Posted in adoption, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, community, depression, disability, family, food, food cravings, health, housing, job hunting, life, nanowrimo, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent, writing

10/31: FOOD! (and a bit o’begging) and #NaNoWriMo

(trigger warning: talk of suicidal ideation and PTSD further down) Pardon the wonky spacing…

Here’s hoping that since I was able to log into my EBT account to check my balance, that it’s been reinstated. I tried logging in over the weekend on my phone and it said it couldn’t access the account. Just now, I was able to on the CB. Tomorrow is the day I get to see if they’ve changed my amount.

I haven’t gotten any letters (picked up mail yesterday). I definitely need those food stamps right now. If anyone has every seen my fridge/freezer and pantry from before the eviction, you’d understand why the barren landscape of the fridge and freezer (and somewhat barrenness of the cabinets I have now) is so daunting.

I’ve almost always had frozen meat of different kinds, as well as veggies and other things… and the only things in the freezer right now are a wedge of local bleu cheese and the packs of Dorot minced garlic and basil. And a couple of ice packs. No ice cube trays to make ice. No chicken, no nothing. The fridge usually has cheese and sauces and lots of other things… not right now. So, food stamps for November are SUPER important. I need to restock. Badly.


I was raised to have a full pantry and fridge/freezer (although my mother took that to excess with a second full sized freezer crammed to the hilt). This was so that if one couldn’t go to the store, we could still pull from what we had and make dinner or whatever. I’m not a huge fan of frozen veggies anymore, but I’ll gladly still stock some up for backup needs.
Frozen chicken breasts and pork chops… stew beef… you name it. A frozen dinner or two on occasion (Amy’s Rice Mac and Cheese is amazing and awesome comfort food). A container or two of crumbled hard cheeses in the freezer… Feta and Bleu usually. Grated Parm… all in the freezer. Yes, you can freeze them. I LOVE making scrambles with some of the cheese sprinkled in at the last minute… 

So, here’s hoping my food money got reinstated.


I’ve pretty much given up asking this one friend of mine for help. This person has told me that if I need something, to ask. Period. I did. A month ago. They said they’d help a week later… I checked in then… had to wait… and then wait… I know this person is dealing with a lot, hence why I’ve decided to no longer ask.

My only thing is that this month has SUCKED for tasks, which have been my only income for two years. All while trying to find steady employment I’m physically capable of. But this month has seen ONE task, one cancellation fee, and less than $200 in income. And that has gone to nudging my checking account back up to ZERO (thanks to the cell phone I need in order to run the app for getting tasks). So, I’ve had no usable income this month.

A month ago, when I got storage caught up before auction, I thought I’d have another decent month, so I didn’t worry so much about October. Then my app for getting tasks stayed silent. I had one cancel, one was fraudulent, and then the one I did get.

Another that was supposed to be today, but I don’t have the tools on my to mount things to concrete (better drill than what I have… which i have in storage, but can’t get to, and masonry drill bits, which I don’t have at all), so the whole thing, including assembly, got cancelled. Last night. Mind you, it wouldn’t have counted as October income anyway, as the billing would take a couple of days to process.

So, I need help just to get October paid. Then I can get in there and get tools out (if I can FIND the damn things) and my mattress and other stuff so I don’t look like I’m squatting in my own apartment.


Yesterday was Portia’s Gotcha Day Anniversary. 10/30/2010 is the day I adopted her. Eight years later, she’s saved me from suicide and getting stabby toward male humans who don’t understand personal space on transit (PTSD from sexual assault sucks when you’re on transit). We almost had a vet visit due to a couple of hotspots on her skin (that’s the one main health issue with her: sensitive skin and stomach). But no money, denied for CareCredit, and waiting for PAW Team to call back (it takes time to get an appt with them) all ended up with me just keeping an eye on her for now. They’re likely from stress-grooming, so my friend is going to hand off a partial bottle of CBD oil for pet use and I’ll try that in her wet food (which I need more of soon. See her wishlist on Amazon… if someone was so inclined).

