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

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Posted in dreams, family, grief, insomnia, life, music, observations, writing

Dammit, Brain!

(Ignore the fact I chose a pic of Portia, it’s 3:40am now…)

Dammit, Brain, it’s 3am. And you decide to dream about a random chance to meet Marilyn Manson. You aren’t even a fan. Stop doing random shit Brain and go back to sleep like you should.

So, because I can’t get back to sleep, I decided to look up Marilyn Manson and see why he comes up. Read part of a rather odd interview. And below is what I found.

Now I think I may understand why my brain did what it did. I read an article on MM. He lost his mother and then his father, whom he was really close to. And in the dream, we take a pic and then I mention that I’m just here by happenstance. He said he felt the need to come over, even though I wasn’t seeking him out. I briefly mention losing both parents and then being homeless, but bouncing back. And he gives me a hug.

There’s a common thread in our real lives. Both of us are “adult orphans” … and after his dad died, he knew his dad wouldn’t let him take time to grieve as he was super supportive and a fighter. When my dad died, I was in the middlenof NaNoWriMo and, despite everyone saying it would be okay if I didn’t do it that year (2014), I knew he wouldn’t want me to stop writing. So I didn’t.

Something about that… I didn’t know that about MM until I just looked it up. Subconscious is trying to say something…

~A

Posted in dreams, family, grief, insomnia, life, music, observations, writing

Dammit, Brain!

(Ignore the fact I chose a pic of Portia, it’s 3:40am now…)

Dammit, Brain, it’s 3am. And you decide to dream about a random chance to meet Marilyn Manson. You aren’t even a fan. Stop doing random shit Brain and go back to sleep like you should.

So, because I can’t get back to sleep, I decided to look up Marilyn Manson and see why he comes up. Read part of a rather odd interview. And below is what I found.

Now I think I may understand why my brain did what it did. I read an article on MM. He lost his mother and then his father, whom he was really close to. And in the dream, we take a pic and then I mention that I’m just here by happenstance. He said he felt the need to come over, even though I wasn’t seeking him out. I briefly mention losing both parents and then being homeless, but bouncing back. And he gives me a hug.

There’s a common thread in our real lives. Both of us are “adult orphans” … and after his dad died, he knew his dad wouldn’t let him take time to grieve as he was super supportive and a fighter. When my dad died, I was in the middlenof NaNoWriMo and, despite everyone saying it would be okay if I didn’t do it that year (2014), I knew he wouldn’t want me to stop writing. So I didn’t.

Something about that… I didn’t know that about MM until I just looked it up. Subconscious is trying to say something…

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, depression, empath life, life, music, observations

4/27/18: Music Within

In my therapy session this week, music became the focal point. I’ve written on this in the past, but she asked a question I can’t seem to answer: what is at the core of my love of music? What makes it such a strong relationship/connection?

I’ve been thinking on it and I still can’t answer. It’s always been prominent in my life.

  • Being 4 and figuring out the melody of the Star Spangled Banner by myself, from looking at the black dots on the page of music and from memory of hearing it that 4th of July.
  • Learning to play the piano properly at 6.
  • Listening to folk revival from 4 and 5.
  • Having suicidal ideations nearly every day as a teen and music being the only thing to pull me back from the edge.
  • Singing it, dancing to it, playing it. Listening to it.

It has kept me centered and grounded and any other term you can think of. My whole life.

The rhythms of world music, lyrics of various English-sung songs resonating with me emotionally and otherwise.

Music is the true universal language. No matter what language is being sung, you can understand the emotion of the song. You can hear the stories being told, the love being professed, the sadness being mourned. All of it.

For me, I feel it in my heart, my bones, my body. I think in part it’s because music pulled me back from suicide, I owe my life to it. It is part of me, part of who I am, what I am.

While I’m no longer playing or singing publicly, I still want to get back to playing. Hence having the piano, even though it’s in storage. I can’t have it here at the shelter. I want to be involved with it in some way. I listen to nearly all kinds of music out there and love all but two genres.

I don’t know the answers to her questions. I may never know.

I just know that music is part of my life.

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, chronic pain, cluster headaches, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, medical, music, Personal, poverty line, storage, urgent

4/21/18: Clusterfuckery & Shelter Life

Random cluster(fuck) headache ranting/grumbling… ignore if you don’t want to read my grouchiness.

