Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, empath life, gratitude, life, poetry, storage, writing

1/14: The Void (#poetry)

(Still need some help to finish catching up on storage. As I have to save up for other things as well. Any help/sharing is appreciated.)

Standing in the middle.
Never enough.
Sometimes too much.

Where do I sit?
When the table is full.
And no one sees me.

The outcast who sees more.
More than the box.
More than the road ahead.

I am not the help.
But I am also not the boss.
I am in the middle.

Waiting to be seen.
When those who matter
Look up from their meal.

The emptiness of space
Separates me from them.
I cannot hear their words.

The vacuum silences the critic.
It also silences the muse.
Space envelopes the vacuum.

Scream into the void.
Yet I hear nothing in return.
Not even my own voice.

I see them at the table.
All the same. All puppets.
The strings tangled together.

The puppeteer enveloped by the void.
Unseen but there.
The puppets think they have control.

I hold my own strings.
No one owns me.
No one controls me.

The table remains full.
I wish to sit, but
Not to be controlled.

I remain in the middle.
Holding my own strings.
Outside the box.

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Posted in auction, cats, chronic pain, community, disability, faith, family, friends, gratitude, life, peace, storage

1/3: Long day *thud*

Thank you to those who helped me get to a smidge over halfway on storage. Saved it from auction and just have to get the remaining amount paid up before the end of the month.

I got it taken care of on my lunch hour from work, then headed back and worked the rest of the afternoon. My internship doesn’t pay a lot and is only 16 hours a week. Hence also looking for another job. Then I caught the bus and headed to a task, which I’m just heading home from now. The stress and constant go, go, go of today has me wiped out, but back to work tomorrow. Just the internship.

I just hope the elevator in my building is finally fixed by the time I get home. It’s been down for a week. I’m only on the 2nd floor, but the stairs are still difficult. And I can’t do much grocery shopping until it is fixed.

Gonna go home, feed and snuggle the cat (who will likely be rather peeved at me for not being home to feed her at her usual time), then get some sleep. Tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully one with a bit less stress.

~A

Posted in anxiety, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, life, Personal, storage, urgent

1/2/19: Panic? at $235, need $1467 #crowdfunding

I was gonna have something written for 3pm… but things fell apart and I was cursing humanity and trying not to break what little I have in my apartment (that will go to storage if I can save it with your help). I am still way down in the $200 range. It’ll be 4pm by the time this posts, so let’s just aim for 11am PST tomorrow (1/3).

I’ll keep writing posts and stuff. I do have to work in the morning, so the posts will drop off. If I can keep the Brain Weasels at bay, I can schedule some stuff for the morning. My only issue with that is that FB stopped allowing auto crossposting some time back, so I have to manually do it. And you can’t schedule account posts (pages, yes; regular human account, no) on FB. I can try to manually do it, especially if my only thing to do in the morning is my copy job (400 packets of permission slips, each one with 41 pages… I’m past the halfway point, but we ran out of paper. Seriously.)

So I’m not going to go into all the shit that blew up today. Let’s just say I’m not only stressed about storage, but exacerbating my chronic pain issues by needing to do some cleaning that’s difficult for me. I’m exhausted from everything pulling me in a million different directions. And the elevator in my building has been down for days. It’s difficult enough for me to get up and down the stairs without carrying anything, but this makes it more challenging to do things like laundry and trash. So, my frustration level has shot up exponentially this afternoon.

Anyway… Everything I own that matters to me is in that storage unit. I need to save it. Any and every bit of help is vastly appreciated.

~A

Posted in auction, bigotry, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, family, friends, health, individuality, life, music, observations, Personal, society, storage, urgent

1/2/19: Perceptions (and #crowdfunding #urgent)

In the past, I’ve mentioned the relationship my dad and I had before he passed away in 2014. One of the things that I found interesting while typing up the previous post with Disheveled is how I was and am seen compared to how I was back when I was heavily involved in my music.

