Here goes nothing.

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    Hi West Seattle neighbors.

    I’m Desiree. I’ve lived in West Seattle three and a half years now and love it.

    Unfortunately, I’ve met some difficult life challenges lately. These challenges have created a passion in me to speak up for people who may be experiencing the same thing.

    Please know my story deals with mental health. I don’t feel mental health is an open or accepted subject in our society. I hope to change that. But if it’s something that makes you uncomfortable, or that you don’t feel ready to support, I would ask you to think before considering reading.

    If you’re ready to support the need for education around this subject in our society, this story may resonate with you in a huge way.

    While I have created a GoFundMe for my current situation, what’s more important to me than finances is being heard so that others can be heard as well.

    I’m reaching out and being brave, even though I am unaware of any negative repracussions I may be subjecting myself to. But I’m ready. More people need to speak up and ask for help. I hope to be a leader in that fight.

    Thanks for reading.

    Desiree 💛



    Hi (fill in first name) –

    Welcome to the (fill in blank) neighborhood. I’ll definitely be sending my credit card information and a blank check to you. Right after I have helped out a deposed prince in Nigeria.



    Sigh. Sorry to see the hostile response. I should have jumped in sooner to note that Desiree is not a spammer – she contacted us directly and after reading her I recommended the forum as a better venue than the news section, where we generally don’t run crowdfunding requests unless they are linked to a news story (fire, other disaster, etc.). If you don’t want to respond kindly, please don’t bother responding at all. Too much meanness in the world already. – TR



    i don’t know how anyone can read her go fund me page and come up with that response…
    this notion that we all have the same opportunities is a fantasy that is literally killing



    Dear Desiree, thank you for your brave soul, and putting your heart out here on line.

    Forest, whoever you are, you are not welcome here. Not in my world. Why in the world would you feel the urge to even respond like you did? How mean can a person possibly be? Shame on you, Mister!

    WSB, thank you for pointing out this mean comment and not deleting it.



    Go ahead and donate your money and goodwill where you want. Beyond its naming of West Seattle as a whole, with not a detail to suggest a resident’s knowledge of the area in general or its at least five sub-neighborhoods, I choose to not trust the posted story and its request for money to finance a noble but essentially vague cause. I would note the story and request come from someone who has never before posted on the WSB forum.

    Yes, I am a terrible and heartless person. So be it. I am also the nephew of an elderly West Seattle native who has paid a good amount of money to sketchy charities that know exactly what to say when cold-calling local residents and inviting them to fund a good and purportedly local cause. Bah, humbug says I.




    Forest,not everyone in the world is out to scam you, for god’s sake. It and this community was extremely helpful to me both through Go Fun Me, and a huge fundraiser locally when I was diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease, and through a transplant. And I can never, ever thank them enough. Here’s some advice…if you don’t want to give anything, then don’t…but keep your rude and cruel opinions to yourself. Until you can walk in Desiree’s shoes, just shut it and walk away. What you posted is ridiculous and not needed. I realize there are negative people, un-empathetic people in this community, and most would just ignore the OP. So, why don’t you, too. Damn ! :(

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  JanS.


    Desiree, I know how hard it is to swallow your pride and ask for help. It is not easy, for damned sure. I hope that all turns out well for you, and please ignore the jerks that pop up to make you look like a bad guy. Hugs !



    Jan –

    I recall when WSB ran the story about your specific health emergency (a transfusion or transplant in a life-threatening situation). I admired you for having shown the courage and trust in your neighborhood to go public with your full name and your need for help. All the same, you had already established yourself (and continue to establish yourself) as an intelligent and effective voice in the community via your frequent comments and forum postings. I’m sorry if you feel that my comments about scammers were aimed at you or your situation or anyone (most especially West Seattle Blog) who helped you when you were in need.



    While some of us may disagree with Forest, there is no need to “yell” at him (or her). There’s nothing wrong with being skeptical sometimes. And, like Forest, I think JanS is awesome – a real asset to the blog.
    As for Desiree, whether or not you believe her long, long post on GoFundMe, I hope she takes some comfort in knowing that mental illness is really starting to get destigmatized. People are realizing how awful it is, as well as how common it is. It’s important to continue to raise awareness – even Kate Middleton is involved in this effort!
    I am not going to judge people who choose or don’t choose to donate to Desiree. That’s their decision, even if it isn’t mine.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Jeannie.


