Posted in crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, emergency, empath life, grief, life, poetry, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, storage, urgent, writing

5/26/18: Abyss

Yeah, #crowdfunding. I want to get storage caught up before end of May. I’ve been catching up on nearly everything else and now need to get this sorted.

ABYSS
Surface spit-shined.
Years of talking ensured that.
What is underneath lurks.
It has been dormant far too long.

The subconscious is the hostage.
This has been normal far too long.
Deep underneath the surface
Pain lurks in the darkness.

What is under there?
I know not what hides.
Memories of fear and pain.
Memories I have tried to forget.

Where is the key?
There must be a key.
I cannot break the surface.
It is only starting to heal.

It lies in wait.
Holding my breath.
The hostage cries for help.
I must explore The Abyss.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, disability, domestic abuse, emergency, eviction, faith, grief, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, sexual assault, society, storage, transitions, urgent

5/23/18: Facing the Past (and #crowdfunding)

Yes, crowdfunding. What funds I have made this month have gone to catching up on other smaller things and groceries after my food stamps ran out. Because it sucks being on food stamps when you have Celiacs. Everything is more expensive. Also being in a shelter where you have limits on how much you can have in the fridge/freezer/cabinet makes food costs go up as you can’t really do family packs of chicken thighs and such. So, help getting storage settled before the end of May is ideal. Auction would be next month, in June… and that’ll come up really quickly if I’m not careful.

So… facing the past. I met with my therapist yesterday and chatted with one of the mentors here at the shelter today. Both women have pointed out something that is related, but a bit different.

My therapist has figured out that my life pretty much went upside down and sideways when my dad passed away in 2014.

The mentor today said that every time we’ve talked, I bring up one thing: the repeated sexual assault back in 1994.

Two major events in my adult life. Two events I swore up and down I’ve dealt with via therapy and such.

While I’ve dealt with the shit on the surface, I’m realizing now that the rest of the proverbial iceberg is slowly emerging and I don’t know how to deal with it. The frustrating part is that I can type or write out stories dealing with it, or poetry, or even essays. *cough*blog posts*cough*

But speaking? I struggle with the words.

The mentor today is going to find the titles of some books and see if she can find some groups for me to go to that can help. She also mentioned that the situation of being homeless in and of itself is traumatic. But I’ve been in some form of survival mode since 1994, never letting myself really live. Really work my ass off at succeeding.

At what? I’m not sure.

Sadly, I have limited sessions for therapy. After this coming week, we may be spacing them out more. Which is fine, but it still kind of sucks.

I have a very long road ahead of me. Be patient with me. I have a lot to unpack. A lot of work to do.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, depression, disability, domestic abuse, eviction, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, PTSD, society

5/9/18: #Homelessness and #Elitism

This started as an FB post, but I needed to vent and my connection won’t let me post there.

…..

There’s a pompous asshole or three in my old neighborhood on NextDoor bitching about the homeless. And y’all know how I feel about elitist shitholes who get whiny about us homeless folk. Several others are stepping up and chewing them out politely. One even went to say that maybe the ones who whine need to move out of the urban setting to a suburb or countryside area.

Basically, if all you do is whine and stomp your feet about the homeless on the street, then you’re contributing to the PROBLEM and NOT contributing to the SOLUTION. Shut up or put up. Are there mentally ill and drug addicted homeless? Yes. And they are (many times) the most visible and vocal so they end up being seen as the “majority” of homeless. They are one segment of the homeless population. Many are working poor who got pushed out. And others struggling like myself to just get through each day due to one issue or another. There are families. To lump us all together as junkies and “psychos” is a disservice to the population as a whole.

I’ve refrained from posting or commenting over there. I may have to write something regarding the homeless population demographics and post it there and here on my blog.

What people like them forget is that everyone is one or two paychecks, a job loss, a medical catastrophe, or other events, away from being homeless themselves. I want them to just listen. Try to understand who we are that they’re whining about. Because we aren’t all what they think we are. Some, yes, but most are not.

