Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, grief, history, individuality, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/18/18: #crowdfunding and #walkup vs #walkout (this could get ugly)

(The featured image will make sense when you read further down)


I’m going to write a bunch of posts, at least a few a day, with #crowdfunding at the top and prominent, so I can get a smidge more attention.

As it stands, I owe somewhere between $1000 and $1200 (that changes due to late fees and such, so I know it’s somewhere in that range… last I checked) and #AUCTION is April 12th. For screencaps of recent messages from them, scroll all the way down to the end of this post.

On to the other topic of this post: Walk Up versus Walk Out. I’ve seen some reasonably well-meaning people on my friends list encourage Walk Up. I’m more on the side of Walk Out. For those who haven’t been paying attention here’s the breakdown of what they both mean:

Walk Out: School kids and teens getting up at a set time and walking out of classes in protest of a severe lack of gun control in this country (and yes, gun control means control of who owns/buys them and what they should have to do before getting their hands on firearms. But this isn’t the debate at hand, pay attention). This is a mostly silent protest. Much like with Kaepernick and others silently protesting the treatment of POC by police and the government in general (systemic racism at its ugliest. No, it was not about the flag, never was). This protest is about showing peaceful resistance to the powers that be that this shit ain’t cool and they need to step up and fix the problems or step down and let someone who can and will make a difference take that office.

Walk Up: Well meaning to some degree. This is about the more popular or vocal kids approaching and even trying to befriend the loners who may be potential shooters. It’s about “walking up” to them and engaging them. I get it, I do. But I’ll state my reasons for it being flawed in a moment.

As you may be able to tell (granted, I already alluded to this above), I’m all for Walk Out. I’m a pacifist (with ptsd… yeah, that’s fun… NOT!!!). I believe in standing up for what we believe in. To make a stand for change when the establishment isn’t listening to the people. Those of my generation (X, if you were wondering) have stood by far too long. We’ve let the establishment walk all over us and those around us. But we have been afraid to engage and lead. We didn’t really have things like school shootings when I was that age. One of the worst things that happened was a custody battle gone wrong between two parents and the father killed his two children, one who was a classmate, and then himself so that his wife couldn’t get custody. Three lives snuffed out because of jealousy and selfishness. But it wasn’t on campus.

We lived in a bubble. Yeah, we still had loners *raises hand* and the popular kids. But we didn’t have the carnage and anger that we’ve seen the last several years. In 20 years, since Columbine, we’ve seen far too many shootings (add some stabbings in there, but those end up with less deaths) in schools and places of business.

I wholeheartedly support Walk Out. And some of the teens from Parkland are stepping up and making sure their voices are not silenced. Making sure change WILL happen, come hell or high water.

So, now I’m gonna play a little Devil’s Advocate.

I kinda wish more fellow students had Walked Up to me and others back in high school. I felt invisible and unknown. I didn’t want to BE part of the popular crowd. I liked just being ME, but I wanted them to see me. To say hello in the halls. They didn’t have to befriend me or anything, but just an occasional hello or “hey, Amanda” would have gone a long way. Especially those who were also in my church high school group.

The difference between that and Walk Up is that the campaign for Walk Up is going about it for ALL THE WRONG REASONS!! It should never be about “well, if you don’t befriend them, they may shoot up the place.” That’s all about fear. It should never been about fear. It should be about community, not fear.

If this action is based upon a fear that the loner kid may be the next shooter, then the action comes from fake concern, not honesty. And please, no platitudes. Just saying hello.

One caveat: If the loner kid creeps you out and you get a really bad vibe… yeah, maybe not the best idea to Walk Up. But there are loner kids out there just like I was who just don’t do well bursting into the crowd and making friends that easily. Trust me, at school dances, if I could have melted INTO the walls, I would have. I was a geek of all trades… still am.

In my senior year, I went on a ski trip the weekend before Spirit Week. My mother had this notion that I’d outgrown my allergy to down feathers (nope) and sent me off with a down ski jacket, down sleeping bag, and down pillow.


