Posted in anxiety, auction, C-PTSD, community, creativity, crowdfunding, disability, emergency, faith, family, friends, gratitude, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, semicolon, sexual assault, society, storage, urgent

2/27/19: Panic and Cry for Help #crowdfunding

TW/CW: Mention of rape and sexual assault.

Share if you’re willing. Thank you.

I’m sure folks are pretty sick of me asking for help. And, in all absolute honesty, I’m sick of asking. I’m a bumbling work in progress. I try to not compare myself to others, but that still happens. Especially when I think of my age. How can I be so fucked up that I can’t get my shit together and do all the adulting things I should be able to do at my age?

And then I think of my trauma. It’s no excuse, but it is a valid reason. No matter our age when traumatic shit happens, if we’re still in some stage of emotional development, we have the strong potential to be stunted in said emotional growth. It sucks. Sucks hard.

I dealt with emotional abuse growing up. And then the repeated rape and sexual assaults at 17, 19 and then 21/22. I use both terms since some were actual penetrative rape and others were not. I’ve been to the depths of hell in my life. And I’m still here. How, I don’t really know. How I got through all this crap is a mystery to me.

Being homeless hasn’t helped either. And now, I’m in this limbo. I’m housed, but I feel like I’m camping in my own apartment. Everything I own that helps define my identity is still locked away where I can’t get to it. Auction is next month (I thought it was this month, but no).

Because I no longer have my internship, I am behind on several bills. While I’m still doing Taskrabbit, I’ve had all of three tasks this month, and the money from them has kept my only cell phone working so I can continue getting hired for tasks, despite my numbers dropping (something that needs improvement).

I pay water/sewer/garbage to the apartment management company, separately from the rent, and I’m behind on it. $47 for December and now another $42 for January. Electric is also behind. If I can toss them $50 or so, that would appease them for now. I also have my PO Box. I’d prefer to keep it going, but if not, I’ll pick up my mail tomorrow and turn in the key. It was vital while I was homeless and I’d still prefer to have it for a few reasons, but I know that’s simply a preference.

And then storage. I owe roughly 1000-1100. On Friday, another 300-ish will be added on.

I am applying for jobs and continuing my classes. I need access to my things in storage so that I can sleep better, create more (which will feed my soul and be therapeutic), and ground myself in the things that matter to me in my life.

The last few years have been a vicious cycle. I’d like to stop running in circles and break that cycle. But I need help doing that.

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Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, conformity, crowdfunding, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, homeless, individuality, life, peace, storage, urgent

12/30/18: Becoming the Dragon (31 hours to #crowdfunding deadline)

Crowdfunding: Got two more donations during the night. I’m over $100 now, but still a long way to go to reach $1141. If I can get this paid up before the first, I can deal with the January rent when it happens. I’ll have a little breathing room and can get stuff out and the rest moved to a smaller unit.

Becoming the Dragon: I have evolved, personality wise, to even more of a dragon. Hear me out.

Sure, all the other stuff I mentioned yesterday, like collecting “shiny” things and disliking humans, is part of it, but there’s more. See, in folklore around the world, dragons are fire-breathing people-eating monsters. No, I don’t think of myself as a monster. I’ve dated a few, though.

If anything, I was more like a super-mild version of Puff the Magic Dragon through much of my life. Puff was pretty cool, but super nice and loved everyone and everyone loved him, etc.

Me? I was (and still am to some degree) everyone’s doormat. The yes-girl. Needed someone to shlep you and/or your crap? Call me. Need someone to watch your kids? Call me. Need someone to do XYZ into infinity? Call me. To the point where it got to be manipulative and abusive by some. I spoiled friends, said yes to anything and everything, went to the ends of the earth and back. Then my father passed away in 2014 and things changed for me. My need for help shifted the equation. Most of those who asked me for help were nowhere to be found. Those who are still around in my life are unable to help as much as they’d like.

Enter being homeless. It wasn’t as bad in the first year, couchsurfing. It was when I got into the shelter when I began to change. If my contempt for humans was mild before (mild to moderate), then it tipped the scales (okay, pun kind of intended) into the VERY DRAGON levels. I withdrew more, seeing how some others at the shelter treated fellow residents. But the Angry Dragon side emerged quickly. When bullying of one woman escalated, I snapped at the bullies. Then I’d withdraw to my corner and watch. When they did it again, I lunged and snapped again. This happened a few times.

