Posted in activism, bigotry, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, life, medical, observations, Personal, politics, society, storage, student life, urgent

3/25: Being Disabled

[Panicking because storage auction is on Thursday and I desperately need the full 1400 to cover it and save it from auction. Please share and spread the word.]

Today, when I arrived at Central City Concern’s EAC (Employment Access Center), my case manager asked for my opinion on something. See, they’ve adapted some access points of the center to accommodate disabled folks like me, but it’s an older building and they haven’t gotten everything. They do have a small single wheelchair elevator to go down to the basement workspace, and the front door has an automated button system, but to access the computer area off the lobby, there are two steps up. And then three steps up to get to another area. I have a walker (while I love my cane, when it comes to back injuries, walkers are better because you aren’t contorting your body to use it).

So he asked me what I would suggest. I told him that small ramps could replace the steps and that they might have to be a little longer than the steps take, but it would be more ADA compliant. He had me write this up on a suggestion form and he turned it in.

Why have I mentioned this? Because hearing the opinions and voices of those who aren’t part of the norm of society is something that doesn’t happen often. Since I first hurt my back at 17, I’ve seen and experienced a disconnect from society. We are either invisible, dismissed, second class citizens… you name it.

And it sucks.

For years, even up until about 6 or 7 years ago, I wouldn’t consider myself disabled. I had my back injury and countless other injuries and health issues, but I rarely classified myself as disabled. In part because of how I was treated at 18 at the first community college I attended. They were horrendous to disabled students. Being kicked out of music classes, dismissed for needing assistance, you name it. Their DSRC was a joke. A tiny office barely big enough to hold two desks. No testing areas, nothing. The frustration was palpable.

I now live in Portland, which has a sizable disable population. I now own the label. With my back getting reinjured (twice) and more and more injuries and such added to the list (along with mental health fuckery), I have come to accept the label as part of who and what I am. But just because I’m in a city with a large disabled population, doesn’t mean everything is wonderfully accessible.

There are many apartment buildings and houses I could never live in. Too many stairs and no accessibility. Granted, if I ever had the money to buy a house, I’d hopefully be able to remodel it for accessibility. I can climb occasional stairs as needed, but I couldn’t live somewhere with lots of them.

My case manager asked me today because I had my walker. Because I have to lift it up to get past those two or three steps. If it isn’t loaded down, which it usually isn’t, then that’s okay. Anything more than what I had today would be too much weight.

One other area, and I may expand on this another time, is how the equipment we use is not treated properly. Service Dogs are the main focus with this issue. SD’s are there to help their handlers function within society’s parameters. My PTSD is easily triggered by a person, usually male, sitting or standing too close to me. Having a trained dog with me would help assure that space around me would be maintained for my mental healthiness. Same for other working dogs. They are working, helping their handlers gain their independence from other people. Freedom to do things others find normal, easy tasks without the need for a person to always be there to help. That’s all anyone asks.

But there are far too many people claiming their untrained pet dogs are SD’s, when they are not. There are a number of reasons these are a bad idea. They can show aggression toward other dogs, even Service Dogs, attacking them or humans. This can potentially ruin an SD and this then restricts the freedom once again of the handler. Again, I may likely expand on this in it’s own post.

Our society has long dismissed those who are disabled (among other groups). We typically aren’t seen as equals who can contribute just as much to society as able-bodied/minded people can. Sure there have been some outliers such as Stephen Hawking, but he was known in his field before he was diagnosed with ALS. But for many of us, we are seen more as a burden on society.

All we want is to be treated as equals and be given the chance to contribute to society like everyone else.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, auction, cats, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, faith, family, friends, gratitude, health, homelessness, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, semicolon, society, storage, tattoo

3/19: Catching Up and Needing Help #crowdfunding

I know, it’s getting old. But I need to come up with the whole 1400-ish needed for storage. No partial payments this time. Also, the whole sleeping on the floor thing is getting rather old. I do have a GFM, but PayPal is MUCH easier for me (and you don’t NEED a PP account to donate) to access. Auction is on the 28th. I’m running out of time.

I’ve been rather quiet of late. My apologies. It’s been a strange few weeks. I got hurt while assembling something a week and a half ago, and then got food poisoning (most likely) over this past weekend, ending up in the ER Sunday evening. I didn’t get home until 4:15am. I’m still recovering, but getting better. What I am making so far is all going to my phone (how I get tasks) and other small bills. Some will -admittedly- be going to a tattoo next week. I booked it a couple months in advance and really did expect things to be vastly improved by now, but I also don’t want to pass up the chance for a VERY affordable tattoo (My semicolon tat. I swore that I’d get it once I was no longer homeless).