I was sick most of Spirit Week. On top of that, that trip was where I slipped on the ice and messed up my back. I was 17. I had costumes planned for all the theme days of Spirit Week. I would have NAILED any contests.

But I was sick.

I was finally well enough on Spirit Day, Friday. A half-day, mind you. I went to Econ and ended up sitting next to one of the cheerleaders. Don’t ask me which one. I don’t remember. She turned around and saw me. Mind you, I was still sniffling and I was in pain from the fall a week before.

“Amanda, where have you been?”

“Huh? Oh, home sick.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. We were really looking forward to your costumes for Spirit Week.”

My visible response wasn’t much, but in my mind, I was freaking out. One of the popular kids knew who I was? Knew my name? Noticed I had been out all week??????? OMG!

It was surreal for me. After all those years walking around campus and knowing people’s shoes better than their faces, at least one of the popular kids knew who I was.

It didn’t change a lot for me, but I did start feeling a bit more confident. I looked at faces.

A lot more shit happened the rest of that school year, but I still made it through. Now, I was never the kid who would have picked up a weapon. I hated myself more than I hated my classmates. I had shitty self-esteem and self-worth. I was more prone to suicidal ideation. But, as you can tell, I’m still here.

If Walking Up to someone is out of genuine friendliness and not based on fear, do it. You may just make that loner’s day. But trust your gut. If they seem a bit off… maybe not.

Walking Out. Do it! And then follow through afterward with letters and phone calls to Congress Critters (hey, it’s gender neutral, shush!). Take action with words. Trust me… words are so much more powerful in the long run. Maybe I’ll talk about that in another post.


Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, domestic abuse, emergency, life, PTSD, sexual assault, storage, urgent

2/25: PTSD Nightmares (& #crowdfunding)

[Yes, still need help with covering storage. Only a couple more days before another $305 is added to the pile-up, pushing it over $1000]

So, nightmares. I won’t go into details, but these have been getting more and more vivid as time goes on. Last night, it included a person I’ve considered a lifelong friend. And not in a good, supportive way. These nightmares have included various kinds of assault, some sexual, some not. The interesting thing is that none of them really include the bastard whose behavior caused me to have C-PTSD in the first damn place. They’ve included a whole host of strangers and semi-famous people I’ve never met…

I think the reason why I haven’t had nightmares about The Asshole is because I’ve spent 20+ years facing my fears and going to therapy on and off, and just fucking dealing with the shit he’s put me through.

Been there, done that, got the PTSD to prove it.

So, what I’m left with is nightmares about potential attacks from others. Including that drunk sonofabitch from December on the MAX. One friend earlier today asked if the whole being on the train thing so much is part of my issue. Well, it is, but it also isn’t.

See, there will always be assholes and drunks wherever I go. I understand this. My anxiety of being around people and being in close proximity to others, namely men, makes being on commuter trains REALLY uncomfortable. It works both ways, I think. The anxiety makes being on transit worse, and the people on transit make my anxiety worse. They feed off each other… a symbiotic hellhole, so to speak.

But I can’t afford a car and I’m technically not on valium anymore (I have a small stash, but no more scrips). I’m going to take one before bed tonight to see if it calms the nightmares. If so, I’ll be talking to a few medical professionals about options. I’m on an antidepressant that’s supposed to help with anxiety, but I ain’t seeing much of a difference. Fuck, my iPod works better… well, the iPod and my cat waiting for me at home.

The nightmares are just another “thing” piled onto the mess of PTSD.


[and if you’re wondering why I’m swearing so much, I’m rebelling against a PTSD forum where I’m not allowed to swear… because fuck that shit.]

