Posted in community, crowdfunding, dreams, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, grief, homeless, life, poetry, society, storage, urgent, writing

3/19/18: Remembrance

(Yes, also #crowdfunding. Shameless, I know.)
Look to the night sky.
The stars above
Suns of other worlds.
The light seen is old
Yet reminds of more.

Dreams of beloved
No longer here.
Aching to hold them.
Look in their eyes
Talk to them once more.

We wish. Hope. Dream.
One more time.
To say how we feel.
Make peace with the past.
Another chance, maybe more.

They know. They watch us
Move forward.
Looking back at memories
Held dear of those gone before.
Wishing to say ‘I love you’ once more.


Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, grief, history, individuality, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/18/18: #crowdfunding and #walkup vs #walkout (this could get ugly)

(The featured image will make sense when you read further down)


I’m going to write a bunch of posts, at least a few a day, with #crowdfunding at the top and prominent, so I can get a smidge more attention.

As it stands, I owe somewhere between $1000 and $1200 (that changes due to late fees and such, so I know it’s somewhere in that range… last I checked) and #AUCTION is April 12th. For screencaps of recent messages from them, scroll all the way down to the end of this post.

On to the other topic of this post: Walk Up versus Walk Out. I’ve seen some reasonably well-meaning people on my friends list encourage Walk Up. I’m more on the side of Walk Out. For those who haven’t been paying attention here’s the breakdown of what they both mean:

Walk Out: School kids and teens getting up at a set time and walking out of classes in protest of a severe lack of gun control in this country (and yes, gun control means control of who owns/buys them and what they should have to do before getting their hands on firearms. But this isn’t the debate at hand, pay attention). This is a mostly silent protest. Much like with Kaepernick and others silently protesting the treatment of POC by police and the government in general (systemic racism at its ugliest. No, it was not about the flag, never was). This protest is about showing peaceful resistance to the powers that be that this shit ain’t cool and they need to step up and fix the problems or step down and let someone who can and will make a difference take that office.

Walk Up: Well meaning to some degree. This is about the more popular or vocal kids approaching and even trying to befriend the loners who may be potential shooters. It’s about “walking up” to them and engaging them. I get it, I do. But I’ll state my reasons for it being flawed in a moment.

As you may be able to tell (granted, I already alluded to this above), I’m all for Walk Out. I’m a pacifist (with ptsd… yeah, that’s fun… NOT!!!). I believe in standing up for what we believe in. To make a stand for change when the establishment isn’t listening to the people. Those of my generation (X, if you were wondering) have stood by far too long. We’ve let the establishment walk all over us and those around us. But we have been afraid to engage and lead. We didn’t really have things like school shootings when I was that age. One of the worst things that happened was a custody battle gone wrong between two parents and the father killed his two children, one who was a classmate, and then himself so that his wife couldn’t get custody. Three lives snuffed out because of jealousy and selfishness. But it wasn’t on campus.

We lived in a bubble. Yeah, we still had loners *raises hand* and the popular kids. But we didn’t have the carnage and anger that we’ve seen the last several years. In 20 years, since Columbine, we’ve seen far too many shootings (add some stabbings in there, but those end up with less deaths) in schools and places of business.

I wholeheartedly support Walk Out. And some of the teens from Parkland are stepping up and making sure their voices are not silenced. Making sure change WILL happen, come hell or high water.

So, now I’m gonna play a little Devil’s Advocate.

I kinda wish more fellow students had Walked Up to me and others back in high school. I felt invisible and unknown. I didn’t want to BE part of the popular crowd. I liked just being ME, but I wanted them to see me. To say hello in the halls. They didn’t have to befriend me or anything, but just an occasional hello or “hey, Amanda” would have gone a long way. Especially those who were also in my church high school group.

The difference between that and Walk Up is that the campaign for Walk Up is going about it for ALL THE WRONG REASONS!! It should never be about “well, if you don’t befriend them, they may shoot up the place.” That’s all about fear. It should never been about fear. It should be about community, not fear.

If this action is based upon a fear that the loner kid may be the next shooter, then the action comes from fake concern, not honesty. And please, no platitudes. Just saying hello.

