Posted in anxiety, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, empath life, faith, individuality, life, peace, poetry, society, storage, urgent

7/31: Stand

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Posted in crowdfunding, depression, empath life, faith, family, grief, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, storage, urgent, writing

7/27: The Little Things Attached to Grief

Sitting here in my room with freshly popped popcorn (not supposed to have food in our rooms, but several of us -especially the loners- do, so no biggie), reflecting on things.I recently posted about getting back to my creative writing as an outlet for my anger and frustration here at the shelter.

If my father were still here, he never would have let me stop. Granted, he also never would have let me get evicted and be homeless. Losing him in 2014 was a massive blow to me. I’ve written, sure, but I haven’t had that regular nudge like he did in our phone calls.

“Are you still writing?”

“Kinda. I mean, I haven’t worked on anything lately.”

“Amanda, you’re too good at it to give up.”

I found it extremely difficult to write during NaNoWriMo last year. I can see how being homeless has been increasingly difficult to allow myself to write again.

Read that last line again: to allow myself to write again. 

Yeah. I haven’t been writing because real life has been sucking my soul dry. My therapist said (paraphrased) that you can’t run on an empty tank. You need to fill your soul with things you love so you can handle the things you don’t. 

So, as hard as it is to deal with the real world, I give myself permission to write again.

My dad would have insisted.

Another thing attached to my grief is a towel.

A towel, you ask?

Yes, a towel. After he passed away, I asked my sister to leave some bedding and stuff so I can stay at the house for a week to help with things. She left one blanket, a set of old sheets, and a beach towel. In the nearly four years since that trip down there, I haven’t used any other towel for drying off after a shower. I have towels. Plenty of them. Well, most are in storage, but yeah. And here I’ve been using a beach towel with bleached out holes along one side. There isn’t any major sentimental value to it as in childhood memories, but I can’t let it go.

It may not be attached to childhood memories, but it is one of the few things I can link to the house. To my last days in the house. To walking through the house and remembering events and accidents and games and growing up. To sifting through what remained and claiming what I could.

But, why a towel? I don’t know, honestly. I have a few other things of his, such as the pewter pin that commemorated the launch and commission of the sub he was on in WWII (USS Mero), but a towel?

It’s One of Those Random Little Things Attached to Grief.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, empath life, grief, homeless, homelessness, life, storage, urgent, writing

7/25: rediscovering myself

So, yes. Still need help with getting things caught up financially. Preferably before the end of the month. Whether it’s via the GFM or PayPal (preferred), any help is vastly appreciated.

So… after last nights fucked up mess, I had therapy today. I read her the poem and the second post about getting my life back. Talking to her about the argument and what I posted got me realizing that I’ve been focusing so hard on real life shit that I’ve pushed aside all the stuff I love that has defined who I am and how I want my life to be.

Music, writing, etc.

While I can’t do much on the music front, I can write. She noticed that whenever I get into the deeper emotional stuff, I back out and start talking about my writing or music.

I had a warped little prompt pop into my head while on my way there. So, I’m playing with it and seeing where it might go. A mix of fantasy and murder.

I’ve missed the creative release. I see who I become when I push that aside and try to work too hard on real life. I have to stop feeling guilty for writing in the midst of the mess my life currently is. I’m angry. At myself and the injustices I see and experience around me. The bullying and lies. The hate.

I give myself permission to create in the midst of madness. I need to keep reminding myself of this, as I no longer have my dad to nudge me.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, empath life, grief, homeless, homelessness, life, storage, urgent, writing

7/25: rediscovering myself

So, yes. Still need help with getting things caught up financially. Preferably before the end of the month. Whether it’s via the GFM or PayPal (preferred), any help is vastly appreciated.

So… after last nights fucked up mess, I had therapy today. I read her the poem and the second post about getting my life back. Talking to her about the argument and what I posted got me realizing that I’ve been focusing so hard on real life shit that I’ve pushed aside all the stuff I love that has defined who I am and how I want my life to be.

Music, writing, etc.

While I can’t do much on the music front, I can write. She noticed that whenever I get into the deeper emotional stuff, I back out and start talking about my writing or music.

I had a warped little prompt pop into my head while on my way there. So, I’m playing with it and seeing where it might go. A mix of fantasy and murder.

I’ve missed the creative release. I see who I become when I push that aside and try to work too hard on real life. I have to stop feeling guilty for writing in the midst of the mess my life currently is. I’m angry. At myself and the injustices I see and experience around me. The bullying and lies. The hate.

I give myself permission to create in the midst of madness. I need to keep reminding myself of this, as I no longer have my dad to nudge me.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, emergency, empath life, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/24: burned out

Burned out.
Torn up.
Tired of all of it.
Sick of the hate.
The pettiness.
The lies.
Why do humans do this?
Why the hate?
The judgement.
The condemnation.
We are no better than those around us.
Yet…

Many think they are.
No.
We are different from each other, but no better.
The pine box will be the same
No matter who or
What
You
Are.

I just had a run-in with one of the bullies here at the shelter. I wrote the above poem a few days ago, but it’s how I see things right now.

People don’t seem to realize that others do see how they treat people. Some of us watch, observe them. We hear the things they say when they don’t think anyone is listening.

