Posted in anxiety, auction, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, domestic abuse, dreams, emergency, faith, family, friends, gratitude, grief, history, homelessness, housing, insomnia, life, poetry, society, storage, urgent

3/25: Disjointed #poetry

[Definitely running out of time for storage. I need to save it this one last time. Then I can move things around and get a smaller unit. 1400. Help?share?]

……..

Standing
People pass me, sometimes
Bumping into me.
Am I here? Do I exist?
The sidewalk is not overly
Crowded.
I must be invisible.

Walking
Careful to not be followed.
Do I feel safe?
Where is my stun gun?
Just leave me be.
Fake window shopping.
Make the guy be ahead of me.
I must keep my eyes on
Him.

Running
Fear. Am I late?
Why do I run?
My legs give out.
My lungs give up.
What is it that I fear?

Dreaming
I must fight the
Darkness of my past.
I long to be free of fear and
Pain.
I have whiplash from always looking
Over my shoulder.
Make the pain stop.
Leave me be.

~A

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Posted in activism, bigotry, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, life, medical, observations, Personal, politics, society, storage, student life, urgent

3/25: Being Disabled

[Panicking because storage auction is on Thursday and I desperately need the full 1400 to cover it and save it from auction. Please share and spread the word.]

Today, when I arrived at Central City Concern’s EAC (Employment Access Center), my case manager asked for my opinion on something. See, they’ve adapted some access points of the center to accommodate disabled folks like me, but it’s an older building and they haven’t gotten everything. They do have a small single wheelchair elevator to go down to the basement workspace, and the front door has an automated button system, but to access the computer area off the lobby, there are two steps up. And then three steps up to get to another area. I have a walker (while I love my cane, when it comes to back injuries, walkers are better because you aren’t contorting your body to use it).

So he asked me what I would suggest. I told him that small ramps could replace the steps and that they might have to be a little longer than the steps take, but it would be more ADA compliant. He had me write this up on a suggestion form and he turned it in.

Why have I mentioned this? Because hearing the opinions and voices of those who aren’t part of the norm of society is something that doesn’t happen often. Since I first hurt my back at 17, I’ve seen and experienced a disconnect from society. We are either invisible, dismissed, second class citizens… you name it.

And it sucks.

For years, even up until about 6 or 7 years ago, I wouldn’t consider myself disabled. I had my back injury and countless other injuries and health issues, but I rarely classified myself as disabled. In part because of how I was treated at 18 at the first community college I attended. They were horrendous to disabled students. Being kicked out of music classes, dismissed for needing assistance, you name it. Their DSRC was a joke. A tiny office barely big enough to hold two desks. No testing areas, nothing. The frustration was palpable.

I now live in Portland, which has a sizable disable population. I now own the label. With my back getting reinjured (twice) and more and more injuries and such added to the list (along with mental health fuckery), I have come to accept the label as part of who and what I am. But just because I’m in a city with a large disabled population, doesn’t mean everything is wonderfully accessible.

There are many apartment buildings and houses I could never live in. Too many stairs and no accessibility. Granted, if I ever had the money to buy a house, I’d hopefully be able to remodel it for accessibility. I can climb occasional stairs as needed, but I couldn’t live somewhere with lots of them.

My case manager asked me today because I had my walker. Because I have to lift it up to get past those two or three steps. If it isn’t loaded down, which it usually isn’t, then that’s okay. Anything more than what I had today would be too much weight.

One other area, and I may expand on this another time, is how the equipment we use is not treated properly. Service Dogs are the main focus with this issue. SD’s are there to help their handlers function within society’s parameters. My PTSD is easily triggered by a person, usually male, sitting or standing too close to me. Having a trained dog with me would help assure that space around me would be maintained for my mental healthiness. Same for other working dogs. They are working, helping their handlers gain their independence from other people. Freedom to do things others find normal, easy tasks without the need for a person to always be there to help. That’s all anyone asks.

But there are far too many people claiming their untrained pet dogs are SD’s, when they are not. There are a number of reasons these are a bad idea. They can show aggression toward other dogs, even Service Dogs, attacking them or humans. This can potentially ruin an SD and this then restricts the freedom once again of the handler. Again, I may likely expand on this in it’s own post.

Our society has long dismissed those who are disabled (among other groups). We typically aren’t seen as equals who can contribute just as much to society as able-bodied/minded people can. Sure there have been some outliers such as Stephen Hawking, but he was known in his field before he was diagnosed with ALS. But for many of us, we are seen more as a burden on society.