One caveat: If the loner kid creeps you out and you get a really bad vibe… yeah, maybe not the best idea to Walk Up. But there are loner kids out there just like I was who just don’t do well bursting into the crowd and making friends that easily. Trust me, at school dances, if I could have melted INTO the walls, I would have. I was a geek of all trades… still am.

In my senior year, I went on a ski trip the weekend before Spirit Week. My mother had this notion that I’d outgrown my allergy to down feathers (nope) and sent me off with a down ski jacket, down sleeping bag, and down pillow.


I was sick most of Spirit Week. On top of that, that trip was where I slipped on the ice and messed up my back. I was 17. I had costumes planned for all the theme days of Spirit Week. I would have NAILED any contests.

But I was sick.

I was finally well enough on Spirit Day, Friday. A half-day, mind you. I went to Econ and ended up sitting next to one of the cheerleaders. Don’t ask me which one. I don’t remember. She turned around and saw me. Mind you, I was still sniffling and I was in pain from the fall a week before.

“Amanda, where have you been?”

“Huh? Oh, home sick.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. We were really looking forward to your costumes for Spirit Week.”

My visible response wasn’t much, but in my mind, I was freaking out. One of the popular kids knew who I was? Knew my name? Noticed I had been out all week??????? OMG!

It was surreal for me. After all those years walking around campus and knowing people’s shoes better than their faces, at least one of the popular kids knew who I was.

It didn’t change a lot for me, but I did start feeling a bit more confident. I looked at faces.

A lot more shit happened the rest of that school year, but I still made it through. Now, I was never the kid who would have picked up a weapon. I hated myself more than I hated my classmates. I had shitty self-esteem and self-worth. I was more prone to suicidal ideation. But, as you can tell, I’m still here.

If Walking Up to someone is out of genuine friendliness and not based on fear, do it. You may just make that loner’s day. But trust your gut. If they seem a bit off… maybe not.

Walking Out. Do it! And then follow through afterward with letters and phone calls to Congress Critters (hey, it’s gender neutral, shush!). Take action with words. Trust me… words are so much more powerful in the long run. Maybe I’ll talk about that in another post.


Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, grief, health, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/9: mental day off

The shitty thing with uncontrolled PTSD and chronic fatigue and constant stress and anxiety is that it fucks life up. I didn’t do much yesterday because the previous few days were overloading. Figured one day…

Then today hit. *thud*

Between random odd pain (some which is actual strained muscle) and generally feeling out of it, not much happened today.

Tomorrow will likely be fine.

But no big blog post today…. and unless my brain decides to start a poem while I’m trying to get to sleep, no poetry tonight.

Today, I did discover Boggle the Owl. This is on FB, but look for it. A wonderful comic owl that responds with beautiful sentiments to troubled followers who send messages. I think we all need a little of Boggle in our lives.

Still any help available. I need something like a miracle at this point.


Posted in C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, friends, grief, health, life, peace

3/8/18: The Flame (poem)

Another off-the-cuff poem for the night. Many of them are train of thought and unedited. Enjoy.


Brightly burning
The flame flickers
As I walk past.

The light grows dimmer
As the distance grows.
The light does not reach me here.

I see it across the room
Calm now, for no one
Disturbs the air around it.

It dims, the wick is not willing.
No matter how much
I wish it to thrive.

I send my thoughts of hope
Of peace and healing to
Those in my life who need it the most.

The light helps me focus my words
My thoughts strengthen as the wax
Melts away to absorb the pain.

Give it all over to that which can take
The pain and return only solace
For those who need it.

Give the flame what it needs to
Survive. Your anguish is taken away
By that which only gives light

In return.


Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, family, friends, grief, health, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/8/18: #crowdfunding storage, stashing life in cubbies, and #ptsd

Trying to step up my game for the blog. The more I post, the more visibility. The more visibility, the better my chances are of saving my storage unit and everything in it. Which is damn near everything I own. Being homeless sucks ass.

My goal right now with storage is to get it paid up before the end of March. It goes to Auction in April. But auction isn’t the only urgent reason.