My girl is now roughly 13… they said she was 4-5 when I adopted her. But no one really knows exactly how old she is. I’ve been saying she’s 12 for about 2 years now. So, I’ll finally bump it up to 13. Still a guess, though.

IMG_20180328_210201_131.jpg


Tomorrow is November 1st. The start of NaNoWriMo. This will be my 13th year straight. It’ll be fun and challenging, but I’m game. This year I have two ideas that I’m going to combine into one SF story. I also have a couple of backup tales if my characters take a break and don’t want to talk for a bit.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, depression, disability, faith, family, friends, grief, health, homelessness, job hunting, life, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent, writing

10/27: Creativity and Storage

It’s now been a week in the new place. I also still don’t have access to storage so I can get my mattress and stuff out. I was depending on one person who said they’d help, but hasn’t so far.

Tasks are slowly picking up. I had one yesterday and have another one tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, those two will only get me closer to $0 in my checking account as I’m about $260 in the red. If I’d had work throughout the month, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

So, I’m asking. It’s only one month’s rent plus late fees ($305 plus about 40 or so), and using PayPal will keep it from getting sucked into the checking account (I did finally deactivate the GFM).

It wouldn’t bother me so much if it weren’t for my back. I’m sleeping on the floor with very little cushion. I’m now getting numbness along my right side (the side I keep re-injuring), which isn’t good.

The sooner I can get into storage and get things out, the sooner I can move the rest of it into a smaller unit again. Which means less storage rent. My goal will be to go from the 8×20 unit down to a 9×10. It’s about half the price.


Now that that’s all out of the way…

I finally heard from the one place I might be doing that internship/job (the place doesn’t pay me, SE Works/state does). I like the place. They’re an arts organization that focuses on making arts education available to all, among other things. I’m hopeful.

Right now, my focus in on getting my life back on track, but I also can’t forget what drives and heals me: creativity. With that, I am happy to say that I will be doing NaNoWriMo for the 13th year running. I’ve done and won all previous 12 years. Last year, I was a mess, though. I admit that. I ended up piecing together my 50K words from various half-finished stories. This year, I have two small ideas that are going to be expanded into one larger tale. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be fully off-world SciFi or Post-Apocalyptic Earth… not yet. It doesn’t wholly change the story much. In the snippet I wrote earlier this year, I do reference a poison gas that was used in WWI (Mustard Gas), but it could still be referenced similarly in an off-world story. Just maybe the planet they’re on is one humans colonized and shit went sideways.

Who knows… I’ll let the characters determine that part. I know that Post-Apoc stories are a HUGE thing right now. It would be very easy to make this PA.

My writing has stalled in some aspects the last two years or so. Four years ago, my dad died, and he was my biggest fan and cheerleader. A month ago, I lost another cheerleader, my friend Connie, to cancer. She was always in awe of how I came up with the adventures and random shit my characters ended up doing. So this year is for Connie. I’ll make sure they get into a decent amount of mayhem.

Now that I’m coming out of homelessness, I can stop being on constant alert… hyper-vigilant mode. That’s from a combination of homelessness and PTSD. It’ll take some time to fully come out of it.

I think writing this tale in November will help pull me back into life again. Where I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, depression, eviction, faith, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, society, transitions

10/24: Adjustments and Changes

As of Friday the 19th, Portia and I are now in our own apartment again. We still have several hurdles to jump: getting storage caught up for October only (more on that in a bit), getting furniture OUT of storage so I’m not sleeping on the floor (I do have a mattress in there), getting my old electric bill sorted before the end of the month, and getting internet in the apartment.

Oh, and getting my checking account up to zero or higher. Ugh.

So, most of the past two years, I’ve at least had SOMETHING coming in from being a Tasker, but this month? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Seriously. I’ve had no jobs. Well, there was a team one set for yesterday, but I have a feeling the other person stole the whole thing from under me and will try to muddy my name on TR. I’ve already sent an email to a contact there about this. I have proof the guy said the task was postponed and then late last night said it was cancelled. If it was cancelled, I’d have an email from TR saying it was. Nothing. Soooo…. yeah.

