Posted in activism, artsy stuff, community, creativity, crowdfunding, dreams, emergency, faith, friends, history, observations, poetry, storage, urgent, writing

8/16: Act (poetry)

[Still urgently needing help with crowdfunding and saving everything]

Dream.
Is to
Believe in oneself.

Living.
Is more than a commute and
Bland food.

Belief.
In self and the good in the world
Leads to peace.

Create.
What you see is beauty.
Others might agree.

Explore.
The world has much variety.
Experience it.

Love.
All our differences that make us
Stronger.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, observations, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/11: Brain Battle: Real Life vs. Creativity

Another crazy week of running around to appointments and tasks and stuff. Emphasis on appointments.

Still need help with storage and such. One thing I realize is that once I get a place lined up and have the money to move, I want to have access to my stuff in storage because then I won’t have to repurchase things like kitchen supplies and bathroom stuff, and a mattress, etc. I’ll HAVE all of that. No bed frame, but I do want to get a MALM bed with storage from IKEA because if I move into a small studio, I’ll need ALL the storage I can get.

But it would be best if I retain everything I already have and use that as much as possible. I’ll gradually go through what’s left and sell/toss what I don’t use (or are sewing/crafting supplies).


Trying to find a balance between real life and my creativity isn’t easy when your waking moments are filled with appointments, a bag-up of belongings here at the shelter, PTSD triggers, chronic pain & fatigue, and people telling you to make a few dozen phone calls and you’re not good using the phone. Also: applying for jobs, eating moderately healthy (yeah, that didn’t work so well this week), and trying to sleep when your brain insists on running Worst Case Scenarios at random intervals during the night.


I’m in Month Five here. Technically, they want you through the system in four months. But I need stable income to get into something. Income I don’t have. I’m working on it.

Except one thing:

I don’t know if I can handle a full time job anymore. The past two weeks of being busy and running around M-F each week has drained me to the point where I feel like my mood has dipped back down and depression is hanging over me. I’m fucking exhausted. I still haven’t put my stuff from bag-up away. I have no energy to do anything. It sucks. I know it’ll turn around, but how to deal with it until it does? Not sure.


Gonna sign off for now. I’ll be back… I always am.

~A

Posted in adoption, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, dogs, housing, life, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/6: Guilty Pleasure: Looking at Adoptable Dogs

[this started as FB status, hence the lines closer together]

With the idea that I’ll be moving on sooner rather than later, and hopefully into my own place, I’ve been looking at potential second pets. Namely, dogs. It’s a huge step, honestly. I haven’t had a dog since I was 15. Eventually, I want a dog I can train in not only obedience but as a PTSD dog. With help, of course. I certainly have my ideal breeds, but I may start with a rescue dog to get reacquainted with having a dog at all. 

Looking at local dogs on petfinder. Found a couple of cuties. Obviously, I’m nowhere near ready. But one advantage of getting a dog, other than training for PTSD, is that she would help with depression and anxiety. Both being aspects of my PTSD. And yes, I keep saying “she” because I’d prefer a girl dog.

 

But I also know that dogs are a whole other ballgame from having cats. Not even taking into account greater food intake and needing to be walked, there’s obedience training and other necessities. Something being here at the shelter has taught me is an absolute must. A well-trained dog goes a LONG way in pretty much everything. Especially being a good neighbor.

Here at the shelter, I’ve seen separation anxiety, breaking out of ‘jail,’ aggression toward dogs and humans, etc. I want to make sure any dog I have in my life can handle being around cats who may not like her, other dogs when out and about, and people in general.


So, I’m looking at dogs. I will never bitch about the price of purebreds I’ve been looking at (which are averaging $1200 to $1600). Yes, it’s more, but when rescue dog adoption fees are in the $300 to $600 range… urf! 

The breeds I’m looking at at German Shepherds (easier to find in rescue here) and two of the Belgian Shepherd breeds: Tervurens and Groenendaels. Those are my ideals for a service dog. And I’d definitely get a roughly 12 to 16 week old puppy so I can start obedience training from the start and then around a year old, start working on service training. 


I’m just kinda seeing what’s out there right now. I’ll know when I’m ready for a dog. I hope.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, society, storage, urgent

8/5: Sunday Stuff

Looks like Auction will be late September, which is surprising to me, but I’m cool with it. Gives me time to save up this month and get it caught up. Will likely still need the help, so the GFM is still active for now.

Living here at the shelter is a week by week basis. I have to keep looking at housing and work and try to get a job ASAP. I may only have another week or two, which is a problem since I have no back-up place to go.