Still looking for work. Still doing what I can. I have a couple of ideas for paintings, but need better quality paint for one and other supplies for the other technique.

Portia now has her own page on Facebook: Princess Portia of Portlandia is the place to go.

In other frustrating news, the agency helping with my rent didn’t communicate with me about this month, so they only sent a partial amount, assuming I’d pay the rest. Well, I didn’t know this until I got a notice about it from management. *sigh* … so if there’s a little extra, it would be appreciated.

I’m gonna get back on track here. I was dong better health-wise until my knee was hit by a side panel of a dresser. It’s also doing better now. My right side takes a massive beating on a regular basis (I’m a leftie, so my right side is a bit weaker).

If folks will see me through one more round of help with storage… there’s hope for me yet.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, conformity, creativity, crowdfunding, disability, dreams, family, genealogy, history, individuality, job hunting, life, medical, peace, Personal, PTSD, research, society, storage, Switzerland, urgent

1/26: Musing on Life

Yes, still need help with less than a week left to keep storage and get it caught up. My finances have gone sideways and I just don’t have much of anything right now. I need $700-ish to finish catching it up.

MUSINGS: I look at how my week has gone and I realize that I definitely haven’t emotionally healed from being homeless and living in the shelter. I’m still angry, still off-kilter. Still frustrated. Still lost.

I lost my internship. That was my first step to getting back on my feet for good. My health is part of what got in the way. I know I can’t let it control my life, but it does. When issues pop up and mess with your schedule because they’re messing with your ability to function, shit goes sideways fast. The other thing that was cause was that they didn’t have enough work for me to keep me busy. I tend to get into a zone when I’m working on any specific task, so I was basically too efficient for my own damn good.

That second one could be seen as a PLUS in most cases, but much of the work they had me doing at first was backlogged data entry. Once I got it caught up, there wasn’t much left.

But the first one. That’s the one I need to work on. It affects my reliability. Which affects my employability.

But that’s only part of what’s eating at me. It certainly leads into why I’m feeling off-kilter.

I’m frustrated. I feel stuck. I can’t do my old fall-back jobs (retail) anymore due to my disabilities. But the rigidity of the majority of offices is problematic as well.

So, here I am feeling like there truly is nowhere I belong. And that makes me angry. At myself. And at the world. We have a society that makes things so rigid in terms of employability that many people just don’t fit. Some do change themselves to make themselves fit that structure, but I’m not a kid anymore. I’m not as much of a chameleon as I used to be.

Some of the others who don’t fit have found a niche all to themselves. They have drive and focus and probably a means of financial backup. Things I don’t really have so much of.

If you asked me what my ideal job is, it would be along these lines:

  • Work independently with some team work.
  • Research (non-medical), data, etc
  • Social Media as part of the work.
  • Flexible schedule
  • Reasonable pay with benefits.

Now, if you asked me about my dream job, those things all still very much apply, but with these added things:

  • Live in Switzerland with my cat(s) in the different villages.
  • Translating and digitizing genealogical records held in the parishes.

A bit much? Maybe. But it’s something that kind of needs to be done. As a descendant of Swiss gr-grandparents, the older records just aren’t online and accessible for those of us whose ancestors emigrated away from home. So, I’d love to live a slightly nomadic life there working in the different villages to make the older records accessible to those who don’t live there.

But I’m still sitting here, frustrated and angry. No way to clearly make that happen. Any of it. And I feel very unemployable right now. But I have to find a way to BE employable because not becoming homeless again depends on it.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask for to have a stable job, home, cats, food in the fridge, bills paid, and enough left over to save up for other things.

I’m still angry at the world from living at the shelter. I’ve managed to suppress it enough that I don’t lash out at strangers. I see people now for what they tend to be, even if it isn’t what they think they are. I see the selfishness and ego. I see the good in some, whether by actions or words, but so many others who just seem to forget that they’re in a shared society. That we all need to pitch in and work WITH each other instead of against each other.

More another time….

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, faith, friends, health, life, medical, society, storage

1/19: Whatever Comes

[Still need help to get storage finished and caught up. If I don’t get it caught up before the end of the month, it’ll go to auction and I get no more second chances. Help me get it caught up.]

Life is full of ups and downs and challenges and … you get the idea. I’ve been to Hell and back so many fucking times in my 46 years that it’s like a second home. I face the challenge, deal with it, move forward.

