Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, life, nature, peace, poetry, storage, urgent

8/15: Stars (& #crowdfunding desperation)

(I know I keep asking. I hate asking. But getting back on my feet hasn’t been an easy path. Just a bit longer. If you like my #poetry and posts, please feel free to share and contribute if you are able. With eventual stability, or at least things caught up, my ability to focus on things I love and need to do improves. Thank you)

Dreams made
Imagine beyond
The world
We know.
Starstuff dreaming of
Stars.
Who is out there?
What lies outside
Our reach?
Will we know?
Or destiny says
Stay.
Not knowing is
Best.
For now.
Where do
We
Fit in this expanse?
Starstuff dreaming
Of the stars out
There.
Keep dreaming.
Wondering.
Asking.
The answer is there.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, community, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, faith, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/13: Storage #crowdfunding and my Weekend

Yeah… still needing help with storage. I really don’t want to let it get too much closer to the end of the month… it gets bad after the 15th of this month. Retweet, share, spread the word… any help will do.

I spent this weekend, starting mid afternoon Friday, helping the folks I’m staying with deal with their yard sale… except for today, as we didn’t run it today. I headed out to a friend’s place who’s moving out of the country in October. Picked up some lace and trim (do you even know how hard it is to find black lace trim??)

So, I’m gonna get all sentimental on my stuff in storage. Bear with me…

My father served in WWII. After he died in 2014, I (eventually) received his coffin flag, even though we have yet to do any kind of ceremony. That in and of itself, is a LONG story of family dramatics I’m not getting into here. His flag is in storage.

Several months before he died, we had this conversation:

Me: So, I want to get back into playing piano.
I’m thinking of saving up and buying an electric one.

Dad: Why don’t we try and send the old piano up to you?
Me: Dad, it would cost more than that thing is worth to transport it up here.
Dad: I’m sure we could figure something out.
Me: Besides, the only place for me to put it is the wall where the sleeping alcove for the studio next door is. I’m not going to torment my poor neighbor.
…..
(The rest of the call went a lot like that. The next day, I got an email from my sister accusing me of trying to get dad to buy me a piano, which is not what happened.)
…..
Me: Hi dad.
Dad: Uh-oh, what did I do? (an ongoing gag with the two of us then)
Me: Did you talk to ***** recently?
Dad: Yes. What happened?
Me: I got an email from her accusing me of trying to get you to buy me a piano.
Dad: I said nothing like that.
…..
Me: Why did you even tell her?
Dad: Well, I was excited you wanted to get back to music.
Me: Proud? (my dad was a pretty laid back person)
Dad: Yeah. You were always so happy and upbeat back then. I would love to see you get back to that.
…..
Keep in mind, I had no clue he even ever really paid attention to it back then, let alone be proud. This is just how my family has been.

When he died later that year, I knew that whatever I got from the estate, at least some of it would go toward an electric piano. And it did. That piano, like all my other things, is in storage. I can’t lose what my dad wanted me to so desperately have again.

Some of my mother’s quilting pattern pieces. Also a large chunk of my fabric. And my sewing machine.

My costumes, which range from ones I designed and my mother sewed up for me, to ones I sewed, to pieces purchased from others. Furniture that has a lot of sentimental value.

And so much more. This is all why I’m so desperate to keep my stuff in there safe and in my hands. I ask for that help once again. I know I owe at least $650, and have a bit less than half that… even if you can’t help financially, please consider sharing or retweeting this post. The more people who see it, the better my chances are.

 

Posted in cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, health, insomnia, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/10: Depression Sucks Ass

Today was going to be a low-key but productive day. Between pain and exhaustion from the last few days (two furniture tasks on Sunday, then appointments all over until yesterday), and shitty sleep…. well… yeah. (Yes, still crowdfunding….)

The stress of this year so far has weighed down on me… considerably.

I have days, much like today, where my intent from the night before is to get some sleep, then get up, run an errand or two, do some writing or editing, search for jobs, and generally do things that need to be done.

