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Hi, I hope all is well with you and that you are safe and doing at least okay mentally, emotionally, and physically. But also staying safe and healthy. Below is my story. This is me.

Domino Effect

My name is Derby Cineas. I am a young adult who decided to take control of her life at 20 years old by disconnecting from my family in April/May of 2020. Even though I knew that stepping away could mean a lot of hard life lessons, especially with becoming financially independent, my soul was demanding that freedom. I had to do this for my mental, emotional, and physical health. Having my family in my life made me feel like a caged bird. Once I started having suicidal thoughts, I knew it was time to let them go.

I guess you could say my family and I were imperfect matches. They were not only toxic individuals but also controlling; in their minds, they felt they were protecting me. But I guess you could say I am one of those odd individuals who is extremely independent and not afraid to fall and get hurt before arriving where I want to be. Since they have more life experiences, which means “they knew better”, I believe that everybody goes about everything in their own way; where one might fail, someone else might succeed. That’s life. But that was hard for them to understand and accept.

So, I decided to bet on myself and took a leap of faith. I haven’t looked back ever since. Every day I wake up feeling more than grateful that I’ve gotten this far on my own. It wasn’t easy. I went from living house to house. In one place, I was sleeping on the floor, my bedroom windows were boarded up, I had no hot water or heat, and it was October/November. I was taking the most unsafe ways to make myself warm, leaving my oven door open. In that same apartment, I was living with an old lady a month who was a hoarder; her stuff filled the house with a distinctive unpleasant smell. And she had a puppy pooping and peeing all over the place.

But despite all of that, I appreciated those low moments and would do it all over again to get where I am right now. No regrets. Those low moments made me realize how strong I am as a person but also when I have my high moments, I feel a million times more grateful than I could ever express.

In November, I learned I had to find a new place as soon as possible because I would get evicted. At the time, I was living in New Jersey, and I honestly had to ask myself what kept me in this state. I was in a restaurant job that I hated, and that was highly toxic, and because of my background growing up with a toxic and dysfunctional family, being in that space more than 40hrs a week was triggering. I stopped going to school since I was on my own and couldn’t afford it. So, I decided to leap of faith and move to another state (for my privacy and safety, I am not going to say) in December 2021. With the help of someone I met a day before, I had to move into my place since she had a car and I didn’t. Scared out of my mind since I knew no one in this new state, I just felt I had to do this because I needed a fresh start to build my definition of healthy living in all aspects.

So now here we are, August 2022. After struggling with mental issues from depression, anxiety, and PTSD since 2018. But always gaslighting myself because of the culture I was raised in; when you have a home and food, there should be no reason for you to be depressed. When I wasn’t gaslighting myself, I was scared about the possible side effects of being on medication. It wasn’t until I had a session with a therapist early this year, who I no longer see, who made me realize I was sacrificing either way, so I should give medication a try. I did. Top 5 best decisions of my life. Being on antidepressants helped stabilize me.

I guess you might be wondering this far into this story. You may be a bit confused. “Okay…but like, why does she help?!” After working at two different jobs since I moved to this new state, I realize I needed to work for myself. I felt crappy mentally and emotionally working a regular 9-5 job. Just because I am taking medication doesn’t mean I am 100% every day, all the time. Some days I wake up feeling terrible mentally, and all I want is to do nothing but cry and stay in bed. In my last job (before I quit), I was asked to switch shifts with someone practically every week. This wasn’t always a success since my coworkers maybe had prior commitments or didn’t want to. But financially independent and having a 9-5 in the state where I currently live is a meager minimum wage of $8 an hour and a different long list of financial responsibilities like rent. I had to make sure I worked 35-40hrs every week despite that I would only make enough for rent and nothing else. With only 1-2 days off those days, I just slept too tired to do any inner self-work. I ask the two family members I’ve kept in my life for money here. But feeling guilty since they barely had enough themselves.

I am now in space where the new life I am beginning to create for myself, and my mantra is anything that makes my soul feel miserable, I know it’s not for me. This means families, friends, jobs, just about everything and anything. I am focused on working on my inner childhood traumas and healing. I’ve been in such a fight or flight mode for 21 years, and I want six months to a year where I can dedicate to inner self-work and just finally breathe. Not be too worried about my bills and have it in the back of my mind, not the front. While putting the time and effort to be self-employed, build different streams of income over six months. To start paying for my rent and bills on my own with what I will be saving up by the time 6months-1year arrive.

