In Between Blessings: My Latest Podcast This Week, Audible Promo Codes For Free Copies of My Audiobook, The Latest Article Featuring My Children’s Book: My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia, and More!

blog post friday may 10th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. ARTICLE PHOTO COURTESY OF CARMO PEREIRA VIA LUSO-AMERICANO, May 10th, 2019.

Hello, everyone! There is so much to say today! First of all, I have released a new podcast this week with a whole range of topics including the latest article I was featured in from the Portuguese newspaper Luso-Americano written by the AMAZING Carmo Pereira (Thanks once again!). This article discusses my latest publication, my children’s book, My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia. Also in this week’s podcast, I discuss all of my misfortunes in 2019, how I am learning to overcome them all and fight back and defend myself, the power of saying no when you’re not comfortable in a situation, and I even tackle the abortion debate that is heating up in our country as of late, plus so much more!

You can listen to my latest podcast here: PSG Lopes/ The Moonlit Goddess Podcast

Also, as promised in my latest podcast, I was given 50 promo codes for individuals in the UK and US who are interested in listening to the audiobook for my novella, A Wynter’s Tale for free. I am posting all 50 promo codes here that I have for both US and UK customers who are interested in receiving a free copy of the audiobook. The only thing that I ask is that upon completion of listening to the book that you provide a review. I appreciate your time in doing so and I hope you enjoy listening to the book. The reviews not only help myself but the wildly talented Chris Kenworthy who is the voice-over artist who narrated the audiobook for me. So thank you all in advance. You can get your code below. If one doesn’t work keep trying until one does work. Use the corresponding link whether you are in the US or UK to redeem the audiobook. (I am posting 10 codes at a time for both US and UK and as I see them redeemed I will continue to add others over the next few days! Thanks for your patience, patronage, and continued support!).

US AUDIBLE LINK <— Click on this link for US Customers and Copy one of the Promo Codes Below.

PROMO CODES:

2YWGDZFK55E82

3SAWYYYYBSP5U

5M3LUUT8JKEBK

5MQ4KUELAE2K4

6PAGMCWSY9ZRW

99RL3RWKM55XM

9AQL2MH586B5U

A6BY7ABN9STJB

ATJ6XYKC3X5C2

C5WC4975EY83R

UK AUDIBLE LINK<—– Click on this link for UK Customers and Copy one of the Promo Codes Below.

PROMO CODES:

2BLSWK453MGJL

63YY6XLB44SX2

6SD66HTRRHZ5K

86WWER9THC4UL

9MFBR9DYZTWRY

A7W8DJA3QRCK8

ADLMQ59CUHRZU

AG6CGR2DHLHNF

BFF6BQG5X8P8G

BUD2HJQG52SD9

 

Nothingness

blog post may 7 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

2019 has proven to dole out immensely painful lessons one after the other. I have been tested in ways that surely have surpassed even Job. I just keep getting sucker punched at every turn and it seems to only get worse.

The tally so far this year: Breaking up with my fiance on New Years Eve, getting into a minor fender bender because I was a dollar short (yep, you read that right!) to pay my bills and went to the bank to make a deposit and a dumb drunk old lady hit my car from behind, my dad and mom getting the flu, dad being sent to the hospital with pneumonia and we all thought he was going to die, dad coming home bed bound, not wanting to eat and being completely without speech, the emotional toll it took watching my dad in that near catatonic state until many weeks later he finally stabilized and is feeling much better thankfully, the first newspaper article of the year done on one of my books that was corroded with mistakes due to a bad journalist who just didn’t care to take accurate notes of our interview, getting a $45 ticket for parking in an area that had no parking meter even though the ticket said it had expired (I swear I looked all over before parking, there was no parking meter!), being mocked and shamed and embarrassed at my old doctor’s office because I’m poor and wanted hearing aids for myself, and now for the clincher… accidentally saving my new novella under a file with the same name and losing 55 pages worth of progress. I am feeling a bit numb today. I’m at a real loss of what to say, how to feel, I just don’t understand the lessons I’m supposed to be learning through all of these hardships?

There’s only so much resilience, so many fake smiles, so many positive motivational quotes, so many meaningless platitudes spewed by those around me that can keep me going. Yes, I’ve tried numerous things to retrieve the files and so did both my brothers, sister, and her friend.