But then I’m woken up before dawn by a certain 14lb feline sitting on my full bladder…

I want to be able to function earlier in the day… but the fucked up sleep cycle of depression messes me up. Me, and others like me, may sleep for the better part of 12 hours some days, but it’s fitful at best, and leaves us in a vicious cycle of shitty sleep and no energy to do things once we do get upright.

I want to do more. I want to spend an hour or two in the morning editing or writing… then going on with the rest of my day with errands and stuff… but depression stifles the physical ability to get going. It isn’t that I don’t WANT to do these things… I have the desire… it’s the physical energy to get up and do them.

It’s like there’s a wall that depression built. I’m on one side of it and all my hobbies and interests are on the other side. I can see them, but there’s no way around or over the wall. I can try to chip away at the wall to break it down, but if I stop and rest for a minute, the wall heals itself as if nothing had happened.

Tomorrow, I may have a decent day. Likely not starting very early either, but one where I can get things done.

Sure, I could put on some happy face mask and pretend like everything is all hunky-dory and life is awesome… but it isn’t and I won’t.

I had a shitty day today.

Depression sucks ass.

But I’m not going to hide it.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, PTSD, storage

8/9/17: Ermagherd, a Blog Post! & #crowdfunding

Yeah, I know… but some days, I just can’t put words in actual sentences … and enough sentences for a post. A few things: yes, still need help with storage. Remember, I’m basically homeless and nearly all my belongings are in that storage unit… I’m trying to earn the money, but it isn’t happening fast enough.

So, something I’ve been thinking about since I started my journey to get back and finish my degree. This is also relevant with the prospect of going overseas for a second degree/escaping the stupidity in our politics, as well as general making ends meet.

I’m doing this alone. 

Yes, it is my choice. I have no interest in dating. I’m more aromantic-asexual right now. I don’t have a partner, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc… and I’m more interested in men in general anyway, so the wife/girlfriend thing isn’t a thing for me. I just used those to cover my bases. Many of my classmates do. They have husbands and wives and partners, etc… those who don’t have family they can live with. Great! Awesome! That’s … wonderful… but I’m over here struggling because I am very much alone in my journey. Yes, I have siblings, but they’re both 600-ish miles away and I don’t really speak to one of them unless I absolutely have to. So, yes, when life started teetering on the edge of disaster last fall, I had a hard time sorting out my direction. First the C-PTSD, then the eviction and loss of JoJo and my world crashing down around me.

But I’m still here… still trying. I don’t feel I have that support network of someone who will help do household things (granted, I’m in a different position than I was before… living with people, but still have to do things for myself) while I do my weekly readings and assignments. I -HAVE- to get work, not have a spouse who can do the FT job and me cut back hours in a currently non-existent-job to focus on school. To me, having someone else cover those things would be a luxury.

Then there’s the general “how can anyone afford to live here?” problem we’re getting to here in Portland. Rents are going through the roof and waiting lists for low-income places are miles and years long now. And for a single person, 34K is low income. If I get a job close in, I want to keep my commute as short as possible. That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years… long commutes suck the life out of a person like me. I know… I’ve done it. And I had a car at the time. Now I’m on transit, and my anxiety doesn’t make being on the train very easy.

Then we have goals… dreams… packing up and heading to Europe to live for a while. Preferably in Germany attending a school with the intent of a second Master’s degree. Maybe stay there for a few years, paying into the tax system as the college is free there and that’s how it’s able to be free. But I’d need a decent chunk of change just to get over there, get settled into a place and then start school… I’d still need income of some sort. And the program I’m looking at is very intensive during each term. The breaks are nice and long… presumably to help restore some of the sanity of the poor student. But income… I don’t know what I’d be able to do while in an intensive class structure. I’ve joked that I should marry someone just to have income for a roof over our heads… but that would mean living with another person… and I can’t see that happening for a very long time. I simply don’t do well having roommates… of the human kind.

