Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, observations, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/11: Brain Battle: Real Life vs. Creativity

Another crazy week of running around to appointments and tasks and stuff. Emphasis on appointments.

Still need help with storage and such. One thing I realize is that once I get a place lined up and have the money to move, I want to have access to my stuff in storage because then I won’t have to repurchase things like kitchen supplies and bathroom stuff, and a mattress, etc. I’ll HAVE all of that. No bed frame, but I do want to get a MALM bed with storage from IKEA because if I move into a small studio, I’ll need ALL the storage I can get.

But it would be best if I retain everything I already have and use that as much as possible. I’ll gradually go through what’s left and sell/toss what I don’t use (or are sewing/crafting supplies).


Trying to find a balance between real life and my creativity isn’t easy when your waking moments are filled with appointments, a bag-up of belongings here at the shelter, PTSD triggers, chronic pain & fatigue, and people telling you to make a few dozen phone calls and you’re not good using the phone. Also: applying for jobs, eating moderately healthy (yeah, that didn’t work so well this week), and trying to sleep when your brain insists on running Worst Case Scenarios at random intervals during the night.


I’m in Month Five here. Technically, they want you through the system in four months. But I need stable income to get into something. Income I don’t have. I’m working on it.

Except one thing:

I don’t know if I can handle a full time job anymore. The past two weeks of being busy and running around M-F each week has drained me to the point where I feel like my mood has dipped back down and depression is hanging over me. I’m fucking exhausted. I still haven’t put my stuff from bag-up away. I have no energy to do anything. It sucks. I know it’ll turn around, but how to deal with it until it does? Not sure.


Gonna sign off for now. I’ll be back… I always am.

~A

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Posted in adoption, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, dogs, housing, life, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/6: Guilty Pleasure: Looking at Adoptable Dogs

[this started as FB status, hence the lines closer together]

With the idea that I’ll be moving on sooner rather than later, and hopefully into my own place, I’ve been looking at potential second pets. Namely, dogs. It’s a huge step, honestly. I haven’t had a dog since I was 15. Eventually, I want a dog I can train in not only obedience but as a PTSD dog. With help, of course. I certainly have my ideal breeds, but I may start with a rescue dog to get reacquainted with having a dog at all. 

Looking at local dogs on petfinder. Found a couple of cuties. Obviously, I’m nowhere near ready. But one advantage of getting a dog, other than training for PTSD, is that she would help with depression and anxiety. Both being aspects of my PTSD. And yes, I keep saying “she” because I’d prefer a girl dog.

 

But I also know that dogs are a whole other ballgame from having cats. Not even taking into account greater food intake and needing to be walked, there’s obedience training and other necessities. Something being here at the shelter has taught me is an absolute must. A well-trained dog goes a LONG way in pretty much everything. Especially being a good neighbor.

Here at the shelter, I’ve seen separation anxiety, breaking out of ‘jail,’ aggression toward dogs and humans, etc. I want to make sure any dog I have in my life can handle being around cats who may not like her, other dogs when out and about, and people in general.


So, I’m looking at dogs. I will never bitch about the price of purebreds I’ve been looking at (which are averaging $1200 to $1600). Yes, it’s more, but when rescue dog adoption fees are in the $300 to $600 range… urf! 

The breeds I’m looking at at German Shepherds (easier to find in rescue here) and two of the Belgian Shepherd breeds: Tervurens and Groenendaels. Those are my ideals for a service dog. And I’d definitely get a roughly 12 to 16 week old puppy so I can start obedience training from the start and then around a year old, start working on service training. 


I’m just kinda seeing what’s out there right now. I’ll know when I’m ready for a dog. I hope.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, emergency, empath life, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/24: burned out

Burned out.
Torn up.
Tired of all of it.
Sick of the hate.
The pettiness.
The lies.
Why do humans do this?
Why the hate?
The judgement.
The condemnation.
We are no better than those around us.
Yet…

Many think they are.
No.
We are different from each other, but no better.
The pine box will be the same
No matter who or
What
You
Are.

I just had a run-in with one of the bullies here at the shelter. I wrote the above poem a few days ago, but it’s how I see things right now.

People don’t seem to realize that others do see how they treat people. Some of us watch, observe them. We hear the things they say when they don’t think anyone is listening.

Hear them trash someone who is unable to defend themselves. Then gaslighting me saying I said something and I didn’t. It’s exhausting dealing with people who don’t get that their behavior is bad. I snapped. I slightly regret doing that.