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, disability, emergency, health, homeless, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

2/9/18: Positive Adventures (and #crowdfunding)

(#crowdfunding plea further down)

Yesterday, I headed downtown to run some errands. Due to my disabilities and cane, I tend to sit in the Preferred Seating areas of the MAX trains. I have enough stairs at the house, I can’t deal with too many while out. And those seats are easier as they aren’t so high that my sciatic nerve gets pressure (it’s complicated. It’s also the reason I couldn’t use the stool at my last retail job). I was in one of the newer train cars with only two seats in the main P.S. areas, so I sat down. The older gentleman next to me seemed pretty nice* and so we struck up a conversation.

(* As an Empath with PTSD, I’m hypervigilant but I can also read people like it’s nothing. There was something about him that said he was safe.)

His name is Barry. I’d guess his age to be in his 70’s or so. I could be wildly off, but this was my take. And my parents were older, in their 80’s when they both passed, so I’m used to older folks.

During our conversation, things like being homeless, medical struggles, and work/passions came up. He’s an architect. But technology left him in the dust, despite attempts at learning AutoCAD early on, and he lost his business and his condo some years back. I related to this because my dad was a Civil Engineer and taught himself AutoCAD and basic computer programming. Barry struggled with it. Dad did as well, but he fought to keep up and was still getting work until a couple of years before he died.

Barry loves his work. But between technology and a stroke knocking him down, he had to walk away and focus on his health. He was homeless for two years, at one point getting kicked out of a housing place because he was falsely accused of doing drugs. He was one of the few there who wasn’t an addict. (I have another friend going through a similar thing in a mens’ transitional housing center. Everyone else is an addict or alcoholic and he doesn’t do either, but the resident manager rides his ass for stupid shit.)

Barry and I kept talking about life and work stuff. He’s had a string of roommates, many female (totally strictly roomies), his wife passed on a number of years ago, and he just works at making it through his life now… one day at a time. His outlook, despite everything, is positive.

Because of my PTSD and its origin, I’m hesitant about talking to men on the MAX and elsewhere. Barry was different. I hope I see him more often. He teased me when I said I hadn’t been out in a week and a half because I had no reason to be. He said, “Of course you had a reason. ME!”

He is taking up an offer from another local who happens to be an AutoCAD instructor and is willing to go to Barry’s place and teach him the latest in the software and get him up to speed. For free. He’s been in and out of the hospital since then, so he hasn’t called the guy, but will soon.

He made me laugh. I even got a smile or two from him. So often, I end up sitting next to ex-cons or drunks or some other type. This morning, I sat next to a dude who literally JUST got out of jail (guessing either drunk tank or something… he didn’t get his old clothes back and was in light grey sweatpants and sweatshirt).

But sometimes I get someone like Barry. Someone who, even if they don’t realize it, helps remind me that I can make it through my current situation. He also is a shining example of the kind of homeless people that most people don’t think of…

Whenever I see someone bitching about homeless people, I see the stereotypes cast about. Drunks, addicts, hookers, mentally ill not on their meds, runaways, etc… but there are many, MANY veterans out on the streets. And maybe some of them are also alcoholics, etc, but drinking tends to be a coping mechanism for many out on the streets.

But there is a category of homeless people don’t think of. People like me and Barry. Shit happens and shatters their world. Getting laid off from a decent job, divorce, domestic abuse w/o a solid support network… you get the idea. For Barry, his health and technology wiped away the life he had. For me, the job market and my PTSD (untreated except for antidepressants… but soon. I may have a new therapist for it) contributed heavily. I tried to keep it together, but my luck ran out.

We are an ever-growing sector of the homeless population. We aren’t drunks or addicts. Some have children, some don’t. We may have pets or animals in our lives that help us through shit. Portia is my ESA (Emotional Support Animal) and I want to get a Service Dog to help me function better outside my private space (which is currently a room in the basement of my friends’ house). If it weren’t for Portia, I’d likely have killed myself long ago. But I have this fluffy bitey-scratchy ball of muscle and fur who sits on my chest and purrs. She keeps me going.