So that support network that many others have is something I don’t. For the most part, I don’t want a partner of any kind in my life. But a small part of me wishes I did have someone to lean on and be a mutual support system.

I struggle with that part of me. I’m stubbornly independent (just not wholly financial) and individualistic. I am my own person who doesn’t need another person to feel complete.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, dreams, grad school, health, homeless, life, Personal, PTSD, storage

8/1: Dragon Mode On… oh, and some #crowdfunding

Yes, still need to take care of storage. There’s a link to the new YouCaring campaign in the menu, and in the sidebar, the PP donate button is always active.

I’ve posted in the past about how hard it is for me to deal with crowds and being on public transit. My anxiety about crowds and such has gone up even more since my C-PTSD was massively triggered last November. There are few men I know that I allow to hug me now, and even many of them have to still ask for permission. Or they at least ask even though I’ve told them they’re on the “approved list.”

I’ve gotten to where even sitting next to someone on the train or bus grates on my nerves and pushes the hot buttons for my anxiety. It’s mostly when one or both of us is just a bit wider than the seats. I think most Americans are anyway… they do make those seats pretty damn narrow. It’s the whole ‘touching’ thing. I’m not entirely sure why right now. If I had my own place and worked 100% remotely, I’d likely turn into a shut-in and have my groceries and everything delivered and only go outside for rare excursions.

I have to listen to music, and the volume gets turned up to where I don’t have to listen to people’s voices as much. Some, however, are too damn loud for their own good. When they’re loud AND racist, then even more buttons get pushed. That happened Sunday. I didn’t do anything because I was tired, but damn, I was so tempted to smack that jackass for saying racist shit.

So, people are nudging me into Dragon Mode. I’m not always very nice in Dragon Mode. The politics of fuckery going on in DC, the people talking shit on the train here, my own frustrations of finances and health stuff. Dealing with the whole “getting my degree DONE” mess. So help me, if I can swing it and survive Fall term (if I’m able to go back) and finish my degree, in December, I want to scrape up some funds and find a way to get out of town for a few days. Go on a mini vacation of some sort. Unplug from everything. Maybe not be so easily drawn into Dragon Mode.

For me, Dragon Mode is when I want to snarl at people, curl up into a ball with Portia nearby, and just rest… when I don’t want to deal with people, even though I know I have to. When the littlest shit sets me off into a bad mood. When I’m fed up, burned out, and exhausted beyond all reason. And I still keep going because I have to. I need to interact. I need to go to appointments. Find a job. Go grocery shopping. Need to ask for help at times.

It’s how my life kinda just is right now. I may have pain on any particular day, sometimes a headache, sometimes my back or my knee or… yeah… but if it isn’t completely off the charts, I have things I need to do. And I do them. Some days are harder than others. But I still try.

This year has been challenging for me. Ever since last Fall, really. My downward spiral started hitting last summer when I just could not grasp this one class I was taking. I wasn’t sure what was wrong then. I’m still not. I’m doing better, but Life keeps lobbing massive lemons at me. I’m pretty sure they’re grapefruits now. Urf. That might explain the headaches.

Well, I had a busy day today and my flame is dwindling for the day. Need some rest to get my flame back tomorrow…

~Dragon

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, storage

7/31: #YouCaring, #Crowdfunding, Storage, and Stuff

I really didn’t want to go this route, but here I am. In the menu, you’ll see a new page/link.

YouCaring: Saving Penguin’s Possessions

Come tomorrow morning, August rent for storage will be tacked on, adding another $280 to my current $351. There will likely be other fees attached to July rent.

The goal is to get the excess raised ASAP, preferably before the 15th. The sooner, the better. Why? Because I need access to my nicer shoes for things like interviews. The only interview-worthy shoes I have with me are a pair of ballet flats with skulls on them. They’re not obvious, as they’re woven into the design. I also need access to the rest of my tools and supplies.

