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, auction, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, society, storage, urgent

8/5: Sunday Stuff

Looks like Auction will be late September, which is surprising to me, but I’m cool with it. Gives me time to save up this month and get it caught up. Will likely still need the help, so the GFM is still active for now.

Living here at the shelter is a week by week basis. I have to keep looking at housing and work and try to get a job ASAP. I may only have another week or two, which is a problem since I have no back-up place to go.

I’ve been running myself into the ground, it feels like, all this past week. If I wasn’t at a task or on the bus to/from a task, I was pulling the bins from the smaller temporary storage unit out and having a friend help me move them to another friend’s space until my main unit is out of hoc and organized so I can cram everything else in there. Or running around to appointments and other things. Yesterday, I crashed… hard. I needed the rest, though.


At one point, on my way home from an errand, I encountered a homeless man who, at least I’m hoping this is all it was, was clearly mentally ill and probably not taking his meds. He started calling me names and using insults as I walked past him. Including a word I’d never heard before: Wi**er. Which is actually a slang term for a white person emulating African American culture such as rap and all that. Hence why I ‘bleeped’ out the two g’s. Replace the W with an N and you have the original word.

Thankfully, one half of an awesome homeless gay couple intervened and went and talked to the man. He came back and told me that if they were still there when I finished in the grocery store, they’d walk me to wherever I needed to go, which was the bus stop. They waited at the stop with me until the bus came. I’d like to think I could handle the guy myself, but I know it might have proven difficult.

I didn’t want to get into a shouting match with the guy. It was tempting, but I was already tired and wiped out from my errand.


Not much for now… but I’ll keep everyone in the loop as to when and how badly the shit hits the fan.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, family, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

7/31: Random Snafus, Monday Part Deux

[write something witty here]

*thud*

Today has thoroughly drained my ass… I had a chore this morning (and one this evening), and then got accused of theft*, then had a task which went sideways**, then therapy, then meeting my caseworker… I just finished fixing and eating dinner… and at 8, the other chore round.

* I’m one of those weirdos out here who has never stolen anything, not even a penny from a till I was in charge of. Never shoplifted, nothing. So when one of the other residents accused me of stealing a 3rd person’s bottle of bleach from the laundry room, I was a bit upset and confused. Granted, not like the women here KNOW I’ve never stolen anything, but still it was strange. Besides, I have my own damn bleach. It just pissed me off that someone would make an assumption and accuse me.

** I had two tall cabinets to assemble and put in place in a little nook in a kitchen. Which ended up being 1/8 of an inch too narrow. AN EIGHTH OF A FUCKING INCH!!! Yeah, it sucked. Left it half done because she wanted to talk it over with her husband.

So, that’s my day in a large nutshell.

Living in a shelter requires some trust, but it has to be earned. Very few here have earned it, and many have lost any chance of earning it by repeated backstabbing and lies.

One of those lies has been thoroughly debunked. One of my ice packs was stolen out of the bag in the freezer. The person who was with me when I found out said one of the RA’s took it and gave to my friend who is outside. Her time was up here and she had to leave. I asked the friend and she showed me her cooler. Nope. Not in there. I knew the story was fishy. She couldn’t tell me WHICH RA took it. A week goes by and I find it in a shelf above the bag… further proof she was lying. So, someone “borrowed” it and finally returned it.

I’ve had other things stolen, mostly food. And then the accusation this morning. What is so frustrating about it is that they know how I feel about theft. If you own it and make reparations, fine. But just not acknowledging that you have sticky fingers? Nope.


I’ve applied for more work… hopefully something bubbles up to the surface soon. My time here at the shelter is tentative. I talked with the building manager today and we’re going to take it week by week. There is no other shelter in this system that has this setup.

I’m looking at apartments, even those in market rate buildings. Not cheap, but I need to keep looking for places. I’d MUCH prefer to have my own apartment all to myself, but living in an off-campus student building with roommates would be okay.

There may be a poem coming later…

As usual, I desperately need the help saving storage. It’s likely scheduled for auction in August and I’ll definitely need the full amount this time. No partial allowed. More on that tomorrow.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/30: Looks Can Be Deceiving… & #crowdfunding

Yup, still asking for help. Anything anyone can do: retweet, share, you name it. [Need about 900 for storage, maybe a bit more, plus 150 for the vet bill.]


Looks….

I had a doctor’s appt this morning to look into the painful bump I’ve had on my finger for nearly three weeks. With Medicaid, I get Ride2Care, which contracts with a local cab company. Due to what I’m about to say, I’ll refrain from naming the company, but their name starts with a B.

To get my return ride wildness out of the way, man, that dude had me gripping the seat. But this post is more about the driver I had to get me to my appt. He took me by way of Naito Parkway, which took us through Old Town at 8:15am, when the homeless are leaving overnight shelters and packing up their tents and such.

This is when the driver started his rant about seemingly able-bodied homeless people. He called them lazy for not working. I wasn’t awake enough to debate too much with him. If he’d stopped with a few statements about it, I wouldn’t have minded so much, but he kept going.

