Posted in adoption, animal welfare, auction, cats, celiacs, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, faith, life, peace, storage, urgent

2/2: #crowdfunding and #cats

Still need funds to save storage and get on with life. I’ve received two donations totaling a bit over 100, but still need about 600 more.

******

This week has been tough for me. And tonight is the anniversary of losing JoJo. Two years ago, one week after my eviction hearing, I rushed her to Dove Lewis. She wouldn’t have made it to dawn. She hid her congestive heart failure all too well.

She was my soul. We both had the same food issues (hers was an allergy to wheat and I have Celiacs). She was right there, in my face, when I wasn’t feeling well to provide me with some purr therapy to help me feel better.

She chose me in such a clear and obvious way. I was her only human for 14 years. She was 11 months old. I adopted her February 2003, and she passed away February 2017, a month shy of turning 15.

She was a ginger force to be reckoned with. Opinionated, loving, sassy cat. My first indoor cat.

******

I’ll post stuff tomorrow. Tonight is quiet.

~A

Advertisements
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.

Posted in auction, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, life, poetry, society, storage, urgent, writing

1/2/19: Disheveled (old poetry & #crowdfunding)

[If you like my poetry from any segment of my life, please feel free to donate to help me rekindle my inspiration that’s stuck in storage and will get auctioned off in a little over 24 hours from now. I’ll be at work when auction happens, so I’d rather get it done today.]

I have $235. Called them and got the total damage: $1467. Before noon tomorrow. I’d prefer to get it done before 6 today as I’m working tomorrow. If I don’t get it today and do before auction tomorrow, I can take an early lunch and get up there. Thankfully both work AND storage are close to me, so it’s a short streetcar ride.

The following poem has no date. I just know that it’s likely at least 10 years old, if not closer to 15. I got into a bad habit of not putting dates on my poems. And yet, oddly enough, I feel very similar after living in the shelter for 7 months.


Life Disheveled.
Scattered seeds of my soul
The four corners hoard my seeds.
I have no more to give.
Silo of my soul is
Empty.
Barren.
No more to hand out.

Life disbelieving.
See the world
Surrounding
Encasing
Smothering me.

Out. I want out.
Scream but
No one hears.
No one listens.
They’re too busy
Listening to themselves
Chatter inanity.

Stand in place.
Invisible to all.
Except those who
Use
(and)
Abuse.
Mattering only to them.

No.
No way.
No more.
I am done.

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bigotry, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, history, life, observations, peace, poetry, politics, society, storage, urgent, writing

1/1/19: Wars Within #poetry #crowdfunding

[Tossing some old poetry at you while I find my voice for current stuff. Also, CROWDFUNDING HELP!! Any ideas for how to spread the word would be AWESOME. I’m running out of time. As in less than 48 hours until auction.]

Wars Within

A brief yet continuing lifetime.
Adventures begun
Some yet to finish.
Close to home, then far off.

People change.
Some lives borne of turmoil while others seek out harm.
Battles internal
Spill external.

War raging in the world surrounding.
Miles away in others’ neighborhoods.
Peace flounders, gasping for air.
Among hearts blackening.

Thousands of miles I’ve walked
Still my heart is grey.
I’ll walk millions more
Until peace finds my heart and soul.

~A (2001)

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, conformity, crowdfunding, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, homeless, individuality, life, peace, storage, urgent

12/30/18: Becoming the Dragon (31 hours to #crowdfunding deadline)

Crowdfunding: Got two more donations during the night. I’m over $100 now, but still a long way to go to reach $1141. If I can get this paid up before the first, I can deal with the January rent when it happens. I’ll have a little breathing room and can get stuff out and the rest moved to a smaller unit.

Becoming the Dragon: I have evolved, personality wise, to even more of a dragon. Hear me out.

Sure, all the other stuff I mentioned yesterday, like collecting “shiny” things and disliking humans, is part of it, but there’s more. See, in folklore around the world, dragons are fire-breathing people-eating monsters. No, I don’t think of myself as a monster. I’ve dated a few, though.

If anything, I was more like a super-mild version of Puff the Magic Dragon through much of my life. Puff was pretty cool, but super nice and loved everyone and everyone loved him, etc.

Me? I was (and still am to some degree) everyone’s doormat. The yes-girl. Needed someone to shlep you and/or your crap? Call me. Need someone to watch your kids? Call me. Need someone to do XYZ into infinity? Call me. To the point where it got to be manipulative and abusive by some. I spoiled friends, said yes to anything and everything, went to the ends of the earth and back. Then my father passed away in 2014 and things changed for me. My need for help shifted the equation. Most of those who asked me for help were nowhere to be found. Those who are still around in my life are unable to help as much as they’d like.

