Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, chronic pain, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, faith, grief, health, individuality, life, poetry, writing

12/3/18: Twisted (poetry)

(I figured it’s been a while… gonna try to keep this up to the end of the year.)

Bent and torn.
Pieces flaking off.
Laid bare
From anger.

Cocooned in blankets.
Picking up pieces.
I myself
In sadness.

Twisted and broken.
Heart lost.
The rubble buries
My soul.

Waiting for Spring.
New growth hopeful.
World won’t wait for me
To heal.

Twisted in pieces.
Anger melts away.
Pieces bind and will heal me
Some day.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, depression, disability, faith, family, friends, grief, health, homelessness, job hunting, life, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent, writing

10/27: Creativity and Storage

It’s now been a week in the new place. I also still don’t have access to storage so I can get my mattress and stuff out. I was depending on one person who said they’d help, but hasn’t so far.

Tasks are slowly picking up. I had one yesterday and have another one tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, those two will only get me closer to $0 in my checking account as I’m about $260 in the red. If I’d had work throughout the month, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

So, I’m asking. It’s only one month’s rent plus late fees ($305 plus about 40 or so), and using PayPal will keep it from getting sucked into the checking account (I did finally deactivate the GFM).

It wouldn’t bother me so much if it weren’t for my back. I’m sleeping on the floor with very little cushion. I’m now getting numbness along my right side (the side I keep re-injuring), which isn’t good.

The sooner I can get into storage and get things out, the sooner I can move the rest of it into a smaller unit again. Which means less storage rent. My goal will be to go from the 8×20 unit down to a 9×10. It’s about half the price.


Now that that’s all out of the way…

I finally heard from the one place I might be doing that internship/job (the place doesn’t pay me, SE Works/state does). I like the place. They’re an arts organization that focuses on making arts education available to all, among other things. I’m hopeful.

Right now, my focus in on getting my life back on track, but I also can’t forget what drives and heals me: creativity. With that, I am happy to say that I will be doing NaNoWriMo for the 13th year running. I’ve done and won all previous 12 years. Last year, I was a mess, though. I admit that. I ended up piecing together my 50K words from various half-finished stories. This year, I have two small ideas that are going to be expanded into one larger tale. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be fully off-world SciFi or Post-Apocalyptic Earth… not yet. It doesn’t wholly change the story much. In the snippet I wrote earlier this year, I do reference a poison gas that was used in WWI (Mustard Gas), but it could still be referenced similarly in an off-world story. Just maybe the planet they’re on is one humans colonized and shit went sideways.

Who knows… I’ll let the characters determine that part. I know that Post-Apoc stories are a HUGE thing right now. It would be very easy to make this PA.

My writing has stalled in some aspects the last two years or so. Four years ago, my dad died, and he was my biggest fan and cheerleader. A month ago, I lost another cheerleader, my friend Connie, to cancer. She was always in awe of how I came up with the adventures and random shit my characters ended up doing. So this year is for Connie. I’ll make sure they get into a decent amount of mayhem.

Now that I’m coming out of homelessness, I can stop being on constant alert… hyper-vigilant mode. That’s from a combination of homelessness and PTSD. It’ll take some time to fully come out of it.

I think writing this tale in November will help pull me back into life again. Where I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder.

~A

Posted in anxiety, birthdays, community, depression, disability, faith, friends, grief, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, poverty line, transitions

10/14: Changes Afoot!

I’ve been quiet (again) for a bit because I’ve been running around trying to get a handle on what feels like a million things happening at once. A close friend of mine passed away right before my birthday, so that sent me into a bit of a tailspin. She was one of my first writing friends here in Portland when I moved here.

Then paperwork got moving finally for a WEX job (I think that’s what it’s called). The agency pays for up to 240 hours at $12/hour for me to get work experience in (technically) what I’m going to be retraining for in school. The problem is that since it’s a temporary job, many places don’t want someone coming in for a temp assignment in accounting/bookkeeping. You’d have access to HR records and other stuff. Not things they want some random person walking around with knowledge of. So, we’re working on finding a suitable place.

The other thing is getting into an apartment. I’ve been here at the shelter almost 7 months. WAY too long, for both their liking and my own sanity.

But…

I got approved for a studio I’ve been looking at for a while now. Back in my old neighborhood, close to storage and everything else. Human Solutions will be helping with the first few months as I get off the ground. Up to 6 months.