But we are treated the same. The pariahs of society because we aren’t in some nice home with a nice job. We need help from the state and federal government to get back on our feet. And thus we’re treated poorly. There isn’t enough to help. Local authorities would rather put up “spite spikes” and similar deterrents instead of reaching out to lift us out of this abyss we’re in. Make us “someone elses’ problem.” Many of us just want to get back on our feet and need a little help to do so. We don’t all have family to fall back on. I have friends, but most don’t have the space or ability to help.

But meeting Barry yesterday helped me a lot.

So, the crowdfunding plea. I got the notice today that if I’m not caught up by mid next month, the unit will be auctioned off in April. Looks like they’ve made some changes to how they handle the whole auction thing… But I really need to get it caught up ASAP. Adding March to it will send it over $1000.


So, there you have the full notice I received. My legal last name and my dad’s info (which was on there as backup but should be removed anyway) have been covered up. I need whatever help I can get.


Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, cats, depression, disability, dogs, domestic abuse, health, life, Personal, PTSD, society

12/29: Dragon Rant: PTSD and Public Transit #ptsd #cptsd #trimet #publictransit

I’ve made it no secret that I have C-PTSD from sexual assault trauma and emotional abuse. I’ve also made it no secret that it’s difficult for me to deal with people -namely men- even sitting next to me on the train or bus. Touching of any kind. My heart rate skyrockets, I go into a panic mode/attack, and -depending on the type of touch- I either zone out or I freak out.

The freak out route isn’t as obvious. It involves me trying to pull myself away from the touching. Early today, I almost lost it completely.

I’m in Portland, OR and I ride public transit. I do not own a car, even though I can drive. Portland has always had more than its share of -interesting- people. Good and bad. Today I dealt with one of the bad. I’ll try to not swear TOO much, but I am in Dragon mode, so … yeah. (oh, who am I kidding… swearing galore!!)

This drunk-as-fuck dude got on the MAX Yellow Line at the front of the front car, where I was. At first, he was being just loud and talking to this young black dude sitting nearby. I was in the Priority Seating in the center-facing seats with one dude in the backward facing seat near me and then the black dude, who was really pretty laid back, across from me in the other rear-facing seats. This drunk motherfucker turns his attention to me, trying to engage me in conversation… which, honestly, didn’t make one damn bit of sense. Then he turned to the guy near me. At which point, he sat down between me and the guy… on my purse and partly on me.

You can see where the problem is here, right? He’s not only touching me, but he’s partly sitting ON me.

I pulled my purse out from under him, and started mumbled swear words worthy of Merchant Marines. He turned back to me and started bumping my shoulder with his. If I had remembered I had my mothers scissors in my purse, they would have been in my hand by then and threatening the motherfucker to get away from me. But I didn’t.

He got up, started chatting up the black dude again, and then others, eventually stumbling further down the MAX car to the other Priority Seating area. By this point, someone had pushed the button to alert the operator, who alerted the supervisors/police.

We were stopped at one station waiting for them to show up. He was utterly fucking clueless that we were waiting for them to come remove his annoying ass from the train.

By the time they showed, he was back up closer to me, harassing and then sitting at the last seats before where I was sitting (doors between those seats and mine). Now, I’m likely leaving SOME details out, like how many times he tried to get my attention (at least three), and some of the shit I could understand him saying. The supervisor arrived and I looked at him and pointed the asshole out. He helped him up and off the train. The ease of that exit tells me he’s a repeat offender on Trimet.

Then someone else was being a dick and the supervisor had to go retrieve that person. Yeah, what a night, huh? And it was barely dark.

I had many moments during that whole exchange where I wanted to shove him, kick him, hit him, knock him to the floor… something. Maybe the fact that I didn’t is a sign that I haven’t been pushed too far down into the hell of PTSD yet.

The guy sitting nearby who was also harassed by the drunk helped me calm down (the black dude got off the train before this). I told him I was about ready to shank the SOB with my scissors, but he said that if the guy came back over, he’d step in and help keep him away from me. I closed my eyes at one point and tried to take measured breaths to calm my heart down. He assured me it would be okay. Don’t know his name but wherever he is, he has my gratitude.

My heart rate was probably around 120 or so, as I could feel it pounding.