What is so sad is that yesterday was such a good day for me mentally. I don’t get many of those days anymore. I’m so riddled with anxiety and depression that that consumes my mind 99% of the time. I finally had the courage to sit down and spent hours working on the novella and was so proud of how it was shaping up. I have a lot of ideas jotted into notebooks but they’re all an incoherent mess. I was able to decipher my notes, craft beautifully lyrical sentences that were so moving and magical. I was so impressed with how my story was taking shape. I have an author word wall with new words that I want to use for my next projects and I was able to craftily weave all twelve words into my work seamlessly. It was an impressive feat. Then just with one click of a button that all disappeared. I spent hours watching youtube videos but it was all the same. There was no recoverable file to be found. The file I need is long gone.

I just don’t have it in me to re-do all that mess again. What if that same creative spark just doesn’t happen again? I’ve been writing essentially my whole life, I have worked on my bachelors, masters, and doctorate, and have been writing professionally since 2016. I have written so many papers, so many poems, so many short stories, etc. I have never made this mistake before. I have always saved in quadruplicate. I was always so careful how I saved my work and then this one minute, sixty seconds, just completely blew up my world. I just laid in bed for hours last night, tears filling my eyes, wondering who I was in another life that causes me to constantly endure this much bad luck in one lifetime? I just don’t understand it. Even my mother was telling me I should go to a shaman or a spiritualist to get this curse lifted from me. Whatever force is out there is preventing me from being fulfilled and happy. I know that sounds so hokey but what else could it be when one is constantly being plagued by horrible misfortune?

I’m not terribly dramatic in saying things like I don’t want to live anymore or anything to that extreme, but my will to live and my determination to keep going in life is certainly dwindling. I don’t have much in this sad little life of mine. I take the greatest pride in my writing. It truly is the very last joy I have on this godforsaken planet of ours. Can’t I just experience one win? Just one? Why do I always have to learn these ridiculous life lessons? It’s too much sometimes. I don’t have much left in me. I need a win. Just one. To even up the playing field a bit. I can’t just be this riddled with bad luck without being blessed with at least one good fortunate event. Life can’t be that cruel, can it?

Trading Trades: The Near-Extinction of the Trade Market

blog post may 6 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

Long before capitalism and the free market, our ancestors relied upon learning a trade or skill in order to barter goods for their livelihood. Farmers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, bakers, fishermen, liveries, etc. all relied heavily on these traders whose skills were also taught to their children as they carried on the tradition for future generations.

Since the explosion of capitalism, globalization, and the free market, big corporations thrive on mass-producing items that used to be hand-tailored by local craftsmen. More and more younger generations are bypassing learning trades and heading toward four-year universities majoring in disciplines that may or may not lead them to prosperous careers later down the road. This falsehood that a four-year college is more reputable than two-year trade schools cheats these young people out of learning a useful skill that can lead to financial independence and self-sufficiency. Yet, we continue to be shackled by the confines of capitalism and keep falling for such traps as pursuing useless degrees—myself included.

Personally, my family would be lost without a “one-stop shop” business like Amazon. We get all of our items for our cat colony and for my dad’s care and of course, all of my work is published through them as well. I, too, am enslaved by capitalism.

I went to a four-year university and never ever used my bachelor’s degree in psychology. This led me through a near twenty-year struggle to find my place in the world, settling for random part-time work and never being granted a steady nine to five job with a 401k or benefits or a pension. I had to figure it all out on my own the hard way. If I could go back in time, I would have gone to school for a trade and become a beautician. I would have my own beauty salon by now and I would be much better off than I am now. I was further brainwashed when I decided to go back to school that MBA’s were the way to go to find work not realizing that you had to have a job in business already for an MBA to be valuable. I realized much too late that the more degrees one carried the least likely you were to get a full-time job. Higher end degrees in useless fields are like garlic to vampires. Businesses don’t like you educated and don’t like to pay you what you’re worth. They want you dumb and they want cheap laborers. I had no one’s guidance through all of this and just went by with what I read and what I was told through second-hand information.