Obviously this is something very personal to me. I am educated and homeless. No drugs or alcohol put me here. No major mental illnesses. Depression and anxiety… PTSD, sure. But I can function to a reasonable degree. Not everyone has that ability. And those are the ones left behind since the days of mass closures of mental hospitals across the country. [More info here on that]

If you refuse to be part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Stop being a pain in the ass and start working on solutions to help end homelessness. And shipping them to other cities and states doesn’t count.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, domestic abuse, emergency, eviction, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Stigma of Homelessness & #crowdfunding

2 of ? blogs for today.

SHARE THIS!! PLEASE?
PayPal is the easiest and fastest way.
Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


If you were to look at me on the street or train or bus, you would never grasp that I’m one of thousands of homeless people here in the United States. Many are working poor, many have mental illnesses of varying types and degrees, some are certainly addicts.

And there are those like me who hit a very bad run of luck and haven’t been able to bounce back easily.

I was evicted from my apartment a bit over a year ago. Since then, I’ve stayed with friends, but needed to get into a different setting that was more helpful. So here I am in a women’s transitional housing shelter with my cat.

Okay, so I do kind of fall under the mental illness category too, with my PTSD and depression. But those inhibit my ability to function like everyone else, not take it away completely like some other illnesses.

But I’m clean cut, take regular showers and do my laundry, take care of myself and my cat, and otherwise function, so I’m not as obvious as others might be.

Anyone reading this could become homeless like me. It takes losing a job or hours cut back and no savings or 401k to help float you for a while. It takes losing key members of your support system. One misstep in this society and you can very easily become one of us.

It reminds me of a homeless woman I knew back in Chicago. She was awesome. Well educated, wildly intelligent. I think she had been a professor or something. We could stand outside the mini-mart and chat about politics, philosophy, religion, world views and culture for hours.

And yet, she was homeless.

I never asked about what happened, but I suspect it was similar to my own. Things going okay and then one day, BOOM! everything is turned upside down. Maybe escaping an abusive situation. Maybe a messy divorce. Maybe lost a job.

There are thousands of us out there. In this situation. We don’t appear stereotypically homeless. But we are.

And if our economy keeps going the way it is under a certain “president,” there will be more.

But here’s the thing: we aren’t all freaks and addicts and thieves. Many of us are clean, friendly people who just need a little help getting back up on our feet. I don’t panhandle, at least out on the street. I just ask for help online. I’ve gotten to the point over the years where I’m not comfortable talking to people in person. I certainly can’t beg face to face.

Since I don’t look homeless, I’m able to overhear conversations on the train between people who look down on the homeless person who is asking for help, or is on the train and sleeping because they couldn’t get sleep the night before. Maybe they smell because they were one who fell between the cracks of even the homeless society and can’t get help. Maybe he’s a vet the VA has long forgotten about.

Do you take the time to learn their stories? There were two women here in my building who are homeless vets themselves. Has the VA helped much? A little here and there, but not enough.

What about the family living in a tent under that overpass? Where is the help for them? There are few places here that help whole families. The shelters we do have here in Portland are for men or women, sometimes with pets, few places for families with kids. And usually those are for mothers with their kids, not whole families.

And some, like me, have belongings they’re trying to save. It kills me that I may lose my dad’s coffin flag and the “parting gift” of the piano I was able to get with estate money because he so badly wanted to see me get back into my music. My costumes, music, books. Things I’ve made or have been made for me.

Housing prices are out of control. We have to try finding work where we are, as we can’t afford to move. And even if we do find work, it isn’t always enough to afford a place to live.

While far too many are dismissive of us, look down on us, I ask that you remember one thing: We are human, and you aren’t too far removed from where we are in life.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, domestic abuse, emergency, life, PTSD, sexual assault, storage, urgent

2/25: PTSD Nightmares (& #crowdfunding)

[Yes, still need help with covering storage. Only a couple more days before another $305 is added to the pile-up, pushing it over $1000]

So, nightmares. I won’t go into details, but these have been getting more and more vivid as time goes on. Last night, it included a person I’ve considered a lifelong friend. And not in a good, supportive way. These nightmares have included various kinds of assault, some sexual, some not. The interesting thing is that none of them really include the bastard whose behavior caused me to have C-PTSD in the first damn place. They’ve included a whole host of strangers and semi-famous people I’ve never met…

I think the reason why I haven’t had nightmares about The Asshole is because I’ve spent 20+ years facing my fears and going to therapy on and off, and just fucking dealing with the shit he’s put me through.