Now, I’m about as Pacifist as one can get without committing to some peaceful religion. Seriously. I do identify with Buddhism, but I’m not at a place where I can let go of parts of me that don’t ring true with it. My dad was very much a pacifist after he did his tour in WWII. So for this anger to be present doesn’t sit well with me. Eventually I need to separate the anger from the aspect of being strong and standing up for myself and others. To show my passion without anger. That will be the big challenge for me. It is, like everything else in life, a lesson to learn.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, C-PTSD, celiacs, chronic pain, community, cooking, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, family, food, food cravings, friends, homeless, life, storage, urgent, weight loss

12/29: I Didn’t Choose The Dragon Lyfe… #crowdfunding

Standard Issue Request for Assistance: Time is running out for me to keep my belongings from auction on 1/3. I’m working that day, so I need to do it before then, but their office will be closed on the first. And any time after 6pm on 12/31 will result in January’s rent also tacked on. Right now I need $1141.

Organizing: I have “stuff” here in the apartment. Why? Because after we couldn’t access storage (or get anything more into the part we could access), we packed as much up as possible and friends stashed it. Most of that is back here in my possession now. Save for some at a friend’s business in her storage.

Once I have my bigger things (mattress, sewing basics, desk, TV, chair), I’ll be able to move everything to a smaller unit. Then I can take the items here in bins (which have been better for stashing and moving… especially with a cat who LOVES cardboard) and shove them into the smaller unit with everything else. This weekend, my plan is to work on the stuff here and organize and streamline contents of bins. Then get into storage next week and retrieve as much as I can on my own (it’s only two blocks away, so I can get things moved in small runs with my mini flatbed cart). Then move the remains into the smaller unit. That’s the plan. Then storage will be cheaper.

Dragon Lyfe: I know I’ve been negative and grumpy and bitchy. Especially in person. I lost my cool twice at the shelter. As in telling another resident to fuck off. Yeah. Did that. She was manipulative and abusive. She earned that shit. Anyway, I’m getting better, but still prone to sniping at people. I am better at keeping it quiet instead of in the face of the person.

I’m not a social creature. Never have been. I have days where I can be more social and hang out with people, even in small groups. But I tire easily and get grumpy pretty quickly. Some of that is from chronic pain, some is my PTSD, some is… well… me.

I mentioned in last night’s post about weight loss and now really getting serious about this. I didn’t bring up the food aspect. Do I love baking and have cravings for chocolate or chips? Yes, but the chocolate craving can usually be handled by having a few bags of Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips in the fridge. Seriously, it’s good chocolate so that I can take out a handful, put the rest away, and that satisfies my craving. The only time there’s an exception is when I’m craving fresh Reeses PB Cups. There is no substitution. Thankfully my local Safeway goes through them enough that the boxes at the registers never have a chance to go stale.

For the most part, I eat moderately healthy. I did a food journal once for a dietitian and she said I eat healthier than most of her clients. I have Celiac’s and also have sensitivities to corn, soy, and now an allergy to cumin. This cuts out a LOT of things I love. I’m now honing the craft of making my own tortillas out of sweet potatoes. But food is clearly not enough to lose weight. I do my best, but I’m not getting anywhere. So, once things stabilize more financially (soon, I hope) I’m going to join the local LA Fitness. They have a lap pool as well as all the usual stuff. So machines and the backstroke are in my near future. I’ll do a full ‘weightloss only’ post with before pics at some point in the near future.

That’s all for now… ~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, depression, eviction, faith, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, society, transitions

10/24: Adjustments and Changes

As of Friday the 19th, Portia and I are now in our own apartment again. We still have several hurdles to jump: getting storage caught up for October only (more on that in a bit), getting furniture OUT of storage so I’m not sleeping on the floor (I do have a mattress in there), getting my old electric bill sorted before the end of the month, and getting internet in the apartment.

Oh, and getting my checking account up to zero or higher. Ugh.

So, most of the past two years, I’ve at least had SOMETHING coming in from being a Tasker, but this month? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Seriously. I’ve had no jobs. Well, there was a team one set for yesterday, but I have a feeling the other person stole the whole thing from under me and will try to muddy my name on TR. I’ve already sent an email to a contact there about this. I have proof the guy said the task was postponed and then late last night said it was cancelled. If it was cancelled, I’d have an email from TR saying it was. Nothing. Soooo…. yeah.

