Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, depression, disability, eviction, faith, friends, gender, health, history, individuality, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/16: Wake Up Tomorrow #metoo

TW/CW: Talk of suicide, sexual assault, C-PTSD, etc…

I’ve talked about all of these things in spades over the lifespan of this blog. With the #metoo tag flying around on FB and Twitter the last two days, I felt like expanding on mine.

Now, I have (at some point) ticked off all the times I was sexually assaulted.

  • At 17, by a 22 y.o. acquaintance.
  • At 19, by a blind date. Tried to force me to perform oral on him, pushing my head down. I broke free and threatened to call the police.
  • At 19, by a guy I met at a Twelfth Night event… friends invited him to our Rocky Horror outing later that evening. While he had been in costume, he was mostly a gentleman (save for trying to un-lace my bodice in public)
  • At 21/22. After 6 weeks in an increasingly abusive relationship, I started to pull away from him, which he noticed. He spent the next 2 and a half months raping and assaulting me (using various areas of my body to ‘get his rocks off’) all against my will. I cried, I begged, I said no every damn time, but even making me bleed repeatedly didn’t matter to him. This happened 2-3 times a week… on a good week.

Those are the major, or most distinctive, events. Getting catcalled, being told by some older guy in Chicago (as we passed each other in the crosswalk) that “damn, you got some bigguns!” … no matter what I’m wearing, what my body language is saying (usually “don’t fucking get near me, asshole”), what I’m doing, I’ve had hands brush against my butt, breasts, etc… hands that should stay up near my shoulders wandering down… at a club one night (partly why I fucking HATE clubs) getting dragged out onto the dance floor and made to dance with some stranger, who kept putting his hand on my thigh and slipping it up to my hip under my skirt (which wasn’t that fucking long to begin with). I was 18, I think. It was an “Under 21” club.

Do I need to go on? I think I’ve made my point.

This shit happens every damn day to women of all skin colors, sexualities, cis or trans… you name it. Fuck, I got catcalled just a month or so ago… wearing all baggy grungy clothes heading to the MAX stop (I think I was going to an appt or something). Me with my mohawk and baggy clothes and beat up sneakers and a cane… getting catcalled.


I’ve also, as I think I’ve said in previous posts, had many phases or short contemplations of suicide. High school, a period in my 30’s when my asshole doctor decided to put me on Prozac, which made me want to slit my fucking wrists so badly, it outdid the suicidal ideations of my high school years. That shit fucked me up so badly.

In the past couple of years, I’ve had shorter bursts of contemplating it. Usually when I’ve been in full panic mode over possible eviction as well as earlier this year with the eviction itself. I lost count how many times I sat on my bed or my couch … or in the bathtub … thinking of why the fuck I should keep living? Then I got either of the girls, Portia or JoJo when she was still alive, just coming up to me and purring and either nudging me or tapping my arm or leg with a paw.


Life isn’t easy. I’m dealing with C-PTSD, my asshole ex cyberstalking me like I’m his damn “internet chew toy” … being homeless in a tentative situation that needs to come to an end, but my means to get back into my own place again are virtually non-existent. Trying to finish grad school, find decent work, organize my stuff in storage, handle medical and dental appts, go on tasks to make some income, and remember to take my meds and eat decently. Some of those, especially the later things I listed, are basic, normal-ish things I can handle… working all the big stuff around them is the hardest part. With chronic fatigue and pain, getting up at a decent hour that isn’t close to noon, but earlier in the day, is not always easy to do.


So, you may wonder what the subject heading of this post means… here’s my lesson and philosophy behind it:

Look back up at all the shit I’ve been through. Add verbal and emotional abuse by some family, used and abused by people I thought were friends, etc… I’ve dealt with a lot.

Wake Up Tomorrow

I adopted this years ago during a bad run… I think it was later in high school. Say you had one of THE shittiest days you can remember in recent months. Everything went wrong and in some seemingly catastrophic way, or at least that’s how it feels. You may already be battling a period of depression or severe pain. You contemplate ending things. You’re absolutely SURE tomorrow is going to also suck and you can’t imagine things getting better any time soon.