    I’m bipolar. I’m medicated (after I turned 40…long story and I won’t detail it here). I was hospitalized for 6 months as a teenager, was forcibly medicated and sexually assaulted in the hospital by one of the doctors. I’ve lived a high risk lifestyle pretty much my entire life, edgy rock climbing, WW boating and sea kayaking out on the coast and Cape Flattery, reckless play on motorcycles, surfing the storm surge and inside the seawall break off of Constellation Park on the S. side of Alki Point, among other things. This doesn’t exclude other common effects such as not sleeping, racing confused thoughts, poor financial decisions, etc, etc, etc. All that said, I am bipolar, not because of things that happened to me, nothing did as a child until I was hospitalized.

    I returned to meds at around 41 because, as you get older, the manic phases of bipolar disorder become less frequent and manic, not that manic phases are super awesome) and the depressive phases become longer and more pronounced…and it was also starting to concern my wife and family.

    So, I guess where I’m going with this is that I understand the pain and suffering that go along with this particular illness. Alas, I also struggle with the concept of GoFundMe. This is the fall out of our lack of a proper healthcare system, that only the well off get care and the rest of us get to twist. Also, unless you’re willing to pay out of pocket for a psychiatrist, it’s shockingly difficult to get proper mental healthcare even as an adult. Charity is not a means of a healthcare system. As a rule, I don’t participate in this mode of fundraising but I’m willing to consider it in this case. I guess my question is why have you not availed yourself to some of the public systems out there? They do exist and if you aren’t able to work are you on SSDI?

    I guess that I struggle with sympathy because I had no one helping me. I had to make a job work. Had to. I had to struggle through it. I freely acknowledge that this is cynical, even cold. These systems didn’t exist 20-25 years ago, you had to just come up with a way to wire yourself up nice and tight for the day until your could come apart later.

    No, I don’t think that because I did it the hard way that everyone should have to. I do feel that I’m more resilient for it, but it was hard and painful.

    As I said above, I’ll consider a donation.

    By the way, how old are you?


    Michael Waldo

    I have a friend who is Bipolar with schizoid tendencies. She has been hospitalized 20 times in the past 30 years. She gets SSI, food stamps, and lives in a very nice one bedroom apartment in public housing. She uses her medicaid to see a therapist and a psychiatrist free once a month at a community clinic. She only pays $10 a month for her therapy drugs. All here in Seattle. There really is no need to beg. There are resources out there.



    Mark47…my daughter was recently, at age 36, diagnosed with Bi-polar 2. She is on meds, and seeing a doc periodically. You have been through a lot…it’s not easy being a survivor. And you have come out on this end a stronger person. Desiree has 3 years here, and is still learning, I’m sure what is out there. I have read her GoFundMe page, and come away from it believing she’s legit. Sometimes we just need that extra help. If I was going to give her advice, i would point here in the direction of a Social Worker who could help her through the “system”. She just may not have knowledge about what may be out there to help. The “system” can be pretty daunting at times, time consuming, and not at all easily helpful in getting you through the steps. I still fight with them at times. This is aimed at Michael Waldo, too. Maybe, Michael, you can pick your friend’s brain for direction/suggestions, and pass them on, or have her come here and pass them on.

    Forest…thanks for that. The struggle continues, at times :) Don’t be too harsh on the OP…she’s new here, and is sincere, IMO. I truly believe she is a bit overwhelmed, and may not know how to play the “system”. And believe me, it’s a game that can throw up obstacles in your way at times. Not for anyone to tread lightly.



    Jeannie…thank you…now I’m blushing :)



    Mark47n…I get the cynicism…especially after the vote today that will decimate healthcare in this country for both young and old. Those people…McCain, Collins, Flake, etc., etc., despite their story and lambasting of our current regime, still vote party lines. As someone I know said…They are not our friends, and don’t ever believe their lip service :(



    In spite of the overwhelming evidence on our streets there is this pervasive notion that a safety net actually exists and that if a person just tried they too could be in housing.. have SSI or SSD income and proper medical care.

