Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, crowdfunding, emergency, health, life, medical, Personal, storage, urgent

Phases…

I know I don’t post every day. I try to but then I hit a wall of “everything at once” coupled with fatigue, and I stop.

I also need to work on my archives blog.

Fatigue is a bitch. As is C-PTSD.

I do the best I can on any given day. It never seems enough to keep up with what I do have going. Yes, I feel like a failure, especially when I can’t get caught up on storage. When I ask for help again and again.

I’ll update the pinned post in the morning.

Thank you to every person out there who has shared, donated, helped in some way. I do appreciate everything you all do to keep me from losing my stuff and my mind.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, urgent

5/8: Stealth Dragon (and #crowdfunding)

So, I’ve been running around to appts and all kinds of things. In the past week or so, my task hires have been picking up, so there is income. Not enough to cover storage. WHen we saved it from auction last month, we got just over half of the 1400-ish. So there was 600 by end of April and now another 302 on that… climbing back up. Any help is appreciated.

Also, for some reason, my hotspot from my other phone is no longer letting me do stuff, so between it and the shelter wifi, my connectivity is sucking hard. If someone I know has an xfinity account with hotspot service, I’d love them forever if I could have access to the hotspot service.

I’ve applied for a few jobs and waitlists for housing, but it’s all a very slow process.

I’m sitting in a Starbucks in NW PDX as I arrived early for a small task. I’ve officially given my first blood sacrifice to IKEA. Specifically to the PAX wardrobe. A few layers of skin got sliced and pulled back just below my nail bed. Not fun.

In other medical stuff, Portia is switching FROM Gabapentin, which the vet gave her for the adjustment to the shelter life around dogs. And she’ll be starting on Prozac. I need to get her calmer to be around the dogs without charging them and hitting the baby gate in the doorway.

And I’m switching pain meds TO Gabapentin and away from narcotic pain meds. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ll try to keep things updated more in the coming days. Internet connection allowing, of course. I’ve had a few ideas swirling around in my head for posts.

~A

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 anxiety, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, health, homeless, homelessness, insomnia, life, medical, Personal, storage, urgent

4/19/18: Running Ragged

Since last weeks’ close call with the auction, I’ve been running errands, going to appointments, and dealing with one very nasty pain flare from my back. After 3 days of barely being able to move, let alone get anything done, I’m finally emerging from the other side of this pain. I feel like it’s more than just my sciatica, but there’s no way to tell at this point if it’s from damage from the fall five-ish years ago. That’s my guess, but since they weren’t as aggressive as I would have liked in diagnosis (they only x-rayed my tailbone), there is no way to tell what type of soft tissue damage happened. Same with the fall in December. It took me two months before I could get any scans, and it was only x-rays again. I get it, I’m on Medicaid. They’re being cheap. But still.

With the help of several folks, I was able to keep auction at bay on storage. For now. To get it caught up to end of April, I need another 597 or so. I had hoped to get that in tasks, but earlier this week, someone hacked their site and the apps and all of Taskrabbit went down. It came back up part way yesterday, but it isn’t complete. So far, no clients. Hoping that changes soon.

I’m adjusting -slowly- to life here at the shelter. I think Portia is adjusting better as she’s gate-hopping when I have the door propped open (a baby gate, I’m loaning my second one to one of the other ladies). I’m still very sleep deprived. One other thing is that as someone with Celiac’s and other food issues, I can’t just buy the cheap stuff. So my food stamps dwindle fast. And Portia may need to switch to all canned food… not sure yet on her. My GP has sent in a referral for a new sleep study, so maybe I can get an A-PAP machine…

I know I’ve been silent since last week. The stress of the last minute save knocked me down hard. Then the pain, so it’s been a rough week. But I’m still here and coming up for air.

~A

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, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dreams, emergency, empath life, eviction, faith, family, friends, grief, health, homeless, homelessness, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/3/18: Rambling Doubts

(Yes, still urgently #crowdfunding to save storage by the 12th. I have until 4/12 to come up with the money. It’ll be more than the $1200 that was my total last month. Add another 305 or so to that and we get to $1500. Pimp my blog out to whomever you can think of who might be willing to share. I don’t have the guts to ping famous people.)

I question my role in society. I have no interest in “fitting in” yet I want and need work that can sustain my life. I don’t need lots of fancy things. Books, music, reasonably decent tech. I don’t need cable.  Just decent wifi. I do like a few fancy things. A new pair of Docs or that antiquarian book I’ve been lusting after for over a decade… but for the most part, I like the little things that make me smile.

I still feel incomplete. This is not the “I need someone to complete me” type of incomplete. I feel like part of me has been ripped away and I don’t know where it went. I don’t fear my past, but I am hypervigilant about people in the present. Because of my PTSD, because I can’t stand touch from men. I make male friends and acquaintances ask permission before hugging me. Men on transit sitting next to me or standing too close make me tense up and my anxiety and heart rate both rise.

Right now, I want to run. I want to get my passport and run. Save all my stuff in storage and then pack my bags and run with my cat in tow. Live in a space in Germany or France or stay in a small house in my great-grandfather’s home village in Switzerland for a while. Get away from things that I feel are holding me back. Reconnect with my family history and experience life away from so much of our U.S. mentality.

But money is needed for any of that, and I can’t even get storage caught up or pay for my passport. Let alone running away.

I am stuck. Maybe it doesn’t seem like it to others, but this is where I am. I have tried getting work in fields where others around me say “you could easily get work in this field.” Yet, no interviews, not even email rejections. I am adrift in a society that doesn’t value the weirdos like me. The ones who have multiple abilities.

I wonder at times if there is anywhere in any society on this planet that appreciates weirdos like me.

I’ve never felt as if I belonged in our society. I’m out of place. But do I fit anywhere? I wish I knew. I’m currently limited by my physical disabilities and my PTSD and its side effects. How do I land a job where I’ll have time on transit around people who will likely make my anxiety skyrocket? Then there’s the thought of a remote job… and then we have my ADD and… SQUIRREL!!!

You get the idea.

I also feel like I’m trying to explain who I am and what I need to the world and no one is listening to each word. Like back when my dad would tell my sister something about me and she’d only here “Amanda…. Wants this….” and then I’d get an email berating me for trying to get dad to buy it for me, which I wasn’t. As if my own words don’t count. My experiences don’t count. That my life, somehow, doesn’t count. I know it does. But that feeling of invisibility returns hardcore.

~A

 

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/2: Panic Blogging to commence 4/3 #crowdfunding #urgent

Will start panic blogging tomorrow, 4/3. Auction of my storage unit is 4/12. I now have to come up with about 1500 because April rent is now tacked on. Miracle, please? Share the ever-loving shit out of this blog. This post. Whatever. Paypal is the only way to go now. More tomorrow.

~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 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