I deeply regret going back to school and now am shackled by debt I will never be able to pay off in my lifetime. If I could offer any advice to those not sure whether a four-year college is suitable for them or not, consider two-year trade schools first. When I was a senior in high school, I really had no guidance on what to do. I didn’t have any real interests and wasn’t fully prepared for life after graduation. I decided a four-year university would be a suitable way to spend another four years deciding what I wanted to do with my life even though I still was no closer to finding a career or knowing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

My father was the only career individual in my life and he was an educator for nearly forty years. I kind of got thrown into education through his suggestion and not because it was any sort of passion of mine and essentially because I was trapped post-graduation and not knowing the first thing about finding a job with my useless degree. I didn’t like psychology enough to want to pursue it as a masters degree or Ph.D. back then. I was a dumb kid. I was a dreamer. I honestly thought I would get married and have kids and be a stay at home mom like my mom was. I had no aspirations to be better than I was and went through many heartbreaking years stuck in this horrific rut and I feel like I am in my own personal hell reliving the same mistakes over and over again. As I got older, I realized that marriage and kids were not in the cards for me and I developed a very strong, feminist, “Rosie the Riveter” type personality. I learned that I don’t need a man to survive and have always found some sort of way to keep afloat all of these years.

My advice to those uncertain of which path to choose, consider computers, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, cosmetology, etc. anything that offers you certification and licensure and allows you to become an apprentice, perfect your skill, and someday become your own boss. Those crafts and trades offer you an opportunity to build something of your own someday, provides you with a trade you could teach others, particularly your own children. It is a golden commodity long lost due to these corporations that shackle us all. We need something that can be passed down from generation to generation; something we can be proud of and passionate about that provides you with lifelong financial security.

When you learn a service or trade that no one else around you knows you become so valuable in this market society and you can name your own prices and establish a brand for yourself which leads you one step closer to complete and total financial freedom. Also, when you choose a two-year school to learn a trade, you most likely won’t face crippling debt post-graduation and since you will have a useful trade you will be able to find work quickly and make money to pay off any debts you may have accrued if any.

My point is not that four-year colleges are bad. I find that they can be poor decisions for those, like myself, that had no real guidance or real understanding as to the devastation the debt I’d have and the lack of financial opportunities I’d have post-graduation. My last piece of advice for those seeking career advice is that if you do choose four-year college, please pick something that you know will give you a guaranteed career when you’re done, offers licensure of some sort from your state for the skill you’re obtaining, and you’ve thought out how you are going to pay back your debts when you are done. Being pushed into a four-year college was the worst mistake of my life and I furthered my mistake by getting a masters and Ph.D. with no real skill set to help me get out of debt. These are mistakes I have to live with for the rest of my life and if I can help someone starting out to not make the same mistakes I did then I would feel that this whole ridiculous mess would have meaning.

 

My Radical Conclusion

Blog May 2, 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

I am still pretty much fuming over yesterday’s ridiculousness over the embarrassment I exhibited in the doctor’s office. But instead of being negative about it, I decided to be productive and spent the remainder of the day searching for a new primary care physician (female this time, and a real doctor not these cute P.A.’s or whatever bullshit scam this country is peddling upon its citizens in lieu of legitimate healthcare). I also found a reputable ENT relatively nearby so that I am able to officially get some sort of hearing aid device for myself. I am sick and tired of being treated like a second class citizen. And I shouldn’t have to explain why I decided to start taking better care of myself. I am doing so because I fucking want to that’s why!

I was born in America. I have worked incredibly hard over the years just like everyone else. My means for someday obtaining financial freedom may be unconventional and not understood by those who were brainwashed into thinking that having someone else signing your paycheck is the only way to be respected and valued in the community. I am fiercely ambitious and you may consider me crazy but I will not stop fighting for a better life, for a better world, and my way of doing that is through my writing and art. This year, I feel that I have seamlessly transitioned from hobby writer to career writer and even though I’m not rolling in the dough, I have value, I am respected in my field, and I do deserve the same consideration and care as everyone else on the planet.

I read this amazing quote by Audre Lorde today. She once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” That’s the mantra I am currently adopting. I’m not going to let anyone guilt me into thinking that I’m not worth proper healthcare and I don’t have to justify why I’m seeking assistance in getting hearing aids, or bloodwork, or any other thing that will ensure that I remain healthy and mentally happy and at peace.