I currently have 240. I’ll need $631+ after tomorrow. They don’t take partial payments. I’m doing what I can to make money here and there through Taskrabbit, but I can get a task a week or nothing or four in a week. I do have this ongoing one, but the pay rate isn’t great.

Through my VR Coach, we’re getting some job leads, and I sent him a link for a library job that pays pretty decently. He’ll talk to them some more tomorrow. My hopeful goal is to be in my own place, or pretty damn close to getting into one, by my birthday, which is two months away. I hate being in flux like this.

I also need to start scrounging up the funds to submit my application for second citizenship in Switzerland. I have the family info laid out and verified. I’m on file with the consulate. I just need to come up with the funds and do a bit of brushing up on many things Swiss before going to SF for the interview (at the consulate). Starting next year, the process gets even more restrictive, so I’d like to get my application in before the end of the year. The fee is between $600 and $700.

Granted, I also need to get my US passport as well. I’ve never needed one.

Someone asked me recently what my dream job was. This is my response:

To travel around Switzerland staying in the different villages. What would I do there? Transcribe and digitize the parish records for births, marriages, and deaths of those in each village. So that people like me can access this information by a much easier-to-process request, as it would all be in a database. It took months and several nudges in a forum to find someone who could track down my paternal line. One woman finally found my great-grandfather, who was born and married twice there. His first wife likely died in childbirth. His second wife is my great-grandmother. My grandfather was born here in the US, but having his parents born there gives me a greater chance of obtaining federal citizenship (there are 3 levels of Swiss citizenship). She was able to trace back five more generations of the male line. 

I don’t know how to go about getting this job. Who would I be working for? The government or the Catholic Church, as it’s their records I would be working with. I don’t know. But it is one dream job. 

Until I do go there, I still have to survive here. Which means work. Which also means not losing treasured memories and items I’ve collected. Which means swallowing my pride yet again and asking for help.

Hopefully, I’ll also be able to go back and finish my degree starting in a few weeks. I have several hoops to jump through, but I only need one semester with no mayhem such as an eviction to mess me up. I want to get it done. Get my hands on that precious piece of paper I can hold up to all the naysayers and say, “SEE? I’M NOT STUPID! I BEAT THE ODDS!”

I have survived so much in my life. I refuse to be held back from achieving my master’s degree. One semester. Two electives and my capstone. Seven credits.

I just have a few hoops to jump through to get through it.

Reducing the stress of finances will help. Any help is appreciated. Even just sharing links.

~A

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, grad school, life, Personal, PTSD, storage, urgent

7/31: Tunnels, Lights, and still #crowdfunding

A bit ago, I posted a very short post about crowdfunding. I estimated I had $220, and I was close: $210.

I need a total of $351 by 6pm Pacific time. Less than 4 hours. So, roughly $140-ish… paypal over in the sidebar (unless you’re on mobile, then they’re at the bottom). Every bit helps.


On to what I was going to blog about initially…

I’ve struggled with a lot this year. Starting late last fall, I dipped into a deeper depression than I’d ever had, even with suicidal ideation on the table. C-PTSD was now on the table and front and center in my life. Then the eviction and death of JoJo, and then… and then… and then… Virtually everything else in my life was on hold.

Including school. In the midst of the mess my life had become, my advisor and I made the decision to drop all of my classes and try to complete the class I was retaking as an Incomplete. Which, due to other things, ended up not getting done and I got at F. Financial Aid got rescinded and I then owed the school $4500. I finally got my head clear enough today to call someone in the cashier’s office and ask about what I can do. I found the form I was told about, filled it out (fillable PDF’s are a freaking Godsend), and sent it in to the controller. I also may need to scan some of the legal docs surrounding the whole mess. But, if approved, that amount would get waived due to special circumstances and the block on continuing classes would get lifted. I also may need to convince Financial Aid that I really am taking this seriously and will do some serious kicking ass and taking of names this Fall. I have a good idea of what to do now.

