Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, emergency, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Stun Gun vs Taser (& #crowdfunding)

Post 3 of ? today.

SHARE THIS!! PLEASE?
PayPal is the easiest and fastest way.
Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


So, I don’t hide much of anything in my life. While I’m not big on guns themselves, I felt I needed something while out and about on transit due to my PTSD and my close calls with bad reactions to men being assholes.

I bought a stun gun.

Then, of course, I moved into the shelter where I can’t have any weapons in my room. It gets checked in when I come in and checked out when I go out. If I stop at the desk and ask for it.

Then I hear “she wants her taser” which isn’t quite accurate. A stun gun and a taser are very different. Yes, they both emit an electrical charge, but in a different way. Tasers are what you find police carrying. Those can be placed against the person’s body OR shoot the prongs on wires and transmit the charge that way, from a distance.

A stun gun can’t shoot the prongs. It is only a close-body weapon. If some jackass decides to harass me and gets up close, even after me telling him to leave me alone, he has to be close enough for me to reach out with it and press the button.

Mine has a safety measure. I don’t know if they all have this. Mine is also a flashlight and the toggle switch has three settings: off, flashlight, stun. So, to stun someone, I have to push that toggle all the way forward and then press the small button on the opposite side of the handle from the toggle. Only then does it stun someone.

Does it hurt? I would imagine so, but I’m not gonna try it on myself.

I know, saying ‘taser’ is so much easier, but it isn’t accurate.

This is all I can afford before I can get a service dog. I’d prefer the dog, honestly, but for now, the stun gun will have to do. And maybe an extendable baton at some point…. and… yeah, I think those are all that will be legal for me to carry.

 

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Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, domestic abuse, emergency, eviction, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Stigma of Homelessness & #crowdfunding

2 of ? blogs for today.

SHARE THIS!! PLEASE?
PayPal is the easiest and fastest way.
Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


If you were to look at me on the street or train or bus, you would never grasp that I’m one of thousands of homeless people here in the United States. Many are working poor, many have mental illnesses of varying types and degrees, some are certainly addicts.

And there are those like me who hit a very bad run of luck and haven’t been able to bounce back easily.

I was evicted from my apartment a bit over a year ago. Since then, I’ve stayed with friends, but needed to get into a different setting that was more helpful. So here I am in a women’s transitional housing shelter with my cat.

Okay, so I do kind of fall under the mental illness category too, with my PTSD and depression. But those inhibit my ability to function like everyone else, not take it away completely like some other illnesses.

But I’m clean cut, take regular showers and do my laundry, take care of myself and my cat, and otherwise function, so I’m not as obvious as others might be.

Anyone reading this could become homeless like me. It takes losing a job or hours cut back and no savings or 401k to help float you for a while. It takes losing key members of your support system. One misstep in this society and you can very easily become one of us.

It reminds me of a homeless woman I knew back in Chicago. She was awesome. Well educated, wildly intelligent. I think she had been a professor or something. We could stand outside the mini-mart and chat about politics, philosophy, religion, world views and culture for hours.

And yet, she was homeless.

I never asked about what happened, but I suspect it was similar to my own. Things going okay and then one day, BOOM! everything is turned upside down. Maybe escaping an abusive situation. Maybe a messy divorce. Maybe lost a job.

There are thousands of us out there. In this situation. We don’t appear stereotypically homeless. But we are.

And if our economy keeps going the way it is under a certain “president,” there will be more.

But here’s the thing: we aren’t all freaks and addicts and thieves. Many of us are clean, friendly people who just need a little help getting back up on our feet. I don’t panhandle, at least out on the street. I just ask for help online. I’ve gotten to the point over the years where I’m not comfortable talking to people in person. I certainly can’t beg face to face.

Since I don’t look homeless, I’m able to overhear conversations on the train between people who look down on the homeless person who is asking for help, or is on the train and sleeping because they couldn’t get sleep the night before. Maybe they smell because they were one who fell between the cracks of even the homeless society and can’t get help. Maybe he’s a vet the VA has long forgotten about.