Been there, done that, got the PTSD to prove it.

So, what I’m left with is nightmares about potential attacks from others. Including that drunk sonofabitch from December on the MAX. One friend earlier today asked if the whole being on the train thing so much is part of my issue. Well, it is, but it also isn’t.

See, there will always be assholes and drunks wherever I go. I understand this. My anxiety of being around people and being in close proximity to others, namely men, makes being on commuter trains REALLY uncomfortable. It works both ways, I think. The anxiety makes being on transit worse, and the people on transit make my anxiety worse. They feed off each other… a symbiotic hellhole, so to speak.

But I can’t afford a car and I’m technically not on valium anymore (I have a small stash, but no more scrips). I’m going to take one before bed tonight to see if it calms the nightmares. If so, I’ll be talking to a few medical professionals about options. I’m on an antidepressant that’s supposed to help with anxiety, but I ain’t seeing much of a difference. Fuck, my iPod works better… well, the iPod and my cat waiting for me at home.

The nightmares are just another “thing” piled onto the mess of PTSD.

~A

[and if you’re wondering why I’m swearing so much, I’m rebelling against a PTSD forum where I’m not allowed to swear… because fuck that shit.]

Posted in activism, anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, depression, disability, domestic abuse, gender, health, history, life, medical, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, society

1/20/18: March For Me

March for me.
I survived.
But still I live
In fear of
Repercussions.

March for me.
I am disabled
And cannot walk far.

March for me.
I am anxious in crowds.
And my voice wavers.

March for me.
I have C-PTSD.
I cannot stand being
Touched by men.

March for me.
For walking is too much
For me to handle.

March for me.
For I cannot
March
For myself.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, domestic abuse, friends, grad school, grief, health, homeless, life, medical, PTSD, sexual assault, society

1/10: #PTSD Frustrations #life 

I can see where my life took a detour. Almost two years ago, I started noticing a fogginess in my mind. I couldn’t focus, days flew by and I missed deadlines for everything. 

Especially school.

For a few years now (maybe 6-7 years), I’ve noticed this getting worse. I kept struggling, fighting it whenever and however I could. My anxiety around crowds and people in general kept inching higher and higher. Even whe. My dad died in 2014, I noticed that the hugs I received from male friends (most of them) felt uncomfortable. 
I didn’t understand why. 

Then when the one friend triggered flashbacks in November 2016, it dawned on me that there was more to this. Over the next few days that weekend, I struggled with what was going on. I had PTSD. I actually had to google “can rape survivors have ptsd?” because I, like so many others, thought it was just for soldiers.

It isn’t. 

I feel that, over this past year or so since realizing this, I have disintegrated even more.

I can hold conversations with people. But getting things -anything- done is proving extremely difficult. 

This affects school. As my being homeless and in an awkward living arrangement certainly hasn’t helped my PTSD, I’ve struggled with finishing school. I swore I’d make it this last term. 

I didn’t. 

At this point, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to. I’m close, but I can’t seem to get myself sorted to where I can finish. 

I want to. I intend to. I need to… if only for my sanity. 

But I struggle with the effects of an illness no one really understands. At least I don’t believe they do. Hence my frustration. 

I feel lost at sea. In a dark void where I know others are, yet I can’t see them. I am alone in a crowded room. I don’t feel normal… even by my own standards of normal. 

I want to know when it will end. If it will. When can I return to some semblance of a life I’m familiar with? 

~A

~~ trying to get ahead. If anyone can help with storage this month so I can get a teeny bit ahead of the game… I’d appreciate it.