The goal is to get my degree DONE. I want to finally be able to hold that piece of paper in my hands and know that I’ve accomplished something no one ever expected a fuck-up like me (who wasn’t expected to finish high school) to do. Finish a graduate degree.

So this is one light in a tunnel. Hopefully this will all work out and by Christmas I’ll have my MLIS.

~A

Posted in chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, family, friends, grief, health, life, Personal, storage

7/29: Paying It Forward & Other Things…

Storage: Yeah… still need a little help with storage. The ongoing task I’m doing won’t pay the first round in time, so it’ll help for August, but not July. I’ll tally up and see what exactly I need tomorrow. But payment has to be in by 6pm tomorrow Pacific Time. (I’ve had to use some for food, as I ran out of FS funds, but I’m guessing between 60-100 or so, once you add in the late fees.)

Shit… I need cat litter soon… like SOON. Also, cans of food for her. I swear, if I could have a public wishlist on Chewy, I would. But I talked to them and they don’t have anything like that.

Paying It Forward: After friends, and even a few strangers, stepped up to help me get my stuff packed up and into storage during my eviction, I felt I needed to pay it forward in some way. I don’t always have the emotional or physical strength to do a lot. But helping a friend move between units in a retirement building was manageable. I spent yesterday and today helping move stuff and some furniture between floors. Most of what’s going into the new place is done. Still a few things to get done and moved down, but maintenance will be able to help.

We all have limitations. Some of us have good days where our limitations don’t affect us as much (although what we do on those good days may lead to some ugly days shortly after). This weekend has been a pair of those good days for me. It’s funny to me that I look at my own belongings and be mentally paralyzed… meaning I look at it and just don’t know how to tackle it. But then I look at someone elses’ things and I’m all, “okay, so this can go here, and we can load that, and go ahead and put that on there. No, that won’t fit that way…” you get the idea.

My friend I helped this weekend has Fibromyalgia among other health issues. Her limitations are far greater than mine. I certainly have my days where even fixing dinner and sitting upright is a challenge, but give me a task and a tight deadline and I’m in a mindset of “pain? what pain? oh, THAT pain… nah… I’ll deal with it later.” I am sore right now. That’s what happens. And besides, those desks weren’t that heavy. Once the drawers were out, they were pretty light. I can deal with the aftereffects. Helping someone move from one studio to another in a short time is worth the pain I’ll have.

Losing People: I’ve faced my own mortality on more than one occasion. It sucks. But I’m not afraid of it. Others are. Something I’ve never understood. It is inevitable, so why fear it? A friend and former coworker passed away recently. She wasn’t a young woman, but not pushing 100 either. She passed away quietly in her sleep. Losing friends and family over the years -of all ages- is something I ponder on. Everyone has their own way of doing things. My parents were “no fuss” types (even though I still want to have the ceremony and have their ashes interred in a military cemetery as my dad was a WWII Vet. It’s just a matter of getting them from a certain person in the family. Long, ugly story). Then there are others who do various celebrations of life and a funeral and all sorts of rituals.

What matters to me is to remember my mortality. And then celebrate the fact I’m still alive, despite staring death in the face. I may not always seem like I’m celebrating, but I am grateful to be able to wake up every day. Sometimes, that’s enough.

~A

Posted in cats, crowdfunding, depression, friends, grief, homeless, life, Personal, semicolon, storage, transitions

7/27: More shamelessness and reflection…

I’m edging closer to having what’s needed for storage, but due to late fees, I need a bit over 300… I’m at about 230 right now (ran out of food stamps and needed a few things… and a few cans of cat food for Portia… which food stamps don’t cover). If I can get the rest of it together, I can run down there tomorrow and pay it up (two different cards, etc). I really don’t want it snowballing into next month. Then it gets out of control.

As for reflection… I’ve had a rough couple of days with frustration levels and pain and … well, you know. I saw my therapist today. I read her the venting text and then we talked about it and how it sums everything up. She also noted that no matter how shitty things get, I find humor.