Being an empath who can’t block worth shit in a building full of unstable women is not something I’d wish on anyone.

I’ve hit my breaking point.

~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

Posted in animal welfare, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

7/13: Tumultuous Week

(Yes, crowdfunding if anyone can help: vet bill from Dove Lewis, storage, others. If I do another YC or GFM, would you share regularly?)

It’s been a wild and weird week for me. I filled out the application for an SRO, but going there to do it made me uncomfortable. Several older men also live there (it isn’t gender restricted) and gave me the creeps by staring at me as I arrived and later when I left. I was on alert due to my PTSD and I really don’t feel comfortable living in a building where my PTSD is triggered that much.

Staring Monday evening, Portia began horking up her food. When she kept throwing everything up by Wednesday morning (once or twice is reasonable if she’s stressed or due to the heat, but this wasn’t a brief run), I hauled her in to Dove Lewis. They gave her anti-nausea meds and sub-q fluids and sent her home. That evening, she threw up what I eventually figured out was bile. She had nothing else to throw up, but still wasn’t well, so up that came. I took her to her usual vet yesterday afternoon. The vet took her vitals, did much the same exam as Dove Lewis did, and gave her a B-12 shot. She’s slowly coming around. She has eaten a little of her favorite wet food this morning.

While her regular vet comped the visit fees, Dove Lewis did not. Just under $150.

Which I don’t have. I set up a payment plan, but as usual, I’m behind on everything else as well. Storage is back up. I have a few small tasks coming up, but nothing close to covering everything I need covered. I may start a GFM or YC again to cover whatever needs to be covered. If I do, would people share? I mean, I prefer the PP donation link, primarily because they don’t take as much as the others do (YC doesn’t, but WePay, which they both use, does).

I do need to get a senior blood panel done for Portia. She’s ain’t no spring chicken anymore. When she threw up the bile, I freaked a bit. I’d never seen that before. And this brings me to pet insurance.

That industry has exploded. Years ago, when I still have JoJo AND Jack, I looked at pet health insurance. There were only a small handful of companies and they had age restrictions.

Now?

Hell, Geico offers pet health insurance. Their plans aren’t bad, but they don’t cover basic stuff and illnesses, so I’m looking at the others. So many options. Since I’m on Medicaid myself, I’m not used to all the details and shit. Just sign up and take what I get, right? But the policies for pets… wow.

At one point when JoJo was sick, I remember asking for help on FB and some dude I barely knew from the Furry community told me that if I can’t afford to take her to the vet when she’s sick, I shouldn’t have pets.

I blocked his ass so fast. Here’s the thing: My cats (well, one right now) are my chosen family. With my PTSD, they have helped me through so much. Portia is the reason I’m still here. She is my tether to life. She is my ESA (Emotional Support Animal).

Does it suck that I can’t always afford to go do all the stuff society thinks I need to do to keep her healthy? Yes, it does. I want to get her a Lion Cut shave down soon, but groomers aren’t cheap.

But I do the best I can. Of all three cats I’ve had since I moved out on my own, Jack was my “problem child.” He ate things he shouldn’t (*cough*BabyBell cheese wax*cough*brownies*cough*), had gingivitis and stomatitis and eventually had all his teeth behind his fangs removed. I learned how NOT to pill a cat with him. He knocked shit off counters and tables and broke things and pounced on his big sister like it was a religion. But he was my big goofball and I miss him. His vet bills were numerous. Acute Renal Failure.

JoJo, despite her wheat allergy, was pretty damn healthy until the last month or so. With her, I learned how NOT to bathe a cat (note: remember to remove the covered litter box with clumping litter from the room before you close the door to bathe a long haired cat). She had Congestive Heart Failure.

And now I have Portia, whom I adopted after Jack passed away. She has sensitive skin and a sensitive stomach. Food options are limited. And she HATES being groomed. But other than those two things, she’s been reasonably healthy. A few blips here and there, but nominal. Oh, and the allergy to wool. She’s currently chilling out in one of the cooler corners of the room.

No matter our income, our animal companions help us through good and bad periods of our lives. Portia gives me someone to come home to. If I’ve had a shitty day, I can come back here and snuggle with her.

I just hope I have another couple of years with her.