For years, I’ve allowed people to bring me down, to mock me, to make me feel inferior. But what have those people truly accomplished in their lives? Anyone can get married and/or divorced, have a slew of unruly kids, settle for a nine to five job making someone else richer, buy a home, a car and buy other materialistic bullshit that they just don’t need. I once prescribed to that notion. I felt hollow, empty for not being like everyone else. I tried the whole relationship thing. I was fed notions of possibly having a happily ever after, living in my own home, and all that. But I realized happiness is found from within and I feel truly fulfilled and free when I’m writing. I feel validated and purposeful and I know that my message is a strong one and others need to hear this message too so that we can all break these damaging so-called social norms that make people believe they need to achieve certain things and reach certain goals in order to make them feel whole. Granted, one may feel fulfilled with the lives that they currently have. I’m not arguing that my way is better than anyone else’s. My argument here is to respect that there is more than one way to fry an egg. Happiness is individualized. My happiness differs from yours. And vice-versa. I realize I give too much clout to others and their opinions. But it makes me fucking furious thinking there are people out there who appear villainous and actually thrive on seeing people fail and falling flat on their faces. This rage fires deep within me and I will not stop until I am recognized for my positive contributions to society.

I noticed right away since I was a little girl that I was not like everyone else. My first bra was a neon green disaster. I wore neon pink bicycle shorts and a playboy t-shirt hand-me-down from my older brother. My hair cuts were never fashionable and always uneven. I always got dirty from doing somersaults in the park falling into piles of geese-poop horribly embarrassing family and friends. I have fallen down concrete steps, knees bleeding profusely, while my dad was part of a Portugal day festival in the city hall where I grew up totally shaming my family and godparents. I have fallen down stairs more often than not, that was a major theme in my childhood. I have fallen after attempting to climb a retaining wall in fear of missing the school bus as my sister watched in horror from the school bus in front of all of her friends. I am shy, I am weird, I don’t smell the greatest all the time, I cry a lot and can’t control my emotions and sometimes appear somewhat of a crazy person when I am horribly triggered by cruel and mean-spirited people. I’m outspoken and feisty and have this unusual blend of soft-heartedness and lion-heartedness that often fight together until they harmoniously decide to get along and help me be the productive person that I am today.

I say and do weird things making others uncomfortable. I curse like a sailor on leave, I burp, I fart, I eat with my elbows on the table, I am comfortable talking about my bowel movements in front of family at the dinner table, I laugh at fart jokes and enjoy potty humor, and I wear dresses with stains on them that are not ironed and have cat fur all over them. My hair is in knots, my mother and sister forced me to dye my hair because it had ten-inch gray roots and they bought me hair dye from the supermarket so that I’d look decent for my latest newspaper interview. I may look like I have it all put together in my profile picture, but I’m a wild, feral, hot mess and I have been this way since the day I popped out of my mom’s vagina.

I say and do awkward shit, I can count the number of friends I have on one finger, I eat noisily and fast, I enjoy Mexican food and ice cold root beer and I am done apologizing for who I am.

For those who question why I dress well and have nice boots even though I don’t currently make a lot of money with my writing, don’t realize that my clothes are either donated to me by my mom since we are the same size, or clothes I have purchased years ago when I was teaching. I am not fussy about clothes and just wear old stuff that I take care of because I’m not a behemoth beast. I also notoriously hate wearing shoes and I only own 5 pairs of shoes. I own flip flops to wear around the house, sneakers to go walking in outdoors, my very old Doc Martens flowery boots which may look nice on the outside but smell like your grandma’s crotch on the inside from years of wear, my sandals for the summer that are on their last leg and are about to bust apart at the straps, and my winter boots to ward against ice and snow. I am sick of justifying who I am to others who lack any sort of emotional intelligence or even general intelligence. The amount of willfully ignorant people around me are astounding and no amount of education can create the level of self-awareness and common sense people need to really pay attention to the things that really matter around us.