There’s a very real possibility Portia and I will be getting a pet room at a local homeless shelter, maybe even by the end of the month. Not sure yet of when, as there are several move-outs coming up (Placement Supervisor and I chatted today). I’m limited in how much I can bring. The equivalent of two large garbage bags of personal items. Portia’s supplies are not counted in that. I’m also assuming food is not counted either (I hope. Despite my limitations on space, I do have a fair bit of food and cooking supplies), but I’ll ask.

I’ve accumulated things since the eviction. Some of came from storage, some was purchased for various reasons. You name it. But I certainly have more than two garbage bags worth of things. So, there are two options:

1: Get storage caught up and work on KEEPING it caught up, so I can retain access to everything. This means scrounging up over 1K in 3 months of storage rent and late fees, etc. My TR work has been minimal since December and I’m concerned about saving everything. Things for Portia and things like cleaning supplies and vitamins and…. well, you name it. It adds up and has destroyed what I have had come in. Much of the funds raised have also gone to various recurring things like paying down on my CareCredit card… Those little things add up when your income is less than $300 each month.

2. Find someone local who is willing to let me stash the rest of my things I currently have with me until storage DOES get caught up. (Letting it get auctioned off is NOT an option… understand?)

Being at the shelter as opposed to where I currently am means a few things: I’ll have a caseworker helping me with housing stuff. That’s a big one. I do still need a job, which is slowly getting back on track. My Voc Rehab counselor left VR a couple months back and I didn’t know. Around the same time, my VR coach (hired from an outside firm for the ‘grunt’ work of helping me) also dropped off the face of the planet due to a family crisis. I got to meet my new VR counselor this week and he let me know that my coach is now starting to return to work. (As it happens, my primary doc has also apparently gone on personal leave and no idea when she’ll return, so ALL these people who have been mainstays in my life have been out of contact). I do now have a therapist, although she’s currently in the process now of getting authorization from my insurance for however many visits they allow me to have to battle my #PTSD.

So… life is shifting once again, but into a completely different and more structured environment. I have -honestly- felt like my life is in flux and unstable since my dad died in 2014. He was my rock. He kept me grounded while simultaneously lifting me up. Reminding me that I can do the things I love to do and never give up on my dreams.

Last night’s poem was how I felt at that moment. Yesterday, I had the third visit with the new therapy place and we went over the results of the interview, testing and a diagnosis. They concur with my GP about the PTSD diagnosis, which is good. So I see hope for things to come, but still feel held back by some “invisible force” which I use Tule Fog to describe it. If you don’t know what Tule Fog is, it’s a very thick ground fog that can and has caused many vehicle accidents in years past. The Central Valley in California got it a LOT. I have family in the Fresno area, so we hit TF a lot. When it’s really bad, you can barely see six feet beyond the grill of your car. Hence why it can cause accidents. You slow down when driving in it because your reaction time is impaired because you can’t see far enough ahead to stop in time.

Some things are changing for the good and others are way up in the air since I’m struggling financially.

It’s been a week since I had to call 9-1-1 for what could have been a heart attack, but was a massive panic attack. I was (and still am to some degree) pissed off at the ER staff as they didn’t seem to hear me when I told them I’ve had massive panic attacks before, one even landing me in the ER like this one. The pain continued on until almost 30 hours later. After another massive pain strike the next night, I took a muscle relaxant and a valium left over from before I was ‘weaned’ off of it a month ago and the next morning, I had very little pain from it. It was not a “pulled muscle” like the ER folks said. I know the difference, folks. No, really. I’m one of those elusive patients who fucking listens to her body and knows when something is wrong and knows the fucking difference between nerve pain, pulled muscles, etc…


Share info, link back to this post or my blog in general, keep watching for things… the PP link is the fastest and easiest access. I also have a fundraiser on FB, but they do take a chunk… just like everyone else. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Share, retweet, donate if you can… Sharing does make a difference.

Another poem tonight… or even more… who knows…


Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, friends, grief, health, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, medical, peace, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent

3/5/18: Panic Attack and Anxiety Observations (and #crowdfunding, of course)

A few gathered bits from FB posts or intended posts, reflecting on the last few days of medical fuckery.