I brought up that they need an address to fill out job applications, and pass a background check and other things. He didn’t really hear me. His only response to that was that “they can ask a friend or family member to help.”

This is an assumption many housed people make: that homeless people have family and people they can turn to readily. But far too many have either burned those bridges or there are other circumstances, such as family is estranged or dead. There may be cases of severe mental illness, which you can’t always tell from a distance. They may look healthy, but there may be other things going on under the surface.

He made a lot of assumptions in a series of blanket statements about homeless people.

And no, I didn’t tell him I’m homeless and the place he picked me up from is a women’s shelter.

I can imagine what he might have said if I did, though.

“You don’t look homeless.”

“But you are all cleaned up.”

“You don’t look like a drug addict.”

The vast majority of homeless out here are not drug addicts. We are regular every day people who, due to circumstances sometimes out of our control, are no longer housed. Some are able to get into shelters. Some prefer to be on the street, for a multitude of reasons.

Then he brought up TPI and the main shelter, which is for men.

“Some people say they will not stay there because it is like a prison.”

The only reason I can imagine someone saying that about a TPI shelter is if they’re addicts or alcoholics and the TPI buildings are, in general, dry shelters, meaning no alcohol or drugs consumed while you stay there. Are there rules to staying here? Yes. You have groups to attend and chores to do, and you have to keep your space clean. Meet with your caseworker.

But it certainly isn’t a prison.

Where I am feels more like an insane asylum. The only differences are that we manage our own meds and we can come and go more or less as we please.

My hope is that as I get closer to being back on my feet, I can help become an advocate for homeless as well the other things in my life.  There are so many misconceptions and assumptions about homeless people, I hope I can help dispel some of them one day.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, food cravings, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/29: Sunday Fluffery & #crowdfunding

You know the drill by now: Yes, still desperately need help getting storage caught up. Nearly everything I own is in there, save for a few bins in another unit I need to vacate before end of business Tuesday. Need a vehicle/person and a place to stash them.

I’m still shut out of my data, so no FB until I get my phone back on, which will hopefully be in the next few days. I need it for two reasons: my sanity and my current quasi-employment through TR.

Had a task today where I was breaking down moving boxes en masse at a house near where I had a task earlier last week. The only bad part: all the boxes were outside in the front and back yards. In the heat. The task will net me a whopping $22.50. My furniture assembly tasks are where my rates are higher.


Food: I may attempt the shortbread again… or wait and get some baking power and make sugar cookies. I probably should check the general use cupboard. I tend to avoid that one as Bast Only Knows what’s in there. I doubt there’s baking powder in there. Considering the average shelter resident here considers top ramen cooking…


Shelter Life: This morning, I couldn’t find the black shorts I picked up for doing tasks. My mind immediately went to “If they were stolen, someone will fucking pay” … when I did find them, I realized how quickly I went to theft being the reason I couldn’t find them. This seems sad to me that this is the mindset we go to here. I’m not the only one, mind you. The other cat lady here did the same a couple nights ago.

Things do go missing. Food is a big one. And other things have gone missing as well. Theft is all too common in homeless shelters. This is why I keep my door locked at all times and usually closed. Right now, the fan is on with the door open to get some cooler air circulating. But I’m IN my room, which is fine. I will, on occasion, go to the bathroom (next door) or a quick hobble out to the kitchen to grab something and leave it propped open, usually only if one of the others who lives down at this end of the hall has their door open and can hear for anything suspicious.

I have computers and other things I consider valuable in here. They aren’t much, but they’re something to me.

Well, I’ll post more later…

~A

Posted in crowdfunding, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, storage, urgent

7/28: Dear FB… and #crowdfunding

FACEBOOK FRIENDS!!!!

As I am currently stuck without a way to get on FB from inside the shelter… this is my only way to connect. The GFM won’t crosspost without being able to connect to it. So, please share posts and if anyone can help me get stuff out of the secondary unit that I moved into earlier this month, I’d appreciate the help.


I don’t know how long I’ll be at this shelter. I may get another extension, I may not.

I can’t think of anything else at the moment… maybe later.

~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, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, homeless, homelessness, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

7/27: time? I’ve got nothing but- no, I don’t. #crowdfunding

That title is partly a line from my favorite movie. Up to the dash.

[PLEASE SHARE ME!]

But I am running out of time for storage. I want to get it caught up before August as the amount owed will go up to roughly 1300 again. I haven’t had enough sizable gigs this month to get me close. And my phone with data has been shut off. I can’t regularly access FB here at the shelter because they have a block on it.

I’ll post other stuff later.

The GFM may not help in time. So back to the PayPal option. I only put the GFM up so people might feel better about donating. I don’t know anymore. It doesn’t seem to help.

So, I ask for help. I really want to get it fully caught up so I can go in and organize and declutter and keep it accessible. Once it’s caught up, I should be able to keep it caught up. Pretty much my whole life is in that unit.

Even if you can’t donate, please share/retweet/etc.

~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