As the doors closed and the supervisor was back on the platform, the drunk asshole was in the street yelling at people in cars and pounding the hoods of their cars.

It’s been a few hours now, but I’m still a bit wound up. This was the closest I think I’ve come to a total breakdown in a long time… and the time I do recall snapping at someone, I didn’t realize I had PTSD.

I honestly have no idea how people with PTSD are able to deal with being on public transit. Seriously. It isn’t like I can put a vest on that says “Don’t fucking touch me or you’ll end up in the ER” and I can’t get a PTSD dog just yet. No moula for one and Portia-kitty doesn’t like dogs. Besides, I don’t want to get a Dobie that’s already docked and cropped (ears and tail). I kinda want to wait until I (hopefully) get to Germany where that practice is illegal and get a dog there… train her there. I want a floppy-eared Dobie girl.

I kinda want to get a stun gun for the time being. I think Trimet would frown on me carrying around scissors.

I feel like I’m getting worse. The breathing helped. Getting back to the house and snuggling Portia helped, as did the hot shower. But I’m getting more and more wary of people on transit.


Posted in activism, bigotry, bugaboos, community, faith, homeless, life, society

11/7: Humans aren’t always Humane

Humans are strange critters. Granted, the homeless man probably shouldn’t have been begging ON the MAX, but nevertheless, he was. This woman across from me though… she had this air about her that screamed “I’m a churchgoing conservative” … I know the type all too well. He stopped and asked her. Her response?
“What are you asking ME for?”
Here’s what I take issue with: You can (and should) be polite to all people, no matter where they are in life. Many of us are one or two paychecks away from being where this man is… hell, where -I- am. Homeless. Not enough people realize this is very much their reality as well. We are all made of the same starstuff. Her response could have been much better. Even a simple, “Sorry, I don’t have any cash” is enough. I rarely have cash on me, and when I do, it’s usually for something specific. If I do have ‘spare’ cash, I will give it. Because I know what it feels like to ask for help.
I imagine that woman on the train today has never had to ask for help. I pity her more than the homeless man. If she is a churchgoing “Christian,” I don’t think Jesus would be too pleased with her behavior. His teachings were few, but enough to get the general idea.
Love, not hate. 
Not a difficult concept, really. But it doesn’t seem to get through to enough people. I’m not going to get all preachy or anything right now. I just wonder about people like that woman today. If she were in his shoes, even for a while, maybe… just maybe, she would come out the other end of that experience a better Christian. For those who consider themselves people of faith, especially Christians, how would your God react if they saw you treating someone this way?
Posted in activism, bugaboos, disability, faith, life, nanowrimo, Personal, society, writing

11/4: Writing and Respect

I hit 2500 words last night and then had another task today, which took up a chunk of my afternoon. So I’ll write this evening and then tomorrow.

On my way home on the bus, I noticed things. The more I’m on public transit, the more I see both good and bad behaviors. One dude wearing a camo jacket and had camo on his backpack (and a trucker hat… with a trucking company name on it) sat across from me and was entirely too guilty of “manspreading.” And I really wish he hadn’t. There was a hole in the crotch of his filthy jeans… not big enough to know what color his undies were, but noticeable. Which is bad enough.

Then two examples of people wanting to get on the bus not waiting for people to get off the bus. The first time was when I arrived at my destination and these two kids just got on and even after I said ‘Excuse me,” loud enough, still stood there like they had zero clue. It wasn’t until the adult in the group (mom or aunt, I presume) who was still outside on the sidewalk spoke up and told them to get off the bus and let me get off. Because of being disabled and having my wheeled crate with me, the front door is best.

Then, on the way home, two ‘kids’ in their early 20’s or so didn’t bother waiting for an elderly woman to get off the bus. The only difference was that no one, not even the driver, told them to wait. Most drivers will hold up their hand and tell boarding riders to wait because someone was exiting. This driver was younger and female and had a new setup with a plexi-glass barrier up (that can unlatch and swing open for her to get up) for her protection. Maybe she’s fairly new, or she is concerned about getting any riders upset, but she said nothing. These two just pushed past the older woman.