To the person who stole my quarter bug juice at snack time consecutively every day for 180 school days in Kindergarten and I never said a thing to stop her, to the kid who spat in my face with a mouth full of ham and mayo every day at lunch consecutively every day for 180 days in 1st grade and I never said a thing to stop him, to the little bitch who lied and told the teacher I threw her down the stairs during dismissal when I was nowhere near her in line and I never defended myself, to the teacher who shamed me when I didn’t understand long division showing the class my paper with a zero on it trying to shame me into somehow magically passing not realizing it wasn’t because I wasn’t studying, it was because I just didn’t understand what to do and she did a lousy job teaching me, who will also never know that I got straight A’s in math from senior year in high school all throughout my college career including bachelors, masters, and doctorate years, to the bullies who called me fat and have compared me to every fat actress out there like that is some sort of insult when all of those so-called “fat actresses” are the people whom I admire the most in Hollywood, to the student who called me an idiot who provided the final straw on my last day of substitute teaching and made me finally realize that it was time to move on and taught me that I deserved so much more than the bullshit I was being served, to all of my abusers and oppressors of all forms who have created this neurotic, anxious, and often, depressed individual, I will continue to fight not for you, not because of you, but in spite of you and your patheticness. I continue to write in spite of you. I pour my emotions on this page in spite of you. To send a message to the world, who so desperately needs to hear it that whatever someone does and whatever their circumstances are, happens to be none of anyone’s business but their own, and what works for one person does not work for all. Everyone is on the same team and we are all battling the same villains. Instead of turning on each other and being cruel and meanspirited, reach your hand out to heal, not to destroy. Because you don’t know what is going on in another person’s mind. You’ll never know. I’ll leave you all with another one of my all-time favorite quotes from R.J. Palacio’s marvelous book, Wonder, “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” Believe me. It makes all the difference!

By the way, I chose today’s photo because it looked like the middle flowers were flipping the bird. It seemed apropos given today’s topic. Alright, NOW I will choose kind! 🙂

(Of course, I appreciate all of my readers and followers but I wanted to give a shout out to one new follower in particular who gave me props for yesterday’s blog–My message to you is to always keep fighting for what truly matters in life and never let anyone tell you no!)

 

The Healthcare System is Failing Us All

may 1 2019_blog

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

For many who truly know me, understand that I have not had the easiest life. I have endured several traumas in my life and as a result, I have been a lifelong sufferer of depression and anxiety. It has always been difficult for me to muster up the courage to go to any doctor and I usually only go during emergencies when I have an infection or bronchitis or anything like that. My anxiety is quite severe and I often have to coach myself to go and it takes me a few days of mental preparation unless it’s an absolute emergency that I can finally concede and buckle down and make the appointment.

I have never been fond of doctors. Every time I  go to the doctor it’s always the same thing, “you’re fat and you need to lose weight” and they’re always trying to pump me full of pills. Doctors have become pill pushers and develop creative ways of keeping patients coming back so they can keep siphoning people’s insurances. Doctors also want it easy for them too. They’re not interested in helping patients when there’s an actual problem that’s easy to fix for the patients.

After all of the things that have happened throughout my life, I have developed quite a complex. I am impossibly shy, I lack any sort of self-confidence, and for me to actually develop the courage to go to the doctor, those who know me well, realize how huge that is.

The other day I noticed that my town opened up a new hearing aid store. I was so impressed by my sister’s hearing aids (she went to a much fancier place because she has decent insurance), that I mustered up some courage to actually make the appointment and go get my hearing tested. I have been hard of hearing my whole life and that has been such a huge burden I have been carrying since I was a little girl. I remember being tested several times as a kid and my parents were told that I needed hearing aids but I never got them because my parents could never afford them for me.

The test was bittersweet. It indeed confirmed that I needed hearing aids and that I could get a reasonable pair with the crappy insurance I have. I actually got emotional during the test because I remembered the same words they spoke during the verbal part of the hearing test from when I had the same test done as a kid. When I heard the words “hotdog” and “baseball” I immediately started crying because I remembered what it felt like being a kid and being told I needed hearing aids and also being told I could not afford them. It was heartbreaking for me for so many reasons. But going to that hearing aid place I finally felt hope, which I don’t allow myself to feel very often because it’s always a terrible letdown. Today was no different.

Being hearing impaired always has been a source of contention for me my entire life. Since my parents could never afford them for me, I basically lived my entire life as if I was submerged in water. I learned to read lips and basically “faked it til I made it.” If I didn’t understand someone when they spoke to me I would ask them to repeat once, maybe twice, and by the third time, I’d just laugh awkwardly as if the person made a joke and would just awkwardly walk away. This became the norm for me, a coping mechanism. I avoid the telephone at all costs. I don’t like to socialize because I’m too embarrassed to ask people to repeat themselves over and over again. It became such a huge complex of mine that I consider myself somewhat of a recluse. I just prefer solitude most of the times because I have developed such a fear of being mocked, shamed, or embarrassed because of my hearing loss amongst my other shortcomings– real or perceived.