All we want is to be treated as equals and be given the chance to contribute to society like everyone else.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, friends, grief, life, suicidal ideation, urgent

3/24: The Void

Pull back from the edge.
Is anyone listening?
Another star burns out.
Too brilliant for common life.

Exist, to what end?
Scream at the void.
As others walk by.
No one sees them as valuable.

Can anyone hear?
Anything other than their own egos?
The void replies with silence.
Choose to move on.

Will anyone bother?
Does anyone care?
The star is now removed from existence.
The void is content.

~A
(If you are considering suicide, please, please, please reach out for help. A friend of mine took his own life this weekend. He fell between the cracks of society and was never properly cared for by modern medicine. Death is permanent.)

[Yes, still need help with storage. Anything helps.)

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, auction, cats, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, faith, family, friends, gratitude, health, homelessness, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, semicolon, society, storage, tattoo

3/19: Catching Up and Needing Help #crowdfunding

I know, it’s getting old. But I need to come up with the whole 1400-ish needed for storage. No partial payments this time. Also, the whole sleeping on the floor thing is getting rather old. I do have a GFM, but PayPal is MUCH easier for me (and you don’t NEED a PP account to donate) to access. Auction is on the 28th. I’m running out of time.

I’ve been rather quiet of late. My apologies. It’s been a strange few weeks. I got hurt while assembling something a week and a half ago, and then got food poisoning (most likely) over this past weekend, ending up in the ER Sunday evening. I didn’t get home until 4:15am. I’m still recovering, but getting better. What I am making so far is all going to my phone (how I get tasks) and other small bills. Some will -admittedly- be going to a tattoo next week. I booked it a couple months in advance and really did expect things to be vastly improved by now, but I also don’t want to pass up the chance for a VERY affordable tattoo (My semicolon tat. I swore that I’d get it once I was no longer homeless).

Still looking for work. Still doing what I can. I have a couple of ideas for paintings, but need better quality paint for one and other supplies for the other technique.

Portia now has her own page on Facebook: Princess Portia of Portlandia is the place to go.

In other frustrating news, the agency helping with my rent didn’t communicate with me about this month, so they only sent a partial amount, assuming I’d pay the rest. Well, I didn’t know this until I got a notice about it from management. *sigh* … so if there’s a little extra, it would be appreciated.

I’m gonna get back on track here. I was dong better health-wise until my knee was hit by a side panel of a dresser. It’s also doing better now. My right side takes a massive beating on a regular basis (I’m a leftie, so my right side is a bit weaker).

If folks will see me through one more round of help with storage… there’s hope for me yet.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, family, friends, insomnia, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, society, urgent, writing

2/20: LAAAAGGGG!!! & #crowdfunding

SSSHHHHAAAAAARRRE MMEEEEEEE!!! PLEASE? (I’m feeling a bit weird today)

I’m BAAAAAaaaaack!! After a week and a half without regular wi-fi and only my phone’s hotspot, which I almost killed a few days ago, I’m back online with normal wi-fi. This means I can stop screaming at my computer and phone and make my neighbors all worried I’m killing* something in here.

*- No electronics were harmed. Really.

So, since I’ve been out of a regular paying job, my income has dwindled to a rather dangerous point. My tasking is barely anything (2 tasks this month so far). Here’s the need and goal:

  1. Storage. I owe about 1000 or so. I need to get it -completely- paid up before the end of the month. Once it’s fully paid up, then I can move stuff out and the rest down to a smaller unit like I’ve been planning. I have zero access until it’s paid in full.
  2. Electric. While they aren’t going to shut me off during the winter, it would be nice to throw them $50 or so of what I currently owe.
  3. Cell phone bill. I set up a split payment arrangement to keep it turned on, with $60 this week and the remainder next week. I need to change the payments, though.
  4. Water/Garbage/Sewer. $47. It’s all lumped together and then they split it evenly between residents. By the end of February.
  5. Cat food (canned) as well. My cat goes through canned and dry. While this isn’t super-dooper urgent, the wet food has helped her coat tremendously. She gets Natural Balance Duck and Green Pea LiD. Same for her kibble, but she has enough of that for the moment.
  6. PO Box. $41 or something around that number.
    By the end of February.

I basically need a big ol’ miracle or something. The phone is my only one now and it’s the only way I can get tasks. And with applying for jobs, I need a phone that’s active to get calls and such.