This brings me to a bugaboo I have: lack of respect. I’ve seen, and dealt with a lot more of this on public transit recently. I use a cane and I still am expected to ask for a seat in the priority seating area for elderly and disabled riders. None of us should have to ask. The signs are actually pretty damn obvious. A couple days ago, a fellow disabled rider had to tell a woman who purposely turned away to ignore that someone else with a cane (me) needed the seat she was in. The older woman said I needed the seat. She reluctantly moved. We chatted and she said she recently watched as someone requested that an able-bodied person move so the disabled person could sit in the area designated for us, and the guy sitting there refused to move. Another guy, who was disabled, told the reluctant guy that he was required to move for people like us. He still refused. I can’t remember what she said ultimately happened, but man…

We. Should. NOT. Have. To. Ask.

It’s called respect. Try it sometime.

Sadly, I’ve seen a decline in it in recent months, even in the last few years. I do my best to respect others. But it’s a two-way street, ladies and gents and everyone else. If you want my respect, you gotta earn it. You are NOT entitled to it. Shit, you aren’t entitled to anything other than being able to breathe… and equal rights. I don’t give a shit who you are, where you’re from, what you do for a living, etc. If you treat others like shit, expect that in return. You are owed nothing. Want respect? Be worthy of respect.

I believe that every person who makes it to adulthood has earned a basic amount of respect… say 5 points. You can lose some of those points by being an absolute asshole to people… or you do massively evil things. But I believe we all start adulthood with those 5 points. You want more? Earn them. Do good deeds, be kind to those who maybe aren’t as lucky as you are. Respect those around you, even simply by being polite and kind to them. Let them off the damn bus before you board. It isn’t difficult to do. It just takes a few extra seconds and a little patience.

Practice kindness and respect. You’ll earn them tenfold in return.


Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, disability, health, life, medical, Personal

10/12: “Back” History

Me doing a few dishes is another reminder of how fucked my back is and yet how little can be done medically… ten minutes rinsing dishes and such… just… ow.
For those who may not know my “back” story:
I first injured it slipping and falling on ice when I was 17, halfway through my senior year of high school (this, for those who know me from high school, is why I started using a cane after Spirit Week).
It took a year and going through about 8 docs to find one who didn’t look at my age and dismiss me. Dr. Nolan. Best damn Ortho in the region (SF/Bay Area) He found the two slipped discs in my low back. These put pressure on my sciatic nerve.
Fast forward 5 years and, despite the nerve pain, the discs were no longer slipped out of alignment. I had still been dancing during those years, whenever I wasn’t in pain. The sciatica flared up time to time, but with being active, it wasn’t as severe.
Then about 4-5 years ago, I slipped on some painted wood stairs and first hit my tailbone, then turned to brace my hands and feet against the walls, but still bounced down on my right hip, the same one from when I was 17.
I went to the doctor as the bruising was QUITE colorful and… sizable. I had a massive horseshoe shaped bruise on my right ass cheek. Yes, there are pictures… no, you may not see them.
They did a single x-ray of my tailbone, found no issues and told me to ice it and be more careful. In the radiologist report of that x-ray, I found they mentioned the same two vertebrae from years ago were a bit out of place. Familiar situation…
I asked, and have still every so often, for an x-ray of my hip and right side of my pelvis, to no avail. This pain in that hip is still VERY prevalent, especially when I’m using my cane (which is every time I go out. when I’m at ‘home’ I know there are things I can lean on or sit on if needed, but when I’m out and about, I can’t be sure, so the cane comes with me) and carrying nearly anything more than 2 pounds in my left hand (because of the most recent SI joint pain, the cane is usually in my right hand, but I will switch when needed as both sides are pretty fucked up).
Hence part of my post from last night about my tools and tool box. That fucker is heavy. Likely closer to 10-12 pounds when loaded up. My new mallet doesn’t help that, as it’s not a lightweight itself.
I’ve put up with it for almost 28 years (February will be the actual ‘anniversary’ of the first injury). There isn’t much that they can do surgically… in fact there really isn’t anything they can do surgically. I can’t afford a gym membership to help strengthen the muscles. I don’t have the space to try any dancing here. One thing I wish they would do is to just x-ray my damn hip and see if there is real damage. If I didn’t have medicaid, I’d just start doc-hopping like I did that first year.
Also, if I were closer, I’d go back to Dr. Nolan and I know damn well he’d help me solve the mystery. He’s closing in on retirement and mentoring someone else to take over his practice. He’s one of THE best Orthos in the SF/Bay Area. Just wish it hadn’t taken a year to find him. I’ve asked to get a referral to Ortho here, but they apparently only will take cases that have a viable chance of surgery… personally, I think that’s a huge mistake. There’s so much more that can be done.

