Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, observations, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/11: Brain Battle: Real Life vs. Creativity

Another crazy week of running around to appointments and tasks and stuff. Emphasis on appointments.

Still need help with storage and such. One thing I realize is that once I get a place lined up and have the money to move, I want to have access to my stuff in storage because then I won’t have to repurchase things like kitchen supplies and bathroom stuff, and a mattress, etc. I’ll HAVE all of that. No bed frame, but I do want to get a MALM bed with storage from IKEA because if I move into a small studio, I’ll need ALL the storage I can get.

But it would be best if I retain everything I already have and use that as much as possible. I’ll gradually go through what’s left and sell/toss what I don’t use (or are sewing/crafting supplies).


Trying to find a balance between real life and my creativity isn’t easy when your waking moments are filled with appointments, a bag-up of belongings here at the shelter, PTSD triggers, chronic pain & fatigue, and people telling you to make a few dozen phone calls and you’re not good using the phone. Also: applying for jobs, eating moderately healthy (yeah, that didn’t work so well this week), and trying to sleep when your brain insists on running Worst Case Scenarios at random intervals during the night.


I’m in Month Five here. Technically, they want you through the system in four months. But I need stable income to get into something. Income I don’t have. I’m working on it.

Except one thing:

I don’t know if I can handle a full time job anymore. The past two weeks of being busy and running around M-F each week has drained me to the point where I feel like my mood has dipped back down and depression is hanging over me. I’m fucking exhausted. I still haven’t put my stuff from bag-up away. I have no energy to do anything. It sucks. I know it’ll turn around, but how to deal with it until it does? Not sure.


Gonna sign off for now. I’ll be back… I always am.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, medical, music, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

7/18: Updatessss…..

Lots of fur has been flying in my life of late.

Quick aside: Yes, still need help getting storage caught up. Really need to get it caught up for once and for all. Then I can deal with each month as I go. I just finished a four day run of tasks, but a chunk of that income will go to keeping my cell phone alive as I need it for that work. (They just called as well. I said I’d get some funds at the start of the month and then ended up using them for other stuff… so yeah… help?)

People are always amazed at my hourly rates for Taskrabbit. I inevitably get the “man, you should be rolling in dough” when I’m not. I can go 2 weeks without a task and then, like the last few days, get slammed with several. I had four tasks in four days, during a heatwave. Only one place had A/C. Today is my self-mandated rest day.

So, here’s the other stuff happening of late:

Housing: I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but I got to the top of the waitlist for an SRO in North Portland. Problem #1: I still can’t afford the rent on it. Problem #2: My alarm bells for my PTSD went off when I was up there to fill out the application. As it’s a co-ed building with people of all ages and many disabled, there were many there who made me feel uncomfortable.

Also included in housing: I’ve been given a two-week extension here at the shelter, instead of the usual month-long extension. I’m at 4 months, which is the preferred length of stay, but I need steady income and safe housing. I don’t really have either at the moment.

Disability: I talked with the legal assistant who works with my attorney today. My case is now in the review stage. She said it could be 30-90 days before the judgment is made. Then another 60+ days before the brief is written.

Now, if I get a favorable decision, I can go ahead with General Assistance (meeting to apply for it next month), which can help with rent, etc until disability kicks in.

In all likelihood, I may not see funds until Christmas at this rate. If I get a favorable decision.

Shelter Life: Even with everything else going on, I have the added stress of living in this shelter. Anyone who wonders why many homeless people get bitter and angry, come stay here for a few months. With resources stretched thinner than month-old roadkill and people who can’t afford decent housing, it’s rough here. If one were to compare the lot of us, I have some of the highest education of residents, yet here I am. Extensive education doesn’t keep one from being homeless. It’s just a longer fall to the bottom.

Being disabled in a multitude of ways also makes it difficult to find work. I can’t just apply for anything and everything. I can’t stand for very long, sitting for more than 2 hours is painful as well. Due to my vocal cord issue, I can have difficulty on the phone for extended periods. My voice just cuts out. For being trained as a singer, that alone hurts. I miss singing.

There’s been a lot of fighting and arguing around here. The bullies are still around and being as asshole-ish as ever. One difference is that the main one knows not to directly mess with me. I’ve stood up to her a few times now, very loudly and publicly, so she harasses others instead.

Portia: We had some health issues last week where she threw up every bit of food and a hairball (she mats, almost never gets hairballs) for two days straight. Took her to Dove Lewis and have a bill to pay now. That night, she threw up what I eventually found out was bile. Only the once, thankfully. I took her to see her normal vet the next day (who comped the visit). She did a physical exam (I can’t afford bloodwork and all just yet) and found no major issues like an obstruction or full bladder. Her teeth and gums looked good as well. Despite her age (12) and sensitive skin/stomach, she’s pretty damn healthy.

Housing Option: While I’m aware that the big thing is affordability, I also need to get into someplace that’s more… normal. I’m at the point where sharing a kitchen and bathroom with a few people is reasonable to me (as opposed to sharing with 20 other women, some of whom don’t grasp the concept of cleaning up after themselves). There may still be spaces available at University Pointe which is unofficial housing for PSU. Not as cheap as an SRO, but I’d be sharing with no more than 3 other people. Much more manageable.

