Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, depression, eviction, faith, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, society, transitions

10/24: Adjustments and Changes

As of Friday the 19th, Portia and I are now in our own apartment again. We still have several hurdles to jump: getting storage caught up for October only (more on that in a bit), getting furniture OUT of storage so I’m not sleeping on the floor (I do have a mattress in there), getting my old electric bill sorted before the end of the month, and getting internet in the apartment.

Oh, and getting my checking account up to zero or higher. Ugh.

So, most of the past two years, I’ve at least had SOMETHING coming in from being a Tasker, but this month? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Seriously. I’ve had no jobs. Well, there was a team one set for yesterday, but I have a feeling the other person stole the whole thing from under me and will try to muddy my name on TR. I’ve already sent an email to a contact there about this. I have proof the guy said the task was postponed and then late last night said it was cancelled. If it was cancelled, I’d have an email from TR saying it was. Nothing. Soooo…. yeah.

I need to cover 200 of the old electric bill plus a deposit… and also storage… and ordering internet. I do NOT want to rely on the hotspot on my poor phone to do everything. But it’ll be nearly $50 to get it set up… if not more. The electric, I may be able to get help from CCC as a one-time thing.

Things are happening slowly. I talked to the person at SE Works last week about the training job. She’ll get back to me soon, I hope. Right now, I’m just holding on.

I had zero intention of this being a pity post or a begging post. If people want to help, great. But it’s okay. I’ll figure this shit out somehow.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be able to reflect more on my experiences of the past two years. Most of that time has been either staying at friends’ houses or in the shelter. Being at the shelter was likely the strongest learning period. Man, I learned a lot. I stood up for myself and for others being bullied. I saw how low people can go while they hold their heads up high acting as if they’re better than the rest of us. I saw, and was the ‘victim’ of food theft, among other things.

I still have a lot of emotional stuff to unpack from that experience. When I do get through it, I fully intend on being an outspoken advocate for resolving homelessness.

No matter where we sleep, what we eat, the clothes we wear, our gender or sexuality, our skin color, our mental and physical health; we are human beings and deserve to be treated equally in society.

 

~A

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Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, silliness, storage, urgent

9/26: 18 hours… #crowdfunding

18 HOURS LEFT!!! SHARE MEEEE!!!!! PAYPAL ONLY!

There’s a little more in the GFM because a few people haven’t noticed my comments in a group about not using that at this point. I’d be amazed if it showed up in my account tomorrow. I doubt it will.

I’ll continue posting stuff tonight until I’m too tired to do anything more… then start back up in the morning.

I’ll find things to blog about for the 7pm hour…

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/25: Forced Gratitude (& #crowdfunding #urgent)

[#crowdfunding plea at bottom this time. two days left before auction. see the bottom of this post]

Over the weekend, I lashed out in frustration and PTSD-related anger at the agency that runs the shelter I’m in. Yesterday, I got a verbal lashing about it from the person who runs this building. The words that stuck with me the most were about gratitude. That I should be grateful they’ve let me stay longer than the normal length of time.

Gratitude first: No one should be told they HAVE to be grateful for something. Am I grateful? Yes. Should that equate to forced silence and obeisance? No. I’ve spent most of my life allowing people to walk all over me and tell me how to act (did I follow their rules every time? No, but that’s a whole other post). If living here has taught me one thing, it’s to not be silent when shit goes sideways.

Am I grateful? Yes. Should I play the nice little quiet obedient resident who shows her gratitude by not speaking up? No. Fuck that noise. I will be loud. I will be vocal. I will NOT be silenced because my voice and words make someone uncomfortable. The crap I had tweeted about was painful. Triggered my PTSD as well as anxiety, and I know I wasn’t the only one who was having a hard time with it.

The person who chided me for “not being grateful” wasn’t here. Her weekend was disturbed every so slightly by phone calls. Mine and the others here? Much more.

Once I’m out of here and my time being homeless is over, I will be able to recap the things I see as wrong and right about our systems here in the Rose City.

One thing I will address now, though, is the intended length of time they think is adequate for us to find housing. Four Months.

Now, if you have a job and just need to be somewhere to save up and get back on your feet, fine. Also, if you’re looking for work that is along the lines of grocery, retail, food service, and doesn’t require long application processes, this can work.

