Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, depression, disability, domestic abuse, eviction, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, PTSD, society

5/9/18: #Homelessness and #Elitism

This started as an FB post, but I needed to vent and my connection won’t let me post there.

…..

There’s a pompous asshole or three in my old neighborhood on NextDoor bitching about the homeless. And y’all know how I feel about elitist shitholes who get whiny about us homeless folk. Several others are stepping up and chewing them out politely. One even went to say that maybe the ones who whine need to move out of the urban setting to a suburb or countryside area.

Basically, if all you do is whine and stomp your feet about the homeless on the street, then you’re contributing to the PROBLEM and NOT contributing to the SOLUTION. Shut up or put up. Are there mentally ill and drug addicted homeless? Yes. And they are (many times) the most visible and vocal so they end up being seen as the “majority” of homeless. They are one segment of the homeless population. Many are working poor who got pushed out. And others struggling like myself to just get through each day due to one issue or another. There are families. To lump us all together as junkies and “psychos” is a disservice to the population as a whole.

I’ve refrained from posting or commenting over there. I may have to write something regarding the homeless population demographics and post it there and here on my blog.

What people like them forget is that everyone is one or two paychecks, a job loss, a medical catastrophe, or other events, away from being homeless themselves. I want them to just listen. Try to understand who we are that they’re whining about. Because we aren’t all what they think we are. Some, yes, but most are not.

Obviously this is something very personal to me. I am educated and homeless. No drugs or alcohol put me here. No major mental illnesses. Depression and anxiety… PTSD, sure. But I can function to a reasonable degree. Not everyone has that ability. And those are the ones left behind since the days of mass closures of mental hospitals across the country. [More info here on that]

If you refuse to be part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Stop being a pain in the ass and start working on solutions to help end homelessness. And shipping them to other cities and states doesn’t count.

~A

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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, bugaboos, chronic pain, cluster headaches, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, medical, music, Personal, poverty line, storage, urgent

4/21/18: Clusterfuckery & Shelter Life

Random cluster(fuck) headache ranting/grumbling… ignore if you don’t want to read my grouchiness.

CLUSTERFUCKERY:

I’ve had a low-grade cluster headache going about a week now. For those unfamiliar with them, no drugs can really touch them, the medical field has no clue what exactly causes them, and they’re a bitch to get rid of. Where caffeine helps tension and migraine headaches, it does nothing for clusters.

What may be the reason doctors can’t pinpoint the cause is that it may be different for each patient. I know I get them after (usually) every other monthly cycle. But I’m on Depo-Provera (birth control, if you didn’t know) to keep my hormones balanced. So the main times they show up now is when I’m about due for my next shot, which will be in a couple weeks. The only thing that knocks them down to OTC med care level is oxygen therapy. Medicaid won’t cover a small tank for me, so I have to call the clinic and give them a heads up that I need the therapy. They put me in an exam room, wheel in a tank, hook me up, turn off the lights and return 15-20 minutes later. This brings the pain level down to about a 2 on the scale of 1-10, so then I can take an Aleve and that gets the rest of it. I’ve been between a 5 and a 7 on the scale for days now and just dealing with it. Mostly ignoring it.

I can’t anymore.

But I may wait until Monday as the clinic has short hours on Saturdays and is closed Sundays. I’d kill for a proper eye patch right now. It hits my right side and my right eye is rather unhappy. But a good eye patch isn’t easy to find. So, I just avoid bright light as much as possible for now.

SHELTER LIFE:

This is mostly me whining about shit. I have always been hyersensitive to strong scents. Can’t handle the smell of bleach (makes me sick), as well as most perfumes/colognes/body washes or sprays.

So… this morning…

Someone is singing in the shower… badly. Also using Ivory soap or something with a similar strong scent. Blargh. It’s a lot like with perfumes, strong scents from anything man-made freaking fuck with my allergies.

I also can’t use Tide as we discovered an allergy to it when I was in high school. Mom used Tide almost religiously. At one point, she washed a new pair of my nylons for choir and when I put them on, my legs broke out in a rash/contact dermatitis. From that point on, until I moved out, she had to buy unscented, no-dyes detergent. I’ve stuck to that myself as well. And of course, what do they hand out to the ladies here for detergent? Tide Pods. I use my own stuff.
Okay, it’s been 30 minutes since I closed my door and I can still smell her soap. I need a door thingy that is mostly for keeping drafts out, but i need one for my door for scents. I also wanna fix the seal stuff around the rest of my door. I can see light from the hall coming through when I have the lights out.

One thing with being in a homeless shelter: watch your shit. On our less-populated floor we’ve had money, clothes, a tablet, and other things get stolen. Only one of those things was returned and the thief booted and banned.

I keep my door locked all the time. But someone used some of my lactose free milk from the fridge (there are two resident fridges and we have to label our stuff. Also one house fridge in the laundry room).

My food stamps are done for the month and have nothing to get more milk, bottled water (the tap water tastes and smells musty/moldy. the pipes need replacing), veggies, etc. Also no cash.

