I am sort of getting tired of answering questions about my employment that I get from haters every day. Here is a statement on the matter from another site a while back.
I live off a trust fund, and I also work as a therapist. I make some money writing and I do a few other things like brokering deals between consultants and clients, things like that. The reason I do not work is due to health. I am not in good enough health to work. Otherwise I have been working or in school my whole life. My last job title was Linguist/Cultural Anthropologist.
I do not use any government programs, so I am mystified at people always saying I am on welfare or collect a government check. I have no idea where they came up with that idea.
Here are my income sources in the last year or so:
Trust fund. Had $700,000 at the start, but now it is a lot less. It is a spendthrift trust, so I am locked out of it. They have always given me right around a poverty level wage only because my grandfather wanted me to survive but he also wanted to force me to work, so he made it small enough so I could survive but would not live comfortably. The idea was to force me to work because he did not want me kicking back my whole life as a trust fund kid. It was made spendthrift because he figured that if I had control over it, I would blow through the thing in a few years as I was a bit of a spendthrift, party boy and playboy as a young man.
Counseling. Peer counselor. I focus mostly on one condition, a DSM anxiety disorder, which, frankly, I am an expert on. I work with clients all over the world, mostly in the US but also in Chile, El Salvador, Canada, Australia, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. I also work with problems in living, deep stuff (exploring your deep self or childhood issues) and growth stuff (learning how to grow to become a better and more functional human being).
People often break down in tears and start crying right in the middle of sessions. Happens all the time. I deal with suicidal people all the time. In fact, I lost one client to suicide already. I have had clients who were attempting suicide while I was working with them. It can be hard to deal with. I have no degrees, credentials or licenses in this field, but in California, you do not need one. Just hang out your shingle and call yourself “Counselor” and say come talk to me about your problems. I do not get a lot of business, but I do get some. Considering that I lack all of the things you usually need to do this work, I am amazed that I get any work at all.
I read a lot of books on this subject and I have been studying psychology for 40 years. I had decades of therapy. I read up on counseling psychology and mental illness all the time so I am pretty much self-taught. You would be amazed how many jobs you can do simply by teaching yourself how to do them. It’s a myth that you need degrees, credentials,. etc. to do this or that job. Just teach yourself.
The longer I do this, the better I get at it. It is a stressful job though. I do one 1 hour session and I feel like I just ran a mile. I sometimes have to go lie down. The clients are in so much psychic pain that it seems to leak out of them and into my body. If you are empathetic at all this is going to happen.
Brokering deals between graphic artists and clients. I put the clients and artists together, negotiate prices, etc. and then take a cut for myself.
Conflict resolution/arbitration. In cases of graphic artists and clients where they have come to a standstill and nothing is getting done. An example: client has spent $~1,000 and is not satisfied with the product. Artist has stopped speaking to the client or returning his phone calls or emails. Client sent work back for endless revisions, and eventually the artist just had it. I wade in there, talk to both sides, figure out the nature of the dispute and try to settle the matter so that everyone is happy. I am actually quite good at this.
Webpage design/graphics. Mostly graphics. Working with graphics for people who need websites done. Work with graphic artists.
Graphics editor for books. I was recently a graphics editor for a book. I was in charge of maps. I worked with a graphic artist and told him what to label the areas and where to shade in the areas we needed to shade in. We used a lot of sources, all of which were wrong. It was a great big mess, but it was fun to put together the jigsaw puzzle.
Webpage design consulting. Consult with webpage designers who are having problems with their pages to fix their issues.
Selling information. As crazy as it sounds, I have actually made money doing that. I have some pretty much secret information about a few things that a lot of people want but few people have access to. An example would be a geographical location of an unusual place that a lot of people want to get to, but the location is a closely guarded secret. So I ell directions to this location and then work with them afterwards to help them reach the site, etc. Yes, you can actually sell information! Isn’t that crazy?
Medical counseling. Work with heterosexual men who are worried that they have contracted HIV from sexual contact with women. I am an expert on this type of transmission and have been studying it for over 30 years now. I know more about it than most physicians.