This comes from years of dealing with abuse and such that I had to find things to keep me going. As my mother later started to wither from her Alzheimer’s, I got my dad into the same mindset. Find the humor in the situation. Whenever and wherever possible. If you can’t find it in the messy situation, find something else that makes you smile or feel good to balance out the mess. We had many bad moments with her disease… as is the way with Alzheimer’s, but we had amusing things to look back on, such as the Marshmallow Incident and how she lost her license (thankfully no one got hurt). I have some OLD blog posts from before I started this one that I may dig up and schedule on here so that they’re here as well.

So, yeah, I do my best to balance the shittiness of how things have been this year. And whether it’s listening to music, or watching Portia be an absolute dork of a cat, or laughing at some memory… it all works. I love telling stories. I get animated when I really get into it.

No matter how bad things get… remember to live and laugh.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, community, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, health, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, semicolon, storage

7/26: …..

I honestly wasn’t sure what people would think of last night’s post. A lot of my frustration comes from being essentially unemployed for two years (I started doing TaskRabbit about a year and a half ago and get some gigs, but not steady enough and definitely not enough income to survive on) and then the eviction earlier this year. My current situation is … well… sometimes good, and sometimes that temptation to snap becomes pretty damn strong. I’m not good with living with other people. I’ve known this for a long time, but I don’t really have much of a choice at this exact moment. The goal is to get steady work and then hopefully be making enough to get my own place again.

Having my own place means that Portia (the floofybutt I live with) can follow me to the kitchen, the bathroom, etc… she loves being close to humans. Because she and the resident feline don’t get along super perfectly (I personally think they’ll be fine and give each other space), she has to stay in my room with baby gates up. Also, little space to stash foodstuffs. There are other issues, but I won’t go into them.

Sometimes waiting for therapy isn’t enough. I have an appt tomorrow, but one of the issues is that it’s through the county mental health system and the therapists are scheduled so heavily, the wait between can be anywhere from 3-6 weeks.

If I had the chance to truly run. I’d get my passport, pack up as much as possible, get Portia’s vet records updated, and haul my ass to Germany or Switzerland (where my gr-grandparents are from and where I’m eligible for a second citizenship) or somewhere in Europe and find a place to stay, then get work and a work visa, and settle in for a while. But I’d need a sizable chunk of savings to get my ass over there and stay without a job for a bit. Something I don’t have… or I wouldn’t be so damn worried about paying my storage rent every month. $280 a month to keep all my worldly possessions safe. There are some things I’m selling off, but I need to pay it up so I have access.

I just picked up a short-term TR gig that’ll be ongoing for a little while, even though the rate I set for it isn’t really great. It’ll help.

I’m living at the bottom of the bottom. The only thing lower is the streets. And I wouldn’t do that with a cat. Besides, Portia is one of the few things in my life that’s keeping me grounded and reasonably sane. Waking up to a 14 pound Maine Coon mix purring on my chest is a good reminder to keep going.

Thank you to the person who commented on last night’s venting… and to the person who sent a donation… I’m just that much closer to having July storage handled… then I just have to tackle August… *thud*

Well, I’m getting the ‘stare’ from Portia… not like she’s starving or anything… there is kibble in her bowl. She’s just on a kick right now that she wants wet food… which reminds me, I need to pick up some small cans today. Damn. There goes more of the storage money. Maybe I can find some on sale.

I have PT today (I’m bad, I haven’t been doing my exercises this week, but I’ve also been down with a massive amount of pain). I’ve also discovered what may be a new food allergy… one I’m rather unhappy about. Walnuts. I LOVE walnuts, dammit. But when I need my inhalers after eating some… yeah, not such a good thing. It isn’t really bad anaphylactic shock, but my breathing gets difficult.

Oh yeah… the stare… I guess I should refresh her water… yes, she does drink it.

~A