Posted in activism, anxiety, asexuality, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, eviction, family, homeless, homelessness, LGBTQIA Pride, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

6/24/18: #PTSD, #Bullying, #Asexual #Pride, and #crowdfunding

Being here in the shelter sets my PTSD off in ways it doesn’t in my usual ways. Loud voices, doors slamming. Most of my triggers are related more to men and crowds, so being on transit during commute times is hell for me. But being in a building with all women with behaviors I haven’t seen since high school and raging estrogen flares… I’m reminded of how rare friendships with women are for me. I get along with some here, but many are wired in a way that makes my PTSD bubble to the surface.

I pull away from people in general when this hits. Add pain to the mix and I get snippy and my sarcasm level goes up.

I think I’ve done enough back and forth with doctors at the clinic. I made the semi-crack that I should call the patient advocate office. Then I decided that maybe I will. I don’t know if any good will come of it. I’ve had both my GP and the doctor filling in for her (she’s on a personal leave) reject the idea of getting anything more than x-rays. The pain that’s been most prevalent lately has been soft tissue damage from the fall down the stairs (well, bouncing) 5 1/2 years ago. I had my knees up with my feet against one wall to try to stop my descent as I bounced down the stairs. Soft tissue damage doesn’t show on x-rays.

Back to the shelter here. We had some bullying here several weeks back. I defended the person who was being bullied and was thus made a target as well. So, two days ago, one of the bullies was gossiping to a newer resident about the stuff from weeks ago, as well as subtle snark toward another. I walked past them in the hallway. I brushed it off, hoping it was a one-off moment.

Later that evening, I heard another resident pulling the same gossip crap, bashing the woman from weeks ago, to the same recipient. I hesitated a moment, but then turned back around and reported both incidents to the RA’s here.

Yesterday morning, I heard that same recipient tell the first gossip that they didn’t want to hear anything more. My guess is that she was told to not participate in it. Here, gossip is frowned upon and against the “good neighbor” policy.

Fast forward a few hours. One of the RA’s knocks on my door and says there are some residents who have complained that the litterbox smells. All the way down the hall. I use the Tidycats Breeze system for her. While the pellets are overdue for a change, her box isn’t that bad. I think the cat food smells worse. She’s mostly eating wet food right now due to needing meds. I’ve since heard from one other resident that no, she can’t smell it. Some of the dogs have issues of their own and have a habit of peeing on their dog beds. And their doors were open while mine wasn’t for the vast majority of the day (save for opening it to go to and from the bathroom).

I put two and two together and realized it’s the bullies getting their hackles back up. They don’t like being called out for their bad behavior. I’ll keep calling them on it. Bullying and gossip have no place in a respectable society. Yes, I know, I’m talking about a homeless shelter, but it applies. If you want to be respected, you have to work on respecting others.


One of the other situations here is one person who has this negative energy and has some kind of burning desire to be the center of attention. An Energy Vampire. She has triggered my PTSD in ways I didn’t think of. I grew up with a similar person. Always trying to outdo me in “how bad my day was” and other things. Always negative. This person is even worse. She has managed, within two weeks, to alienate or piss off almost everyone on our floor. That’s skill, man… not a GOOD skill, but a skill. Oof.


PRIDE!!

So, I’ve always been open about my sexuality. I am Aromantic Asexual. That basically means I don’t experience any romantic or sexual attraction.

Once more for those in the back:

Aromantic Asexual: I don’t experience romantic or sexual attraction.

It has nothing to do with the act of sex, the libido, etc. Just attraction.

Now, I’m also a sexual assault survivor, so the act of sex is kind of ‘meh’ to me. Some Aces (asexuals) enjoy sex with their partners, some have libidos, some don’t want any kind of touch… the array of possibilities is endless with us.

Do I find some men attractive? Yup. *cough*Tom Hiddleston*cough* … but it’s more of an aesthetic attraction. Oh, and several of the men Verillas uses for their models… oof. Very good looking men. Oh, and I want most of the stuff they offer for women.