In other non-begging news, my sleep is possibly improving a smidge. Health is improving a bit. School is as good as it can be for a Right Brain person trying to manage Left Brain schoolwork. I find that my testing ability still stinks and I do slightly better with the actual accounting work than with the vocabulary that comprises the midterm, which I tanked.

I had a phone interview last week, but did not make it to the next round of interviews with that company. I keep applying for stuff, but it gets frustrating when you have skills and they don’t seem to see those skills on paper.

Yesterday, I wrote up as much as I could remember of a dream that was VERY fictional and I knew it would be a good story. I still need to fill in the gaps, but this piece is something I want to eventually submit somewhere.

I refuse to let the shit in my life win and beat me back down. I just have a lot to work on.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, faith, family, friends, grief, health, insomnia, job hunting, life, poetry, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent

2/7: Melancholy (#crowdfunding & #poetry)

So, now February storage rent has been tacked on. $1014 owed. And my internet at home is off (86 needed). Phone will come due soon as well. The phone that is, once again, access to my only livelihood.

******************

Sabotage.
On edge.
Permanently damaged goods.
Just too much pain.

Breathe.
Why now?
Make it stop.
Please help me survive.

Tired.
Always on.
Brain wired wrong.
I need a break.

Broken.
No matter.
Need to heal.
Do I fit anywhere?

********
I’m all melancholy right now. Frustration with my own health and job hunt. Trying to get through school as well. Today I finally got a formal diagnosis of PTSD and GAD. These explain a lot. I feel like things aren’t coming together like I, and those around me, had thought they would by now. Like I’m falling apart all over again. This is partly why I’ve been so quiet lately. Poetry just isn’t forming so much of late.

Bear with me as I fight to reclaim the ground I lost climbing out of my own personal abyss.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, chronic pain, community, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, family, friends, insomnia, life, poverty line, storage, urgent

2/4: Why I’m still fighting #crowdfunding

I know some may wonder why I need help with storage so soon after getting it pulled from auction a month ago. See, I owed 1400 a month ago. Raised 800 and got it pulled. On the condition I would pay the remainder off by the end of January. That came and went with little coming in. Tasks have been almost non-existent and the PT job/internship dried up for a couple of reasons with my last paycheck depositing last Friday.

On top of that, I had to pay part of my rent for this month as rental assistance may be going away sooner rather than later. So, everything has gone to that.

With late fees tacked on, my total is now closer to 700 than the 600-ish it was a month ago. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if they’d let me still try after January was over, but they are. So I have until end of day today (6pm Pacific) to get it caught up. Then I can arrange to have a day off access (I hope) and get some stuff out and the rest moved down to a smaller unit.

It is still set for auction at the end of the month, but I really need to get caught up and get my mattress and stuff out. My back is getting worse and sleeping on the floor doesn’t help at all.

I still need income. I’ll work on that this week. Somehow, someway.

~A

Posted in anxiety, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, faith, life, poetry, storage, writing

1:27: Moss and Ivy #poetry

Ancient stone wall
Crossing the path before me.
Fog enveloping the trees
Along the way.

I climb over.
The moss making my hand slip.
Another hurdle done.
The fog is magic.

I glance back and the wall of fog
Makes the wall vanish.
Did it ever exist?
Or just in my mind.

Each step is treacherous.
Loose stones and tree roots cross my path.
Moss and ivy hide the undergrowth
Flowers strangled, desperate for light.

Another stone wall.
Taller than the last.
I see sunlight over the top.
Unable to reach me.

There is a way.
Must be.
Buried under moss and ivy.
The answer waits.

~A

(Still need to raise about 700 to get storage in the clear before the end of the month.)

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, conformity, creativity, crowdfunding, disability, dreams, family, genealogy, history, individuality, job hunting, life, medical, peace, Personal, PTSD, research, society, storage, Switzerland, urgent

1/26: Musing on Life

Yes, still need help with less than a week left to keep storage and get it caught up. My finances have gone sideways and I just don’t have much of anything right now. I need $700-ish to finish catching it up.

MUSINGS: I look at how my week has gone and I realize that I definitely haven’t emotionally healed from being homeless and living in the shelter. I’m still angry, still off-kilter. Still frustrated. Still lost.

I lost my internship. That was my first step to getting back on my feet for good. My health is part of what got in the way. I know I can’t let it control my life, but it does. When issues pop up and mess with your schedule because they’re messing with your ability to function, shit goes sideways fast. The other thing that was cause was that they didn’t have enough work for me to keep me busy. I tend to get into a zone when I’m working on any specific task, so I was basically too efficient for my own damn good.