But what about those like me? Those with disabilities and/or advanced education who need to work in other environments? The 4 month concept is flawed. Many white collar jobs take much longer to get through the process. And if you need to rework your resume or switch career paths, 4 months is definitely nowhere near enough.

I was told I should be more grateful that they’ve let me stay longer than the 4 months.

Forced Gratitude is not real gratitude. No one should demand it. Ever.

~A

#crowdfunding: I’m moving closer to needing access to my belongings. I’m just over the halfway point for paying off storage, but I need help. Auction is on Thursday at noon. I’ll have roughly $900 by the time the rest of what’s in the GFM and my own income clears. I need about $1400. Before noon on Thursday the 27th. Please spread the word. Thank you. I am grateful for all the help I can get. Real gratitude. Not forced.

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, family, friends, grief, history, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

9/23: Halp? #crowdfunding #emergency

***AUCTION IS COMING UP ON 9/27***

JUST OVER HALFWAY TO FUNDED GOAL!!!

Time is running out on getting funds before auction Thursday. Some semi-good news, though. Apparently PayPal DID override the “no P.O. Box” bull and I’m getting a new card after all. Bad news: it only mailed Saturday. I don’t know exactly when it will show up, but they say 7-10 days. So it may not get here in time for 9/27.

Despite a few people sharing posts, nothing has happened. I will maybe have some funds from today and tomorrow in the mix, but it depends on when those post to my account (have to do those jobs first, and then there’s a delay).

I’ve run out of being on their good graces in terms of letting me get away with partial payments and the like. I know I’ll need the full amount of roughly $1400. I have about $3 in checking and $.42 cents in PayPal. I’m not going to ask the handful of people who have sent larger chunks in the past as I know their patience with me has likely worn very thin.

To those I need to pay back: I will do so as soon as possible.

Everyone else, I still desperately need help. I have some family heirlooms in there that mean the world to me, along with items that are one-of-a-kind and mean more to me as they are a part of my memories (the good ones) from childhood. My costumes, music, sheet music (some out of print and were my mothers). While much of this may not have much in resale value, they mean everything to me. My mother’s copy of Handel’s Messiah, in book form, that’s ratty and well-used… and over 100 years old. Choir notes and all. My mother and I never really got along that well, but we had music in common. We’ve both sung Handel’s Messiah multiple times.

Nearly every item in that storage unit is worthless to the rest of the world… but not to me. Once I get into an apartment again, I’ll be able to move what’s left into a much smaller unit.

I just need the chance to do all of that. Reorganizing it, downsizing some of it, pulling what I need out as opposed to storing it… then keeping everything organizing so I can easily find what I need.

I just need that chance. If I lose it all, I won’t have that chance. So, I need help.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bigotry, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, storage, urgent

9/19: Spoons, PayPal, #crowdfunding, and #homeless frustrations

#spoons, #paypal, #crowdfunding, #emergency

I think the fact I’m mostly using my phone and not the computer to do most stuff online right now is partly contributing to me not blogging as much.

But then I’m also focusing on EVERY OTHER FLIPPING THING CIRCLING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!! …

Sorry about that. I think I needed to get that out of my system. So… halp? Storage (*sigh* I know… AGAIN…) is once again closing in on auction day and they will NOT take partial payments this time. I need 1400 before the 27th of September. Somehow, some way. The fastest is via PayPal, although I no longer have an active PP debit card, so I’ll need a couple of days to get funds transferred to my bank account.

I’d get a new card, but I’m, yanno, homeless and only have a P.O. Box and THEY WON’T SHIP A CARD TO A P.O. BOX.

I know, as I just got off the phone with them. The guy in the security and fraud office verified my identity, said I can get the card mailed to my box… transferred me over to the card office… where I was told that no, they can’t do that. So, I’m stuck. Not like a card would show up on time anyway. So I have a few days (at best) to raise the funds and have the time to transfer it over. So, Sunday? Then I can do the transfer Monday and hope it’s in my checking account before noon on Thursday the 27th.

In other -not so surprising- news, I hate living in this shelter and need to get out of here before I go on some kind of rampage with a spoon and a pair of tweezers, threatening to do *something* …

Between theft, gossip, backstabbing, more theft, stupid people locking and closing doors that need to stay unlocked, and don’t GET me started on the perfumed Barbie wannabes living here in a FRAGRANCE FREE MOTHERFUCKING SHELTER!!!