For more information on Asexuality, go here: AVEN Wiki.

I’m not ashamed or afraid of representing who and what I am. If not for my PTSD and anxiety, I’d have gone to Pride here last weekend. Because of my PTSD, I have a difficult time with any kind of touch (the Energy Vampire mentioned above touched my shoulder and I had a hard time staying calm while I explained that I cannot handle touch and that not everyone wants that and she needs to ask permission before ANY touch).


I’ve been looking at dog breeds as potential ideas for a service dog. I’ve gone from Dobermans and Rotties to Tervurens and Groenedael’s. Saw a Terv weeks ago here and just fell in love. We shall see…


It’s been a rough week. And now I’m down to a bit under four days to raise what I need for storage. I have about $300 coming in from two tasks last week, but I still need help getting at least half of $1300 before noon on Thursday the 28th. I really should get more than half, but I know that might be difficult.

Any and all help via PayPal is immensely appreciated.

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, emergency, health, life, medical, Personal, storage, urgent

Phases…

I know I don’t post every day. I try to but then I hit a wall of “everything at once” coupled with fatigue, and I stop.

I also need to work on my archives blog.

Fatigue is a bitch. As is C-PTSD.

I do the best I can on any given day. It never seems enough to keep up with what I do have going. Yes, I feel like a failure, especially when I can’t get caught up on storage. When I ask for help again and again.

I’ll update the pinned post in the morning.

Thank you to every person out there who has shared, donated, helped in some way. I do appreciate everything you all do to keep me from losing my stuff and my mind.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

6/12/18: Things… and #crowdfunding

Among other things, I am back to needing help with storage. I did okay last month, but various little things absorbed what I made and this month has been slower so far. I believe auction is at the end of this week, so the 15th. I owe just under $1300 and if I can get as much of that as possible (at least half) before auction, I should be okay.


I had my hearing for disability this morning. It went well, despite my lack of voice. I think that almost helped when it came to the idea of doing clerical work. I can’t answer phones when my voice may randomly cut out without warning. Vocal Cord Dysfunction is what it’s called, and lots of things trigger it such as fumes from bleach or mold and mildew. Without going into too much detail, my lawyer said he feels the judge sensed I was credible in my various issues that keep me from many jobs. Can I work? Yes, but there are so many restrictions that my field of possibilities is narrow. All of it put together reaffirms what I’ve been telling people all along: give me an office with tech and research topics to dig through and I’m a happy person. No customers, no phone switchboard/multiline phones, etc.

I also did the one bonehead thing I never thought people actually did. When I was sworn in, I raised my left hand when she said to raise my right. Let’s just say if I have to do that again, I’ll have plenty of coffee beforehand. Never go to a hearing uncaffeinated.


I have all kinds of “I wish people would stop…” or “I can’t fucking believe this happened…” rants, but I think I’ll do those another time.

I’ve had my share of frustrations lately. Who hasn’t? Living in a homeless shelter, I hear it all. Some of it I wish I didn’t. We have one day where everyone is all cool, and then the next people are sniping at each other over little nothings. It’s a women’s shelter with 60 residents as well as staff. I hear about health issues, dealing with parole officers, craving things, family members getting into trouble, you name it. I’m here because I couldn’t get a damn job in time before I was evicted. No alcohol or drug issues. No parole. But here I am.


I need to get back to cleaning up my room. Need to organize the crap out of everything. I’ve gotten two warnings now that my room was unprepared/possibly over what I’m allowed. I need to get back into storage ASAP so I can secure things and not get more warnings.

Halp?

