Anger? Over It! – Discriminated Against? Done!

By Amy Temple

I have dealt with all sorts of rejection ever since I was diagnosed with a learning disability at the age of 5.

In school, I was bullied and harassed practically every day. It was very traumatic and left me with feelings of fear, anxiety and low self-esteem. I found it hard to trust. Lord knows I wanted to be more open and friendly but the worry over being humiliated was much too great for me too handle.

Photo Credit: Bing

After graduating and receiving my diploma. I went on to attend a vocational school where I received a certification in general secretary work, soon after I entered a job program for the disabled. While that was my first job and I was excited to start my life as well as my career. This job proved to not be such a happy start for me as I got my first real experience within the workplace of how society really felt about individuals with learning incapacities.

During the annual review, that’s when EVERYTHING came to a head and my presumptions became a realization! The program director just blurted out and told me, that I would never live above the poverty level. And to put the icing on the cake, he topped it off by saying “Amy will always be on welfare.” So, in other words, the degree I worked so hard to get was a complete waste of my time because according to him “I am just too damn STUPID!” At the end of the meeting, we had the option to terminate the contract.

We took it.

The job interviews after that proved to be very uncomfortable per the faces of the people interviewing me who clearly were viewing my problem, rather than my certification which qualified me to work. It was very clear they were only allowing the interview so they would not be at risk for a discriminatory lawsuit.

Photo Credit: Bing

During this phase, it was also becoming very obvious that the program coordinators were slacking up on finding me employment. The job coach assigned to my case was not that reliable either. Most of the interviews I went on were jobs that I’d found on my own. My parents on more than one occasion had to give me a ride to the job leads due to the coach being M.I.A.

With my parents’ help, I continued looking for regular employment. To get out of the house, I began volunteering at a local assisted living facilities where I helped with daily activities.

Every month I must have gone on several job interviews. I even went back to the same vocational training center I attended in high school and became certified in Medical Secretary work where I had multiple internships at a local hospital.

One day I had applied for a position at the medical center of the retirement home I was volunteering for and soon discovered I was one of three finalists and the hiring manager wanted each of us to do a two-week internship. I didn’t get the job…

I must confess, I was surprised as I had the most experience. After speaking with the hiring manager, I discovered the two medical secretaries I was working under had lied about my performance. The one hired was a friend of theirs.

I remember having a conversation with the other candidate. She was a single mother wanting to provide a better life for her kids. If anyone else deserved the job, it was her! My heart just went out to that family. I couldn’t get over how low those two secretaries went just to get their friend the position.

Photo Credit: Bing

After that, I decided I was not pursuing the 9-5 life anymore. I didn’t want any part of a life that was going to viciously discriminate and/or stab someone in the back like that.

Fast forward nearly twenty years later & after MUCH self-examination, I have made peace with how society feels about me.

I got hopes. I got goals. I got dreams.

And, I intend on making them all come true. I’m 42 years young! & The LAST thing I don’t have time for? Is figuring out why certain people hate me. Over It! Done!

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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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.

I’ve Been Wrong… And Here’s Why

I must confess something to all of you.

image credit: bing

These past few months I believe I have been coming across as bitter.Bitter because I have been discriminated against and rejected due to my learning disabilities. I feel all I have done since I began writing this blog is complain…

And that is not what I want to do here. I wanted to join this team because I wanted to inspire you. I figured you could use a break from all the negativity that I am sure you have been reading elsewhere. And yet, I have been contributing.

I sincerely apologize to all of you. I don’t want you to come away after reading my work feeling worse than you may have already felt.

After re-reading some of my previous blogs, I thought to myself, “Man! I sound like one bitter woman!”

image credit: gif/Emma Roberts

Yes, what I have gone through has really hurt but after a recent incident, I have realized it is time to not dwell on what has happened to me or what has been happening to me.

I have previously mentioned -and complained- about my long-standing work relationship as a dog sitter for a couple in the retirement community I live in with my parents. I was very bitter about their ways and made threats to quit.

AND I DID! but not before I told the wife off via a text first! I mean, I TOLD HER OFF! And there was absolutely no need to do it…any of it.

I had been reminding this couple over and over again, maybe even several times a day to keep their puppy away from leaves, bits of tree twigs and plant seeds – a pretty reasonable request I thought. But after they failed to listen and honor my request – that’s when my ROCKETS got to flying and they flew pretty HIGH!

image credit: bing

Overall this couple are very nice Christians who have very specific ways they want their dog to be treated. Yes, some are a bit peculiar to say the least, but that’s the beauty of free will…right?

But you want to know the saddest part of it all? I also consider myself to be a Christian too. However, judging by my recent behavior, you sure wouldn’t be able to see it.

After completing some majorly, heavy repenting, God pierced my bitterly dark heart. So much so, I ended up sending the wife a text in the middle of the night, swallowing some serious crow!

I deeply apologized for my behavior and asked for another chance. Fortunately, I was given one. And I hope you, my readers -who I am truly grateful to have – will give me one, too.

When you get on this website, you want to be inspired. You want to feel better.

You don’t want to hear about the woe is me tales of how rough life has been for someone because you already know. You don’t want -nor do you need – to be reminded.

So I am here to tell you all that I am not going to be writing any more stories like that.

I am definitely going to be continuing to write for Justsuminspiration and I am forever grateful for this glorious opportunity to share my God-given gift with you all.