I stopped playing piano in 2007 and singing in public in 1998. Piano because I had this fear instilled in me when I was little by my mother about playing where others could hear me. I was about 4 and figured out the melody to the Star Spangled Banner by myself. And I was damn proud of that. So, I played it every chance I got, which was a lot. My mother, who was trained herself, could have come over and taught me how to control my volume by how hard or soft I hit the keys. But she didn’t. I’d get about 4 or 5 notes in and from wherever she was in the house, she’d yell, “STOP PLAYING THAT SONG!!!”

Fear instilled. I had moments where I was specifically performing later on and I was fine, but over the years, I grew increasingly self-conscious about others hearing me play. In 1997, I stopped. A year later, I stepped away from choirs and what little solo singing I did because of a couple of factors: one was that same fear. The other was my health. I kept getting sick and couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, I did. We were dealing with an extensive roof leak at my parent’s house and black mold formed (although my dad and sister denied it was there. I’m hyper-sensitive to it) in the attic crawlspace. Living there while working on my BA down the street (quite literally, as we lived right behind CSUH/CSUEB) was wreaking havoc on my vocal chords. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with VCD (Vocal Chord Dysfunction). It took years and then visiting the house after dad died to get to that diagnosis.

Before he died, I got into a conversation with him about getting back into at least playing piano and wanting to save up for one. He was (quietly) over the moon. He was never one for showing much emotion. Somewhere in my blog posts, I tell the full story, but I ended up asking him why he was so excited that I wanted to get back to it. His words:

You were so positive and happy when you were involved in music. I want to see you that way again.

-My dad in 2014

And then I look at some of my really old poetry from while I was still singing and playing. I’ve always thought I wasn’t one for wearing a mask in society. That I always showed who I am, not what others wanted to see. But in a way, I did wear one. I re-read old poetry and stuff of mine and see some anger and depression, all during a time when I was seen as this happy, upbeat person.

Another recent thing involves a meme I posted recently on FB about the Greek words for different types of love. I was reminded of a nickname a friend of mine gave me when our church group was studying them in some setting. “Agape Amanda.” For Agape Love. Love of everyone.

And then I look at my poetry. Dude, what did people see that I didn’t? While Disheveled is a bit more recent than the early 90’s, I do have similar stuff where I was angry at the world for treating me differently for walking with a cane (and not in a good way). Depressed for similar reasons. I was dealing with a lot of different things back then. I still am. Some of them are different than the ones then, but the emotions are still the same. Maybe now I’m more true to who I am in what I show. I can’t hide behind the mask forever.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, bugaboos, chronic pain, crowdfunding, disability, emergency, insomnia, life, medical, storage, urgent

1/1/19: Quieting the Monster Within & #crowdfunding

[Yes, still crowdfunding…. the urgency and the amount have now increased. Please consider helping by at least sharing, if not also donating if you haven’t. It’ll now be roughly $1450 and I have less than $200.]

I have anxiety. That frustrating little monster inside me keeps me from normal, restful sleep. The sleep clinic doctor thought maybe it’s my mild apnea. I finally got a CPAP machine. Didn’t help when the anxiety still kicked in and still took me 2+ hours to fall asleep and it was exacerbated by this “thing” [the pillow mask] on my face. The most minimal mask they have out and my claustrophobia bumped my anxiety up a few points.

So I turned it back in since I wasn’t using it enough during the initial three months. Took the last of the Ambien and woke up well rested last week. Went to the GP for something else and mentioned it. They gave me a 15 pill refill. I thought, ‘hey, I can finally start getting some nights with sleep!’

Forgot I had taken something else with it that one really good night. Something that told my Anxiety Monster to STFU. While Ambien alone has helped me STAY asleep longer, it isn’t helping me GET TO sleep. The Monster still wreaks havoc.

Add my daytime anxiety of trying to find more work and pay bills and not get sick and SAVE STORAGE! and struggle with the chronic pain so I can get dishes done and dinner made. I take Celexa once a day for the general anxiety levels, but it doesn’t silence the Monster. I know Valium does, but they don’t want me on it. Why, I’ll never know. Even though I think I do.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, friends, life, Personal, storage, transitions, urgent

12/31: Waxing Poetic? Still #crowdfunding out of #desperation

AUCTION IS 1/3/19. PLEASE HELP BY DONATING OR SHARING.

