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“Katie’s” Story – Member since January 2017 

How has your life changed since attending Peoples Oakland in terms of…

I came to Peoples Oakland after being released from the long term care unit. Before Peoples Oakland I was in and out of the hospital so frequently I spent more time in than out.

I have only had one hospitalization in the past two years and it was for less than 24 hours. This is the longest I have been out of the hospital since I was 9 years old.

Perception of Self
I really had very little confidence in myself. I did not see myself as worthy of being alive, worthy enough to be here.

Now my biggest saying to myself is “you are enough.” I am valuable enough to this world to be a part of it. If I wasn’t, God wouldn’t have put me here.

Perception of Others
I saw most people as potentially harmful to me because of my PTSD. I always thought people would hurt me or steal from me or say things that were hurtful. I had trouble understanding what people meant by things and I would blow things out of proportion.

Now I can see that sometimes people are not trying to harm me, in fact generally most people are good. Now before reacting I dive further into understanding what other people are saying.

Social Life
I had a hard time keeping friends.  The friends I had were overwhelmed by the frequency with which I would go into the hospital. I pushed people away because I was afraid to get hurt.

Now I have friends that genuinely care about me and I have worked a lot on not pushing people away. I have more confidence to approach new people and get to know them.

Coping Skills
I use to emotionally react to a lot of things. I essentially had tantrums- I would freak out, cry, sometimes throw things, and break things. I rarely utilized my capacity for logical thinking.

Now I ask for other people’s opinions in order to help think things through logically. Essentially my brakes work in my brain now, meaning I can stop myself and think about things before I react to them.

I was barely able to hold a job and when I did I lost them due to hospitalizations, or an employee would be saying things to me and I’d over react and just walk out.

Now I work almost full time as an environmental service associate at a local hospital. I am hoping to work full-time shortly and be entirely off SSI.

Additional Comments
I think one of the biggest things Peoples Oakland did was offer me support that wasn’t being offered in other areas of my life. They believed in me, that I had the capability to stay out of the hospital, the capability to work. They supported me while I figured these things out for myself. I have an amount of support that I never had before Peoples Oakland existed.