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, PTSD, storage, urgent

6/5/18: #crowdfunding and Common Courtesy

Crowdfunding: Okay…  CROWDFUNDING! Yeah, I know. Didn’t we JUST do this two months ago? Yes… yes we did. And I saved it from auction by paying just over half with the help of several people. I’ve had some jobs/tasks and made some money, but it all went to a variety of other things, such as catching up on crap I needed. I have a couple hundred coming in from a task late last week, but a small part of that will be going to getting business cards printed to help BOOST my visibility for tasks. While TR does have a deal with MOO, it’s still vastly overpriced for my tastes.

My storage will be coming up on the auction block again this month. I need to raise as much as possible ASAP.

Promo: If you need affordable printing done, use GotPrint. They’re super affordable and produce very nice work. Well, as nice as you give them. I design my own stuff, so I make sure images are clear, etc. You can also use their templates, etc, but I like doing my own thing.

Common Courtesy: One of my bugaboos. It’s Tourist Season here in Portland. This is something that bugs me year round, no matter who it is. Common Courtesy is lacking. And where do I see it the worst?

Public Transit.

Also, elevators.

LET PEOPLE GET OFF BEFORE YOU BOARD!!!!!

(also)

GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY SO PEOPLE CAN GET OFF THE TRAIN/BUS/ELEVATOR!!!!

OMG, you have no idea how much this pisses me off. I use a cane and may be switching to a walker before long (canes aren’t as great for back issues. Knees, legs, etc yeah, but I end up torquing my low back and putting stress on my back in odd ways). Most of the time, I have to wait until the bus or train comes to a stop before I even get up to move to the door.

With the bus, most of the drivers for Trimet are really good about putting their arm out and letting people know someone is getting off via the front door. Trains and streetcar (and elevators) are a whole other ballgame. Yesterday, I was getting off the streetcar to go catch the bus to get home (yes, still at the shelter) and I had my small wheeled shopping cart full. About 7 or 8 people crowded around the door I was trying to get out of. I was so close to mimicking Andre the Giant from Princess Bride: “Everybody MOOOVE!!”

I didn’t, but it was tempting.

Here’s the thing: It’s much easier to stand aside and let people get off first before you get on. Earlier yesterday, I was getting off the elevator here and another woman crowded the door so I was barely able to squeeze by her trying to get off as she wanted to get on the elevator.

Part of it is my anxiety and C-PTSD. I have a hard time with people crowding around me. GAH! I’m much like a caged animal when I’m in a crowd. I may just shut down and internalize it or I may snap and say things that make people question my sanity.

Hell, I question my OWN sanity on a daily basis.

I guess I have more to say, but this computer is draining the battery like nobody’s business, so I’m gonna wrap it up for now.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, urgent

5/8: Stealth Dragon (and #crowdfunding)

So, I’ve been running around to appts and all kinds of things. In the past week or so, my task hires have been picking up, so there is income. Not enough to cover storage. WHen we saved it from auction last month, we got just over half of the 1400-ish. So there was 600 by end of April and now another 302 on that… climbing back up. Any help is appreciated.

Also, for some reason, my hotspot from my other phone is no longer letting me do stuff, so between it and the shelter wifi, my connectivity is sucking hard. If someone I know has an xfinity account with hotspot service, I’d love them forever if I could have access to the hotspot service.

I’ve applied for a few jobs and waitlists for housing, but it’s all a very slow process.

I’m sitting in a Starbucks in NW PDX as I arrived early for a small task. I’ve officially given my first blood sacrifice to IKEA. Specifically to the PAX wardrobe. A few layers of skin got sliced and pulled back just below my nail bed. Not fun.

In other medical stuff, Portia is switching FROM Gabapentin, which the vet gave her for the adjustment to the shelter life around dogs. And she’ll be starting on Prozac. I need to get her calmer to be around the dogs without charging them and hitting the baby gate in the doorway.

And I’m switching pain meds TO Gabapentin and away from narcotic pain meds. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ll try to keep things updated more in the coming days. Internet connection allowing, of course. I’ve had a few ideas swirling around in my head for posts.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, chronic pain, cluster headaches, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, medical, music, Personal, poverty line, storage, urgent

4/21/18: Clusterfuckery & Shelter Life

Random cluster(fuck) headache ranting/grumbling… ignore if you don’t want to read my grouchiness.