So you think about it.

But you can’t guarantee tomorrow will suck. Shit, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that. Maybe it’ll suck, maybe it’ll be awesome, but you won’t know unless you wake up tomorrow. And the days following it. You can’t know for sure that it’ll be horrendously awful. Unless you wake up tomorrow. Go to sleep, get some rest, cry if you need to (man, I’m surprised the tear stains aren’t permanent on my face by now), and wake up tomorrow. Sounds simple, I know. Take each and every day as it comes.

Will that work for everyone dealing with shit? No. I know it works for me. I’ve had friends and a few strangers, in the past 24 hours or so, call me brave. I’ve done therapy off and on since I was 16. I understand so much about my past, but I don’t really know how I’m getting through it… except for one thing:

I wake up every day.

I’ve had close calls, due to medical stuff, not attempts on my part, and they’ve taught me this: Not everyone gets the chance to wake up the next day. No one knows when they’re going to die. The fact that, despite pain and all kinds of other things, I wake up every day and am able to feed my floofy monster kitty, that my heart is still pumping blood, my lungs are still taking in oxygen, my legs work… mostly. I have those days when my legs/back/feet/hips/knees/etc just rebel and go, “nope!! what was that about going somewhere today? yeah… not happening, bitch.”

Life isn’t easy. But I figure that as long as I keep waking up every day, I have a fighting chance to make things better. Never know unless you wake up.

~A

Advertisements
Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, domestic abuse, empath life, health, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/12: Social Anxiety and C-PTSD

I’m gonna try putting this into actual words rather than just swirling around in my head. Hopefully, it’ll make sense.


Despite medications and such, I feel disconnected. Maybe it’s partly because of being jobless and homeless, but I don’t feel like I’m part of anything. Despite (slowly) working on finishing school and trying to find work and having lots of friends… I just don’t feel it.

My social anxiety is ramping up even worse, probably because the C-PTSD is so not helping matters. I want to have my own place and just stay there. Not go anywhere unless I really have to.

The C-PTSD is from recurring sexual assault during a relationship over 20 years ago. I thought I’d moved past that part of it with therapy and could handle things again, but since a massive trigger nearly a year ago, I now know otherwise.

[This section came from an f-locked post on FB… with edits.]
**This person don’t know what happened. What he triggered. I know, in some way, I should explain it to him, but I can’t. Mind you, he did nothing inherently wrong
. I do NOT blame him. I have believed I had my shit regarding the sexual assaults from 24 years ago handled. Bast knows I’ve had tons of therapy dealing with it. But one touch -as friends- that wasn’t even super-intimate set me down a path I’m still fighting with today. It was something that reminded me of what my ex used to do. There was no ill intention on this friend’s part. 
And I’m not getting any better. Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m crying, trying not to go into a full panic attack.

When you see what I’ve been through since last November, it makes sense that I feel my life is spiraling out of control, no matter how much I may seem -on any given day- to be doing better. It isn’t just the C-PTSD… it’s anxiety, it’s stress, it’s not knowing when shit will get better.**

More and more, I’m hesitant about going out, being on public transit. While many are hesitant about it for reasons such as the potential of being attacked, my reasons are different.

  • strong perfume/cologne/body spray causes headaches
  • loud noises/talking makes me cringe
  • and lastly: I can’t handle sitting next to someone and us ending up touching (usually hips or such)… especially if they’re male.

I’ve had so many moments in recent months while out on transit where I feel the urge to lash out at people. I want to snap at the person sitting next to me to MOVE… or the person talking too loudly to STFU. I have no interest in violence, but

Since last year, I now ask male friends and other men I come across, to ask for permission to hug me. Even women, although I’m better with them. No surprise that the ex in question is male.

I don’t know how to deal with all of this. I figured after 24 years and tons of therapy, I’d be better, but I can’t help pulling away from people in the physical realm (as opposed to online) because of what I’m dealing with.