Oh, and the outright bigotry toward trans people and stupid shit I hear people say and do. If you can’t get your shit together and use terms that have been around awhile and override the outdated terms you learned 40 years ago, then crawl your ignorant ass back under that rock and stay there. You don’t belong in modern society. Period.


It’s been a shitty week… and it’s only Wednesday. Wait, it is Wednesday, right? Yes? Okay.

I’m not exactly in a great mood, can you tell?

I haven’t killed anyone … yet. The week isn’t over.

But in all moderate seriousness, I don’t want to deal with the mess, so no killing. Not much on violence anyway.

I just want my belongings safe… and no criminal record. So far, I’ve been good on the second one. Trying on the first one.

So, if you can help… awesome. Spread the word.

~A

Posted in activism, animal advocacy, animal welfare, anxiety, auction, cats, community, crowdfunding, disability, dogs, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, job hunting, life, storage, transitions, urgent

8/29: Random Requests, #Disability, #Dogs, and #Shelter Life (#crowdfunding)

I have ideas buzzing around in my head, but when I do manage to get them down, I can’t seem to form enough of a blog post to justify sharing.

Yes, I need help with storage. Massive help with storage. If I don’t get funds before Friday* it goes up to somewhere between $1600 and $1700. Is that achievable? Maybe. Honestly, I don’t know. I need to save my belongings. If people can use the GFM or PP, great. Although I now have a problem on PP. Hence the asterisk above.

* So, I am homeless. I have a P.O. Box. But that isn’t acceptable for PayPal to send a new debit card. I’ll have to wait to order a new card when I move. Until then, it’ll take time… the usual amount of time for a transfer to go through.

I also owe some people money. I hate not being able to pay them back as fast as I’d wanted to. Soon. Hopefully, very soon.


Disability Update: The judgment has been issued, but I won’t know it until the full thing is written up by one of the judges’ clerks. It’s been 2 1/2 months since my hearing and 1 1/2 since my case went to review. The clerk at the law office said I’m now getting into the time frame they normally see the decision handed down.

I touched on this on FB earlier today.

I’ve read and been told that I can make up to 30K/year and still receive benefits. This is apparently not true. There’s SO much misinformation out there. I can make about $14/hour part time. Which means someone will get an accounting clerk dirt cheap. C’est la Vie. I don’t think I can handle full time work anymore. Being out and about running between appointments and tasks the last few weeks has damn near killed me.

The other thing is the timing of the lump sum check. I have different people saying you get it immediately, others saying it takes months. So, I asked the clerk at the lawyer’s office for this as well. If the lump sum is over $20K, it takes extra signatures to approve it. Each set increment adds another signature. So, if it was 50K, yes, it would take a while. Mine could be as much as 30K, so it may be delayed a bit. I don’t know. We will see.


Dogs: I get it. You want to spoil your dog or cat. I do what I can to spoil Portia. And as I plan for the near future of getting a dog myself (I’m sure Portia will NOT be happy about it, but I’m working on how to help her adapt), I notice more and more how people treat their dogs.

And honestly, I’m not always impressed.

There was one resident here at the shelter who had her dog so well trained, she wouldn’t lick faces. Yes, you read that right, she didn’t lick faces. She was a sweet, well-tempered dog about 98% of the time. She had some moments.

Then you have others here who go over the top. One mostly has hers in a modded baby stroller. He’s obese. As in -I couldn’t tell if he was a boy or girl- when I first met them. Seriously. You couldn’t see the non-removable boy bits. He’s also extremely anxious and doesn’t do well if he isn’t part of the action.

Another… well, I couldn’t tell at first if the chi-dog could walk because her human always carried her. ALWAYS.

See, there’s a fine line between spoiling your dog and babying your dog. I intend to buy toys and nice beds and stuff for my future pupper/doggo. But I have zero intention of babying to the point of obesity or having people wonder if she can walk. Granted, I’m looking at getting a Groenendael (Belgian Shepherd, larger dog), so carrying won’t be feasible. We will see how things go. I will bend over backwards to make sure she’s healthy and happy, but going over the top is too much. I want my dog to be physically and mentally happy.

She’ll gradually be a working dog with a LOT of training over the first few years. But my desire to get a puppy and raise her with a lot of training is due, in part, to Portia not liking dogs. I want her to watch the puppy grow and the puppy to be raised with a cat so she knows how to behave around them. At least one breeder I’ve emailed agrees with this plan. And even if she doesn’t complete service training, she’ll still be a phenomenal and well trained dog.