I’ve injured other things over the years: both knees, left ankle, both feet in some way, had two or three minor concussions… it sucks ass… trust me.

But my back? That’s the one that’s never going away. Never will truly heal. And it makes every day life difficult at times.
Like doing dishes.
Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, domestic abuse, empath life, health, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/12: Social Anxiety and C-PTSD

I’m gonna try putting this into actual words rather than just swirling around in my head. Hopefully, it’ll make sense.

Despite medications and such, I feel disconnected. Maybe it’s partly because of being jobless and homeless, but I don’t feel like I’m part of anything. Despite (slowly) working on finishing school and trying to find work and having lots of friends… I just don’t feel it.

My social anxiety is ramping up even worse, probably because the C-PTSD is so not helping matters. I want to have my own place and just stay there. Not go anywhere unless I really have to.

The C-PTSD is from recurring sexual assault during a relationship over 20 years ago. I thought I’d moved past that part of it with therapy and could handle things again, but since a massive trigger nearly a year ago, I now know otherwise.

[This section came from an f-locked post on FB… with edits.]
**This person don’t know what happened. What he triggered. I know, in some way, I should explain it to him, but I can’t. Mind you, he did nothing inherently wrong
. I do NOT blame him. I have believed I had my shit regarding the sexual assaults from 24 years ago handled. Bast knows I’ve had tons of therapy dealing with it. But one touch -as friends- that wasn’t even super-intimate set me down a path I’m still fighting with today. It was something that reminded me of what my ex used to do. There was no ill intention on this friend’s part. 
And I’m not getting any better. Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m crying, trying not to go into a full panic attack.

When you see what I’ve been through since last November, it makes sense that I feel my life is spiraling out of control, no matter how much I may seem -on any given day- to be doing better. It isn’t just the C-PTSD… it’s anxiety, it’s stress, it’s not knowing when shit will get better.**

More and more, I’m hesitant about going out, being on public transit. While many are hesitant about it for reasons such as the potential of being attacked, my reasons are different.

  • strong perfume/cologne/body spray causes headaches
  • loud noises/talking makes me cringe
  • and lastly: I can’t handle sitting next to someone and us ending up touching (usually hips or such)… especially if they’re male.

I’ve had so many moments in recent months while out on transit where I feel the urge to lash out at people. I want to snap at the person sitting next to me to MOVE… or the person talking too loudly to STFU. I have no interest in violence, but

Since last year, I now ask male friends and other men I come across, to ask for permission to hug me. Even women, although I’m better with them. No surprise that the ex in question is male.

I don’t know how to deal with all of this. I figured after 24 years and tons of therapy, I’d be better, but I can’t help pulling away from people in the physical realm (as opposed to online) because of what I’m dealing with.

One of the hardest things about this is that I need work. Which means being on transit, being in an office setting around others, having to negotiate physical space while trying to sort out this anxiety and C-PTSD.

I had a job yesterday assembling some cabinets… was supposed to continue, but my back and other joints decided against it. There really is no amount of pain medication that can help. Trust me on this. I can do physical jobs here and there, but not hours on end. And my body still pays for even those small tasks.