One of the hardest things about this is that I need work. Which means being on transit, being in an office setting around others, having to negotiate physical space while trying to sort out this anxiety and C-PTSD.

I had a job yesterday assembling some cabinets… was supposed to continue, but my back and other joints decided against it. There really is no amount of pain medication that can help. Trust me on this. I can do physical jobs here and there, but not hours on end. And my body still pays for even those small tasks.


I wish I knew how to fix this part of me. Still fighting an anxiety attack… but calming down a bit… the C-PTSD and related things severely affect all the other things in my life. I hate it.

I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, chronic pain, creativity, depression, disability, health, job hunting, life, Personal

10/10: Blargh

So, I know I’ve been fairly quiet. There are multiple reasons for it, and some I can’t/won’t discuss publicly. Seattle and GeekGirlCon wiped me out emotionally and physically. My back is still swearing at me for doing too much. Other stressors haven’t helped. I swore I’d catch up on school and I’ve fallen behind on catching up… which isn’t good.

My energy levels tanked since Seattle and I have a day or part of a day here and there where I have some energy, but then it vanishes about as fast as it appeared. I drink coffee and such even though I’m technically not supposed to have caffeine (issues with borderline hyperthyroid when I have too much, so I can’t drink much of it… and it doesn’t have as much of the effect on my as it does with most people).

The things I need to work on (in no particular order):

  • School
  • Job hunting
  • trip to Wallyworld for some items much needed for ASAP things
  • art stuff (commission and Inktober, which is more for fun, but a nice way to get me drawing more)
  • cleaning
  • and many other things…..

So many things to do and not nearly enough energy to do them. I have a Task today in a bit, and almost had another for later this week, but that fell through. I need all the income I can get, so that one was kind of important. Oh well.

I’m still here… still kicking… just facing a lot of stuff and not enough energy to tackle it all.

~A

Posted in C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, empath life, eviction, food cravings, friends, grad school, health, history, homeless, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, research, silliness, storage

9/21: Like I Really Need to Write More on Here Today… SQUIRREL!!! (shit)

*sigh* It feels strange to NOT be begging for help after the last several days. I would say the last week-ish has been madness for me. I went from “great! I’m gonna get back to school and finish my degree!” to Cluster(fuck) Headache for 6 days, then that resolved, then “oh shit, storage!!! help!”

No wonder I’m freaking exhausted right now. I think most people would just curl up into a ball after the past 8 days. Actually, I kinda want to do that. I also want Thai food… and Hot & Sour Soup. I LOVE me some really good H&S soup. It better be a bowl of incredible goodness that can clear the magma chambers of Mt St. Helens… nice and hot. Dammit.

I had nothing left… well, not enough to order food via Postmates. Also, they’re being assholes with my debit card… sooo…. yeah. I ended up with Annie’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese… microwave M&C… it’s decent… but it isn’t Pad Thai and H&S soup.

In case anyone who reads this blog hasn’t noticed, 2017 has really, REALLY SUCKED for me. And I’m not even bringing political fuckery into that picture.

Oh… yeah… when I’m tired, I get all rambly… like now.

Someone sent me a message request on FB… asking if there was a way for me to split my stuff up and have friends store it. I still haven’t accepted his message (I will, really) and replied, but this is my answer in case anyone else was wondering the same thing: No one I know has the room. Two friends (well, married pairs of friends, so four friends, technically)

Oh look… SQUIRREL!!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah… friends of mine are holding a few bins of fabric from when I had tried to downsize a previous storage unit and hauled them back to my apartment… and then the management said “no… you can’t have all those in your apartment… it’s a fire hazard” … welp… fuck. I need to get those bins back from said friends (one pair has asked when that would be possible… ummm.. when I can make enough room in storage?).