I’ll likely do a more expanded assessment of the place I’m living now once I’m out and can get some distance. I do know one thing: 4 months may be the average time here, and what management wants everyone to aim for, but not everyone can fit that ideal. It just isn’t always doable. I’ve been here a shade over 5 months. And the ONLY reason I’m looking at getting out soon is because of CCC. As I go into their training program, I’m eligible for up to 6 months of rental assistance.

And one of the Case Managers here is leaving for good this week because, as she apparently said, she’s tired of breaking hearts. She sees the same problem with the “four month plan” that I do. It isn’t enough for everyone.


More tomorrow or… something. Tomorrow is a wild day. I have an Information Interview (not a job interview) at a local store (this is for the scholarship for the short term training classes) in the morning, then two doctor’s appts in the afternoon.

~A

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

7/22: Mischief, Mayhem, and Tea

Still in need of help with storage and vet bills. I don’t have any more tasks scheduled at the moment, so I’m getting a bit panicky. Phone may get shut off, which I need for tasks and general survival.

I’ve set up a GFM: Vet Bills, Storage, and Life

I can’t say I’ve been super mischievous. We’ve certainly had our share of mayhem around here. One of my few trusted residents here got booted for no honest reason. The whole thing is majorly messed up. She was given grants, she even found a room to rent, but then they denied her the grants she’d already been awarded. All because of what? Nothing obvious.

My concern now is if they’ll pull the same short-notice warning on me.


TEA!! Yesterday, I volunteered at the Tea Festival at the World Forestry Center near the Portland Zoo. It was packed with tea companies and tea lovers alike. I learned more about different kinds of tea yesterday than I’d ever imagined.

Also that I prefer my tea sweetened.

It was a pretty damn cool experience overall.

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, food cravings, homeless, homelessness, job hunting, life, storage, urgent

6/25: Crowdfunding and all that…

Life is what it is at times. Since the post yesterday about all the stuff going on, more has bubbled to the surface. Gossip, bullying, ice cream, sabotage (didn’t work, so y’all can suck it!), more drama and gossip/bullying… you name it.

I know the concept of a women’s shelter is for personal safety and all, but man… anyone who thought putting 60 women under one roof was a good idea was not too bright. Or at least never had more than one woman/girl at any given time living in their lives.

I could delve into political stuff here, but not on this post. That topic will be its own post.

Right now, I’m stuck. I have a possible chance at moving into a shared “student housing” apartment building, but don’t have the funds yet. Hopefully I’ll get approved for disability, which will be a huge factor. But that won’t happen yet. So, yeah, I’m stuck. I’m struggling to get funds to save my storage from auction yet again. I know I’ll have some, but need to get at least half of 1300 so it can be pulled. I have $300 coming in from late last week, and some donations on FB, but not enough to get to the halfway point. Funds previously sent have gone to bills. As much as I’d have loved to set them aside for storage, there were other things more urgent. I’d be further along.

I’m also trying to find somewhere to stash some bins of things one friend was stashing for me but has threatened to get rid of at the end of the month if I don’t retrieve them. I need to either cram them into storage, if I’m able to get it paid up completely, or find somewhere else to stash them. At least until shit settles down.

So, applying for jobs I may have difficulty keeping one way or another. Looking at different housing options. Trust me, I’d love to have my own bathroom and kitchen, but sharing either with just one or two people is freaking paradise compared to sharing three toilets and four showers with 20 other women and a kitchen where my food gets pilfered regularly.

For now, focus on storage. Get it pulled from auction. That matters the most right now. Then housing and work and all the other things running around in my life.

Oh, and enjoying the look on the face of my ice cream thief when they find I salted it. I play dirty when I need to.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, asexuality, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, eviction, family, homeless, homelessness, LGBTQIA Pride, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

6/24/18: #PTSD, #Bullying, #Asexual #Pride, and #crowdfunding

Being here in the shelter sets my PTSD off in ways it doesn’t in my usual ways. Loud voices, doors slamming. Most of my triggers are related more to men and crowds, so being on transit during commute times is hell for me. But being in a building with all women with behaviors I haven’t seen since high school and raging estrogen flares… I’m reminded of how rare friendships with women are for me. I get along with some here, but many are wired in a way that makes my PTSD bubble to the surface.