CLUSTERFUCKERY:

I’ve had a low-grade cluster headache going about a week now. For those unfamiliar with them, no drugs can really touch them, the medical field has no clue what exactly causes them, and they’re a bitch to get rid of. Where caffeine helps tension and migraine headaches, it does nothing for clusters.

What may be the reason doctors can’t pinpoint the cause is that it may be different for each patient. I know I get them after (usually) every other monthly cycle. But I’m on Depo-Provera (birth control, if you didn’t know) to keep my hormones balanced. So the main times they show up now is when I’m about due for my next shot, which will be in a couple weeks. The only thing that knocks them down to OTC med care level is oxygen therapy. Medicaid won’t cover a small tank for me, so I have to call the clinic and give them a heads up that I need the therapy. They put me in an exam room, wheel in a tank, hook me up, turn off the lights and return 15-20 minutes later. This brings the pain level down to about a 2 on the scale of 1-10, so then I can take an Aleve and that gets the rest of it. I’ve been between a 5 and a 7 on the scale for days now and just dealing with it. Mostly ignoring it.

I can’t anymore.

But I may wait until Monday as the clinic has short hours on Saturdays and is closed Sundays. I’d kill for a proper eye patch right now. It hits my right side and my right eye is rather unhappy. But a good eye patch isn’t easy to find. So, I just avoid bright light as much as possible for now.

SHELTER LIFE:

This is mostly me whining about shit. I have always been hyersensitive to strong scents. Can’t handle the smell of bleach (makes me sick), as well as most perfumes/colognes/body washes or sprays.

So… this morning…

Someone is singing in the shower… badly. Also using Ivory soap or something with a similar strong scent. Blargh. It’s a lot like with perfumes, strong scents from anything man-made freaking fuck with my allergies.

I also can’t use Tide as we discovered an allergy to it when I was in high school. Mom used Tide almost religiously. At one point, she washed a new pair of my nylons for choir and when I put them on, my legs broke out in a rash/contact dermatitis. From that point on, until I moved out, she had to buy unscented, no-dyes detergent. I’ve stuck to that myself as well. And of course, what do they hand out to the ladies here for detergent? Tide Pods. I use my own stuff.
Okay, it’s been 30 minutes since I closed my door and I can still smell her soap. I need a door thingy that is mostly for keeping drafts out, but i need one for my door for scents. I also wanna fix the seal stuff around the rest of my door. I can see light from the hall coming through when I have the lights out.

One thing with being in a homeless shelter: watch your shit. On our less-populated floor we’ve had money, clothes, a tablet, and other things get stolen. Only one of those things was returned and the thief booted and banned.

I keep my door locked all the time. But someone used some of my lactose free milk from the fridge (there are two resident fridges and we have to label our stuff. Also one house fridge in the laundry room).

My food stamps are done for the month and have nothing to get more milk, bottled water (the tap water tastes and smells musty/moldy. the pipes need replacing), veggies, etc. Also no cash.

I’m down to about $1 on my PP card/account (I have a debit card from PayPal) and I’m pretty sure my checking account is back in the red from an auto payment for a debt collector. I have one task set up for the 30th. That’s my only income right now. I may get more, but no way of knowing. I can’t plan them. It all depends on clients hiring me via the TR site/app.

I am going to one job fair on Tuesday and an informational interview on Monday. New VR job coach, new ideas.

It’s been a rough week. Transportation miscommunication and snafus along with a severe pain flare up from my back and the cluster headache… and general lack of sleep and the hell it causes. Doc has ordered a referral and sleep study. Had one years ago while on different insurance. They wouldn’t cover anA-PAP machine. I might be able to get one now, but need to do a new study.

I may put a few non-perishable things I mentioned above on my Amazon wishlist. I need to link Portia’s wishlist on here as well. Yes, my cat has her own wishlist. Shush.

More to come later…

And yes, still want to cover the rest of what I need to catch up on storage. Just under $600 left before the end of the month.

~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 birthdays, chronic pain, depression, disability, family, friends, grief, health, life, medical, music, Personal, Science Fiction and Fantasy, society, writing

11/27: Dad, #NaNoWriMo, and Life

So, today is my dad’s birthday. If he had lived, he’d be 91. I had all these ideas for honoring him today, things I was going to do on the anniversary of his passing, but then decided to do them today. Namely, I was going to go to Ace Hardware and the music store to get some sheet music. Those things primarily because going to Ace was a tradition when I was a kid. I followed my dad everywhere. Especially when working on the house and getting supplies for working on it.