I wish I knew how to fix this part of me. Still fighting an anxiety attack… but calming down a bit… the C-PTSD and related things severely affect all the other things in my life. I hate it.

I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away.


Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, depression, disability, faith, health, individuality, life, Personal, politics

10/4: Stubborn Independence

I have -always- been this stubborn, pain in the ass, fiercely independent person. Even when I was painfully shy growing up, I preferred to be on my own and do things myself. I was raised that way.

My financial independence hasn’t come so easily, even at this point in my life…. fuck, ESPECIALLY at this point in my life.

But this past weekend, in Seattle, I realized one thing: I can’t be so damn stubborn all the time. I need to let go of a bit of my independence and let people help. Taking a cab to and from the Amtrak Station, getting my rolling duffel up to the 3rd floor w/o an elevator at the hostel I was in. Getting from Union Station here in PDX back to where I’m staying.

And last of all, help going between the train and the station.

I’ve never kept it a secret that I have disabilities. I’ve just never let them rule my life. I still don’t want them to rule my life. But I have to accept that I cannot always do everything.

I injured my low back at 17. While the discs themselves healed over the next few years, the sciatic pain has remained. Then, about 4 or 5 years ago, I re-injured the same damn discs. I’ve also broken my patella, one toe, knocked a few other things (such as my SI[Sacral-Iliac] joint) out of whack, more pinched nerves in places other than my spine, deal with Cluster Headaches, TMJ pain, and a few other things. And those are just the physical things. Also depression, anxiety, heart issues [tachycardia], etc…

And yet I want to push myself and see being 45 as my “half way point” in life… wanting to hit 90 still kicking ass. I’ve tried so hard to deny that I’m truly disabled… “oh, I JUST did this to my back/knee/ankle/shoulder… I’ll be fine”

I think my friends have heard that a few too many times from me. I downplay my disabilities. But I’m also currently curled up on my bed from spending the whole day here due to the headache, back pain, feet having issues, and just generally being really fucking exhausted.

I say yes to helping friends move things. I try to tackle the bins and boxes in storage on my own… because if I can’t do this alone, why should I have all this stuff? If I can’t manage it…?

Currently, I’m also emotionally drained from the overwhelming emotions coming from the massacre in Vegas. I have a little research to do, but there is a post forming about what can be done by echoing a certain other country I love dearly. And they are NOT a Bastion of Liberalism, yet they have very strict laws on the books about firearms and ammo. But more on that later. I’m also reading what friends and FoF’s post in the calmer discussions on FB.

As for those vile Cluster Headaches. Last week, I had two phone calls… same day. First was to schedule the oxygen tank for home therapy so I can manage it myself. Second was from the billing department from the same company. She didn’t realize the other person had already scheduled it, but we did a “wait and see” on whether my insurance would cover it. The scheduled delivery is “sometime” tomorrow, 10/5. I’ve heard nothing else from them on whether it’s been approved or has to be rescheduled, etc… so this should be interesting. I may call in the morning, if I’m coherent enough, and check with them.

Back to the whole Independence thing… I may blog more about it later. I know one thing though… When I’m out and about, riding on the buses or the MAX here in PDX, I see others with walkers or scooters. While I’m aware their situations may be different, I see similarities as well. I don’t want to go down that path. My cane, yes. Crutches when needed for immediate injuries, but when I say I wouldn’t mind a new set of wheels, I’m not referring to a walker or scooter.

I think that’s it for now…


Posted in artsy stuff, bugaboos, creativity, individuality, life, Personal, poetry

9/23: The Rebel

Standing back.
Apart from the crowd.
Distanced by social
Not welcome
In a sea of

Be me.
No one else.
But not
Or no one will
Accept you.

Stand in the center
Spotlight shining on you.
They walk past.
Not coming close.
Too different.
Too out of place.

Destined to
Wholly alone
In a sea of monotony.
The rebel
True to
No one else.

~APA 2017