I need to cover 200 of the old electric bill plus a deposit… and also storage… and ordering internet. I do NOT want to rely on the hotspot on my poor phone to do everything. But it’ll be nearly $50 to get it set up… if not more. The electric, I may be able to get help from CCC as a one-time thing.

Things are happening slowly. I talked to the person at SE Works last week about the training job. She’ll get back to me soon, I hope. Right now, I’m just holding on.

I had zero intention of this being a pity post or a begging post. If people want to help, great. But it’s okay. I’ll figure this shit out somehow.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be able to reflect more on my experiences of the past two years. Most of that time has been either staying at friends’ houses or in the shelter. Being at the shelter was likely the strongest learning period. Man, I learned a lot. I stood up for myself and for others being bullied. I saw how low people can go while they hold their heads up high acting as if they’re better than the rest of us. I saw, and was the ‘victim’ of food theft, among other things.

I still have a lot of emotional stuff to unpack from that experience. When I do get through it, I fully intend on being an outspoken advocate for resolving homelessness.

No matter where we sleep, what we eat, the clothes we wear, our gender or sexuality, our skin color, our mental and physical health; we are human beings and deserve to be treated equally in society.

 

~A

Posted in anxiety, birthdays, community, depression, disability, faith, friends, grief, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, poverty line, transitions

10/14: Changes Afoot!

I’ve been quiet (again) for a bit because I’ve been running around trying to get a handle on what feels like a million things happening at once. A close friend of mine passed away right before my birthday, so that sent me into a bit of a tailspin. She was one of my first writing friends here in Portland when I moved here.

Then paperwork got moving finally for a WEX job (I think that’s what it’s called). The agency pays for up to 240 hours at $12/hour for me to get work experience in (technically) what I’m going to be retraining for in school. The problem is that since it’s a temporary job, many places don’t want someone coming in for a temp assignment in accounting/bookkeeping. You’d have access to HR records and other stuff. Not things they want some random person walking around with knowledge of. So, we’re working on finding a suitable place.

The other thing is getting into an apartment. I’ve been here at the shelter almost 7 months. WAY too long, for both their liking and my own sanity.

But…

I got approved for a studio I’ve been looking at for a while now. Back in my old neighborhood, close to storage and everything else. Human Solutions will be helping with the first few months as I get off the ground. Up to 6 months.

I’ll likely be moving out of the shelter sometime this week, if all goes well with timing of paperwork and checks and whatnot.

So, after a year and a half of being unhoused (another term now being used for homeless), I will have a place of my own again. It’ll be nice to have my own small kitchen and a bathroom I don’t have to share. No more people stealing my food from the fridge… and back on my old full size mattress. I’ve been sleeping on a twin size bed or smaller this whole time.

On the bad side, I didn’t get approved for disability, which sucks. So, no dog for now, no getting a bunch of IKEA furniture to maximize the small studio apartment… and other things. I’m working on a plan, though.

I should at least get the bed frame. A white MALM bed frame with the drawers underneath. Need to maximize storage potential.

Also, there are a few things at the top of my Amazon wishlist. Very important stuff for a new place. No tub, just a shower stall, and I don’t have the things I need for that. If someone were so inclined. Or IKEA gift cards… It was my birthday at the beginning of the month. Also… “apartment warming?”

More to come in the next stage of my adventures.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, community, creativity, depression, disability, dreams, empath life, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, medical, PTSD

10/4: Never Enough

This week has been filled with lots of ups and downs. On Tuesday, I filled out the paperwork for doing a WEX job (I’ll explain that further down), as well as the application for housing rental assistance with Human Solutions. Today, things tumbled down.

I received the decision for disability in the mail. Despite everything sounding like the judge was going to find in favor of me, she didn’t. I’ve spent the past two hours trying to read the decision. As best as I can decipher, it boils down to one thing: I’m not disabled enough. I’ll call my attorney in the morning and figure out what’s next. Right now, I’m dealing with the other thing from today.