One must understand geeks/creatives like me. We have “stuff” … a lot of “stuff.” Some of the “stuff” in storage can be (and will be… once I can reach it) downsized, trashed, etc. Some will get sold off… I really don’t need three sets of speakers. One set… one is good. I have a buyer for one pair… some furniture will be broken down and trashed… I kinda beat them up a bit during the eviction. Sadly.  That really was a nice sideboard… it would just need a lot of shoring up with metal bits to hold it together (which I could realistically do… not sure yet)

(don’t mind me… my brain is bouncing around between ‘things’ as I type… this is kinda ‘stream of consciousness’ blogging when I’m like this)

I don’t have the physical energy (yay for chronic pain/fatigue… NOT!!!) to tackle my storage unit alone. I get a few feet in and I need to sit my ass down and rest. I am not joking.

This has been a wild week. Still need to play catch up with school stuff (thinking of taking my Chromebook, Kindle, and iPod with me tomorrow and alternate between school things and working on storage… I’d be offline, as it’s one huge steel and concrete building… signal? What signal? Psshhh).

One of the many things I am grateful for with this week is an answer to the issue of my headaches. The fact that it responded well to oxygen therapy is HUGE for me. I’ve been on birth control to help manage hormones, as they were presenting after every other month’s cycle. We chalked it up to wonky hormones and have been managing them that way. But even if hormones are affecting them, the headaches are something else. I looked up “one sided headaches” and cluster headaches were the clearest answer. While migraines and tension headaches can present on one side, they tend to be present on either side, and mine have always been on the right. Cluster headaches are always one sided and most commonly on the right. No one really knows what causes them. I looked at a few medical sites. But oxygen therapy helps them. Seriously, it fucking WORKED. 15 minutes breathing pure oxygen made the vast majority of the pain go away (I also have TMJ pain, so that wasn’t helping either).

Medical stuff is one of the “big uglies” that has impeded my life. If I even tried to list the shit I’ve been through that has sidelined me for some length of time… I know I’d forget something. Big things, little things… everything from Cellulitis to breaking a toe… This year, it was the eviction, which exacerbated my back injury, knee injuries, drove me deeper into depression, sidelined schooling and job hunting to some degree… I’m not fully out of the woods, but feeling better. It’s been a shit year, but I’m slowly climbing back out of the abyss.

With a little help from my friends (and a few strangers online).

When I got back from my errands today (which ended with an eye exam and ordering new glasses… I’m getting old… new pairs will be bifocals… and Voc Rehab is covering them as they are something needed for working), the number of page hits for this little personal blog were higher than I’d ever had since I started blogging. I’ve had different sites/blogs over the years. This is my personal one. I have another one I’m working on starting, but it’ll take me a bit. It’ll be about archives and history. That’s what my grad degree is in. But other than linking to it from here, I want to keep them separate. Last thing I need is potential fellow archives folks (and potential bosses/coworkers) seeing all my personal ramblings…. yeeaaahhhh, no. It was around 172 at the time. Now? 188.

I think I’ve gotten most of the rambling out of my system. That’ll be all for the night… I think.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, cats, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/20: Laugh While You Can… At What You Can #crowdfunding still

I’ve learned one thing: Find something to laugh about, even during the darkest times.

So, in my last post, I mentioned Portia was sitting next to me… shortly after that went up, I made the mistake of shifting my body and thus my jar of grape flavored water (that was sitting solidly on my pillow, mind you, no jiggling) tipped and spilled all 24 ounces of water onto my narrow bed, going all the way to the mattress. Yup, I’m one of THOSE people… the ones who just can’t seem to get shit going right.

I guess I needed to flip the poor mattress anyway. Everything else went into the basement for laundry. Tonight. I have nothing else to sleep on or under. And this room gets a smidge chilly in the ev- well anytime really… but worse at night. There’s a reason I’m wearing layers of warm clothes even during a heatwave… this room is cold.