Yeah, I could go all sappy and look back at 2018 like so many are doing. 2018 was a shitty year. On sooooooo many levels. So, this is as sappy as I’ll get:

I survived. I didn’t kill myself. I’m still here.

Yes, I was homeless for most of the year. Frustrated, dealing with people who were assholes and abusive. I almost lost my stuff in storage a few times because of my irregular income. I’m about to lose it again. Some things that, if I had the money, could be replaced, but a large chunk of what’s in there cannot be replaced. 

So, I go into the new year in a panic because of what I’m about to lose. Of the things that can be replaced, it would take at least $5000 to replace it. I don’t have that. $1400 is barely anything compared to the replacement costs. Are the items in there WORTH that in resale? No, not really. Older electronics (not vintage cool or anything) and that sort of stuff. Valuable to me.

A good chunk of it will be moved into my apartment and be used. The rest will move into a smaller storage unit. I just the $1400 total to get it out of hock again. If anyone out there finds it in them to help, please. Until this time, I didn’t know when I’d be able to move some it back out. Now I do. I have an apartment again. I need my mattress and desk and kitchen things and chair… and all those irreplaceable things.

Once the stress is back down to a manageable level (normal day to day shit), I can look back at 2018 with slightly fonder thoughts.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, cats, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, family, friends, health, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

12/30: Feline Lucidity, Being Disabled & #crowdfunding (28 hours)

So, the usual #crowdfunding plea… still need a lot of help to get there.

  • Total $1141, have a bit over $100. Roughly $125. PP is the only way.
  • Once it’s caught up this time, I can move some into my apartment and then the rest into a smaller, cheaper storage unit.
  • Yes, the cost of what can be replaced is a LOT more than what I owe. Many things, like my coffee table and fabric, I can’t replace with the exact same things. Fabric has print runs like clothing. It rarely returns the next year.
  • I’ll be able to handle the lower rent now that I have some steady income.

So, my cat is dealing with being her usual ditzy self. Right now, we have a small bird that’s torturing her. It sits on the balcony above ours and tosses the seed rejects down to hit our windows.

Portia has helped me through a lot the last two years. We lost her big sister a week after the eviction hearing in 2017. She has been my grounding force during all of this. If she isn’t being an absolute dork, running around as if her tail is on fire (it isn’t, I’m pretty sure), she’s being a snuggle bug loafing on my chest or tapping my shoulder or leg if she wants my attention.

I know there are more goofy stories, but my brain is having mid-afternoon blahs. I’m also in a conversation on FB about people who talk shit about disabled people…. yanno, like me.

I’ve been disabled since I was 17. Almost 30 years now. I’ve had good runs with little pain and then bad runs where every day hurts. Seven years ago, I fell down some stairs. Then a year ago, I fell on the same spot as 29 years ago and seven years ago. Same hip every damn time. So, pain is getting progressively worse. Not much the docs can do except manage the pain.

This is why I want to start going to a gym. Not just for weight loss but to strengthen my back and legs to minimize the amount of time I’m in excruciating pain. I’ve been like this long enough that I know the difference between good pain and bad pain. I’ve had enough bad pain for a long while now.

I need exercise and my mattress back out of storage. Sleeping on the floor is hell on my back.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, health, life, medical, Personal, society, storage, urgent, weight loss

12/28: #crowdfunding & #weightloss backstory

Storage first: If you can’t donate, share. I got the exact amount owed today: $1141. If I can get that by 6pm PST on Monday the 31st, I’m okay. I have virtually nothing as my other bills are eating up what income I have. PP is the only (and fastest) way.

Once basics are out of there, I can move the rest of it down to a smaller unit, possibly even half the size (8×20 to a 9×10). Also, half the cost. MUCH more manageable.

Weight Loss: In my adult life, I’ve struggled with my weight. I was a skinny kid and after I stopped dancing at 22, and then shifted away from regular exercise by 24, the weight piled on. I’m at my heaviest: 185lbs.