Today potentially presented a new challenge for me. I started to feel pain in my left armpit last night and it continued through today and is getting a bit worse. I’ve done nothing to the area so I checked it in the mirror for swelling. There is a bit of swelling, so off I went to Urgent Care.

*Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing yet.

I left shortly after with a scrip for Amoxicillin. A swollen lymph node is the culprit. Why it’s inflamed, we don’t know. I see the plastic surgeon who messed up my reduction surgery in 2015 this coming Friday. If the swelling and pain has not begun to subside by then, I’ll request a biopsy.

I’ll also go up and get a boob squish session (ahh, mammograms) this week as well. It’s been a bit over 2 years now. They told me to go for 3 years, but this is a special situation.

There are a handful of things a swollen LN can be. The next level up on fighting some random infection, RA (no other signs, though), Cancer, etc.

Yes, I said the C word. What if it happens to be that? Then I’ll fight to the end of my damn days. The end of the world. It’s one more challenge for me to face.

It could also be nothing major. Which would be nice for once. I mean, shit, I’ve had cellulitis, a heart condition, C-PTSD, anxiety, broken bones and sprains that made the doctors wonder if I’d broken anything. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been raped repeatedly.

I’m still here. I’m still fighting. It would be nice to get a break health-wise. But if not, okay. Bring it on. Never tell me something is impossible. Or, better yet, DO tell me that so I can prove you wrong. I take perverse pleasure in proving someone wrong about me.

This is life. As sucky as it can be, this is life. If things in your life aren’t challenging, then you aren’t pushing yourself to truly live. Granted, no one wants cancer. But challenges are a part of life.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, asexuality, auction, C-PTSD, community, conformity, convention, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, dreams, emergency, faith, family, friends, gender, history, homelessness, housing, individuality, life, medical, Personal, sexual assault, silliness, society, storage, urgent, writing

1/2/19: A Bit Different #crowdfunding

Last one for the night for crowdfunding. I’m exhausted from the emotional and physical havoc today was. Trying to not go into a full-on pity-party… so I’m going to take a cue from the image I chose and riff on that for the last of the night. Still sitting at $235 of $1467. Can anyone who sees this be part of a minor miracle and add to that low number?


I’ve always been kind of an “odd duck” well, rabbit. I’m still not entirely sure if identifying as Rabbit from Winnie-the-Pooh is a good thing or a bad one. But I’ve had several friends agree that I’m Rabbit. But I’ve always been different. Not so much in a neuro-atypical way, just different.

I was the kid who plucked dog and cat hairs from the family pets and looked at them under the 3x microscope. The one who “hunted the dragon” which was actually my dad working on the yard. The kid who was caught on film in rainbow striped tights and a slip (top, not skirt) and ballet shoes, using my dad’s drafting table after hours to doodle.

The teen who wore black leather lace up boots and a beret or real fedora -black with a grey band- and pink and blue shiny eye shadow. Drawing and dancing and singing and pretending I was famous. All while contemplating suicide because of emotional abuse.

I tried, in my 20’s, to go with the pack, to dress like others and fit in. But I realized as I inched closer to 30 that that wasn’t me. It wasn’t WHO or WHAT I was. Still not me now. I rejected the “American Dream” concept of a house in the ‘burbs with the white picket fence and all the other trappings.

My life has been filled with good and bad. The bad has had a tendency to overwhelm me and my life. From a sexually abusive relationship to almost dying at 35 from Cellulitis. To being homeless for most of the past two years. It hasn’t been easy, not by any means.

For labels: I’m an Androgynous Aromantic Asexual Furry Cosplayer who also happens to write SF/F… and, well, there probably are a few other things. I paint, I sew, I design floorplans of houses and costumes. I can draft my own patterns to some degree. I refer to myself as a Geek-of-all-Trades.

And just about everything that one with all those labels and hobbies (along with more I didn’t list) would have to help define who they are is locked away in the storage unit up for auction tomorrow at noon PST. My identity, my first fursuit, my costumes, my sewing machine, my music.

My everything.

I’m not perfect or beautiful or famous like I had dreamed of as a kid. I’m just this one person who is trying to pick my life back up after being on temporary hold for almost two years. I’m a person who stumbles and falls on my own feet while walking along the path of life. I think a lot of us do that. I just choose not to hide the bruises from my falls.