I am currently in a two-bedroom apartment. I’ve had the worst luck with roommates from 2019-2022. My last roommate was my last straw despite speaking to her and asking her to stop. She was leaving our door unlocked, having guys sleepover every night. One night she had her boyfriend over in her room and another guy on our couch. I was walking out of my room at four am since I am an early bird when I saw his presence on the sofa surprised me. At one point, leaving the door unlocked, she left her boyfriend in our apartment while she went to work.

She finally moved out a month ago (her lease ended), and it’s been so freeing. Even before she moved out, I knew not only did I WANT my own apartment, but It was a NEED. I can’t be locked up in my bedroom again. For 21 years of my life, whatever shared house/apartment I was in, I was always locked up in my room, only coming out to cook for myself. Because of the space, I was living in, the energy was not right, and I felt uneasy. Having my own apartment means a list of fantastic opportunities, one having the option of blasting my music and dancing my anxiety away in my living room. When my new roommate comes, I’ll be restricted again to my bedroom, especially since she’s taking online classes. I know I can’t have another roommate. Not to sound dramatic, but I’ll most likely have a breakdown if I live with someone again. I want my home to be that one place where I feel at ease and my sanctuary while everything in my life may feel crazy, out of order, or overwhelming. I want my home to be that one place that isn’t, and I have complete control of my entire apartment without being worried or anxious about having a roommate who might do something disrespectful in the future. Not knowing who’s sleeping over in my home when going to bed and when I wake up in the morning.

So I decided to look for my own place(the property I live in doesn’t have a one bedroom, things are constantly breaking down, and renting my entire current apartment is way too expensive), and I’ve found it. It’s a one-bedroom, but I make three times the rent since I don’t have the income to show. My original plan was to get help from rental assistance; they help every three months up to 18 months, but unfortunately, I just found out yesterday that they are no longer taking reapplications. I have already applied for my current apartment for three months of rent(may,June, July). So right now, I am 1 month late for rent, and I wouldn’t be able to move into my new place until the end of September. This means I’ll need two months $$ rent to cover my current apartment. I want to put six months' rent down for my new apartment so they can approve me. I also need to pay a reservation fee, etc. I am running on limited time to get this apartment, so my anxiety is getting a bit out of control, but I am trying to remain positive.

I owe a sky-high amount of bills, and at least ten companies are emailing me weekly about paying overdue bills from medical bills, school loans, two credit card loans, and ect. I have $0 in my bank account. $1000 is most likely in my TD bank, but I can’t tell you because I can’t access my account. After all, my phone bill needs to be paid, so I can’t receive sms.

I’ve tried therapy for three + years and never found what I was looking for until about two months ago when I landed on a holistic therapist page, and we video chatted to see if we were the right match. From the first 2 minutes of speaking to one another, I knew she was the person I’d been searching for to help me heal. But unfortunately, I couldn’t afford the many sessions I would need with her because, you guessed it, no money. Honestly, each day that I don’t receive her help, I struggle in some way unconsciously and subconsciously. Because I am more than ready for her help and the many things I need to unpack are boiling over, I can’t shove them down anymore. It’s time I get a professional to help me step into this new life I am creating for myself mentally and emotionally by helping me heal many inner childhood traumas.

From my long list of overdue bills, loans, no car, money for transportation, groceries, and finally having a therapist, I hope it makes sense why I am asking for such a high amount of money for help. Could you please help me fundraise $15,000-$20,000? With my new rent being 1,500 a month. Also, move-in charges: rent, $200 reservation fee, $1000 security deposit, and a bunch of other fees totals up to 3,256.60 for my move-in charges for September. Then wanting to put down six months' rent so I can be approved. Be able to start therapy because as much as I am physically getting what I want and being on an antidepressant, those things are half the work. Still, I am not entirely okay until I get professional help.

I want to put the time and energy into being self-employed. To be able to wake up if I feel like I need to cry all day and stay in my bed under a comforter, I have the option. Right now, I have about two different sources of income, but how can I focus my all and prosper when I am still in fight or flight mode?

Consider your help as an investment in me. I know even though I am a stranger to you, I hope my story shows how resilient and courageous I am. This money is not going to go down the drain. I want a better life for myself but need some help to go full steam ahead. I know I am destined for greatness; I don’t know I can feel it. Being able to get help and reach the best space mentally, emotionally, and physically. So, in return, I can help and teach others how to survive and possibly disconnect from their toxic families and provide them with resources that have helped me. Showing them that it may be hell, but it’s not impossible and that I am living proof of that and giving them the courage to step out and be great. No matter how many times they fall, they must always find a way to get back up. My name is Derby, and that is my story. Are you willing to help me be great so, like a domino effect, I can help many others because you helped me?

Don't mistake my confidence in myself as cockiness; I've just been through a lot and reminding myself that Evey day is one thing that keeps me going.

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