They tell me the situation, and I lay out the odds that they may have contracted the disease based on their situation. I also tell them how HIV is acquired from women and tell them about the various surveys that have been done. I also have a lot of percentages, facts and figures about this type of transmission, like say 1% chance after 40 encounters. I tell them about all the different types of testing, the accuracy, etc. Then I follow them through any tests that they need to take in the next few months. And if they have anxiety or obsessive issues about possibly contracting this illness, I work with them on that, as I am very good at calming down or talking down people who are in the midst of anxiety episodes. I do it all the time.
Author. Just published my first book, or chapter in a book I should say. It is an 80 page chapter. I am supposed to be paid for this at some point. Book was published in Turkey in a university press. Took me 500 hours or three months work at part time. I worked with professors from all over the world on this project. I also had to go through two rather brutal peer reviews. I also came up with the name for this book series, but I was not paid for that.
Sell advertisements. I have made a bit of money selling ads on this site, but honestly it has been very little.
That’s it. I am always looking for new ways to get money though. I wake up every morning and think, “How am I going to get some money today?”
I became ill 21 years ago and have not worked at a regular job since. If I did not have the trust, I would try for Disability. Before I got ill, I was always either working or in college or both. There was never a time when I was doing neither.
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51 thoughts on “About My Employment Status”
If you’re comfortable sharing, what is your illness? Also, what other secret information do you have?
It sounds really stupid, but it is some sort of chronic fatigue thing. It’s not CFS. It got labeled Idiopathic Chronic Fatigue. I am out of breath a good part of the time and I am falling alseep, nodding off, most of the time. If I exercise even a bit, I pant like a dog and sweat like a pig. I literally cannot stay awake. The best we could come up with is Chronic Sinusitis and allergies. I know that’s nuts. But there are people with allergies so bad they cannot work. They can barely get out of bed. I had two sinus operations and got a lot better, but it did not last. Allergy shots helped. At times, antibiotics have helped a lot.
A drug called Provigil has really helped me. It’s the only thing that keeps me awake. I commonly sleep 12-18 hours a day with no problems whatsoever. I’m out like a rock most of the time.
When it first hit, I was so fatigued and sleepy that I was taking caffeine pills and caffeine drinks and ephedrine to stay awake so I could keep working. My blood pressure was through the roof and it was getting very dangerous. So I was killing myself to keep working. I finally decided to quit work and live versus keep working and die.
I could work for a friend or relative at a very adjustable sort of casual job with super flexible hours where I could come in when I wanted, work as long as I could and leave when I wanted, or not come in at all some days. But I can’t work at a regular schedule for a stranger, certainly not full-time. It’s not going to work. Since I can’t work full-time, I am always trying to scam up all these weird little side jobs like you see above.
I know it sounds nuts, but my physicians told me I would definitely qualify for Disability if I applied. But I have the trust, so I do not really need to do that.
It doesn’t sound crazy, but unfortunate and interesting. A passion of mine is the human nervous system. Frustratingly we just don’t know enough about it. Could be the vagal system, mitochondrial dysfunction, cells stuck in a danger response, baroreceptor problem, heart, adrenal dysfunction, cingulate cortex related. What a mess. Did testing tell you anything?
Testing never told us a damn thing. I am a lot better though. It used to be I would drive to Fresno and back (90 miles round trip) and I would be wiped out for a month. LITERALLY. It was that nuts.
I also have asthma. The only stuff that ever helped was stuff that dealt with the allergies like cleaning out a lot of black mold in my basement, getting rid of my pillows filled with dust mites, etc.
I have recurrent chronic sinusitis. But even when I do not have it, my sinuses are very badly swollen. Apparently that’s the source of all the fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness right there. It’s like my face is being physically pulled down like someone stuck weights in my cheeks.
