Posted in C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, emergency, eviction, homeless, life, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

2/25/18: Addendum (i.e. Holy FUCKNUTS!)

(CW: sexual/rape terminology)

So, I was thinking about the nightmare from last night. It hit me what the assault in it is a metaphor for.

In 1994, it took me about 6 weeks to realize the abusive relationship that caused my PTSD was, in fact, abusive, and began to pull away from The Asshole. Which was when the rapes and assaults began (not everything involved penetration, hence using both terms).

The point in the nightmare where I’m hurt by the person I know IRL is 6-8 weeks in. He grabs my wrist as I pull away (distancing myself from The Asshole in 1994) and breaks my arm.

So, this nightmare was a metaphor for the shithole relationship in 1994.

As I said in the previous post, I’ve done soooo much therapy dealing with The Asshole, I have that handled. What I can’t do is allow men in my life now to touch me. The men (not counting family) who are on my “all clear” list can be counted on one hand, no repeats. All else MUST ask permission for a hug. I just can’t handle the physical contact.

Oh, and I so need a stun gun. Until I get my service dog, I need something.


Posted in adoption, animal advocacy, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, depression, disability, eviction, homeless, life, PTSD, storage, urgent

2/20/18: Love Letter to my Cat

Dear Portia: We have been through a lot since I adopted you on 10/30/2010. I saw your picture on C.A.T.’s website (Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood, OR) a few days before, visited you at your Petsmart location on 10/29, and knew. I knew you needed me and I needed you. JoJo, although she would be loathe to admit it, needed you as well.

After JoJo died of Congestive Heart Failure a year ago, the two of us have been through even more. Our eviction, bouncing from one friend’s apartment to another’s house and then three different rooms in that house since. You have helped me battle panic attacks, depression, suicidal ideation, the loss of your feline sister, and so much more. Which is why you are my ESA (Emotional Support Animal) and friend.

I wish I could have taken a picture of how we were cuddled up a few minutes ago. I had paid down on my side, with my head at the foot of the bed. You were contemplating jumping up for a moment, but once you did, you plopped down right in front of my face. That’s your style. I put my hand up to rest under your chin, between your front paws… as I gently leaned my own face against your fur. And your jet engine purr began.

You love touch. You are a people cat, even though you’re a little hesitant with some. I rarely hear you purr unless you’re loafing on my chest or touching me somehow. When I first adopted you, you couldn’t get lap time because JoJo insisted on HER laptime, so the bedroom became your place for human time. At first, you curled up near me and reached one paw out to place on my shoulder or face. You gradually got to how you are now with curling up on my chest (granted, the current bed is narrow, so not much room).

You have your ornery times. You have sensitive skin, so being groomed is not a preferred activity, yet your mats buried under that silky soft floofage say it’s much needed. Areas that most cats LOVE having petted are off limits for you (base of the tail mostly, which elicits a claws-extended swat from you). And sometimes your butt fur doesn’t get as clean as either of us would like…

But I love you anyway… stinky butt and all.

You are a goofy, sweet 14 pound lovebug of a cat. I know your needs and you know mine in your own way. Your purr is therapeutic and burying my face in your fur when I need comforting is an extra bonus. We’ve been through a lot of stress. But with you there for me, I believe we will make it through.

Everyone who sees pictures of you is taken aback by your beauty. Your soft dilute tortie fur and the eyes that make everyone gasp. Eyes that can be green, green-gold, blue, blue-gold, or some other combination. Of all the cats I’ve known or lived with in my life, I have never seen a cat with eyes like yours. And everyone who sees your pictures says the same thing. I likely will never see another cat again with eyes like yours.

You are 12 now. I know you can’t live forever. I cherish the time I have with you. You ground me when I need it. And I give you wet food when I can afford it. I am so glad you let me adopt you.


Your Human, Amanda (who still needs help with storage)


Posted in adoption, cats, eviction, grief, homeless, life

2/6/18: JoJo, one year later

She was my soul cat for 14 years. I adopted her February 2003 at the age of 11 months. Well, she chose me. I didn’t want a kitten, but she wanted me. She decided I’d be her human.

And I was for 14 years.

She became obviously ill only that night. The previous two days werr dismissed as her usual “hairball days.” 11:30pm February 2nd, 2017, I kmew it was worse. I called Dove Lewis and was told to bring her in ASAP.

By 12:30am February 3rd, the decision had to be made. Fluid building up, making it difficult for her to breathe. The vet said she wouldn’t have survived the night. I chose to end her pain then. My tears soaked her fur as the vet administered the meds that would end her suffering.

