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.

~A

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Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, depression, disability, faith, health, individuality, life, Personal, politics

10/4: Stubborn Independence

I have -always- been this stubborn, pain in the ass, fiercely independent person. Even when I was painfully shy growing up, I preferred to be on my own and do things myself. I was raised that way.

My financial independence hasn’t come so easily, even at this point in my life…. fuck, ESPECIALLY at this point in my life.

But this past weekend, in Seattle, I realized one thing: I can’t be so damn stubborn all the time. I need to let go of a bit of my independence and let people help. Taking a cab to and from the Amtrak Station, getting my rolling duffel up to the 3rd floor w/o an elevator at the hostel I was in. Getting from Union Station here in PDX back to where I’m staying.

And last of all, help going between the train and the station.

I’ve never kept it a secret that I have disabilities. I’ve just never let them rule my life. I still don’t want them to rule my life. But I have to accept that I cannot always do everything.

I injured my low back at 17. While the discs themselves healed over the next few years, the sciatic pain has remained. Then, about 4 or 5 years ago, I re-injured the same damn discs. I’ve also broken my patella, one toe, knocked a few other things (such as my SI[Sacral-Iliac] joint) out of whack, more pinched nerves in places other than my spine, deal with Cluster Headaches, TMJ pain, and a few other things. And those are just the physical things. Also depression, anxiety, heart issues [tachycardia], etc…

And yet I want to push myself and see being 45 as my “half way point” in life… wanting to hit 90 still kicking ass. I’ve tried so hard to deny that I’m truly disabled… “oh, I JUST did this to my back/knee/ankle/shoulder… I’ll be fine”

I think my friends have heard that a few too many times from me. I downplay my disabilities. But I’m also currently curled up on my bed from spending the whole day here due to the headache, back pain, feet having issues, and just generally being really fucking exhausted.

I say yes to helping friends move things. I try to tackle the bins and boxes in storage on my own… because if I can’t do this alone, why should I have all this stuff? If I can’t manage it…?

Currently, I’m also emotionally drained from the overwhelming emotions coming from the massacre in Vegas. I have a little research to do, but there is a post forming about what can be done by echoing a certain other country I love dearly. And they are NOT a Bastion of Liberalism, yet they have very strict laws on the books about firearms and ammo. But more on that later. I’m also reading what friends and FoF’s post in the calmer discussions on FB.


As for those vile Cluster Headaches. Last week, I had two phone calls… same day. First was to schedule the oxygen tank for home therapy so I can manage it myself. Second was from the billing department from the same company. She didn’t realize the other person had already scheduled it, but we did a “wait and see” on whether my insurance would cover it. The scheduled delivery is “sometime” tomorrow, 10/5. I’ve heard nothing else from them on whether it’s been approved or has to be rescheduled, etc… so this should be interesting. I may call in the morning, if I’m coherent enough, and check with them.


Back to the whole Independence thing… I may blog more about it later. I know one thing though… When I’m out and about, riding on the buses or the MAX here in PDX, I see others with walkers or scooters. While I’m aware their situations may be different, I see similarities as well. I don’t want to go down that path. My cane, yes. Crutches when needed for immediate injuries, but when I say I wouldn’t mind a new set of wheels, I’m not referring to a walker or scooter.

I think that’s it for now…

~A

Posted in birthdays, community, creativity, depression, dreams, faith, friends, health, individuality, life, medical, Personal, semicolon

10/2: Birthday Post

So, today was/is my birthday. I have never been ashamed of my age. I celebrate each birthday. The main reason is simply because I’ve had far too many episodes in my life where I almost didn’t make it to the next day.

Today, I turned 45.

I also turned 9.

Nine years ago, I was in the hospital fighting this nasty infection called Cellulitis. It’s essentially a Staph infection (there are many types) that comes in through a primary infected wound (in my case, my left ear piercing decided that, after 20 years, it really didn’t like nickel or some other metal) and settles just under the skin. For me, it settled at the base of my neck on my right side

I was sent to the hospital on September 26th with a white blood cell count that was somewhere hovering around the moon. After tests, pre-dawn blood draws, massive doses of the antibiotic Vancomycin, a mild case of pneumonia, and a bunch of things… I was discharged mid-afternoon on October 2nd… my birthday. My 36th birthday to be exact.

So, to grasp how bad shit was, there are three stages of Cellulitis:

  1. redness and swelling in and around the affected area, pain and stiffness, fever in many cases.
  2. if there are lymph nodes in the area, they absorb some of the infection and swell up. the fever tends to peak and then break (I hit 103.2 or so, then 24 hours later, no fever). My lymph nodes were the size of ping-pong balls when I walked into the ER on the 26th. They shouldn’t get that big. Really.
  3. From the lymph nodes, the infection starts to spread, called ‘going septic.’ I could feel it going up my neck to my brain and across to my heart. If it had hit either, I would not be alive today.

I was in 3rd stage.

There. Is. No. Fourth. Stage.

Unless, as I like to joke, you count a body bag as a stage.

So, I almost fucking died. Not an experience I’d like to ever repeat. Until I’m old and grey. I never want Cellulitis again… ever. It is NOT a fun experience.

As I was deemed well enough to leave the hospital on my actual birthday, I celebrate not only the number of years since I showed up on this planet, but the number of years since I had a second chance.

I keep asking for gift certificates to the LEGO store, but no one ever does it… LEGO and IKEA.

But for that one year… I got the gift of a second chance. I’m doing my best to not waste it.