That second one could be seen as a PLUS in most cases, but much of the work they had me doing at first was backlogged data entry. Once I got it caught up, there wasn’t much left.

But the first one. That’s the one I need to work on. It affects my reliability. Which affects my employability.

But that’s only part of what’s eating at me. It certainly leads into why I’m feeling off-kilter.

I’m frustrated. I feel stuck. I can’t do my old fall-back jobs (retail) anymore due to my disabilities. But the rigidity of the majority of offices is problematic as well.

So, here I am feeling like there truly is nowhere I belong. And that makes me angry. At myself. And at the world. We have a society that makes things so rigid in terms of employability that many people just don’t fit. Some do change themselves to make themselves fit that structure, but I’m not a kid anymore. I’m not as much of a chameleon as I used to be.

Some of the others who don’t fit have found a niche all to themselves. They have drive and focus and probably a means of financial backup. Things I don’t really have so much of.

If you asked me what my ideal job is, it would be along these lines:

  • Work independently with some team work.
  • Research (non-medical), data, etc
  • Social Media as part of the work.
  • Flexible schedule
  • Reasonable pay with benefits.

Now, if you asked me about my dream job, those things all still very much apply, but with these added things:

  • Live in Switzerland with my cat(s) in the different villages.
  • Translating and digitizing genealogical records held in the parishes.

A bit much? Maybe. But it’s something that kind of needs to be done. As a descendant of Swiss gr-grandparents, the older records just aren’t online and accessible for those of us whose ancestors emigrated away from home. So, I’d love to live a slightly nomadic life there working in the different villages to make the older records accessible to those who don’t live there.

But I’m still sitting here, frustrated and angry. No way to clearly make that happen. Any of it. And I feel very unemployable right now. But I have to find a way to BE employable because not becoming homeless again depends on it.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask for to have a stable job, home, cats, food in the fridge, bills paid, and enough left over to save up for other things.

I’m still angry at the world from living at the shelter. I’ve managed to suppress it enough that I don’t lash out at strangers. I see people now for what they tend to be, even if it isn’t what they think they are. I see the selfishness and ego. I see the good in some, whether by actions or words, but so many others who just seem to forget that they’re in a shared society. That we all need to pitch in and work WITH each other instead of against each other.

More another time….

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, faith, friends, health, life, medical, society, storage

1/19: Whatever Comes

[Still need help to get storage finished and caught up. If I don’t get it caught up before the end of the month, it’ll go to auction and I get no more second chances. Help me get it caught up.]

Life is full of ups and downs and challenges and … you get the idea. I’ve been to Hell and back so many fucking times in my 46 years that it’s like a second home. I face the challenge, deal with it, move forward.

Today potentially presented a new challenge for me. I started to feel pain in my left armpit last night and it continued through today and is getting a bit worse. I’ve done nothing to the area so I checked it in the mirror for swelling. There is a bit of swelling, so off I went to Urgent Care.

*Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing yet.

I left shortly after with a scrip for Amoxicillin. A swollen lymph node is the culprit. Why it’s inflamed, we don’t know. I see the plastic surgeon who messed up my reduction surgery in 2015 this coming Friday. If the swelling and pain has not begun to subside by then, I’ll request a biopsy.

I’ll also go up and get a boob squish session (ahh, mammograms) this week as well. It’s been a bit over 2 years now. They told me to go for 3 years, but this is a special situation.

There are a handful of things a swollen LN can be. The next level up on fighting some random infection, RA (no other signs, though), Cancer, etc.

Yes, I said the C word. What if it happens to be that? Then I’ll fight to the end of my damn days. The end of the world. It’s one more challenge for me to face.

It could also be nothing major. Which would be nice for once. I mean, shit, I’ve had cellulitis, a heart condition, C-PTSD, anxiety, broken bones and sprains that made the doctors wonder if I’d broken anything. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been raped repeatedly.

I’m still here. I’m still fighting. It would be nice to get a break health-wise. But if not, okay. Bring it on. Never tell me something is impossible. Or, better yet, DO tell me that so I can prove you wrong. I take perverse pleasure in proving someone wrong about me.

This is life. As sucky as it can be, this is life. If things in your life aren’t challenging, then you aren’t pushing yourself to truly live. Granted, no one wants cancer. But challenges are a part of life.

~A