So, yes, I’m still asking for any help possible. Help with the vet bill at Dove Lewis, storage, etc. We will get through this massive hurdle. I just know I’m not able to do it alone.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, dogs, family, health, homeless, homelessness, life, PTSD

7/4: Snafus

I’ve gotten bitchier of late. Snapping at people, many here at the shelter. Being argumentative with some. S asked me what’s gotten into me lately. I know and yet, I don’t know. Frustrated with my situation; being/feeling constantly stuck, taken advantage of, gaslighted (gaslit?); never seemingly able to get myself caught up to where I need to be.

Working on shit and maybe getting close to handling certain aspects of my life, then something comes along and sets me back. The incident* on the bus being the latest.

I posted a couple days ago that my life feels like one snafu after another. A second thought regarding that keeps passing through my mind. That of, “I AM a snafu.” But I’ve never written it down or said it out loud until this post. I kept pushing it aside.

Why?

Because it lends credence to what my mother told me when I was 9: that I wasn’t meant to happen. They (she) only wanted 2 kids and I was 3rd. In her eyes, I was a mistake.

So, I kept dismissing it. But with everything going on, it keeps coming back and tapping me on my shoulder.

Where am I going with this? Not one damn clue. Just needed to let it bubble to the surface and hope for the best. May e now that I’ve released that phrase to the world, maybe it won’t keep at me.

* yesterday, on 7/3, I was on the bus heading to my appt when some asshole turnes left in front of the bus. The driver slammed on his brakes and avoided collision, but my head hit the “well padded” hip of the woman two seats to my left (priority seating center facing seats). My brain got a bit jostled, but no clear signs of a concussion. And my neck is sore. These are no surprise. Reported to Trimet via Twitter. I don’t blame the bus driver at all. The asshole in the car? Them, I blame. If anyone were to get a lawsuit handed to them, it would be that asshole, not Trimet. It would’ve sucked, but a part of me kinda wishes we had hit the car.

Well, the dogs on our floor are all going berserk over the fireworks outside. My head still hurts, so I’m gonna take my meds and get more rest.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, faith, homeless, life, observations, poetry, society, writing

7/2/18: Fighting the World (poetry)

(A bit of gut-pouring poetry. I can’t go into what’s behind some of it this publicly, but it’ll probably make damn good story fodder one day. I do believe I’ll be okay. It’s just in this moment, this is how I feel.)

I feel as if I am
Fighting the world.
Pain and Anger hit me from
All sides.
My heart races,
Try to calm down.
Who do I trust
In this concentrated form of
Society?
When playing favorites is
Par for the Course.
Gossip and Backstabbing
Reign supreme.
One should be able to trust certain
Individuals.
But no longer.
I want to scream.
But all I can do is cry
Myself to sleep.
Too many objects to juggle.
Too much drama swirling around me.
This warrior is tired.
Too many battles.
A general with no more fighters.
I feel like I am fighting a
War with the world around me.
As well as the
World Within.

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, disability, homeless, homelessness, life, PTSD, silliness

6/25: Love Letter for my Cat

Silly, I know. But I’m here curled up under my covers listening to a purr that could rival the thunder we had a few nights ago.

***

You exasperate me a lot. Getting under foot. Wedging your way to the gate at our doorway when I return from wherever I’ve been. I have to prop the door open so you get some time observing the slice of the world outside our room here at the shelter. Despite the fact that you always growl and hiss at the dogs.

But then you have those moments like a few minutes ago. Where I rested my face against your back and listened to you purr as you nuzzled your face into the palm of my hand. The world melts away when this happens.

You are my goofy, silly senior cat who loves being worshipped by any human in the vicinity. You ground me and keep me from going completely off the rails. Knowing you’re here for me when I’m out and trying to not do any harm because of my PTSD. I come back to a floofy, goofy cat who accepts me as I am.

I know our time will end one day. Hopefully not any time soon. I still need you. And besides, you are pretty healthy for 12 years.

You keep me going. I’m not sure where I’d be right now without you. Probably not anywhere good. Thank you for being my cat.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, asexuality, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, eviction, family, homeless, homelessness, LGBTQIA Pride, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

6/24/18: #PTSD, #Bullying, #Asexual #Pride, and #crowdfunding

Being here in the shelter sets my PTSD off in ways it doesn’t in my usual ways. Loud voices, doors slamming. Most of my triggers are related more to men and crowds, so being on transit during commute times is hell for me. But being in a building with all women with behaviors I haven’t seen since high school and raging estrogen flares… I’m reminded of how rare friendships with women are for me. I get along with some here, but many are wired in a way that makes my PTSD bubble to the surface.

