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Life of Baerana This timeline is very unbalanced.  I wrote it using my scrapbook as reference, so unless I got a certificate or picture from the event, most likely it's not listed yet...

Basic timeline of my life, to the best of my recollection:

1977 - Born

1980 - My mother and father divorce.  I don't see him again for 12 years, which is actually a very good thing.

1981 - My mother meets and marries my step-father.  He turns to be only a slightly better guy than my father was. This union gives me two stepsisters, who live with us for awhile but soon move back in with their mother.

1982 - My first brother is born, I start kindergarten.

1985 - My second brother is born.

1998 - volunteered at my junior high school library for 2 years

1990 - I start High School

1990 - volunteered at our town's public library, and my high school library, for 4 years. 

1990 - did a lot of  babysitting over my 4 years of high school

1990 - did a lot of religious volunteering, including teaching Sunday school,  running the church day care, and working at vacation bible schools for 3 different religions and about a dozen different churches

1990 - started doing work with special education children.  I eventually moved into just the autistic kids, and after a while, one particular autistic girl, who I also baby sat a lot after school.

1990 - I develop almost total insomnia

1991 - I am very active in many clubs and organizations in high school - Physics Club, Chemistry Club, Spanish Club, Speech and Drama, FHA, Student Council, National Honor Society, etc.  I do lots of volunteer work - school and public libraries, environmental testing, nursing homes, etc.  This is when my work-a-holic tendencies start. 

1992 - got a lot of experience as a stage crew member, including working on our physics club slide show and doing crew for our school's one act play

1993 - My love of all things geeky begins - I get 2nd place in the UIL Science contest, and 1st place in Chemistry contest.  I start loving computers, although the small southern town I live in thinks computers are from the devil and I never get much chance to play with them.  (ok, maybe it was just my mom who thought that)

1994 - took a pre-pre-nursing class (i needed an elective, and it was either that or home ec) where i learned cool stuff like, taking blood pressure, and the proper method of hand washing

1994 - I get 1st place in the UIL Science contest, 1st place in Chemistry and Physics, and 3rd place in Math

1994 - I am team captain for our Science Bowl.  We get 3rd in our region - the thing I here most frequently at the contest, whenever anyone looked at my "captain" badge was - "Do you go to an all-girls school?"  Women in Science still aren't as expected as they should be.

1995 - I begin college*.

1995 - I meet the love of my life, although we don't get together for about 2 years.  We become very good friends in the meantime.

1995 - worked on the stage crew of our school's drama club plays

1995 - Starting while I'm still in college, I take a variety of interesting jobs.  Learning as many skills as possible is important to me, as is simply working as much as possible.  If I'm wasn't working 100 hours a week, I wasn't happy.  I frequently have 3 jobs at once (2 full-time, 1 part time).  I develop MANY useful skills from this, although few of the jobs are related to my actual chosen field, which is Information Technology.  Still, you'd be surprised how frequently being able to operate any piece of office equipment, huge trucks and moving equipment, library systems - both computer and manual, etc. comes in handy even in the IT field.

I also had many adventures in apartment living.  Don't know exactly why, but people in Hoboken and NYC move every two months on average.  I lived in some great places and some real rat holes.  It's amazing how well you can cook by wrapping things in tin foil and putting them on a radiator :)  And, FYI, a windowsill in NYC in the winter will do as a freezer in a pinch.

1995 - 2000 - resume in brief - worked at an Internet cafe, worked for a printer (which involved the design and production of tons of interesting projects from which I learned a great deal), set up and administrated the phone and computer systems for a delivery service and designed their menu books,  worked in a used and rare book store - including regular store work, and getting their rare book inventory online, running the mail order department, etc.  Managed an equipment rental place (this is where i learned to park very large trucks).  Did computer admin for a small chain of car rental places.  Was a used car salesman.  Worked (thankfully briefly) as a retail clerk.  Worked in a library (for pay!)  -  I love working at libraries and have worked in every department, from the directors office to reference, in libraries in 3 states and in several library networks.   Was production manager at a huge office equipment place. 