CLUSTERFUCKERY:

I’ve had a low-grade cluster headache going about a week now. For those unfamiliar with them, no drugs can really touch them, the medical field has no clue what exactly causes them, and they’re a bitch to get rid of. Where caffeine helps tension and migraine headaches, it does nothing for clusters.

What may be the reason doctors can’t pinpoint the cause is that it may be different for each patient. I know I get them after (usually) every other monthly cycle. But I’m on Depo-Provera (birth control, if you didn’t know) to keep my hormones balanced. So the main times they show up now is when I’m about due for my next shot, which will be in a couple weeks. The only thing that knocks them down to OTC med care level is oxygen therapy. Medicaid won’t cover a small tank for me, so I have to call the clinic and give them a heads up that I need the therapy. They put me in an exam room, wheel in a tank, hook me up, turn off the lights and return 15-20 minutes later. This brings the pain level down to about a 2 on the scale of 1-10, so then I can take an Aleve and that gets the rest of it. I’ve been between a 5 and a 7 on the scale for days now and just dealing with it. Mostly ignoring it.

I can’t anymore.

But I may wait until Monday as the clinic has short hours on Saturdays and is closed Sundays. I’d kill for a proper eye patch right now. It hits my right side and my right eye is rather unhappy. But a good eye patch isn’t easy to find. So, I just avoid bright light as much as possible for now.

SHELTER LIFE:

This is mostly me whining about shit. I have always been hyersensitive to strong scents. Can’t handle the smell of bleach (makes me sick), as well as most perfumes/colognes/body washes or sprays.

So… this morning…

Someone is singing in the shower… badly. Also using Ivory soap or something with a similar strong scent. Blargh. It’s a lot like with perfumes, strong scents from anything man-made freaking fuck with my allergies.

I also can’t use Tide as we discovered an allergy to it when I was in high school. Mom used Tide almost religiously. At one point, she washed a new pair of my nylons for choir and when I put them on, my legs broke out in a rash/contact dermatitis. From that point on, until I moved out, she had to buy unscented, no-dyes detergent. I’ve stuck to that myself as well. And of course, what do they hand out to the ladies here for detergent? Tide Pods. I use my own stuff.
Okay, it’s been 30 minutes since I closed my door and I can still smell her soap. I need a door thingy that is mostly for keeping drafts out, but i need one for my door for scents. I also wanna fix the seal stuff around the rest of my door. I can see light from the hall coming through when I have the lights out.

One thing with being in a homeless shelter: watch your shit. On our less-populated floor we’ve had money, clothes, a tablet, and other things get stolen. Only one of those things was returned and the thief booted and banned.

I keep my door locked all the time. But someone used some of my lactose free milk from the fridge (there are two resident fridges and we have to label our stuff. Also one house fridge in the laundry room).

My food stamps are done for the month and have nothing to get more milk, bottled water (the tap water tastes and smells musty/moldy. the pipes need replacing), veggies, etc. Also no cash.

I’m down to about $1 on my PP card/account (I have a debit card from PayPal) and I’m pretty sure my checking account is back in the red from an auto payment for a debt collector. I have one task set up for the 30th. That’s my only income right now. I may get more, but no way of knowing. I can’t plan them. It all depends on clients hiring me via the TR site/app.

I am going to one job fair on Tuesday and an informational interview on Monday. New VR job coach, new ideas.

It’s been a rough week. Transportation miscommunication and snafus along with a severe pain flare up from my back and the cluster headache… and general lack of sleep and the hell it causes. Doc has ordered a referral and sleep study. Had one years ago while on different insurance. They wouldn’t cover anA-PAP machine. I might be able to get one now, but need to do a new study.