My advice to you?, please don’t do what I did. Don’t wallow in pride. Learn to let things go, especially the past. The Bible says “Forget the former things. Keep pressing forward to the life that God has planned for you.”

Oh and no matter how wrong you may get, always – always don’t be too ashamed to say “you’re sorry” – None of us, including me should ever be above that law..

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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

Sunday’s Thought: Following Peace Is Not Easy Peasy…

A little over a year ago I left a church. It was a church that I truly loved, it wasn’t big, it wasn’t too small but as Goldilocks said as she said ate, sat, slept and finagled her way into baby bear’s things “It was just right” – I mean I’ve been to other churches before but this one allowed me to really express myself and use the gifting that God gave me. I mean, while there’s no perfect church. I felt as if this one was the perfect fit for me. Well as you know anytime you get comfortable with someone or some-thing –  the enemy has to come in and play his dirty card hands to make sure “your perfect sunshine” turns into doom and rain and that is exactly what happened in this case.

All I will say is, there was something heard, a whole lot of wrong communication said, my emotions took over and went into overdrive and I became very sarcastic, distant and said a bunch of things I didn’t mean (I never said I was an angel). I ended up leaving that church as fast as I had become a part of it, I vowed that I would never step foot into that place again. While I didn’t share what happened with anyone outside of the people in whom were involved; the incident left me very bitter towards them and a silent grudge within my heart.

So what does the bible mean when in Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) when it says:

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

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You see?, following peace is really about maintaining relationships with people, because as funny as life is, we never know whom we might need to reach out to in order to ask for a favor, we also never know whom may need us, so we must maintain a peaceful spirit and character as well, I mean think about it, if you say you’re a Christian (and most people have their different meanings as to what this means to them) and you’re supposed to be repping Christ, do you really think you should not have a good, peaceful, approachable attitude? I mean how would Jesus look if every time someone approached him with a question, he gave you the Ice Cube look…..

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Ice Cube pic courtesy of Bing

Not only would you not want to approach him but you’ll be afraid to ask him for anything. You should think about that the next time someone steps to you, are you giving them the Ice Cube look? (nothing against Ice Cube by any means =)

But following peace with all men is not an easy thing to do as they definitely wouldn’t care if you have peace concerning them. My mom used to tell me often, “Roshonda, it’s not what they do but what you do that matters.” And while I couldn’t understand what mama was saying at that time; as I became older, her words of wisdom became perfectly clear. When you’re representing a higher power it really does matter how you carry yourself. When we took the charge to be a Christian, we took an oath to not only be a follower but also a doer of his word, which means we have to represent him no matter what others do or don’t do.

Don’t get me wrong, this “following peace” way of handling things sometimes is not the most popular stance to take as I want to get my Ice Cube look on and break some necks and dare somebody to say something but I took an oath to follow Christ and with that, that means that I must follow peace. That also means that I have to apologize, even when I don’t want too – even if it wasn’t my fault. I have to forgive people, even when they laugh in my face and I know they talking about me behind my back. I have to do good to the people that just last week, threw me under the bus just to cover their tracks and I have to pray for the ones that I don’t want to pray for because I feel like they’re evil and don’t deserve God’s mercy, but then again, None of us do….

In prayer the other morning – God laid that church strongly on my heart and I reached out to the pastor….not expecting a response because it had been over a year, I imagined all the things they could have said to me, but what I got in return was love and a warm welcome. I was so elated and grateful that God put on my heart to go back and make amends and I was glad that I was still in the land of the living to do it. A lot of times we don’t want to admit when we’re wrong because we want to shift blame and refuse to humble ourselves, but if Jesus can forgive the people that done him wrong and still die for their sins inspite of their attitudes toward him, What about you? What about Me? Are we any different or above the law? NO, we’re not.

Listed below are a couple of tips to help you follow Peace more Easily…

 

Forgive and Move Forward, Literally

I can’t tell you how much time we lose trying to get people to respond to our plea for forgiveness. Listen, they’re not God and their opinion of whether your forgiveness was real or fake will not put you in heaven or hell. It’s not what they do or don’t do, it’s what you took the courage to do in spite of. The only person you should ever worry about is God himself, you know the one who actually created you? Yeah, him. Don’t waste no more time on people – whether they forgive you or not is their business and between their God, do what you were asked to do and Move On…

Expect Nothing In Return

Just because you had a come to Jesus moment with yourself doesn’t mean others have taken out the time to have that same conversation with him. God dealt with you about what you needed to do – don’t expect anything more from them. If they are true believers, they’ll come around otherwise again, do you and move boo.

 

So, What is a Christian Again?

Being a Christian means doing things as Christ would have and you have to ask yourself, would Christ hold a grudge, would he be upset at someone for years and not speak to them or bless them? Just as he wouldn’t, you shouldn’t either. Being a Christian means being Christlike even when we don’t want too.

Sometimes Peace Is Hard – Forgive yourself for your actions

Romans 12:18 (NIV) says, If it is possible as much as depends on you live peaceably with all men. When the Apostle Paul wrote that scripture he was referencing that the believers aim should be to live peaceably, but knew that sometimes peace would not be within our control. People will be people, while some will forgive – others will not but you’re not responsible for their actions and can’t help the feelings that they may have toward you, just know that God forgives you and once you’ve forgiven yourself? Feel free to move forward. When you’ve done your part, then you have to step back, let go and let God do his.

 

See ya in the next Post!!-1

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Love Hard & Inspire Often!