Do you take the time to learn their stories? There were two women here in my building who are homeless vets themselves. Has the VA helped much? A little here and there, but not enough.

What about the family living in a tent under that overpass? Where is the help for them? There are few places here that help whole families. The shelters we do have here in Portland are for men or women, sometimes with pets, few places for families with kids. And usually those are for mothers with their kids, not whole families.

And some, like me, have belongings they’re trying to save. It kills me that I may lose my dad’s coffin flag and the “parting gift” of the piano I was able to get with estate money because he so badly wanted to see me get back into my music. My costumes, music, books. Things I’ve made or have been made for me.

Housing prices are out of control. We have to try finding work where we are, as we can’t afford to move. And even if we do find work, it isn’t always enough to afford a place to live.

While far too many are dismissive of us, look down on us, I ask that you remember one thing: We are human, and you aren’t too far removed from where we are in life.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Being Social & #crowdfunding

SHARE THIS!! PLEASE?

PayPal is the easiest and fastest way.
Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.

I’m going to set up some shorter posts and schedule them for the next few hours.


I am an introvert with extroverted tendencies. I love storytelling, but only when I’m in the mood or it seems like I have an audience. Even if it’s only an audience of one. But being social is an occasional thing. I can’t handle crowds, especially being in the middle of them.

Some of this is from my PTSD, but social anxiety plays a role as well. I feel too boxed in, especially if people are taller than me (which is most people).

I can no longer go to business/job networking gatherings. The last one I attended was in a small crowded bar downtown and it was so packed and noisy, I couldn’t even hear myself think, let alone talk. I ended up leaving after less than an hour because of the crowding. I also was treated poorly by some. Looked down upon.

Here in the shelter, we can’t have anything but water and our pet’s food in our rooms. This forces us to be social as we have to be in the community room to eat and drink anything else. The wifi is the strongest out here (this is where I am right now, as I wanted to finish off my ice cream). It’s taken me an hour to write this because of my ADD kicking in and being distracted. Being in a social setting when you need to focus on things is a pain in the ass.

So, that’s it for this one… I know I could write more, and maybe I’ll come back to it when I’m not in Squirrel Mode.

~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 anxiety, cats, community, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, friends, homeless, housing, life, storage, urgent

3/22/18: mornings… (and #crowdfunding)

Really not a morning person, but once I get settled in and get sleep regularly, I should be able to adjust.

#crowdfunding! Still need all the desperate help I can get. My fellow cat person here will be paying me to watch her cat for a few days, but that won’t be until the 1st of the month. And I want to get storage caught up before then as another 305 will get tacked on then. It’s already high, so I really don’t want to add to that.

For those who may not know, I’m homeless and the storage isn’t just a handful of things. It’s almost everything I own, including family stuff and costumes and such. It’s my life in that storage unit. All crammed into an 8×20 unit (I have lots of stuff).

I don’t like asking, but income has been extremely slow since the first of the year.

I’ll be out and about again today but will check back in when I can. Our WiFi here is iffy and my hotspot is suspended until I can get that also paid off.

Each day is a bit different. Learning new shit as I go.

~A

Posted in animal welfare, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, emergency, homeless, housing, life, medical, Personal, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/21/18: #crowdfunding, cats, and …

#crowdfunding is still desperately needed. Any help possible, even if only sharing and encouraging others to help/share.


Had a long day today. Without much of a warning, I have now learned that they get everyone to wake up at 7am. Mind you, I’ve been living with retirees for a year. Get up early? NAAAAHHHH!!!

We also have inspection tomorrow morning. And my heater is fixed, so now I have heat in here. I may rearrange the room in some way as to keep the bed away from the window (heater is forced air and right under the window; 12″ clearance for fire code), but still figure out a way to give Portia a mid point step to get up to the window. It isn’t that high, but the ledge is shallow… and for a 14 pound cat? Yeah… need steps of some sort. I may just put the chair near it, even though it’s not much shorter than the windowsill.