This was a massive blow for me emotionally. I had just gone to court a week before and was getting evicted.

I realized weeks later that this was how it was meant to be. If you go back to March 2017 or so, you’ll find a post called “It Was My Time” … I still believe that was JoJo letting me know that her reason for being with me was complete, and it was time for her to move on. That one phrase kept repeating in my mind until I finally wrote it down.

It’s been a year. I still miss her. Portia has taken up the mantle of being my ESA. But JoJo will always live on.


Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, eviction, grad school, history, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, storage

1/19/18: Sabbaticals and Stuff

I walked the damn stage, I have my cap and gown and all of that, and yet I struggle to finish one last semester of school. I swore up and down, backwards, forwards, etc that I’d finish my MLIS last Fall.

I didn’t.

I blame no one but myself… for letting my C-PTSD/PTSD fuck my life up. I just want to finish my degree. Move on.

But I can’t seem to keep my head clear enough to get through school. The brain fog, the anxiety… all of it. Granted, my living situation isn’t helpful, as I’m still homeless and staying with friends (it’s a bit tense, to say the least).

I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to take a sabbatical. But I think I need to. I can finish my degree from anywhere, so if I do miraculously end up in Germany starting on my second one, I can finish from there.

But I seriously need to dig into therapy and the personal hell of PTSD and anxiety. I don’t know HOW to figure this shit out. The frustrating thing is that I have the shit from 23 years ago handled. I was in therapy almost immediately after I broke up with that bastard. Hell, TWO therapists. One on campus and one at PP on a sliding scale. Yes, Planned Parenthood has/had therapists. Usually students doing their practicum or residency while finishing their PhD’s and such. I’ve been in therapy on and off all these years. What’s affecting me now isn’t as much what he did, but how current instances of dealing with people and touch are making my anxiety skyrocket and triggering my PTSD to where I’ve damn near hurt people.

So, I need a therapist who takes my shitty Medicaid and works with PTSD. Yeah. Not very many around here.

I think taking a break -on purpose- is important. I hate doing it, but I think it’s necessary. Then I can return, tackle the ever-loving shit out of the remaining classes, and finally get that piece of paper.

Honestly, I also didn’t think I’d be homeless this long. I swore I’d be back on my feet long before now. But something -I can’t put my finger on it- is holding me back/down. For once, I can’t figure out the answers to my problems. A lot of times, I’ve been able to do that. Talk it out on here or FB and I figure shit out. Not this time.

More to come… I know I’ve been quiet. Been dealing with pain and other shit.


Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, community, depression, disability, eviction, faith, family, friends, homeless, life, peace, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, semicolon, society

12/31: Into the Unknown

Yes, I could dwell on all the ugly in my life the past 12 months. Eviction, losing JoJo right after the eviction started, dealing with PTSD/C-PTSD.

Trying to see the positive is difficult when I’m still in the midst of all of it. But I have friends, and a family member or two, who have listened and stood by, helping when and how they could.

This has been a shitty year, even leaving out all the political and social messes. I still feel very lost. But 2018 is a new year. I won’t wish for improvements, but simply to work on moving forward the best I can. Whatever life throws at me will be taken into consideration and worked with. I think I can survive whatever comes at me now.

I appreciate my friends. I appreciate the fact that, despite the physical pain and the emotional turmoil of C-PTSD/PTSD, I still wake up each morning. I have a goofy cat who loves me. 

I don’t consider myself to be strong or brave. I don’t… really. I just wake up each day and see what I have ahead. I adapt. I learn. I grow. 

And in my being public about my life, my hope is that someone else will see my words and know that they are not alone. 

I wish everyone a good 2018. Whatever it throws at you, take it and work with it.


Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, disability, dreams, empath life, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, grief, health, homeless, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, writing

10/21: Living Outside My Own Life

More “frustration contemplation” … bear with me.

I’ve chattered on about the various things I do: writing fiction, etc, costuming, grad school, and a bunch of other things. I’ve also talked -at length- about depression, grief, homelessness, being unemployed, being disabled, etc…

Right now, I feel like I’m not living my life. I’m trying to move forward, busted my ass and made promises to get back to school and finish this term, but I’m flailing again… each week flies by me and I look up to find myself even further behind and royally fucked. My own doing. Job hunting is the same. I feel removed from the life I’m supposed to be living.

My health hasn’t helped this, but neither has being homeless and jobless, and … yeah. I know I need to do X, Y, and Z… but I don’t … I… fuck it. This is difficult to put into words on a ‘page.’