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, cats, depression, disability, dogs, domestic abuse, health, life, Personal, PTSD, society

12/29: Dragon Rant: PTSD and Public Transit #ptsd #cptsd #trimet #publictransit

I’ve made it no secret that I have C-PTSD from sexual assault trauma and emotional abuse. I’ve also made it no secret that it’s difficult for me to deal with people -namely men- even sitting next to me on the train or bus. Touching of any kind. My heart rate skyrockets, I go into a panic mode/attack, and -depending on the type of touch- I either zone out or I freak out.

The freak out route isn’t as obvious. It involves me trying to pull myself away from the touching. Early today, I almost lost it completely.

I’m in Portland, OR and I ride public transit. I do not own a car, even though I can drive. Portland has always had more than its share of -interesting- people. Good and bad. Today I dealt with one of the bad. I’ll try to not swear TOO much, but I am in Dragon mode, so … yeah. (oh, who am I kidding… swearing galore!!)


This drunk-as-fuck dude got on the MAX Yellow Line at the front of the front car, where I was. At first, he was being just loud and talking to this young black dude sitting nearby. I was in the Priority Seating in the center-facing seats with one dude in the backward facing seat near me and then the black dude, who was really pretty laid back, across from me in the other rear-facing seats. This drunk motherfucker turns his attention to me, trying to engage me in conversation… which, honestly, didn’t make one damn bit of sense. Then he turned to the guy near me. At which point, he sat down between me and the guy… on my purse and partly on me.

You can see where the problem is here, right? He’s not only touching me, but he’s partly sitting ON me.

I pulled my purse out from under him, and started mumbled swear words worthy of Merchant Marines. He turned back to me and started bumping my shoulder with his. If I had remembered I had my mothers scissors in my purse, they would have been in my hand by then and threatening the motherfucker to get away from me. But I didn’t.

He got up, started chatting up the black dude again, and then others, eventually stumbling further down the MAX car to the other Priority Seating area. By this point, someone had pushed the button to alert the operator, who alerted the supervisors/police.

We were stopped at one station waiting for them to show up. He was utterly fucking clueless that we were waiting for them to come remove his annoying ass from the train.

By the time they showed, he was back up closer to me, harassing and then sitting at the last seats before where I was sitting (doors between those seats and mine). Now, I’m likely leaving SOME details out, like how many times he tried to get my attention (at least three), and some of the shit I could understand him saying. The supervisor arrived and I looked at him and pointed the asshole out. He helped him up and off the train. The ease of that exit tells me he’s a repeat offender on Trimet.

Then someone else was being a dick and the supervisor had to go retrieve that person. Yeah, what a night, huh? And it was barely dark.

I had many moments during that whole exchange where I wanted to shove him, kick him, hit him, knock him to the floor… something. Maybe the fact that I didn’t is a sign that I haven’t been pushed too far down into the hell of PTSD yet.

The guy sitting nearby who was also harassed by the drunk helped me calm down (the black dude got off the train before this). I told him I was about ready to shank the SOB with my scissors, but he said that if the guy came back over, he’d step in and help keep him away from me. I closed my eyes at one point and tried to take measured breaths to calm my heart down. He assured me it would be okay. Don’t know his name but wherever he is, he has my gratitude.

My heart rate was probably around 120 or so, as I could feel it pounding.

As the doors closed and the supervisor was back on the platform, the drunk asshole was in the street yelling at people in cars and pounding the hoods of their cars.

It’s been a few hours now, but I’m still a bit wound up. This was the closest I think I’ve come to a total breakdown in a long time… and the time I do recall snapping at someone, I didn’t realize I had PTSD.


I honestly have no idea how people with PTSD are able to deal with being on public transit. Seriously. It isn’t like I can put a vest on that says “Don’t fucking touch me or you’ll end up in the ER” and I can’t get a PTSD dog just yet. No moula for one and Portia-kitty doesn’t like dogs. Besides, I don’t want to get a Dobie that’s already docked and cropped (ears and tail). I kinda want to wait until I (hopefully) get to Germany where that practice is illegal and get a dog there… train her there. I want a floppy-eared Dobie girl.