    I so wish it was true…but the truth is that i know lots of people for whom this is a vicious lie.. people with housing vouchers who still can’t find housing and lose their vouchers.. people who are on a waiting list for housing.. one step from being evicted from apartments they can’ afford.. given the choice of housing or medication.. no money for both… and who literally can’t get medical care until they have a life threatening trip to the emergency room that results in long term care.

    No.. Americans shouldn’t be getting healthcare through go fund me sites. They shouldn’t have to beg for the money to get from where they are to where they can get help. but they do.

    There are so many people in need.. so many stories.. that we each have to decide whether we can help the person/story that just popped up in front of us… and it’s not an easy decision…

    but.. turning our backs and focusing on what should be done won’t help anyone.

    should there be a litmus test for who we help in this community and how long we continue to help them? Is there some point where they have had “enough” help and if so what happens to them when we decide that their asking is making us uncomfortable?

    these are not easy questions to answer. I struggle with them nearly every day.

    And every day i am thankful not to have to be on the asking end of this equation.



    I guess my point, Jan, is that, while this is difficult, there are resources available. The catch is that you have to seek them out, they won’t come looking for you.

    JoB, The question of whether or not one seeks assistance is a relevant question, as is where that help should come from. There are resources but you have to find them. Alas, it can take resources to find the resources to find the resources to find the resources…….

    I am not a person who is given to sympathy let alone empathy. I’ve never been terribly empathetic. I don’t however, believe that no one else should have help because I didn’t. I did, if you didn’t read carefully. Well, I sort of had help. I also shunned help from others out of paranoia and pure stubbornness.

    When you get that help it can be hard to reconcile. You’ve been a hot wet mess your whole life and then, when the medications kicks in, you feel…different. It’s terrifying. You don’t feel like you. You don’t know who you are and it starts to feel like you are being controlled by others and it just snowballs from there.

    Did I mention paranoia yet?

    Desiree, I hope you get the help you need AND the help you want.



    Mark47n — The part about the results of getting help being scary had never occurred to me, but it makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing your insights.




    yes.. you often need resources to find the resources that are out there…
    unfortunately those resources are too often lacking by the time people realize they want help..
    all the more reason to do everything we can to connect people with their own personal support systems.. where they have someone with the resources help them through the process



    This is an invaluable thread of comments. Speaking for myself, as someone who still thinks the opening of this thread is a 95% form letter aimed at raising quick money instead of mental health awareness, I want to thank everyone here for sharing their personal stories and experiences with health issues. Sadly, I also want to note that whoever posted the opening story of this thread appears to have already skipped the neighborhood without (thus far) bothering to acknowledge or thank any of her fellow West Seattle residents for their encouraging words about her it-isn’t-about-the-money awareness crusade.



    Forest. i am not challenging you.. just asking.
    how do you know she has skipped the neighborhood ..
    or that she hasn’t thanked anyone for their encouraging words?



    I received a thank-you from her.



    JoB –

    Good question. I wrote in my post that it “appears” she skipped the neighborhood. At the time of that writing, no one had reported hearing from her in the 3 days since the original post. At the time of this writing, no one except me has posted a thank you on this thread.

    For what it’s worth, I feel badly if I jumped to an unfair conclusion about the 3-day (and counting) public silence. Perhaps it isn’t equal to skipping the neighborhood.



    Forest, I know you mean well, but she is under no obligation to publicly come here a prostrate herself with abounding thanks, so to satisfy you, me, or anyone else. Did you go to her GoFundMe page? Obviously, she has friends offering words of encouragement….and helping her. And a picture. If she was going to just scam everyone, why would she do that? And she didn’t exactly get a warm welcome here, now did she, some people doubting her and saying it/she sounded like scamming. It’s hard enough to eat your pride and ask for help(yes, it’s damned difficult), but perhaps she does her thanks in private. I know I did…a lot. And I still do. I have had invaluable help and encouragement from people in this community. I’m fiercely independent a good bit of the time, but , wow, along with the help that was kindly given, I’ve made great friendships. And I thank them personally, not here. Be kind :)

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  JanS.
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