Job Hunting: As mentioned above, finding work within my parameters isn’t easy. Getting interviews is even more difficult. I can’t just apply to warehouse/factory/retail/fast food jobs. My back and my PTSD would never let me get very far. I used to love working retail, but re-injuring my back 5 1/2 years ago and then again last December (I should probably never leave my home that month) has made returning to it nearly impossible. I tried using a stool at my last retail job, but it pressed against my sciatic nerve, so I had to stop. My irritability from my PTSD doesn’t help. I’ve gotten worse at being around others. So, limited facetime in a job is best.

So, where does that leave me?

Not many options. But I’m trying.


Yes, I have my days where getting up and doing stuff just feels impossible. Days when hopelessness overwhelms me. I’m doing what I can to fight it, to stay positive, but is isn’t easy.

But this is my life in a nutshell at this moment. I may start another YouCaring just because… or GFM. I don’t really like either one. But this would cover vet bills, initial cost of pet insurance, and storage… I’ll keep y’all informed.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, dogs, family, health, homeless, homelessness, life, PTSD

7/4: Snafus

I’ve gotten bitchier of late. Snapping at people, many here at the shelter. Being argumentative with some. S asked me what’s gotten into me lately. I know and yet, I don’t know. Frustrated with my situation; being/feeling constantly stuck, taken advantage of, gaslighted (gaslit?); never seemingly able to get myself caught up to where I need to be.

Working on shit and maybe getting close to handling certain aspects of my life, then something comes along and sets me back. The incident* on the bus being the latest.

I posted a couple days ago that my life feels like one snafu after another. A second thought regarding that keeps passing through my mind. That of, “I AM a snafu.” But I’ve never written it down or said it out loud until this post. I kept pushing it aside.

Why?

Because it lends credence to what my mother told me when I was 9: that I wasn’t meant to happen. They (she) only wanted 2 kids and I was 3rd. In her eyes, I was a mistake.

So, I kept dismissing it. But with everything going on, it keeps coming back and tapping me on my shoulder.

Where am I going with this? Not one damn clue. Just needed to let it bubble to the surface and hope for the best. May e now that I’ve released that phrase to the world, maybe it won’t keep at me.

* yesterday, on 7/3, I was on the bus heading to my appt when some asshole turnes left in front of the bus. The driver slammed on his brakes and avoided collision, but my head hit the “well padded” hip of the woman two seats to my left (priority seating center facing seats). My brain got a bit jostled, but no clear signs of a concussion. And my neck is sore. These are no surprise. Reported to Trimet via Twitter. I don’t blame the bus driver at all. The asshole in the car? Them, I blame. If anyone were to get a lawsuit handed to them, it would be that asshole, not Trimet. It would’ve sucked, but a part of me kinda wishes we had hit the car.

Well, the dogs on our floor are all going berserk over the fireworks outside. My head still hurts, so I’m gonna take my meds and get more rest.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, peace, politics, society, storage, urgent

6/27: Duck and Cover (more #crowdfunding) SHARE ME!

SHARE ME!! PWEASE?

Still looking to raise at least $300 more before noon Thursday 6/28 (tomorrow) Pacific Time. The FB fundraiser is no longer active, as it takes a couple of days for funds to transfer. I hope the funds raised so far will make it to my account in time.

It’s now closing in on 12 hours before auction. Less than 18. I’m starting to get some decent tasks, so I hope I can continue paying it down after it gets pulled. With that, I hope to never deal with it getting this way again.

In other stuff… not gonna get too political, but with Justice Kennedy retiring, women like me, who rely on Medicaid for a number of things to manage my health, this is not a good time to be poor, disabled, and female in the U.S. Add Liberal to that, and it gets a smidge worse. I’m looking at my options and they aren’t many in number. I don’t have the money (obviously) to run to another country right now. I don’t have much tying me here, so if I do scrounge up a way out, I’ll likely take it.

Borders: I want to expand on this a bit, but the question that’s been bugging me: Why do we obsess over borders here? I know we aren’t the only country to do so, but I look at several countries in Europe whose borders are little more than a demarcation line in the pavement and a sign. And it’s been this way since long before the European Union. Other than pissing contests over land (Mine! No, MINE!! No, no, no, MIIIINE!), I don’t see the point in it. Migrant workers from the south of us have long benefited our agriculture and society and they’ve gotten some kind of pay (yes, I think they should be paid better, but that’s a whole other post). With fully open borders and people being able to come and go as needed, relations with other countries would be vastly better. And no, only a fraction of those who come from the southern countries are drug dealers/mules/kingpins. And that issue would become a non-issue if we legalized ALL drugs and treated it as a health issue instead of a criminal one. Look to Portugal for that.

But that is all for other blog posts. I’m just over here trying to save my stuff. Things that help me survive and things close to my heart. Just trying one more time.

Thank you,

~A

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

Phases…

I know I don’t post every day. I try to but then I hit a wall of “everything at once” coupled with fatigue, and I stop.

I also need to work on my archives blog.