I pull away from people in general when this hits. Add pain to the mix and I get snippy and my sarcasm level goes up.

I think I’ve done enough back and forth with doctors at the clinic. I made the semi-crack that I should call the patient advocate office. Then I decided that maybe I will. I don’t know if any good will come of it. I’ve had both my GP and the doctor filling in for her (she’s on a personal leave) reject the idea of getting anything more than x-rays. The pain that’s been most prevalent lately has been soft tissue damage from the fall down the stairs (well, bouncing) 5 1/2 years ago. I had my knees up with my feet against one wall to try to stop my descent as I bounced down the stairs. Soft tissue damage doesn’t show on x-rays.

Back to the shelter here. We had some bullying here several weeks back. I defended the person who was being bullied and was thus made a target as well. So, two days ago, one of the bullies was gossiping to a newer resident about the stuff from weeks ago, as well as subtle snark toward another. I walked past them in the hallway. I brushed it off, hoping it was a one-off moment.

Later that evening, I heard another resident pulling the same gossip crap, bashing the woman from weeks ago, to the same recipient. I hesitated a moment, but then turned back around and reported both incidents to the RA’s here.

Yesterday morning, I heard that same recipient tell the first gossip that they didn’t want to hear anything more. My guess is that she was told to not participate in it. Here, gossip is frowned upon and against the “good neighbor” policy.

Fast forward a few hours. One of the RA’s knocks on my door and says there are some residents who have complained that the litterbox smells. All the way down the hall. I use the Tidycats Breeze system for her. While the pellets are overdue for a change, her box isn’t that bad. I think the cat food smells worse. She’s mostly eating wet food right now due to needing meds. I’ve since heard from one other resident that no, she can’t smell it. Some of the dogs have issues of their own and have a habit of peeing on their dog beds. And their doors were open while mine wasn’t for the vast majority of the day (save for opening it to go to and from the bathroom).

I put two and two together and realized it’s the bullies getting their hackles back up. They don’t like being called out for their bad behavior. I’ll keep calling them on it. Bullying and gossip have no place in a respectable society. Yes, I know, I’m talking about a homeless shelter, but it applies. If you want to be respected, you have to work on respecting others.


One of the other situations here is one person who has this negative energy and has some kind of burning desire to be the center of attention. An Energy Vampire. She has triggered my PTSD in ways I didn’t think of. I grew up with a similar person. Always trying to outdo me in “how bad my day was” and other things. Always negative. This person is even worse. She has managed, within two weeks, to alienate or piss off almost everyone on our floor. That’s skill, man… not a GOOD skill, but a skill. Oof.


PRIDE!!

So, I’ve always been open about my sexuality. I am Aromantic Asexual. That basically means I don’t experience any romantic or sexual attraction.

Once more for those in the back:

Aromantic Asexual: I don’t experience romantic or sexual attraction.

It has nothing to do with the act of sex, the libido, etc. Just attraction.

Now, I’m also a sexual assault survivor, so the act of sex is kind of ‘meh’ to me. Some Aces (asexuals) enjoy sex with their partners, some have libidos, some don’t want any kind of touch… the array of possibilities is endless with us.

Do I find some men attractive? Yup. *cough*Tom Hiddleston*cough* … but it’s more of an aesthetic attraction. Oh, and several of the men Verillas uses for their models… oof. Very good looking men. Oh, and I want most of the stuff they offer for women.

For more information on Asexuality, go here: AVEN Wiki.

I’m not ashamed or afraid of representing who and what I am. If not for my PTSD and anxiety, I’d have gone to Pride here last weekend. Because of my PTSD, I have a difficult time with any kind of touch (the Energy Vampire mentioned above touched my shoulder and I had a hard time staying calm while I explained that I cannot handle touch and that not everyone wants that and she needs to ask permission before ANY touch).


I’ve been looking at dog breeds as potential ideas for a service dog. I’ve gone from Dobermans and Rotties to Tervurens and Groenedael’s. Saw a Terv weeks ago here and just fell in love. We shall see…


It’s been a rough week. And now I’m down to a bit under four days to raise what I need for storage. I have about $300 coming in from two tasks last week, but I still need help getting at least half of $1300 before noon on Thursday the 28th. I really should get more than half, but I know that might be difficult.

Any and all help via PayPal is immensely appreciated.

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