I’ll likely be moving out of the shelter sometime this week, if all goes well with timing of paperwork and checks and whatnot.

So, after a year and a half of being unhoused (another term now being used for homeless), I will have a place of my own again. It’ll be nice to have my own small kitchen and a bathroom I don’t have to share. No more people stealing my food from the fridge… and back on my old full size mattress. I’ve been sleeping on a twin size bed or smaller this whole time.

On the bad side, I didn’t get approved for disability, which sucks. So, no dog for now, no getting a bunch of IKEA furniture to maximize the small studio apartment… and other things. I’m working on a plan, though.

I should at least get the bed frame. A white MALM bed frame with the drawers underneath. Need to maximize storage potential.

Also, there are a few things at the top of my Amazon wishlist. Very important stuff for a new place. No tub, just a shower stall, and I don’t have the things I need for that. If someone were so inclined. Or IKEA gift cards… It was my birthday at the beginning of the month. Also… “apartment warming?”

More to come in the next stage of my adventures.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, family, friends, grief, history, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

9/23: Halp? #crowdfunding #emergency

***AUCTION IS COMING UP ON 9/27***

JUST OVER HALFWAY TO FUNDED GOAL!!!

Time is running out on getting funds before auction Thursday. Some semi-good news, though. Apparently PayPal DID override the “no P.O. Box” bull and I’m getting a new card after all. Bad news: it only mailed Saturday. I don’t know exactly when it will show up, but they say 7-10 days. So it may not get here in time for 9/27.

Despite a few people sharing posts, nothing has happened. I will maybe have some funds from today and tomorrow in the mix, but it depends on when those post to my account (have to do those jobs first, and then there’s a delay).

I’ve run out of being on their good graces in terms of letting me get away with partial payments and the like. I know I’ll need the full amount of roughly $1400. I have about $3 in checking and $.42 cents in PayPal. I’m not going to ask the handful of people who have sent larger chunks in the past as I know their patience with me has likely worn very thin.

To those I need to pay back: I will do so as soon as possible.

Everyone else, I still desperately need help. I have some family heirlooms in there that mean the world to me, along with items that are one-of-a-kind and mean more to me as they are a part of my memories (the good ones) from childhood. My costumes, music, sheet music (some out of print and were my mothers). While much of this may not have much in resale value, they mean everything to me. My mother’s copy of Handel’s Messiah, in book form, that’s ratty and well-used… and over 100 years old. Choir notes and all. My mother and I never really got along that well, but we had music in common. We’ve both sung Handel’s Messiah multiple times.

Nearly every item in that storage unit is worthless to the rest of the world… but not to me. Once I get into an apartment again, I’ll be able to move what’s left into a much smaller unit.

I just need the chance to do all of that. Reorganizing it, downsizing some of it, pulling what I need out as opposed to storing it… then keeping everything organizing so I can easily find what I need.

I just need that chance. If I lose it all, I won’t have that chance. So, I need help.

~A

Posted in baking, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, grief, life, storage, urgent

7/28: Cookies and Board Games

[Please share any of my posts. We’re getting down to the way-too-close point of the month to get storage caught up before it gets more added to it.]

I finally got up (pain) to go out to the kitchen, determined to make cookies. It’s chore time (weekends, it’s at 10am), so back to the room I go.

I wanted to make sugar cookies, but every recipe out there says I need baking powder. I wouldn’t hesitate in a normal situation, but I have one lower cabinet and limited space. I don’t have any and I doubt the house supply of stuff does either.

So, I’ve settled on baking shortbread. It has three freaking ingredients: sugar, flour, and butter. I’ll add some vanilla extract because I want flavor. After chore time.


One of the two blog post ideas I had running around in my head yesterday was about games and board games.

When I was a kid, my dad, brother, sister and I would set up a table in the living room and play Monopoly or Parcheesi, or some other game we had on hand. I enjoyed those evenings. Mom never played. I didn’t know why then and still don’t now. And unless someone wants to hold a seance, I’ll never know. I have other, more pressing questions to ask her anyway. Like why didn’t she finish college.

Since reaching adulthood, though, I’ve strayed from playing them. Any board games. I’m just not interested.

So, why am I bringing this up now? Because someone here started an “anything goes” group on Friday evenings and it’s usually things like Pictionary. Meh.