PaulC, you do know many of the items you mentioned (mitochondria, heart, baroreceptor) are not part of CNS, some others tangential. Without reading every post here, assuming Rob has been worked up via blood work etc. I would assume he has a form of chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s very real physiologically but heavily influenced by mind/body interplay. We have a saying in biochemistry, ‘form follows function’ and the sedentary random blog hours and perhaps overexposure to human emotion likely isn’t helping him.
If Robert had enough $$ for a good personal physician who could make some simple prescriptions and also lifestyle/life coach (primarily some form of outdoors exertion) adjustments and work with him as a coach for 1-2 weeks, they could probably get him into a great sleep-wake cycle and feeling much better. Robert could then take it from there as he would know what to do that makes him feel better. That is assuming all major health (via endocrine, blood work-up etc.) issues had been ruled out. It does require finding a great personal physician, which is almost impossible. If he finds one that’s a she, I suggest he marries her 🙂
Exertion and exercise makes me WORSE. It has done so since the very start of this thing. Sleep-wake cycle won’t do anything. I tried all of that. It might be nice to get a physician to work with me though. The ones I have now act like they are not interested.
I had one physician who gave me Dexedrine and later Provigil. The Provigil at least keeps me awake. Actually that drug helps me more than anything. He also had me on an antifungal for 10 days out of every month. Those 10 days, I got dramatically better. I did two Candida treatments with Candex which not only kills the Candida but also gets rid of the dead Candida. Apparently some fungal infection along with Candida infection seems to be part of the problem.
He also had me on B-12 shots. They worked very well for ~1.5 years and then they stopped working. I would like to go back to shooting B-12 again. That was fun.
He was pretty much, “Let’s try everything and see what works,” or throw it up against the wall and see what sticks type of guy. Experimental but rational. I liked him a lot.
Kim, (not sure why I can’t reply to your post)
I said my interest is the nervous system, but all of the things I mentioned are involved in the nervous system. Mitochondria are in the cells of the nervous system and provide energy. The nervous system controls the heart and same with Baroreceptors. We have different systems, but they work in tandem.
It’s not narcolepsy. I just went to a sleep doctor. He diagnosed me to Sleep Terrors and Hypnogogic Hallucinations. Any idea of what those are?
Interesting your doctor put you on a Candida medicine. Maybe you can ask that doctor to prescribe a bottle of liquid nystatin for you to take orally for a week or so? If it makes you feel better or more alert, you know it worked.
This might be the reason hot peppers make you feel good. Those contain Capsaicin and that kills fungus.
Also interesting you say you don’t have narcolepsy because that is what provigil is usually prescribed for.
Yes I was taking Nystatin 10 days a month and it helped so much. I think after 2-3 years though it stopped working.
Provigil will keep you awake if you are falling asleep all the time for any reason.
I think you might have this, which is why Nystatin would work.
So the fatigue is from the oxygen that can’t physically enter through the nasal airways? The reason for the physical closure is the constant swelling of the sinuses. Then the question is why are the cells of sinuses constantly in a defensive state.
This is exactly correct. This is exactly what is going on with me. All they can tell me is allergies. You know sometimes, I will eat a lot of red hot chilies and then it is like I took a shot of speed. I eat that at 2 AM and I cannot go to sleep until 10 AM. A heavy dose of chilies makes me a lot better and really reduces the fatigue. It makes me almost normal.
Have you looked into sinus chemical cautery?
I have found it helpful. In my case, it specifically helped eliminate sinus pressure I would sometimes get every day for long stretches at a time. I’ve been using sudafed about two days a month this year, compared to previous years when I sometimes used it as much as twenty times a month, but definitely a lot more than twice a month.
I have somewhat similar issues to the one’s you describe, maybe less severe, for almost fifteen years. I can make it through an eight hour work day but there is almost nothing left at the end of the day. Days off are dedicated to trying to get the most important chores done before I crash.
I have posted before and I haven’t donated, and don’t plan to (so I am probably not supposed to post anything), but I thought it was worth posting again to mention chemical cautery, in case you aren’t familiar with it.
