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 anxiety, bugaboos, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

6/26: #crowdfunding and drama

#Crowdfunding still in urgent mode. Auction is less than 48 hours away. Once payment clears from last week, that’s 300, plus $135 from fb donations. I need to get at least $700 to pull it from auction. Any help is appreciated.

I’d have stuff written beyond begging, but we’re having some major drama here at the shelter. Lies, backstabbing, gossip, accusations, and that’s just today. I’m exhausted. Emotionally, physically, mentally.

I’m getting singled out and punished via lies and gossip for standing up to bullies. An email has been sent to the manager of the building. I have another task for tomorrow (no, it won’t clear in time) out on the west side and may not be back in time to talk to her.

It’s sinking in that this shelter is a microcosm of society.

You have the “popular crowd” that bullies and demands compliance with their way. The gossip and backstabbing is from them.

Then we have the outcasts. Those who choose to not play by their rules.

Then the main rule makers who run the show overall. Kind of the government, in a way. Break their rules, you get a punishment. I do my best to abide by their rules. One of them is “no gossip.”

I’ve been everybody’s elses’ doormat for most of my life. Now that I’m standing up to the bullies, starting with defending the other one getting bullied, I feel the backlash. The “popular girls” are able to manipulate and convince some of the staff that I’m doing all these bad things, which I’m not.

Hence my email.

Gotta step around the intermediary people and go right to the person in charge.

I’m tired.

All I want is to save my storage unit and stuff that brings me peace and comfort, then deal with finances and get out of here. To not be homeless anymore.

Again, thank you to everyone who has helped. Sharing, donating, it all helps.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent

6/12/18: Things… and #crowdfunding

Among other things, I am back to needing help with storage. I did okay last month, but various little things absorbed what I made and this month has been slower so far. I believe auction is at the end of this week, so the 15th. I owe just under $1300 and if I can get as much of that as possible (at least half) before auction, I should be okay.


I had my hearing for disability this morning. It went well, despite my lack of voice. I think that almost helped when it came to the idea of doing clerical work. I can’t answer phones when my voice may randomly cut out without warning. Vocal Cord Dysfunction is what it’s called, and lots of things trigger it such as fumes from bleach or mold and mildew. Without going into too much detail, my lawyer said he feels the judge sensed I was credible in my various issues that keep me from many jobs. Can I work? Yes, but there are so many restrictions that my field of possibilities is narrow. All of it put together reaffirms what I’ve been telling people all along: give me an office with tech and research topics to dig through and I’m a happy person. No customers, no phone switchboard/multiline phones, etc.

I also did the one bonehead thing I never thought people actually did. When I was sworn in, I raised my left hand when she said to raise my right. Let’s just say if I have to do that again, I’ll have plenty of coffee beforehand. Never go to a hearing uncaffeinated.


I have all kinds of “I wish people would stop…” or “I can’t fucking believe this happened…” rants, but I think I’ll do those another time.

I’ve had my share of frustrations lately. Who hasn’t? Living in a homeless shelter, I hear it all. Some of it I wish I didn’t. We have one day where everyone is all cool, and then the next people are sniping at each other over little nothings. It’s a women’s shelter with 60 residents as well as staff. I hear about health issues, dealing with parole officers, craving things, family members getting into trouble, you name it. I’m here because I couldn’t get a damn job in time before I was evicted. No alcohol or drug issues. No parole. But here I am.


I need to get back to cleaning up my room. Need to organize the crap out of everything. I’ve gotten two warnings now that my room was unprepared/possibly over what I’m allowed. I need to get back into storage ASAP so I can secure things and not get more warnings.

Halp?

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, disability, domestic abuse, emergency, eviction, faith, grief, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, poverty line, PTSD, sexual assault, society, storage, transitions, urgent

5/23/18: Facing the Past (and #crowdfunding)

Yes, crowdfunding. What funds I have made this month have gone to catching up on other smaller things and groceries after my food stamps ran out. Because it sucks being on food stamps when you have Celiacs. Everything is more expensive. Also being in a shelter where you have limits on how much you can have in the fridge/freezer/cabinet makes food costs go up as you can’t really do family packs of chicken thighs and such. So, help getting storage settled before the end of May is ideal. Auction would be next month, in June… and that’ll come up really quickly if I’m not careful.