My life is in that storage unit. I can’t lose it. Not now when I’m finally back in my own place again.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, bugaboos, chronic pain, crowdfunding, disability, emergency, insomnia, life, medical, storage, urgent

1/1/19: Quieting the Monster Within & #crowdfunding

[Yes, still crowdfunding…. the urgency and the amount have now increased. Please consider helping by at least sharing, if not also donating if you haven’t. It’ll now be roughly $1450 and I have less than $200.]

I have anxiety. That frustrating little monster inside me keeps me from normal, restful sleep. The sleep clinic doctor thought maybe it’s my mild apnea. I finally got a CPAP machine. Didn’t help when the anxiety still kicked in and still took me 2+ hours to fall asleep and it was exacerbated by this “thing” [the pillow mask] on my face. The most minimal mask they have out and my claustrophobia bumped my anxiety up a few points.

So I turned it back in since I wasn’t using it enough during the initial three months. Took the last of the Ambien and woke up well rested last week. Went to the GP for something else and mentioned it. They gave me a 15 pill refill. I thought, ‘hey, I can finally start getting some nights with sleep!’

Forgot I had taken something else with it that one really good night. Something that told my Anxiety Monster to STFU. While Ambien alone has helped me STAY asleep longer, it isn’t helping me GET TO sleep. The Monster still wreaks havoc.

Add my daytime anxiety of trying to find more work and pay bills and not get sick and SAVE STORAGE! and struggle with the chronic pain so I can get dishes done and dinner made. I take Celexa once a day for the general anxiety levels, but it doesn’t silence the Monster. I know Valium does, but they don’t want me on it. Why, I’ll never know. Even though I think I do.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, health, life, medical, Personal, society, storage, urgent, weight loss

12/28: #crowdfunding & #weightloss backstory

Storage first: If you can’t donate, share. I got the exact amount owed today: $1141. If I can get that by 6pm PST on Monday the 31st, I’m okay. I have virtually nothing as my other bills are eating up what income I have. PP is the only (and fastest) way.

Once basics are out of there, I can move the rest of it down to a smaller unit, possibly even half the size (8×20 to a 9×10). Also, half the cost. MUCH more manageable.

Weight Loss: In my adult life, I’ve struggled with my weight. I was a skinny kid and after I stopped dancing at 22, and then shifted away from regular exercise by 24, the weight piled on. I’m at my heaviest: 185lbs.

Now, I *could* live with the weight if it weren’t for my family history. I physically take after my dad’s side to an almost bizarre degree. Same bone structure, personality characteristics, etc… all (almost completely) from my dad’s side. This includes health. Dad and both of his brothers are/were heart patients (one uncle still living). My paternal grandmother had diabetes. Not sure what Grandpa had, but I suspect heart issues as well. I’m already on Toprol for tachycardia (it works for me, but I have to pair Celexa for my anxiety with it). I imagine my tachycardia might calm down a bit with dropping some of my weight. Also, the longer I go at a heavier weight, the higher my risk of worse heart issues AND diabetes.

So, here I am at 46. 5’2″ and 185lbs. While the timing is RATHER cliche (New year’s resolution stuff and all, which I’ve never really bothered with), I want to start now. Somehow, I will find the funds to join the local gym. They keep changing their specials, but I’m going to wait until the activation fee is back to $0.

This isn’t just for weight loss. My back has been getting progressively worse since the fall 7 years ago. And then another one year ago. All the docs can do is give me pain meds (and most don’t really do much of anything) and tell me to exercise. “Free” exercise is usually what they suggest. This means walking. The problem for me is that, most days, walking more than two or three blocks results in excruciating pain.

The gym two blocks from me not only has weights and a basketball court (yeah, not touching that), and classes, but has a lap pool and a hot tub. This I’m totally down for. My swimming skills are rusty, but I can do the backstroke the best. I have a hard time torquing my body enough to do most others so I can get breath. Backstroke it is.

Then machines. Work my way back up to leg presses equaling my weight (yes, at 120, I could do leg presses above my weight). Goals are to strengthen my back, core, and legs. This will help with reinjuries and stabilizing my back. It will also help with my weight.

I’ll announce when I join the gym. I’ll post pics. I’ll make my journey public. My inspiration today was this guy. I’ve followed him on Twitter. While my goal is roughly 55lbs (185 to 130), seeing someone kick ass like he has makes me know I can totally do this.

~A

Posted in auction, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, health, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

12/9: The week and being disabled… #crowdfunding

Warning: this may end up rambly and bizarre. And, FTR, I am in dire straits again with storage. I’m still sleeping on the floor (much to my poor back’s dismay… ouch). It’s set for auction later this month. Even with the couple of tasks I’ve had so far and the weekly small paychecks from my internship, I won’t have nearly enough (I also have my phone bill, internet bill, food, cat stuff like pet-specific CBD oil, and other things). 