Now, I *could* live with the weight if it weren’t for my family history. I physically take after my dad’s side to an almost bizarre degree. Same bone structure, personality characteristics, etc… all (almost completely) from my dad’s side. This includes health. Dad and both of his brothers are/were heart patients (one uncle still living). My paternal grandmother had diabetes. Not sure what Grandpa had, but I suspect heart issues as well. I’m already on Toprol for tachycardia (it works for me, but I have to pair Celexa for my anxiety with it). I imagine my tachycardia might calm down a bit with dropping some of my weight. Also, the longer I go at a heavier weight, the higher my risk of worse heart issues AND diabetes.

So, here I am at 46. 5’2″ and 185lbs. While the timing is RATHER cliche (New year’s resolution stuff and all, which I’ve never really bothered with), I want to start now. Somehow, I will find the funds to join the local gym. They keep changing their specials, but I’m going to wait until the activation fee is back to $0.

This isn’t just for weight loss. My back has been getting progressively worse since the fall 7 years ago. And then another one year ago. All the docs can do is give me pain meds (and most don’t really do much of anything) and tell me to exercise. “Free” exercise is usually what they suggest. This means walking. The problem for me is that, most days, walking more than two or three blocks results in excruciating pain.

The gym two blocks from me not only has weights and a basketball court (yeah, not touching that), and classes, but has a lap pool and a hot tub. This I’m totally down for. My swimming skills are rusty, but I can do the backstroke the best. I have a hard time torquing my body enough to do most others so I can get breath. Backstroke it is.

Then machines. Work my way back up to leg presses equaling my weight (yes, at 120, I could do leg presses above my weight). Goals are to strengthen my back, core, and legs. This will help with reinjuries and stabilizing my back. It will also help with my weight.

I’ll announce when I join the gym. I’ll post pics. I’ll make my journey public. My inspiration today was this guy. I’ve followed him on Twitter. While my goal is roughly 55lbs (185 to 130), seeing someone kick ass like he has makes me know I can totally do this.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, auction, bugaboos, Christmas, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, family, friends, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, storage, urgent

“Oh, being treated like an adult?” #crowdfunding

More updates and shit. So, I have the date of the auction for storage. In the image below. Ignore the fact that it says 2018, not 2019. Seriously. I guess they aren’t ready for the new year either. I’d like to try getting it caught up before Christmas. Waking up on Christmas Morning on my own mattress would make me very happy.

I’m ready to go for my classes starting in January. I’m glad I chose online classes after all, as Human Solutions is looking at cutting off my rental assistance after February. I really don’t understand this whole mess. My pay from my internship won’t be nearly enough to pay for rent, let alone everything else. I’ll need a second job with decent pay. TG, my dude at CCC making all my contacts and arrangements, may be able to get it extended… I don’t know, so I better be ready. Which will suck. 

In other news: The attorney’s office that has been handling my disability case for almost two and a half years has decided to close my case as they don’t see a point in appealing the judge’s decision. I had been looking at changing to a different agency for pursuing the case, so this just frees me up. I just don’t fucking get why they decided to drop my case. But I’ll keep going.

My internship is going well. I find office life fascinating. Hence the quote in the title. That was what my supervisor said when I mentioned to her about not having to check with them about going to lunch and all. “So, being treated like an adult?” 

Yup. After so many years mostly in retail, I find it strange. The banter and general relaxed atmosphere is so different. I like it, and yet I’m still oddly nervous about screwing up.

Well, I plan on “arting” this weekend. I hope. I have ideas, canvasses, and paint. We’ll see how far this gets. 

~A

Posted in auction, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, health, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

12/9: The week and being disabled… #crowdfunding

Warning: this may end up rambly and bizarre. And, FTR, I am in dire straits again with storage. I’m still sleeping on the floor (much to my poor back’s dismay… ouch). It’s set for auction later this month. Even with the couple of tasks I’ve had so far and the weekly small paychecks from my internship, I won’t have nearly enough (I also have my phone bill, internet bill, food, cat stuff like pet-specific CBD oil, and other things). 