Fatigue is a bitch. As is C-PTSD.

I do the best I can on any given day. It never seems enough to keep up with what I do have going. Yes, I feel like a failure, especially when I can’t get caught up on storage. When I ask for help again and again.

I’ll update the pinned post in the morning.

Thank you to every person out there who has shared, donated, helped in some way. I do appreciate everything you all do to keep me from losing my stuff and my mind.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

6/12/18: Things… and #crowdfunding

Among other things, I am back to needing help with storage. I did okay last month, but various little things absorbed what I made and this month has been slower so far. I believe auction is at the end of this week, so the 15th. I owe just under $1300 and if I can get as much of that as possible (at least half) before auction, I should be okay.


I had my hearing for disability this morning. It went well, despite my lack of voice. I think that almost helped when it came to the idea of doing clerical work. I can’t answer phones when my voice may randomly cut out without warning. Vocal Cord Dysfunction is what it’s called, and lots of things trigger it such as fumes from bleach or mold and mildew. Without going into too much detail, my lawyer said he feels the judge sensed I was credible in my various issues that keep me from many jobs. Can I work? Yes, but there are so many restrictions that my field of possibilities is narrow. All of it put together reaffirms what I’ve been telling people all along: give me an office with tech and research topics to dig through and I’m a happy person. No customers, no phone switchboard/multiline phones, etc.

I also did the one bonehead thing I never thought people actually did. When I was sworn in, I raised my left hand when she said to raise my right. Let’s just say if I have to do that again, I’ll have plenty of coffee beforehand. Never go to a hearing uncaffeinated.


I have all kinds of “I wish people would stop…” or “I can’t fucking believe this happened…” rants, but I think I’ll do those another time.

I’ve had my share of frustrations lately. Who hasn’t? Living in a homeless shelter, I hear it all. Some of it I wish I didn’t. We have one day where everyone is all cool, and then the next people are sniping at each other over little nothings. It’s a women’s shelter with 60 residents as well as staff. I hear about health issues, dealing with parole officers, craving things, family members getting into trouble, you name it. I’m here because I couldn’t get a damn job in time before I was evicted. No alcohol or drug issues. No parole. But here I am.


I need to get back to cleaning up my room. Need to organize the crap out of everything. I’ve gotten two warnings now that my room was unprepared/possibly over what I’m allowed. I need to get back into storage ASAP so I can secure things and not get more warnings.

Halp?

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, PTSD, storage, urgent

6/5/18: #crowdfunding and Common Courtesy

Crowdfunding: Okay…  CROWDFUNDING! Yeah, I know. Didn’t we JUST do this two months ago? Yes… yes we did. And I saved it from auction by paying just over half with the help of several people. I’ve had some jobs/tasks and made some money, but it all went to a variety of other things, such as catching up on crap I needed. I have a couple hundred coming in from a task late last week, but a small part of that will be going to getting business cards printed to help BOOST my visibility for tasks. While TR does have a deal with MOO, it’s still vastly overpriced for my tastes.

My storage will be coming up on the auction block again this month. I need to raise as much as possible ASAP.

Promo: If you need affordable printing done, use GotPrint. They’re super affordable and produce very nice work. Well, as nice as you give them. I design my own stuff, so I make sure images are clear, etc. You can also use their templates, etc, but I like doing my own thing.

Common Courtesy: One of my bugaboos. It’s Tourist Season here in Portland. This is something that bugs me year round, no matter who it is. Common Courtesy is lacking. And where do I see it the worst?

Public Transit.

Also, elevators.

LET PEOPLE GET OFF BEFORE YOU BOARD!!!!!

(also)

GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY SO PEOPLE CAN GET OFF THE TRAIN/BUS/ELEVATOR!!!!

OMG, you have no idea how much this pisses me off. I use a cane and may be switching to a walker before long (canes aren’t as great for back issues. Knees, legs, etc yeah, but I end up torquing my low back and putting stress on my back in odd ways). Most of the time, I have to wait until the bus or train comes to a stop before I even get up to move to the door.

With the bus, most of the drivers for Trimet are really good about putting their arm out and letting people know someone is getting off via the front door. Trains and streetcar (and elevators) are a whole other ballgame. Yesterday, I was getting off the streetcar to go catch the bus to get home (yes, still at the shelter) and I had my small wheeled shopping cart full. About 7 or 8 people crowded around the door I was trying to get out of. I was so close to mimicking Andre the Giant from Princess Bride: “Everybody MOOOVE!!”

I didn’t, but it was tempting.

Here’s the thing: It’s much easier to stand aside and let people get off first before you get on. Earlier yesterday, I was getting off the elevator here and another woman crowded the door so I was barely able to squeeze by her trying to get off as she wanted to get on the elevator.

Part of it is my anxiety and C-PTSD. I have a hard time with people crowding around me. GAH! I’m much like a caged animal when I’m in a crowd. I may just shut down and internalize it or I may snap and say things that make people question my sanity.

Hell, I question my OWN sanity on a daily basis.

I guess I have more to say, but this computer is draining the battery like nobody’s business, so I’m gonna wrap it up for now.

~A

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