I see ME doing all these things in my head. I KNOW I can do them, but I feel like… like there’s a door between the me I am at this moment and the me who can do all those things. That door is locked and deadbolted and can’t be gotten through. And I don’t know where the keys are. I know they exist, but not what they look like or where they may be. I feel as if I’m standing at the window next to the door, looking in. Seeing this other me accomplishing things. But she can’t hear me banging on the window and door to let me in.

Every time I try to jump back in, break down that door, the brain fog returns. The disconnectedness. The feeling like my life is RIGHT FUCKING THERE!!! and it’s just out of reach. I can hear it, smell it, see it… but I can’t step into it and DO it.

Is my being “in between” [i.e. homeless] part of it? Likely. Is being jobless for over two years part of it? Very likely. Nothing like spinning your wheels in a job hunt and getting nowhere. The rare interview I do get, I don’t get hired. Despite the fact that my VR coach has said I interview very well.

I feel as if I can’t fully be ME where I am. Not my kitchen, not my bed, not my bathroom, not my home.

A lot of it started when I lost my dad in 2014. Before I was evicted. My dad was my anchor in life. If I felt lost, I could call him and he’d say what was needed to get me back to center. It’s been nearly 3 years now. A couple of weeks away. I slowly began to slip after he died. I was able to keep shit together to some degree for a while, but over a year later, my own disintegration became more obvious. The fog settled in. It lifts every so often for a brief moment or two, then returns to envelope me, keeping me from my life.

It’s looking -to me at least, from my own digging around- that Chronic Fatigue/Adrenal Fatigue is a distinct possibility. Long term stress makes it worse. Look at my life of the past 12 months… it’s been pretty fucking stressful. But getting out of this mess. How?

CFS/AFS has no cure. Doctors treat the symptoms at best. I’m on Vitamin D (enough to choke a large farm animal), and Celexa, among other meds for things like my asthma and allergies, my tachycardia, and “as needed” pain meds.

Is my current living situation part of the issue? The late start to mornings here… the people I’m staying with are retirees, so they stay up late and get up late. I stay up to about 11 and try to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning (Furry Alarm Clock gives me no choice), but I’m groggy and stumble around. Fall back asleep and wake up a few hours later… late morning. There are other “environmental factors” as well, but I won’t go into those. And no, setting an alarm doesn’t help. Tried that. Keep trying it every so often.

But that brain fog… lack of oomph… standing outside of my life… I don’t know how to fix that.


Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, depression, disability, eviction, faith, friends, gender, health, history, individuality, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/16: Wake Up Tomorrow #metoo

TW/CW: Talk of suicide, sexual assault, C-PTSD, etc…

I’ve talked about all of these things in spades over the lifespan of this blog. With the #metoo tag flying around on FB and Twitter the last two days, I felt like expanding on mine.

Now, I have (at some point) ticked off all the times I was sexually assaulted.

  • At 17, by a 22 y.o. acquaintance.
  • At 19, by a blind date. Tried to force me to perform oral on him, pushing my head down. I broke free and threatened to call the police.
  • At 19, by a guy I met at a Twelfth Night event… friends invited him to our Rocky Horror outing later that evening. While he had been in costume, he was mostly a gentleman (save for trying to un-lace my bodice in public)
  • At 21/22. After 6 weeks in an increasingly abusive relationship, I started to pull away from him, which he noticed. He spent the next 2 and a half months raping and assaulting me (using various areas of my body to ‘get his rocks off’) all against my will. I cried, I begged, I said no every damn time, but even making me bleed repeatedly didn’t matter to him. This happened 2-3 times a week… on a good week.

Those are the major, or most distinctive, events. Getting catcalled, being told by some older guy in Chicago (as we passed each other in the crosswalk) that “damn, you got some bigguns!” … no matter what I’m wearing, what my body language is saying (usually “don’t fucking get near me, asshole”), what I’m doing, I’ve had hands brush against my butt, breasts, etc… hands that should stay up near my shoulders wandering down… at a club one night (partly why I fucking HATE clubs) getting dragged out onto the dance floor and made to dance with some stranger, who kept putting his hand on my thigh and slipping it up to my hip under my skirt (which wasn’t that fucking long to begin with). I was 18, I think. It was an “Under 21” club.

Do I need to go on? I think I’ve made my point.

This shit happens every damn day to women of all skin colors, sexualities, cis or trans… you name it. Fuck, I got catcalled just a month or so ago… wearing all baggy grungy clothes heading to the MAX stop (I think I was going to an appt or something). Me with my mohawk and baggy clothes and beat up sneakers and a cane… getting catcalled.