When I got colds, my hearing would be even more severely limited. I remember one time I had gone to school when I was fifteen years old and gave my English teacher a doctors note asking that I not be called upon to read aloud in class because I was profoundly hard of hearing due to my cold. I was essentially deaf that day. I heard nothing. It was like life was completely muted and I was living in a world that lacked any sort of depth in terms of sounds. My English teacher, being a nasty bitch, of course, had to call on me. I had no idea she was speaking to me and I had my head down pretending to follow along with what the class was reading. One of my classmates happened to shake my sleeve to get my attention and told me that I was being asked to read. Not knowing where we left off, I just randomly started reading any passage. I looked around and everyone was visibly laughing at me. My teacher finally showed me mercy and told me to stop reading. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. And one that I still carry with me to this day.

This was the norm in my life. Constantly being mocked and shamed. The shy, nice girl always getting shit on by the world and today was no different.

I went to my primary care provider to ask for a prescription for hearing aids because that was the only stipulation from the hearing aid place that I needed the prescription. When I made the appointment on Monday, the doctor’s office never told me that they could not write me such a prescription and that I had to go to an ENT in order to get the prescription I needed. I wouldn’t have cared about this bit of news in the least, except for that fact that my doctor dragged me into the office unnecessarily when the receptionist could have told me right away that he did not write prescriptions for that. To make matters worse and to add insult to injury, his assistant, who looked like she belonged in a Britney Spears video, mind you, told me that I needed routine bloodwork and to continue taking medicine that I was never prescribed and to come back routinely to be checked up periodically. I laughed at the little girl’s face and said that I only go there when I have a cold but thanks anyway and took my paperwork and left. I had informed the hearing aid place of the situation and they had tried calling on my behalf but also failed to get anywhere with the doctor’s office as well.

I was so enraged by how horrifically I was treated from the very moment I walked into the office. Because I have such shitty insurance I am always treated horribly whenever I am in need of medical attention. I am always asked questions that no one would dare ask the elderly or a man, for that matter. People also question the clothes that I wear as well which is so beyond rude and don’t realize that the majority of what I wear is donated to me and I do take immaculate care of my clothes so they are always in good shape. I also live at home, so yes I am well taken care of in that regard. Even though I don’t have the typical 9 to 5 job with steady pay and traditional insurance that by no means makes me lazy, and many don’t realize just how much I bust my ass every single day doing so many things not just for my own business but for my family as well.

After my despicable treatment, I ran home and immediately signed up for a different primary care doctor. I deserve much better and I also deserve a female doctor and not that crusty old man that keeps trying to get me to use a sleep apnea machine or pump me full of pills. Instead of shoving pills, why not sit down and talk to your patients? Get to know them, know their struggles, and teach them ways of fixing their problems, not simply trying to shove pills down our throats and make people think they can’t live without them. Granted, obviously, people out there do need everyday care and rely on medications in order to continue living, I’m not referring to those individuals.

But this guy doesn’t even know any of my background because he never took the time to ask. He doesn’t know I have depression and anxiety and that I was treated by my old doctor before she passed away in my 20s and I never found anyone after that to help treat my condition nor got the courage to find someone who was as good as she was. He doesn’t understand that I’m an emotional eater and I eat myself to death because I’m so fucking miserable over my situation. Of course, I hate being poor, of course, I hate being fat, of course, I’ve tried so many fucking times to find paying jobs. And I, PSG Lopes, don’t need you or anyone else to validate my existence.

I’ve learned how to live my life in a way that’s just good enough to get by without the help of others who lack empathy and sympathy for myself and my situation. I know nobody will help me, I know nobody will listen. Everytime I try to open up and develop the courage to go out there and try to fix something wrong with myself I’m always horrifically embarrassed and that really sets me back months. I can literally spend a lifetime recalling those few moments beating myself over what happened and I will constantly find new and creative ways to completely hate myself. So if that guy accomplished anything today, it was making me feel even shittier and making me feel like more of a loser than I always do anyhow. So thanks for that, dipshit. I hope you choke to the death of the food you buy with the money you stole from me today!

I ended up finding a new doctor and making an appointment with an ENT that actually accepted my insurance but it will take a few months but I am determined to not let pieces of shit like that legalized drug pusher and his back up dancer assistant to make me feel inadequate. He and his playboy bunny assistant can go eat a bunch of dicks for lunch.

