Well, do you have a Atheist/Humanist or Ethical Society in your area? Or maybe a Unitarian Universalist church in your area? (UU's are mostly humanists)
I would go to these organizations and tell then that you want to work and contribute to society. I think they could help you out.
Hi - I am Neil's daughter (above). We are in Leeds, England - so not close enough to offer intimidate physical help. I'm on holiday here seeing my dad, and will be returning to Australia in a few weeks.
I also know a couple of people who have bi polar - it's a tricky situation that you are in. How old are you? I think going through a time of grief would be especially difficult when also dealing with people who aren't in their right mind in more ways than one.
Understanding determinism, we are all on paths that are fully caused from one moment to the next, but due to the complexity none of us can know where we will end up. It's surprising to me that someone like you has ended up in the situation you are in, but I'm sure that it was totally logical series of events. We can all get suggestions and aim to give guidance or support, but where you go next will be determined by many factors - including your preferred direction.
I know what you mean about asking for help and charities being mainly Christian. I think it is challenging dealing with people who are determined to be deluded and believe in what amount to fairy stories.
You may be suffering from depression yourself - due to finding yourself in such hopeless circumstances - the grief of loosing your mum, and then finding yourself needing to take support from people who barely seem to be able to look after themselves - by the sounds of it.
Influence is a huge factor in mental health, self esteem and identity. If you have access to a computer, taking time to watch you tubes of sensible rational people such as Dawkins, Dennitt, Harris, Hitchens and the likes of Laurence Krauss might help you maintain your rational thinking whilst having to endure your current circumstances. Also reading books by such authors - borrowed from the library. If you are able to gain such influence whilst there it might do much for your personal strength and integrity. I image though that these people might seek out such efforts and aim to stomp them out.
I know quite a few Naturalists who live in the eastern states - which is quite a way from you - but they are more likely to know people from your area who might lend a hand.
From my own experience - I wonder if you might do some organic farming - get in touch with the WWOOF - willing workers on organic farms - you live with some people, and they pay for your food and accommodation, and you work for them on their farm for 4 hours per day. I suggest this, as I think that it is a more enriching experience than working at Burger King - both due to the environment physically and socially. I haven't had much experience with WWOOF, but generally they seem like wholesome minded people - who are into nature and often well educated - but you'd need to research individual farms and call them first.
It would though be useful to have a back up fund before you started, so that you have travel money to get away if you needed to and to get from one farm to another if you wanted to move on. But also, when you start on a farm you will find that you meet others and can possible travel together and other opportunities might come up - like some paid work on a farm or with another family friend of the farmers etc.
It's all about putting yourself into another environment, leaving yourself open to other opportunities. Something that you might find challenging, if you haven't done it before.
If you tell me what you think about what I've said so far - I might be able to give you another take on it - if this sort of thing really doesn't suit you - or we might come up with some other creative ideas about how to get out of this situation. Volunteer work for organisations can also be a good way of meeting new people and finding new opportunities. Obviously I'm talking about organisations that NOT religiously based. It's hard for me, not knowing much about what's available to you locally - that is within your reach physically and psychologically.
But I will say that this is not the end and you will find a way out - you can't help but be yourself, and however much you might feel right now that the walls are closing in on you - you will find a way out - because you will naturally be attracted too and seek out things that make sense to you and your nature and beliefs.
Have a look at these links for ideas and inspiration -
It's quite a small joining fee and you get a book full of names and address of farms all over the country.
You could contact these people about getting involved doing some voluntary work, that may lead to other opportunities - when you start to make friends and let them know of your need for work and better living conditions. These people are generally well educated and thinking people - although not always - bu it's a good punt.
You might consider applying to be a housesitter - that way you can get away from living with these people. I'm not sure how you would go with earning money - you may need to think more about how this could work for you.
I'll keep thinking and see if I can come up with anything else - otherwise - let us know how you are going and what you think might suit your needs right now.
i think what you said sounds appealing to me. i am totally willing to devote my life to a cause like one of the ones you mentioned. i have no ties to this area.. no friends here, no family here. id even leave the country in a moments notice.
i am 30 years old.
one of the issues i am running into when people bring up groups tho is that i am in a very rural secluded area of the united states, where there is no public transportation. this area also does not have access to any of the groups you are talking about, nor does it even have an atheist meet up group or something similar.
the closest area that does is baltimore which is about a 3 hour drive from here, so for me to walk there would take several days. not sure if thats something i could do... there are some local buses tho, but walking 7-8 miles to get on a bus to go up to baltimore to go to a atheist meet up one time or something like that, in between working at a soul crushing job.. just doesnt seem like something practical.
but i do appreciate the wealth of information, and your response. and yes, i would go to some farm or any other place that would let me earn my keep if it meant i could open myself up to some new kinds of people.
It sounds as though getting to local meetings and planning outings isn't a possibility - you need an exit strategy plan. For a longer term and more permanent solution - so you can get away from your current living arrangements.
Just looking at the WWOOF site for Maryland - and found these places - are you close to any of these? As you can see there are quite a few. So if you don't get on with one farming community you can move on and try another one.
I wonder if you might do WWOOFing for say 3 months and see how you find it. If you commit to 3 months - it's a short amount of time, but you may find that other opportunities come from it. When we did WWOOFing that the farmers were willing to come and pick us up from places - if you can get as close as you can, and then arrange to get picked up. There will be seasons that are more busy than others - but if you are flexible, you might find that there is lots of different kinds of work to be done on a farm. And it would give you a break from Burger King, Christian Propaganda (I would hope) and dealing with mental health issues. Some of the WWOOFing farmers may be Christian, in that case you could just move on - or make sure to ask when making your selection on where you want to go. After 3 months you'll have a different mindset and things might look a lot more easy or better. You can always go back to the Burger King job and the family you are with now. Leave on easy terms - let them know you appreciate their support, and you would like for them to support you to try something a bit different for 3 months, to see if you can stand on your own feet. Or however you want to put it too them.
To become a member of WWOOF:
Volunteer on Organic Farms - Register below for access to the WWOOF-USA Host Farm Directory. All fields are REQUIRED unless noted.
Upon successful registration, you will be immediately be given access to the password protected portions of our website.
Although you are saving resources to have online access only, it is nice to hold a printed version while traveling. Many find it beneficial and more accessible. You can also take notes, read by flashlight in your tent, and collect host autographs in your own copy of the host farm directory!
so it's $30 for on-line access only
and $40 for a book and on-line access - I would go for the $40 so you get the book - because then you have it with you and don't need to rely on Internet access to find addresses and phone numbers.
I see you've got a national park in Mary land - you could hook up with the Daniel Quinn lot... they like living in nature off the land - doing their own hunting and gathering....
But that's a long shot! If you can find anyone close - they may be much more willing to take you on as part of their tribe and work together to get your shared needs met... the whole philosophy is about sharing resources... you be inspired by the book - Ishmael - by Daniel Quinn.
I agree by the way that generally people are quite mean with their charity..... :)
Have a look here...