So… facing the past. I met with my therapist yesterday and chatted with one of the mentors here at the shelter today. Both women have pointed out something that is related, but a bit different.

My therapist has figured out that my life pretty much went upside down and sideways when my dad passed away in 2014.

The mentor today said that every time we’ve talked, I bring up one thing: the repeated sexual assault back in 1994.

Two major events in my adult life. Two events I swore up and down I’ve dealt with via therapy and such.

While I’ve dealt with the shit on the surface, I’m realizing now that the rest of the proverbial iceberg is slowly emerging and I don’t know how to deal with it. The frustrating part is that I can type or write out stories dealing with it, or poetry, or even essays. *cough*blog posts*cough*

But speaking? I struggle with the words.

The mentor today is going to find the titles of some books and see if she can find some groups for me to go to that can help. She also mentioned that the situation of being homeless in and of itself is traumatic. But I’ve been in some form of survival mode since 1994, never letting myself really live. Really work my ass off at succeeding.

At what? I’m not sure.

Sadly, I have limited sessions for therapy. After this coming week, we may be spacing them out more. Which is fine, but it still kind of sucks.

I have a very long road ahead of me. Be patient with me. I have a lot to unpack. A lot of work to do.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, faith, family, homeless, homelessness, housing, individuality, life, observations, peace, poverty line, society, storage

5/17: Assume Nothing… It Gets You Nowhere (& #crowdfunding)

Dear Bast, my life right now has become Hollaback Girl.

Let me explain. I’m listening to a mix of popular songs on my iTunes. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani started playing as I opened this page to write. This part especially.

“I heard that you were talking shit
And you didn’t think that I would hear it
People hear you talking like that, getting everybody fired up
So I’m ready to attack, gonna lead the pack
Gonna get a touchdown, gonna take you out
That’s right, put your pom-poms down, getting everybody fired up.”

This part. This is me here at the shelter. We have a bullying problem here and I know some of them are playing me, being nice to me but still talking shit about my friend behind her back. Sometimes including me in the gossip bullshit. Last week, I stepped up. She had left the room and they continued to gang up and acting like the “cheerleaders” or popular kids, picking on the loners. I asked them, politely at first, to chill out, calm down… you name it. Then they got on my ass. Yeah… no. They were reported, warned to stop the behavior. A week later, they’ve returned to talking shit, making up rumors, etc.

I talked to the person at the desk about what they were doing this morning. She basically told me they have to be told while it’s happening (I had something to go to, so I didn’t have the time, but they were talking shit about her again).

The behavior here of women who are technically middle-aged adults is that of childish, cliquish spoiled brats. The Mean Girls.

I have tried to understand this behavior. I was always the outcast kid. The loner. The weirdo. The one who preferred books and music to parties and hanging out with the girls. Hell, I didn’t even have a first date until my senior year and he wasn’t even in high school (odd story, but he was really a perfect gentleman).

I see it also on NextDoor with people from my old neighborhood being angry, childish jerks about the homeless. We don’t have enough resources even for those who want them. But the anger and entitlement puzzles me. When empathy is brought up, they respond with, “well, empathy is all well and good, but they still do …” They give this attitude that it’s the city’s fault when it’s society’s fault.

I’ve been talking to my therapist about some of this. Damn near everything I bring up circles back to two things that oppose each other in some way: Wanting acceptance as an independent, unique person in society AND finding and wanting a stronger community.

Look to what we consider third world countries. Multiple generations living under the same roof; the elder women of the community work together to care for each other and others in the local community.

We don’t do that here. Far from it, in fact. We move away and have our own homes and many raise their kids and enlist strangers to help them. The sense of community is gone. Too many don’t know their own neighbors. Not knowing leads to fear of those who live next door. Who knows what that guy down the street does for a living. There’s a black kid walking down the sidewalk… a Muslim family moving in across the way… and because no one wants to build the community and meet their neighbors, fear stirs up… police are called on the black kid… rumors start stirring that maybe that Muslim family is really a terrorist cell.

And no one steps out of the pack of hungry hyenas to TALK to the black kid… to the Muslim family.

Assumptions are made. With those assumptions, innocent lives are endangered. Even killed.

