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

Advertisements
Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, faith, family, homeless, homelessness, housing, individuality, life, observations, peace, poverty line, society, storage

5/17: Assume Nothing… It Gets You Nowhere (& #crowdfunding)

Dear Bast, my life right now has become Hollaback Girl.

Let me explain. I’m listening to a mix of popular songs on my iTunes. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani started playing as I opened this page to write. This part especially.

“I heard that you were talking shit
And you didn’t think that I would hear it
People hear you talking like that, getting everybody fired up
So I’m ready to attack, gonna lead the pack
Gonna get a touchdown, gonna take you out
That’s right, put your pom-poms down, getting everybody fired up.”

This part. This is me here at the shelter. We have a bullying problem here and I know some of them are playing me, being nice to me but still talking shit about my friend behind her back. Sometimes including me in the gossip bullshit. Last week, I stepped up. She had left the room and they continued to gang up and acting like the “cheerleaders” or popular kids, picking on the loners. I asked them, politely at first, to chill out, calm down… you name it. Then they got on my ass. Yeah… no. They were reported, warned to stop the behavior. A week later, they’ve returned to talking shit, making up rumors, etc.

I talked to the person at the desk about what they were doing this morning. She basically told me they have to be told while it’s happening (I had something to go to, so I didn’t have the time, but they were talking shit about her again).

The behavior here of women who are technically middle-aged adults is that of childish, cliquish spoiled brats. The Mean Girls.

I have tried to understand this behavior. I was always the outcast kid. The loner. The weirdo. The one who preferred books and music to parties and hanging out with the girls. Hell, I didn’t even have a first date until my senior year and he wasn’t even in high school (odd story, but he was really a perfect gentleman).

I see it also on NextDoor with people from my old neighborhood being angry, childish jerks about the homeless. We don’t have enough resources even for those who want them. But the anger and entitlement puzzles me. When empathy is brought up, they respond with, “well, empathy is all well and good, but they still do …” They give this attitude that it’s the city’s fault when it’s society’s fault.

I’ve been talking to my therapist about some of this. Damn near everything I bring up circles back to two things that oppose each other in some way: Wanting acceptance as an independent, unique person in society AND finding and wanting a stronger community.

Look to what we consider third world countries. Multiple generations living under the same roof; the elder women of the community work together to care for each other and others in the local community.

We don’t do that here. Far from it, in fact. We move away and have our own homes and many raise their kids and enlist strangers to help them. The sense of community is gone. Too many don’t know their own neighbors. Not knowing leads to fear of those who live next door. Who knows what that guy down the street does for a living. There’s a black kid walking down the sidewalk… a Muslim family moving in across the way… and because no one wants to build the community and meet their neighbors, fear stirs up… police are called on the black kid… rumors start stirring that maybe that Muslim family is really a terrorist cell.

And no one steps out of the pack of hungry hyenas to TALK to the black kid… to the Muslim family.

Assumptions are made. With those assumptions, innocent lives are endangered. Even killed.

If we all took the time to listen and learn and build community with -everyone- around us: rich, poor, housed, homeless, men, women, straight, LGBTQIA+, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, black, white, brown… maybe -just maybe- we can stop the fear mongering and hate. Communication is absolute key. Is this simplistic? Maybe. But it’s a basic concept that I think our society has forgotten.

But I’m just over in my little corner in my room in a homeless shelter with my cat. Watching the world set itself on fire.

~A

PS: Yes, I’m still crowdfunding. I’ve been playing catch up on other things and still need help with storage. I want to get it caught up before the end of May.

Posted in cats, community, creativity, crowdfunding, faith, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

4/28: Picking Up?

So I’m still very behind on storage and there is another auction scheduled, but not until June, I believe. I want to get it paid up ASAP.

Things on the TR (my solo income right now) are picking up for this coming week. I have three medium to large tasks. All furniture, which means by Thursday (3rd task is Wednesday and it’s huge) I’ll be a zombie in a lot of pain. I know, zombies don’t technically feel pain, but this one does, so zip it. :p

I honestly don’t know how much these tasks will net me, or if/when I get more of them, but it won’t be enough to cover everything I owe for storage. And a certain fluffball needs more meds. And wet food. To go with the meds. She’s just enough of an airhead that she can’t tell the difference when meds are mixed into the wet food. If I haven’t already, I’ll put a box in the sidebar with the link to her Amazon wishlist. Yes, my cat has her own wishlist. PPPPBBBTTTTT!!!!!

So, today I’m laying low and relaxing, as I have tasks tomorrow, Monday, and Wednesday. You may see more posts today. Because me relaxing means writing stuff and blogging and not doing physical stuff.

Although my chore this morning got me joking that I feel like one of Jesus’ disciples: I was distributing loaves (of bread between the two kitchens here)… although no fish. Sorry.

