifications that seem to come in every second, letting you know who posted, said or did something. Answering messages here, sending messages there, reading messages everywhere. It was then that I asked myself. “Can you go 2 hours without picking up your phone?”

Image credit: Pexels

It was a question that I honestly couldn’t answer. You see, for the last month or so – maybe even longer to be very transparent with you. What I’d come to notice about myself is that I had become immune to my phone. Okay, I know what you’re saying “Who isn’t?” But I mean; I had become overly obsessive with the phone, it was like I couldn’t go less than a minute without checking it. Now, don’t get me wrong – I know we all have business (like real businesses) that we have to tend too and I get it. But there are ways in which we can sort of handle all that – in which I’ll get too a little later but back to my experiment.

So, I challenged myself – I said I wouldn’t pick up my phone for a WHOLE 2 HOURS, this was going to be really epic – even for me. It was now 9:55 am and I was determined from 10 am to 12 pm I would NOT pick up my phone. When 10 am rolled around, I turned my phone over and went to fix a little breakfast and wash up some dishes. Okay, so I’m lying I didn’t get up right away….Lol. I stared at it for about 3 min asking myself what the heck was I doing or trying to prove. Then I got up….

Image credit: Pexels

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To say I wasn’t tempted would be an understatement because I definitely was as all types of thoughts came rushing to my mind. My sister was ill during the week and the first thing I thought about was, “What if she calls me?” or “OMGosh! I forgot to text her to see how she’s doing!!! Did someone text me back on Whats App? Send an email? Did my doctor call?? – Okay, that was a little extreme, but I was going through PHONE DETOX PEOPLE!!

It was torture for sure and there were many moments where I almost broke my own deal with myself. BUT – I CAME, I CONQUERED & I SUCCEEDED!!!

Yes and I’m proud of myself but do you know what I noticed when I did turn my phone back over? Nobody texted, called, responded or emailed me – so why do I get all discombobulated about my phone, like I need to check it every minute and for what. One day as I was getting on the elevator to go to work, there were two other people that got on at the same time and believe it or not – there was no eye connection, no hello as they both were glued to their phones. It’s amazing the things that come and take precedence over our lives to the point where we become unconscious to the things around us. In life we all need breaks, even from our phones.

Image credit: Pexels

Listed below are two tips, one for business and one for personal that you can do to get off the phone, for a minute or two or two hours….start slow though.

Putting a “PAUSE” on your Business Responses, Maybe?

Now, this won’t work for everyone but some of it might help. If your business depends on you posting every day or every other day to keep it afloat, I would suggest scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Crowdfire. If you got an hour a day, you can schedule anything for the week, you may can’t pay for an assistant so why not allow these tools to do it for you – for free (starting out). I use them all the time. You can also schedule your email to send out automatic replies letting customers know that you’ll get back to them in 24 to 48 hours.

Take it from me, you don’t want to answer a business email quickly….life gets busy and if you answer it quickly, your customers will expect that of you every single time. Give it 24 hours, just make sure you stick to your word as your business reputation is on the line. If you feel you can’t do 24 then go to 48 hours, that way there’s no rush to getting back to someone right away, just in case life is calling, on your side. It’s your business, sure enough and I know you love it but there are tools you can use to still keep your business going, while you’re focusing on other things – such as, taking a painting class, in which I heard was the going thing now..

Image credit: Pexels

Oh and P.S. Did you know you can schedule a text message? I do this all the time when I send out inspirational messages to our singles group at church. All of those messages are constructed and scheduled; I got messages scheduled up until the second week of March…

Taking a Break from Your Device…Just for a Little While

As you can see from the experiment I conducted above with myself. Taking a break from the phone or social media could be great for your mental health. This could be time that we use to focus on other things, such as completing that long to-do list of chores we’ve been putting off or catching up on some much needed rest or a movie (away from your phone). It could be time to get out and go visit a friend or just to get some fresh air and clear your mind.