That last post, about standing desks, oddly sucked a sizable chunk of my energy. Not like I had that much to begin with today. I have been battling something along the lines of a sinus infection for about 3 weeks now. Starting my internship in the middle of that didn’t help. But I needed to get that going. So I’m working two days a week at a local non-profit which is a very cool place to work, at least in my opinion.

I also have about everything down for school. I’m going back to PCC next month for some accounting and business classes. As I took Intro to Business some years back at PSU, I won’t need to take that again, so I can take an additional class. I’m thinking payroll accounting, as that’s a HUGE part of accounting and bookkeeping. 

In the middle of all of this, I’m facing my chronic pain and chronic fatigue. I’ve spent much of this weekend, into today, resting and/or sleeping. I had hoped to get some creative stuff done, but my energy flat-lined Friday afternoon after I got home from a furniture assembly task.

In all honesty, I have no idea how the hell I’m going to ever work full time. I really don’t. I’m playing phone tag with my disability attorney, and I’m frustrated as all hell. I wanted to get some cleaning and painting done this weekend and I’ve barely gotten anything done. I managed to clear some of the kitchen, but knowing the meager size of my kitchen, that isn’t saying much.  I think the biggest chore I was able to tackle this weekend was cleaning the litter boxes. 

After I was denied this summer from my disability hearing (which, according to my attorney was a “sure thing” by the way the judge was talking), I read the report. Basically, I didn’t appear “disabled enough.” So, because I’ve lived with my back injury for 29 years and it’s getting worse and I’ve figured out ways to work WITH it or AROUND it, I’m not disabled enough….. fffffuuuuuuuu…. *ahem*

Honestly, right now, I’d love to have them see how I’m living right now. i’m sleeping on the floor because I can’t afford to get my storage caught up long enough to get my mattress and furniture out, I can’t stand in the kitchen and do anything longer than 5-10 minutes at a time. Yes, that was today. I managed to get up, rinse off some dishes and put them in the small dishwasher and then run that. It’s done, but not emptied. Bast only knows when that will get emptied. I don’t have a partner or roommate to help me with things. Honestly, I don’t really want one, either one. Especially after spending the past year and a half living with other people -either in the shelter or with friends. 

On that note, there was a woman at the shelter who couldn’t FATHOM why someone would not want to live with other people. Why someone would WANT to be alone. What bugged me is that she kept saying she’s also an introvert, but this was one of the most social women on our floor at the shelter. She wasn’t loud, but she was always out in the community room cooking or chatting or… yeah. For me, add being an Empath who can’t block to save my sanity on top of the whole being an Introvert. I can “people” in very small doses. The more people I’m around or interact with, such as on transit or at conventions, the shorter that amount of time ends up being. My PTSD doesn’t help either. I love hugging people, but have pulled away from being social in part because hugs make me a bit less comfortable now. And yet, if I’m greeting a friend or saying goodbye to them, I’m usually the one who holds my arms open to hug them. I’m a walking contradiction. I hate people but love hugging. Go figure.

Now, one may wonder why I did a post on standing desks. Well, a few reasons. I want one to help with my back. If I can go from sitting to standing and back when I need to for reducing the stiffness, and thus pain, in my back and legs, the better off I’ll be. Also, I started my little quest by looking at drafters chairs, you know… the ones that go up higher, for using possibly in the kitchen. This would possibly help my longevity in the kitchen. The way my apartment is, the desk would be right next to the kitchen, so a taller chair to go back and forth (which can be lowered down as needed) would be awesome. It also means I’d have a place to put said chair when it isn’t needed in the kitchen. This place is not that big. Seriously. Everything needs to serve more than one purpose or space. Chairs included. Hell, my bed will have storage (once I can afford to get the frame I want), my desk will be for both computers and the sewing and embroidery machines, and the shelving I want to use for my TV stand will also house my record collection, music and DVD’s and some books. The bench I want to put at the foot of the bed (if there’s room), will have books, shoes and be a place I can sit briefly to put said shoes ON. 

I’ve planned this apartment out to every damn detail. I just don’t have the money to execute my plans. First, I need to get storage settled and accessible. It’s three months behind. October sucked for work, so I couldn’t pay for storage… and then, as it does, it snowballed out of control. So…. halp?

~A