I need to cover 200 of the old electric bill plus a deposit… and also storage… and ordering internet. I do NOT want to rely on the hotspot on my poor phone to do everything. But it’ll be nearly $50 to get it set up… if not more. The electric, I may be able to get help from CCC as a one-time thing.

Things are happening slowly. I talked to the person at SE Works last week about the training job. She’ll get back to me soon, I hope. Right now, I’m just holding on.

I had zero intention of this being a pity post or a begging post. If people want to help, great. But it’s okay. I’ll figure this shit out somehow.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be able to reflect more on my experiences of the past two years. Most of that time has been either staying at friends’ houses or in the shelter. Being at the shelter was likely the strongest learning period. Man, I learned a lot. I stood up for myself and for others being bullied. I saw how low people can go while they hold their heads up high acting as if they’re better than the rest of us. I saw, and was the ‘victim’ of food theft, among other things.

I still have a lot of emotional stuff to unpack from that experience. When I do get through it, I fully intend on being an outspoken advocate for resolving homelessness.

No matter where we sleep, what we eat, the clothes we wear, our gender or sexuality, our skin color, our mental and physical health; we are human beings and deserve to be treated equally in society.

 

~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, C-PTSD, community, creativity, depression, disability, dreams, empath life, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, medical, PTSD

10/4: Never Enough

This week has been filled with lots of ups and downs. On Tuesday, I filled out the paperwork for doing a WEX job (I’ll explain that further down), as well as the application for housing rental assistance with Human Solutions. Today, things tumbled down.

I received the decision for disability in the mail. Despite everything sounding like the judge was going to find in favor of me, she didn’t. I’ve spent the past two hours trying to read the decision. As best as I can decipher, it boils down to one thing: I’m not disabled enough. I’ll call my attorney in the morning and figure out what’s next. Right now, I’m dealing with the other thing from today.

I returned to the shelter to be hand delivered another write-up for not having everything in bags for the bag-up. Thing is, what I did leave out is stuff that’s been left out during previous ones. On top of that, this is supposedly my 10th total write-up. The previous two were supposed to be removed from my list. Apparently, they weren’t. So with my total write-up, I got a one night exclusion. I packed a few things, set some extra kibble down for Portia, and walked out the door before 3pm, which was my deadline for leaving the premises. I didn’t do a good enough job.

I was able to get in to see my doc about this skin issue behind my ears, and she checked it for signs of a fungal infection (something several friends suggested). Negative, so she prescribed some anti-inflammatory ointment, which I’ll pick up tomorrow.

Really, I will get to the positive stuff… I just need to get this crap off my chest.

I am exhausted. Tired. Tired of not being enough of any one thing to qualify for something. Tired of running in circles putting my life back together only to come back around to the crack in that circle and stumble and fall… again. Tired of not being able-bodied enough. Tired of not being disabled enough. Tired of not being demure enough. Tired of not being outspoken enough. Tired of not being homeless enough (yes, that’s been brought up). But also, tired of not being stable/housed enough.

I feel, at times like this, that I am not so much running in that cracked circle, but that I am standing in the middle of it, constricted by expectations of society and their rules, as it spins around me, wrapping me tighter and tighter.

I am not enough. 

But I should be. 

The WEX job is a temporary set-up where that agency pays $12/hour for 240 hours of the client (like me) to work for a company or nonprofit in the field they wish to work in to gain experience and see if they really want to do that work. So, I may work in the accounting department of CCC, or, if they don’t have the space for me, doing various things including some accounting training, at a local nonprofit that deals with performance arts in the community.

The other thing: Human Solutions. They will cover rent and deposit for an apartment for four months with a WEX job and up to six months while in school. Now, after the four months with the job, I will be able to apply for an extension. I don’t know how long that extension will be, but it will help.

The hard part will be now that I have had the denial for disability, that extra money to live on isn’t going to be there. Which sucks.

I also won’t be able to get my service dog puppy to start training (was looking at using some of the lump sum check for that, but no check).

Again, I’ll call the lawyer’s office in the morning and see what the next step is.

And yes, even with all the housing stuff moving forward (yes, I found a place. a small studio, but it’ll work), I still feel that circle tightening around me.