I returned to the shelter to be hand delivered another write-up for not having everything in bags for the bag-up. Thing is, what I did leave out is stuff that’s been left out during previous ones. On top of that, this is supposedly my 10th total write-up. The previous two were supposed to be removed from my list. Apparently, they weren’t. So with my total write-up, I got a one night exclusion. I packed a few things, set some extra kibble down for Portia, and walked out the door before 3pm, which was my deadline for leaving the premises. I didn’t do a good enough job.

I was able to get in to see my doc about this skin issue behind my ears, and she checked it for signs of a fungal infection (something several friends suggested). Negative, so she prescribed some anti-inflammatory ointment, which I’ll pick up tomorrow.

Really, I will get to the positive stuff… I just need to get this crap off my chest.

I am exhausted. Tired. Tired of not being enough of any one thing to qualify for something. Tired of running in circles putting my life back together only to come back around to the crack in that circle and stumble and fall… again. Tired of not being able-bodied enough. Tired of not being disabled enough. Tired of not being demure enough. Tired of not being outspoken enough. Tired of not being homeless enough (yes, that’s been brought up). But also, tired of not being stable/housed enough.

I feel, at times like this, that I am not so much running in that cracked circle, but that I am standing in the middle of it, constricted by expectations of society and their rules, as it spins around me, wrapping me tighter and tighter.

I am not enough. 

But I should be. 

The WEX job is a temporary set-up where that agency pays $12/hour for 240 hours of the client (like me) to work for a company or nonprofit in the field they wish to work in to gain experience and see if they really want to do that work. So, I may work in the accounting department of CCC, or, if they don’t have the space for me, doing various things including some accounting training, at a local nonprofit that deals with performance arts in the community.

The other thing: Human Solutions. They will cover rent and deposit for an apartment for four months with a WEX job and up to six months while in school. Now, after the four months with the job, I will be able to apply for an extension. I don’t know how long that extension will be, but it will help.

The hard part will be now that I have had the denial for disability, that extra money to live on isn’t going to be there. Which sucks.

I also won’t be able to get my service dog puppy to start training (was looking at using some of the lump sum check for that, but no check).

Again, I’ll call the lawyer’s office in the morning and see what the next step is.

And yes, even with all the housing stuff moving forward (yes, I found a place. a small studio, but it’ll work), I still feel that circle tightening around me.

I never feel like I’m doing enough.

~A

Posted in activism, auction, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, storage, urgent

9/26: before I fall asleep #crowdfunding

Last call for the night. Still stagnant at needing $250. If anyone can get me closer, that would be awesome.

One thing I intend on getting into once I’m out of the shelter is becoming more of a voice for the rights of homeless. We get told we have no rights. That is unacceptable in today’s society.

But storage and getting out of here first.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, birthdays, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, poverty line, storage, urgent

9/26: $250 remaining #crowdfunding

$250 REMAINING!! ALL HANDS PAWS ON DECK!!

Give or take a few bucks due to fees from GFM and PayPal (I find it mildly amusing and moderately frustrating that the CS people at PP say that using a donation button doesn’t incur fees… umm, yes… yes it does),

There’s a total of $1000 in GFM, some of which likely won’t transfer in time. Maybe it will… that would be a nice small miracle. But I doubt it. I’ll likely show up Friday. So I’ll need to show them there’s more in the pipeline, but it won’t post in time. I’ll head down there in the morning before auction…

The rest of it is in PayPal. $242, give or take a buck or two. I estimate so I can remember the numbers easier. I want to get what I can give them tomorrow as close as possible so I can then pull it and phone in the rest when it posts.

I still also have a vet bill, but Portia isn’t going anywhere for now, and Dove Lewis knows my situation.

A friend who can’t help this week, but can send some money next week after his own financial dust settles, can likely cover the vet bill… so I’m not hugely worried about that part at this very moment. I don’t know how much he’ll send, but likely enough to cover it. Just not this week. So, vet bill can get some of that.

I just need ALL PAWS ON DECK!!!!

Just a little more… We’re over the 2/3rds mark… 1/6th left…

And maybe I’ll celebrate a bit next Tuesday… I had hoped to be out of this shelter by then, but if I’m allowed one night to let loose and drink a couple while having dinner, I’ll be a happy birthday girl.

Let’s make this happen… just a little more!

