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Friday, June 12, 2009 21:48 | Norma Pearson
I'm like many others here, who are members of the SVBRC. I'm also 30% disabled, & am doing my best to work around my disabilities. I'm a single parent of an 18 yr old daughter, struggling to make ends meet in a failing economy.

I feel a little relieved now since all of the struggles I had to endure for 3 months before finally getting things in motion. It was extremely stressful & I was beginning to think that all of my efforts were in vain. I thought all the times I prayed for a miracle was falling on deaf ears. I spent so many days & nights, stressing out & crying myself to sleep. I knew that the next day was a new day & that maybe there was still a chance God would answer my prayers, or that something might happen to change my circumstances.

My biggest fear was having my daughter think I was a failure as a parent, that I failed her too & I didn't want her to think that. Now, I'm so relieved that things fell into place. It felt like it took forever & I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's still not in reach yet, but, I can see it now. I finally got my first EDD benefit check & the whole overpayment mess is finally behind me.

I'm still pinching my pennies & trying to save money by not going anywhere if I don't have to in order to save the money I would've spent on gas & save my time as well. I'm now working on going back to school under the Vocational Rehab program through the VA & that's taken up most of my time. I'm trying to get into the Summer Session so I can get started on getting my BA. I still have some stress, but, most of that is due to some health problems, but, they are being checked out. I was also able to get the appointment I needed for a 2nd opinion on my wrist at the West LA location at the VA. The VA Medical Center I'm assigned to, the Ortho Dr there only wants to fuse my bones & not address the cause of my disability. That's not an option for me & I fought to get the appointment for a 2nd opinion & I finally got it!

I'm a fighter, I question authority & I stand up for what I believe in. I guess that being in the Military & now a Veteran helped mold me into the person I am today. I try my best to not let anything slow me down, even with my disabilities. I know what my limitations are, but, I never give up & I refuse to give in.

I'm proud of my daughter because she finished her first year of college & in the Fall is going to be a Sophomore. It's funny because I was telling her that she & I are both going to be in college now! I've been passed over so many times for great jobs, even though I've got 8 years of experience, & the person that was selected was someone with a degree that's right out of college with no experience. So, when I found out that I was able to go to college under the Vocational Rehab program through the VA, I jumped at the chance & am getting the ball rolling now. Once I get my degree, I'll have everything I need in order to get a good job with the experience I already have, or will be able to start my own business with the help of the VA.

It's been a long, rocky struggle getting to where I am right now, but, things are finally starting to fall into place! :-)


  • Friday, June 12, 2009 06:19 | Daniel Boothe
    Norma, all I can say is wow. I have had hard times in my life, but your perservance is more than admirable. I can yet to relate to being a parent, but my son will be born next month. I can't imagine what you went through. I am so happy to hear you want to start your own business as do I. I really feel the more we share our experiences the more successful we will be. What are you doing int erms of starting a business?
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    • Saturday, July 04, 2009 17:16 | Norma Pearson
      Right now, because I'm not working, even though I finally started getting uneploymemt benefits, I'm still struggling to make ends meet. I just got the notice for the registration for my truck, & I thought I was going to faint! I know the State of CA is broke, but, at this point, I have no idea how I'm going to come up with $500 for my registration, let alone how I'm going to start a business! Every day is a struggle & I'm fighting to get through it. Right now starting a business is a dream & I'm trying to find every way I can to make it a reality. Then I'd never have to worry about getting laid off again! For now, I'm just praying every day & night to get through this & get out of this mess once & for all, but, I'm not giving up & I'm not giving in. You do what you have to in order to survive & keep a roof over your child's head. It's amazing what lengths a parent will go through for their kids. Somehow, you find the strength & the will to go on, for their sakes. Even when you feel the world coming down around you. Hope your Independence Day was a good one. Take care & God Bless,

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  • Friday, June 12, 2009 17:19 | Deleted user
    It's great to read your story. You're proud of your daughter and I think that's wonderful, and I'd like to challenge you also to be "proud of yourself". I admire your stability and your stamina. I also love that you stand up for yourself in what you believe. You're so lucky to have such a wonderful, loving daughter (I read her post). Listen, if there's anything you need, will you please let me know? I live here in Fallbrook. I'm hoping and praying the economy does see a shift soon, but I know it's going to take some time. We veterans all need to keep in touch, share stories, and help where we can. God Bless you!
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    • Monday, June 15, 2009 09:33 | Eleanor Tobias
      You are definitely a TROOPER, Norma! The stamina you have shown and dedication to the task at hand is admirable. It also shows me that whatever you undertake, you will prevail! I will be anxious to read more as you progress.
      Blessings to you and your daughter, Fran
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      • Saturday, July 04, 2009 17:37 | Norma Pearson
        Thank you so much for your comments. I guess I never really realized I had any stamina. Maybe that's why I'm exhausted at the end of the day each day! I hope you're right, that I'm able to prevail. It's not been easy, but, I'm trying to do the best I can. Have a wonderful evening & a Happy 4th - or what's left of it. Take care & God Bless,

