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

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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

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