We went up to PAWS today and got registered and qualified. They have supplies such as food and litter and toys and such that are donated each week. Then I headed to my first Physical Therapy session for my back. The assessment.

Portia is adjusting to the space and the noise. Some of the dogs are cool and some not so much. There’s one 2 year old pup who is the sweetest thing. Well mannered and sweet. And Portia seems to be okay observing her from behind her gate. When she get to where she approaches the gate with the dog there, I know she’s acclimating to being around dogs. Not yet.

Another short and rambly post… tired and need to figure out my internet situation. The wi-fi here is pretty shitty and I’m blocked on the computer from one site, if not more. My hotspot I got last fall is suspended because I haven’t had the money to pay it either. I need a few small-ish miracles here. Anyone know of some, send them my way. Portia and I could use ’em.

~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, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/19/18: #crowdfunding, packing, and shameless begging

The main reason I do need the help with saving storage this time around is because my income the last few months has been really low. I’m hoping it picks up now that IKEA has acquired Taskrabbit, which is the company I work through to get clients. I do also still need to get a steady job.


I also finally got my heading scheduled for disability. In June. We shall see how this goes.

I’m also packing stuff up tonight to move to the shelter.

My window overlooks the courtyard, so nice and quiet as far as I can tell. The room isn’t huge, but still clean and quiet.

I wish society didn’t pass homeless people and the issue by. Ignoring us won’t make us disappear. It just makes the problem worse. We are the invisible.

My mind is all over the place right now, so this post is reflective of that.


Any help, sharing this post or donating… or both…. both is a good option if you can.

~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

Posted in chronic pain, crowdfunding, emergency, food cravings, health, homeless, housing, life, medical, poverty line, storage, urgent

3/18/18: R2: #crowdfunding and …

Yup, another one for the night. There may also be a poem later… depending on how long it takes for me to fall asleep.

Yes, #crowdfunding. You can use the PP link in the sidebar. If you’re on mobile, you can scroll to the bottom of a page and it should have the sidebar links there. I also have an FB fundraiser for this. My income via Taskrabbit has been super slow since the first of the year, hence this need. I haven’t been able to pay storage rent.

I’m gonna get really annoying after a while. Especially when my brain can’t come up with decent post subjects.


I have many things I’m very open about and one of them (at least over on FB) is having Celiac’s. This, despite many assumptions, is not an allergy to wheat/gluten, but a delayed reaction in the body. Basically, the body doesn’t like it much and trying to eat it causes the little villi in the small intestines to not work well and thus, can’t absorb nutrients like they should. You WANT them to work. They like to absorb things like magnesium and iron and all the minerals and vitamins that help your body work like it should. But instead, your body ends up craving these things more because the villi can’t work like they need to. This can cause a lot of issues. Muscles don’t like starving and they need those things to work well.

Anyway… along with Celiac’s, other things like an intolerance/sensitivity to things like soy can happen. I knew about this a few years ago, which is why I switched back from soy milk to lactose-free regular milk. Well, that soy thing is getting worse. I discovered (the hard way… and you really don’t want to know the TMI of the hard way) that soy is in a LOT of gluten free things… and other things I enjoy. Once I stop using it and be more conscious of what’s in the food I’m buying, I can gradually bring some back in, but in very small amounts. There may be others as well. I know I have issues digesting corn in some formats. But that hasn’t caused pain and other (TMI) issues.

I bring this up because I know we tend to focus so much on wheat and gluten and forget that other things might also be affecting us.


With moving into a shelter/transitional housing soon, I have to pick what comes with me. I don’t get to bring much. Hence why I need to get storage back on track… I have things that need to go into storage.

I need to also get back to my writing… not just random poetry on here, but my fiction. I have so many things to do or get done, but I know I can’t do it all. Right now, I need to focus on getting into the shelter and saving storage.

I’m getting the stink-eye from Portia… I guess it’s time to wind things down.

~A