Every week, someone asks me if I’m gonna go play. Just like when the people who do Bingo and dinner come around each week. I get asked if I’m gonna go play.

I’m not.

So, last night, I started wondering why I don’t want to play them anymore. When friends hold a game night and invite me, I don’t go.

It could be partly from the New Years Eve when my last living grandparent died that morning and I still went to a slumber party from my church group. I stayed in one chair the whole night except for using the bathroom. I didn’t go play Jenga in the dining room. I didn’t participate in any other games. I was mourning. Shut down.

Maybe a small part of it. But I also have become increasingly tired of competition. Yes, I’ll watch my favorite teams play, but participating? Nope. Not really interested. I’ve watched as people who aren’t family get all wound up in the competitiveness and lose sight of the fun part. I just don’t see it as fun when people get borderline vicious over a damn game.

With family, it was fun. Family gatherings playing various games were always a blast. Now? I rarely see them. I think with family, it’s understood that it’s all silly fun. When you’re dealing with the people I live with, that understanding isn’t there.

Well, chore time is over, so the kitchen is open again.

Still need help with financial stuff…

~A

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, bugaboos, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, empath life, grief, homeless, homelessness, life, storage, urgent, writing

7/25: rediscovering myself

So, yes. Still need help with getting things caught up financially. Preferably before the end of the month. Whether it’s via the GFM or PayPal (preferred), any help is vastly appreciated.

So… after last nights fucked up mess, I had therapy today. I read her the poem and the second post about getting my life back. Talking to her about the argument and what I posted got me realizing that I’ve been focusing so hard on real life shit that I’ve pushed aside all the stuff I love that has defined who I am and how I want my life to be.

Music, writing, etc.

While I can’t do much on the music front, I can write. She noticed that whenever I get into the deeper emotional stuff, I back out and start talking about my writing or music.

I had a warped little prompt pop into my head while on my way there. So, I’m playing with it and seeing where it might go. A mix of fantasy and murder.

I’ve missed the creative release. I see who I become when I push that aside and try to work too hard on real life. I have to stop feeling guilty for writing in the midst of the mess my life currently is. I’m angry. At myself and the injustices I see and experience around me. The bullying and lies. The hate.

I give myself permission to create in the midst of madness. I need to keep reminding myself of this, as I no longer have my dad to nudge me.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, empath life, grief, homeless, homelessness, life, storage, urgent, writing

7/25: rediscovering myself

So, yes. Still need help with getting things caught up financially. Preferably before the end of the month. Whether it’s via the GFM or PayPal (preferred), any help is vastly appreciated.

So… after last nights fucked up mess, I had therapy today. I read her the poem and the second post about getting my life back. Talking to her about the argument and what I posted got me realizing that I’ve been focusing so hard on real life shit that I’ve pushed aside all the stuff I love that has defined who I am and how I want my life to be.

Music, writing, etc.

While I can’t do much on the music front, I can write. She noticed that whenever I get into the deeper emotional stuff, I back out and start talking about my writing or music.

I had a warped little prompt pop into my head while on my way there. So, I’m playing with it and seeing where it might go. A mix of fantasy and murder.

I’ve missed the creative release. I see who I become when I push that aside and try to work too hard on real life. I have to stop feeling guilty for writing in the midst of the mess my life currently is. I’m angry. At myself and the injustices I see and experience around me. The bullying and lies. The hate.

I give myself permission to create in the midst of madness. I need to keep reminding myself of this, as I no longer have my dad to nudge me.

~A

Posted in crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, emergency, empath life, grief, life, poetry, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, storage, urgent, writing

5/26/18: Abyss

Yeah, #crowdfunding. I want to get storage caught up before end of May. I’ve been catching up on nearly everything else and now need to get this sorted.

ABYSS
Surface spit-shined.
Years of talking ensured that.
What is underneath lurks.
It has been dormant far too long.

The subconscious is the hostage.
This has been normal far too long.
Deep underneath the surface
Pain lurks in the darkness.

What is under there?
I know not what hides.
Memories of fear and pain.
Memories I have tried to forget.

Where is the key?
There must be a key.
I cannot break the surface.
It is only starting to heal.

It lies in wait.
Holding my breath.
The hostage cries for help.
I must explore The Abyss.

~A