Hear them trash someone who is unable to defend themselves. Then gaslighting me saying I said something and I didn’t. It’s exhausting dealing with people who don’t get that their behavior is bad. I snapped. I slightly regret doing that.

Being an empath who can’t block worth shit in a building full of unstable women is not something I’d wish on anyone.

I’ve hit my breaking point.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, individuality, life, observations, storage, urgent

6/13/18: Humans All (and #crowdfunding)

Still looking for help for storage. Auction is 6/28, so I do have a bit more of a cushion than I thought. Precedent has been that auction is mid-month, so I was going by that. So far, work this month has been sparse. Any help you can give… whether it’s donating or even just sharing. Everything helps.


I’ve posted in the past about being homeless and being human and all that. The recent story about the jogger (asshole) in Oakland who took a local homeless man’s belongings and tossed them into Lake Merritt. The jogger has been arrested for taking the phone of a guy who spotted him the next day. Hopefully more charges will be filed against him for what he did to the homeless man’s belongings.

This reminded me of recent discussions on our local NextDoor for my old neighborhood. Some people were vehemently complaining about the homeless population while others were doing what they could to calm them down and help them see reason. In one of of these threads, I outed myself as being a former neighbor who is now living in a shelter due to an eviction.

This is the thing: no matter whether we live in a tent, a shelter, a house, apartment, or a high-rise condo, we are ALL human beings who will end up in the proverbial pine box (some will choose burial, others cremation, even others various other methods that have emerged). Where we live and how much we do or don’t have won’t matter in the long run.

If you have all the trappings of success, they could vanish next week. If your belongings fit in a storage unit or a shopping cart, you could have a windfall next month and things could improve.

Or it could all end in an instant without any change.

None of us truly know where our lives will take us. Only where we’ve been. We can have all the grand plans and ideas written down somewhere, but it’s all a matter of chance, with some choice tossed in. I learned long ago to not plan too far ahead. The rug got pulled out from under me and plans changed frequently.

I changed as well. Every instance in my life that made me change direction in some way changed me. I am nowhere near the person I was 25 years ago. Hell, 10 years ago. I’m not the same as I was last week. I learn as I live. Each day holds at least one lesson. Sometimes one I have to keep learning (don’t get me started on foodstuffs).

But back to the topic in general.

No matter where we stand in society, we are all the same. Yes, there are differences. Education, disabilities, income, housed/unhoused, skin color, eye color, career choices, etc… we are each unique in our humanity. But strip away those differences and our human-ness is a common link.

I think some -far too many- tend to forget this. Like the people in my old neighborhood bashing homeless people. The differences are merely on the surface of who we are. They forget that they could easily end up homeless like me in an instant (well, maybe longer, but given a tragic incident and draining of savings and loss of job… you get the idea).

No one is perfect. No one is above another. Money doesn’t make one superior, despite what that person may think of themselves.

I may expand more on this as I go… for now, this is my observation.

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

Posted in anxiety, community, depression, empath life, life, music, observations

4/27/18: Music Within

In my therapy session this week, music became the focal point. I’ve written on this in the past, but she asked a question I can’t seem to answer: what is at the core of my love of music? What makes it such a strong relationship/connection?

I’ve been thinking on it and I still can’t answer. It’s always been prominent in my life.

  • Being 4 and figuring out the melody of the Star Spangled Banner by myself, from looking at the black dots on the page of music and from memory of hearing it that 4th of July.
  • Learning to play the piano properly at 6.
  • Listening to folk revival from 4 and 5.
  • Having suicidal ideations nearly every day as a teen and music being the only thing to pull me back from the edge.
  • Singing it, dancing to it, playing it. Listening to it.

It has kept me centered and grounded and any other term you can think of. My whole life.

The rhythms of world music, lyrics of various English-sung songs resonating with me emotionally and otherwise.

Music is the true universal language. No matter what language is being sung, you can understand the emotion of the song. You can hear the stories being told, the love being professed, the sadness being mourned. All of it.

For me, I feel it in my heart, my bones, my body. I think in part it’s because music pulled me back from suicide, I owe my life to it. It is part of me, part of who I am, what I am.

While I’m no longer playing or singing publicly, I still want to get back to playing. Hence having the piano, even though it’s in storage. I can’t have it here at the shelter. I want to be involved with it in some way. I listen to nearly all kinds of music out there and love all but two genres.

I don’t know the answers to her questions. I may never know.

I just know that music is part of my life.

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, emergency, empath life, genealogy, history, homeless, homelessness, life, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: What I Am (and #crowdfunding)

I am.
Blood and bone.
Ancestral memories borne
Within.
Who they were
Is ingrained in my
DNA.
My deep memories.
Those I did not live
In my years, but those of
Long ago.
Their fears and hopes
Live on
In me.
One more chance to
Get things right.
Make it right.

I am Swiss.
Viking.
English.
Manx.
Dutch.
Royal.
Farmers.
I am my ancestors.
I am what they hoped for.
Their dreams.
Alive.
And so much more.
I am an
Amalgamation of many
In one.
Me.

~A

[Yes, still crowdfunding. Still need lots and lots of help. Time is running out. Tweet/share wherever you can. Thank you]