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Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

I’m a software engineer in Silicon Valley. So is everyone else here. More specifically I’m in web application development, full stack. I have quite naturally hit most of the normal events here — failed IPOs, layoffs, and companies run out of business. When any of these things happen, there’s no bones about it. Time to look for work.

Whatever your path, and there are a lot of them, it eventually comes down to a technical interview these days. No matter what your resume says. I have to assume that most employers assume that you are simply lying through your teeth. That’s a really bad place to start from. Even criminals are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In high tech, you are presumed an imbecile until proven a “passionate rockstar developer bent on changing the industry who will stop at nothing to ensure perfectly scalable, performant, bug-free code”. …

Half Sisters Meet for the First Time

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Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

We adopted both our daughters. Both adoptions were closed at the recommendation of their social workers. They are like many siblings, very different from each other, and both very dear.

My older daughter, Sarah, however, started a trip toward suicidal ideation due to many factors — bad friend choices, bullying, social pressures, genetic influences, performance stress, and, sadly, poorly prescribed anxiety medication.

Sarah has been in a residential treatment center and is making wonderful progress. That doesn’t mean the self-harm is over, but it is better.

One day we get a call from the social worker. Sarah’s half-sister had hired a private investigator to find her relatives. Since the adoption was closed, we could drop the issue, and it would be over. Sarah has been intensely curious about her birth family, and we’ve told her that when she is eighteen, we would help her find them. But now suddenly, they were finding us. Rather, they were finding the county where the adoption happened, and the county was asking us. …

My Daughter’s Mental Health Tragedy

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Photo by Laurynas Mereckas on Unsplash

My daughter Sarah has always been different. We fostered her when she was six month old and actually adopted her about a year later. Little did we know at the time how important those first six months are, the months before we got her.

Her birth mom was addicted to drugs which is what led Sarah to be taken in by Child Protective Services. Those six months where Sarah was neglected had a tremendous impact on her development. We soon came to notice that Sarah was anxious. Anxious about most everything.

Sarah’s anxiety started showing up big time in middle school. She would panic around tests. We could see this very clearly in her school scores. A for home work, A for classwork, F for a test. Over and over we saw this pattern. She was plenty smart enough, but the anxiety around tests almost literally paralyzed her. …


Robert Field

Long time web developer and screenwriter, current maker and woodworker for Re:Wined Design.

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