That last post, about standing desks, oddly sucked a sizable chunk of my energy. Not like I had that much to begin with today. I have been battling something along the lines of a sinus infection for about 3 weeks now. Starting my internship in the middle of that didn’t help. But I needed to get that going. So I’m working two days a week at a local non-profit which is a very cool place to work, at least in my opinion.

I also have about everything down for school. I’m going back to PCC next month for some accounting and business classes. As I took Intro to Business some years back at PSU, I won’t need to take that again, so I can take an additional class. I’m thinking payroll accounting, as that’s a HUGE part of accounting and bookkeeping. 

In the middle of all of this, I’m facing my chronic pain and chronic fatigue. I’ve spent much of this weekend, into today, resting and/or sleeping. I had hoped to get some creative stuff done, but my energy flat-lined Friday afternoon after I got home from a furniture assembly task.

In all honesty, I have no idea how the hell I’m going to ever work full time. I really don’t. I’m playing phone tag with my disability attorney, and I’m frustrated as all hell. I wanted to get some cleaning and painting done this weekend and I’ve barely gotten anything done. I managed to clear some of the kitchen, but knowing the meager size of my kitchen, that isn’t saying much.  I think the biggest chore I was able to tackle this weekend was cleaning the litter boxes. 

After I was denied this summer from my disability hearing (which, according to my attorney was a “sure thing” by the way the judge was talking), I read the report. Basically, I didn’t appear “disabled enough.” So, because I’ve lived with my back injury for 29 years and it’s getting worse and I’ve figured out ways to work WITH it or AROUND it, I’m not disabled enough….. fffffuuuuuuuu…. *ahem*

Honestly, right now, I’d love to have them see how I’m living right now. i’m sleeping on the floor because I can’t afford to get my storage caught up long enough to get my mattress and furniture out, I can’t stand in the kitchen and do anything longer than 5-10 minutes at a time. Yes, that was today. I managed to get up, rinse off some dishes and put them in the small dishwasher and then run that. It’s done, but not emptied. Bast only knows when that will get emptied. I don’t have a partner or roommate to help me with things. Honestly, I don’t really want one, either one. Especially after spending the past year and a half living with other people -either in the shelter or with friends. 

On that note, there was a woman at the shelter who couldn’t FATHOM why someone would not want to live with other people. Why someone would WANT to be alone. What bugged me is that she kept saying she’s also an introvert, but this was one of the most social women on our floor at the shelter. She wasn’t loud, but she was always out in the community room cooking or chatting or… yeah. For me, add being an Empath who can’t block to save my sanity on top of the whole being an Introvert. I can “people” in very small doses. The more people I’m around or interact with, such as on transit or at conventions, the shorter that amount of time ends up being. My PTSD doesn’t help either. I love hugging people, but have pulled away from being social in part because hugs make me a bit less comfortable now. And yet, if I’m greeting a friend or saying goodbye to them, I’m usually the one who holds my arms open to hug them. I’m a walking contradiction. I hate people but love hugging. Go figure.

Now, one may wonder why I did a post on standing desks. Well, a few reasons. I want one to help with my back. If I can go from sitting to standing and back when I need to for reducing the stiffness, and thus pain, in my back and legs, the better off I’ll be. Also, I started my little quest by looking at drafters chairs, you know… the ones that go up higher, for using possibly in the kitchen. This would possibly help my longevity in the kitchen. The way my apartment is, the desk would be right next to the kitchen, so a taller chair to go back and forth (which can be lowered down as needed) would be awesome. It also means I’d have a place to put said chair when it isn’t needed in the kitchen. This place is not that big. Seriously. Everything needs to serve more than one purpose or space. Chairs included. Hell, my bed will have storage (once I can afford to get the frame I want), my desk will be for both computers and the sewing and embroidery machines, and the shelving I want to use for my TV stand will also house my record collection, music and DVD’s and some books. The bench I want to put at the foot of the bed (if there’s room), will have books, shoes and be a place I can sit briefly to put said shoes ON. 

I’ve planned this apartment out to every damn detail. I just don’t have the money to execute my plans. First, I need to get storage settled and accessible. It’s three months behind. October sucked for work, so I couldn’t pay for storage… and then, as it does, it snowballed out of control. So…. halp?

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

7/18: Updatessss…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, where does that leave me?

Not many options. But I’m trying.


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

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

~A