One good thing that did happen today: while talking with the doc, I mentioned I’d been on Celexa for a year and then we switched to Cymbalta a few months ago to see if that worked better. I think, due to its nature, it didn’t exactly help my anxiety and the panic attack. Since I’m under extreme stress and Celexa is good for anxiety, she was all too happy to switch me back. Cymbalta didn’t seem to really do much for me, while Celexa at least helped my heart med to keep my HR down. She wasn’t keen on my GP numbers, but if the Celexa can help with that as well, I may not need more heart meds.


My client today asked about what had happened the last few days. I was supposed to do this task yesterday, but vertigo was making things difficult, so we rescheduled for today. I told her about the panic attack. She said she had no idea panic attacks could cause pain.
Severe attacks can. Some will remember a few years ago when I ended up in the OHSU ER with one. The pain from that one lasted maybe 15 minutes tops. Which is why this one concerned me so much. The pain wasn’t subsiding. In fact, it didn’t fully dissipate for roughly 30 hours. Two major spikes, sending me off the pain scale, almost exactly 24 hours apart. Taking the meds I did Friday night sent my brain and body the right signal. Still had lingering side effects (hence the vertigo Sunday), but doing better overall. Hopefully the change back to Celexa will help.



Now that I know it was a nasty panic attack from hell, I realize that it may be a good thing that my airhead kitty is the one who remains. If JoJo were still alive during these last few days, I’d have a half-nekkid JoJo-kitty and hairballs all over this room.
When I was stressed, she was stressed. And when she was stressed, she overgroomed obsessively and then puked up hairballs that could be museum-worthy.
I still love her and miss her yowling morning alarm and “in your face” headbutts, but for her sake, it’s good she is watching from the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
I miss you, my soul-kitty. Now, stop beating up Jack.


And an observation from being on transit today:

On my way to the task today, there were several folks on the bus with “granny” carts. Last dude to get on was an angry man. That’s really the best way to describe him.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my “fuck the world/angry at the world” days/moments. Plenty of them. But I do my best to not put ALL the blame for my life onto society. Is part of it “society’s” fault? Quite likely. But I take the brunt of it. I fuck up. I make mistakes. I take the blame for those things. This man, though, was so angry at the world. Blamed the bus driver, the bus, the others on the bus, etc for his having a bad day. The driver warned him and the others at that stop that there may not be enough room for everyone’s carts. He was right. They got one stop and he was blocking the way… there was no room for him and he blamed everyone else for his problem.
It was hard for me to sit where I was and be right in the middle of his anger zone.
I don’t know what happened in his life to make him that way, but I hope he finds some peace.


So, I have a couple of not-really-Tarot decks. One is all animal guides. I shuffled them this evening and pulled three cards. The first two… well… I think they were trying to get a certain message across. Read the brief messages on them.

Take some time out of your usual life and spend it in some solitude.
Take time to rest and recuperate rather than continuing your striving.
Practice shapeshifting by altering your physical appearance and mannerisms.

After the last few days… message received. The book that comes with the deck does expand on the brief sayings. The octopus one makes sense to me with the expanded reading.


In other news, my waitlist status for TPI has shifted over to one of tje women’s short term transitional buildings. Partly due to having Portia as an ESA, but I also can’t handle a top bunk. I’m now on a short list for a “pet room” at one of their women’s buildings. It may still take a month or so… but this may be a good thing. I’m grateful to my friends for putting up with me and my depression, ptsd, health, etc… but moving to a (hopefully) less stressful place will be a good change. Progress?

I just need to get Portia’s vaccines up to date ASAP.


That’s all for now. Except crowdfunding. Storage! I can’t lose my belongings. I’m trying to earn my way out of this hole, but I can’t do it without help. Paypal is the fastest and easiest. Any help will do. Share!


Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, empath life, grief, health, homeless, life, Personal, PTSD, storage, urgent

2/18/18: #PTSD rambling

When one is still sorting out the realization of having something like PTSD or a similar issue, there are moments, even whole long chunks of time, where figuring out how to function in society with it takes all the brain power. If that makes any sense.

It’s been a bit over a year now for me. And for a chunk of that year-ish, I didn’t really grasp how deep it had dug itself into my mind, my emotions, my life.