I may put a few non-perishable things I mentioned above on my Amazon wishlist. I need to link Portia’s wishlist on here as well. Yes, my cat has her own wishlist. Shush.

More to come later…

And yes, still want to cover the rest of what I need to catch up on storage. Just under $600 left before the end of the month.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, health, homeless, homelessness, insomnia, life, medical, Personal, storage, urgent

4/19/18: Running Ragged

Since last weeks’ close call with the auction, I’ve been running errands, going to appointments, and dealing with one very nasty pain flare from my back. After 3 days of barely being able to move, let alone get anything done, I’m finally emerging from the other side of this pain. I feel like it’s more than just my sciatica, but there’s no way to tell at this point if it’s from damage from the fall five-ish years ago. That’s my guess, but since they weren’t as aggressive as I would have liked in diagnosis (they only x-rayed my tailbone), there is no way to tell what type of soft tissue damage happened. Same with the fall in December. It took me two months before I could get any scans, and it was only x-rays again. I get it, I’m on Medicaid. They’re being cheap. But still.

With the help of several folks, I was able to keep auction at bay on storage. For now. To get it caught up to end of April, I need another 597 or so. I had hoped to get that in tasks, but earlier this week, someone hacked their site and the apps and all of Taskrabbit went down. It came back up part way yesterday, but it isn’t complete. So far, no clients. Hoping that changes soon.

I’m adjusting -slowly- to life here at the shelter. I think Portia is adjusting better as she’s gate-hopping when I have the door propped open (a baby gate, I’m loaning my second one to one of the other ladies). I’m still very sleep deprived. One other thing is that as someone with Celiac’s and other food issues, I can’t just buy the cheap stuff. So my food stamps dwindle fast. And Portia may need to switch to all canned food… not sure yet on her. My GP has sent in a referral for a new sleep study, so maybe I can get an A-PAP machine…

I know I’ve been silent since last week. The stress of the last minute save knocked me down hard. Then the pain, so it’s been a rough week. But I’m still here and coming up for air.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, chronic pain, community, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, family, friends, genealogy, homeless, homelessness, insomnia, life, research, society, storage, urgent

4/11/18: Mornings, Genealogy, and #crowdfunding

SHARE ME!!! Still asking for help, of course. I will keep updating when funds do come in.

Mornings are difficult for me. Life here at the residence shelter has been, well, an adjustment, to say the least. For the past year, I stayed with a retired couple of friends. Early? Nope!

Before that, my depression was so fierce, getting up before 9am was difficult. Between it and pain, mornings aren’t easy. But here I am getting up around 7am. I know what some of you may be thinking.

“Good! Then you won’t be so lazy.”

And those of you who will think that have likely never dealt with chronic pain, fatigue, and lifelong insomnia. Which certainly isn’t helped by the late night bed checks and me being a light sleeper.

I may go to bed at a reasonable time, but my brain just won’t shut up for at least an hour (if I’m lucky) after that. Last night, I still hadn’t gotten close to sleep by the time bed checks happened. I finally zonked out around 2am. Only to be woken by Portia around 5am. Then a bit more rest, but not full sleep, and the wake up yell at 7am by staff.

One thing I wish I’d inherited from my dad: he was out cold shortly after his head hit the pillow. How his kid (me) ended up being a lifelong insomniac is bewildering. I got so many other traits from him and his side…

Speaking of family/family history, I’ve put the idea out there about doing a genealogy group here. Teaching whomever is interested in how to search for their bloodlines and see where they end up.

I am also finally going to a group today on public speaking. We’re supposed to do three a week, or other regular activities can take the place of them (X number of work or volunteering hours count toward 1 group hour). This group is, I think, focused on developing public speaking skills to help use your voice in soeaking up for homeless advocacy.