1995 - I contact a virus which my doctors can't put a name to - my poor roommate has to call me an ambulance because I can't walk or move or stop throwing up. The virus basically causes my liver to shut down - or go into overdrive - I'm not sure which.  Lots of terms were thrown around.  I hear things like "enzyme level of 500" (apparently, less than 35  is normal) and "I've seen people drink every day for 20 years and not have this kind of damage".  This is *not* a suicide attempt - at least not on a conscience level.  I was under a tremendous amount of stress at the time, and had broken up with someone only a couple of days before.  It's possible my body decided to kill me, but my brain had nothing to do with the situation.  After being in the hospital for a week, I'm basically fine.  I spend the next month or so in bed - of course, causing severe financial problems.  I have no medical insurance at this point and survive only due the the kindness of friends. My depression worsens and I start withdrawing from everyone.

1996 - A close friend of mine is shot and killed by her husband

1997 - The love of my life and I start dating and living together.

1999 - A close friend of mine dies of a congenital heart defect

2000 - I start getting severe headaches several times a day.  These headaches are unbelievably  painful.  I've had migraines for years, and they are a paper cut compared to the headaches I started getting.  After 6 painful months, they are finally diagnosed as CPH.  Due to the damage to my liver, I'm unable to take the "best" medication for these headaches - indomethacin.  My numerous doctors and I experiment with many, many treatments and I wind up taking powerful narcotics almost every day.  Fortunately, before I become addicted or a vegetable, we stumble across a better treatment.

2000 - The beginning of these headaches prompts me to get back into therapy.  I go through a few shrinks and find one therapist who really works for me.  I've been in therapy with her since then (following her from clinic to clinic) and the progress I've made has been wonderful.

2001 - I start working at a small company as a systems administrator.  I love my job and the people I work with!

2003 - After experimenting with about a billion anti-depressants, I select a new shrink.  He turns out to be a genius, and after taking one look at my medical/psychiatric history, says "effexor".  I truly believe this saved my life.  The effexor starts to work almost immediately and I now feel better than I ever have.  Almost 100% of my PTSD symptoms are wiped out, AND the effexor has the added, wonderful bonus of getting rid of almost 100% of my CPH episodes.

2004 - We get wireless laptops!  This means, even though I'm still "on call" 24 hours a day, I'm not trapped in a two-block radius of my house!

2004 - Nibbler comes to live with us!  He is the most wonderful bunny in the world.  He just has the greatest personality - he's so sweet and affectionate and playful!

2004 - promoted to CEO of the company I work for.

2005 - quit therapy, feeling I've learned as much as I can

2005 - I still do bunches of volunteer work, including working on F/OSS projects, tech support for newbies, writing a tech column for an online magazine, working in a bunny shelter, doing phone interviews with perspective animal adopters, writing a website with organizing tips.

2005 - became poly and started dating M and P

2006 - joined BiUnity, a local book club (OurKarass), and a D&D group (CarpeDM)

2006 - take a great trip to south american

2007 -  I'm contribute to several linux or f/oss projects, including  The Ubuntu Team Wiki, Ubuntu Women,, the Pennsylvania Ubuntu LoCo Team, and (though, of course, Ubuntu is the OS that has my heart). I also write some of my own projects, and I write articles for geek-friendly websites, including those for newbies and those for more experienced users.

2007 - a very close friend, and the best friend since high school of the love of my life, dies suddenly and completely unexpectedly.

2007 - start visiting San Francisco regularly

And that's where I am today.  Living w/ the love of my life, very happy, fairly healthy, and excited about the future.

I haven't seen my "family" in about 10 years.  Basically, I left for college and never looked back.  This was the best decision I ever made.  They had an uncanny ability to hurt me even over the phone, so I felt and the time, and still feel, that eliminating all contact with them was the best thing for me.  My parents really had no idea how to be parents and they should have been sterilized at birth.  They were abusive and horrible and I would have been better off had I been raised by wolves.  But, fortunately I got away from them and am very happy and doing very well now.