The feeling I’ve described of being tethered to the ground, surrounded by thick fog… hearing everyone around me living their lives. Where I can see my life. What I want to do, want to be… and it’s just out of my reach. That feeling has been with me since before I knew I had PTSD.

My irritability and anger at people has increased. I don’t like violence in the slightest, but I find I’m working harder than I ever have to not lash out. To not yell at rude people on transit and the streets. To simply not snap. That person is not me. Yet, I don’t know how to control that part of me.

I’m in the process of getting a new therapist. Someone who can hopefully help me find that balance so I can function again.

Bear with me. I’m in a dark place right now. And I’m not talking about my current room (in the basement. Cave-like). I just need help clawing my way out of this abyss.


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, domestic abuse, friends, grad school, grief, health, homeless, life, medical, PTSD, sexual assault, society

1/10: #PTSD Frustrations #lifeĀ 

I can see where my life took a detour. Almost two years ago, I started noticing a fogginess in my mind. I couldn’t focus, days flew by and I missed deadlines for everything. 

Especially school.

For a few years now (maybe 6-7 years), I’ve noticed this getting worse. I kept struggling, fighting it whenever and however I could. My anxiety around crowds and people in general kept inching higher and higher. Even whe. My dad died in 2014, I noticed that the hugs I received from male friends (most of them) felt uncomfortable. 
I didn’t understand why. 

Then when the one friend triggered flashbacks in November 2016, it dawned on me that there was more to this. Over the next few days that weekend, I struggled with what was going on. I had PTSD. I actually had to google “can rape survivors have ptsd?” because I, like so many others, thought it was just for soldiers.

It isn’t. 

I feel that, over this past year or so since realizing this, I have disintegrated even more.

I can hold conversations with people. But getting things -anything- done is proving extremely difficult. 

This affects school. As my being homeless and in an awkward living arrangement certainly hasn’t helped my PTSD, I’ve struggled with finishing school. I swore I’d make it this last term. 

I didn’t. 

At this point, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to. I’m close, but I can’t seem to get myself sorted to where I can finish. 

I want to. I intend to. I need to… if only for my sanity. 

But I struggle with the effects of an illness no one really understands. At least I don’t believe they do. Hence my frustration. 

I feel lost at sea. In a dark void where I know others are, yet I can’t see them. I am alone in a crowded room. I don’t feel normal… even by my own standards of normal. 

I want to know when it will end. If it will. When can I return to some semblance of a life I’m familiar with? 


~~ trying to get ahead. If anyone can help with storage this month so I can get a teeny bit ahead of the game… I’d appreciate it.

Posted in birthdays, chronic pain, depression, disability, family, friends, grief, health, life, medical, music, Personal, Science Fiction and Fantasy, society, writing

11/27: Dad, #NaNoWriMo, and Life

So, today is my dad’s birthday. If he had lived, he’d be 91. I had all these ideas for honoring him today, things I was going to do on the anniversary of his passing, but then decided to do them today. Namely, I was going to go to Ace Hardware and the music store to get some sheet music. Those things primarily because going to Ace was a tradition when I was a kid. I followed my dad everywhere. Especially when working on the house and getting supplies for working on it.

The music store because he was so excited when I said I wanted to save up for a piano. He really wanted me to get back to my music. He died before he saw me get my piano, but getting some sheet music would be fitting.

But coming out of Safeway, my knee gave out and is still hurting an hour or so later, so I need to do as little walking as possible the rest of the day. I figure the honoring will be in doing the two tasks I have that are finishing items the clients couldn’t do. And writing. No matter what we talked about, he always asked about my writing. If I had stalled, he always told me to never give up, to never stop writing because I was too good at it.

This year, for NaNoWriMo, I’m struggling. Maybe it’s from the stress of my current life situation, but it’s been difficult. I can still do it, but it’s going to take a lot of work the next few days. Right now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks downtown with a couple more hours to kill before I head to my other task today. Oh, and a knee that’s swearing at me for existing. I need a gym membership but can’t afford it. I know there isn’t much they can do for my knee. I need to strengthen my leg muscles, especially my thighs where the muscles/tendons connect to my kneecaps.

But enough medical/health crap…

Back to writing and general stuff…