More to come. Do remember to share posts and help me save my storage unit before tomorrow’s auction.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, health, life, medical, PTSD, storage, urgent

3/29/18: Broken Record, Part Deux (and #crowdfunding)

#crowdfunding: Time is running out on saving storage before April rent gets tacked on. Any and all help will do. I’ve had a bad run of little to no income. My income isn’t steady by any means, but it’s been well below a level where I could support paying storage. So, here I am, begging again before I lose everything.

On to the other broken record.

When I wrote that yesterday, I had something in mind to say but never really got around to saying it.

I’ve essentially been disabled, due to my back, over half my life. Trust me, it sucks. What I find both frustrating and intriguing at the same time is that, despite me using a cane 95% of the time, many people don’t consider me disabled. As if the only way a person could be considered physically disabled is if they’re permanently in a wheelchair. Or some such inanity. Between chronic pain and fatigue and my PTSD, and other things that just come and go as they please (cluster[fuck] headaches being one of the more annoying ones), I am technically disabled. Now, my hearing for disability is in June, so whether I’m “legally” disabled will be determined then. Most everyone I know says I should have gone on SSDI years ago, but for too many years, I felt I could handle it. I could push it down and go on with my life while it occasionally acts up.

But my body has determined otherwise. I do know that losing weight and getting back in shape will help to some degree, but I can’t afford a gym membership to anywhere within reason. If it were to take me longer to get there just in one direction on public transit than it would take for me to work out, it isn’t worth it to me.

So one may ask why would someone who is disabled -especially physically- bother with working out?

After walking with my cane for the past year on a very regular basis, I can tell you that strengthening arms, legs, back, and other muscles will go a long way toward battling muscle fatigue when doing daily tasks. It won’t make the chronic pain go away. My nerve damage is for life. I know that and have long come to terms with it. But the muscles around those nerves need to support me in my daily living. If I can’t stand longer than 10 minutes to do dishes, I need to strengthen the muscles that begin to hurt at the 10 minute mark. It isn’t my muscles that are damaged. It’s the nerves, and the discs that have damaged those nerves in years past. Strengthening the muscles in my back will go a long way toward keeping the discs in place if I fall more.

And knowing me, I WILL fall more. Yeesh! I’m a klutz.

If I can keep the muscles strong, the damage in future falls and other incidents won’t be as brutal as the damage from the last two falls. Or even the one at 17. Through dance and weightlifting, I was able to get the slipped discs back in place within five years. It isn’t easy.

But I shouldn’t have to PROVE I’m disabled to the general population. I have my cane. I don’t get why people question it. Just because my cane isn’t some utilitarian piece? Whatever. Yes, I have a “fancy” cane. And? I paid good money for that fucker, I’m gonna use it!

Anyway… gonna go meander off to do… something. My wifi sucks here at the shelter, so I’m limited.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, history, homeless, life, medical, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

3/28/18: Broken Record?

[still #crowdfunding until I’m blue in the face. So, there’s that bit out of the way.]

I think I’ve blogged in the past the timeline of main injuries and such. First injured my back at 17, etc… I’ve had minor concussions, knee injuries (including a patella fracture), feet/toes/ankles, etc… and my back.

28 years ago when I first injured it, I hated that it slowed me down. That it made dancing difficult and many other aspects of my skinny-ass dancer’s life also difficult. I simultaneously acknowledged my disability and also refused to acknowledge it was going to be a lifetime thing. Sciatica doesn’t heal. It can lessen over time, but never fully goes away.

Then I messed it up again about five years ago. And then again last December. It has kept me from jobs I always enjoyed doing. Helping others. About a year and a half ago (almost), I realized I had PTSD. Suddenly all the anxiety and stuff made sense.

I have spent the last few years coming to terms with the concept of truly being disabled. I feel I can still contribute to society, but HOW is the hard part. I accept being disabled, but it isn’t the only thing that defines me.

I still feel very stuck in place. In that fog. But I do everything I can to move forward, out of that fog. Away from it so I can see what’s around me.

~A