Posted in activism, artsy stuff, community, creativity, crowdfunding, dreams, emergency, faith, friends, history, observations, poetry, storage, urgent, writing

8/16: Act (poetry)

[Still urgently needing help with crowdfunding and saving everything]

Dream.
Is to
Believe in oneself.

Living.
Is more than a commute and
Bland food.

Belief.
In self and the good in the world
Leads to peace.

Create.
What you see is beauty.
Others might agree.

Explore.
The world has much variety.
Experience it.

Love.
All our differences that make us
Stronger.

~A

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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, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, homeless, homelessness, life, urgent

7/23: Hey, Life? Stop poking me! (uber-urgent #crowdfunding help?)

So, I have a whopping $7 left in checking after paying my phone bill $50. They needed a total of $124 to restore service after they shut it off at 11am. I had set up payment arrangements, but they didn’t happen as they were supposed to, so things got borked. I’m now out my phone I need for Taskrabbit. As well as for all other things. I need $74 remaining to get it back up. Then I also still need to round up funds for storage and the vet bill for Dove Lewis… Life just keeps poking me with a giant stick with sharp pointy bits.

The phone provided me a stable hotspot for job hunting and other such things as well. Basically providing me the connection to keep me sane.

Any help from any corner of the world (or underworld, although I doubt Satan wants my tarnished soul, same with Hades) is greatly appreciated.

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, faith, homeless, life, observations, poetry, society, writing

7/2/18: Fighting the World (poetry)

(A bit of gut-pouring poetry. I can’t go into what’s behind some of it this publicly, but it’ll probably make damn good story fodder one day. I do believe I’ll be okay. It’s just in this moment, this is how I feel.)

I feel as if I am
Fighting the world.
Pain and Anger hit me from
All sides.
My heart races,
Try to calm down.
Who do I trust
In this concentrated form of
Society?
When playing favorites is
Par for the Course.
Gossip and Backstabbing
Reign supreme.
One should be able to trust certain
Individuals.
But no longer.
I want to scream.
But all I can do is cry
Myself to sleep.
Too many objects to juggle.
Too much drama swirling around me.
This warrior is tired.
Too many battles.
A general with no more fighters.
I feel like I am fighting a
War with the world around me.
As well as the
World Within.

Posted in creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, faith, homeless, insomnia, life, peace, poetry, storage, urgent

6/24: The Sky (#poetry)

(Still #crowdfunding as well. Time is running out as auction is at noon 6/28)

*******

I want to look at the sky.
Not some cinderblock wall.
Remind me I’m alive.
That I have dreams and goals.
That I wake each morning
And have another day
To plan, live, breathe.
I wake each morning
And see the sky.

Beckoning.
A dream lost in
Time.
In space.
Small steps.
Where is the niche?
I must fit somewhere.
Do I belong
To the sky?

Or am I ever meant to belong
Anywhere?
The sky
She calls.
Imagine.
Dream.
Plan.
But don’t forget
To
Wake each morning
And see the sky.

~A

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

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