Enter being homeless. It wasn’t as bad in the first year, couchsurfing. It was when I got into the shelter when I began to change. If my contempt for humans was mild before (mild to moderate), then it tipped the scales (okay, pun kind of intended) into the VERY DRAGON levels. I withdrew more, seeing how some others at the shelter treated fellow residents. But the Angry Dragon side emerged quickly. When bullying of one woman escalated, I snapped at the bullies. Then I’d withdraw to my corner and watch. When they did it again, I lunged and snapped again. This happened a few times.

Now, I’m about as Pacifist as one can get without committing to some peaceful religion. Seriously. I do identify with Buddhism, but I’m not at a place where I can let go of parts of me that don’t ring true with it. My dad was very much a pacifist after he did his tour in WWII. So for this anger to be present doesn’t sit well with me. Eventually I need to separate the anger from the aspect of being strong and standing up for myself and others. To show my passion without anger. That will be the big challenge for me. It is, like everything else in life, a lesson to learn.

~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

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, anxiety, auction, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, friends, homeless, homelessness, individuality, life, observations, politics, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

9/22: Political Divide Ponderings (and #crowdfunding)

[Before I get to politics, I need to raise the funds for storage before Monday because of transfer time for GFM and PayPal. Any sharing or donation is greatly appreciated. See the stickied note for more info. Basically: auction is on 9/27 and I don’t have my PP debit card, so everything has to be transferred over to my checking account. I have two days before the transfers will be too late.]

I have always been in the “Bleeding Heart Liberal” category. I knew at 15 that I was going to register Democrat. My parents were both registered Republicans. But from a time when Republicans were more liberal (Dad was an Eisenhower Republican) and Dems were more conservative. My mother was originally a Democrat, from back in the day before parties switched views. She switched to Republican, around when she married my dad. I think because her views were so conservative, he nudged her to change affiliation to match her views. Dad, however, was pro-choice and all the other stuff. He voted Republican, but man, he was liberal through and through.

By the time I was 18, I knew Democrat was where I belonged. Some of my views have a twinge of Libertarian in them, but I’m staunchly a Dem. When I got my voter ID card at 18, I showed it to my dad, who joked, “Where did we go wrong with you?” I knew he was messing with me in a good way. Remember, he was quite liberal and I am such my father’s daughter. He knew, in his own quiet way, that I was in the right spot.


Flash forward to this past week. A couple days ago, I got into a debate with a conservative woman from this shelter. Here’s where my pondering begins.

How can someone who is homeless/poor/etc and reasonably intelligent stand by politicians who are so vehemently against them? I’m talking about the Liar in Chief. I usually just use ’45’ to refer to him, and will do so the rest of this post.

How does a woman who served in the military and depends on the VA in all its brokenness support a man who cuts spending for the very system she uses?

How can someone who is living in a shelter that depends on federal grant money to help people say that the government shouldn’t be the ones who help the poor and disabled, but that churches should be?

The debate happened while we were waiting for the MAX train back from her first trip to IKEA is several years. When we got on the train, I was so pissed, I just started ignoring her. She turned to a man on the other side of her and started in about “ignorant liberals”

*twitch*

*twitch*

The one thing I got clearly from her was this: she got her advanced education later in life (a Bachelor’s in Science [B.S.] in something) and had dropped a class because the professor made something clear about some sort of view that was decidedly more liberal than conservative. She then went into how she was glad she didn’t pursue her degree when she was younger because she might have been convinced and brainwashed back then to agree with this more liberal view.

As with everything involving the women in this shelter (other than the backstabbing and lies some pull), it all has mostly blown over and she’s all smiles again with me. Meh. I’ll move on and chat again with her. Just not today.


This is why I ponder these things:

I am innately curious about the human condition and psyche. Always have been. Ever since I was out of diapers, I either had a camera in my hand or was observing people in how they acted, reacted, and interacted. I wanted to understand human behavior from the time I was really little.

I’ve long joked that I’m really an alien from another planet who was dropped off here to observe human behavior. Sometimes, it doesn’t really feel like that much of a joke. I’ve always felt different. Like I wasn’t the same. Not human. My physiology is the same, save for a few oddities, but I am essentially a human being. I just don’t feel like I am one.

I want to understand why people behave how they do, believe things they do, act how they do. I’ve always been the one who asked questions and looked for answers. As a kid, I was always pulling random things from the yard and putting them under our little 3x microscope. I wasn’t big on dissection once we got to that in school, but I wanted to learn about other things.

Why are we seemingly always at war with each other?

Why do we so easily fear and then hate each other because of differences?

I know that second one is partly why I feel so different. I choose not to fear the differences. I’m curious about why the differences are there, and want to examine those differences. I love and embrace my curiosity. I want to absorb and learn and experience those differences. And I’ve never understood why others don’t want the same.

To choose being informed over conformity.

~A

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