I’ve been running myself into the ground, it feels like, all this past week. If I wasn’t at a task or on the bus to/from a task, I was pulling the bins from the smaller temporary storage unit out and having a friend help me move them to another friend’s space until my main unit is out of hoc and organized so I can cram everything else in there. Or running around to appointments and other things. Yesterday, I crashed… hard. I needed the rest, though.


At one point, on my way home from an errand, I encountered a homeless man who, at least I’m hoping this is all it was, was clearly mentally ill and probably not taking his meds. He started calling me names and using insults as I walked past him. Including a word I’d never heard before: Wi**er. Which is actually a slang term for a white person emulating African American culture such as rap and all that. Hence why I ‘bleeped’ out the two g’s. Replace the W with an N and you have the original word.

Thankfully, one half of an awesome homeless gay couple intervened and went and talked to the man. He came back and told me that if they were still there when I finished in the grocery store, they’d walk me to wherever I needed to go, which was the bus stop. They waited at the stop with me until the bus came. I’d like to think I could handle the guy myself, but I know it might have proven difficult.

I didn’t want to get into a shouting match with the guy. It was tempting, but I was already tired and wiped out from my errand.


Not much for now… but I’ll keep everyone in the loop as to when and how badly the shit hits the fan.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, family, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

7/31: Random Snafus, Monday Part Deux

[write something witty here]

*thud*

Today has thoroughly drained my ass… I had a chore this morning (and one this evening), and then got accused of theft*, then had a task which went sideways**, then therapy, then meeting my caseworker… I just finished fixing and eating dinner… and at 8, the other chore round.

* I’m one of those weirdos out here who has never stolen anything, not even a penny from a till I was in charge of. Never shoplifted, nothing. So when one of the other residents accused me of stealing a 3rd person’s bottle of bleach from the laundry room, I was a bit upset and confused. Granted, not like the women here KNOW I’ve never stolen anything, but still it was strange. Besides, I have my own damn bleach. It just pissed me off that someone would make an assumption and accuse me.

** I had two tall cabinets to assemble and put in place in a little nook in a kitchen. Which ended up being 1/8 of an inch too narrow. AN EIGHTH OF A FUCKING INCH!!! Yeah, it sucked. Left it half done because she wanted to talk it over with her husband.

So, that’s my day in a large nutshell.

Living in a shelter requires some trust, but it has to be earned. Very few here have earned it, and many have lost any chance of earning it by repeated backstabbing and lies.

One of those lies has been thoroughly debunked. One of my ice packs was stolen out of the bag in the freezer. The person who was with me when I found out said one of the RA’s took it and gave to my friend who is outside. Her time was up here and she had to leave. I asked the friend and she showed me her cooler. Nope. Not in there. I knew the story was fishy. She couldn’t tell me WHICH RA took it. A week goes by and I find it in a shelf above the bag… further proof she was lying. So, someone “borrowed” it and finally returned it.

I’ve had other things stolen, mostly food. And then the accusation this morning. What is so frustrating about it is that they know how I feel about theft. If you own it and make reparations, fine. But just not acknowledging that you have sticky fingers? Nope.


I’ve applied for more work… hopefully something bubbles up to the surface soon. My time here at the shelter is tentative. I talked with the building manager today and we’re going to take it week by week. There is no other shelter in this system that has this setup.

I’m looking at apartments, even those in market rate buildings. Not cheap, but I need to keep looking for places. I’d MUCH prefer to have my own apartment all to myself, but living in an off-campus student building with roommates would be okay.

There may be a poem coming later…

As usual, I desperately need the help saving storage. It’s likely scheduled for auction in August and I’ll definitely need the full amount this time. No partial allowed. More on that tomorrow.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, auction, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, family, life, poetry, storage, urgent, writing

7/30: The Sanctity of Space

The Sanctity of Space
[Poem about what I’m going to lose if I don’t raise the funds. I have a task tomorrow that will put a bit into the ‘kitty’, but not a lot.]


The sanctity of space
The collections of memories
The baubles of comfort.

Stashed out of reach
From
The Collector of Time.

Seeking peace amidst
The flurry of madness.
Afraid to lose.

That which is attached to
History and future.
Slipping away.

The tendrils of commerce gripping
The hope of dreams past and
Yet to come.

Ornaments of family gone.
Held in grief and love.
Pain yet released.

The paraphernalia of memories
Not forgotten
If only for the tangible itself.

Dreams returning to life.
Passions on hold
Hidden behind lock and key.


~A

[Yes, help is still needed. Badly. Unless a miracle happens, I don’t see a chance of getting storage caught up before August 1st. I’ll find out when auction is and go from there.]