I never feel like I’m doing enough.

~A

Posted in disability, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, poverty line, storage

9/27: The Aftermath

As mentioned this morning, storage was completely caught up thanks to many amazing people. So, I had to get a new lock and go up to my unit. My friend came with me, partly so I could show her the insanity of my storage. As she’s on the street right now, she asked if I had anything in there for warmth. I gave her a fleece blanket and a towel (she mentioned that she didn’t have one, and I have extras… don’t ask.)

I’ll definitely need to wash everything in there once I move. Ugh. But I’ll make it. I think once I get stuff out of there into an apartment, I can manage organizing everything better. Will still need a small army of stronger humans to help. I can basically peel one layer of stuff back and that’s about it. It’s frustrating because I can assemble furniture a few times a week and no problems (well, I do tire a bit and am sore the next day), but trying to dig into my stuff in storage? Nope. The sustained lifting and such is just too much. I have offers from a few people, including the above mentioned friend’s boyfriend. Another person is ready and willing to summon that small army of guys to help. I just need to get two things first: pallets and casters. I can get the pallets for free, but still need to find a cheap source for casters (heavy duty, locking).

Now to keep rent on it caught up and get those things. Then I can summon the small army. I just have to figure out where to stash the pallets while I wait. And getting them… most places that offer them are way out where I’d need a vehicle. Anyone has tips for local sources, let me know.

~A

Posted in activism, auction, community, crowdfunding, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, society, storage, transitions

9/27: FUNDED!!

I’m still kinda groggy, but storage has been funded and now all I need to do is go over there to pay it off.

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about Forced Gratitude.

Gratitude is something no one should ever demand or require. Anyone who does, it makes them come across as a manipulative abuser. Think about it. In an abusive relationship, the abuser may say things such as “you can’t make it on your own, so you have to stay… I do everything for you…” and others… all in a bid for obesiense.

But today, and the last several days (as well as times this has happened before) are where true gratitude comes up. I wouldn’t be able to save my belongings today and have them available for when I get a place soon, if it weren’t for the community online and in this world. I am absolutely eternally grateful for the help from people all over. Friends and strangers alike.

Being homeless sucks. Being poor sucks. Being both makes me see that there is so much that needs to be done to improve our society. No one should have to crowdfund paying for storage or medical bills, or insulin, diapers, food, etc… the list is endless. It shouldn’t have to be.

As I transition out of homelessness, I absolutely will lend my voice to the need for change in society.

Again, I thank everyone who has helped, from the bottom of my heart and soul.

~Amanda

Posted in activism, auction, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, storage, urgent

9/26: before I fall asleep #crowdfunding

Last call for the night. Still stagnant at needing $250. If anyone can get me closer, that would be awesome.

One thing I intend on getting into once I’m out of the shelter is becoming more of a voice for the rights of homeless. We get told we have no rights. That is unacceptable in today’s society.

But storage and getting out of here first.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, storage, transitions, urgent

9/26: 9PM, Still so close! #crowdfunding #urgent #auction

SHARE ME!!!!! So close… still about $250 shy. (yes, that’s Berke Breathed’s Bill the Cat… he represents how I feel right now)

This will be short… just like me.

The idea right now is that the donations from today on the GFM likely will NOT post tomorrow (it takes a couple of business days).

BUT!!!

If I can get the last $250 via PayPal and pay what I have between PP and GFM and then pay with the rest when it clears… I’m hoping they’ll let me go through with it. We’re just that close. It’s roughly $225 waiting to clear. That’s pretty freaking close, in my opinion. Then it’ll be paid up and I can start October with just that month’s rent up.

And if/when I get into this apartment, I’ll be able to remove a good chunk of what’s in there and downsize to a smaller storage unit. The apartment I’m hoping to get isn’t big. It’s a teeny studio, so I’ll have to be smart in what goes in there. I have stuff in storage (IKEA Ivar shelving to cover nearly every inch of wall for one thing) that can help me maximize the space. Then organize what remains in storage and I’ll only be a couple blocks away so I can access it easily.

But I need to save my stuff first.

With help.

Almost there.

I’m giving it 12 hours from now (9AM) to get the last bit. That’ll give me time to get on transit and bust ass over there (as I’m currently NOT two blocks away from storage) before auction at noon.

~A