Image credit: Pexels

Put yourself on a timeout from those things that take too much of your time, space and energy. Only you know what those things are and how much space you’ll need from them. So, I challenge you – can you put your phone down for two hours a day? And No, sleeping doesn’t count! You have to be fully awake. Hence this post, I’ve been doing it for a week. It’s been very challenging but rewarding as well.

Will you join me? Let’s get back to really interacting with what’s in front of us and not on a device. Let me know below what strategies you do to disconnect and/or if you’ll be taking the challenge!

Learning to Be ME

by Amy R Temple

As anyone of you who may have read my previous post about living with a learning disability may recall, I have had to deal with numerous discriminatory situations as well as being rejected; simply because I didn’t “fit” the status quo.

And please don’t ask me what “status quo” is because I have no idea and even if I did, I would totally ignore it!

Anyone who knows me would tell you (my parents, especially) that I don’t like being told what to do, I just hate rules! But let’s back up a sec, I’m not saying that I will purposely go do something completely stupid and get myself arrested, Of course not. Although I have been tempted to strike someone for looking down on me for not meeting this ridiculous status quo!

It all began when I was little…

Whenever my parents would take me to this one particular pediatrician, I would be fine…until he walked in. And then I would begin to cry. Let me rephrase that…I would wail!

After a while, he asked my parents, “Have you ever considered the possibility that Amy may not be educable?” Yeah… no, I very seriously doubt that EVER crossed my Mom and Dad’s mind. Needless to say, calling me stupid didn’t win the man any brownie points. Then there was the psychologist who was going to base my intelligence on whether or not, I knew what a frankfurter was. “Did you know that Amy doesn’t know what a frankfurter is?”

“That’s because we have always called them hot dogs”, my mom said. “Oh… good point.”

Again, no brownie points were scored. To make a very long story short, what they were trying to indicate was that I was going to be in a nutshell…..pretty much, a waste. According to them, I wasnt going to amount to absolutely nothing!

“Amy will not be able to be independent.”

“Amy will always need help taking care of herself.”

“Amy will have a tendency to get lost”.

Have any of you seen the movie, “Top Gun”?

Remember the scene where Val Kilmer coughs the phrase “Bull—-”?

Mom, Dad and I have made the facial equivalent numerous times! I honestly could not have asked for a better set of parents. Other people may have given up on me, but they haven’t and won’t let me do it either. And I will always be grateful to them.

I was diagnosed 36 years ago. I have dealt with these disabilities for over half my life. It’s who I am. It’s me and if someone created an operation where you could rid me of them…

Offer it to somebody else!

What is the big hairy deal about having learning disabilities? It’s not like it’s contagious or anything! How can they think that we are not going to amount to anything because we don’t fit their ridiculous notions? They wouldn’t hire me because of them?

Fine…

I started my own dog care business nearly 13 years ago where my main focus is on walking, feeding and playing. And that just gives me more time to write. Now I may sound as if I have all my ducks in a row and yes, that is true. But that doesn’t mean, I haven’t been affected by it. I am ashamed to admit that I wasted a lot of years wondering what was wrong with me and I tried to change myself to fit other people’s approval and acceptance. I thought, what is wrong with me?

I am ashamed to admit that I wasted a lot of years wondering what was wrong with me and I tried to change myself to fit other people’s approval and acceptance. I thought, what is wrong with me? What was it about me that made them think they could do this to me? I can’t do anything about the learning disabilities, but I thought if I could change this or that, maybe I would be accepted.

I royally messed with myself mentally and emotionally for years. I don’t know how many self-help books I read, trying to find THE cure. As much as I think it stinks that I am rejected because of my learning disabilities, there is nothing I can do about it but just move on with my life. I don’t have any more time to waste. 

Accept me or don’t. It’s your call.

Me? I’ve got a life to live. So, excuse me while I go live it. 

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Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.