It’s a good thing I only have Celiac’s and not the wheat/flour allergy as well. I wouldn’t be able to be around the bread that gets donated. [knocks on wood] I haven’t developed the allergy yet. My aunt and likely my mother has them (well, mom is gone, but all signs point to her having both, as her sister does). I am super close to Franz Bread, and they sell their gluten free bread (which is amazing, btw) cheaper than the grocery stores. I do have two loaves of it in the freezer. One of their GF Mountain White and one of their GF Cinnamon Raisin.

I hope task work picks up more as I need the funds. But if anyone is willing to help me get my storage balance back to zero for the time being, I’d be super thankful and happy.

The aforementioned floofball is shedding. And matting. Which makes for some “cat hair tumbleweeds” on the floor as the breeze from the window blows them out of the trashcan and across the floor.

Still nicer to step on than hairballs.

Well, it’s a nice day outside (okay, we’re supposed to get t-storms, but it’s nice right now) and I’m enjoying the breeze from my window, so I’m gonna go chill out doing other things. Like grooming mats off my cat.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, health, homeless, homelessness, insomnia, life, medical, Personal, storage, urgent

4/19/18: Running Ragged

Since last weeks’ close call with the auction, I’ve been running errands, going to appointments, and dealing with one very nasty pain flare from my back. After 3 days of barely being able to move, let alone get anything done, I’m finally emerging from the other side of this pain. I feel like it’s more than just my sciatica, but there’s no way to tell at this point if it’s from damage from the fall five-ish years ago. That’s my guess, but since they weren’t as aggressive as I would have liked in diagnosis (they only x-rayed my tailbone), there is no way to tell what type of soft tissue damage happened. Same with the fall in December. It took me two months before I could get any scans, and it was only x-rays again. I get it, I’m on Medicaid. They’re being cheap. But still.

With the help of several folks, I was able to keep auction at bay on storage. For now. To get it caught up to end of April, I need another 597 or so. I had hoped to get that in tasks, but earlier this week, someone hacked their site and the apps and all of Taskrabbit went down. It came back up part way yesterday, but it isn’t complete. So far, no clients. Hoping that changes soon.

I’m adjusting -slowly- to life here at the shelter. I think Portia is adjusting better as she’s gate-hopping when I have the door propped open (a baby gate, I’m loaning my second one to one of the other ladies). I’m still very sleep deprived. One other thing is that as someone with Celiac’s and other food issues, I can’t just buy the cheap stuff. So my food stamps dwindle fast. And Portia may need to switch to all canned food… not sure yet on her. My GP has sent in a referral for a new sleep study, so maybe I can get an A-PAP machine…

I know I’ve been silent since last week. The stress of the last minute save knocked me down hard. Then the pain, so it’s been a rough week. But I’m still here and coming up for air.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, poverty line, storage, urgent

4/12/12: 4 hours #crowdfunding

Is it possible I could get it pulled from auction? A slight possibility. He knows I refuse to give up and he’ll have the message from the corporate customer service center. Even if he does pull it this morning, I have a very long way to go to raise the funds. If folks would feel better, I can set up another YouCaring campaign. Just know that the processing company (WePay) behind them and GFM take a cut. Even if YouCaring doesn’t.

Please let me know in a comment or on FB/Twitter if people would prefer using that.

I just prefer PP because it is fast, usually very easy, and no fees.

I’ll keep folks updated.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, chronic pain, community, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, family, friends, genealogy, homeless, homelessness, insomnia, life, research, society, storage, urgent

4/11/18: Mornings, Genealogy, and #crowdfunding

SHARE ME!!! Still asking for help, of course. I will keep updating when funds do come in.

Mornings are difficult for me. Life here at the residence shelter has been, well, an adjustment, to say the least. For the past year, I stayed with a retired couple of friends. Early? Nope!

Before that, my depression was so fierce, getting up before 9am was difficult. Between it and pain, mornings aren’t easy. But here I am getting up around 7am. I know what some of you may be thinking.

“Good! Then you won’t be so lazy.”

And those of you who will think that have likely never dealt with chronic pain, fatigue, and lifelong insomnia. Which certainly isn’t helped by the late night bed checks and me being a light sleeper.

I may go to bed at a reasonable time, but my brain just won’t shut up for at least an hour (if I’m lucky) after that. Last night, I still hadn’t gotten close to sleep by the time bed checks happened. I finally zonked out around 2am. Only to be woken by Portia around 5am. Then a bit more rest, but not full sleep, and the wake up yell at 7am by staff.

One thing I wish I’d inherited from my dad: he was out cold shortly after his head hit the pillow. How his kid (me) ended up being a lifelong insomniac is bewildering. I got so many other traits from him and his side…

Speaking of family/family history, I’ve put the idea out there about doing a genealogy group here. Teaching whomever is interested in how to search for their bloodlines and see where they end up.