Despite all of my shortcomings, I was still able to put myself through college and I worked on my bachelors, masters, and doctorate. I worked since I was eighteen years old and have held several jobs over the years. Sadly; however, I was never able to find a lasting full-time position in the education field. I was a substitute teacher for over fifteen years and have worked in several districts and have taught all grades and all disciplines over the years. Whether I was flat out fired, laid off, or I’d quit, I realized I was stuck in a vicious cycle and I couldn’t continue on this way. My last teaching position, which I actually enjoyed and did exceptionally well at that year, I was laid off from due to lack of funding for the following school year. Realizing that I couldn’t keep going backwards in life and couldn’t face going back to substitute teaching yet again being laid off prompted me to leave education once and for all and that’s when I decided to create The Moonlit Goddess Writing Line and become a full-time writer. Aside from my writing, I am also one of the full-time caregivers of my father who has been suffering from advanced dementia for the past six years. Now because of all of this together, I realize I don’t make much money so my insurance is god awful.

People hear that I’m a writer and that I work remotely from home and they come with all sorts of conclusions about it. They assume I’m lazy, that I don’t want to work, and all of these other silly assumptions that couldn’t be further from the truth. I just happen to have a vision, I am ambitious, my degrees are in business administration and I hope to someday expand my writing line to a small publishing company. I am working hard every day and engaging in many opportunities to help me get there. I am nothing but proud of my accomplishments to date and I have nothing to be ashamed about but yet I still feel compelled to explain myself in order to get the message across that this is my chosen path and I will not allow anyone to mistreat me or disrespect me in any way, shape, or form.

To date, I have won an award for my short story “Breath of Freedom,” I have self-published eight pieces of work: Dark Musings Poetry Anthologies: Volumes 1 (1st and 2nd editions), 2 (which features my award-winning short story “Breath of Freedom”, and 3, two children’s books: My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia and Little Stan’s Lucky Day, a novella: A Wynter’s Tale, and my single, “In Recovery.” My novella was just made into an audiobook. I have been featured in two newspaper articles this year. And I am nowhere near done with my ambitions for this year! Every artist and writer goes through a rough patch in the beginning as they begin to build their portfolio and start networking with individuals. Just because I’m not loaded doesn’t make what I do any less meaningful or important and I am incredibly fortunate enough to have a family who understands me and takes care of me as I pursue my dreams.

My father’s healthcare is not that much better. He is also treated like shit within the healthcare system and that infuriates me further because that man did nothing but work his entire adult life consistently putting money towards Medicare for others over the years and when it’s finally his turn to get people to help him he is denied or it takes months to see any progress. He needed a walker, it was denied. My mother ended up buying one out of her own pocket. He needed a wheelchair, it took forever and by the time we got one he was basically bedridden. The diapers, the wipes, the toiletries, the medicines, everything that my dad needs to ensure he is cared for properly all costs money and insurance doesn’t pay for any of that except for a portion of the medicines. The insurance won’t cover a home health aide past a certain amount of time and that too my mother pays out of pocket. We are lucky to have a nurse practitioner come and visit him once a month. The second the insurance stopped covering it, the social worker stopped accepting our calls. The system is corrupt and only the rich get the help that everyone should be entitled to get.

My family has basically always been blue collar our whole lives but we all worked hard and all deserve the same amount of respect. We deserve to be treated with dignity and equally despite our socioeconomic differences. Don’t judge a book by their cover. You don’t know what everyone’s story is. You don’t know what burdens everyone carries. Before you say, “that woman has nice boots, I wonder how she can pay for them if she’s not making any money!” My boots were bought with my own money when I was working as a full-time teacher. The things I have I keep and take very good care of them. People have this antiquated image of poverty but it really has many faces. I am lucky to have a mother and sister who have always been there for me through my hardest times in life. The things I can’t pay for, they help out. What I do in return is I drive everyone around to their appointments, I run all errands for the household, I help with gardening, feeding all of the animals my family takes care, taking care of dad’s daily needs, and so much more along with all of my own writing responsibilities whether it’s my passion projects or freelance work that I’m paid to do. So, call me fat and lazy all you like. Everyone has a purpose on this earth and I know mine and I don’t feel sorry or guilty for anything because I go to bed with my body in bits with all the physical work I do for my family day in and day out. I’m invaluable and I do have worth and I do contribute positively and I don’t need to be shamed, embarrassed, or discriminated against because of a lack of empathy or understanding from others.