One lesson I learned from that experience is this:

No matter how cliche it seems, you really never know how long you have. You may not wake up tomorrow. So stop hesitating. Go back to school for that degree you’ve always wanted. Save up for that “bucket list” vacation. Make shit happen. Want to learn to paint? DO IT! Volunteer with an animal rescue? Do it. What else? The way I see it is that as long as it isn’t illegal, so way out of the boundaries of morality, or has a surefire risk of death, go for it. Step out of your comfort zone and “learn to fly!” If you’re fortunate to make it to “old age,” the goal is to be able to sit in your rocking chair and look back at your life and have as few regrets as possible. Instead of “I wish I had done ________” you can say, “I did this and it was an incredible experience.”

~A

Posted in bugaboos, community, creativity, dreams, faith, feminism, gender, health, life, Personal, poetry, society, tattoo

9/22: When I am Old…

I’ll be turning 45 in a little over a week, and I read an article earlier today about older beautiful women which prompted me to make the status in the image above on FB.

When I am old
I will dye my hair purple.
But probably only the mohawk. 
I'll be proud to be grey.
When I grow old
I will say 
FUCK!
As loud as I damn well 
Please.
Growing old is 
NOT
For wimps.
I am not a wimp
Therefore,
I WILL grow old. 
I will wear bright colors.
And mismatched socks.
And no matter what
I'll still say SHIT a lot.
I will be the old lady
With the NERF gun pointed
At the kids crossing my yard.
But have cookies and soda for them
When they return to apologize.
They say to grow old gracefully.
I will grow old
However I damn well please.
Likely raising Hell 
My dress flapping in the breeze. 
I will be the one
Others gossip about.
Without a care in the world
Refusing to bow out.
With my purple mohawk 
And greying sides,
Wrinkled tattoos and
Still watching the tides.
I'll eat what I want
And do as I please.
For no one can take
My freedom from me.

~APA 2017

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

9/20: Last one… I think (at least for the day… hey look! #crowdfunding)

Total as of 7:20am on 9/21: $749 out of $1025. $276 still needed.

So I’m gonna make this short and sweet for the purpose of crowdfunding in case people don’t wanna hit the donate button for PayPal.

  • No, you don’t need a PP account to send money. Just a credit/debit card.
  • It’s pretty painless. No, really. Granted, your checking account may not agree (neither does mine), but it doesn’t hurt.

So you can click on that button or you can send directly to [greatpenguini333 @ gmail .com] (just remove the spaces and the brackets). The donate button is easier.

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, cats, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/20: Laugh While You Can… At What You Can #crowdfunding still

I’ve learned one thing: Find something to laugh about, even during the darkest times.

So, in my last post, I mentioned Portia was sitting next to me… shortly after that went up, I made the mistake of shifting my body and thus my jar of grape flavored water (that was sitting solidly on my pillow, mind you, no jiggling) tipped and spilled all 24 ounces of water onto my narrow bed, going all the way to the mattress. Yup, I’m one of THOSE people… the ones who just can’t seem to get shit going right.

I guess I needed to flip the poor mattress anyway. Everything else went into the basement for laundry. Tonight. I have nothing else to sleep on or under. And this room gets a smidge chilly in the ev- well anytime really… but worse at night. There’s a reason I’m wearing layers of warm clothes even during a heatwave… this room is cold.

Yes, I’m frustrated with myself for it. I spaced on the fact that the water was still there. But I’m also laughing at myself over it. I have to. It’s a survival mechanism. I taught it to my dad while we were dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s… and I use it to deal with the super-shitty year I’ve had. Being homeless sucks… no matter how your situation is, whether you have friends to stay with like me, or you have a tent or are in a long term shelter… it sucks. The tension, feeling of not knowing how or when you’re going to finally land on your feet… it’s hell. And when you have a dependent, whether it’s a child or a pet, it gets even harder.

I hold onto the things of my life, my past, and my hopeful future… much of which is in storage. It’s all I have left. Hence why I’m trying to save it.

~A

Posted in crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, life, Personal, storage, urgent

9/20: 5th Round: Invisibility in #crowdfunding (still need help #urgent)

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the memes/posts that are basically guilt trips. “Share how we met…. one word about our friendship… click like and then share this…” Mind you, I hate those things. But sometimes I wonder if people see the posts I put up beyond the shared memes and articles.

I know this isn’t for some lifesaving thing. My life and family history is in that storage unit. I’m merely asking for a little more help. Sometimes I feel like I’m jumping up and down, shouting from the rooftops…. amidst hundreds, if not thousands, of others who also need a little help.

I do feel invisible at times. Not just with crowdfunding, but in so many other arenas in life. I always have. I just need a little visibility and a little more help before noon tomorrow.

The auction is at Noon, 9/21. I need to pay before then. I have a little over $600 ($609, I think), and I need a total of $1025. Just $400 more… and change… Every bit helps. 

~Amanda

Posted in crowdfunding, depression, empath life, faith, life, peace, poetry, storage, urgent

9/13: Good & Bad

(Midnight poetry. Still #crowdfunding as well. Spread the word.)

It doesn’t matter
Who
You
THINK
You
Are.
All have
Good
&
Bad days.
Learn from
Each and
Every
Moment.
Live without
Fear.
Be who you
Wish to be.
Do not wait for
Another
To find yourself and
Happiness.
Peace within
Brings peace around you.
Forget perfection.
Be the best YOU can be
Stop comparing
To others.
Learn from your
Good and Bad days.
When you choose to learn,
Fear weakens within.
Then LIFE can truly
Begin.

~A

Posted in creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, empath life, faith, life, poetry, storage, urgent

9/6: The Flame

It holds fast,
One lonely flame
Surrounded by giants.
Guardians of peace.
It keeps alive to fulfill
The wishes whispered
Into its flame.
Its purpose is served.
Quiet prayers
Words meant for
No one but
The Powers that be.
And as the flickering of the flame
Signifies the dying of its light,
The slow death of one
Inspires
Another to awaken
To life.

~APA