I am also finally going to a group today on public speaking. We’re supposed to do three a week, or other regular activities can take the place of them (X number of work or volunteering hours count toward 1 group hour). This group is, I think, focused on developing public speaking skills to help use your voice in soeaking up for homeless advocacy.

More to come. Do remember to share posts and help me save my storage unit before tomorrow’s auction.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, history, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Observation on Religion

Quick observation that could lose people:

When one notices that Muslims (the majority, not the tiny fraction that are extremists) behave more Christ-like than many who think themselves Christians, one has to wonder what happened (such as the prosperity gospel crap) to pull “Christians” away from the core lessons Jesus taught.

Where is the “love one another?”

Where is the practice of caring for those less fortunate?

I see Imams opening up their Mosques to those in need during natural disasters and such. Giving total strangers shelter, food, and clothing when they have lost so much. I read articles on Muslim medical professionals running a clinic in Texas, helping the poor in their community at no charge.

They don’t ask for you to convert. They just give and show the love of a benevolent God (aka Allah, which is Arabic for God. It is not only used by Muslims, but by any who speak Arabic and have a belief system).

Where are the mega-churches with all their money? Why do we not hear about them opening their doors and helping others, no questions asked, no money asked for, no expectations of conversion? Those who do go out and feed the homeless (either in a park or coming to our shelters and feeding us homeless) and are associated with a church are few and far between.

Jesus taught us love.

What happened?

~A

(Featured image from this site.)

(Yes, still desperately crowdfunding. If anyone knows of an organization that can help on short notice, as auction is on Thursday the 12th, let me know. Or reach out to them and see if they can help. A pdf of the most recent letter is in an earlier post from a day or two ago.)

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, emergency, empath life, faith, friends, history, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, peace, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Change and #crowdfunding

Post 4 of ? I think?

SHARE, PLEASE?
PayPal is the easiest and fastest way.
Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


POETRY TIME!!

The Cycle of Change

History becomes the future.
The present is the past.
When do we stop repeating the cycle?

When do we evolve?
Learn to be better?
Stop killing our future?

To hate for the sake of
Hating.
Instead of loving for the sake of being?

How do we grow?
When we refuse to learn.
Even from ourselves.

When we stop the cycle,
We learn.
We grow.

We evolve
We do better than our ancestors
Filled with hate and fear.

~A

Posted in animal advocacy, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

4/9/18: Observations of humans and their pets [and #crowdfunding]

As I try to write on other things, trying to save my storage unit is still top priority. Running out of time before auction. I’m trying not to panic, but I’m screaming internally.

As a cat slave, I can observe how people are with their dogs. As well as others with cats. I spoil my cats rotten (although right now I only have Portia).

One important thing many people don’t get: our pets can sense our emotions. They’re naturally empathic. Now I’m speaking mostly on cats and dogs. I look at two dog people living on my floor here at the shelter right now. One is stressed and frustrated about finding work, let alone housing. Her two dogs are manic and ill-behaved. They sense her upheaval and anxiety. The other has a dog whose breed is known for being very active, and while he is a goofy, bouncy dog, she has trained him to be calm and attentive. Her demeanor contributes to that. She’s calm and thus her dog is calm. The first lady, she’s stressed and anxious and the dogs can feel that and are also anxious.

Cats are the same way. They can tell when their human is stressed. Portia does this. She’s been on my chest or very close to me the last several days because I’ve been more anxious about storage and everything else in general. She was this way during the initial eviction a year ago and then whenever I was stressed about certain situations since then. She has picked up JoJo’s job of Emotional Support Animal.

Some people dismiss cats in this respect because they’re “aloof” which I disagree with. Maybe you just aren’t the human they’ve bonded with. Maybe you treated them poorly early on. They do remember. They don’t hold grudges, but they remember stuff. I hear too many people say their cat is pissed off at them so the cat peed on the bed as revenge.

First, the cat is peeing in the wrong place for any number of reasons. They have health issues, had a bad experience at or near the litterbox so they won’t go near it, or any number of things. Jack, my boy I had for almost 8 years, got Urinary Tract Infections and had issues with the box. I eventually got him back to using it.

But I digress. Felines can be and many times are a wonderful purring part of our lives as we deal with crap in our lives. Had a bad day? I have plenty of those. Comes with being homeless and having PTSD. No matter what happens “out there” I can come home to my room in the shelter and sit down next to her. I’ll lean over and wrap my arms around her and bury my face in her fur for a little bit. Sometimes, I’m still so wound up, she comes to me. She will sit there and put her paw on my leg or arm, tapping gently. Like a “hey, I’m here.” I can then lean over and hug her. She also curls up on my chest if I’m laying down. All 14 pounds of her.

JoJo and Jack were also this way. Love a cat and you get love in spades in return.

Dogs are the same. Show love and you get love in return.

Just remember that they can always tell if something is off. They know.

~A