I pull away from people in general when this hits. Add pain to the mix and I get snippy and my sarcasm level goes up.

I think I’ve done enough back and forth with doctors at the clinic. I made the semi-crack that I should call the patient advocate office. Then I decided that maybe I will. I don’t know if any good will come of it. I’ve had both my GP and the doctor filling in for her (she’s on a personal leave) reject the idea of getting anything more than x-rays. The pain that’s been most prevalent lately has been soft tissue damage from the fall down the stairs (well, bouncing) 5 1/2 years ago. I had my knees up with my feet against one wall to try to stop my descent as I bounced down the stairs. Soft tissue damage doesn’t show on x-rays.

Back to the shelter here. We had some bullying here several weeks back. I defended the person who was being bullied and was thus made a target as well. So, two days ago, one of the bullies was gossiping to a newer resident about the stuff from weeks ago, as well as subtle snark toward another. I walked past them in the hallway. I brushed it off, hoping it was a one-off moment.

Later that evening, I heard another resident pulling the same gossip crap, bashing the woman from weeks ago, to the same recipient. I hesitated a moment, but then turned back around and reported both incidents to the RA’s here.

Yesterday morning, I heard that same recipient tell the first gossip that they didn’t want to hear anything more. My guess is that she was told to not participate in it. Here, gossip is frowned upon and against the “good neighbor” policy.

Fast forward a few hours. One of the RA’s knocks on my door and says there are some residents who have complained that the litterbox smells. All the way down the hall. I use the Tidycats Breeze system for her. While the pellets are overdue for a change, her box isn’t that bad. I think the cat food smells worse. She’s mostly eating wet food right now due to needing meds. I’ve since heard from one other resident that no, she can’t smell it. Some of the dogs have issues of their own and have a habit of peeing on their dog beds. And their doors were open while mine wasn’t for the vast majority of the day (save for opening it to go to and from the bathroom).

I put two and two together and realized it’s the bullies getting their hackles back up. They don’t like being called out for their bad behavior. I’ll keep calling them on it. Bullying and gossip have no place in a respectable society. Yes, I know, I’m talking about a homeless shelter, but it applies. If you want to be respected, you have to work on respecting others.


One of the other situations here is one person who has this negative energy and has some kind of burning desire to be the center of attention. An Energy Vampire. She has triggered my PTSD in ways I didn’t think of. I grew up with a similar person. Always trying to outdo me in “how bad my day was” and other things. Always negative. This person is even worse. She has managed, within two weeks, to alienate or piss off almost everyone on our floor. That’s skill, man… not a GOOD skill, but a skill. Oof.


PRIDE!!

So, I’ve always been open about my sexuality. I am Aromantic Asexual. That basically means I don’t experience any romantic or sexual attraction.

Once more for those in the back:

Aromantic Asexual: I don’t experience romantic or sexual attraction.

It has nothing to do with the act of sex, the libido, etc. Just attraction.

Now, I’m also a sexual assault survivor, so the act of sex is kind of ‘meh’ to me. Some Aces (asexuals) enjoy sex with their partners, some have libidos, some don’t want any kind of touch… the array of possibilities is endless with us.

Do I find some men attractive? Yup. *cough*Tom Hiddleston*cough* … but it’s more of an aesthetic attraction. Oh, and several of the men Verillas uses for their models… oof. Very good looking men. Oh, and I want most of the stuff they offer for women.

For more information on Asexuality, go here: AVEN Wiki.

I’m not ashamed or afraid of representing who and what I am. If not for my PTSD and anxiety, I’d have gone to Pride here last weekend. Because of my PTSD, I have a difficult time with any kind of touch (the Energy Vampire mentioned above touched my shoulder and I had a hard time staying calm while I explained that I cannot handle touch and that not everyone wants that and she needs to ask permission before ANY touch).


I’ve been looking at dog breeds as potential ideas for a service dog. I’ve gone from Dobermans and Rotties to Tervurens and Groenedael’s. Saw a Terv weeks ago here and just fell in love. We shall see…


It’s been a rough week. And now I’m down to a bit under four days to raise what I need for storage. I have about $300 coming in from two tasks last week, but I still need help getting at least half of $1300 before noon on Thursday the 28th. I really should get more than half, but I know that might be difficult.

Any and all help via PayPal is immensely appreciated.