Yes, I’m frustrated with myself for it. I spaced on the fact that the water was still there. But I’m also laughing at myself over it. I have to. It’s a survival mechanism. I taught it to my dad while we were dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s… and I use it to deal with the super-shitty year I’ve had. Being homeless sucks… no matter how your situation is, whether you have friends to stay with like me, or you have a tent or are in a long term shelter… it sucks. The tension, feeling of not knowing how or when you’re going to finally land on your feet… it’s hell. And when you have a dependent, whether it’s a child or a pet, it gets even harder.

I hold onto the things of my life, my past, and my hopeful future… much of which is in storage. It’s all I have left. Hence why I’m trying to save it.

~A

Posted in anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, poetry, semicolon, storage, urgent, writing

9/8: Stand Still

(#crowdfunding as usual. I wasn’t intending to post a poem, but the words and the image in my mind wouldn’t go away. This is how I feel right now. Unedited. Unsure.)

Brace myself.
The wind may come
Unexpectedly.
Knocking me down.
Frozen.
Stuck.
I cannot turn around.
Things to do but nothing
Propels me
Forward.
One path blocked.
I look down another seemingly
Open path.
So many hurdles
Hidden.
The fog keeps them a secret.
Another path.
Alas, too steep to climb.
Another washed out.
Where do I go?
I stand still.
Unsure of my path.
At a
Standstill.

~A

Posted in bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, history, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, music, Personal, research, storage, urgent, writing

9/6: No Soul-Sucking Allowed, Dammit (but #crowdfunding is)

I started this on Facebook, but opted to bring it over here. And yes, still #crowdfunding to get funds to save storage. 

This is only slightly tongue-in-cheek. Slightly.

My ideal work environment: not dealing with random humans. The occasional co-worker might be okay. I’m currently feeling a smidge Dragonish (i.e. anti-social), so occasional contact is okay.

And no cubicle farms. No/few phones. Email is preferred. I don’t stumble over my words as much. Also my foot doesn’t end up in my mouth as much. 

And not soul-sucking work. I’d like to keep my soul intact for a few more years. At least until I turn 50. Five more years is all I ask.

Let me enter data, do creative-ish things like websites or social media, have a variety of tasks/projects. Research. Gimme things to research. I lurv research. Just not medical, as they want bio degrees. I don’t have one of those. Research and write things. 

Pays well enough for me to move into a market rate studio close-in and cram the rest of my stuff into a smaller storage unit again. Also be able to pay for storage, utilities, Netflix and Hulu again, and eat without needing food stamps. Oh, and put money into savings and pay off a few bills.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Yeah… that shit would take a fucking miracle. I’m screwed.

~Dragon 

(Below is what I need to not lose my storage. Before the 15th)

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, urgent

9/5: Burning Down & #crowdfunding

*insert obligatory #crowdfunding plea here.

Here in Portland, we’re getting ashfall from the Eagle Creek fire. This one, unlike most others (that I know of. I haven’t heard much on causes of the other wildfires along the western states), was caused by a pair of foolish teens setting off illegal firecrackers and throwing them off the trail into a wooded area below. They also filmed it and were seen by several hikers. Their foolishness has caused a massive wildfire that has consumed many popular trails and areas around our beloved waterfalls out in the Columbia Gorge. Earlier today, it jumped the Columbia River and is also burning southern Washington State. Despite warnings galore about no open fires and no smoking, etc, these kids parents let them bring firecrackers on a trip. Their identities are known to authorities… so hopefully charges will be brought once the fire is under control.

The smoke and ash from Eagle Creek is affecting the greater Portland area as it’s just east of us. Those of us with asthma and other breathing issues are in misery because of it. When I went out today for an appointment, I took a piece of some rayon fabric and covered my nose and mouth. Not perfect, but manageable.

Another day and still no word from my school about my appeal. It’s too late at this point to get into classes this term. Between that and the job hunt frustration, it’s a wonder I haven’t gone over the edge. I’m not sure how I’ve stayed this side of sane and somewhat mentally stable (not counting depression, think more along the lines of suicidal ideation territory).

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. Not in that sense at least.