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    • Saturday, July 04, 2009 17:33 | Norma Pearson
      Thank you so much for your kindness & I will indeed let you know. Right now, I'm just trying to keep us afloat one way or another. I don't know if I could be proud of myself, I'm my own worst critic. I'm just doing what I can to get out of this as soon as I can. With the current economy, it doesn't appear like it's going to recover any time soon. They say that employment is the last to recover in any recession & unemployment keeps going up every month. It hasn't been easy, but, I'm trying to do my best. That's all I can do for now & hope that the economy gets better sooner rather than later, not just for me, but, for everyone else who's lost their jobs too. Have a great evening & I hope you had a safe & Happy 4th of July. Take care & God Bless,

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  • Saturday, June 20, 2009 08:52 | Jeffrey Backus
    Ms Pearson, I too admire your perseverance, stay on track to get that degree, as I found that many Company's that are hiring today will overlook those without one!!!
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    • Saturday, July 04, 2009 17:47 | Norma Pearson
      Yes, I know all too well how true that is, as I've been passed over by so many companies who are simply looking for someone who's fresh out of college with a degree & zero experience. They think they'll save money if they hire someone who's just graduated & they can pay them below market value. I have 10 yrs of experience & I know what I'm worth, even without a degree. Yet, it's my years of experience that are invaluable to companies who don't care about their employees & only care about getting rich themselves. Greed does that to people who don't care about hiring quality employees with years of hands on experience. They are the ones I hope will get theirs one day soon, just because they're greedy. Especially today, now, in this economy, that shows no recovery anytime soon. Perhaps if they suffered the way that the rest of us who have lost our jobs & are struggling to keep our families afloat, will they then understand & want someone to show compassion to them, when they should've done just that in the first place. Have a great evening & I hope your holiday was a good one. Take care & God Bless,

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  • Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:05 | Laurel Ho
    Norma, I am so glad you are here. You are an inspiration. You are the one they are talking about in that poster in the center. You just kept fighting and look what you have accomplished. Congratulations on your Daughter completing her first year of College, that also is a tribute to you. Thank you so much for your service and I hope I can meet you some day and shake your hand. Fight on! Laurel
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    • Saturday, July 04, 2009 17:59 | Norma Pearson
      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I didn't realize I was being talked about! Is that why my ears were burning? :-)

      I guess you could say fighting for what I believe in was ingrained in me even when I was a teenager myself. I was rebellious then & I like to say that even today, I question authority & want to know "why" something happened & won't give up until I get my answer. I fight for what I believe in & what is right, & some people may think I'm rude or disrespectful, but, I was always taught that respect was earned, not given. That is what I taught my daughter too & I'm so thankful that she turned out to be a great kid. It IS true what they say - Military kids turn out to be great kids, because they are taught discipline at a very early age. I guess that discipline is why she made it through her 1st year of college & got A's in her classes. I can only hope I do as well as she did, as I too am back in college again to get my degree, thru Voc Rehab. I actually fought for that too, to get it going down to the last minute - the very day I started my classes! That's a whole other story though & it's getting late & I'm getting tired too. Have a wonderful evening & I hope your 4th was safe & great! Take care & God Bless!

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  • Wednesday, June 24, 2009 16:04 | Frances Lowe
    Norma, It is great reading what you have to say. I can certainly understand how things can seem to get "out of control" in our lives but you have done wonderfully. congratulations on making the right choices in your life. I know you will get that degree and continue to improve in all areas of your life. Make every day the best it can be.
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    • Saturday, July 04, 2009 18:04 | Norma Pearson
      Thank you for your comments. Things being "out of control" is an understatement! I'm trying to do the best that I can & am hoping to get out of this mess sooner rather than later! I'm finally working on getting my degree, & going to school now, is a lot different than it was before! Hopefully I'll get through it quickly with good grades like my daughter's grades! Have a wonderful evening & I hope your holiday was a good one! Take care & God Bless,

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  • Sunday, August 02, 2009 20:49 | Liz Turner
    I am so happy to hear things are working out well! I am looking forward to reading the next chapter. What are you taking in school? Tell us about the adventure.
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  • Sunday, January 17, 2010 11:42 | Jami Price
    You have been through so much, keep your spirit healthy and do things to relax. It is amazing what stress will do to you and can set you back on your progress! I have learned this the hard way and definately will not let it happen again!
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