I’m down to about $1 on my PP card/account (I have a debit card from PayPal) and I’m pretty sure my checking account is back in the red from an auto payment for a debt collector. I have one task set up for the 30th. That’s my only income right now. I may get more, but no way of knowing. I can’t plan them. It all depends on clients hiring me via the TR site/app.

I am going to one job fair on Tuesday and an informational interview on Monday. New VR job coach, new ideas.

It’s been a rough week. Transportation miscommunication and snafus along with a severe pain flare up from my back and the cluster headache… and general lack of sleep and the hell it causes. Doc has ordered a referral and sleep study. Had one years ago while on different insurance. They wouldn’t cover anA-PAP machine. I might be able to get one now, but need to do a new study.

I may put a few non-perishable things I mentioned above on my Amazon wishlist. I need to link Portia’s wishlist on here as well. Yes, my cat has her own wishlist. Shush.

More to come later…

And yes, still want to cover the rest of what I need to catch up on storage. Just under $600 left before the end of the month.

~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 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

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, empath life, eviction, faith, family, friends, grief, health, homeless, homelessness, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/3/18: Rambling Doubts

(Yes, still urgently #crowdfunding to save storage by the 12th. I have until 4/12 to come up with the money. It’ll be more than the $1200 that was my total last month. Add another 305 or so to that and we get to $1500. Pimp my blog out to whomever you can think of who might be willing to share. I don’t have the guts to ping famous people.)

I question my role in society. I have no interest in “fitting in” yet I want and need work that can sustain my life. I don’t need lots of fancy things. Books, music, reasonably decent tech. I don’t need cable.  Just decent wifi. I do like a few fancy things. A new pair of Docs or that antiquarian book I’ve been lusting after for over a decade… but for the most part, I like the little things that make me smile.

I still feel incomplete. This is not the “I need someone to complete me” type of incomplete. I feel like part of me has been ripped away and I don’t know where it went. I don’t fear my past, but I am hypervigilant about people in the present. Because of my PTSD, because I can’t stand touch from men. I make male friends and acquaintances ask permission before hugging me. Men on transit sitting next to me or standing too close make me tense up and my anxiety and heart rate both rise.

Right now, I want to run. I want to get my passport and run. Save all my stuff in storage and then pack my bags and run with my cat in tow. Live in a space in Germany or France or stay in a small house in my great-grandfather’s home village in Switzerland for a while. Get away from things that I feel are holding me back. Reconnect with my family history and experience life away from so much of our U.S. mentality.

But money is needed for any of that, and I can’t even get storage caught up or pay for my passport. Let alone running away.

I am stuck. Maybe it doesn’t seem like it to others, but this is where I am. I have tried getting work in fields where others around me say “you could easily get work in this field.” Yet, no interviews, not even email rejections. I am adrift in a society that doesn’t value the weirdos like me. The ones who have multiple abilities.

I wonder at times if there is anywhere in any society on this planet that appreciates weirdos like me.

I’ve never felt as if I belonged in our society. I’m out of place. But do I fit anywhere? I wish I knew. I’m currently limited by my physical disabilities and my PTSD and its side effects. How do I land a job where I’ll have time on transit around people who will likely make my anxiety skyrocket? Then there’s the thought of a remote job… and then we have my ADD and… SQUIRREL!!!

You get the idea.

I also feel like I’m trying to explain who I am and what I need to the world and no one is listening to each word. Like back when my dad would tell my sister something about me and she’d only here “Amanda…. Wants this….” and then I’d get an email berating me for trying to get dad to buy it for me, which I wasn’t. As if my own words don’t count. My experiences don’t count. That my life, somehow, doesn’t count. I know it does. But that feeling of invisibility returns hardcore.

~A

 

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, health, life, medical, PTSD, storage, urgent

3/29/18: Broken Record, Part Deux (and #crowdfunding)

#crowdfunding: Time is running out on saving storage before April rent gets tacked on. Any and all help will do. I’ve had a bad run of little to no income. My income isn’t steady by any means, but it’s been well below a level where I could support paying storage. So, here I am, begging again before I lose everything.

On to the other broken record.

When I wrote that yesterday, I had something in mind to say but never really got around to saying it.

I’ve essentially been disabled, due to my back, over half my life. Trust me, it sucks. What I find both frustrating and intriguing at the same time is that, despite me using a cane 95% of the time, many people don’t consider me disabled. As if the only way a person could be considered physically disabled is if they’re permanently in a wheelchair. Or some such inanity. Between chronic pain and fatigue and my PTSD, and other things that just come and go as they please (cluster[fuck] headaches being one of the more annoying ones), I am technically disabled. Now, my hearing for disability is in June, so whether I’m “legally” disabled will be determined then. Most everyone I know says I should have gone on SSDI years ago, but for too many years, I felt I could handle it. I could push it down and go on with my life while it occasionally acts up.