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/30: Looks Can Be Deceiving… & #crowdfunding

Yup, still asking for help. Anything anyone can do: retweet, share, you name it. [Need about 900 for storage, maybe a bit more, plus 150 for the vet bill.]


Looks….

I had a doctor’s appt this morning to look into the painful bump I’ve had on my finger for nearly three weeks. With Medicaid, I get Ride2Care, which contracts with a local cab company. Due to what I’m about to say, I’ll refrain from naming the company, but their name starts with a B.

To get my return ride wildness out of the way, man, that dude had me gripping the seat. But this post is more about the driver I had to get me to my appt. He took me by way of Naito Parkway, which took us through Old Town at 8:15am, when the homeless are leaving overnight shelters and packing up their tents and such.

This is when the driver started his rant about seemingly able-bodied homeless people. He called them lazy for not working. I wasn’t awake enough to debate too much with him. If he’d stopped with a few statements about it, I wouldn’t have minded so much, but he kept going.

I brought up that they need an address to fill out job applications, and pass a background check and other things. He didn’t really hear me. His only response to that was that “they can ask a friend or family member to help.”

This is an assumption many housed people make: that homeless people have family and people they can turn to readily. But far too many have either burned those bridges or there are other circumstances, such as family is estranged or dead. There may be cases of severe mental illness, which you can’t always tell from a distance. They may look healthy, but there may be other things going on under the surface.

He made a lot of assumptions in a series of blanket statements about homeless people.

And no, I didn’t tell him I’m homeless and the place he picked me up from is a women’s shelter.

I can imagine what he might have said if I did, though.

“You don’t look homeless.”

“But you are all cleaned up.”

“You don’t look like a drug addict.”

The vast majority of homeless out here are not drug addicts. We are regular every day people who, due to circumstances sometimes out of our control, are no longer housed. Some are able to get into shelters. Some prefer to be on the street, for a multitude of reasons.

Then he brought up TPI and the main shelter, which is for men.

“Some people say they will not stay there because it is like a prison.”

The only reason I can imagine someone saying that about a TPI shelter is if they’re addicts or alcoholics and the TPI buildings are, in general, dry shelters, meaning no alcohol or drugs consumed while you stay there. Are there rules to staying here? Yes. You have groups to attend and chores to do, and you have to keep your space clean. Meet with your caseworker.

But it certainly isn’t a prison.

Where I am feels more like an insane asylum. The only differences are that we manage our own meds and we can come and go more or less as we please.

My hope is that as I get closer to being back on my feet, I can help become an advocate for homeless as well the other things in my life.  There are so many misconceptions and assumptions about homeless people, I hope I can help dispel some of them one day.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, food cravings, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/29: Sunday Fluffery & #crowdfunding

You know the drill by now: Yes, still desperately need help getting storage caught up. Nearly everything I own is in there, save for a few bins in another unit I need to vacate before end of business Tuesday. Need a vehicle/person and a place to stash them.

I’m still shut out of my data, so no FB until I get my phone back on, which will hopefully be in the next few days. I need it for two reasons: my sanity and my current quasi-employment through TR.

Had a task today where I was breaking down moving boxes en masse at a house near where I had a task earlier last week. The only bad part: all the boxes were outside in the front and back yards. In the heat. The task will net me a whopping $22.50. My furniture assembly tasks are where my rates are higher.


Food: I may attempt the shortbread again… or wait and get some baking power and make sugar cookies. I probably should check the general use cupboard. I tend to avoid that one as Bast Only Knows what’s in there. I doubt there’s baking powder in there. Considering the average shelter resident here considers top ramen cooking…


Shelter Life: This morning, I couldn’t find the black shorts I picked up for doing tasks. My mind immediately went to “If they were stolen, someone will fucking pay” … when I did find them, I realized how quickly I went to theft being the reason I couldn’t find them. This seems sad to me that this is the mindset we go to here. I’m not the only one, mind you. The other cat lady here did the same a couple nights ago.

Things do go missing. Food is a big one. And other things have gone missing as well. Theft is all too common in homeless shelters. This is why I keep my door locked at all times and usually closed. Right now, the fan is on with the door open to get some cooler air circulating. But I’m IN my room, which is fine. I will, on occasion, go to the bathroom (next door) or a quick hobble out to the kitchen to grab something and leave it propped open, usually only if one of the others who lives down at this end of the hall has their door open and can hear for anything suspicious.

I have computers and other things I consider valuable in here. They aren’t much, but they’re something to me.

Well, I’ll post more later…

~A