If we all took the time to listen and learn and build community with -everyone- around us: rich, poor, housed, homeless, men, women, straight, LGBTQIA+, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, black, white, brown… maybe -just maybe- we can stop the fear mongering and hate. Communication is absolute key. Is this simplistic? Maybe. But it’s a basic concept that I think our society has forgotten.

But I’m just over in my little corner in my room in a homeless shelter with my cat. Watching the world set itself on fire.

~A

PS: Yes, I’m still crowdfunding. I’ve been playing catch up on other things and still need help with storage. I want to get it caught up before the end of May.

Posted in cats, community, creativity, crowdfunding, faith, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

4/28: Picking Up?

So I’m still very behind on storage and there is another auction scheduled, but not until June, I believe. I want to get it paid up ASAP.

Things on the TR (my solo income right now) are picking up for this coming week. I have three medium to large tasks. All furniture, which means by Thursday (3rd task is Wednesday and it’s huge) I’ll be a zombie in a lot of pain. I know, zombies don’t technically feel pain, but this one does, so zip it. :p

I honestly don’t know how much these tasks will net me, or if/when I get more of them, but it won’t be enough to cover everything I owe for storage. And a certain fluffball needs more meds. And wet food. To go with the meds. She’s just enough of an airhead that she can’t tell the difference when meds are mixed into the wet food. If I haven’t already, I’ll put a box in the sidebar with the link to her Amazon wishlist. Yes, my cat has her own wishlist. PPPPBBBTTTTT!!!!!

So, today I’m laying low and relaxing, as I have tasks tomorrow, Monday, and Wednesday. You may see more posts today. Because me relaxing means writing stuff and blogging and not doing physical stuff.

Although my chore this morning got me joking that I feel like one of Jesus’ disciples: I was distributing loaves (of bread between the two kitchens here)… although no fish. Sorry.

It’s a good thing I only have Celiac’s and not the wheat/flour allergy as well. I wouldn’t be able to be around the bread that gets donated. [knocks on wood] I haven’t developed the allergy yet. My aunt and likely my mother has them (well, mom is gone, but all signs point to her having both, as her sister does). I am super close to Franz Bread, and they sell their gluten free bread (which is amazing, btw) cheaper than the grocery stores. I do have two loaves of it in the freezer. One of their GF Mountain White and one of their GF Cinnamon Raisin.

I hope task work picks up more as I need the funds. But if anyone is willing to help me get my storage balance back to zero for the time being, I’d be super thankful and happy.

The aforementioned floofball is shedding. And matting. Which makes for some “cat hair tumbleweeds” on the floor as the breeze from the window blows them out of the trashcan and across the floor.

Still nicer to step on than hairballs.

Well, it’s a nice day outside (okay, we’re supposed to get t-storms, but it’s nice right now) and I’m enjoying the breeze from my window, so I’m gonna go chill out doing other things. Like grooming mats off my cat.

~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, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, poverty line, storage, urgent

4/12/12: 4 hours #crowdfunding

Is it possible I could get it pulled from auction? A slight possibility. He knows I refuse to give up and he’ll have the message from the corporate customer service center. Even if he does pull it this morning, I have a very long way to go to raise the funds. If folks would feel better, I can set up another YouCaring campaign. Just know that the processing company (WePay) behind them and GFM take a cut. Even if YouCaring doesn’t.

Please let me know in a comment or on FB/Twitter if people would prefer using that.

I just prefer PP because it is fast, usually very easy, and no fees.

I’ll keep folks updated.

~A

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, emergency, empath life, genealogy, history, homeless, homelessness, life, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: What I Am (and #crowdfunding)

I am.
Blood and bone.
Ancestral memories borne
Within.
Who they were
Is ingrained in my
DNA.
My deep memories.
Those I did not live
In my years, but those of
Long ago.
Their fears and hopes
Live on
In me.
One more chance to
Get things right.
Make it right.

I am Swiss.
Viking.
English.
Manx.
Dutch.
Royal.
Farmers.
I am my ancestors.
I am what they hoped for.
Their dreams.
Alive.
And so much more.
I am an
Amalgamation of many
In one.
Me.

~A

[Yes, still crowdfunding. Still need lots and lots of help. Time is running out. Tweet/share wherever you can. Thank you]

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

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

Post 3 of ? today.

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


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

I bought a stun gun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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