The music store because he was so excited when I said I wanted to save up for a piano. He really wanted me to get back to my music. He died before he saw me get my piano, but getting some sheet music would be fitting.

But coming out of Safeway, my knee gave out and is still hurting an hour or so later, so I need to do as little walking as possible the rest of the day. I figure the honoring will be in doing the two tasks I have that are finishing items the clients couldn’t do. And writing. No matter what we talked about, he always asked about my writing. If I had stalled, he always told me to never give up, to never stop writing because I was too good at it.

This year, for NaNoWriMo, I’m struggling. Maybe it’s from the stress of my current life situation, but it’s been difficult. I can still do it, but it’s going to take a lot of work the next few days. Right now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks downtown with a couple more hours to kill before I head to my other task today. Oh, and a knee that’s swearing at me for existing. I need a gym membership but can’t afford it. I know there isn’t much they can do for my knee. I need to strengthen my leg muscles, especially my thighs where the muscles/tendons connect to my kneecaps.

But enough medical/health crap…

Back to writing and general stuff…

~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 faith, family, friends, grief, life, music, Personal, semicolon

7/27: The Dance

“I could have missed the pain… but I’d’ve had to miss the dance.” ~Garth Brooks’ The Dance.

Sums up so much. I always felt the song was more than just about a romance. And I was right. I see it right now as a good summation of my life to this point. We live our lives not knowing where it will take us.

We experience joy.

We experience pain.

We lose people we love… and people we wish we could talk to one last time. We get caught up in existing. Then, one day, we find regret. I’ve always sworn I wouldn’t regret what I’ve done in my life (only a few of the people I’ve done those things with). But as I inch ever closer to my 45th birthday, I do see some regrets. One biggie is not dropping everything in the world to see my dad sooner… before he died the day after I last talked to him. I was so damn caught up in helping at a local convention and then, as I was sitting there, enjoying an evening with friends, my dad passed away 600 miles away. I should have gone down there sooner.

But I live with that regret.

The lesson from that is to never, ever take anything for granted. Not a single person in your life. Not a moment to stop and admire the clouds in the sky… the green of the leaves on a tree… a flower blooming early. Stop what you’re doing, take a step back. Look around you.

Funny how Brooks’ song comes back around (via an article and video where a cancer survivor went to his concert) into my life. I got into listening to country music in the 90’s. I remember listening to this song back then. Oh, how life gives new perspective on a song you loved in your youth.

I don’t regret my experiences. I don’t regret the pain. That pain taught me to appreciate my life… good and bad. To take each day and live.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, eviction, friends, homeless, job hunting, life, music, Personal, poverty line, storage, transitions, urgent

7/24: Being Shameless Again

Storage, urgh. Life in general, urgh.

Still struggling with just over $100 left for this month’s storage rent. I am resisting begging, but if people wanted to throw money my way in the next couple of days, I wouldn’t turn it down… PP is the only (and preferred) method. You don’t need a PP account, just a credit/debit card. I’m switching back to a Biz Acct with them to hide my legal name… I have my reasons (cyberstalking asshole ex-boyfriend who is the cause of my C-PTSD). So if you wish to help, this will be the method. There should be a PP button over there shortly.

On to “Life in General”¬†

I’ve now been homeless for almost 5 months. It feels like an eternity. Trying to keep my belongings safe in storage. Living “in between” where I don’t have things like a full normal refrigerator to myself, living by others’ rules (and a few quirks, but I don’t delve into that), and not really having a “home” where I can be completely myself… walking around and even cooking in my underwear (seriously), dancing and listening to music loud enough to drown out the world (but not so loud to piss others off), where I can have my piano out, put the toilet lid down…. generally be ME. Live by my own rules.

The transitional aspect of my life right now is frustrating. When my own bank technically doesn’t accept PO Boxes as home addresses, but it’s technically ALL I have of my own. When I’m sleeping on a rollaway bed that’s likely almost as old as I am, and there’s really no room for the cat, unless I curl up on my side and she gets the foot of the bed.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m grateful to the friends who’ve let me stay here this long (most of the time since handing in the keys March 2nd). I don’t really have anywhere else to go.

Living in a constant state of instability.

I’m grateful I’m not out on the street. I just really need to get my own place again. Soon.

~A