But my body has determined otherwise. I do know that losing weight and getting back in shape will help to some degree, but I can’t afford a gym membership to anywhere within reason. If it were to take me longer to get there just in one direction on public transit than it would take for me to work out, it isn’t worth it to me.

So one may ask why would someone who is disabled -especially physically- bother with working out?

After walking with my cane for the past year on a very regular basis, I can tell you that strengthening arms, legs, back, and other muscles will go a long way toward battling muscle fatigue when doing daily tasks. It won’t make the chronic pain go away. My nerve damage is for life. I know that and have long come to terms with it. But the muscles around those nerves need to support me in my daily living. If I can’t stand longer than 10 minutes to do dishes, I need to strengthen the muscles that begin to hurt at the 10 minute mark. It isn’t my muscles that are damaged. It’s the nerves, and the discs that have damaged those nerves in years past. Strengthening the muscles in my back will go a long way toward keeping the discs in place if I fall more.

And knowing me, I WILL fall more. Yeesh! I’m a klutz.

If I can keep the muscles strong, the damage in future falls and other incidents won’t be as brutal as the damage from the last two falls. Or even the one at 17. Through dance and weightlifting, I was able to get the slipped discs back in place within five years. It isn’t easy.

But I shouldn’t have to PROVE I’m disabled to the general population. I have my cane. I don’t get why people question it. Just because my cane isn’t some utilitarian piece? Whatever. Yes, I have a “fancy” cane. And? I paid good money for that fucker, I’m gonna use it!

Anyway… gonna go meander off to do… something. My wifi sucks here at the shelter, so I’m limited.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, health, homeless, housing, insomnia, life, storage, urgent

3/27: swirling in my head

I desperately need to get funds sorted for storage ASAP. And I have a few post ideas swirling around in my brain… but I’m adjusting to shelter life and getting up early as fuck… and may either have brutal allergies (the sudafed has been put to use) or a mild cold. Either way, my head is all ‘bleh’ from stuffed sinuses and sleep deprivation.

Must go feed the furball. She’s pacing along the bed.

I need all the help I can get. And a small-ish miracle or two.

~A

Posted in animal welfare, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, emergency, friends, health, homeless, housing, life, music, poverty line, PTSD, storage, transitions, urgent

3/20/18: #crowdfunding, adjusting, and some bad juju

I received one donation today… to that person, many thank yous. Still have a long way to go. I want to get storage covered and caught up by the end of the month. Auction is 4/12, but once April 1st rolls around, another months rent gets tacked on, so the total goes to about 1400 or so (taking into consideration late fees and all that stuff).

I’ve spent the day adjusting to the new space here at the shelter. While my room is a bit larger than most on this floor, my next door neighbor, who also has a kitty (she’s 6 and a beauty), mentioned that some bad juju has happened in this room and that may be partly why Portia is uneasy. I need to cleanse the fuck out of this room… without setting the smoke alarm off. I’d love to smudge it, but my smudge stick is “somewhere” and I can’t really go get another one. Same applies for my salt bowl and candles. I can’t risk setting off the alarm. Ideas would be great.

Twin size bed, as opposed to the single width rollaway I’ve been sleeping on for a year. Those, for people who haven’t heard of that size, are about 2 feet wide, where a Twin size mattress is about a foot wider.

Portia is still mostly hiding. Partly from being in a new place, partly from all the noise (doggos in the hall being noisy doggos), and likely some from the bad air/juju in this room. We have a dresser, small closet (litter boxes are in the bottom of that and fit perfectly), and a two tier plastic shelving thing. And a chair.

The Wi-Fi isn’t ideal, at least in the rooms, but I don’t expect super fast anything. Well, I’m gonna go sneak in a shower and then relax the rest of the evening… it’s been a long and somewhat stressful day.

As I was typing this and an FB post up, Portia came out of hiding and is now purring on the bed next to me. She’s still uneasy, but getting there. I’ve discovered having classical music playing kinda low helps buffer the noise from outside the door.

And more tomorrow! I start physical therapy (again) tomorrow afternoon. Maybe a poem tonight, if I get inspired.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, health, homeless, housing, life, Personal, poverty line, society, storage, transitions, urgent

3/19/18: #crowdfunding and moving

Yes, still any help will do. Share, retweet, donate, etc… trying to save my belongings so that I can get through this period of homelessness and regain my sanity and other things I feel I’ve lost along the way.


I got the call earlier this morning. The room at the shelter is ready for me. I’m not ready. But I’ll head down in a bit, check it out, and I’m allowed to put something in there. The door will be locked anyway, so it’ll be fine. I wasn’t expecting this until tomorrow, so I’m a bit surprised.

My hope with moving forward is that I’ll be able to get steady work soon and be able to move into a place of my own again…

Portia is NOT gonna like being crammed into the carrier again. But she’s on meds to calm her own anxiety now, so hopefully I’ll get less scratches this time.

I’m going to try to keep blogging as much as possible over the next few days, but this transition will be interesting.

Not much this time… I’ll be back later…

~A