I kinda want to get a stun gun for the time being. I think Trimet would frown on me carrying around scissors.

I feel like I’m getting worse. The breathing helped. Getting back to the house and snuggling Portia helped, as did the hot shower. But I’m getting more and more wary of people on transit.

~Dragon

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, history, life, poetry, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, storage

I12/27: Echoes and Tears #ptsd #cyberstalking #cptsd #metoo #poetry

Past flashes
Pain and agony
Echoes of who
I
Was upon a time.

Fog settles
Behind and ahead
Mind is fuzzy
No
End in sight.

Self withdrawn
Physical and mental
Life at a standstill
Foe
Hunting eternally

Past blurred
No end to the fear
Looking over my shoulder
Life
Stalled in motion

Fear grips me
Held in an invisible
Grip from life
Alone
Is all I feel.

Darkness surrounds me
The fog gives way
Only echoes of my past
Remind
Me of what I should be.

~A

(I’m running out of time to get December storage paid. I have about 1/3 [$100] but I need to pay by the 30th.)

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, domestic abuse, empath life, health, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/12: Social Anxiety and C-PTSD

I’m gonna try putting this into actual words rather than just swirling around in my head. Hopefully, it’ll make sense.


Despite medications and such, I feel disconnected. Maybe it’s partly because of being jobless and homeless, but I don’t feel like I’m part of anything. Despite (slowly) working on finishing school and trying to find work and having lots of friends… I just don’t feel it.

My social anxiety is ramping up even worse, probably because the C-PTSD is so not helping matters. I want to have my own place and just stay there. Not go anywhere unless I really have to.

The C-PTSD is from recurring sexual assault during a relationship over 20 years ago. I thought I’d moved past that part of it with therapy and could handle things again, but since a massive trigger nearly a year ago, I now know otherwise.

[This section came from an f-locked post on FB… with edits.]
**This person don’t know what happened. What he triggered. I know, in some way, I should explain it to him, but I can’t. Mind you, he did nothing inherently wrong
. I do NOT blame him. I have believed I had my shit regarding the sexual assaults from 24 years ago handled. Bast knows I’ve had tons of therapy dealing with it. But one touch -as friends- that wasn’t even super-intimate set me down a path I’m still fighting with today. It was something that reminded me of what my ex used to do. There was no ill intention on this friend’s part. 
And I’m not getting any better. Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m crying, trying not to go into a full panic attack.

When you see what I’ve been through since last November, it makes sense that I feel my life is spiraling out of control, no matter how much I may seem -on any given day- to be doing better. It isn’t just the C-PTSD… it’s anxiety, it’s stress, it’s not knowing when shit will get better.**

More and more, I’m hesitant about going out, being on public transit. While many are hesitant about it for reasons such as the potential of being attacked, my reasons are different.

  • strong perfume/cologne/body spray causes headaches
  • loud noises/talking makes me cringe
  • and lastly: I can’t handle sitting next to someone and us ending up touching (usually hips or such)… especially if they’re male.

I’ve had so many moments in recent months while out on transit where I feel the urge to lash out at people. I want to snap at the person sitting next to me to MOVE… or the person talking too loudly to STFU. I have no interest in violence, but

Since last year, I now ask male friends and other men I come across, to ask for permission to hug me. Even women, although I’m better with them. No surprise that the ex in question is male.

I don’t know how to deal with all of this. I figured after 24 years and tons of therapy, I’d be better, but I can’t help pulling away from people in the physical realm (as opposed to online) because of what I’m dealing with.


One of the hardest things about this is that I need work. Which means being on transit, being in an office setting around others, having to negotiate physical space while trying to sort out this anxiety and C-PTSD.

I had a job yesterday assembling some cabinets… was supposed to continue, but my back and other joints decided against it. There really is no amount of pain medication that can help. Trust me on this. I can do physical jobs here and there, but not hours on end. And my body still pays for even those small tasks.


I wish I knew how to fix this part of me. Still fighting an anxiety attack… but calming down a bit… the C-PTSD and related things severely affect all the other things in my life. I hate it.

I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away.

~A