I am often asked about how I got started working from home. And the other question I’m asked on a regular basis is what made me decide to work from home. Working from home is romanticized and, yes, there are some great perks. My story behind building my business is rather unique because there are a lot of factors involved. When I say that a traditional corporate job just isn’t possible, I mean it in a literal way. Working from home is the safest option.
When I first started exploring the concept of becoming a freelance writer, I taught legal courses for paralegals at a local technical college. I also have a victim’s protection order against the ex-husband for domestic violence and stalking. I will not go fully into the story because I have complex PTSD. What I will say is that he was not supposed to know where I moved to and where I worked. Not only did he know where I moved to, but he also found out where I worked and began calling the administration in an attempt to get me fired. And that was scary. He had, about a year previous to that incident, stated that he would find a way to financially destroy me as well as to make sure that I was homeless. And he seemed to be well on his way to trying to do so despite a court order instructing him to leave me alone.
And one thing I’ve learned since 2014 (when I began working for myself full-time), you absolutely cannot fire yourself. There are people who will tell you that working for yourself is risky. It certainly can be. It takes planning. But I cannot fire myself. You cannot fire yourself.
In late 2014, somehow the ex found out one or two clients I had and managed to contact them (weird since one was in London) and they contacted me and asked me about certain things that could have only come from the ex. I sent them PDF copies of the VPO and the divorce decree…as well as other legal motions he tried to file against me that the court threw out. They quickly recognized crazy and understood what I was dealing with as well as accepted why I worked from home: because I cannot fire myself.
But It’s Not Just about Me
When Bull and I decided to get married, I became a bonus mom of a very sweet little boy with autism. If you follow me on any of my social media accounts, you know that I refer to him as BB (Baby Bull). Kind of funny since BB is now my height and outweighs me by 14 pounds. He’s 10 years old as of the date of this post. He’s also non-verbal.
There is absolutely no way I can fathom the thought of sending a non-verbal child to daycare, before school care, or after school care. He has no way of telling us if anything happened or if someone hurt him. There are so many horror stories on the news about special needs children and adults who are mistreated. No. Just…no.
He also has therapy a couple of times each week. He also has school. Pre-COVID, we had soccer and private martial arts lessons. My older children were involved in sports and other activities. It’s time consuming with neurotypical children. And it is equally, if not more so, in a special needs setting. Traditional work just isn’t suitable or compatible for our lifestyle.
CPTSD Isn’t Some Kind of Badge of Honor – It Is Just a Fact of My Life
I have complex PTSD. It isn’t something I wear like a badge of honor, but it also isn’t something that I’m ashamed of or hide. It just is. It’s part of who I am. I survived physical and sexual child abuse. I survived domestic violence and stalking. It’s a lot. I deal with chronic insomnia. I deal with hypervigilence. I am incredibly introverted. I prefer my work and solitude over talking to coworkers. I work fine in a traditional environment if I’m left to my own devices, but after a couple of years or if people get snarky, I’m out. I do not want to deal with it. I’m not there to be friends. I want to do my job. Working from home works much better for me. I can set my own schedule. I can work in the quiet (with the exception of Pandora snoring…my dog snores like an old man during Sunday service). If I can’t sleep at night, I can work. I don’t have to worry about whether or not I can drive in the morning or calling into work. I don’t have to worry about using up sick leave or taking vacation days for sick leave.
Working from home has been my literal safety net since 2014. It’s not been about the money (although that’s been nice because I recognized early on that it’s a business; there is no client fairy). Everything works around my needs as well as the needs of my family.