I’ve also, as I think I’ve said in previous posts, had many phases or short contemplations of suicide. High school, a period in my 30’s when my asshole doctor decided to put me on Prozac, which made me want to slit my fucking wrists so badly, it outdid the suicidal ideations of my high school years. That shit fucked me up so badly.

In the past couple of years, I’ve had shorter bursts of contemplating it. Usually when I’ve been in full panic mode over possible eviction as well as earlier this year with the eviction itself. I lost count how many times I sat on my bed or my couch … or in the bathtub … thinking of why the fuck I should keep living? Then I got either of the girls, Portia or JoJo when she was still alive, just coming up to me and purring and either nudging me or tapping my arm or leg with a paw.

Life isn’t easy. I’m dealing with C-PTSD, my asshole ex cyberstalking me like I’m his damn “internet chew toy” … being homeless in a tentative situation that needs to come to an end, but my means to get back into my own place again are virtually non-existent. Trying to finish grad school, find decent work, organize my stuff in storage, handle medical and dental appts, go on tasks to make some income, and remember to take my meds and eat decently. Some of those, especially the later things I listed, are basic, normal-ish things I can handle… working all the big stuff around them is the hardest part. With chronic fatigue and pain, getting up at a decent hour that isn’t close to noon, but earlier in the day, is not always easy to do.

So, you may wonder what the subject heading of this post means… here’s my lesson and philosophy behind it:

Look back up at all the shit I’ve been through. Add verbal and emotional abuse by some family, used and abused by people I thought were friends, etc… I’ve dealt with a lot.

Wake Up Tomorrow

I adopted this years ago during a bad run… I think it was later in high school. Say you had one of THE shittiest days you can remember in recent months. Everything went wrong and in some seemingly catastrophic way, or at least that’s how it feels. You may already be battling a period of depression or severe pain. You contemplate ending things. You’re absolutely SURE tomorrow is going to also suck and you can’t imagine things getting better any time soon.

So you think about it.

But you can’t guarantee tomorrow will suck. Shit, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that. Maybe it’ll suck, maybe it’ll be awesome, but you won’t know unless you wake up tomorrow. And the days following it. You can’t know for sure that it’ll be horrendously awful. Unless you wake up tomorrow. Go to sleep, get some rest, cry if you need to (man, I’m surprised the tear stains aren’t permanent on my face by now), and wake up tomorrow. Sounds simple, I know. Take each and every day as it comes.

Will that work for everyone dealing with shit? No. I know it works for me. I’ve had friends and a few strangers, in the past 24 hours or so, call me brave. I’ve done therapy off and on since I was 16. I understand so much about my past, but I don’t really know how I’m getting through it… except for one thing:

I wake up every day.

I’ve had close calls, due to medical stuff, not attempts on my part, and they’ve taught me this: Not everyone gets the chance to wake up the next day. No one knows when they’re going to die. The fact that, despite pain and all kinds of other things, I wake up every day and am able to feed my floofy monster kitty, that my heart is still pumping blood, my lungs are still taking in oxygen, my legs work… mostly. I have those days when my legs/back/feet/hips/knees/etc just rebel and go, “nope!! what was that about going somewhere today? yeah… not happening, bitch.”

Life isn’t easy. But I figure that as long as I keep waking up every day, I have a fighting chance to make things better. Never know unless you wake up.


Posted in C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, empath life, eviction, food cravings, friends, grad school, health, history, homeless, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, research, silliness, storage

9/21: Like I Really Need to Write More on Here Today… SQUIRREL!!! (shit)

*sigh* It feels strange to NOT be begging for help after the last several days. I would say the last week-ish has been madness for me. I went from “great! I’m gonna get back to school and finish my degree!” to Cluster(fuck) Headache for 6 days, then that resolved, then “oh shit, storage!!! help!”

No wonder I’m freaking exhausted right now. I think most people would just curl up into a ball after the past 8 days. Actually, I kinda want to do that. I also want Thai food… and Hot & Sour Soup. I LOVE me some really good H&S soup. It better be a bowl of incredible goodness that can clear the magma chambers of Mt St. Helens… nice and hot. Dammit.

I had nothing left… well, not enough to order food via Postmates. Also, they’re being assholes with my debit card… sooo…. yeah. I ended up with Annie’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese… microwave M&C… it’s decent… but it isn’t Pad Thai and H&S soup.