For now, I’ll stop babbling… I have other things to get done this evening. Hopefully things will get back to “normal” shortly. Expect a lot of posts… muaahaaahaahaa!!!

~A


*Now that we’re into September, an auction date is set and I need to now gather up roughly $1100 or so before the 15th. The YouCaring campaign takes a few business days to get from the campaign to my bank account, so after the 11th or so, it’s useless. The PayPal donate link is immediate and I can access the funds via ATM or direct payment as I have a card.

Posted in activism, anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, friends, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, politics, storage, urgent

9/4: Labor Day Musings

Still not online much. I noticed that 1gb of data really doesn’t go far for someone like me (Writing this offline). Still need help with storage. Time is ticking away. Every share can help. Different times of the day, etc. Donations are more helpful, but I know not everyone can. Encourage your friends to share as well. 

I’ve never figured out how to “market” myself well. Sometimes I say too much, other times too little. I look at my YouCaring campaign and wonder what I’m doing wrong. If anyone can look at it and give me tips, leave a message for me.

So, school is out of the question for this term. I didn’t get any word on the appeal in time to add classes. I had hoped to get school funding this term so I could catch up on storage, pay for a few other things, etc… but won’t be able to make it this term.

So I really need all the help I can get.

Job hunt stuff: of the five I applied for a week ago, one has turned me down, a second through an agency gave me a phone interview but the job is on hold due to funding, a third did the “auto-response” and a fourth has a similar thing. The fifth, mo word yet. 

I am grateful, however, for no longer being in retail. Or I’d likely be working today. Labor Day is a day of honoring those who sacrificed their lives and such for safer working conditions. Today is for recognizing what labor unions have done to help give workers in many fields better pay, hours, safer working conditions and much more. No more child labor, etc. 

But our society has turned this day into one that still takes advantage of some workers. Retail, food service, public services such as transit workers, cab drivers and many more do not get today off. Many of those who do have today off seem to forget that retail workers* should have the same rights as those who get today off. Many large corporate stores don’t allow (and actively discourage) their workers to unionize. I know, I saw it working at various chain stores over the years. I was union briefly while at a newswire service and still won’t cross a picket line. If they were allowed to unionize, wages would be better. In retail, some rights have been put in place because some of the things fought for (such as length of shifts) are in the labor laws. Things such as pay are more of a grey area. 

We still have a long way to go to truly have all voices heard.

~A

*and all others previously mentioned.

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, friends, grief, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/30: Past, Present, and Future… (#crowdfunding, of course)

I am not the same person I was five years ago. Ten years. Twenty years.

Have I gotten stronger? In some ways, yes. Other ways, not really.

I’m still not a totally confident person. I have goals and dreams and working on accomplishing things even I never expected of myself twenty years ago. When I was 18, I considered becoming an attorney. Then I looked at the amount of schooling and didn’t think I could do it. I thought there was NO way I could do anything remotely like that.

Yet, here I am finishing up my Master’s in Library Science, specializing in Archives. And looking at hopefully going to Germany for a second graduate degree. Am I crazy? Yeah, probably a bit. But it expands on the Archives education and is something I love. While not law school, making it this far is pretty fucking awesome for the kid who wasn’t expected to finish high school.

I still have a LOT of challenges ahead of me. Getting work so I can get my own place again and no longer be homeless. Healing the scars of C-PTSD. Saving money to get to Germany. And many other things…

One thing they encouraged us to do while in school was to network and be active in the ALA, OLA (Oregon Library Association), and SAA (Society of American Archivists). Well, I had to let my dues lapse and I’ve yet to be able to afford any conferences. I’ve been flying under the networking radar for this field. I hate that, but it’s how things played out for me.

My journey has been one of many ups and downs, and I honestly don’t expect that to change as I move forward with my life. I’ve learned to not plan ahead too far. Shit happens. Such as an eviction and becoming homeless. Life will play out as it should.

I do what I can, even though it never seems to be enough. And it sucks. But this is why I try to reach out to others and not isolate myself too much.

~A