~A

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, silliness, storage, urgent

9/26: 18 hours… #crowdfunding

18 HOURS LEFT!!! SHARE MEEEE!!!!! PAYPAL ONLY!

There’s a little more in the GFM because a few people haven’t noticed my comments in a group about not using that at this point. I’d be amazed if it showed up in my account tomorrow. I doubt it will.

I’ll continue posting stuff tonight until I’m too tired to do anything more… then start back up in the morning.

I’ll find things to blog about for the 7pm hour…

~A

Posted in anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, music, storage, urgent, writing

9/25: #crowdfunding #update

***SHARE ME!!!!!***

Not much to report. There’s $758 (well, minus the percentage WePay takes) from GFM. Between that and what I’m getting from my latest tasks, I’ll have a total hovering just under $900.

The really GOOD news is that my new PP card showed up today. I wasn’t sure if it would show before Thursday, but it has.

I still need to get up to $1400 (just checked the emails… $1493) or so before NOON on Thursday 9/27. Once I’m done at the dentist in the morning, I’ll start blogging and working on getting the rest of it. My Case Manager working on job stuff *may* be able to get a bit of it, but the short notice and amount may not work in my favor on that front. So, I’ll need about $500 600 and change (my phone bill may take a small chunk of it… timing sucks ass) before noon Thursday.

The good thing amidst all of this mess is that I did my application for the apartment today. I got to see the apartment and it is tiny, but yanno what? That’s fine. It’s still bigger than the 8×10 room Portia and I have been living in the past six months. I can focus on getting my life back together. Get back to the basics that make me who I am.

Climbing back out of the abyss of homelessness. I can do this. With help from the community at large.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/25: Forced Gratitude (& #crowdfunding #urgent)

[#crowdfunding plea at bottom this time. two days left before auction. see the bottom of this post]

Over the weekend, I lashed out in frustration and PTSD-related anger at the agency that runs the shelter I’m in. Yesterday, I got a verbal lashing about it from the person who runs this building. The words that stuck with me the most were about gratitude. That I should be grateful they’ve let me stay longer than the normal length of time.

Gratitude first: No one should be told they HAVE to be grateful for something. Am I grateful? Yes. Should that equate to forced silence and obeisance? No. I’ve spent most of my life allowing people to walk all over me and tell me how to act (did I follow their rules every time? No, but that’s a whole other post). If living here has taught me one thing, it’s to not be silent when shit goes sideways.

Am I grateful? Yes. Should I play the nice little quiet obedient resident who shows her gratitude by not speaking up? No. Fuck that noise. I will be loud. I will be vocal. I will NOT be silenced because my voice and words make someone uncomfortable. The crap I had tweeted about was painful. Triggered my PTSD as well as anxiety, and I know I wasn’t the only one who was having a hard time with it.

The person who chided me for “not being grateful” wasn’t here. Her weekend was disturbed every so slightly by phone calls. Mine and the others here? Much more.

Once I’m out of here and my time being homeless is over, I will be able to recap the things I see as wrong and right about our systems here in the Rose City.

One thing I will address now, though, is the intended length of time they think is adequate for us to find housing. Four Months.

Now, if you have a job and just need to be somewhere to save up and get back on your feet, fine. Also, if you’re looking for work that is along the lines of grocery, retail, food service, and doesn’t require long application processes, this can work.

But what about those like me? Those with disabilities and/or advanced education who need to work in other environments? The 4 month concept is flawed. Many white collar jobs take much longer to get through the process. And if you need to rework your resume or switch career paths, 4 months is definitely nowhere near enough.

I was told I should be more grateful that they’ve let me stay longer than the 4 months.

Forced Gratitude is not real gratitude. No one should demand it. Ever.

~A

#crowdfunding: I’m moving closer to needing access to my belongings. I’m just over the halfway point for paying off storage, but I need help. Auction is on Thursday at noon. I’ll have roughly $900 by the time the rest of what’s in the GFM and my own income clears. I need about $1400. Before noon on Thursday the 27th. Please spread the word. Thank you. I am grateful for all the help I can get. Real gratitude. Not forced.