In case anyone who reads this blog hasn’t noticed, 2017 has really, REALLY SUCKED for me. And I’m not even bringing political fuckery into that picture.

Oh… yeah… when I’m tired, I get all rambly… like now.

Someone sent me a message request on FB… asking if there was a way for me to split my stuff up and have friends store it. I still haven’t accepted his message (I will, really) and replied, but this is my answer in case anyone else was wondering the same thing: No one I know has the room. Two friends (well, married pairs of friends, so four friends, technically)

Oh look… SQUIRREL!!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah… friends of mine are holding a few bins of fabric from when I had tried to downsize a previous storage unit and hauled them back to my apartment… and then the management said “no… you can’t have all those in your apartment… it’s a fire hazard” … welp… fuck. I need to get those bins back from said friends (one pair has asked when that would be possible… ummm.. when I can make enough room in storage?).

One must understand geeks/creatives like me. We have “stuff” … a lot of “stuff.” Some of the “stuff” in storage can be (and will be… once I can reach it) downsized, trashed, etc. Some will get sold off… I really don’t need three sets of speakers. One set… one is good. I have a buyer for one pair… some furniture will be broken down and trashed… I kinda beat them up a bit during the eviction. Sadly.  That really was a nice sideboard… it would just need a lot of shoring up with metal bits to hold it together (which I could realistically do… not sure yet)

(don’t mind me… my brain is bouncing around between ‘things’ as I type… this is kinda ‘stream of consciousness’ blogging when I’m like this)

I don’t have the physical energy (yay for chronic pain/fatigue… NOT!!!) to tackle my storage unit alone. I get a few feet in and I need to sit my ass down and rest. I am not joking.

This has been a wild week. Still need to play catch up with school stuff (thinking of taking my Chromebook, Kindle, and iPod with me tomorrow and alternate between school things and working on storage… I’d be offline, as it’s one huge steel and concrete building… signal? What signal? Psshhh).

One of the many things I am grateful for with this week is an answer to the issue of my headaches. The fact that it responded well to oxygen therapy is HUGE for me. I’ve been on birth control to help manage hormones, as they were presenting after every other month’s cycle. We chalked it up to wonky hormones and have been managing them that way. But even if hormones are affecting them, the headaches are something else. I looked up “one sided headaches” and cluster headaches were the clearest answer. While migraines and tension headaches can present on one side, they tend to be present on either side, and mine have always been on the right. Cluster headaches are always one sided and most commonly on the right. No one really knows what causes them. I looked at a few medical sites. But oxygen therapy helps them. Seriously, it fucking WORKED. 15 minutes breathing pure oxygen made the vast majority of the pain go away (I also have TMJ pain, so that wasn’t helping either).

Medical stuff is one of the “big uglies” that has impeded my life. If I even tried to list the shit I’ve been through that has sidelined me for some length of time… I know I’d forget something. Big things, little things… everything from Cellulitis to breaking a toe… This year, it was the eviction, which exacerbated my back injury, knee injuries, drove me deeper into depression, sidelined schooling and job hunting to some degree… I’m not fully out of the woods, but feeling better. It’s been a shit year, but I’m slowly climbing back out of the abyss.

With a little help from my friends (and a few strangers online).

When I got back from my errands today (which ended with an eye exam and ordering new glasses… I’m getting old… new pairs will be bifocals… and Voc Rehab is covering them as they are something needed for working), the number of page hits for this little personal blog were higher than I’d ever had since I started blogging. I’ve had different sites/blogs over the years. This is my personal one. I have another one I’m working on starting, but it’ll take me a bit. It’ll be about archives and history. That’s what my grad degree is in. But other than linking to it from here, I want to keep them separate. Last thing I need is potential fellow archives folks (and potential bosses/coworkers) seeing all my personal ramblings…. yeeaaahhhh, no. It was around 172 at the time. Now? 188.

I think I’ve gotten most of the rambling out of my system. That’ll be all for the night… I think.


Posted in crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, life, Personal, storage, urgent

9/21: #crowdfunding at (almost) 8am

Still holding at $276 needed. (The pic above is Jack back in Chicago.)

*There looks to be a chance… I’ll post when it’s confirmed.*

I’d rather have my eyes closed and be curled up under the covers, but I’m posting on here. Not sure where else to turn. 

Due to my medical bankruptcy and lack of current employment, I don’t have a credit card. Don’t have parents to turn to either. Family is a difficult issue for me. So, I turn to friends and the online network of people. 
Things in life haven’t lined up as hoped, so a little more help is needed. Just a little further.