This reminds me that there is another procedure where they can put tiny tubes in the sinus area to allow for consistent and reliable drainage. At least they were doing that about 10 years ago…not sure about now…
How well do you know web design? Are you a developer that does CSS or PHP or Ruby?
Just HTML. And I have fallen behind a lot. I cannot program at all, not even PHP. Never even tried. I can’t program. I tried. I read 600 page books on Java, etc. and I couldn’t get anywhere. That stuff just makes no sense to me, and I suck at math anyway.
A blog about HTML from you might have more credibility since you have actual experience and college degrees.
You could try doing some courses online to level up those skills, it’s really not that hard. I have an IQ of no more than 115 and I can do thing that are related to front-end and back-end technology. I have tried C, C++ but I have a hard time understanding those languages. Also, I have noticed that a lot depends on personality type. For example, my friend is an INTP according to the MBTI and he is great at programing though his IQ is no bigger than 120.
You could write a blog about a different subject, maybe HTML design put it on a different server, and then make money from the blog. Maybe use a fake name as you don’t want to be too associated with controversial politics.
Use Facebook to drive traffic to it initially and later move on other ways. Also, selling hosting is a saturated market but it’s possible. Get a reseller account and start out with traffic from Facebook. You won’t get rich but I know people who have scored a decent amount of clients.
One place at least where you can get free ads (and there is a lot of traffic there too) (for the hosting thing)
Oh, by the way, as far as the HTML or programming blog idea is concerned, you don’t HAVE to know everything about it, as you said you have forgotten much. The audience doesn’t need to know that. You can just fake it with articles and perhaps over time your knowledge might even come back.
Your a therapist omg you are a con man that lives in a fuck up state of mind. I hope you have stroke soon and loose all functions so you cant pollute any more ppls minds with your sick fantasies. Karma is getting ready to come your way Robert Lindsay. Its for trying to profite off the families suffering and pain they are going through. You know you deserve and fear it too!!!!!!!!
Please don’t block him Robert!!
I think you should kindly invite him over to the protected thread. I think he would love it!
Now you see what I deal with every day. Guys like him come here just about every day saying the exact same stuff. The come in the door with both fists swinging. Usually I ban them before they can post one time, but somehow he sneaked on.
I deal with idiots like him every single day. It’s really starting to get to me, man. I am starting to hate that whole town too. 🙁
I totally understand where your coming from. With that name he may not even live in that town anymore. He may have moved to MI. or who knows where.
You will get that when your good at what you do.
You are’nt even good at what you do J……Look at the situation you’re in!!! LOL
And by the way great work on the case Barbarino.
I apologize, J…I thought you were someone else! Ty..
No problem Barb, I know your character and figured that might be the case.
Once again, outstanding work!!
It appears as if you may be onto some very useful info yourself…Ty and great job!
Just curious….what kind of work are the two of you congratulating each other?
you’re coming from.
What are you talking about Barb? I was referring to Robert catching heat because that’s what happens when you’re good at what you do. And I referenced the typo you’re below.
So what situation am I in?
A game of chess, Jake…Why?
It read more like cat and mouse….
Ok Jake, what if it was?
What are you talking about? Was what? I just asked about work…
A reply to this comment has been deleted.
First of all, Jake…It was an A and B conversation, C your way out of it…. bc we were’nt even talking to you.
Secondly, it’s none of your business what our occupations are…Just saying
Don’t give a shit about your occupation. Inquired about “work on the case” as you said. Moving on….
Intelligence does’nt seem to be your strongest suit, NOBODY said anything about ” work on the case”
Sorry Barb, I think I might have this morning but it posted weird and away from my other post for some reason and it was a double comment so you didn’t see it. I should have said that somewhere else sorry.
Well see how you are! I was just going to tell him about work on the case [briefcase] and the hours spent shopping for it…Is’nt that what he wanted to know??
Well of course you and I know it’s a briefcase and this is why I apologize. I should have said that comment elsewhere to save you all the questions.
Ty, J. You can deal with the ??’s